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class or quality

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chewy
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Mar 22 2004 00:16
class or quality

hmmm been into this campaigning stuff for a while now, think i understand, non-hierachal... means of production etc(clever idea on and all that)

but this class thing ok i know it exists but why focus on it so much

what the hell class am i?

where is the line drawn between the different classes (in euro earned?)

i cannot choose which class im born into, so why am i labelled with that for the rest of my life?

i didn't choose the country im born in ,but then you're supposed to be proud of yout country im but i don't really believe its fundameantaly better then any other country, but most seem to say working class it better then the others

isnt it more about what you do they who you are? or wherever you happened to be born.

its like been born in ireland i happen to been born into a catholic family and society but i reject it when i knew enough to do so

i know most of you have probably a quite reasonable view of the working class you don't but em a pedestal like some, but i don't know why seem to encourage the class system to continue beyond simple recognition of it affects...

surely how people choose to live there lives and there virtues, their "class" is how you define them ?

to most working class ppl won't to move up out of the situation there in, not just in money terms but education, sos then there not working class any more (or are they)

... any ideas on my questions

from a middle class hyprocrite wanker

supposedly?

Anonymous
Mar 22 2004 10:30

yes class is forced onto us

it dictates where we can go think do

it provides or deprives us of food warmth and shelter

it is the system which legitimises and makes possible the oppression of one group of people by another

to overcome the class system we must actively resist it: on all fronts:

not just aesthetically but also politically

eg if u are born a man, u can have a sex change and maybe even possible to bear children, but that's not the point of class struggle. the point is to be aware of your privelidges and POWER (class relation) and to resist that position by fighting your own patriarchal 'instincts' or conditioning. that way u can realise your own humanity instead of just your alloted position in 'society' (class) . . .. .. ..

phoebe
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Mar 22 2004 10:43
chewy wrote:
but this class thing ok i know it exists but why focus on it so much

Class is the basic measure of where people are within the economic hierarchy.

Quote:
what the hell class am i?

where is the line drawn between the different classes (in euro earned?)

(everyone else correct me if you disagree). well the line isn't necessarily drawn so much based on how much you earn but where you are and how much power you hold in society. Looking at things very simplistically, you've got Workers, Middle Management and Rulers. These are the 3 basic groups that society is organised into. If you are in a job where you have the power to hire and fire other people or if you're a landlord or something, you're middle (or possibly ruler, but there aren't that many rulers). If you are not in that position, then as long as you're not just living off wealth provided by your background, you're a worker.

Quote:
i cannot choose which class im born into, so why am i labelled with that for the rest of my life?

see part of the thing is that (in my opinion) the class you're born into isn't the class you are for life. There are (a very few) working class folk who end up running big businesses. Once they're doing that they're not working class anymore. There are middle and upper class folk who divert the wealth they're born into back to the working class and live as workers (well there might not be, but it's conceivable). There are folks who just start off rich and end up as bottom level workers through being unlucky in capitalism.

Quote:
i didn't choose the country im born in ,but then you're supposed to be proud of yout country im but i don't really believe its fundameantaly better then any other country, but most seem to say working class it better then the others

Anarchists are anti-nationalist and therefore are (generally speaking) against national pride. As far as class pride goes, the working class can be proud that they're not being exploitative of wage slavery. Anarchism and various other anti-capitalist ideas are against the economic class system and see those at the top as leeches of those at the bottom. A boss makes profit from products that the worker makes, but the boss doesn't work to make that product themselves, and therefore the profit they make is stolen from the work of the workers.

Quote:
i know most of you have probably a quite reasonable view of the working class you don't but em a pedestal like some, but i don't know why seem to encourage the class system to continue beyond simple recognition of it affects...

The class system won't go away if you just ignore the fact that it exists. It has to be understood that it's very real and needs to be attacked as a system. This isn't an attempt at encouraging it, so much as recognising that it isn't just an empty concept.

Anonymous
Mar 22 2004 11:45

The most important thing is that you recognise which class you are from and realise the limitations and role of this class within the current system.

Plus you must seperate class origin, which class you were born in, and class, whihc class ypou currently are a member of.

For example many of you on here are middle class (and so am i unfortunately), this in itself is not a bad thing, the middle class is a broad group anyway covering anyone from a lower paid lawyer to a doctor, Obviously some elements pof the middle class doctors, teachers etc are better than others.

The middle class are basically skilled workers who due to the perverting nature of capital have been coopted into the bureacracy, many of them perform essential functions such as doctors, but they are stoill distanced from the means of production and from the rest of the woring class, in effect thy act as a buffer between the bourgeoisie and the main bulk of the proletariat.

Anyone judging you on class origin is an idiot, some of the most committed revolutionaries have been from middle class backgrounds.

However if you do not analyse your own role in the system then you are lost. Being middle class has advantages and disadvantages when approaching the political struggle.

In short be middle class but don't thrive on it and learn to see the shortcomings caused by your class origin and/or your class.

peace out

raw
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Mar 22 2004 16:14

I think class society produces class cultures and this is something which defines people when they grow up. Like all conditioning it can be rejected and allow personal development not tied to social [i.e. class] norms. For me this is the first struggle alot of people take growing up, the experimentation of identities/fashions/lifesyles...etc. We all go thru it be it music scenes, friendship scenes, haircut styles and the rest of it. To me this is due to capitalist society which survives on recuperating deviancy and alienation by advertisement/spectacles/commodification.

Being an anarchist, at its crudest, can sometimes be seen like any other form of 'alternative' lifestyle thats why it's always important to discuss what is happening, what people think, why they want to be associated to this body of ideas and actions..

Anarchist in its purest sense, is a rejection of all social norms, conditioning, subordination and creates strategies to paticipate in the destruction of the capitalist reality.

When someone says middleclass, then I think of a certain lifestyle, a certain view on the world by a person that hasn't fully questioned or understands the social dynamics of society. People from working class backgrounds can have this middleclass aspirations to be part of the system, to obey it and internalise it, they may also completly reject it and deviate.

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pingtiao
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Mar 22 2004 16:17
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Anarchist in its purest sense, is a rejection of all social norms

No, that's nihilism. Do you reject the social norm of "rape is bad"? I don't , does that make me a liberal?

wink

red n black star

Tom A
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May 17 2004 14:33

What pissed me off about people who go on about "class war" is that being non-working class/underclass doesn't necessarily make you a bad person. Some of the greatest people I know are what can be considered "middle class", ie better off than working class cause they have a nice place in a affluent area, can afford luxury goods etc. However that doesn't mean that they (intentionally) exploit people who are below them. At the same time, people in that class can include yuppie twats who wouldn't spit on you if you were on fire.

The same goes for the working class, there are decent people, but then there is the thugs who go around terrorising old ladies on rundown council estates.

The above maybe a gross oversimplifaction, but it does highlight the "four legs good, two legs bad" mentality that can be applied to class struggle.

Someone did once suggest to me that class war wasn't about attacking individuals just for being upper/middle/ruling/non working class, but attacking the existance of the differences between the classes. Could anyone comment on that point?

AlexA
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May 17 2004 15:21
Tom A wrote:
What pissed me off about people who go on about "class war" is that being non-working class/underclass doesn't necessarily make you a bad person. ...

The above maybe a gross oversimplifaction, but it does highlight the "four legs good, two legs bad" mentality that can be applied to class struggle.

Someone did once suggest to me that class war wasn't about attacking individuals just for being upper/middle/ruling/non working class, but attacking the existance of the differences between the classes. Could anyone comment on that point?

Er sorry Tom but you seem to be misunderstanding the whole concept.

If you read through some of people's postings to other threads about class they should answer your questions:)

Anonymous
May 17 2004 15:52
Anonymous wrote:

For example many of you on here are middle class (and so am i unfortunately), this in itself is not a bad thing, the middle class is a broad group anyway covering anyone from a lower paid lawyer to a doctor, Obviously some elements pof the middle class doctors, teachers etc are better than others.

I beg to differ with those who say many of the people on here are middle class. I'd guess 95% of the people on here earn less than £15,000 per year. Of those 95% I'd say 95% are incapable of ever earning more than that. It makes me laugh to think that people with such little power feel so guilty about what little power they have.

A doctor or a lawyer will earn well over £30,000, some over £60,000. The real ruling class are earning over £80,000 some over £400,000. So instead of tearing our guilty little hearts out and pulling each other's hair can we save our class warfare for the real enemy?.

Anonymous wrote:

The middle class are basically skilled workers who due to the perverting nature of capital have been coopted into the bureacracy, many of them perform essential functions such as doctors, but they are stoill distanced from the means of production and from the rest of the woring class, in effect thy act as a buffer between the bourgeoisie and the main bulk of the proletariat.

Skilled workers like printers, electricians, lab assistants and fitness instructors are working class because they just are. Talk to any of them and find out. I refuse to consider a doctor to have anything in common with me so aren't really workers no more than priests and politicians are workers. That's just my opinion.

People who are white collar but aren't bosses are also workers, simply because they just are. Call centre workers are treated like battery hens and then are told by the government they are middle class , all for £4.80 an hour.

I believe all of our class is being deliberately distanced from all other parts and it's got nothing to do with the means of production but the needs of the state to prevent solidarity and to spread mystical bollocks. How many times do you see people just like you on the TV? Never because nothing we can do can inspire consumption, greed and aspiration. They pick the greediest scum all the time, make them seem like us and then say to us that the whole world is like them - why aren't you buying, buying, buying? Because we've got fuck all, fuck all, fuck all.

No war between nations, no peace between classes!

Tom A
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May 17 2004 17:52

What would you do what those that you don't consider "working class", cometh the revolution then, brizzulz? If there should be "no peace" between classes, what will you do with individuals of the middle and ruling class? Shoot them?

Anonymous
May 17 2004 23:26
Tom A wrote:
What would you do what those that you don't consider "working class", cometh the revolution then, brizzulz? If there should be "no peace" between classes, what will you do with individuals of the middle and ruling class? Shoot them?

If you don't consider yourself a worker then fine that's up to you. However if you own no workplaces or houses that you rent out to others, don't hire or fire other workers, don't have a *huge* amount of privilege (like doctors) and don't gamble with working class lives on the stock market you are *not* my class enemy. I have no beef with you whatever you call yourself.

Those who do oppress others (the ruling classes) have killed us, exploited us, thrown us off our own land in to factories and workhouses, marched us off to be ground up in the sausage machine of war and worse of all doomed everyone of us to utter boredom and misery x hours a week. If they are very lucky they will be handed a mop after the revolution and told to clean the toilets. There you go - that answers who will do the shit jobs in an anarchist society!

Tom A
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May 18 2004 01:31

You seem no different to what the Bolsheviks did to the Russian royal family (not that I have any sympathy for them either), or what Mao and Pol Pot attempted to do with people alleged to be "non working-class" (my teminology). And we all know that their respective countries were far from nice places to live... roll eyes

Oh and BTW what's your problem with doctors? Would you rather that everyone died of curable diseases then?

Mystic
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May 18 2004 12:24

Eh, just so long as you work for a living and deserve your earnings it's okay. If you're a landlord or a boss or someone who doesn't deserve what they get, then it isn't. But anarchists have to recognise the fact that the working class is oppressed horrendously, that's pretty much the starting point.

Anonymous
May 18 2004 13:35
revol68 wrote:

I think however this particular patients reason for hating doctors is more to do with a tumourous Class War analysis (rather than a primivitist mental disorder) which is pushing into the brain. It is a tumour commonly inflicting people insecure in their own working classness. manifest symptoms include the wearing of Lonsdale tops, bomber jackets and tight jeans, other symptons are a faux working class accent, a recently developed interest in Football (or "the footie") and football related violence. wink tongue

No, it's because doctors, like army officers, priests, estate agents, high civil servants, interior designers and stock brokers are jobs for the children of upper class people. That's a FACT. We're not even talking grammer school here we're talking public school. When the NHS was started Doctors famously had their mouths "stuffed with gold" to shut them up. Doctors are also bosses just take a look in any hospital. Go and look where they live as well.

Just by being against doctors doesn't mean I'd refuse treatment. By being against the state I'm not against my rubbish being taken away by the council either.

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Pilchardman
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May 18 2004 13:40

There seem - as ever - to be some misconceptions about what "class" means. Here is where anarchists can take the most useful lessons from Marx. The most useful bottom line to me is this: relationship to means of production.

In other words do you own a factory, or do you just work in one? The factory owners are the bourgeoisie, the workers are the proletariat. The relationship here is between the ruling, propertied class, and the exploited wage slave class.

There are, of course, others wo don't fit that model: artisans who contract out their labour and may own their own tools. Today these might be plumbers and electricians, or self employed website designers, in Marx's day there were cottage weavers (still) and the like. These are the petite bouregoisie. They might see themelves as having much in common with the proletariat - they can certainly be exploited by the bourgeoisie - but they might see themselves as "businessmen".

Similarly there are managers. They might not own the factory, but then run in on behalf of and in the interests of the owners. They will certainly identify with the bourgeoisie. They are generally (although it is a vague and unhelpful term) known as the Middle Class.

This, though, for Marx, is the epoch of capitalism, and the characteristic relationship is between the Brourgeoisie (the Murdochs of this world, who possess the wealth) and the Proletariat (those who actually produce the wealth).

As an aside - the "left" in the UK have missed opportunities others in the Majority World and continental Europe have seized. We have not been as successful at pulling the intermediate classes into the progressive struggle. Look at the peasants of South America and their land seizures. The French peasant. The Mexican cooperatives of Chiapas. These are not Proletarian struggles, but they are very clearly anti capitalist struggles. We must pull not only the electrician and the plummer into the working class struggles, but also the farm hand and labourer. At the moment they more often than not identify with the Countryside Alliance!

Don't confuse the issues; this is about power and exploitation. Not about whether you like Chardonnay and avocados. (Although there is a point about cultural capital, but that's another thread probably).

To circumvent the usual question of "Well, what class does that make me?", ask yourself "Do I own a factory?" "Do I exploit the labour of others by expropriating their surplus value?" "Do I have the power to hire and fire?"

If you answer yes to those, you're the enemy. Sorry. smile

brizzul
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May 18 2004 14:13

Pilchardman wrote some stuff which I agree with. That's not the issue here though. The issue here is "I don't work in a manufacturing plant or live on an estate therefore I am middle class therefore I cannot accept class struggle ideas". There are so many problems with this particularly that the vast majority of workers don't work in manufacturing but wear shirts and ties in service industries and the public sector.

My argument is that as the vast majority (probably 70-80%) live on less than £15,000 a year why do so many claim to be middle class when they are not?. Why do 25% (embaressingly shameful) of the people on this site claim to be middle class ?

I disagree with you on agriworkers. Agricultural workers in the third world and everywhere else are prolertarian and working class. Their struggles are working class struggles.

Solidarity Bristol - SolFed (which I am a member of) ask only that you need to work to live or you live off benefits to survive or are in training and you don't hire or fire other workers - to be a member.

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May 18 2004 14:25

The struggles of the agri workers are indeed working class. They aren't proletarian, though.

If you're looking for a reason why more people identify with the "Middle Class" than economically ought to, then you need only look at this thread to see why. There is widespread confusion about what class means. Furthermore, we've been told by politicians of all hues from Wilson to Heath, from Tebbit to Prescott, for over three decades that "we're all middle class now".

I'd sooner see the term dropped; it has become meaningless.

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pingtiao
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May 18 2004 14:33

grin

Nicely put, as ever,. Pich.

red n black star

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May 18 2004 14:46

What, then, is the ideological concept of "middle classness"? Most people have no idea. They think it's about liking olives and listening to radio 4. This confusion is quite deliberate, in order to cloud the class issues.

The basic division is between owners of means of production and wage slaves. That's the point. Not pringle sweaters and golf clubs.

I'd drop the term because it only adds to the confusion. Boss or worker, now that's different. There is no ambiguity there.

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May 18 2004 15:08

Ah, right. Gotcha. I agree with much of what you say.

Just out of interest, have you read Christie and Meltzer's "The Floodgates of Anarchy"? They illustrate in one chapter how power structures depend on subordinate classes to shore up the elite. It is arithmetically improbable that it could work any other way. Makes sense. It is also reminiscent of Gramsci in some ways.

The status quo needs members of the working class to staff the institutions of their own oppression. And divide and rule is the best strategy to do that.

Anonymous
May 18 2004 17:31
Anonymous wrote:
revol68 wrote:

I think however this particular patients reason for hating doctors is more to do with a tumourous Class War analysis (rather than a primivitist mental disorder) which is pushing into the brain. It is a tumour commonly inflicting people insecure in their own working classness. manifest symptoms include the wearing of Lonsdale tops, bomber jackets and tight jeans, other symptons are a faux working class accent, a recently developed interest in Football (or "the footie") and football related violence. wink tongue

No, it's because doctors, like army officers, priests, estate agents, high civil servants, interior designers and stock brokers are jobs for the children of upper class people. That's a FACT. .

what an absolute load of bollocks

a large proportion of doctors come from poorer immigrant families, the same for some of the other jobs on that list, groups in society hat are marginalised, excluded and particularly opressed often seek social advancement within the middle clases and petit bourgeoisie as it is the only route open to them

Army officers, stock brokers and the highest civil servants are members of the bourgeoisie, the other ones are not, they are middle class or petit bourgeois. There is a big big difference.

The capitalist social system is designed to allow a degree of class mobility within the lower and middle ranks of society, while the top ranks are specifically kept reserved for the self perpetuating ruling class.

john

Tom A
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May 18 2004 18:24
Guest wrote:

The capitalist social system is designed to allow a degree of class mobility within the lower and middle ranks of society, while the top ranks are specifically kept reserved for the self perpetuating ruling class.

john

Hence the huge problem with the concept of "class war": who IS the enemy? Thing is with the current system is that a poor, working class individual can get a degree at university, get a job as a manager, earn quite a fair bit of money doing so, and think to him/herself "Hey, this capitalism malakey isn't so bad after all". They don't see any reason to feel as if they are being exploited by the ruling class at all, cause they have climbed up the social ladder to become middle to upper-middle class.

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cantdocartwheels
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May 18 2004 19:42

I wouldn't go that far, a few people can climb in to the ranks of the petit bourgeoisie, and people can climb into the middle class through specific avenues, such as the doctor example, but their are still class lines even if they are blurry

Of course certain sectors of the working class do better than others, it'd be stupid to think that gettiung people to recognise their common intersts would be easy. Just as the some of the petit bourgeosie would side with the proletariat, others with the bourgeoisie.

Personally i suspect that only at certain points and at crises is the difference easily distinguishable, take an oil shortage...who would be prioritised.

I mean basically if you want to know who your main enemy is, simply look at who would be put in a bunker in the event of a nuclear war. Then take a look at the entrance to one of those bunkers with its long narrow corrdidors..., that always clears it up for me.

john

Tom A
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May 18 2004 20:39
cantdocartwheels wrote:
I mean basically if you want to know who your main enemy is, simply look at who would be put in a bunker in the event of a nuclear war. Then take a look at the entrance to one of those bunkers with its long narrow corrdidors..., that always clears it up for me.

john

Well people on the board can see that, but for the majority of people in the real world, they'll probably think that a nuclear war will never happen.

I suppose that in the event of a major economic trauma, such as a stock market crash, or if the oil runs out, the ruling class will still be OK whilst the rest of society suffers. Not just the stereotypical proles, but also a lot of middle class people will suffer due to inflation, sprialing interest rates, morgages that have gone into negative equity, pension schemes worth nothing (think the Equitable). I suppose that is where the class divide will be the most visible. However, it's a bit crude to be seperating people into "enemy" and "ally" like this, even although there are a lot of people at the top who only care about their own interests, without giving a shit about the rest of humanity.

Tom A
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May 18 2004 21:00

Precisely what I was trying to get across with my initial post to this thread.

AlexA
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May 18 2004 23:01
Pilchardman wrote:
What, then, is the ideological concept of "middle classness"? Most people have no idea. They think it's about liking olives and listening to radio 4. This confusion is quite deliberate, in order to cloud the class issues.

The basic division is between owners of means of production and wage slaves. That's the point. Not pringle sweaters and golf clubs.

I'd drop the term because it only adds to the confusion. Boss or worker, now that's different. There is no ambiguity there.

THANK YOU!!!

I think we should create an enrager glossary or dictionary to explain alla this shit better.

Tom A if you're still a bit confused I re-read Pilchardman and revol's posts smile

(Although pilch proletarian and working class mean the same thing so agricultural workers are both of those no?)

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Jacques Roux
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May 18 2004 23:04
Quote:
I think we should create an enrager glossary or dictionary to explain alla this shit better.

Yes! I think a basic easy read glossary like the FAQ would be a really good idea with links to deeper ideas put in... wanna start a new thread on it?

brizzul
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May 18 2004 23:07
revol68 wrote:

nice analysis!!

fuck off

revol68 wrote:

so if i found a doctor who came from a working class background would ur assertion still be a FACT?

No it obviously wouldn't. You wouldn't find very many I bet you and I wish all the best to anyone who claws their way into a better life. The fact you might find 5% of doctors who come from a hard background wouldn't prove you right and me wrong. The foreign doctors who come here are already doctors before they come so you tell me what class they PREDOMINATELY come from.

The rest of your crap I'm not answering because you are a twat

AlexA
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May 18 2004 23:08

I've actually started it on a different computer, will put it up soon.

I reckon we put it at the bottom of every page (in the /notes section) along with about, donate etc.

Will collate everything and post it to the boards to get feedback smile

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Jacques Roux
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May 18 2004 23:09

brizzul / revol68 / whoever else...

Can we go easy on the personal stuff please?

This is meant to be a nice friendly forum for people to find out about stuff not read people abusing each other embarrassed

Cheers!

smile

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May 19 2004 08:20
alexa wrote:
(Although pilch proletarian and working class mean the same thing so agricultural workers are both of those no?)

No, "worker" is wider than "proletarian", and includes peasants and others. Marx was doubtful of the revolutionary class consciousness potential of the peasants (I'm not, I think he was wrong). The proletariat are the industrial working class. The agricultural working class aren't proletarian. But they are workers.

I'd actually agree with a comment above that individuals aren't the enemy, the system is. But that doesn't mean certain individuals don't constitute active enemies. The Tesco bosses right now are actively attacking the working class, for example. If we defocus and say "right, where's the system while we oppose it instead of fighting these individuals", then we'll lose.

Sorry if I've added to the jargon, btw. I hate it myself.