The Role of the Revolutionary Organisation
The Class Struggle
‘There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.’
– Warren Buffett, capitalist and the world’s wealthiest person in 2008
Before we start to look at the revolutionary organisation itself, we first need to explain what we mean when talking about class.
The term class is commonly used to describe a cultural identity that comes from a mixture of elements including family background, education, workplace history and access to/denial of different opportunities throughout life. This complex web of factors gives rise to different social labels (e.g. working class, lower middle class, etc.), each associated with different cultural markers – from the supermarket where someone shops through to the types of entertainment they enjoy. This is a sociological definition of class.
On the other hand, economic class defines a person based on their relationship to capital. The ruling class is made up of those who have their needs met through controlling the places where people work. They exploit us, the working class (including the unemployed and retired) who, in contrast, are forced to sell our labour in order to have our needs met. The money earned from working is always less than the amount of value we create. This system of exploitation is the basis of capitalist society. It is this definition of class that we will use in this pamphlet.
Our exploitation as the working class leads us to question the established order and struggle for a better life. Our experience of this class struggle develops into a class consciousness, but different sections of the working class may reach different degrees of consciousness at different times. On the other hand, the solidarity gained through common experience is undermined by the ruling class through the media, our education, and different forms of oppression. At the moment the working class is neither fully divided nor fully united, nor conscious of itself and its power.