[Marxism] looking for general guidance: class analysis of today's society; practice-theory

Tim Kennelly tim_gmk at yahoo.ca
Sat May 15 17:52:16 MDT 2004



DJ Dialectic <dialecticd at yahoo.com> wrote: 
1) marxist (not weberian) class analysis of today's society
I recently read zizek saying that the two common answers as to today's proletariat composition--intellectual workers or real production in 3rd world--is too simple, and regardless of what else i think of zizek, i think he's right about that. who is dealing with pressing problems such as these? what can we be studying today to answer these questions?

    Marxist class analysis divides society into social clases that have fundamentally different relationships to the means of production.  Thus, all workers who own none of the means of production are members of the proletariat, no matter what wage they earn or standard of living they have.  What confuses many people is that Marx never foresaw that a large portion of the proletariat (in the industrialized world) would see a subsatantial rise in their standard of living.  This rise in the standard of living of much of the proletariat in the industrialized world is made possible by the brutal expolitation of third world workers by the first world bourgweoisie.  Marx did not forsee a situation in which a brutally opressed third world proletariat would prop up a higher standard of living for the proletariat in the first world.  Marx assumed that his 'socialist revolution' scenario would play itself out, but this other scenario has emerged instead. Marxists must now reconcile marxist
 theory with this modern reality, and contemporary marxists seem to vary widely in their ability to do this (some don't seem to do it at all; others seem to do quite a good job of it).  

3) i'm also interested to hear people's favorite Marxist journals, newspapers, website, etc.

    I would seriously recommend that you check out the Marixist Internet Archive http://marxists.org  I would specifically recommend the work of Italian marxist Antonio Gramsci; some of his work is on this website.  He is noted for having developed the concept of Hegemony, wich is when workers participate in their own opression. 


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