Present-day Class Distinctions (a real example)

Carrol Cox cbcox at
Sat Oct 2 23:42:21 MDT 1999

Paul Sexton wrote:

> Careful. Your prose is drifting into the ultra-violet spectrum. And your
> rhetoric directed against "tired old dogma" has been used by armies of
> liberals to argue against Marxism per se. It is one thing to keep Marx up to
> date, another to eviscerate Marxism in order to breathlessly proclaim yet
> another "New Age".

Yes. Marx may of course have been wrong in his analysis of capitalism,
and if anyone thinks so they should argue that position. But most
claims to "bring Marx up to date" are actually a claim that capitalism
has in some fundamental way changed. And it hasn't, not in its
fundamentals. So if Marx's approach to class is wrong now, it was
equally wrong then.

One of the essential features of capitalism is its continuous revolutionizing
of itself while still remaining capitalism. This constant change that is
not change can ground either overt bourgeois theories denying history
as other than a varied manifestation of "human nature" *or* it can
ground an anxiety on the part of would be marxists to be "up to date."
Then a few decades later it becomes clear that that fashionable
escape from "dogmatism" was merely one more return to Kant
in new clothing.


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