[OPE-L:2529] Re: Re: class demarcation

From: clyder (wpc@dcs.gla.ac.uk)
Date: Thu Mar 16 2000 - 05:36:10 EST

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----- Original Message -----
From: John Holloway <104164.2012@compuserve.com>
> Dear Ernesto, dear Jerry,
> Why do you want a criterion for the demarcation of class? Why
> should we want to define class? Is it not capital that defines class? Is
> our struggle not to liberate ourselves from definition?
There seems a slide here from the notion of definition which is a
matter concerned with the use of words, to matters of substance
that exist independent of the words used to describe them.

The existence of classes is a reality, caused in part by the existence
of capitalist property relations. The communist movement has
struggled to overturn these class inequalities, but its struggle
was not over definitions but about the realities of wealth and

The reason why definitions are important is that the words that
we use enable us to communicate things to other people. The
key point in having a clear definition of classes comes down to
the fact that actions are taken on the basis of these definitions.
The question of class definition comes down then to who are our
friends and who are our enemies, with whom does the communist
party ally and who does it fight. A clear definition has had to
be part of the party line in order that separate detachments can
follow a consistent policy across the country.

The clearest example of this is Mao's 'Analysis of the Classes in
Chinese Society', which provided the guiding definitions for the
policy of alliances during the civil war.

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