Often this segment of the dispossessed, reliant on scratching its day-to-day remunerations out of an informal economy where the struggle for subsistence relies as much on the trappings of petty entrepreneurialism of the self-exploiting penny capitalist kind, is as wageless as it is waged.
Against the refusals of what are presented as orthodox Marxism, which we suggest contain as much easy caricature as critical dissection, we offer a more open-ended understanding of how to approach the diversities of proletarianization and, in particular, the study of the wageless.
23) A wageless, diseased population, increasingly visible on city streets and challenging its ruling order's sense of public propriety and paternal responsibility necessitated a response.
As Stanley Ryerson long ago noted, the proletariat, waged and wageless, was "not yet in a position to act in [its] own name or give independent leadership to the struggle.
Nonetheless, the crimp nalization and institutionalization of the wageless reflected both the growing unease among the patrician and propertied, as well as their panicked recourse to discipline the unruly:
34) Toronto's wageless would exist in the shadow of the House of Industry for decades.
36) Toronto's 1846 Act of Incorporation was amended, widening the possible reach of control and coercion that could be deployed against the wageless by providing for the establishment of an industrial farm to complement the already existing House of Industry, which drew, from 1839 onwards, not only on private donations but on annual provincial grants.
Small wonder that the oscillating reciprocities of waged and wageless life instilled in those undergoing proletarianization a recurrent sense of grievance.
The Left and the Toronto Wageless Before the Great Depression, 1900-1925
And among some in this often fissiparous and differentiated left, antagonism to the wageless as little more than capitalism's refuse would surface in denunciations of the poor as parasites.
In this climate, when the wageless were driven to destitution and marked out for a variety of coercions, the left critique of capitalist crisis undoubtedly registered more forcefully with Toronto's dispossessed.
Rebuffed by the Mayor, who stated clearly that temporary employment would never be provided solely as a means of relief, the wageless retreated.
A few days later, the wageless again convened at City Hall, their mood described as "dangerous.
As Drury detailed the great suffering experienced by the wageless, he was told by the Mayor that the House of Industry was always available to the destitute.
Urging the wageless to refuse both the symbolism and the substance of the discipline of "cracking the stone", he railed against the quality of the House of Industry's provisions: "I advise you men to go there," he told the wageless, "not with the intention of breaking stone but of stealing a loaf of bread.