Who Rules America?
Class Warfare in 2012. Ho, Ho, Ho
by Gary North
The media are filled with stories claiming that the Obama vs. Romney race is all about class warfare. I have my doubts. Here is why.
Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, in their then-anonymous tract, The Manifesto of the Communist Party (1848), began chapter 1 with these words: “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”
You would be hard-pressed to find any theory of history more wrong-headed than this one.
To prove their case, they should have defined “class.” They never did. In the unpublished third volume of Das Kapital, Marx wrote this: “The first question to he answered is this: What constitutes a class? – I see. The first question. This appears in Chapter 52. Three paragraphs later, the manuscript broke off.
This was written around 1865. He died in 1883. He never wrote another book. It appeared in 1895. Engels edited it. It would have helped if Marx had told us what a class is. In The Manifesto, he followed sentence one with this:
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.
I see. And what of these conflicts: racial, religious, linguistic, tribal, and geographical? Nothing to them, Marx said. Illusions. They are nothing more than conflicts over the social superstructure. The mode of production: that is what counts. Always. Just find out the answer to this: Who owns the tools of production? Then you will be able to know who the players are in world history.