Will The Working Class Ever Reach Class conciousness?

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Joined: 29-05-04
Aug 19 2004 23:04

I'm 'middle class', in that my dad is a managerial type and my mum is a professional- a chemist working for the council. In a very early stage of my ideological development, I was embarassed about it, but I quickly realised that that is nonsensical. My mother is a proletarian, I am a proletarian (when I'm working, which economics forces me too...), my father is in that fuzzy "managerial" semi-bourgoisie class. Two of my grandparents were working class, the other two middle class, but all proletarians.

I don't want to get into a "how many classes are there?" argument. They're just lines we choose to draw. There are two classes and there are three classes and there are twenty classes all at once, the different models are useful at different times.

The middle class is a bit like the "house negro" in malcolm x's speech:

There was two kinds of slaves. There was the house Negro and the field Negro. The house Negroes - they lived in the house with master, they dressed pretty good, they ate good 'cause they ate his food -- what he left. They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near the master; and they loved their master more than the master loved himself. They would give their life to save the master's house quicker than the master would. The house Negro, if the master said, "We got a good house here," the house Negro would say, "Yeah, we got a good house here." Whenever the master said "we," he said "we." That's how you can tell a house Negro. If the master's house caught on fire, the house Negro would fight harder to put the blaze out than the master would. If the master got sick, the house Negro would say, "What's the matter, boss, we sick?" We sick! He identified himself with his master more than his master identified with himself. And if you came to the house Negro and said, "Let's run away, let's escape, let's separate," the house Negro would look at you and say, "Man, you crazy. What you mean, separate? Where is there a better house than this? Where can I wear better clothes than this? Where can I eat better food than this?" That was that house Negro. In those days he was called a "house nigger." And that's what we call him today, because we've still got some house niggers running around here.

Being a middle-class revolutionary does require a constant self-awareness to correct the effects of priviledge, but this is no different from the awareness required as a result of being male or white. I don't walk around pretending to be a woman or black or feeling guilty, instead I'm (gradually and sometimes painfully eek) learning to overcome the predjudicial behaviours that I didn't know I had. The same goes for being middle class IMO.

On the subject of "animal consciousness":

bigdave has a theoretical model. If we replace the "animal consciousness"/"human consciousness" model with an identical one using with words "first half of consciousness"/"second half of consciousness" then we can evaluate the model alone. Otherwise you should have a clear debate on what animals are like in terms of consciousness and behaviour. Mixing two debates just causes noone to understand each other.[/code]

Joined: 19-09-04
Sep 22 2004 15:51

btw, Karl Marx was as middle-class as they come. His dad even had a Volvo. grin