Notes on Class

Richard Gunn's notes offer a lucid contribution to the attempt of elaborating what is meant when the concept "class" is employed in Marxist thought.


Richard Gunn

(Common Sense, No. 2, 1987)

Time 'to dump' multiculturalism - Joe Reilly

The Bradford riots

Currently there is much discussion on how the rise of the far right can be halted. The truthful answer, says Joe Reilly, is that an anti-fascism joined at the hip with multiculturalism cannot do so.

Britain 'has the highest number of interracial relationships in the world' according to the Institute for Social and Economic Research. This supremely natural and healthy state of affairs, is however, not due to multiculturalism but in spite of it.

Race attack - Red Action on multiculturalism

G. O'Halloran argues that by its betrayal of principle, multiculturalism is a major propaganda gift to the far right, as well as laying the foundations for the political extermination of the working class itself.

Born of the desire to combat communism, multiculturalism was conceived out of cynicism and embraced by the left out of defeatism.

While we do not agree with the article in its entirety, we feel that it contains a number of useful points and arguments, and reproduce it here for reference.

Race, class and organisation - Workers Solidarity Federation

An interesting analysis of race, anarchism and class from South African organisation the Workers Solidarity Federation from 1998.


We recently observed a very fruitful discussion on race and class on the internet, particularly around "black" anarchism, special oppressions and the desirability of separate organisation.

Multitude or working class - Paolo Virno

Virno explores the relationship of the concepts...

There are some analogies and many differences between the contemporary multitude and the multitude studied by the political philosophers of C17th.

The housing question

Aufheben's incredibly detailed and comprehensive history and analysis of housing and the working class in UK.

For the vast majority of people living in a capitalist society housing is an ever-present concern.

The distraction of class, 2002 - AYN discussion

An article written by one member of the Anarchist Youth Network in its more lifestylist wing. It is reproduced here as a useful example of the attitudes of this individualist trend in the organisation against class analysis, with a response to it.

The response was by one of the class struggle anarchists in AYN. A long debate on the open email list (hence the informal style) ensued but only one response is included, as none of the points in it were really accepted by the author, T, and the disagreement over class lasted right up until the end of the organisation, and rendered it basically useless within that time.

Jack Common - selected articles

A selection of articles by the undeservably obscure Jack Common, a Geordie who wrote both novels and essays on various aspects of culture and class relations. His friend George Orwell had written of Common: "he is of proletarian origin, and much more than most writers of this kind he preserves his proletarian viewpoint".

A fascinating writer, his analysis of the emerging mass consumerism of the 1930s & 40s seems to closely anticipate the concept of the 'society of the spectacle' later developed by the situationists.

From the endangered website;


Review of The enemy is middle class by Andy Anderson

A review of "The Enemy is Middle Class" by Andy and Mark Anderson from Black Flag magazine.



Multitude or working class? - Antonio Negri

Negri explains his concept of ‘multitude’ in a response to the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party’s Alex Callinicos at the European Social Forum in Paris, 2003.

We all agree to the fact that we want to fight capital and renew the world. But I think this ain’t conceivable as a poetical process. Because the name multitude is not a poetical notion, but a class concept. When I talk about multitude as a class concept, I talk about the fact that workers today work in the same and in different ways compared to those they worked some centuries ago.