Read Karl Marx sometime. He explains this quite clearly. Sadly, a hell of a lot of people follow his ideology but don't understand the methods being used. Those people are also called "suckers".
Firstly it's painfully obvious you haven't read Marx. I mean PAINFULLY. It's clear you've read biased criticism of Marx, and likely sort of broken telephoned that on your way to this post into, well, I'm not sure what, but it's barely recognizable.
Yeah. Take the blinders off sometime and actually read and you might see otherwise. ;)
The Bourgeoisie aren't the middle class.
I didn't say they were. I said that the Bourgeoisie (the rich, but that's what I was talking about) were not the true enemy of a Communist movement. Note, I said "movement", not a communist state already in existence. To achieve the communist victory, first must be destroyed the old middle class (or even the concept of the middle class).
There really isn't anything in Marx about a middle class per se.
Except the parts where he specifically mentions the middle class. First, he talks about the process of how the proletariat gain the power they need to take control. Part of which is this:
The lower strata of the middle class — the small tradespeople, shopkeepers, and retired tradesmen generally, the handicraftsmen and peasants — all these sink gradually into the proletariat, partly because their diminutive capital does not suffice for the scale on which Modern Industry is carried on, and is swamped in the competition with the large capitalists, partly because their specialised skill is rendered worthless by new methods of production. Thus the proletariat is recruited from all classes of the population.
But this doesn't always happen:
The lower middle class, the small manufacturer, the shopkeeper, the artisan, the peasant, all these fight against the bourgeoisie, to save from extinction their existence as fractions of the middle class. They are therefore not revolutionary, but conservative. Nay more, they are reactionary, for they try to roll back the wheel of history. If by chance, they are revolutionary, they are only so in view of their impending transfer into the proletariat; they thus defend not their present, but their future interests, they desert their own standpoint to place themselves at that of the proletariat.
But for the movement to succeed and the grand future to be realized, they must be taken into the proletariat
. They must be shown that they are just cogs of the machine as well.
The “dangerous class”, [lumpenproletariat] the social scum, that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of the old society, may, here and there, be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue.
That paragraph directly follows the one before. He's talking about the middle class. And how some of them might not just become equally poor wage slaves like the rest, but instead cling to old ideas that they can achieve prosperity and rise above the proletariat. Of course, Marx sees this as those people taking greater money as bribes, but that's a subjective opinion.
In the modern context, the communist revolution as envisioned back then didn't happen. They were wrong. Opps! Wages did not flatten. The workers did not become extensions of the tools they wielded. There did not arise a massive and unified workforce, all equally oppressed. Instead, the middle class got bigger, wages for those not owners of the means of production became wider. And along the way, everyone's standard of living got better.
So instead of recognizing that they were wrong, the communists have instead embarked on a century long quest to force the conditions that Marx spoke of. Because before the glorious revolution can happen, they have to eliminate all the stuff in the way. And guess what? The modern middle class is in the way. The movement only works if they can easily divide the whole workforce into "rich and poor". But the sad reality (for them anyway) is that there's a whole range of folks in between. Thus, they become the enemy.
You're part of the Proletariat, you understand that right?
In Marx's vision of the world, I would become part of it, yes. But Marx's vision of the world didn't turn out to be true. Hence, the problem.
You don't control the means of production, you don't own anything. You produce value through work, and that value is returned to you in diminished form through your wages.
And this turned out to be 100 times better than anything Marx and Engel's could have dreamed possible. And that's a problem for modern communists (and to some degree socialists as well).
You seem to be confusing class with wealth. Wealth has nothing to do with class for Marx. A worker with a high incomes is still a worker. Someone with a smaller income, who does no labor, is sill part of the Bourgeoisie.
Yes. But Marx was wrong
. Get it? The reason he defined class as something having nothing to do with wealth was because he assumed that over time everyone who wasn't Bourgeoisie would become equally low paid as part of the Proletariat. That's the point of the whole thing. It's a reaction to a condition which Marx assumes will occur. In his world there will be no wealth held by anyone who isn't in control of the means of production. Period. So division by wealth isn't possible.
Clearly, that didn't happen though. The middle class didn't just hang on as bribed turncoats, oppressing their fellow workers. The middle class grew and thrived. And that's why they are the enemy of the modern communist movement. They must be eliminated for the Proletariat to grow, and for them to be angry enough to create the revolution Marx envisioned.
You read the words, but don't seem to understand what they mean:
You must, therefore, confess that by “individual” you mean no other person than the bourgeois, than the middle-class owner of property. This person must, indeed, be swept out of the way, and made impossible.
Here he's talking about the upper middle class, but still mentioning it. Well, actually, he's making a case for why elimination of private property is a good thing. Of course, it's good only in a circular fashion. If you eliminate it, then everyone becomes equally poor/rich/whatever, and the revolution can proceed. But you have to eliminate private ownership of property first. Remember that this is all a means to an end. A process by which some kind of utopian future will emerge.
Remember also that they were wrong. Not just a bit wrong, but completely horribly laughably wrong. Why anyone puts any stock in these nutty theories is beyond me. Honestly, there's no better proof of it than in this line:
In bourgeois society, living labour is but a means to increase accumulated labour. In Communist society, accumulated labour is but a means to widen, to enrich, to promote the existence of the labourer.
Best intentions and all that. But what actually happened is that those societies which embraced the Free Market resulted in widened and enriched lives for the workers. Those which embraced communism resulted in oppression and poverty for the workers. Marx was wrong. Period. When will people realize this and stop repeating any of the theories he espoused?
Marx writes about capitalism distorting the value of labor, that's the primary point of all of his work. Redistribution of wealth, and other derived tactics are attempts at solutions to the obvious unfairness of someone who does no labor profiting form the labor of others.
Sure. But he was wrong. Let's not forget that. His "solution" to the problem of unequal wealth was worse. Much much worse. It doesn't work. It has never worked. Even doing just partial amounts does harm with no benefit. It's a failed philosophy and should be tossed on the dust heap of history.
He does write about members of the Proletariat who are convinced they're part of the Bourgeoisie. I don't recall the term "sucker" being used, but it might be an acceptable translation. Malcolm X references a similar concept in the famous House @#%^/Field @#%^ speech. I bet you refer to the company you work for as "We" don't you?
I'm sure you congratulate yourself on convincing others to join up and fight for the cause of worker liberation, while you yourself are part of that middle class which benefits massively as a result of the free market. How oppressed do you feel Smash? Do you think you'd personally be better off if you were a member of a union working in a factory? So... it's equality for others, but not for you, right? Edited, Feb 7th 2012 3:05pm by gbaji