The general working class that occupies the bottom tier of society. Drives economies and produces "real" profit through its labor. Can often be seen in conflict with the bourgeoisie.
The income of the proletarian is not related to the value of his product.
by Albie Wangsta March 26, 2004
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The working class. People who don't make things but rather sell their labor in the workplace, when the means of production are owned by someone else. The most widely known example is the factory worker. The international proletariat make up about 50% of the world population at this point. See wordbourgeoisword.
A shirt is worth $10. The boss has a factory to make shirts. Workers get paid $1 a shirt that they make, and the cotton costs $1 a shirt. So the boss spends $2 on every shirt. 10-2 is 8. The boss gets $8 a shirt, the worker gets only $1. Something's wrong here...
by Smackster October 5, 2003
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One of the masses or regular people. Worker.
My mom told me to quit going out with that proletariat girl.

Hey give me that copy of Gallery, it's the magazine for looking at proletariat chicks.
by Joe Iron February 2, 2008
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Another word for working class. Often used in a derogatory sense for people who sell their ability to work, rather than a finished or half-product. The means of production which they use are owned by someone else, they work for a set wage rather than a profit. Proletariat (litt. 'those who only have their children') is usually associated with factory workers. Working under dismal circumstances. But in many non-industrialised countries, those working in a factory and referred to as 'proletariat' regard this work as a huge step up from working on the farm, which in turn is a huge improvement over subsistence farming.
This example deals with the Eurorean Union, in particular the Euro area. Some character sets do not display the euro symbol corretly. You will see '€' in its stead.

A shirt is sold for €12. The sales tax is between €2 and €3 depending on the country, the shopkeeper doubles or even triples his/her purchase price to arrive at the sales price. He tells us that this is to cover his costs, which include his director's salary and perks. At best, €5 is available for the earlier steps in the production chain, at worst €3.

The middle man tries for as high a margin as he can get.

Workers - deemed 'the proletariat' - are paid €0.50 per shirt made, the cotton costs another €0.50 a shirt. The garment boss spends €1 on shipping, €0.50 on protecting his business (includes bribes where needed), and €0.25 on premises and admin. The boss makes €0.25 a shirt, double that if he is 'well-connected'.

Ironically, the shop with the higher margin must buy lower priced goods to compete on price with more efficient shops. These are likely goods which the middle man must have found harder to sell at a higher price.

Something may well be wrong here, but please, don't ask me to point out what ... the workers are free to remain farm hands, or subsistence farmers, yet choose the factory, thus keeping the cost of labour low; planned systems where appointees decide how many shirts people want and what these will look like do not seem to have been all that successful?
by Economic Liberal October 4, 2005
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A Metalcore Band from Southern Orange County CA. Sounds like Death.
the proletariat plays worship music to the necroyeti who necrobates to satan and serves the necrowizard.
by necrobator March 22, 2007
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The name used to generally describe the working class or poor in society. In Communist-Lingo, meaning the class of society that doesn't own the means of production (Factories, mines etc.) but works for them, selling their laboring power in order to survive.

'Look at that stupid proletariat working at the machine over there.'

"The Proletariat have nothing to lose but their chains, they have a world to win. Workers of all countries, unite!" - Karl Marx

by E Reims November 19, 2006
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