The Marxist concept that as workers lose control over the conditions and products of their labor, they also lose control over their lives.
The political and social system based on the idea of the absolute monarch, particularly as it developed in France in the two centuries before the French Revolution. The term is sometimes applied to the rest of Europe during this period.
Attainder and Forfeiture
In English law, the legal extinction of civil rights for a person convicted of treason or a felony. Once a person was attainted, he lost all his goods and property to the crown.
In Marxist theory, the capitalist class that will oppose the proletariat in class struggle.
An economic system based on market competition and the investment of capital in business by private individuals.
In Marxist thought, the awareness on the part of one social class that it is distinct from, and antagonistic to, other classes in society.
In Marxist theory, the struggle resulting from the conflicting interests of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat that will bring about the socialist revolution.
A legislative body elected for the sole purpose of writing a constitution.
An increase in rent that occurs because of changes in social conditions rather than the efforts of the landowner.
The belief in equal political, economic, and legal rights for all citizens.
The idea that workers could be co-opted by the perceived possibility of upward mobility into supporting a social system that was against their own interest.
The concept of moving toward the socialist state through a series of reforms rather than revolution.
The “Iron Law” of Wages
The concept that wages are tied to the cost of food and that real wages will never rise above the cost of subsistence.
The Labor Theory of Value
The idea that the value of a product is based on the amount of labor needed to produce it.
Literally, “leave it alone.” The principle of government noninterference in economic affairs, and the idea underlying Adam Smith's doctrines of free trade and the self-regulating marketplace.
A political party that has too small a membership to have an effect on regional or national elections. Also known as a “minnow party.”
Mode of production
Both the skills and technologies a society uses to produce wealth and the way in which it organizes labor.
The process by which the government takes control of an industry that was previously owned by private investors.
The idea that all citizens are directly involved in all important decisions.
A direct vote in which the entire electorate is invited to accept or refuse a measure.
A political program or movement that champions the common people, usually defined in contrast to an elite. Populist movements generally combine elements of both the right and the left.
A situation caused by means-tested social welfare benefits or tax laws that discourages people from trying to improve their situations for fear of losing their safety nets or reducing their disposable income.
A form of inheritance in which the eldest son inherits all or most of a father's property.
The act of selling a government-owned industry to the private sector.
The “Propaganda of the Deed”
The anarchist idea that violent action is the most effective form of propaganda for the revolutionary cause.
The concept that people form government by voluntarily giving up some liberties in exchange for security.
The simultaneous occurrence of an economic recession and inflation.
The amount needed to pay for the minimum necessary for survival.
The difference between the cost of labor and the value that labor produces.
Universal Manhood Suffrage
The concept that all adult males in a society have the right to vote.
An imagined perfect society. Literally “no place.”
Vanguard of the Proletariat
Lenin's theory that a small, tightly disciplined socialist party will lead the proletariat to revolution.
Samuel Gompers's theory that workers should rely on voluntary organizations to defend their interests rather than on the state.