In The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon Marx identified Napoleon III as the "Chief of the Lumpenproletariat," a claim he made repeatedly.
He argued that he bought his supporters with "gifts and loans, these were the limits of the financial science of the lumpenproletariat, both the low and the exalted.
Indeed, because it acted only out of socially ignorant self-interest, the lumpenproletariat was easily bribed by reactionary forces and could be used to combat the true proletariat in its efforts to bring about the end of bourgeois society.
Without a clear class-consciousness, the lumpenproletariat could not play a positive role in society.
Instead, he described the lumpenproletariat as part of the what he called an "industrial reserve army", which capitalists used as times required.
Thus, "vagabonds, criminals, prostitutes" and other lumpenproletariat formed an element within the "surplus population" in a capitalist system.
The word is used in some languages as a pejorative.
In English it may be used in an informal disapproving manner to "describe people who are not clever or well educated, and who are not interested in changing or improving their situation."essentially parasitical group was largely the remains of older, obsolete stages of social development, and that it could not normally play a progressive role in history.
Never had a President speculated more stupidly on the stupidity of the masses." For Marx, the lumpenproletariat represented those who were "corrupt, reactionary and without a clear sense of class-consciousness."Alongside ruined roués with questionable means of support and of dubious origin, degenerate and adventurous scions of the bourgeoisie, there were vagabonds, discharged soldiers, discharged convicts, runaway galley slaves, swindlers, charlatans, lazzaroni, pickpockets, tricksters, gamblers, procurers, brothel keepers, porters, literati, organ grinders, rag-pickers, knife-grinders, tinkers, beggars; in short, the entirely undefined, disintegrating mass, thrown hither and yon, which the French call la bohème.
In Capital (1867), Marx focused on the oppressive legislation which turned soldiers and peasants "en masse into beggars, robbers, vagabonds, partly from inclination, in most cases from stress of circumstances." By this, he deviated from his focus on the vicious and degenerate behavior of the lumpenproletariat in his writings on France.