H114 Meeting 16: What is Class?


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H114 Meeting 16: What is Class?

  2. 2. I. An Age of Ideologies II. The Industrial Revolution A. The Impulses for Industrialization 1. Natural resources: coal, iron ore, etc. 2. Transportation: canals, roads, rivers, etc. 3. Capital investment: by bourgeoisie and elite 4. New technologies: spinning jenny, flying shuttle, etc. 5. Markets: colonies all over the world 6. Cheap labor: more workers available b/c population boom
  3. 3. The turnpike road network in 1770. Source: Eric Pawson, Transport and Economy: The Turnpike Roads of Eighteenth-Century Britain (London: Academic Press, 1977)
  4. 4. I. An Age of Ideologies II. The Industrial Revolution A. The Impulses for Industrialization B. Society and Economy 1. The Putting Out System vs. The Factory System
  5. 5. The Putting Out System The Factory System (division of labor) Town Household Household Household Route of Merchant Household Household Household Factory
  6. 6. I. An Age of Ideologies II. The Industrial Revolution A. The Impulses for Industrialization B. Society and Economy 1. The Putting Out System vs. The Factory System 2. Cotton and Slavery
  7. 7. I. An Age of Ideologies II. The Industrial Revolution A. The Impulses for Industrialization B. Society and Economy C. Lives of Workers Back-to-back Houses in Mancheste
  8. 8. Friedrich Engels, Condition of the Working Class in England (1844) Right and left a multitude of covered passages lead from the main street into numerous courts, and he who turns in thither gets into a filth and disgusting grime, the equal of which is not to be found - especially in the courts which lead down to the Irk, and which contain unqualifiedly the most horrible dwellings which I have yet beheld. In one of these courts there stands directly at the entrance, at the end of the covered passage, a privy without a door, so dirty that the inhabitants can pass into and out of the court only by passing through foul pools of stagnant urine and excrement. This is the first court on the Irk above Ducie Bridge - in case any one should care to look into it. Below it on the river there are several tanneries which fill the whole neighbourhood with the stench of animal putrefaction. Below Ducie Bridge the only entrance to most of the houses is by means of narrow, dirty stairs and over heaps of refuse and filth. The first court below Ducie Bridge, known as Allen's Court, was in such a state at the time of the cholera that the sanitary police ordered it evacuated, swept, and disinfected with chloride of lime. Dr. Kay gives a terrible description of the state of this court at that time. Since then, it seems to have been partially torn away and rebuilt; at least looking down from Ducie Bridge, the passer-by sees several ruined walls and heaps of debris with some newer houses. The view from this bridge, mercifully concealed from mortals of small stature by a parapet as high as a man, is characteristic for the whole district. At the bottom flows, or rather stagnates, the Irk, a narrow, coal-black, foul-smelling stream, full of debris and refuse, which it deposits on the shallower right bank.In dry weather, a long string of the most disgusting, blackish- green, slime pools are left standing on this bank, from the depths of which bubbles of miasmatic gas constantly arise and give forth a stench unendurable even on the bridge forty or fifty feet above the surface of the stream. But besides this, the stream itself is checked every few paces by high weirs, behind which slime and refuse accumulate and rot in thick masses. Above the bridge are tanneries, bone mills, and gasworks, from which all drains and refuse find their way into the Irk, which receives further the contents of all the neighbouring sewers and privies.
  9. 9. I. An Age of Ideologies II. The Industrial Revolution A. The Impulses for Industrialization B. Society and Economy C. Lives of Workers D. Socialism 1.Utopian Socialism a.Henri de Saint-Simon (1760-1825) b.Charles Fourier (1772-1837) c.Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (1809-1865) d.Robert Owen (1771-1858) If I were asked to answer the following question: What is slavery? and I should answer in one word, It is murder!, my meaning would be understood at once. No extended argument would be required . . . Why, then, to this other question: What is property? may I not likewise answer, It is robbery!, without the certainty of being misunderstood; the second proposition being no other than a transformation of the first? Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, What is Property? (1840)
  10. 10. I. An Age of Ideologies II. The Industrial Revolution A. The Impulses for Industrialization B. Society and Economy C. Lives of Workers D. Socialism 1.Utopian Socialism 2.Feminism and Socialism I demand rights for women because I am convinced that all the ills of the world come from this forgetfulness and scorn that until now have been inflicted on the natural and imprescriptible rights of the female. I demand rights for women because that is the only way that their education will be attended to and because on the education of women depends that of men in general, and particularly of the men of the people. I demand rights for women because it is the only means of obtaining their rehabilitation in the eyes of the church, the law, and society, and because that preliminary rehabilitation is necessary if the workers themselves are to be rehabilitated. All the ills of the working class are summed up by these two words: poverty and ignorance, ignorance and poverty. But to get out of this labyrinth, I see only one way: to start by educating women, because women are entrusted with raising the children, male and female. Flora Tristan, l'Union Ouvriere (1843)
  11. 11. I. An Age of Ideologies II. The Industrial Revolution III. Class Consciousness “Class happens when some men, as a result of common experiences (inherited or shared), feel and articulate the identity of their interests between themselves, and as against other men whose interests are different from (and usually opposed to) their. The class experience is largely determined by the productive relations into which men are born – or enter involuntarily.” The Making of the English Working Class (1963 ), 8-9. E.P. Thompson
  12. 12. I. An Age of Ideologies II. The Industrial Revolution III. Class Consiousness IV. Karl Marx
  13. 13. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles. Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes. Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Communist Manifesto (1848)
  14. 14. Modern Industry has converted the little workshop of the patriarchal master into the great factory of the industrial capitalist. Masses of labourers, crowded into the factory, are organised like soldiers. As privates of the industrial army they are placed under the command of a perfect hierarchy of officers and sergeants. Not only are they slaves of the bourgeois class, and of the bourgeois State; they are daily and hourly enslaved by the machine, by the overlooker, and, above all, by the individual bourgeois manufacturer himself. The more openly this despotism proclaims gain to be its end and aim, the more petty, the more hateful and the more embittering it is. The less the skill and exertion of strength implied in manual labour, in other words, the more modern industry becomes developed, the more is the labour of men superseded by that of women. Differences of age and sex have no longer any distinctive social validity for the working class. All are instruments of labour, more or less expensive to use, according to their age and sex. No sooner is the exploitation of the labourer by the manufacturer, so far, at an end, that he receives his wages in cash, than he is set upon by the other portions of the bourgeoisie, the landlord, the shopkeeper, the pawnbroker, etc.
  15. 15. In this sense, the theory of the Communists may be summed up in the single sentence: Abolition of private property…. You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society…. It has been objected that upon the abolition of private property, all work will cease, and universal laziness will overtake us. According to this, bourgeois society ought long ago to have gone to the dogs through sheer idleness; for those of its members who work, acquire nothing, and those who acquire anything do not work.
  16. 16. We have seen above, that the first step in the revolution by the working class is to raise the proletariat to the position of ruling class to win the battle of democracy. The proletariat will use its political supremacy to wrest, by degree, all capital from the bourgeoisie, to centralise all instruments of production in the hands of the State, i.e., of the proletariat organised as the ruling class; and to increase the total productive forces as rapidly as possible. Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production.
  17. 17. History Prehistory Ancient Greece and Rome Medieval and Early Modern World Nineteenth Century Mode of Production (method for producing goods) Primitive Communism Slavery Feudalism Capitalism Communism Means of Production (i.e. the instruments/tools and subject/raw materials used to create something) Weapons,basic tools, etc. Animals, plows, etc. Animals, plows, etc. Machines, factory, etc. Machines, factory, etc. Forces of Production/Producti ve forces Hunting and gathering Advanced Agriculture (2-field) Complex Agriculture (3-field), Specialization in crafts Factory System, mechanization Factory System, mechanization Relations of Production (social relations) Classless society Master/Slave Lord/Vassal Bourgeois/Proletariat Classless society
  18. 18. Labor, Capital, and Alienation Human Behavior: determined by social context, particularly human labor (i.e. the ability to transform nature) Labor: is a social activity in humans. The process of labor is tied to human consciousness and self-actualization. The conditions of labor change over time. Thus, social relations, human behavior, and human consciousness is tied to transformations in labor. In Marx’s framework, the economy is the base upon which the social superstructure is grounded. Alienation: happens when humans (whether conscious of the fact or not) lose control over their own labor. Through selling their labor power through wage labor, the workers are alienated from their labor since the bourgeoisie owns the labor process. The workers lose their relationship to the products they create. Since, in Marx’s scheme, labor is a central feature of human self-actualization, workers become alienated from their individuality. At its most extreme, human relations begin to be seen as products of commodity exchange (i.e. the market) in a process that Marx calls commodity fetishism.