Some Notes on Class in America

One can classify Americans as belonging to one of several economic classes, including the

  • Grand Bourgeoisie, who are able to live off their investments
  • The Petite Bourgeoisie, who have invested wealth but must work to maintain their life style
  • The Proletariat, who have no invested wealth, and must work to live
  • The Lumpenproletariat, criminals and rascals who are of no economic value.

Competition exists both between and within these classes.

Between-class and within-class competition exists to establish the terms of trade of these classes within society.

While everyday politics can do little to change the terms of trade between classes, it can greatly effect the terms-of-trade within classes.

For instance, the Petite Bourgeoisie in the United States is heavily white, but south asians and east asians are disproportionately represented within it. Nonetheless, all asians combined are still a small minority of the Petite, so the Petite Bourgeoisie  spends most of its efforts on economically pointless cultural conflict (gar marriage, and so on).

The Proletariat, is much more diverse. Both blacks and hispanics are disproportionately represented in the proletariat. Further, unlike the petite bourgeoisie (where whites are a long-running and stable majority), immigration patterns created by the federal government (“the executive committee of the bourgeoisie” have lead to blacks being displaced as the largest minority in general, and even the largest non-white constituent group of the proletariat, by hispanics.

Whites in America really have no idea how hard life can be for blacks. Whites, whose leadership springs firmly from the petite bourgeoisie, are basically secure in their positions. In order to understand the plight of their fellow citizens, it is perhaps wise to imagine a United States in which Asians were already the dominant ethnic group.

The art of deciding who gets what is called politics. While political cartels can form among nearly all players in well established political communities, the immense tide of hispanic immigration in recent years means that it is impossible for factions within the proletariat to form a cartel without hispanic hegemony within that class. In the absence of a well established political community, the tools that will be used are democracy and organized violence. Democracy is a useful tool of the popular and numerous. Organized violence is the useful tool of the weak and small.

The lynching of George Zimmerman — the hispanic involved in a fatal confrontation with Treyvon Martin — only makes sense in the context of intraclass struggle. Organized violence — such as the eldery man beaten by 6 youths, the police car attacked, the death threats against the Zimmerman household etc — are clearly part of a LIHOP run by Al Sharpton on others to use the only means left at their disposal to save what remains of their hegemony within the proletariat.

People are murdered every day in the United States. Nothing’s special about that. No one cares.

What is unusual is for anyone to care.

And people do care in the case of Mr. Zimmerman.

Because lynching a hispanic is way cheaper for the petite bourgeoisie than facing a campaign of organized violence.

White petite bourgeoisie were getting hurt. Lynch a hispanic proletarian, and it all goes away.

A good deal, no?

5 thoughts on “Some Notes on Class in America”

  1. “The Lumpenproletariat, criminals and rascals who are of no economic value.”

    First you are wrong that criminals and rascals are of no economic value.

    Then again, maybe you simply miss-defined Lumpenproletariat and you meant that Lumpenproletariat are those who have no economic value within this society, what ever that means.

    Under a capitalistic society everyone has worth, because a negative is just as powerful as a positive.

    I suppose as a communist this is something you would be inclined to debate.

    However, as a capitalist, of any worth, you should be able to understand that it is just as easy to take advantage of someone who rents as well as someone that owns. Owners are spatial oriented, while renter are velocity oriented.

    As we well know, capitalist are predators, someone who can take advantage of a stationary object as well as one in motion, something that Marx didn’t understand as a member of the academia.

    A predator uses terror (lynching) as a way, not a means to an end. In that context, no one wanted to lynch Zimmerman, as a way to the end. It is probably more accurate to say that some wanted to kill him, and deny God, while other just wanted him arrested.

    The means of capitalists within a society is to simply take control of an economy, which is not a matter of race.

  2. One problem with your hypothesis: Zimmerman doesn’t have a Spanish last name, doesn’t look stereotypically Hispanic and and wasn’t subjected (that I’ve noticed, at least) to an escalation of harassment as the details of his ancestry were advertised. Note that, while it is possible that whoever disseminated those details was motivated as you’ve described , it is also possible that it was disseminated by a supporter trying to argue for his non-racism by virtue of his ancestry; I don’t know how that news got out, so I couldn’t say.

    To whatever extent Rev. Sharpton and others have ulterior motives, I’m more inclined to look for perpetuation of older Black-White conflict narratives and regional rivalries between northern/urban lefties and southern/rural righties. To whatever extent anti-Hispanic prejudice exists amongst Black elites, I’d be inclined to look for it in anti-illegal immigration histeria.

  3. Hey Larry,

    It’s hard for me to understand your comment.

    You split a hair, arguing that ‘worth’ means either positive or negative worth, when that is not the normal meaning of the word.

    I don’t understand the second half of your comment at all.


    I’m not sure I agree with your comment. Some of it seems simply false (“wasn’t subjected (that I’ve noticed, at least) to an escalation of harassment” — his parents home address was tweeted and he was arrested for murder!). Others are exactly what you would expect if Sharpton et al are rational and want to emphasize that hispanics are weak. (Why provide hispanics a rallying point by picking on someone named, say, Jose Gonzales?).

    Except for the lumpenproletariat and scandlemongers, I doubt much violence comes from the political aspects of black-white conflict. It wouldn’t make sense from a power-transition stand-point. [1]


  4. A) I didn’t know about the tweets, Al Sharpton wasn’t the one who arrested him and that arrest and indictment was what they were ostensibly pushing for all along.

    B) To a certain extent, we’re both assuming a degree of rationality–it becomes harder to talk logically about motivations and resulting actions when the subject isn’t rational.

  5. Hey Michael,

    The tweets were a pretty big deal — even Spike Lee was involved in that imbroglio!

    I generally view those personally very successful, such as Al Sharpton, as being rational. But it’s in their strategic interest to look like fools to their adversaries..

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