RE: [OPE] proletarianization and the economic crisis

Date: Sun Mar 08 2009 - 15:39:47 EDT

> This does not only force down real wages, but also, about one in four US

> owner-occupiers is then paying off a mortgage on a house that is worth

> less than they bought it for - one in ten mortgages are already delinquent

> or in foreclosure, and it is going to increase. All this creates more bad

> debts, write-offs and write-downs, it adds to fear and low confidence,

. which is sufficient to keep the whole downward spiral going, particularly

> given that foreign trade is also slumping, since other economies are

> likewise taking a nosedive. Out of that, you get a truly massive

> proletarianization process happening, and mass impoverishment.

Insofar as there will be an intensified trend towards proletarianization
during the crisis, are you referring to the driving of large numbers of
members of the "new middle class" [NMC] into the ranks of the proletariat?
(NB: The NMC has been said to consist of those "who do not own the
capital goods used in their own labor processes but who regularly do control
the labor of others" and includes managers and supervisors. Brokers and
real estate agents, though, might be thought of as being part of the NMC
even though they don't _directly_ control the labor of others. The NMC
could be said to contrast to the "old middle class" [OMC], often
referred by Marxists as the petty bourgeoisie, which "consists of
those who do own the capital goods used in their own labor processes
but who do not regularly control the labor of others; they
are self-employed or are small business employers". Definitions are
from Bowles, Edwards, Roosevelt, _Understanding Capitalism_,
3rd edition. )
In solidarity, Jerry

ope mailing list
Received on Sun Mar 8 15:46:52 2009

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Tue Mar 31 2009 - 00:00:03 EDT