Marx and Poverty

In Gottfried Schweiger & Clemens Sedmak (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Poverty. Routledge. pp. 164-177 (2023)
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Abstract

This chapter argues that Marx was not primarily concerned with the question of poverty. Rather, Marx’s main object of critique is the relations of power inherent in capitalism. According to Marx, poverty is the end result of the structural processes that are constituted by relations of power. After explicating the coercion, domination, and exploitation inherent in capitalism, the chapter discusses the status and the different layers of the non-working poor in Marx’s theory, what he calls “the industrial reserve army”. The chapter concludes by comparing Marx’s conception of poverty with that of liberal political philosophy.

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