[World History Archives]

Social class in theory and in world history

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   World social history in general

Social class in in theory

Dirty Truths: Interview with Michael Parenti
By Husayn Al-Kurdi, 15 Nov 1999. Re. the "ABC" theorists, "Anything But Class". They'll tell you that culture is important, group identity politics is important, personal psychology is important-- anything but class. They announce that Marxism and class issues are dead at the very time when class power is augmenting itself, intensifying and showing a greater brutality than ever.

A dialog concerning class as process

Class as process (initial proposition)
By Haines Brown, 31 December 2000. Haines Brown puts foward a simple proposition regarding the definition of social class as a process as a consequence of a relation of production.
Class as process (Chris Burford's initial response)
By Chris Burford, 4 Jan 2001. Burford finds the focus on emergent properties suggestive but perhaps problematical, particularly as Brown applies it to the labor theory of value and suggests a possible relation with Marxism.
Class as process (Haines Brown's reply to Burford's intial comments)
By Haines Brown, 6 January 2001. He elaborates upon emergence and its role in contradictory processes and in a Marxist notion of surplus value to define a link between thermodynamics and Marxism. Some speculation on the history of the labor theory of value.
Class as process (Burford's second comment)
By Chris Burford, 7 Jan 2001. Objects that Brown's discussion of the labor theory of value is too abstract, and the historical specifics must be kept in mind. While the notion of class as process is appealing, Brown's articulation of it is adventurous.
Class as process (Brown reponsed to Burford's second comment)
By Haines Brown, 8 Jan 2001. Brown discusses the notion of emergent properties in historical perspective and suggests that the modern novelty consists in a naturalistic rather than supernaturalistic explanation of emergence. He outlines the steps leading from the concept of an emergent process to a definition of contradiction, and then a pair of contradictions that characterize the history of class society.