Poll - Are school-teachers in the working class?

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fort-da game
Joined: 16-02-06
Jul 29 2007 19:30
Joseph K. wrote:
defining the proletariat as "productive workers" as you do however is miles from this, lapsing back into the value fetish of official CP orthodoxy seeing the proletariat as a positive category - hence you end up saying only 1 in 60 people in the UK are proletarian and thus the rest of us unproductive workers aren't 'antagonistic to capital' confused

It is a good point. I don't think it is a matter of my defining though – I can define the proletariat to include everyone and say that the relations of production are progressively developing objective history towards human liberation, I can say capitalism has a progressive role, and that the most educated amongst us are the most able to facilitate this modernisation ... ?

I do not think that defining the proletariat as a political movement, or as any agency other than as an appendage to production is at all helpful. It is not as workers that we become human, therefore to try to theoretically include vast numbers of people into a multitude type proletariat seems extremely problematic to me because it relies upon us first realising a commonality that is based on us all recognising our different interest as essentially a common interest and how can such a subjective form come into existence under conditions of capitalist determination of subjectivity ... ?

I have perhaps collapsed two arguments which should be kept distinct: firstly, class definition; secondly, the role of the educated within revolutionary events. I wish I had more time to go into this further but anyone who is not too prejudiced one way or the other would be able to explore the arguments. It is not a simple matter given that revolution is a double movement in society both abolishing what is and realising something that up to that moment has not existed.

I do not say that only 1 in 60 are antagonistic to capital. I say that 1 in 60 are antagonistic and can do something about it (there are of course others in much smaller groups, capitalists for example, who also can throw the switch and shut things down – but that would not be a move which would materially improve their interest).

Finally, I do not all think that what I have said is conclusive so I do not expect anyone else to take it to be so... it is a matter of keeping certain discussions alive and of being able to respond to the tensions that exist within our ideas (which are irresolvable by us). It could be that events disprove what I have said and social professionals take a leading role as a wave of radicalising intelligentsia; but on the other hand, if reality conforms to the argument that says the best people to manage society for the benefit of all in the future are the ones who are managing society now – then that is unlikely to be a reality that has abolished class.


fort-da game
Joined: 16-02-06
Jul 29 2007 19:37
daniel wrote:
Yes, obviously. We need people to teach kids stuff. It is a productive service. In my book, anybody providing a productive service or a needed and useful product is working class. From bin men to hookers to uni teachers to auto mechanics to rap stars to scientists to peasants. They're all gonna have different conciousness, of course, and I wouldn't put my money on Britney Spears for revolutionary potential, but hey. If girls can't do slutty dances to awful pop music it ain't my revolution.

naught out of ten, could do better. Write out a hundred times: this is a thought forum, I must try and contribute something more substantial and also sharpen the categories of my ideas.

Joseph Kay's picture
Joseph Kay
Joined: 14-03-06
Jul 29 2007 22:18

Fort-da game, i'm not on about a multitude, i'm very critical of negri an his ilk, in fact i think they're also stuck in positive category having hung out with too many french postmodernists with a visceral hatred of dialectics and negativity. what i'm getting at is that proletarian antagonism to capital derives from alienation - we might agree on this by the sounds of things - but i'd also say the power to do anything about it doesn't just rest with production line workers and the like, but potentially with any group of proletarians with sufficient creativity in tactics - e.g. the unemployed piqueteros in argentina, or poll tax refusers/rioters, some of whom were probably primary producers, some unemployed etc