According to a new report by the Centre for Economic and Policy Research, the ruling class’s tactics of intimidating poor people of color and dividing the working class are about to die.
One of the most common objections to socialism is that the working class is too bound to itself and too divided to play the revolutionary role that Karl Marx envisioned. In truth, the history of working-class movements confirms the validity of Marx’s theory of class struggle. The melody sees the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 as an example of a working-class and even of the peasantry sharpening the political consciousness for the overthrow of the ruling class, but in reality, it points to a much more fundamental problem: the functioning of state power and of the capitalist state itself. It may not be possible to monopolize the capitalists or the state for its own purposes, but its actions can restrict and disorganize the ruling class, making it easier to be controlled by those in power, such as the military, the police, and the military-industrial complex.
At the same time, the working class structure then lends itself to the development of class consciousness, and socialists and other militant workers play a crucial role in forging a policy of solidarity and helping the class itself get out of itself. As Marx and Engels explained, by enlarging the working class, capitalism has created a gravedigger for its own system, which it is forced to do because wage labor is the source of its profits. The interests of a movement as a whole cannot be represented in the struggle between the working class and the bourgeoisie, even if it passes through the struggles of both.
The state enacts laws that justify, legitimize and minimize the exploitation and oppression of the working class, even to the point of criminality. The ruling class then turns against them, increases their crimes, and blames them for the social problems caused by these crimes. We cannot have an exploited working class – a class exploited by the capitalist class and an exploitative capitalist class. This applies to the US as well as to other capitalist-dominated countries such as China, India, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines.
It is time for the ruling class to recognize that, despite differences, the working class and whites ultimately have more in common than the rich elites of color. The white working class is made the scapegoat for regressive policies, and the working class of color is ignored. This is to perpetuate the myth that racism is produced not by the ruling class, but by the white working class.
The fact that black workers show solidarity with them, not the other way around, shows that white workers see themselves as working class. Better workers have more in common with what is called the “petty bourgeoisie” than with the working class, and the better workers share more with their colleagues than the petty bourgeoisie.
Marx and Engels observed that the idea of the ruling class is an epoch of ruling ideas. The class capable of dominating society’s material forces is the intellectual force that governs society. Other modes of production lead to different ruling classes, just as feudalism and slavery, in which there are feudal lords as well as slave owners, are different forms of capitalism.
The ruling class includes non-capitalists but is considerably smaller than the entire capitalist class. This class division should be identified with the corporate elite of the capitalist classes, which make up only 2 percent. In this sense Marx distinguished the working class as a class in itself, defined by a common relation to the means of production and organized around its workers. In the class structure of the nineteenth century, we had basically two classes of workers – class workers: the “working class” and the ruling classes.
The ruling class is the social class in a given society that determines the rules of the economy, the laws of society, and the norms of its society. In a capitalist society, the ruling classes propagate their own ideology and values as the norm for society as a whole; they are the class that controls the state and possesses the means of production and all other social and political power. Marxists argued that religion has a different function in the working class: its religion legitimizes its own ideas and values, while in the afterlife, those who accept it are offered hope and reward. The working class accepts these ideas or values in capitalist societies, but their religion does not.
A racialization is thus a tool to create a multi-ethnic working class and to create differences that undermine the self-absorbed, brain-saturated dogma of the “working class.” It is an attempt by the ruling class to destroy working-class solidarity and undermine pre-existing cultures. The working class of the US, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America is more or less educated, but its beliefs and values are the results of its own ideology and dogma.