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This goes back to the defintion of wage earners;
"And so all over the world two classes were forming, with an unbridged chasm between them--the capitalist class, with its enormous fortunes, and the proletariat, bound into slavery by unseen chains. The latter were a thousand to one in numbers, but they were ignorant and helpless, and they would remain at the mercy of their exploiters until they were organized--until they had become "class-conscious."
The Jungle/ Chapter 29