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pauperism:see poor lawpoor law,
in English history, legislation relating to public assistance for the poor. Early measures to relieve pauperism were usually designed to suppress vagrancy and begging.
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extreme poverty among working people, the absence of the most essential necessities of life among masses of the population in societies based on private ownership of the means of production, inequality of property, and exploitation of some classes by others.
In capitalist society, pauperism is the inevitable result of the universal law of capital accumulation. As K. Marx observed, “Pauperism is the hospital of the active labor-army and the dead weight of the industrial reserve army. Its production is included in that of the relative surplus-population, its necessity in theirs. Along with the relative surplus-population, pauperism forms a condition of capitalist production, and of the capitalist development of wealth” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 23, pp. 658–59). In the age of the general crisis of capitalism, mass unemployment has acquired a chronic character and creeping inflation has become an inevitable feature of the capitalist economy, which is increasingly dominated by the military sector. Under these conditions, the robbing of workers by monopolies has increased, thereby engendering pauperism.