Proletariat comes from the Latin offspring, meaning descent and refers to the number of children in a couple. In Ancient Rome, the word proleraii was used to refer to the most humble social class that lived simply from their work.
The proletariat from the perspective of communism and anarchism
In the nineteenth century, Marx, Engels and other theorists of communist ideology (which could also include anarchist ideas) found themselves facing a historical phenomenon: the development of the industrial revolution created a new social class , the proletariat.
Large factories replaced traditional workshops and this circumstance requires a large volume of labor. This provoked a massive exodus from the countryside to the city. In a few decades, the industrialized cities of Europe had a very significant population growth. The proletariat consolidated itself as a new class of society, but its living and working conditions were really deplorable (very low wages, no social coverage, exhausting working hours and lack of rights). In any case, the proletariat worked under conditions of slavery. This reality was energetically denounced by the Marxist and anarchist movement. Both approaches have their theoretical differences, but they coincide in their criticism of the plight of the proletariat.
According to communist-inspired Marxism, the proletariat as a social class is a logical consequence of the evolution of humanity and thus has the challenge of promoting a change of direction in the dynamics of history. This change is based on a social revolution to disappear with other classes. In this way, within the Marxist ideology, the proletariat must be the engine of this change and the objective to achieve the abolition of any kind of privileges in a society.
Likewise, anarchists denounced the existence of an oppressed and exploitative social class. Anarchism defended the idea of a classless society in which the freedom of the proletariat should end private property and the state as an oppressive organizational structure. Thus, the proletariat must take control of the means of production and impose a social model based on the equality of all individuals.
The communist movement and the anarchist thought that the proletariat should fight to combat oppression and the inhumane regime of life.