DONATE NOW TO HELP UPGRADE LIBCOM.ORG

Libcom.org class quiz - your input needed

61 posts / 0 new
Last post
Anonymous
Feb 27 2014 14:05
Libcom.org class quiz - your input needed

We're going to make a libcom.org class quiz in the style of those quizzes you'll have seen which tell you which character in which popular film/book/comic/TV series you're the most like. So far we've got one question:

Quote:
Q: Do you have to sell your labour power to earn money?
A: Yes/No

Do we need any other questions? If you think we do please tell us what they are and why they should be included the quiz.

A Wotsit's picture
A Wotsit
Offline
Joined: 14-11-11
Feb 27 2014 14:21

I'm not sure if this is a joke, if it is, I think you should actually do it. This one question is probably enough to decide for most people. But you might get people not of working age who click no, or those on benefits. So maybe questions like:

Do you rely on payments of benefits, pension payments, welfare or charity to make ends meet?

Does someone else in your household or family have to sell their labour power for a wage, which is also used to support your living costs?

Do you employ others and earn a profit from what they produce?

Do you own a business, property portfolio, large farm or other commercial enterprise and take a profit or government subsidy from it?

Do you own a patent or intellectual property which you get money from?

A Wotsit's picture
A Wotsit
Offline
Joined: 14-11-11
Feb 27 2014 14:29

Cool. I think it's a cracking idea. Only thought it might be a joke as one question could be the complete quiz. Are those questions on the right sort of lines....?

snipfool
Offline
Joined: 9-06-11
Feb 27 2014 14:46

note that bristol afed did a similar 1 question joke re: the bbc quiz

http://bristolaf.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/the-great-british-class-calcul...

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Feb 27 2014 15:12

Do you own a property which you rent out?

Do you attain work through an employment agency?

Also, if the goal is to make this applicable across the pond as well, might be worth trying to draw out the bullshit distinction of "independent contractor". So, something like, "Does someone else organise the cost/time/intensity of your work?"

Although, for what it's worth, I think it might be worth including questions that basically seek to demonstrate libcom's economic understanding of class. For example:

- "Do you have a university degree?"
- "Do you own or rent?"
- "Do you add 'innit' to the end of questions?"
- "Do you know when to use "whom"?
- "Are you in a union?"
- "When was the last time you ate hummus?"
- "Do you read the Sun or the Guardian?"

And then, at the round-up say, basically, nope these questions have nothing to do with your class and here's why.... I don't know, might not work, but an idea.

A Wotsit's picture
A Wotsit
Offline
Joined: 14-11-11
Feb 27 2014 15:34

I kinda like chillis idea of adding irrelevant questions that many people will assume make a difference to (or act as a indicator of) class.

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Feb 27 2014 15:41

Fair point Jim. I know in the past, my grandma used to let out a room and she was certainly no capitalist. That said, fucks like this are definitely capitalists. Perhaps "Do you own rental properties which provide the bulk of your income?"

Auld-bod's picture
Auld-bod
Offline
Joined: 9-07-11
Feb 27 2014 16:08

Tommy Ascaso #12
'I think the line is probably if you get enough money in rental income for you to live on?'

A problem is with the rich they have never enough - they just up their life style. I was hearing of someone recently who had about six houses so they could follow the sun!

Chilli Sauce's picture
Chilli Sauce
Offline
Joined: 5-10-07
Feb 27 2014 16:11

Yeah, so I was thinking about this and I think this is part of that 'really, we're on a spectrum of possession to dispossession' thing and the difficulty of classifying individuals.

So, then, how wide is the bourgeoisie? Would it include headteachers and store managers - who no doubt sell their labor for a wage, but I wouldn't particularly consider members of the working class. Based on that, it might be worth including questions like "Are you a manager?", "Do you have a supervisor at work?"

snipfool
Offline
Joined: 9-06-11
Feb 27 2014 16:14
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
I think the line is probably if you get enough money in rental income for you to live on? Same applies with most other types of incomes like shares, intellectual property etc.

And if houses are your capital and you reinvest in more housing... you are a capitalist landlord.

A Wotsit's picture
A Wotsit
Offline
Joined: 14-11-11
Feb 27 2014 16:18

The more I think about the potential misreading/ ambiguities of phrasing the harder it seems to formulate watertight questions. Still think a close-enough approximation can be found to categorise individuals for the purpose of propaganda to raise consciousness, it is still going to be an eye opener for the vast majority who have a very poor understanding of class. Perhaps the final text can explain the difficulties classifying individuals and link to something on the 'spectrum' thing and also perhaps capital v labour and class interests. (I'm stating the obvious innit)

Ed's picture
Ed
Offline
Joined: 1-10-03
Feb 27 2014 17:06

Seriously, this is the only class calculator we need..

ocelot's picture
ocelot
Offline
Joined: 15-11-09
Feb 27 2014 17:28

I see what you're trying to do in terms of plugging into that Cosmo quiz or FB style "Which Serial Killer are You?" type of thing, of using the quiz as a didactic tool.

But I'd kind of be interested in using it as more exploratory tool - i.e. how do work roles that involve some degree of supervisory duties affect people's self-image in terms of what class they picture themself as, etc.

On the other hand I have no suggestions how to get over the problem that the BBC ran into with its online quiz - that meant they had to junk it (effectively, if you read in between the lines) - i.e. that online quizzes are very self-selecting in getting a very narrow demographic. I don't think FB is much better, tbh. Sorry, that wasn't particularly helpful

Noah Fence's picture
Noah Fence
Offline
Joined: 18-12-12
Feb 27 2014 18:21
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
I think if we work out who's in and out of the proletariat and who's in and out of the bourgeoisie, we'll probably be left with a load of people in the middle. No idea what we could call them though...

You could call them Webbys.

Mr. Jolly's picture
Mr. Jolly
Offline
Joined: 28-04-11
Feb 27 2014 18:28
Ed wrote:
Seriously, this is the only class calculator we need..

Wow the patter has certainly changed on here.

plasmatelly's picture
plasmatelly
Offline
Joined: 16-05-11
Feb 27 2014 18:56

Are you the owner of a secret nuclear silo/gentlemens club housed within a tropical volcano island?

Steven.'s picture
Steven.
Offline
Joined: 27-06-06
Feb 27 2014 19:06

hmm I think the problem is if this were a serious quiz, it would be really short and very boring.

It would only be worth doing as a joke IMO, like Wayne's questionnaire.

plasmatelly's picture
plasmatelly
Offline
Joined: 16-05-11
Feb 27 2014 20:57

Do you love gold, only gold?

bastarx
Offline
Joined: 9-03-06
Feb 27 2014 23:38

We've had this discussion in one form or another on here many times over the years. What I and others have said is that we can debate who is or isn't part of the sociological working class til we're blue in the face but it doesn't really matter because what really matters is who acts against capital and who defends it. This is something that will only be revealed in practice.

For example:

Are cops working class? Yes. Are they likely to join movements opposing capitalism? No.

Pennoid's picture
Pennoid
Offline
Joined: 18-02-12
Feb 28 2014 01:04

"Do you find that some people mistake the social relations which you mediate to be intrinsic to your character as an object?"

Yes- You may be a commodity

No- You are not a commodity. But your Labor Power is!

Agent of the International's picture
Agent of the In...
Offline
Joined: 17-08-12
Feb 28 2014 01:21
bastarx wrote:
For example:

Are cops working class? Yes. Are they likely to join movements opposing capitalism? No.

I think its important we deny them the 'working class' label because of their function. So towards the former, I'd say no.

A Wotsit's picture
A Wotsit
Offline
Joined: 14-11-11
Feb 28 2014 02:04

So been thinking about this and have a alternative suggestion not sure if any use/ interest.

Maybe instead of trying to categorise the individual taking the quiz could do it more like a 'guess my class' then you can pick a few real/ fictitious characters e.g:

Mary is a single mum & Police Officer her role is to uphold the laws set by the state, which principally revolve around property. She wants to be in riot squad & crack skulls blah blah (or she could be a seemingly 'nice' community-oriented filth whatevs)

options: class traitor, capitalist, prole, petty borgie wotevs

Tarquin is a laborer, the child of a penniless port-addled aristocrat and blah

Dave is a Milwall fan, comes from a working class background but started his own firm is now Tarquins boss etc

Samantha is a Lecturer in economics..Bilau is a student of politics...Tony is a former prime minister...Eugene is a grime MC... Jane is a drug dealer...

You get my drift. Think this offers scope for both jokes and serious content about class relations.

Makes it easier to construct the class relations to suit the message without having to wrestle with the question phrasing/ categorising so much... It kind of departs from the original idea substantively (so might lose appeal of the respondent wanting to find out about themselves) but I think in terms of the message/content it might actually help a bit. Could then have a nice graphic a-la the pyramid thing (prole.info or IWW stylee) which places characters in context of class relations & with, which class are you? and a link to intro guides to finish....

Still think its worth a pop with the original idea if this one not of interest. Though I see logic of arguments put against it....

bastarx
Offline
Joined: 9-03-06
Feb 28 2014 05:19
Agent of the Fifth International wrote:
bastarx wrote:
For example:

Are cops working class? Yes. Are they likely to join movements opposing capitalism? No.

I think its important we deny them the 'working class' label because of their function. So towards the former, I'd say no.

So the working class label is some sort of prize to be handed out?

On the simplest definition - someone is working class if they have to sell their labour to survive - cops are clearly working class. Sure we can add caveats but then things become much more complicated. Are retail workers not working class because they enforce commodity relations by making people pay for stuff?

Anyway these arguments about definitions very quickly tend towards futility because anyone can make up any arbitrary definition they want and there is often little that can be done to prove the superiority of one definition over another.

cresspot's picture
cresspot
Offline
Joined: 8-09-13
Feb 28 2014 08:44

maybe some question like: do you identify with the principles of capitalism? not a determiner of class, but it is a determiner of one's ideals of class, which might be intersected things

A Wotsit's picture
A Wotsit
Offline
Joined: 14-11-11
Feb 28 2014 11:01

btw if anyone thinks my 'guess my class' idea is worth a pop I'd be happy to write it up as a narrative where all the characters have a direct relationship. I won't be able to make it interactive though, but happy for others to improve it and add buttons, pictures and what not. & obv doing mine doesn't mean we can't do the original idea too

Entdinglichung's picture
Entdinglichung
Offline
Joined: 2-07-08
Feb 28 2014 11:26

there was a brilliant "political profile test" in 1972 in the (back then leftwing, today liberal-green) quarterly journal Kursbuch ... have it somewhere at home, but it is in German

A Wotsit's picture
A Wotsit
Offline
Joined: 14-11-11
Feb 28 2014 11:48

haha yeah, fair, that did occur to me but felt compelled to share my idea.

fwiw I def still think this quiz is worth doing. Happy to help with the refining of questions, if I can, once a list of the questions being considered for inclusion is posted. (I don't have any additional relevant suggestions atm)

youdontknowme
Offline
Joined: 28-02-14
Feb 28 2014 17:53

What if you don't work because you're a student?

Agent of the International's picture
Agent of the In...
Offline
Joined: 17-08-12
Feb 28 2014 18:19
youdontknowme wrote:
What if you don't work because you're a student?

Firstly, students (most I assume) are essentially workers-in-training. Secondly, if you do not work, but depend on someone who does, then your still working class.

Its been said a thousand times before, but the whole reason why proles have to work (or study before work) in the first place is because they have no other means of survival than to sell their ability to work (i.e. their labor power).

Ed's picture
Ed
Offline
Joined: 1-10-03
Feb 28 2014 18:21
Agent of the Fifth International wrote:
youdontknowme wrote:
What if you don't work because you're a student?

Firstly, students (most I assume) are essentially workers-in-training. Secondly, if you do not work, but depend on someone who does, then your working class.

That assumes you come from a working class family though.. students can just as easily be the children of aristocrats or bosses as they can be the children of workers.. that doesn't mean that all students are 'posh' or whatever but that ultimately being a 'student' is just about your position to the university (which these days is basically a customer paying for a service).. if you go to Cambridge or an ex-polytechnic you've probably got massively different backgrounds but you're both still 'students', if you get me..

Agent of the International's picture
Agent of the In...
Offline
Joined: 17-08-12
Feb 28 2014 18:38
Ed wrote:
Agent of the Fifth International wrote:
youdontknowme wrote:
What if you don't work because you're a student?

Firstly, students (most I assume) are essentially workers-in-training. Secondly, if you do not work, but depend on someone who does, then your working class.

That assumes you come from a working class family though.. students can just as easily be the children of aristocrats or bosses as they can be the children of workers.. that doesn't mean that all students are 'posh' or whatever but that ultimately being a 'student' is just about your position to the university (which these days is basically a customer paying for a service).. if you go to Cambridge or an ex-polytechnic you've probably got massively different backgrounds but you're both still 'students', if you get me..

Well, yeah I am assuming most students are from a working class background and that the whole process of schooling is that of 'workers-in-training'. That is the experience for them (us, I am currently a student).

And I know there are children from the ruling classes who still go to (often elite) universities. Why? I have no idea. Maybe for fun. Maybe to network through the Skull & Bones Society (perhaps a way of showing class solidarity amongst themselves?). Don't really know.

If there's a general experience students from both classes can share in relation to the university, I guess I can get that. But I need more convincing.