The Law of Absolute Pauperization

  • Leszek Nowak
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 139)


It is a very well-known criticism of the Marxian theory which claims that the author of Capital “predicted the growing poverty of the masses, whereas the masses in every capitalist country are better off now, than they were a couple of decades ago” (Bober (1), p. 93). This criticism is directed against the so-called law of absolute pauperization which states:

The greater the social wealth, the functioning capital … and, therefore, also the absolute mass of the proletariat and the productiveness of its labour, the greater is the industrial reserve army. … But the greater this reserve army in proportion to the active labour-army, the greater is the mass of consolidated surplus-population, whose misery is in direct proportion to the labour put it. The more extensive … the industrial reserve army, the greater is official pauperism. This is the absolute general law of capitalist accumulation (Marx (1), vol. 1, p. 644).


Real Wage Empirical Reality Capitalist Country Industrial Capitalist Marxian Theory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leszek Nowak

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations