[Marxism] Petty bourgeois (fwd)

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Wed Aug 18 06:23:27 MDT 2004

Response to Anthony:  I agree about the value of understanding the
relationship of "petty bourgeois" to "bourgeois" in terms of "capital."
It is precisely for that reason that I couldn't disagree more with your

"Capital" in a Marxist sense has to do with property that fits into the
hierarchic process of generating more capital.  A worker with a $700 car
is not a "petty capitalist" who is .1% of a "capitalist" with a $700,000
business.  Most use their cars to get to and from where they plug into
the economic process: their jobs.  (To me, that's the tip-off as to
class identity.)  Let's say you also use the car for your
job--delivering pizzas.  It's still your car--a tool needed to do a
job--like a machinist having to have a chest of his or her own tools to
do their job. 

Anthony concludes, "In other words, the United states is not
proletarian, it is petty bourgeois."  If you define "the United States"
as the institutional nation=-state you are wrong.  It is classically a
bourgeois state.

If you mean the American people are "not proletarian" and "petty
bourgeois," it's just another way of using the latter as a swear word.


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