class or quality

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AlexA
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May 19 2004 09:26

Hmmm I thought that proletariat-as-factory-worker was just trotskyist distortion.

I thought marx defined the P word as "that class which has to sell its labour power to survive". But then you're right that doesn't include peasants...

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Pilchardman
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May 19 2004 10:23

Marx wasn't very consistent on class.

But we can agree working class is a wider term than proletariat, can't we?

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Pilchardman
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May 19 2004 21:02

Well, I'm not going to quibble over the terminology, especially as I don't think the distinction important, but I disagree. The point being that agricultural labour, for Marx, belongs to an earlier phase of production. Marx saw that kind of labourer as not able to form class consciousness. C/f the Communist Manifesto "At this stage the labourers still form an incoherent mass". It is the mechanisation of factory production that transforms what were labourers into proletarians. The industrial revolution forges the two oppositional classes, proletariat and bourgeoisie. It is this oppositional dynamic that makes the proletariat the engine of revolution (apparently).

But, as I say, I disagree: I think any oppressed class can be a revolutionary class. And I think any worker can identify with any other worker. (Not that they do, but that they can).

I also think dialectics is pish.

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Pilchardman
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May 20 2004 09:39

It is certainly true that much of argriculture has been industrialised. But it is also true that much of agricultural labour is still fractured and dispearsed.

However, I fear we are disappearing up our own arses, because as, I've said, the distinction isn't particularly interesting. Sorry for starting it. roll eyes @ self.

embarrassed

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Pilchardman
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May 20 2004 12:15
revol68 wrote:
I mean look at france it is retail workforce is far more fragmented in small stores than the Uk's likewise the UK's agriculture sector is more fragmented than say the US's does that meant that they are proletarian in one country but not the next.

No, they aren't proletarian anywhere. They're working class, though. Everywhere. smile

I'll say agri workers are proletarian if you admit to being a liberal trot social worker. tongue wink

brizzul
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Joined: 7-10-03
May 20 2004 17:01

I've always argued that our side consists of those who sell their labour or live off benefits. That fits 99% of the time. But, like every rule, there are exeptions.

A mate of mine has a mate who works in a dentists office. He's a viscount, very very rich and was photographed with a world famous star when he was little in front of the family pile(My mate met him at college by the way and doesn't hobnob normally). I'm sorry but he is definitely upper class even though he is slumming it by working in an ordinary job like everyone else.

An ex work mate of mine in a storeroom owns 2 houses and rents them out. He's a landlord, but he's down to earth, comes from south bristol and most importantly stuck with everyone to get union recognition. Because he is a landlord he should be bourgois but I couldn't afford to think of him that way.

What I'm saying is basically the common sense rule that if you hire and fire you're ruling class if you work or on benefits you're working class works when *organising*. But there are exeptions.

I'm sorry about the swearing but I failed to realise that being anal and not being able to find my own arse was a cuddly expression between best friends