Author Topic: Class warefare  (Read 5901 times)

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Offline Sylvana

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Class warefare
« on: March 09, 2012, 10:05:19 am »
I was going to reply in the breitbart thread but as I thought about it more I felt this actually warranted a discussion on its own.

I hear there's a third, more damning tape out there -apparently it's just Obama standing in a parking lot! CLASS FUCKING WARFARE - I knew it!!

I really have trouble understanding why class warfare is such a bad thing. The republicans like to sprout it like it is the evil of the end times, but I can think of a number of class based societies and not a single one of them were very good. They almost all had the higher classes oppress the lower classes, and there was essentially no way for someone of lower class could increase their class standing. In effect class societies are always based strongly on inequality and those of the higher class strongly attempt to maintain the status-quot.

From what I can see America is essentially made up of three classes you have the rich, the working class and the poor. I would like to point out that working class in this case is supposed to mean middle class, but the distance between the middle class and the rich is so huge I felt working class was a better name. I am not trying to imply the poor don't work either with these names.

From the perspective of the Occupy movement there are two classes, the rich, and everyone else. At least that is the perception I receive from their protests. They have merged the classes of the working class with the poor, and given how close they are socially I don't really blame them. Their goal seems to be to break down the class barrier between the rich and the rest so that the rich no longer have a special set of rules just for themselves. For the most part I think this is a good goal.

From the perspective of the republicans, from what I can see, they have divided the classes into two you have the poor, and the working class. They have gone and merged the rich and working classes together. They then threaten that class warfare will result in the working class becoming exactly like the poor, or alternatively, that the poor will be able to receive the same life as the working class at the expense of the working class.

Both, position's are essentially correct, from what I can see. The foundation of class warfare is to break the boundaries between classes and allow true equality. All are capable of moving up or down based on their own merit. Clearly now there are very definitive classes. The rich can do anything they desire with no consequence. The working class can never enter the realms of the rich, because the rich make sure they don't have any competition form their peasants. The poor, cant even enter the class of the working class because they are often so destitute that barely surviving takes all their energy and they don't receive the help needed to move up, education often being the most deciding factor.

Personally that the republicans are actively admitting the current extreme class state of the American social system is shocking in itself. Then again, they really haven't even been trying to hide their agendas anymore. I am just failing to see how class warfare and the destruction of the class boundaries is a bad thing. As I said earlier all other class based societies sucked. The ones not currently around (which suck as well) generally ended rather unpleasantly, especially for those at the top. As a result I can understand the desire for the rich at the top of this pyramid to prevent any change. However, I don't understand how they can honestly argue their point to break down even the barrier between the poor and the working class.

The question I guess is, why is class warfare such a dirty word?

Edit for adding in that last question line.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2012, 10:11:28 am by Sylvana »

Offline sandman

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Re: Class warefare
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2012, 10:12:41 am »
Class warfare has always existed and always will exist. As wealth begins to accumulate in smaller and smaller groups, societies inevitably tend to develop over time into highly striated social-economic classes, with the wealthy and privileged contracting into more and more of a ruling minority while the rest of the people wither into subjugated poverty. Eventually the wealth disparity will override the social controls put in place by the ruling minority and violent revolution will ensue, the society will collapse, and the entire process will start all over again.

Thus goes the entire course of human history. And the ruling minorities never seem to figure the pattern out, do they?
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Offline m52nickerson

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Re: Class warefare
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2012, 10:19:35 am »
Thus goes the entire course of human history. And the ruling minorities never seem to figure the pattern out, do they?

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Offline TenfoldMaquette

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Re: Class warefare
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2012, 10:39:18 am »
The question I guess is, why is class warfare such a dirty word?

It implies change - that one's position in life might not be secure, that what one works for might be taken away at the whims of another, etc. It's a phrase used to scratch that deep, primeval piece of the human mind that still thinks in terms of evading predators, breeding the next generation, etc. It's designed to make people uncomfortable with their neighbor, to view the other as the enemy, and to band together with those of like mind and means to secure whatever it is they currently have. It's sounding the alarm so everyone bunkers down and forgets about striving for something better.

It's also a load of bullshit.

Offline Damen

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Re: Class warefare
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2012, 01:25:01 pm »
Historically (and by "historically" I mean prior to just two years ago) the term "class warfare" was used to describe the way laws would be put in place that would ensure the rich get richer and fuck everyone else. Then someone got the brilliant idea to relable the idea that maybe, just maybe, the rich could pay a higher percentage of taxes seeing as how they have more wealth than the bottom 52% combined as "class warfare."

That's why when I first heard them calling higher taxes and letting the Bush tax cuts expire class warfare my first thought was "Wow, you got some brass balls to say that in public, assholes."
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Offline clockworkgirl21

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Re: Class warefare
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2012, 01:33:55 pm »
Or, even better, "punishing the rich for being successful!"

Offline Askold

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Re: Class warefare
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2012, 01:52:47 pm »
I should make some sort of intellegent comment on this subject, because although I think "classwar" is an oversimplification and misleading this topic does warrant discussion... But all I can concentrate is the name of the topic... Classes are forced to pay fares for their wares?
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Offline booley

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Re: Class warefare
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2012, 02:17:32 pm »
My take...

before we can fix the problems endemic to having classes of people based on how much money they have, we must first acknowledge there are classes of people based on how much money they have.

Can't fix a problem you aren't allowed to admit exists.

Class warfare has become like socialism.  Generally the people saying it don't know what it means.  They just know the guy they are saying it too is saying stuff they don't like and he should shut up.
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Offline Old Viking

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Re: Class warefare
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2012, 03:59:19 pm »
I'm trying to create a class structure in which tall elderly guys are at the top of the hierarchy.  Little luck so far.
I am an old man, and I've seen many problems, most of which never happened.

Offline SpaceProg

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Re: Class warefare
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2012, 04:10:29 pm »
Things are getting pretty bad, but as long as the general public are given their bread and circuses, I doubt much, if anything will be done.

Offline Eniliad

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Re: Class warefare
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2012, 04:45:11 pm »
Thus goes the entire course of human history. And the ruling minorities never seem to figure the pattern out, do they?

"Let them eat cake."

Off-topic: Marie Antoinette never actually said that. :P
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Offline Cataclysm

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Re: Class warefare
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2012, 04:46:03 pm »
And neither do plutocrats. They say "let them starve"
I'd be more sympathetic if people here didn't act like they knew what they were saying when they were saying something very much wrong.

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Offline myusername

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Re: Class warefare
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2012, 05:11:36 pm »
Some nonsense from across in Britain...

It seems to me that the main difference between identifying as "working class" and "middle class" is that the working class admit they are proletarians. Many people identify as middle class but just because you work in an office rather than a factory doesn't make you not a member of the working class. Unless you own the office.* British politics has become less about class over time with the old partisanship (w/c =Lab; m/c = Tory)** weakened and yet at the same time class is as pervasive as ever. Just as an aside, I had a lecturer who asked a whole lecture hall of students at my uni if they are working class and no-one said yes. One of my tutors did the same in a seminar and I was the only one to say that yes I am working class. Class mobility has actually declined over time, not increased on both sides of the Atlantic. *** paradoxical really.

*Okay it's a little more nuanced than this but most people working in an office etc are at the bottom with crap jobs, etc, as I said, that's not middle class.
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Offline Lt. Fred

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Re: Class warefare
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2012, 05:54:22 pm »
Class warfare, historically, has been used to refer to violent or political conflict between the classes. A member of a political class sees himself or herself as having certain political interest in one thing or another, so you get class based parties (Labor, in Australia). Other forms of class struggle include strikes, lockouts, industrial espionage, strategic layoffs, and outright industrial violence (usually by the upper class) in pursuit of a long-term goal, not a short-term objective like better pay. Obviously, nobody really wants this endemic conflict of it's own accord; it's all very disorderly and inefficient.

Conservatives look at it the same way they do racial conflict: the way you avoid it is by keeping all the classes (or races) happy and ignorant of their position, by not riling them up. So Martin Luthor King was 'inciting racial conflict' by denouncing segregation, and Obama is 'inciting class war' by pointing out the inequities of American society.

Liberals want to solve the problem by reducing- or ending- the chasm between rich and poor, black and white. Conservatives want to solve the problem by having everyone ignore it. Hitler promised to get rid of it by subsuming all the classes into the transcendent, living state.
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Offline Qlockworkcanary

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Re: Class warefare
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2012, 06:01:02 pm »
That's why I don't think conservatives have the right to call ending Bush tax cuts as class warfare; there's nothing violent about that except the tantrums they through if anyone mentions it.
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