[OPE-L:2587] Re: Re: Re: class demarcation

From: Ernesto Screpanti (screpanti@unisi.it)
Date: Wed Mar 22 2000 - 06:27:43 EST

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At 10.36 16/03/00 +0000, you wrote:
>----- 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.
Perfectly agreed. I have nothing to add.

Ernesto Screpanti
Dipartimento di Economia Politica
Piazza S. Francesco 1
53100 Siena
tel: 0577 232784
fax: 0577 232661

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