"Class" in the First World, was Re: Comments on Colombia

Carrol Cox cbcox at SPAMilstu.edu
Thu Dec 16 20:47:14 MST 1999

Louis Proyect wrote:

>  The
> sharp division of society into capitalist and worker ( which nowhere ever
> in the world has really taken place as Marx and Engels thought it would) -

This is not true. The United States (at least) at the present time exhibits
exactly the reduction to two classes that Marx and Engels described.
This was the point behind my objection to Gary's use of "middle class"
in a recent post. Gary's confusion on this is further complicated that
his (quite reasonable) hatred of the British Royal family prevents him
from seeing that royal family as purely capitalist -- with not a bit
of feudal rags left on it.

Probably all "industrially developed" countries should be seen as
exhbiting this reduction to two significanty classes. (The petty
producer class in the u.s. is constantly destroyed and rebuilt, but
it is no longer of any significance politically -- it is just too small.)

Confusions over "middle class" prevent marxists in the u.s. to
confront their task of getting a good analytic grip on the
internal structure of the working class -- since they simply
take any group of workers they don't like and call them
middle class. Absurd. When a hereditary aristocratic
landowning class ceased to have really deep conflicts of
interest with capitalists "middle class" (formerly applicable
to capitalists, and primarily to big capitalists) ceased to
have any meaning.


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