Anarchist Communist Federation
Review: Working Class Times
Working Class Times Volume 1 Issue 1
This four sided newsheet draws inspiration from the ideas of Andy Anderson, who used to be in Solidarity many years ago and wrote some good articles at that time. Since then, he’s developed a theory of the middle class as the real enemy. As the paper says “The middle class as a whole.... run everything” and “This economic system was created by the middle class for their financial benefit...”
But surely the expression “middle class” means that it is between two other classes- the working class(the mass of the population) and the ruling class. Working Class Times(WCT) confuses the class structure of this society. Those who own the wealth and land, the bosses, royalty, aristocracy, big land lords, big farmers etc. as well as those who politically administer capitalism-the top civil service, the government, the top echelons of the police, military and intelligence, the media barons and controllers, the judiciary etc. are the ruling class. To these could be added those who run the political party structures and the union bureaucrats. It is not the middle class as WCT says that “run the press...run the BBC, and all those who own and run the television companies” They are part of the ruling class.
There deserves to be a debate on the whole question of class, but it won’t be found here. WCT reduces everything to a blur. Of course there are people in between the working class and the ruling class, some of whom can be defined as middle class. There are groups of people like technicians, for example, who could be described as strata rather than a class (depending if they have administrative responsibilities) There is the petty bourgeoisie-small shopkeepers, etc. There is the mass of the police force, below the command structures, the prison officers, the lower ranks of the civil service, the mass of the armed forces, those who run the media, journalists and presenters for example. Some of these are highly paid, some are not. Some of these, like cops or soldiers, may have come from the working class. They are no longer working class, because of their position as agents of repression of the mass of the population. To say as WCT do that “ All who run the three armed forces, from the Minister of Defence down to the 2nd lieutenants, are middle class” removes the distinctions between say, a General (part of the ruling class) and a second lieutenant ( part of the command structure but at a much lower level). Yes, all of these are our enemy, but they are in different class positions. As I said, there deserves to be a debate. What about academics, university teachers, indeed teachers in general? Where precisely are they in a class society? Is a teacher really in the same class position, as ,say, the Minister of Education?