[Marxism] A forwarded message on class

Sayan Bhattacharyya ok.president+marxmail at gmail.com
Sat Dec 16 20:55:37 MST 2006

On 12/7/06, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:

(Mike Friedman sent this to the list, but he neglected to clip the
> rest of the digest that Joaquin's message appeared in. It bounced to
> the moderators. Reminder also not to put the names or initials of
> subscribers in the subject heading, please.)
> He (Joaquin?) actually didn't "throw out a judgement that social
> distinctions such as race and gender are more important or real than
> class," but merely that race and gender "trump" class in our social
> formation in terms of impeding the development of class consciousness on
> the part of the bulk of white working people. In that sense (that of E.P.
> Thompson), the working class in this country doesn't exist as such.

Incidentally, Laclau and Zizek are having an debate about  class on the
pages of _Critical Inquiry_. From  Laclau's article  (in the Summer 2006)

"[image: Ž]i[image: ž]ek starts by saying that I prefer
populism to class struggle (see p. 554). This is a rather nonsensical
way of presenting
the argument. It suggests that populism and class struggle are two entities
actually existing in the world, between which one would have to choose, such
as when one chooses to belong to a political party or to a football club.
The actual fact is that my notion of the people and the classical Marxist
conception of class struggle are two different ways of conceiving the
construction of social identities, so that if one is correct the other has
to be dismissed—or, rather, reabsorbed and redefined in terms of the
alternative view. [...] "

    -- from "Why Constructing a People Is the Main Task of Radical Politics"

        Ernesto Laclau


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