Thursday, 9 October 2008

Class act

. A couple of Lib Dem bloggers have been waxing lyrical on the subject of class the last couple of days. Charlotte Gore makes too many mistakes about the Marxist interpretation of class to list here so she is the lucky winner of a lengthy comment from yours truly. Forceful and moderate however takes a similar line to Charlotte; that what determines class is not economic or social relationships but how you are as an individual. Both suffer from an inability to explore any relationship between the general and specific or even acknowledge it maybe possible that general social laws can apply without understanding the place of individuals.

Forceful and moderate says;

The reason why meritocracy doesn't work is that the social problems of poverty are caused by some poor people being lazy and feckless. There is no reason for someone who cares about their future to smoke. There are not many reasons for them to eat junk-food daily.

However, there are plenty of lazy and feckless rich people too; there are also plenty of reasons to eat junk food and smoke which are not connected to material deprivation. So, yes sometimes people are lazy and feckless and that keeps them trapped in poverty but equally sometimes people are hardworking and meritocracy simply doesn't work. In general, as I say on Charlotte's blog capitalism is a system that is based on necessary social division and to say that inequality of incomes plays no role in social problems is wrong.

If it was true that class was purely down to 'culture and values' then a low income would necessarily restrict cultural access and to pretend somebody can change their social station *solely* by adapting their culture and values is patent nonsense. Scope for limited social mobility will always exist within capitalism but not on any large scale and that is the problem. As a system it needs an underclass and a working class and will necessary restrict most peoples opportunities.


Charlotte Gore said...

I'm driving you mad, aren't I? :)

Darrell G said...

Lol some would say there is no need for me to be driven mad :)

You are doing a good job of articulating alot of things i disagree with politically....not thats necessarily a bad thing...

Charlotte Gore said...

Ah well. I'm absolutely knackered now though :)

Darrell G said...

Lol oh dear...must be the virus :)