I am seeking scientifically derived opinions which come to a real verifiable and historically current number as to the absolute size of the international working class, or “proletariat” as defined by the generally accepted categories of scientific socialism.
“Wage earning producers of material value.” I understand that the definition of working class is perpetually up for debate so I will post any figures here that are 1. substantiated, and 2. defined with clear limits.
From my own viewpoint the proletariat may own tools of his or her trade, but is principally a wage earner. Figures which include small scale producers and family businesses which create material value but are typically employed by contract and may hire assistant labor and services in various forms may be socially very close to the working class and politically influenced by working class politics but they should be counted as a separate statistic. Farm or farm business owners even at the small scale should be considered separately as well.
Teachers, social workers, and administrators and other union workers who produce no material value should be considered separately.
Wage earning employees of large corporations who are involved in transportation and telecommunications should be considered as part of the working class.
Police, Fire and other state services should be considered separately by my definition.
I am open to other opinions as regards these categories .
So how many of us are there in the world? If we are to demand our fair share. It would be helpful to know.
P.S. October 25, 2013,,
In the comments below i post a link to ILOSTAT the International Labor Organization’s statistical data base. If one tally’s the “labor force” by country on this data base the total is approximately 3.5 billion more or less one half of the world population.
The ILO definition of the labor force is ““Labour force comprises all persons of working age who furnish the supply of labour for the production of goods and services during a specified time-reference period. It refers to the sum of all persons of working age who are employed and those who are unemployed.”
This is not exactly the same as a class. For one it would exclude working class children, disabled people and retired persons who are part of the class but are not available to the “labor force”. For another it probably includes (i need to study the statistical standards which I have not yet done) Managers, and other individuals who are part of the gross labor force from the statistical perspective of bourgeois economics but are not part of the working-class as traditionally understood.