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The middle class needs to be destroyed

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Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 11 Nov 2016, 00:20
One of the many elephants in the room when it comes to Marxists is that the predicted first world revolutions never occurred. Marx predicted they would occur in places like Britain, France and Germany, not Russia, China and other developing countries. Understandably, Marxists don’t like to address this problem, nor the fact that the undeveloped conditions of the third world countries seriously hindered their efforts to build socialism. So what was the problem? The answer lies in the middle class who have proven to be the unshakable backers of capitalism in the first world.

When we talk of the middle class today, we do not mean that of Marx’s time. When Marx referred to the middle class he was referring to the bourgeoisie. These days the middle class can be broadly defined as small business owners and the upper echelons of the working class. While they are proletarians in the Marxist sense, they earn much more than just what is needed for them to replicate their labour. Because so much of their income is therefore surplus to their immediate needs, they become fully supportive of the capitalist system and often become wedded to it by investing in stocks and shares or buying property. The middle class came into existence when the bourgeoisie had exhausted the supply of cheap labour entering its home market from the countryside and gained prominent positions within the production process. This caused wages to rise which filtered down particularly to this group.

The existence of a strong middle class in most first world countries is what has kept any chance of a socialist revolution breaking out at bay. Not only do the middle classes get into positions of power and influence in politics, the media and popular culture, they can often be large enough as a voting bloc to have a significant influence in elections. But also, they provide the promise of hope and opportunity to the working class that discourages them from wanting to instigate a revolution themselves. To the working class, breaking into the middle class seems a much better option than risking everything trying to overthrow capitalism.

But these days the middle class appears to be under a lot of pressure all over the first world. A combination of automation and globalisation has destroyed a lot of middle class jobs in the first world and put a lot of downward pressure on middle class wages. Middle class people now struggle to buy houses and get well-paying jobs. Many are in huge debts from student loans and feel they cannot get started in life. It appears the baby boomers were the peak of the middle class with the rot setting in the 1970s when real wages began to stagnate. With China and India putting their huge labour forces on the world market in the 80s and 90s, middle class workers in the first world can’t compete. The internet and automation has further taken jobs – both blue and white collar – with many predicting that a vast number of current jobs will be replaced by machines over the next 30 years.

When this happens, the middle class will be largely wiped out. With fewer and fewer jobs available, wages will decline and any hope of entering the section of society which has a nice lifestyle will have vanished. Society will be divided into a mass poor class and a tiny elite made of very wealthy bourgeoisie who own all the machines. With the middle class bulwark gone, the immiserated poor will see capitalism for what it truly is (and as Marx ultimately predicted it would be) and see that there are no longer any more options. Sticking with capitalism because the middle class offered a way out for many proletarians will no longer be an option. At this point communism should become truly relevant to the vast majority of people.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 14 Jun 2013, 09:08
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 11 Nov 2016, 22:44
https://www.cpbml.org.uk/news/two-classes-britain

https://www.cpbml.org.uk/news/two-classes-britain

https://www.cpbml.org.uk/news/labour-aristocracy

Hope you find this of interest of course workers with their plethora of circumstance are all but one wage packet (salary cheque) from penury. Increased prosperity come about largely for two reasons . A shortage of skills and labour. Secondly abilities of groups of workers to settle matters collectively with employers, to their satisfaction.
The world is riven by class — not race, gender, age or disability. There is only one human race, and any ideas that promote divisions between us do the work of capitalism.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 02 Dec 2016, 06:29
Good post, Marxists have struggled with the concept of a middle class for a century.

gRed Britain wrote:
But these days the middle class appears to be under a lot of pressure all over the first world. A combination of automation and globalisation has destroyed a lot of middle class jobs in the first world and put a lot of downward pressure on middle class wages.


I'm agreeing that the "middle class" is under attack globally. I'm not aware of a communist party that has significantly reached out to the middle class (other than the KKE in Greece). It is an area we should be organizing in because if we do not the fascists/alt-right/hoodie-wearing-folks will step in.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
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Post 04 Dec 2016, 20:47
Quote:
Good post, Marxists have struggled with the concept of a middle class for a century.


Indeed, it often gets swept under the carpet as so many Marxists are desperate to divide the population into bourgeoisie and proletariat only. It doesn't help that what Marx referred to as the middle class was actually the bourgeoisie in his time (at least, in Europe). This is because the upper class was the then still-powerful landed aristocracy. Now that this class has largely been replaced, the bourgeoisie can now be said to be the upper class while the middle class is essentially the part of the proletariat (or salariat) which is paid much more in either wages or salary than it needs to reproduce its labour, thus giving it a privileged position within the capitalist system.

Engels and Lenin came near the issue with their idea of a labour aristocracy, but the origins and development of the middle class are not found in their labour aristocracy origin myth.

Quote:
I'm agreeing that the "middle class" is under attack globally. I'm not aware of a communist party that has significantly reached out to the middle class (other than the KKE in Greece). It is an area we should be organizing in because if we do not the fascists/alt-right/hoodie-wearing-folks will step in.


The trouble with reaching out to them is that the party would need to promise to maintain their middle class lifestyles and perks. Of course, this would not be a very communist thing to do and so that is why I said the middle class needs to be destroyed (and yes, I acknowledge that probably involves a lot of people on this forum - including me!). The only way to get the middle class to truly side with the proletariat is to allow them to descend into the ranks of the proletariat.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 18 Apr 2010, 04:44
Ideology: None
Philosophized
Post 05 Dec 2016, 04:43
Have a look at Trump's incoming cabinet. Destroy the middle class? I'd say they're well on their way. Let the Hunger Games begin!
Miss Strangelove: "You feed giants laxatives so goblins can mine their poop before the gnomes get to it."
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Jun 2006, 02:14
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 05 Dec 2016, 14:39
gRed Britain wrote:
The trouble with reaching out to them is that the party would need to promise to maintain their middle class lifestyles and perks. Of course, this would not be a very communist thing to do and so that is why I said the middle class needs to be destroyed (and yes, I acknowledge that probably involves a lot of people on this forum - including me!). The only way to get the middle class to truly side with the proletariat is to allow them to descend into the ranks of the proletariat.


That's the main problem. We shouldn't make anyone "descend". We should upgrade proletarian standard of living to, at least, the one that current "middle class" has. At least that's what Peronism and other left wing movements have done in southern america. The problem is that the middle class is ideologically linked to the upper class, therefore they see the raising of the proletariat as a threat, instead of seeing the increasing gap with the upper class as one.


"Where Argentina goes, Latin America will go".
Leonid Brezhnev

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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 05 Dec 2016, 19:56
Quote:
That's the main problem. We shouldn't make anyone "descend". We should upgrade proletarian standard of living to, at least, the one that current "middle class" has. At least that's what Peronism and other left wing movements have done in southern america. The problem is that the middle class is ideologically linked to the upper class, therefore they see the raising of the proletariat as a threat, instead of seeing the increasing gap with the upper class as one.


Well if you want a society that is made up of bourgeoisie and middle class petite-bourgeoisie then good luck to you, but it won't be a socialist one. Also I suspect it will be in a constant state of economic instability because the bourgeoisie makes its money off exploiting the working class, therefore it won't want to share its profits with the workers thus making them middle class. As a result it will constantly be trying to put downward pressure on middle class wages and salaries. It will also increasingly try and outsource production to other countries which have low-paid proletariats. In fact, this is pretty much what has been happening in the developed world for the last 40 years.

When I said the middle class must be destroyed, I wasn't proposing any deliberate policy or action on the part of anyone (certainly not 'making anyone "descend"'). What I meant was that the forces of global capital (forces which no organisation or country can control) are driving this tendency of middle class decline. I am trying to see how this will bring about ripe conditions for a revolution in the West; conditions which have so far eluded us.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Jun 2006, 02:14
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Politburo
Post 05 Dec 2016, 20:27
I think you misunderstood me. I don't think any society can live on petite-bourgeoisie. I was talking about standards of living, raising the worker class to the same benefits middle class has. Of course it provokes economic instability, that happens in any transition from capitalism.


gRed Britain wrote:
The only way to get the middle class to truly side with the proletariat is to allow them to descend into the ranks of the proletariat.

You did say this. And this is only temporary, without a sustained ideological campaign for them to adopt proletarian values.


"Where Argentina goes, Latin America will go".
Leonid Brezhnev

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Soviet cogitations: 1128
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 30 Aug 2008, 18:12
Party Member
Post 05 Dec 2016, 22:43
Quote:
I think you misunderstood me. I don't think any society can live on petite-bourgeoisie. I was talking about standards of living, raising the worker class to the same benefits middle class has. Of course it provokes economic instability, that happens in any transition from capitalism.


Oh yes, I'm all for a rise in the standard of living for the proletariat. There is nothing wrong with a middle class standard of living (or better) if everyone has access to it. But in my opinion, this is what socialism (and ultimately, communism) should be: a classless society where everyone has an equally good standard of living. The trouble is, the bourgeoisie are always going to stand in the way of this happening; they will only allow a certain section of society (the middle class) to attain this standard of living.

Quote:
You did say this. And this is only temporary, without a sustained ideological campaign for them to adopt proletarian values.


Well I don't know what 'proletarian values' are but a lot of attitudes will be shaped by economic issues. This will not merely be a question of how much money people have in the bank, but the source and nature of their income. If middle class people suddenly find themselves working for low wages which just enable them to replicate their labour and little more, they will begin to adopt ideas which favour the proletariat very quickly.

The key to turning these ideas into revolutionary ideas is when both proletariat and the former middle class (i.e. the "new arrivals" into the proletariat) realise that there is almost no route for social mobility left. The options for improving one's standard of living under capitalism will have run out and therefore the only option left is to overthrow capitalism itself. If we look at the world today, this is beginning to occur. Options for social mobility (previously the key to maintaining enthusiasm for capitalism among the middle class and proletariat) are declining across the developed countries thanks to globalisation and automation. It may still take another 100 years or so but I currently can't see a way out of it for the bourgeoisie in the long run.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 21 Dec 2004, 23:53
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 19 Jan 2017, 07:22
gRed Britain wrote:
The trouble with reaching out to them is that the party would need to promise to maintain their middle class lifestyles and perks. Of course, this would not be a very communist thing to do and so that is why I said the middle class needs to be destroyed (and yes, I acknowledge that probably involves a lot of people on this forum - including me!). The only way to get the middle class to truly side with the proletariat is to allow them to descend into the ranks of the proletariat.


I wouldn't say that a CP must promise to maintain middle class perks for the middle class. Assuming the monopoly capitalist continue their assault on the middle class, in pursuit of profits, it is simply framing to the middle class that their best chance of having their perks is with the proletariat.
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"By what standard of morality can the violence used by a slave to break his chains be considered the same as the violence of a slave master?" - Walter Rodney
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 29 Apr 2017, 04:47
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Pioneer
Post 21 May 2017, 23:39
gRed Britain wrote:
When this happens, the middle class will be largely wiped out. With fewer and fewer jobs available, wages will decline and any hope of entering the section of society which has a nice lifestyle will have vanished. Society will be divided into a mass poor class and a tiny elite made of very wealthy bourgeoisie who own all the machines. With the middle class bulwark gone, the immiserated poor will see capitalism for what it truly is (and as Marx ultimately predicted it would be) and see that there are no longer any more options. Sticking with capitalism because the middle class offered a way out for many proletarians will no longer be an option. At this point communism should become truly relevant to the vast majority of people.


I'm under the impression that the middle class is largely absent in Latin America. What has prevented communism from developing deep roots there? Operation Condor?
☭ The NATO-bloc's $1T/year war racket sells death & destruction, obscenely repackaged as "Freedom & Democracy".

☭ Bright ideals are used to hide hideous crimes.

☭ Real freedom is something to live for, not something to kill for.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Jan 2018, 18:28
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Unperson
Post 19 Jan 2018, 18:40
The middle class isn't the issue, it's the upper and the poor class... Hear me out, the upper class aka the elites need to be knocked down some notches, while the poor class needs to be raised up some.

In my opinion everyone should be on the middle ground, have enough money to comfortably live, but they should not have enough to live in excess like those in Hollyweird.

If the rich could be taxed until they hurt that would be a start. All these mega churches should be taxed too.
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 10 Sep 2006, 22:05
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Philosophized
Post 26 Jan 2018, 00:33
Tax our way to socialism lol. Also fragging "hollyweird"? How are you real?
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Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 19 Jan 2018, 18:28
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Unperson
Post 26 Jan 2018, 06:14
Yes I said "Hollyweird", I got my reasons. Also taxing is a start, obviously it would take more than taxes to achieve true Socialism / Communism... but I don't see the middle class as the enemies, I only see the upper class / capitalists as the enemies.
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