The issue in this chapter is the tensions or ‘contradictions’ inherent in capitalist development that, if not contained by institutional embedding or socio-economic ‘regulation’, may well lead to a decrease in social cohesion, to marginality and exclusion. This chapter discusses these issues at a relatively high level of abstraction in the sense that it refrains from analysing the particularities of national trajectories. The point of departure is the connection between the process of accumulation of capital and the development of employment based on Karl Marx’s theorem of an ‘industrial reserve army’ (1.1). The picture of social inequality, inclusion and exclusion that emerges on that basis will subsequently be complemented by an analysis of social inequality and social struggles around the distribution of wealth in the Weberian tradition (1.2). Finally, we will consider the interaction between national economic locations and the international division of labour and discuss what new dimensions arise from this perspective for the concept of inclusion and exclusion in capitalism (1.3).