Who are the working class?

martin

----
We did a thread on this a while ago in which I pointed out that millionaire footballers were not working class, to mixed response.
Is professional football not work?

Do you think working class musicians who make lots of money when their careers take off automatically become middle class?
 

john eden

male pale and stale
Is professional football not work?

Do you think working class musicians who make lots of money when their careers take off automatically become middle class?
Professional football is work, yes, in that people exchange their Labour power for a wage. :)

But if through doing that someone accumulates enough money that them and their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren etc are so economically secure that they could all easily survive without working, they are not working class are they.

Also there are many professional footballers whose income from other activities far exceeds the income they get from playing football. For example dividends on investments.

You would need to quantify “lots of money” but musicians with that may well become economically middle or even upper class yes.
 

thirdform

Well-known member

I should say middle class activists in particular, not middle class people by way of their economic positionality, which would certainly include my family, if not myself.

When you start to advocate an activist politics you are advocating a politics of denial of the fact the middle class itself is a class with no historical future, always destined to either move up or down but never stay that way, otherwise it wouldn't be an intermediary class. Hence the pearl clutching from the likes of Blakeley et al. It's all pretty abject. Individuals do not matter in bourgeois society.

When viewed in the context of a succession of productive forms, each one replacing the one before, it will be seen that all revolutions go through a particularly dynamic stage in which the combatants, who at this point appear as the expression of socially determined forces pushing them towards a greater good, will as a general rule put up with any number of sacrifices and privations: there will be those, both in the ranks and in the higher profile roles, who will give up their lives, and their "hunger for power", whilst obeying the still un‑deciphered forces which accompany the birth of every new social form.
In the final phase of each form, this social dynamism evaporates due to the fact that a new, opposed, social form is arising within the old. At this point there appears a conservative defence of the traditional form which tends to manifest itself as an underwriting of personal egoisms, individual belly-stuffing, and open corruption; bribe-takers, praetorians, feudal courtiers, debauched clerics, and the shady speculators and corrupt accountants of today’s bourgeois regime are some examples.
But even though capitalism’s hired thugs and scullery maids may be bogged down in a social mire of cynicism and existential arrogance, the work of defending capitalism and preventing its collapse continues as before. The organised State and political party networks are strongly committed to this task, and at key historical junctures they have demonstrated that they are quite capable of welding themselves into a unified, centralised, counter-revolutionary force (and if you can see beyond all the bogus intellectual hypocrisy, this is clearly also the case in contemporary Britain, America and Russia, and not just in fascist Germany and Italy). And since they are aware that the source of our power is the knowledge we have of the ’geological stratification’ of the historical underground, they even try and steal that from us as well!
Us, of all people, should we really be so unwarlike as to dishonour the power and the form which this unstoppable energy of ours will have to assume, namely: the revolutionary party and the iron State of the Dictatorship? Within these organisational structures particular individuals will hold certainly key positions, of course, but their duty, far from engaging in personal manoeuvring and secret intrigues and conspiracies, will be to rigorously abide by the tasks which the historical process has set these organs of irreversibly revolutionising the economic and social forms.
The assertion by certain organisations, different from the party, that they can guarantee against the degeneration of leaders, or other official appointees, is tantamount to a repudiation of our entire doctrinal edifice.
In fact the network of "leaders" and "hierarchs" in these organisations is the same as in the party, and in general it isn’t even solely composed of workers. And even if they were, History has taught us the unhappy truth that the ex‑worker who leaves his job to work in the trade-union bureaucracy is generally more likely to betray his class than somebody originating from the non‑proletarian classes. Examples? We could provide thousands of them.

 
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version

Well-known member
"The British like to think that they have a uniquely profound understanding of class. In truth, it’s the opposite. The arcane rules of the country’s class system mean we have a deranged understanding of our divisions, one that is informed not by whether someone owns financial assets or capital or employs people, but by their accent, hobbies and choice of supermarket."
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Dogging - what do you drive? You don’t drive? Then how the fuck did you get here? The bus? You pikey cunt
Will the driver hold the bus while you sex a few housewives? It feels as though, if the driver is friendly, a double-decker could provide a spectacular centrepiece to the whole event.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Is professional football not work?

Do you think working class musicians who make lots of money when their careers take off automatically become middle class?
Going back to the universal example of Liam G, I dunno what class he is but his kids are wealthy, London public school attendees which makes them simply posh in my book.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
There was a friend of ours from London in town the other day and we were chatting away and it became apparent that he thought that I had gone to public school (which, translating for Americans, means the opposite of what it sounds like ie a fee paying private school), further interrogation revealed that he in fact thought I'd gone to Eton. Someone had obviously told him that as a joke at some point and he had totally believed it, for ages.

To me what's interesting is that in that second where he found out that that wasn't true it presumably changed entirely the whole story of who I am - how I grew up, where and who with etc how much (mis)information is contained in that single little statement.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
"The British like to think that they have a uniquely profound understanding of class. In truth, it’s the opposite. The arcane rules of the country’s class system mean we have a deranged understanding of our divisions, one that is informed not by whether someone owns financial assets or capital or employs people, but by their accent, hobbies and choice of supermarket."
Yes that’s great. Echoes of that EP Thompson piece on the EU that @luka posted. I forgot to read the Huw Lemmey piece it quotes too - shall get on that.
 

shakahislop

Well-known member
problem with this discussion is that the vocabulary doesn't work anymore and there isn't a commonly accepted one come along to replace it. i mean what the fuck do these terms mean anymore. 'working class'. come on. no-one knows where the boundaries of that lie. 'middle class'. 'lower middle class'. 'upper middle class'. they're too vague.

i skimmed through an incredibly boring book by one of Starmer's besties last night called 'The New Working Class' or something like that, and even though she tries to define it, i still have no idea who she's talking about.

'posh' is good vocab. 'rudeboys' is good vocab. 'white working class' is terrible vocab. 'underclass' is terrible vocab. 'proles' is gross but at least lets you know what the person saying it thinks.
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
the idea is that you're "common" if you drink tea and eat bacon rolls, and you're "posh" if you drink lattes and eat croissants. But you can go into any branch of Greggs (a cheap and cheerful food chain across the UK, for anyone who hasn't heard of it) and get the latter just as easily and low-cost as the former.

I had a blinding flash of the obvious the other day when I realized why the Greggs vegan sausage rolls and steak bakes wind up right-wing commentators so much - it's because they fetishize the divide between socially conservative white working-class authenticity and rootless middle-class metropolitan "progressives", and for somewhere as canonically white and working-class as Greggs to offer something untraditional and socially progressive like a vegan sausage roll basically undermines their whole schtick.
 

Slothrop

Tight but Polite
"The British like to think that they have a uniquely profound understanding of class. In truth, it’s the opposite. The arcane rules of the country’s class system mean we have a deranged understanding of our divisions, one that is informed not by whether someone owns financial assets or capital or employs people, but by their accent, hobbies and choice of supermarket."

Yeah, John Nunn is good on this sort of stuff. He did a good thing for his newsletter, Vittles, about Pie and Mash shops:

I think of what Bob Cooke, another pie and mash shop owner, told the Financial Times: “The old East End families have died or moved to Essex. There are no East Enders here now”, as if no one is born in the East End anymore. What is left unsaid may as well be printed in size 72 block capitals.
 

luka

Well-known member
i dont agree with that i dont think. clearly he does mean white cockneys but i dont think its quite honest to pretend that eastenders = anyone born in the east end.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Yeah, I guess he's saying "Most people here are Bangladeshi now, and they're not that into pie and mash", which is surely not particularly controversial.
 

sufi

lala
Yes that’s great. Echoes of that EP Thompson piece on the EU that @luka posted. I forgot to read the Huw Lemmey piece it quotes too - shall get on that.
i'm not that impressed, it's just more of food as culture war, zzzz an obvious kick back against criticisms of polenta eaters, but missing the point

the article doesnt even seem to admit that food snobbery exists, when it is absolutely central in our consumer society - everyone is implicated at every meal, jockeying for position at restaurants, indulging in the latest food fads, picking effing special mushrooms, massive supply chains reacting to food critics and tv chefs within hours, swinging into action to ensure that they meet our spoilt, gluttonous expectations

as if the only significance about all this fancy food is the commentary, the writer is blindly complicit in food as a cultural fetish, completely missing the point about how our diets are now driven by fad and snobbery from the supermarket shelves to the table we're stuffing ourselves with fancy delicacies every single day with zero regard for sustainability or global nutrition or people who can't afford to eat properly, have some more cake darling
 
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