“Real proletariat” — it is that section within today’s working class who receives close to the value of their labor power.
In other words, the “real proletariat” is a term for that section of the working class that makes barely enough to return to work the next day, and barely enough to raise its kids. It is the paycheck-to-paycheck section of working poor. (And it is distinguished from the more stable and relatively privileged, or even bourgeoisified, sections of the working class.) The working class as a whole produces surplus value — but within that stratified class some are really living close to subsistence (i.e. as the proletariat of Marx’s time) and others have social situations closer to those of middle classes. The RCP held that there is a “real proletariat” in the U.S. of tens of millions — and that it is the potential backbone force for a revolution in the U.S.
Source: Mike Ely, http://mikeely.wordpress.com/2008/10/09/ob...ill-oppression/