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Marxian theory of unemployment It is in the very nature of the capitalist mode of production to overwork some w orkers while keeping

the rest as a reserve army of unemployed paupers. Marx, Theory of Surplus Value For Karl Marx, unemployment is at the centre of capitalist society and he predic ted that persistent crises of mass unemployment will occur. Marx defined that t he role of the proletariat within the capitalist system is to supply the capital ists with a reserve army of labour that creates downward pressure on wages. This i s possible by dividing the proletariat in employees or surplus labour and unempl oyed. The reserve army of labour fight among themselves since there is scarcity of job and this even goes to the point that they work for lower and lower wages . Unemployment seems to be of no importance at all in the economy but it is pro fitable in the sense that the more people fear to lose their job, the more they will accept to work for low wages which is far more profitable for the capitalis ts. This is not of great help for the employees. Capitalists tend to manipula te the labour market by making use of unemployment which results in making the e mployees turn against themselves to make good impression of their work to their employers instead of being united to fight against the exploitation of the capit alists. According to Marx, the only way of getting rid of unemployment would be to perma nently abolish the capitalists as well as the system of forced competition for w ages to change for a socialist or communist economic system. For contemporary M arxists, the fact that unemployment is still persisting is the evidence of the i ncapacity of capitalists to ensure full employment. Marx and the reserve industrial army of the unemployed Capitalist governments consider as unemployed only those people who are actively looking for a job and those who gave up looking for one as they reasonably thin k that no employer would give them a job are not counted as unemployed by the auth orities. On the other hand, they counted those who worked for only few hours per week as employed . For Marx, any person who would be keen to take any job offered to them would for m part of the reserve industrial army of labour. He also stated that the reserv e army consisted of various layers going from those who are occasionally unemplo yed until the lowest level consisting of those who are constantly unemployed. Those who belong to this same lower level, being employed would be an exception. However, they can be included in some work whenever there are some unusual dem ands for labour power. From the point of view of those employers who buy this k ind of labour power, this kind of labour power is of low quality and they will n ot buy it unless there are other alternatives. The capitalists on their part wo uld buy it if ever exceptional circumstances make the labour power insufficient relative to demand. A good example of this was the Rosy the riveter phenomena in the U.S. during World War II, when the exceptional demand for labor power in the war economy drew int o active industrial employment housewives who in those years were not normally w orking outside the home. But why, according to Marx, does capitalism need a reser ve army of unemployed workers? Why can t capitalism have full employment where everyb ody who desires a job can quickly find one? The reason that Marx gave to this co mes from the nature of capitalist exploitation.