questions bout middle class-ness

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butchersapron
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Jan 13 2004 12:59

It was a genuine question mate - i just got the quote thing mixed up. Sorry. As noted above it was captainmission who made the claim.

anna_key
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Jan 13 2004 16:07

This is going 2 sound stupid cos im not sure how 2 explain what i mean. I was reading this thread and i remembered when i was at school. I think cos of this thing people in working class jobs can earn more classs is really confusing. I mean, neither of my parents have been 2 uni. My mum was a homehelp and my dad a bus-conducter but at school people who were richer than me would bully me for being a snob??????? why? because i got better results than them. Is it perhaps because capitalism encourages an image of stupidity for working class people that anarchism doesnt get very far. Like u cant be truly working class if u read booksand stuff. If ur interested in' namby pamby'things like that u have 2 be ashamed and hide it. Also there seemed 2 be the idea it didnt matter if u were a bit rich, it was fine cos u could buy working-classness just talk with the right accent and buy some expensive tough looking clothes and thats all there is 2 it. And i was dressed out of the charity shop so that meant I was conservative and boring and not workingclass or rebellious cos i didnt have the latest rebellious trainers! People seemed 2 think everything went on how u looked and that anything coulsd be bought in a shop but i hope things have changed from J18 onwards I cant know cos i was already in sixth form when that happened

random
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Jan 13 2004 16:56

i thought it was a nifty trick actually, and very effective if you were trying to wind someone up!

anna key, i know a load of working class people who devour books and documentaries, have numerous debates with their friends (being mildly stoned can really help here), but who still enjoy eastenders etc. i personally rate debate as the best way to learn, only by listening to a number of opinions (with the facts of course) can you truly feel you know a subject. and if you spend any amount of time unemployed you get the opportunity to chat/debate/analyse with various people ALL DAY. ah, if only they'd pay you for learning that way.. i would be a very happy bunny indeed. unfortunately getting smarter this way doesnt net you qualifications or job prospects.

i think what you say is true of some kids, but in my experience kids will take the piss out of anything, if it hadnt been 'snob' it wouldve been 'short' or 'ginger' or something. also i think that fake accents are soon discovered and frowned upon. i myself went to public school on an assisted place, at school the other kids took the piss out of my west country accent, but my brothers took the piss out of my posh accent (im somewhere in between)!

it is harder for working class kids to develop a sense for current affairs etc because they dont have access to papers, cable news channels, online forums and news sites etc the way wealthier kids do, plus even the least clever middle class kid can get extra coaching and tuition packs to help them through exams. plus there are all the extra curriculur (how do you spell that?) activities that are too expensive for working class kids (music tuition or holidays abroad are examples) so they are maybe less culturally aware.

But I reckon that leaving school and having to get a bedsit, support yourself, learn to budget, care for yourself (cooking, launderette etc), support friends through hardships, work various jobs, look after your own kids/brothers and sisters/grandparents/parents, etc etc etc, teaches people an awful lot more than the middle class equivalent of staying in school for the next five years!

captainmission
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Jan 14 2004 16:35
random wrote:
i didnt write it in capitals so it would seem more true. i just wanted to make sure that people got that point and it didnt just blend into the background of my post.

...

Sorry should have used the appropriate smiley tongue it just quite interests me how people use rhetoric

Quote:
race and gender (and sexual orientation) is not less important than class. but i do feel that class unites us all against the 'elite' and that sometimes we could be using this to more advantage instead of squabbling between ourselves.

Suppose it depends on how we think power works really- is it a force that the 'elite' enacts against the 'masses' (as when we talk about economic or state power) or is it something that flows through us and we all play a role in recreating on everyday level (as more clearly seen in racism or patriarchy, but also in opperation on class based power). Well personally i think there's merit in both of them, and I don't think they're all together sperate. But whilst anarchy been traditionally quite good a looking at the first form, its been pretty shite at the second (maybe this is why the @ movements shite at dealing its own informal heirarchies, but that's a thread in its self). Now the fact we over look this often means these issues get sidelined. Now inspite of the fact you say 'race and gender (and sexual orientation) is not less important than class', you then go on to effectively say class unites us whilst gender, race and sexual orientation devides us and causes us to squabble. The implication being Class is a universal issue, whilst gender and race are particular issues- ie only relevant to some people hence less important. Well as far as I'm concerned both men and women suffer under patriarchy and both have interests in fighting it. Same with racism, homophobia and any other system of domination you care to come up with.

Quote:
you seem to think this means im not supporting these groups of people, but i would gladly stand beside black men as much as i would stand beside white women (which is who i am), im suggesting people who have prejudices would do better to forget them and stand beside us all against the 'elite'. at its core, racism and sexism are both fed by the class issue, and to 'refuse to acknowledge' that would just be stupid.

I don't doubt for a minute that you'd support these issues- its just to what extent and what relevance you'd give them. You've justed termed these issues perjudices- that is immaterial, a matter of belief, capable of just being forgotten. I asmue that makes class- material, concrete the real issue? And again I don't except that sexism 'at its core' is fed by class conflict, though of course class anaylsis brings an awful lot to feminism. As for racism its a little more complex- it does have its origins in capitalist imperialism (though I don't think a souly economic account of imperialism do it full justice either), but racism can't be reduced to class conflict alone.

Quote:
also just because we have used the 'opportunities given us' to our advantage doesnt mean we have to accept them you know. its a case of 'if you cant beat em use their rules against em', but should the opportunity arise to do it differently...

Yeah but I'm not going to begrude, say some Bolivian peasant woman for using the uncertainty created by globalisation on her community to over turn gender heirarchy or create a different degree of economic control. Power doesn't just opperate in a negative sense- forbidding you from doing this, taking that from you, forcing you to do that. It also works postively- proscribing us an identity, a space, one that's tightly controlled but offers a degree of freedom. Take the status of homosexuality in the west. The current presence and appceptance that gays have is due to the struggle that queers have engaged in. But at the same time its also due to how homosexuality converted itself into a consumer market- something to be soled stuff at. Yes its shite. Its full of consumerism, class prejudice, its shallow but i think most people would agree its better than what came before. Its not to same that's alright, or the best we can get or not to struggle against it, but to understand why people would have 'accepted' these 'oppurtunities' in the first place. Its basically a question of why people will their own domination and how we're going to deal with this

i'll stop ranting now

captainmission
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Jan 14 2004 16:37
butchersapron wrote:
random wrote:
...even today the Nigerian branch of the IWA argues against their state on the basis its a hot bed of homosexuality.

Do they?

yep . See the interveiw with them in SF's Direct Action from a couple of years back

captainmission
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Jan 14 2004 16:42
GenerationDecay wrote:
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As in racism and sexism contain elements of class opression i'd agree but reducing both of these to nothing but class issues is just a form of imperialism

WTF?? :? (ps thats the confused smilie dissident grin )

ok imperialism was a tad hyperbolic, I'll just use reductionist(with lots of mad smilies) : angry angry angry angry angry

AlexA
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Jan 14 2004 17:09
captainmission wrote:
butchersapron wrote:
random wrote:
...even today the Nigerian branch of the IWA argues against their state on the basis its a hot bed of homosexuality.

Do they?

yep . See the interveiw with them in SF's Direct Action from a couple of years back

That article's online here:

http://www.directa.force9.co.uk/archive/da10-features.htm#Africa: Helpless & Hopeless?

And there's no mention of homosexuality at all.

Also the full version is on the APOC site with no mention of homosexuality in that either that I can see.

So I don't get what's going on. I can't see any way the IWA would let in a group which would say stuff like that.

butchersapron
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Jan 14 2004 17:56

Yep - i've just read it and no mention of homosexuality at all. And i agree that's there no way they'd be allowed in the IWA if that was an official position (or even a widely accpeted but non-official position).

celtic67
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Jan 14 2004 20:16
random wrote:

it is harder for working class kids to develop a sense for current affairs etc because they dont have access to papers, cable news channels, online forums and news sites etc the way wealthier kids do, plus even the least clever middle class kid can get extra coaching and tuition packs to help them through exams. plus there are all the extra curriculur (how do you spell that?) activities that are too expensive for working class kids (music tuition or holidays abroad are examples) so they are maybe less culturally aware.

I don't think it's right that working class kids don't have a sense for current affairs, and they do have access to papers, cable news channels, online forums etc. People seem to think that working class kids aren't encouraged to think and pass exams etc but I certainly was and so were most of my freinds. Most people I knew had mothers who who would do anything to give them a step up in the world. I don't think we are "less culturaly aware" either, it depends by what you mean by that...but my experiance at uni is the kids who had privilidged upbringings have far worse social skills and are completely unable to talk to, relate to or identify with the normal people of glasgow- with the result that they only go to the student union and form societies so they don't actually have to mingle with the general populace. Doesn't that make them less socially aware?

Steve
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Jan 14 2004 20:46
captainmission wrote:
butchersapron wrote:
random wrote:
...even today the Nigerian branch of the IWA argues against their state on the basis its a hot bed of homosexuality.

Do they?

yep . See the interveiw with them in SF's Direct Action from a couple of years back

No you got it totally arse about tit with that comment.

Ed's picture
Ed
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Jan 14 2004 23:23

Sorry captain but you actually are talking such a massive amount of bollocks it's unbelievable. How are racism and sexism not class issues? I'm not saying that a worker is a worker is a worker is a worker. Obviously different sections of our class are oppressed in different ways (and often by other in our class) but what still unites us is that one group of people constantly oppress us and spread this prejudice.

Answer me this: who are the biggest spreaders of racist and sexist ideas? The media. Who owns the media? The ruling class. Who consumes the majority of the media's creations? The working class.

In America, a study into black and white workers' pay showed that where black workers were payed a lot less than white workers, the white workers were also payed very little. Where black and white workers' pay was closer, it was also higher. Conclusion: areas where racism was stronger, EVERYONE'S pay was lower. Areas where it was less strong (sadly no areas were racism free), EVERYONE'S pay was higher.

The Capitalist system could NEVER work without patriarchy. It needs women to do low/no pay work to keep ticking. With no women looking after the male workers, capitalism would collapse.

Also, without class black and women's liberation movements are just shite. One of the main problems of the civil rights movement was that it was mostly boujie black lawyers, doctors etc telling working class blacks to go get their heads kicked in so that the laws would be changed to make them equal. At no point did they address that actually, working class whites had enough trouble using the law to their advantage. How the fuck were the black working classes gonna do it?

A massive problem with the feminist movement was that it's self/media-elected leaders didn't want to address class. I mean, I was chatting to a girl in my class (at school not social class wink ) and she was telling me that women were not only equal in the workplace but now had the privilege of being able to cry 'sexual-harrassment/discrimination' whenever they wanted. But really, that's only middle-class women who can do that. If my headteacher (a man, as most headteachers are) pinched the cleaner's arse (a woman, as most cleaners are) then fuck all would get done about it. The mainstream feminist movement didn't even touch on that.

I'm not denying white/male privilege. It is definately prevalent in society. And I'd never dream of saying that the Brixton riots were purely a class thing (that said, was it the Brixton riots where there were actually more whites involved than blacks?) but that's part of it. The black working class get a lot more shite than the white working class. However, it's the same people giving us the shite, they're just giving us different amounts!

Anyway, it's way more complex than my crappy post can really explain but whatever. No point in talking to some boujie, non-class struggle, anti-worker, crusty gobshite anyway.... grin just kidding! grin

GenerationDecay
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Jan 15 2004 01:22

What Ed said...

Also, the clearest indicator that sexism and racism are class issues is that, once you recognise that the biggest problem in society is the ruling class, any overt racist and sexist ideas pretty much disappear, where as people who aren't conscious of that fact are much more prone to such ideas. Whereas, if you see patriarchy as the biggest problem you could still logically be racist and anti-revolution, and if you see racism as the biggest problem you could still logically be sexist and anti-revolution.

GDxx

butchersapron
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Jan 15 2004 08:29

I think you're misreading random there captain - i think arguing that sexism and racism are class issues is actually universalising them rather than shunting them off to some ante-room to be tackled after the larger class battle has been won - you still seem to be seperating the two (and other associated practices) from the wider class struggle, which is precisley what random is arguing against doing.

This (randoms way) is an approachs that as far as i'm concerned has been part of anarchism for the last 30 or so years - (except in the US, where a guilt based anarchism seems to have become popular since the 70s).

I'm sure random will put us both right later though wink

beanis
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Jan 15 2004 12:28
Ed wrote:
The media. Who owns the media? The ruling class. Who consumes the majority of the media's creations? The working class.

a very simplistic and typically 'commie anarchist' view on the media.

while i agree with this generalisation to a certain extent, i would disagree with its simplification.

Yes the media is often owned by one person (eg murdoch) but everyone who works within the media contributes to its conservative views.

i was gona write more but i cant be arsed..maybe someone else will caryy on my argument...

anyway i generally agree with captmish on the idea that class shouldnt come before race or gender and that all these issues are interlinked.

WeTheYouth
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Jan 15 2004 13:09

I cant beleive that the biggest thread on the board at the moment is about peoples class and not on actually what needs to be done, but anyway.

Aslong as Middle-class peopel recognise that there life experiance is different from that of us working class and will be there when everything gets heated and not just waving a flag then running off, i dont really care.

GenerationDecay
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Jan 15 2004 14:47
Quote:
Yes the media is often owned by one person (eg murdoch) but everyone who works within the media contributes to its conservative views.

How is this inconsistent with Ed's point? All the writers contribute to its views, yes, but they are all to an extent bound to what the paper wants to put out. For example, Mark Steel was sacked by the Guardian because the paper had made a conscious decision to realign with Blair, John Pilger was brought back to the Mirror because the Mirror had chosen to take an 'anti-war' stance (a pretty inconsistent one, but an anti-war stance nontheless). No one could advocate revolutionary views in the mass media because the owners of the paper wouldn't allow it etc...

Please, write more grin tongue

3rdseason
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Jan 15 2004 15:21

Ive said it before and I'll say it again. I am totally against hierarchy in the workplace. However I definitely do NOT see hierarchy in the workplace as the root cause of all opression. surprised

I do not think the fact that people work for bosses is the cause of sexism and racism and homophobia etc. That argument is simplistic and doesn't look at the issues in any depth.

All forms of opression are interlinked. Its silly to say class is the root cause.

If you talked to someone who had suffered domestic violence or a racist assault and said "if no one had any bosses at work it wouldn't have happened" they'd probably (rightly) feel quite insulted.

butchersapron
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Jan 15 2004 15:51

But class extends way beyond the workplace - it effects every area of our life from health (i'll die before some people on these boards simply because of it) to education to quality of life etc - the only people who are still stuck in conceptions of class being exclusively about the workpace are the fucking trots.

It's this refusal to look at how class extends beyond workplaces and is often cast in terms of gender or race that's simplistic. You're making a case against using class analysis based on an argument that i've not seen anyone here put, nor would i expect them to.

random
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Jan 15 2004 15:55

3rdseason, class is not about bosses in the workplace. it is about social order and policy, and its much deeper than how you describe it. at the basic level;, i see class as opportunity, meaning that the upper class has the most opportunities available to them, and the lower class has the least. "If you talked to someone who had suffered domestic violence or a racist assault and said" do you think the reason it happened/it wasnt dealt with legally/you couldnt move away from it, was because you do not have the opportunity, then i think the answer would be a massive Yes.

Opportunity is everything. A woman whose husband abuses her does often not have the opportunity to escape, or to prosecute. An individual abused by racists does not often have the opportunity to move home, or to prosecute. Their lack of opportunity means they are unprotected by the laws that should protect us all. And that opportunity is denied them because of the Class Order, where money rules all and those without just have to live with it as best they can.

captainmission
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Jan 15 2004 17:14
butchersapron wrote:
I think you're misreading random there captain - i think arguing that sexism and racism are class issues is actually universalising them rather than shunting them off to some ante-room to be tackled after the larger class battle has been won

yep i think your right I have been misreading random to an extent. I took his claim that 'race and gender are class issues' to mean they are class issues and nothing more. on re-reading what he's saying that isn't the many thrust of his arguement, it is however a latent assumption he seems to be making. If sexism and racism are being universlied under the issue of class what of the aspects of sexism and racism that exist beyond class?

Quote:
Sorry captain but you actually are talking such a massive amount of bollocks it's unbelievable. How are racism and sexism not class issues?

oh FFS, i've never argued that class doesn't affect these issues- in fact I argued that these forms of power more often than not support each other, and that class analysis brings a vital element to understanding racism and sexism- but that these forms of power cannot be reduced to souly class issues.

Quote:
No point in talking to some boujie, non-class struggle, anti-worker, crusty gobshite anyway.... just kidding!

yeah that's right just cos I don't agree with your psudeo-marxist class analysis it means i hate workers and am a class traitor. Shit why have I been wasting my time in trying to organise a strike fund for electricians in manchester? http://enrager.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=861 (they're not even black lesbians or anything!) angry grin [/url]

3rdseason
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Jan 15 2004 17:29

Surely class is all about the workplace and wether you're a boss or a worker? Most bosses have bosses over them these days anyway.

I had almost forgot how much debating class bores me. Almost.

AlexA
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Jan 15 2004 17:34

So captain you still not gonna explain that homophobic IWA comment?

I think it's pretty dodgy spreading stuff like that without checking it first... I mean if you've told people think how many people they might've told etc. - or people who read it here and didn't see the corrections, they might tell people who'll tell people...

Do you reckon they said it in a different article or what?

captainmission
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Jan 15 2004 17:38

I am pretty sure they said it. The article on the internet is an edited version from the USA IWW, maybe that's where I read it or maybe its from a previous edition. I gave my old copies of DA away but i can check through the back issues elsewhere when I get the time. Or I suppose i could email them

random
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Jan 15 2004 18:04

i think the workplace is determined by class, not the other way around.

random
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Jan 15 2004 18:04

i think the workplace is determined by class, not the other way around.

AlexA
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Jan 15 2004 18:26
captainmission wrote:
I am pretty sure they said it. The article on the internet is an edited version from the USA IWW, maybe that's where I read it or maybe its from a previous edition. I gave my old copies of DA away but i can check through the back issues elsewhere when I get the time. Or I suppose i could email them

Er well I've searched over the net and found fuller editions that the DA one, but seen no references to sexuality.

Also one of the people involved in DA has already posted on here saying you're completely wrong too...

But if you could check it'd be appreciated - it'd change my view of the IWA for sure...

beanis
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Jan 15 2004 18:49
GenerationDecay wrote:
Quote:
Yes the media is often owned by one person (eg murdoch) but everyone who works within the media contributes to its conservative views.

How is this inconsistent with Ed's point? All the writers contribute to its views, yes, but they are all to an extent bound to what the paper wants to put out. For example, Mark Steel was sacked by the Guardian because the paper had made a conscious decision to realign with Blair, John Pilger was brought back to the Mirror because the Mirror had chosen to take an 'anti-war' stance (a pretty inconsistent one, but an anti-war stance nontheless). No one could advocate revolutionary views in the mass media because the owners of the paper wouldn't allow it etc...

Please, write more grin tongue

oooh but i cant be arsed smile eek

butchersapron
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Jan 15 2004 19:06
3rdseason wrote:
Surely class is all about the workplace and wether you're a boss or a worker? Most bosses have bosses over them these days anyway.

I had almost forgot how much debating class bores me. Almost.

No it's not, and it never has been (well not for a 100 years anyway) - you're stuck in the 19th century mate. Just a suggestion - try and understand your opponents case before attacking it.

butchersapron
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Jan 15 2004 19:10

I've been through all the DAs and there is nothing - and ffs if this was true some of us who'd been about for a while would either have read or heard about this - i haven't and no-one i know has either.

I suggest a nice withdrawl of the claim.

GenerationDecay
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Jan 16 2004 04:07

captainmission, I'd be very interested in your reply to this, which I posted a couple of pages earlier...

Quote:
Also, the clearest indicator that sexism and racism are class issues is that, once you recognise that the biggest problem in society is the ruling class, any overt racist and sexist ideas pretty much disappear, where as people who aren't conscious of that fact are much more prone to such ideas. Whereas, if you see patriarchy as the biggest problem you could still logically be racist and anti-revolution, and if you see racism as the biggest problem you could still logically be sexist and anti-revolution.

as this, IMO, is the fundamental issue when it comes to understanding the most important thing to fight against. I believe that we should, of course, engage ourselves against racism, sexism, homophobia etc as important issues in themselves, but ultimately none of these will disappear unless class disappears.

I'm beginning to suspect that you and random (and others) really aren't that far apart in your positions, you are just tackling the question from a slightly different angle.