Exército industrial de reserva

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Exército industrial de reserva é um conceito desenvolvido por Karl Marx em sua crítica da economia política[1][2], e refere-se ao desemprego estrutural das economias capitalista. O exército de reserva corresponde à força de trabalho que excede as necessidades da produção. Para o bom funcionamento do sistema de produção capitalista e garantir o processo de acumulação, é necessário que parte da população ativa esteja permanentemente desempregada.[3] Esse contingente de desempregados atua, segundo a teoria marxista, como um inibidor das reivindicações dos trabalhadores e contribui para o rebaixamento dos salários.

Segundo Karl Marx, na busca de inovações tecnológicas que lhes propiciem uma vantagem temporária sobre seus concorrentes, os capitalistas tendem a elevar a composição orgânica do capital , substituindo gradativamente a força de trabalho (que é parte do capital variável ) por máquinas (que são parte do capital constante ), o que resultaria em aumento do desemprego e do exército de reserva. O capitalismo depende, portanto, de sempre manter superpopulação relativa.

Segundo os marxistas, o conceito de exército industrial de reserva põe por terra a crença liberal na liberdade de trabalho, bem como o ideal do pleno emprego além de explicar o imperialismo e o fato de que pequeno proprietários falem para terem suas famílias trabalhando para cada vez menos burgueses.[4]

Bibliografia[editar | editar código-fonte]

  • Paul M. Sweezy, Four Lectures on Marxism (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1981), 64–65
  • Michael E. Porter, Competitive Strategy (New York: The Free Press, 1980), 35–36.


  1. Karl Marx, Capital, vol. 1, New York: International Publishers, 1967, p. 639, 645
  2. Different Forms of the Relative surplus population. The General Law of Capitalistic Accumulation
  3. Producción progresiva de una superpoblación o de un ejército industrial de reserva (capítulo 3). El capital: crítica de la economía política Karl Marx, Libro I, Tomo III, Siglo XXI editores, ISBN, 978-84-460-1216-0, pag. 91s.
  4. Karl Marx, Capital, vol. 1, 798. Immediately after the quoted passage Marx added the following qualification: “Like all other laws, it is modified in its workings by circumstances, the analysis of which does not concern us here.” It should be added that Marx used “absolute” here in the Hegelian sense, i.e., in terms of abstract. Harry Magdoff and Paul M. Sweezy, Stagnation and the Financial Explosion (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1987), 204. By 2010, OECD unemployment had grown by 38 percent, reaching 48.5 million persons. (“Unemployment, Employment, Labour Force and Population of Working Age [15-64],” OECD.StatExtracts, [OECD, Geneva, 2011], retrieved September 24, 2011.) The concept of “imperialist rent” is developed by Samir Amin in The Law of Worldwide Value (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2011) and is discussed further below. See, for example, the discussion in Anthony Giddens, Capitalism and Modern Social Theory (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971), 55–58. Giddens offers a half-hearted and confused defense of Marx which is full of misconceptions. John Strachey, Contemporary Capitalism, 101; Marx, Capital, vol. 1, 929. Strachey also quotes on the same page the passage from The Communist Manifesto where Marx and Engels write, “The modern labourers…instead of rising with the progress of industry, sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence of his own class. He becomes a pauper, and pauperism develops more rapidly than population and wealth.” Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, The Communist Manifesto (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1964), 23. At first sight this seems to support Strachey’s point (though taken from an early and non-economic work). However, as Hal Draper points out: “This may sound as if the class of proletarians, as such, is inevitably pauperized. This language reflected the socialistic propaganda of the day; later in Capital I (Chap. 25), Marx made clear that the pauper layer is ‘the lowest sediment of the relative surplus population.’” Hal Draper, The Adventures of the Communist Manifesto (Berkeley: Center for Socialist History, 1998), 233. Roman Rosdolsky, The Making of Marx’s ‘Capital’ (London: Pluto Press, 1977), 307. Fredric Jameson, Representing Capital (New York: Verso, 2011), 71. Marx, Capital, vol. 1, 799. Marx, Capital, vol. 1, 764, 772, 781–94; Marx and Engels, The Communist Manifesto, 7; Paul M. Sweezy, The Theory of Capitalist Development (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1970), 87–92. Marx, Capital, vol. 1, 792. Karl Marx, “Wage-Labour and Capital,” in Wage-Labour and Capital/Value, Price and Profit (New York: International Publishers, 1935), 45; Sweezy, The Theory of Capitalist Development, 89. Marx, Capital, vol. 1, 763, 776–81, 929. Marx, Capital, vol. 1, 794–95; David Harvey, A Companion to Marx’s Capital (London: Verso, 2010), 278, 318. Marx, Capital, vol. 1, 795–96. Marx, Capital, vol. 1, 590–99, 793–77. Marx, Capital, vol. 1, 797–98. Engels deserves credit for having introduced the reserve army concept into Marxian theory, and makes it clear that what demonstrates the reserve-army or relative surplus-population status of workers is the fact that the economy draws them into employment at business cycle peaks. See Frederick Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England (Chicago: Academy Chicago Publishers, 1984), 117–22, and Engels on Capital (New York: International Publishers, 1937), 19. Karl Marx, Capital, vol. 3 (London: Penguin, 1981), Capital, vol. 2 (London: Penguin, 1978), 486–87, and Capital, vol. 1, 769–70; Rosa Luxemburg, The Accumulation of Capital—An Anti-Critique, and Nikolai Bukharin, Imperialism and the Accumulation of Capital (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1972), 121. Marx, Capital, vol. 3, 363. Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Collected Works (New York: International Publishers, 1975), 422. Karl Marx, Theories of Surplus Value, (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1971), part 3, 105–6; Capital, vol. 3, 344–46; David Ricardo, On the Principles of Political Economy and Taxation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1951), 135–36; John Stuart Mill, Essays on Some Unsettled Questions in Political Economy (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1877), 1–46: Rosdolsky, The Making of Marx’s ‘Capital’, 307–12. A wide-ranging analysis/debate regarding unequal exchange occurred within Marxism in the 1970s. See Arghiri Emmanuel, Unequal Exchange (New York: Monthly Review Press, 172); Samir Amin, Imperialism and Unequal Development (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1977), 181–252. Some Marxist theorists still deny that the rate of surplus value is higher in the periphery than in the center. See Alex Callinicos, Imperialism and Global Political Economy (London: Polity, 2009), 179–81; and Joseph Choonara, Unraveling Capitalism (London: Bookmarks Publications, 2009), 34–35. For a contrary view, see Sweezy, Four Lectures on Marxism, 76–77. Rosa Luxemburg, The Accumulation of Capital (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1951), 361–65. Marx, Capital, vol. 3, 344.

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