middle-class marx [Re: I-P: Capitalism vrs. commies]

Dave Long dl@silcom.com
Mon, 11 Mar 2002 04:03:51 -0800

> > (Marx thought it was possible to make
> > everybody middle-class. ...
> As I read it, Marx had an enduring hatred of the middle-class. ...

I'm using middle-class in our sense of the
word, not in his sense.  (We'd likely even
include Marx in the middle class, today.
The son of a lawyer who gets bailed out by
Daddy when he gets into trouble at Uni is
"a white suburban punk, just like me", not
a member of whatever the modern equivalent
of lumpenproletariat may be)

> Rather, he wanted everyone to be industrial workers.  But he wanted those
> industrial workers to become 'renaissance men'.  He never cared for
> agricultural workers ...

Again, using the modern definition, we find
a middle class composed of industrial and
office workers.  'Renaissance men' may be
pushing it, but we have both education and
potential for leisure.

Agricultural work, on the other hand, still
has little to recommend it.  Would you count
seasonal labor as a middle class occupation?
(the diminishing percentage of workers still
in agriculture is perhaps another sign that
we have become the Workers' Paradise?)

I'll have to track down a copy of _Capital_
before we go much further, but here is how
I remember it reading:

Marx:	economies of scale drive concentration
	of ownership, until at some point we
	have a few people owning everything and
	the masses doing all the work.

	At that point, revolution is inevitable.

Us:	we may have a concentration of ownership,
	but it is time averaged over the middle
	class: by following the American Dream,
	the middle class works in its youth and
	owns in its retirement.

	As long as we maintain this metastable
	state, revolution is laughable.