In today’s paper a news appeared about 30% of India’s urban population could be out of savings and unable to cover essential expenditure by June-end. Due to lockdown 84% of households suffered a loss of income.
What does the above points to? People with no source of livelihood or saving would be reduced to being paupers. From active member of labour army they fall down the ladder both social and economic not due to their own folly but due to force, beyond their control or comprehension of even the people of knowledge.
But what people of wisdom were found grappling, Marx envisaged this more than a century ago, the relative surplusing of labour.
With every crisis says Marx,the quantity of paupers increases, and diminishes with every revival of trade.
“Pauperism is the hospital of the active labour-army and the dead weight of the industrial reserve army. Its production is included in that of the relative surplus population, its necessity in theirs; along with the surplus population, pauperism forms a condition of capitalist production, and of the capitalist development of wealth. It enters into the faux frais of capitalist production; but capital knows how to throw these, for the most part, from its own shoulders on to those of the working class and the lower middle class.”
Today when the world is grappling with the effects and after effects of the pandemic, it is time that we start consulting Marx.!