Even in ancient Rome the proletariat consisted of the poor landless freemen. The proletariat is a term used to describe the working class of wage-earners or the industrial workers in capitalist societies whose possession of material value is only their ability to work. Thus a member of Proletariat class of wage-earners or the industrial workers is a proletarian. According to Marxism, the proletariat and bourgeoisie as occupying conflicting positions, since workers wish their wages to be as high as possible, while owners wish for wages to be as low as possible. Under the Constitution of the Roman Republic, the proletarii constituted a social class of Roman citizens owning little or no property.
The origin of the term proletariat is linked with the census Roman authorities conducted every five years to produce a register of citizens and their property based on which their military duties and voting rights could be determined. The international proletariat make up more than half of the world population. In Marxist theory, the borders between the proletariat and some layers of the petite bourgeoisie and the lumpenproletariat are not well defined. Karl Marx's ideas of historical materialism, and the exploitation of the proletariat by the bourgeoisie pervade American collegiate academia.
The term proletariat is used to name the social class that does not have ownership of the means of production and whose only means of subsistence is to sell their ability to work or labor power. Marx defines the bourgeoisie as those who create social production and employ laborers, a very similar definition of the rich today. Marx also defines the proletariats as those who live only so long as they find work, like the modern working class. There is a bourgeoisie and a proletariat here in America as described by Karl Marx. Taxes and technology are two important factors that contribute to the large divide between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat classes.