Thursday, April 27, 2017

Class Consciousness and the Struggle Against Capital



 “a schoolmaster is a productive labourer when, in addition to belabouring the heads of his scholars, he works like a horse to enrich the school proprietor. That the latter has laid out his capital in a teaching factory, instead of in a sausage factory, does not alter the relation.” Marx

As I have said before, I don't take notes except a few reminders and if I am not sure about something or forget things, I can add to the video in this way.  If it's not evident, I did want to make clear in my criticism here, that I have very fond memories of my involvement with the young people in Berkeley during this period and their sacrifice and struggle. I feel honored to have participated in the March 4th Committee that organized the marches and the rally that took place in Oakland on March 4th 2010. It was a very successful event.

I would also like to make it clear that some students that had what I would call an orientation to the petite -bourgeois or an aspiration to be an integral part of that class were not necessarily from it. Plenty of people from working class backgrounds, even poor working class backgrounds, orient to the middle class and have aspirations in that direction; it's what they want to be, especially in the absence of a significant working class movement.

Another thing is that when I refer to the self styled revolutionary groups I think part of the problem here is also that they are overwhelmingly petite bourgeois in their culture and make up even though members may be workers in that their means of subsistence is wage labor. A young woman of color once told me that the left organizations "don't appeal" to workers of color. Well they don't appeal to white workers either in the main.

The reason I use "petite bourgeois" and "middle class" to describe this social layer or class view if you like, is that here in the US middle class is used to describe the traditional middle class and also workers depending on how much money one makes. Petite Bourgeois is the more traditional Marxist term among Socialists and Marxists and more accurate I reckon. Here is one definition:

noun
(pl) petits bourgeois (ˈpɛtɪ ˈbʊəʒwɑːz ; French) ( pəti burʒwa)
1.
Also called petite bourgeoisie, petty bourgeoisie. the section of the middle class with the lowest social status, generally composed of shopkeepers, lower clerical staff, etc
2.
a member of this stratum
adjective
3.
of, relating to, or characteristic of the petit bourgeois, esp indicating a sense of self-righteousness and a high degree of conformity to established standards of behaviour

Richard Mellor

1 comment:

Tafadar Sourov said...

The US left is mostly petit bourgeois radicalism pretending to be the proletariat