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IN

MODERN SOOETY

CLASSES in

MODERN

SOCIETY

T. B. Bottoinore Department of

Political Science, Sociology

and

Anthropology, Simon Fraser University, Canada

CLASSES in

MODERN

SOCIETY

VINTAGE BOOKS A

Division of

Random llotise

New York

© Copyright,

1966, by T. B. Bottomore

All rights reserved under and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. Published in London, England, by George Allen b- Unwin Ltd. ® 1965, by George Allen ir Unwin Ltd.

International

MANUFACTURED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Contents

I

n

3

Introduction

The Nature

of Social Class

in

Classes in the Industrial Societies

IV

Social Class, Politics Postscript to the

and Culture

American Edition

9 36 76 101

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

113

INDEX

119

1

CLASSES in

MODERN

SOCIETY

I

INTRODUCTION

HE

DIVISION of society into classes or strata,

which

are ranged in a hierarchy of wealth, prestige and power,

a prominent and almost universal feature of social structure which has always attracted the attention of

is

and philosophers. During the greater part of human history this inequality among men has been generally accepted as an unalterable fact. Ancient and

social theorists

medieval writers, when they touched upon the subject of the social hierarchy, always tended to provide a rationalization

and

justification of the established order,

very often in terms of a rehgious doctrine concerning the origin of social ranks. This is most apparent, perhaps, in the

Hindu

religious

of the caste system.

On

myths about the formation

the other side, the sporadic [3]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY rebellions of the poor

and oppressed were usually

than

volts against particularly irksome conditions rather

against the whole system of ranks,

re-

and they did not

give rise to any clear conceptions of an alternative

form of

society.

Only

in

modem

and

times,

particularly since the

American and French Revolutions, has

embodiment

a stark

become an

social class, as

of the principle of inequahty,

object of scientific study,

and

at the

time of widespread condemnation in terms of doctrines.

variously

new social

The revolutionary ideal of equahty, however interpreted by nineteenth-century it was an opposition to hereditary

thinkers, at least implied

privileges

same

and

to an inunutable hierarchy of ranks.

The

and the early nineteenth century, directed against the legal and poht-

revolutions of the late eighteenth century

ical privileges

estates,

rights

But

which survived from the system of feudal

brought about an extension of

and a greater degree

at the

civil

and poUtical

of equality of opportunity.

same time they created a new

social hier-

upon the possession

of wealth,

archy, based directly

came to be attacked during the nineteenth century by socialist thinkers who beheved that and

this in

turn

the ideal of equality ultimately implied a "classless society."

During the past hundred years great changes have taken place in the social structure of the advanced industrial countries.

The history

in part as a record of the

spheres of social

life,

or as

of this period can

be seen

growth of equahty in new

some

[4]

writers have expressed

Introduction it,

of the growth of citizenship.^ Laissez-faire capitalism

—and especially the doctrine of

laissez faire, which was more extreme than the practice has more or less vanished; and in all the industrial countries there is some degree of central economic planning, some at-



far

tempt to regulate the distribution of wealth and income,

and a more or

less

elaborate public provision of a wide

range of social services. But there are important differences between the two principal types of industrial

Western capitahst

the

societies,

societies^

and the

Soviet-type societies of Eastern Europe. In the former, there has been a gradual and limited "classlessness,*'

marked

which

is

usually held to be especially



two decades the era of the Weland which has resulted from changes in

in the past



fare State

movement towards

the relative earnings of different occupational groups

and

in rates of taxation,

improvements

in education

and

social services, increasing opportunities for individual ^ See especially T. H. Marshall, Citizenship and Social Class ( London, 1950). *I use the terms "capitalism" and "capitalist society" as they are habitually used by economic historians and sociologists, to refer to an

economic and period, which

social

system existing dxiring a particular historical

characterized principally

by freedom of the market, and economically compelled to sell their labour power on the market), and private ownership of the means of production by industrial enterprises. These, free labour

(

is

i.e.

individuals

who

are legally free

together with secondary characteristics, make it possible to distinguish with reasonable clarity between capitalism and other types of society, such as feudalism or socialist society. This is not to say, however, that actual capitalist societies have remained unchanged since their origins, that there are not subtypes of capitalism, or that mixed and transitional

forms of society cannot occiu. Some of these problems will be discussed more fully later in this book.

[5]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY social mobility,

and perhaps most of

all,

from the recent

rapid growth in total national income. These changes will is

be examined more closely

clear at once that they

of social classes. italist,

in a later chapter,

do not amount

The Western

in the sense that their

but

it

to an abolition

societies are

still

cap-

economic systems are

dominated by privately owned industrial enterprises

and that very pronounced tween the group of

social differences exist be-

industrial property-owners

and the

group of wage-earners. In the Soviet-type societies, on the other hand, the

claim

is

made

that social classes, or at least the hier-

archical class structure, tion of private

and is

have disappeared with the

aboli-

ownership of the means of production;

that the construction of a classless, socialist society

under way. This claim was not

examined, even by the

critics of

at first very closely

Soviet society,

who

concentrated their attention, during the Stalinist period,

upon more blatant

featiu-es of the social

repression of personal freedom

coercion and terror. Indeed,

it

system

—the

and the prevalence of

seems to have been quite

widely held at one time that the political dictatorship itself

could be explained

tween

liberty



in terms of

and equality

—as

an antithesis be-

a consequence of the

attempt to enforce an unnatural equality of condition

upon the members implausible

when

of society.

it

But

this

was seen

and

studies the discussion has centred

the emergence of a

be

was reahzed that there were great

social inequalities in the Soviet- type societies;

more recent

to

"new

in

upon

ruling class" in tliese societies,

[6]

Introduction

and upon comparisons between the

characteristics of

ehte groups in the Western and Soviet societies. It is

the

how

the main purpose of this book to consider

movement towards

equaHty which began

social

with the eighteenth-century revolutions has affected the social hierarchy in the industrial societies, and how,

has been influenced by the development of

in turn,

it

modem

industry. This calls, in the

inquiry into the nature of

place, for

an

social classes.

It

first

modem

requires, secondly, a comparative study of the changes

which have occurred

in social stratification

principal types of industrial society,

explain these changes. Lasdy, tion Is

between the ideas

it

two

and an attempt

to

involves a confronta-

of equality

equahty an attainable ideal

in the

and

social hierarchy.

in the circumstances of

a complex industrial society?

And

what

conversely,

kinds and degrees of inequality are inescapable, tolerable, or

even desirable, in such a society?

The inequalities as identical

with

of social class should not

human

be regarded

inequality in general. There

are other forms of inequality, other kinds of privilege

and domination, besides those which ences of social

may be

class.

arise

Within particular

from

differ-

societies there

inequalities originating in differences of race,

language or religion; and between societies there inequalities such as those so evident today

and poor

nations,

of differences in

rich

which are the outcome of conquest, size and natural resources, and of

specific historical opportunities political rights

between

exist

and

failures.

Nor are

always determined by class membership, [7]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY as Marxists sometimes assert. Political

create

power

itself

may

new social classes, new property rights, new priv-

ileges.

It

remains true, none the

less,

society into distinct social classes striking manifestations

world, that

it

that the division of is

one of the most

of inequality in the

modem

has often been the source of other kinds

and that the economic dominance of a particular class has very often been the basis for its of inequality,

pohtical rule. Class, therefore,

many

of the

most

is

vital questions of

social poHcy.

[8]

deeply involved in

modem poHtics and

n THE NATURE OF SOCIAL CLASS

JLhere

IS

still

much

controversy

about the theory of social social stratification.

The

class,

latter

among

sociologists

and more broadly, of

term

may be used to refer

to any hierarchical ordering of social groups or strata in

a society; and sociologists have generally distinguished its

principal forms as being those of caste, estate, social

Each of these types of social stratification is complex, and there are many unsettled questions about the basis and characteristics of castes and estates, just as there are about classes and status

class,

and

status group.

groups^ even though the former are more easily defined,

and

their boundaries

m.re

clearly distinguishable, in

See, for an excellent review of recent studies of caste, Srinivas et al., "Caste," Current Sociology, VIII (3) 1959; and social hierarchy in feudal societies. Marc Bloch, Feudal Society 1

lish trans.,

Chicago, 1961), Part VI.

[9]

M. N. on the (Eng-

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY most

cases. In spite of these diflBculties, there are

some

general features of social stratification which are not in dispute.

In the

first

place, a system of ranks does not

some natural and

of

human

invariable order of things, but

contrivance or product, and

cal changes.

More

inequalities,

on one

form part

is

differences

a

subject to histori-

particularly, natural or biological side,

and the

distinctions of social

rank on the other, belong to two distinct orders of

The

is

were pointed out very

clearly

fact.

by Rous-

seau in a well-known passage: "I conceive that there are

two kinds which

by

of inequality

I call

nature,

among

the

human

natural or physical, because

and

species; one,

it is

established

consists in a difference of age, health,

mind

bodily strength, and the qualities of the

or of the

and another, which may be called moral or

soul;

cal inequality,

and

tion,

is

because

it

politi-

depends on a kind of conven-

established, or at least authorized,

by the

consent of men. This latter consists of the different privileges,

which some men enjoy

such as that of being more

to the prejudice of others;

rich,

more honoured, more

powerful, or even in a position to exact obedience.**^

The

distinction has

writers on social class.

been recognized by most modern

Thus

T. H. Marshall has observed

that "the institution of class teaches the society to notice

when

some

differences

and

members

to ignore others

arranging persons in order of social merit."^

might be argued, however, while accepting 2 J.

J.

of a

Rousseau,

A

Dissertation on the Origin

It

this distinc-

and Foundation of

the Inequality of Mankind, Everyman edition, p. 160. 3 T. H. Marshall, "The Nature of Class Conflict" in Citizenship and Social Class (London, 1950), p. 115.

[10]

The Nature tion, that the social-class

such a

correspondence between

a rough

modem

system in

societies does actually operate in

of Social Class

way

capitalist

as to ensure

hierarchy

the

of

natural abilities and the socially recognized distinctions

Such arguments have often been put forward/

of rank.

but they are not well supported by the ally

facts. It is

admitted that the inequality of incomes

is

gener-

one im-

portant element in the class hierarchy. But numerous investigations have established that the inequality of

incomes depends very largely upon the unequal property through inheritance,

tribution

of

primarily

upon the

dis-

and not

income which

differences in earned

might be supposed to have some connection with natural, or innate, tional

abilities.**

and occupational

Modem

studies of educa-

selection underline this lack of

correspondence between the hierarchies of ability and of social position, inasmuch as they tellectual ability, for example,

is

make

by no means always

rewarded with high income or high

social status, nor

lack of ability with the opposite. Indeed,

more accurate description say that

it

clear that in-

it

would be a

of the social-class system to

operates, largely through the inheritance of

property, to ensure that each individual maintains a certain social position, determined

by

his birth

and

ir-

respective of his particular abilities. This state of affairs is

only mitigated, not abolished, by various social in-

fluences

which we

shall consider later.

* They are to be found especially in the elite theories of Pareto and Motca which I have criticized in my Elites and Society (New York,

1965). * See, for instance,

of Incomes in

Modem

Hugh

Dalton,

Societies

(New

[i]

Some Aspects York, 1920).

of the Inequality

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY

A

second point of general agreement

with castes or feudal

classes, in contrast

is

that social

estates, are

more

They are not constituted or supported by any specific legal or rehgious rules, and membership in a particular class confers upon the individual no special civil or political rights. It foUows exclusively economic groups.

from

this that the

precisely defined.

boundaries of social classes are

The

less

principal classes, the bourgeoisie

may be fairly easily identifiable in most societies, but there are many intermediate strata, and the working

class,

conveniently referred to as the "middle

classes,**

boimdaries of which are

exacdy, and

membership

in

difficult to state

which cannot be determined

in

the

any

simple fashion.

Furthermore, classes

is

the

membership of

The

ular social class, just as

level in

individual

he

is

bom

is

born into a partic-

into a caste or estate,

somewhat less Hkely to remain at the social which he was born than is the individual in a

is

caste or estate society.

Within

individual, or his family,

may

hierarchy. If he rises, he needs

his

own

lifetime

an

rise or fall in the social

no patent

of nobihty,

no

new

status.

be enough for him to be wealthy, to have a

partic-

kind of It will

social

usually less stable than that of other types of

hierarchical group.

but he

modem

official

ular economic

recognition, to confirm his

and occupational

role,

and perhaps to

acquire some of the secondary cultural characteristics of the social stratum into

which he has moved.

Although the economic basis of vious, the fact

may be

social classes

is

ob-

interpreted in various ways.

The Nature which give

widely differing views of the

rise to

cance of classes in social

tween

classes. It will

life

and

signifi-

of the relations be-

be useful to begin by examining

Marx's interpretation, because

economic basis of

of Social Class

it

affirms so strongly the

and the antagonistic

classes

between them, and because a

critical

relations

study of Marx's

conception will reveal most of the vital problems concerning the nature of social classes.

Marx never

set

down

his theory of class,

a

full

although

and systematic account it

may

of

reasonably be said

(as Lenin remarked) that everything he wrote

was

in

some way concerned with the question of class. The point at which Marx began a connected exposition of his theory is just where the manuscript of the third volume of Capital breaks off unfinished, after one page in which he had his

set out

own

difficulties

Marx

theory. In fact,

when he began

adopted a no-

all

historians

his sociological inquiries,

he was then largely concerned wider framework of it

this himself

due

to

modem

me

this

notion into the

and

to

capitalism.

He

indicated

wrote, in an early letter, "no credit

for discovering the existence of classes in

society,

nor yet the struggle between them.

Long before me bourgeois historical

fit

and

development of one particular

namely nrtodem

when he

to

his theory of social change,

in analysing the

social system,

is

of

social theorists (including the early socialists) at

the time

use

first

which confronted

which was widely employed by

tion of class

and

mainly the

development of

historians

had described the

this struggle of the classes

and bourgeois economists the economic anatomy of the

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY Marx went on to explain his own contribution as having been to show that the existence of classes is bound up with particular historical phases in the declasses/'®

velopment of production, and that the in the

conflict of classes

modem capitahst societies will lead to the victory

of the working class

and

to the inauguration of a class-

less, socialist society.

The

distinctive features of Marx's theory are, there-

fore, the

conception of social classes in terms of the

system of production, and the idea of social develop-

ment through

new

class conflict

which

is

to culminate in a

Marx saw

type of society without classes. As

"the whole of

what

the creation of

produces

(

is

man

called world history

by human

himself

and reproduces ) himself

is

it,

nothing but

labour."^

in a physical

Man

and

a cultural sense. "In the social production which

in

men

carry on, they enter into definite relations that are

indispensable and independent of their will; these relations of production correspond to a definite stage of

development of their material powers of production.

The

totality of these relations of

production constitutes

the economic structure of society

upon which to

which

spond.

legal

and

—the

real foundation

political superstructures arise

and

definite forms of social consciousness corre-

The mode

of production of material life deter-

mines the general character of the

social, political

and

spiritual processes of life."® 6 Letter to J.

Weydemeyer, March

5,

1852.

"^Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts (1844). ®

Contribution to the Critique of Political

[14]

Economy

/

(

1859 ) Preface. .

The Nature Social classes originated with the

of Social Class

first

historical ex-

pansion of productive forces beyond the level needed for

mere

subsistence, involving the extension of the

division of labour outside the family, the accumulation

of surplus wealth,

and the emergence of private owner-

ship of economic resources. Thereafter,

it is

relations of individuals to the privately

ments of production which form the stitution of social classes.

the differing

owned

instru-

basis for the con-

Marx distinguished

several

important epochs, or major forms of social structure, in the history of mankind. In the preface to his Contribution to the Critique of Political

Economy he

broad outline we can designate the the feudal, and the

Asiatic, the ancient,

modem bourgeois modes

tion as epochs in the progress of the

of society.** Elsewhere, he

writes: "In

of produc-

economic formation

and Engels

refer to primitive

communism, ancient society (slavery), feudal society (serfdom), and modem capitalism (wage labour) as the principal historical forms of society. Marx's refer-

ences to the Asiatic type of society are especially interesting because this lies outside the line of development

of the

Western

societies,

and

also

because he seems to

accept the possibility that in this case a ruling class

might be formed by the high administration.® But this later

oflBcials

who

control the

theme was not pursued

in his

work.

•See, on

this question,

"Marx and the

'Asiatic

the interesting essay by George Lichtheim,

Mode

of Production,' " Far Eastern Affairs, No.

111., 1963). See also Marx's observations on pre-capitalist societies, taken from his preparatory manuscripts for Capital, in Karl Marx, P re-Capitalist Eco-

3

(St.

Anthony's Papers No. 14; Carbondale,

[•5]

— CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY The historical changes from one type of society to another are brought about by class struggles and by the victory of one class over others. Class conflict itself re-

the incompatibihty between difi^erent

flects

modes

of

production; and the victory of a particular class, as well as

its

subsequent reorganization of society,

is

conditional

upon the emergence of a new and superior mode of production, which it is the interest of this class to establish as

dominant. In Marx's words: "No social order ever

disappears before there

room

is

in

the productive forces for which

all

have been developed; and new,

it

higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions of their existence have matured in

womb

the

of the old society

Marx was

not,

however, expounding a simple theory

of technological or

economic determinism.

of history: "It

is

a means of achieving son

its

On

the con-

he asserted in his criticism of Hegel's philos-

trary, as

ophy

.''^®

own

not

—as

if it

ends. History

iwmic Formations, edited by E.

Hobsbawm,

liistory'

J.

is

which uses men as

were an individual pernothing but the activity

Hobsbawm (Los

in his introduction, argues that these texts

was not attempting

Angeles, 1963).

show

to set out a general evolutionary

that

Marx

scheme; but

it may be accepted that Marx was not an evolutionist in the grand manner of Comte or Spencer, it is to exaggerate in the opposite direction to claim that he had no evolutionary scheme at all in mind. There are several problems which Marx failed to resolve clearly in his writings; and one of them is precisely the question whether the transition from feudalism to capitalism, and the develpment of capitalist society, were to be regarded as special cases, or whether, and in what manner, they could be incorporated in a general account of the development of human society from its beginnings.

while

*o

Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy. Preface.

[16]

The Nature of

men

strongly

in (

pursuit of their ends."

and his own

intellectual

and aims, and upon the organization, as well as

This

tion.

is

its

Marx held very

and pohtical

would otherwise have been absurd ) a rising class depends upon

of Social Class

that the victory of

awareness of

effectiveness of

upon

its

activities

its

situation

its

political

actual economic posi-

especially the case with the working class

in capitalist society,

and Marx discussed on

several oc-

casions the factors

which might influence the develop-

ment

consciousness and of

of

its

class

pohtical

its

The Poverty of Philosophy, for example, he examines at some length the development of the working class, and adds some critical remarks on the maturity. In

lack of empirical studies devoted to this most significant social

movement:

"

Many

researches have been under-

taken to trace the historical stages through which the bourgeoisie passed, from the tution as a class.

But when

commune up

it is

to

its

consti-

a question of gaining a

clear understanding of the strikes, combinations,

and

other forms in which the proletarians are achieving,

before our eyes, their organization as a class, some are seized with genuine fear, while others display a trans-

cendental dis dain. "

It is

one of the most important fea-

tures of Marx's theory of class, therefore, that to take account of the interplay

between the

it

attempts

real situa-

tion of individuals in the process of production, side,

tion

on one

and the conceptions which they form of their situaand of the lines of social and pohtical action which

are open to them, on the other;

" The

Holy Family

(

1845).

[17]

and

in its

apphcation to

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY

modem societies the theory allows a very great influence to

ideas

working

and class

Marx*s conviction that the

doctrines.

would be

victorious within a relatively

short space of time in its struggle against the bourgeoisie

was founded large-scale

upon

largely

modem

his conclusion that

production would be extremely

factory

favourable to the development of class consciousness, to the diffusion of sociahst ideas, and to the organization of a political

movement.

Like other nineteenth-century thinkers

who

contrib-

uted to the foundation of sociology, Marx was partic-

concemed to development of modern ularly

do so largely

to it

was

own

its

and

origins

and he chose England because

capitalist society,



to others, as

future." In

the

in a single coimtry

at that time the

showing

investigate



most advanced industrial coimtry,

Marx claimed,

apphcation to

"the image of their

this

English society

of the mid-nineteenth century Marx's theory

was

ex-

tremely convincing. The course of industrial develop-

ment seemed to confirm the thesis that society was becoming more clearly divided into two principal classes,

a small class of increasingly wealthy capitalists

and a growing mass

and impoverished wage-eamers; and that the social gulf between them was widening

of propertyless

as a result of the decline of the

middle classes

by which Marx meant the small independent producers and independent professional men), whose members (

were being transformed into dependent employees. At the same time, the rise of the labour movement (of trade unions, co-operatives,

and sociahst

political parties

the outbreak of revolutionary conflicts

Ii8]

all

)

and

over Europe,

The Nature

of Social Class

eviespeciaUy in the years preceding 1848, provided Marx's prediction of a growth of class con-

dence

for

sciousness in the working class, and

new

social doctrines

and new forms

its

expression in

of poUtical organ-

ization.

been the For the past eighty years Marx's theory has tenacious defence. object of unrelenting criticism and of principal These have concerned themselves with three which the theory. First, there is the criticism

aspects of

assigned to social questions the pre-eminence that Marx the major historiclasses and class conflicts in explaining cal changes in

cupation with

human

society.

As a

class, it is said,

result of his preoc-

Marx neglected other

particular those important social relationships, and in This bind men together in national communities.

which

in two ways. It led distorted his account of social change of nationalism and to underestimate the influence

him

of conflict

between nations

in

human

history;

an excus-

century, when able error, perhaps, in the mid-nineteenth that Spencer, for example, both considered

Comte and

from human warfare was likely to disappear altogether and imperialist sentiaffairs. The growth of nationahst nineteenth century ments during the latter part of the own theory, a particular problem for Marx's constitutes

of can be interpreted as a diffusion remains as to why such ruling-class ideas the question a large sentiments were able to influence such

for although

ideas

it

and

when the working-class part of the population at a time when Marxist movement was growing vigorously and doctrines were

Marx

aheady widely known.

another aspect of the also took little account of

[19]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY growing sense of national community in the European nations,

ment tury

which restrained and moderated the develop-

of class antagonisms. In the mid-nineteenth cen-

it

was easy to distinguish the "two nations" within

each society; one of them participating tively in,

and

directing, national

aflFairs,

fully

and

ac-

while the other

raw material of policy. It was easy, too, to discern the massive movement of revolt which was taking shape among the members of this submerged and oppressed "nation.** Yet even in Marx's lifetime there had begim the extension of poUtical and social rights to new groups in the population, which has continued more rapidly in the twentieth century, and which has altered the relations between classes. New moral and social conceptions which emphasize common human interests within the nation, and the idea of "citizenship,** constituted only the

have been in part a cause, in part a consequence, of these changes.

The

failure of class antagonisms in the industrial

countries to attain that degree of intensity

had

which Marx

was shown most dramatically in 1914, when the European sociaUst parties, many of them anticipated,

Marxist in doctrine, supported almost imanimously the

war waged by their own governments. The same phenomenon is, however, revealed in a less dramatic way by the changes in working-class politics during the twentieth century

from revolutionary to reformist ideas and

actions. In this process,

it

may be

claimed, the social

bond of nationahty has proved more effective a commimity than has that of class. [20]

in creating

The Nature

of Social Class

A second theme in the criticisni of Marx has been that although his theory

class relations in

ena of

does not

fit

reasonably well the phenom-

modem

so well, nor has

in explaining, a tion.

fits

There

it

capitahst societies,

it

been used so successfully

number of other types

of social stratifica-

are, in fact, in Marx's theory,

two

distinct

difficulty.^ uses of the term "class" which illustrate this Very often— as in the famous opening passage of the

Communist Manifesto, which all

hitherto existing society

begins: 'The history of is

the history of class

struggles"—Marx employs the term "class" to refer to the

major

social

groups—oppressors and oppressed—which

human

of are in conflict with each other in every type

society

beyond the most

recognizes the distinctive features of

Marx

social classes. In class

primitive. Elsewhere, however,

The German Ideology, he

modem

contrasts

a

system with a system of estates, and observes: "The

distinction betsveen the personal

and the

class individ-

of Ufe for the ual, the accidental nature of conditions

individual, appears only with the

which

itself is

emergence of

a product of the bourgeoisie."

voted himself largely to studying "class" in sense, as his scientific

class,

Marx de-

this

second

works make abundandy

clear,

difficuland so he did not have to confront in detail the theory of class is used ties which arise when his general of feudal societo explain the origins and development Asiatic form of society ties, of a caste system, or of the

which Marx account of the difiFerent conceptions of cUss Class Ossowski. S. in found be brought together in his theory will Chapter 5. York. 1963). (New Consciousneu Structure in the Social

" The best

[2.]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY which he had himself distinguished and

The

trayed.

criticism here

not that Marx himself

is

failed to test his theory in a sufficiently

way.

He had

formulated a

and had sought

to test

it

briefly por-

new and

comprehensive

exciting hypothesis,

rigorously in the case

which he

considered most significant from a theoretical and practical

point of view: namely, the development of

capitalism.

The

failure

is

modern

that of later Marxists,

who

have for the most part abstained from examining the usefulness and limitations of the theory

when

applied

to other historical situations.

The

third

Hne of

criticism,

which most nearly con-

cerns us here, attacks directly Marx's account of the

development of

social classes in the

modem

capitalist

Marx predicted that the social gulf between the two principal classes, botprgeoisie and proletariat, would become wider, in part In broad outline,

societies.

because of the increasing disparity between their conditions of

life,^^

and

in part because of the elimination

of the intermediate strata of the population; that the

would develop and

class consciousness of the proletariat

would assume a revolutionary character; and that the rule of the bourgeoisie

revolution of the

Against *3

this

would

finally

immense majority

be overthrown by a of the population.

view numerous arguments have been

Contrary to a popular belief Marx did not assert that the material working class must decline absolutely with the

level of living of the

development of capitalism;

his principal

argument was that

decline relative to that of the bourgeoisie, either

it

by remaining

would

station-

ary while the latter rose, or by rising less rapidly. See his brief exposition in

V/age-LahouT and Capital (1848).

[Z2]

The Nature presented, based

changes

upon

sociological observation of the

the structure of

in

claimed, in the

first

of Social Class

modem

place, that the gulf

societies.

It

is

between bour-

geoisie

and

proletariat has not widened, for several

reasons.

The

productivity of

in the last

modem

industry, especially

few decades, has increased so gready

produce a considerable improvement level of hving;

between the still

and even

classes

as to

the general

in

the distribution of income

if

had remained unchanged

this

would

have raised the working-class level of living to a

point at which

new

aspirations

and new

social attitudes

removed from those which support revolutionary aims. It is argued further, however, that the distribution of national income has actu-

would be encouraged,

ally

changed

in

far

favour of the working

reinforcing these tendencies.

The

will

be considered

modest

in

some

thus

extent of the redistri-

modem

bution of income and wealth in subject of controversy, and

class,

societies

is

a

of the relevant studies

the next chapter; but even a

redistribution, together with the general rise in

incomes, the expansion of social services, and greater security of

employment, would

clearly bring about

an

important change in the position of the working class in society. It

seems no longer possible

in this

second half

of the twentieth century to regard the working class in

the advanced industrial countries as being totally alien-

ated from society, civil society

which

or, in is

Marx's phrase, as "a class in

not a class of

Another change which presents theory

is

the growth of the

civil society."

difficulties for

"neW middle

[^3]

Marx's

classes."

This

— CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY does not directly falsify Marx's statement that the "middle classes" would gradually disappear in ties,

modem socie-

because he was referring to the large numbers of

small producers, craftsmen, artisans, small farmers,

employed professional men, many been absorbed enterprises.

as paid

of

whom have in fact

employees into large

Nevertheless,

self-

capitalist

does contradict one of

it

Marx's fundamental arguments, which was that the *

mtermediate strata" would disappear, and that a simpli-

fied class structure of

two

major classes

clearly defined

would emerge. In the Communist Manifesto he wrote: "Our epoch, the epoch of bourgeoisie, possesses, however, this distinctive feature;

it

has simplified the class

more and more two great hostile camps, into two great facing each other bourgeoisie and

antagonisms. Society as a whole splitting

classes

up

into

directly

is

proletariat."

The growth oflBce

of the

workers,

scientists,

new middle

of those

—comprising

managers,

supervisors,

and many

classes

who

technicians,

are employed in pro-

viding services of one kind or another (e.g. social welfare,

entertainment,

leisure

activities)

—^which

has

resulted from economic development, manifests the

greater complexity of social stratification in industrial societies, as

and

modem

introduces, or reintroduces,

it

an important element of

stratification, social prestige

based upon occupation, consumption and

style of life.

Max Weber, who was

to present a

comprehen-

by

distinguish-

the

first

sive alternative to Marx's theory, did so ing,

in the

first

place,

between

diflFerent

modes

of

The Nature

of Social Class

modem

societies: class

which coexisted

stratification stratification,

in

with which Marx had been primarily con-

cerned, and stratification by social prestige or honour.

He

an independent phenomenon the

also treated as

distribution of poUtical

had viewed almost stratification.

fication

by

power

exclusively as the product of class

In Weber's conception

prestige,

of status groups,

is

which Marx

in society,

which gives

it is

the formation

rise to

regarded as having

pre-capitalist groups

clear that strati-

which enjoyed

its

source in those

social honour,

such

as the various sections of the nobility, the scholarly professions,

and the high

classes in the

advanced

istics,

but the

their particular styles of Stratification

Marx conceived

by it,

cultural character-

of their occupations,

and upon

life.

prestige in

some

in basing their claims to

upon educational and

upon the nature

new middle

industrial societies exhibit

same features

at least of the social position

oflBcials;

aflFects

the class s)'stem, as

two important ways:

first,

by

inter-

posing between the two major classes a range of status

groups which bridge the gulf between the extreme positions in the class structure;

and secondly, by sug-

gesting an entirely different conception of the social

hierarchy as a whole, according to which

a continuum of more or tions,

less clearly

it

appears as

defined status posi-

determined by a variety of factors and not simply

by property ownership, which

is

incompatible with the

formation of massive social classes and with the exist-

ence of a fundamental relations

between

conflict

between

classes.

The

status groups at different levels are

[^5]

.

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY relations of competition

With the growth

in

and emulation, not

numbers

of the

of conflict.

middle

classes,

which form an increasing proportion of the whole popuview of the

lation, this

ranks

of prestige

breaks,

social hierarchy as a

(or statuses)

and thus without any

between major

without any sharp

clear Hues of conflict

social groups, has

upon

greater influence

continuum

much

acquired a

social thought,

and

its

diffusion

has served to check the growth of class consciousness.

Consequently,

and

stratification

modern

Max Weber

whereas

regarded class

status stratification as coexisting in

importance fluctuating

societies, their relative

with changes in technology and economic conditions,

some recent groups have

have concluded that status

sociologists

now become

far

more important than

social

classes in the system of stratification as a whole.

This conclusion

One

of

them

is

supported by two other arguments.

amount

asserts that the

in industrial societies

is

of social mobility

so considerable as to prevent

the consohdation and persistence of classes in Marx's sense,

and

that,

on the contrary,

it

too makes plausible

the image of the social hierarchy as a series of levels of prestige, as a ladder with closely adjacent rungs,

individuals

may

which

climb or descend according to their

However, the amount and range of social mobility, like the distribution of income, have been capacities. ^^

**

This view

tion presented

is

implied in the functionabst theory of social

by K. Davis and

W.

E.

Moore

stratifica-

in their article

"Some

American Sociological Review, April, 1945; and also, to some extent, in S. M. Lipset's and R. Bendix's Social Mobility in Industrial Society ( Berkeley, 1959 )

Principles

of

Stratification,"

[26]

Nature of Social Class

Tlie

assessed in conflicting ways, and

some

from recent studies will be considered

A

of the evidence

later.

second argument, which derives ultimately from

Weber's distinction between

class stratification

distribution of political power, has forcefully

by Ralf Dahrendorf,

been

set out

that the coincidence of economic conflict

conflict,

most

and Class main thesis

in his Class

Conflict in Industrial Society. Dahrendorf 's is

and the

which was the foundation

and pohtical

of Marx's theory,

has ceased to exist in what he terms the "post-capitalist societies." In capitahst society,

lines of industrial

and

posed.

The opponents

—met

again,

as

political arena.

Dahrendorf argues, "the

political conflict



of industry

were superim-

capital

and labour

bourgeoisie and proletariat, in the

...

It is

one of the central theses of

the present analysis that in post-capitalist society, in-

dustry and society have, by contrast to capitahst society,

been dissociated. Increasingly, the

social relations of

industry, including industrial conflict,

do not dominate

the whole of society but remain confined in their patterns

and

and problems

to the sphere of industry. Industry

industrial conflict are, in post-capitalist society,

institutionally isolated,

of their proper realm

i.e.

confined within the borders

and robbed

other spheres of society"* (op.

cit.,

of their influence p. 268).

empirically, however, these propositions are falsified

on

Considered

more

easily

than those of Marx which they are intended

to replace; for

numerous

studies

have shown that

in

the European industrial countries^ and to a lesser extent in the

USA, the major

political conflicts are closely

and

— CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY continuously associated with industrial conflicts, and express the divergent interests of the principal social

Dahrendorf's criticisms of Marx's theory are

classes.

more

plausible in their less extreme formulations; as for

example, that there are other conflict groups in society

may

besides social classes, which

at times

assume great

importance, that the association between industrial

and poHtical

conflict

for granted, that,

conflict

cannot simply be taken

but must be investigated in each

case,

and

with the development of the capitalist industrial

societies,

some

significant

changes have occurred in the

nature of pohtical conflicts themselves which could not

be

clearly foreseen or taken into account

Besides the kind of criticism sidered, lations

by Marx.

we have

just con-

which questions Marx's accoimt of the

between

classes, there is

re-

another which disputes

the validity of his analysis of the principal classes

—in

bourgeoisie and proletariat

view of the changes

which they have undergone during the twentieth century. The bourgeoisie, it is argued, is no longer a closed, cohesive and enduring group. Its structure, its composition, and its stabihty over time have all been profoundly modified by the wider diffusion of property

ownership and the breakup of large fortimes, by

in-

creasing social mobihty, and

by other changes in society. can no longer be maintained that the

Furthermore,

it

bourgeoisie

a ruling

is

class; first,

because

it

has ceased

be a cohesive group;, secondly, because the complexity and differentiation of modem societies make it diflBcult for any single group to wield power alone; and

to

[28]

The Nature

of Social Class

because universal suffrage ensures that political power is ultimately in the hands of the mass of the

finally,

people.

The changes in the condition of the working class appear even more damaging to Marx's theor\. Marx expected the working class to become more homogeneous, because differences of skill and earnings would be reduced,

if

not obUterated, by the more extensive

use of machinery; to

because

many members

become numerically

stronger,

of the old middle class

sink to the condition of wage-earners; to

would

become more

united and class conscious as a result of the increasing similarity of conditions of life and work, the faciht\' of

communication among working-class organizations, and the spread of socialist doctrines; and finally, to become a revolutionary force, because of the grov^ing disparity between its own material conditions and those of the bourgeoisie,

and the

realization that only a radical trans-

formation of society could

human

life for

make

possible a tolerable

the great majorit)- of men. Against this

conception, the critics have pointed out that the

working

class

of levels of

have tended

modem

remains highly differentiated in respect

skill,

even though differences in earnings

to diminish; that increasing specialization

of occupations has created a far

more complex

status

system, as well as a multiphcit>' of sectional interests; reduced that the expansion of the middle classes has

populathe proportion of industrial workers in the total

and thereby diminished their social influence; that greater social mobihty has undermined the soUdarity

tion

[29]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY of the working class; and that the general improvement in levels of living has led to the embourgeoisement of

the working class as a whole, which

middle-class standards and patterns of

Some

now

is

adopting

life.

part of this criticism has certainly to be ac-

cepted in any

realistic

accomit of the working class in

present-day industrial societies, but the changes which

have taken place are tions.

open

still

The most disputed

to various interpreta-

concerning the

thesis is that

embourgeoisement of the working

which has

class,

often been presented in a superficial

and

manner. It has only recendy been examined carefully by Goldthorpe and Lockwood,^^ who observe that as a facile

result of recent studies of British society, "a picture has

been

built

—and

up

—of

accepted

ever,

new

still

one which would be generally

a system of

creasingly fine in

somewhat

it is

less

its

becoming

stratification

gradations and at the

extreme and

less rigid.

Of

in-

same time late,

how-

further economic progress has resulted in a



factor entering into the discussion

tliat

of work-

numa more

ing class 'affluence.' ... It has been argued by a

ber of writers that the working prosperous section of

stratum and .

.

.

is

it, is

class, or at least

losing

becoming merged

This, one should note,

and far-reaching change

is

its

identity as a social

into the

middle

to claim a far

class.

more rapid

in class structiure than

which could ensue from secular trends

any

in occupational

^"John H. Goldthorpe and David Lockwood, "Affluence and the Class Structure," The Sociological Review, XI (2), July,

British

1963, PP- 133-63-

[30]

— The Nature

of Social Class

distribution, in the overall distribution of

income and

wealth or in rates of intergenerational social mobility."

The

authors then distinguish and examine

what they

economic, the relational and the normative

call the

aspects

of

the

changes in working-class

They

life.

point out that the economic progress of the working class in relation to the

many

ated in

count of

all

studies,

middle

class has

because these do not take ac-

the relevant factors, such as economic

security, opportunities for promotion, fits

of various kinds.

(i.e.

been exagger-

The other

and

fringe bene-

aspects, the relational

the extent to which manual workers are accepted

on terms of equality by middle-class people

and informal ( i.e.

a

social relationships)

in formal

and the normative

the extent to which manual workers have acquired

new

new

outlook and

standards of behaviour which

resemble those of the middle class), have hardly been studied at

all;

that the gulf

but such evidence as there

between working

remains very wide. clusions

—the

end

drawn from the

It

class

of ideology

and

and middle

class

of class conflict

so-called ernbourgeoisenient of the

other words, from the view that the

class, or in

modem

industrial countries are

A

suggests

follows that the pohtical con-

working

cieties, are

is

now

middle-class so-

themselves extremely dubious.

recent French study, by Serge Mallet,** points to

some conclusions which supplement those reached by Goldthorpe and Lockwood. Mallet makes an important distinction *"

between the

situation of the

worker

Serge Mallet, La Nouvelle Classe ouvriire (Paris, 1963).

[3-]

in the

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY spheres of consumption

and of production. In the

former, "the working class has ceased to hve apart. Its level of living

have led

it

and

aspirations for material comfort

its

out of the ghetto in which

at the beginning of industrialization. to regard himself as a

was confined

it

The worker

ceases

worker when he leaves the

fac-

tory.**

In the process of production

trary,

"the fundamental characteristics which distin-

itself,

on the con-

guish the working class from other social strata seem

have remained unchanged."^^

to

It

industry,

in

is

through the factory organizations and the trade unions, that the distinctive characteristics and outlook of the

working

class are

maintained or changed; and Mallet

argues, from his studies of three industrial enterprises,

"new working class" has been led, technological and economic changes,

that the

as a result

of

to

assume

greater responsibility for the organization of production,

through

to see itself

trade-union representatives, and thus

its

still,

and perhaps even more

clearly, as the

eventual controller of industry in place of the present capitalist owners.

We have lastly to consider a criticism of Marx*s theory which

arises directly

from the

social

and

periences of the Soviet-type countries.

political ex-

It is

best ex-

pressed in the words of a PoHsh sociologist,

tine late

Stanislaw Ossowski: "There are other reasons

why

nineteenth-century conception of social

class, in

the

both

the liberal and the Marxian interpretations, has lost

much 17

of

its

applicability in the

Ibid., p. 9.

[32]

modern world. In

situa-

The Nature tions

of Social Class

social structure are to a greater

where changes of

by the decision of the political authorities, we are a long way from social class as interpreted by Marx, Ward, Veblen or Weber, from classes conceived of as groups determined by their

or lesser extent governed

relations to the say,

by

means

of production or, as others

their relations to the market.

way from

We

would

are a long

classes conceived of as groups arising out of

the spontaneously created class organizations. In situa-

where the poUtical

tions

effectively

change the

leges that are

most

authorities can overtly

class structure;

where the

and

privi-

essential for social status, including

that of a higher share in the national income, are con-

ferred

by a decision of the

political authorities;

where

a large part or even the majority of the population

is

included in a stratification of the type to be found in a bureaucratic hierarchy

—the

nineteenth-century

con-

cept of class becomes more or less an anachronism,

and

class conflicts give

antagonism."^* This

USSR, and

is

to societies

rule of a single party,

way

to other

forms of social

most clearly apposite to the of the same type, in which the

unchecked by any organized op-

an authoritarian ordering of ina highly inegalitarian system; but it

position, has allowed

come and rank in also has some relevance cieties, in

which the

dependence from changes

to the

modem

state has acquired a

social classes

in stratification

and

through

its

capitalist so-

degree of

in-

now a source of own social legisla-

is

tion. »» S.

Ossowski, Class Structure in the Social Consciousness, p. 184.

[33]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY Neither of these instances can be comprehended by the Marxist theory in

its

most rigorous form. Marx did

not foresee either that the dictatorship of the proletariat

he conceived it would actually appear as the dictatorship of a party, and eventually as a bureaucratic regime as

controlled ist

by a

single individual, or that in the capital-

countries the working-class

movement

itself

would

help to bring about a form of society, the Welfare State,

which may be sociahst,

transitional or enduring,

but in which there

which

is

not

a substantial control

is

by government over the economy and social conditions, and a corresponding influence upon the system of stratification.

The

criticisms of Marx's theory,

and the

alternative

views which have been put forward, based mainly

upon Max Weber's distinction between class stratification and stratification by prestige, do not amount as yet to a comprehensive

place of that which rather, a

more

new

theory,

which can take the

Marx proposed. They

provide,

or less systematic inventory of the out-

standing problems

—the

in the Soviet societies,

nature of social stratification

and

of

its

modifications in the

capitahst societies; the relative importance of property ownership, educational selection, occupational differentiation,

and pohtical power,

in creating

taining social distinctions; the extent

and main-

and consequences

of social mobihty and of income inequalities

—and

a

conceptual scheme which attempts to draw more careful distinctions

between

social classes, status groups

[34]

and

The Nature elites,

of Social Class

and between the economic, the poUtical and

The value

other elements in social stratification. these

new

concepts and of the

critical

Marx's theory can be better assessed

if

of

revisions of

we now make

use of them in an examination of the changes which

have taken place

in the class structure of

societies.

[35]

some

modem

Ill CLASSES IN

THE INDUSTRIAL SOCIE TIES

T

HE TWO broad types



distinguished earher

of industrial society

capitalist

which

I

—present a

and Soviet

number of similar featinres in their occupational structure and in the general shape of their social stratification,

but they also

and

their social doctrines

differ

widely in their political regimes

manner in which the upper social strata are constituted, and in the historical changes of social structure which they have undergone. It is desirable, therefore, to begin by and pohcies,

in the

examining each type of society separately, before

at-

tempting any comparison. In the mid-nineteenth century England was generally

regarded as showing most fully and clearly the

typical class structure of the

[36]

new

capitalist society.

— Classes in the Industrial Societies

Marx chose England

as

model

his

for studying the

development of capitalism and the formation of the principal

modem

—although conflict

bourgeoisie and proletariat

classes

he associated with

this

a model of class

and revolution which he derived mainly from

the experiences of France. Disraeli,

documented

lutionary,

in Sybil

who was

and

not a revo-

in other writings

the formation of "two nations" within English society,

warned against the dangers springing from this rift between the manufacturers and the industrial workers, and

same time sought

at the

to turn

it

to

advantage by

working men for the Tory

enlisting the support of

The English

party against the Liberals.

system

class

had, however, some peculiar features which arose, ac-

cording to R. H. Tawney, from "the blend of a crude plutocratic reality with the sentimental

was

aristocratic legend."^ It



to

still

torians

ideal"

this set of

aroma

of an

circumstances

be exhaustively studied and explained by

—which

created

England the "gendeman

in

and the public schools

ing and transmitting

as agencies for consolidat-

produced

It

it.

his-

also the

snobbery

of the middle classes, the "rehgion of inequality" as

Matthew Arnold strict

social

called

which maintained

it,

at

distinctions

fine

but

which foreign observers

marvelled.

What changes century?

The

has this

s)

stem undergone

plutocratic reality,

been altered by changes

and income, and above »R H Tawncv.

it

in the past

may be

in the distribution of

all

said, has

property

by the general improvement

Equality (4th ed.; London. 1952). P- 57-

[37]

.

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY At the end of the nineteenth century severe poverty was still widespread. Charles Booth's survey of London,^ carried out between 1887 in the levels of living.

and

more than 30 per the inhabitants were hving in poverty; and

1891,

cent of

showed that

similar conclusions

at that time

emerged from Rowntree's study

social conditions in York,^

end

begun

in 1899.

of

At the other

of the social hierarchy, in the years 1911-13, a

privileged 1 per cent of the population

cent of

all

private property

owned 68 per

and received 29 per cent

of the total national income.

The date.

attack

An

upon economic inequahty

estate

duty was

first

of the nineteenth century,

is

of very recent

imposed towards the end

and only

in 1949 did

it

reach the substantial rate of 80 per cent on estates

above

£1

million.

Even

so,

these rates of taxation re-

duce large fortunes (and the resulting unearned comes) very slowly,

if

at

all,

in-

since they are counter-

acted by various forms of tax avoidance, and by capital gains in periods of economic expansion,

which can

quickly restore fortunes diminished by taxation as well

new ones. In 1946-7, 1 still owned 50 per cent of

as creating

per cent of the pop-

ulation

all

and

it is

much

private property,

unlikely that the proportion has changed very

since then.

The

traditional wealthy class has

obviously retained most of

its

wealth. As Anthony

son has observed, "the aristocracy are, in general, 2 3

Samp-

much

Charles Booth, Life and Labour of the People in London ( 1902 ) B. Seebohm Rowntree, Poverty; A Study of Town Life ( 1901).

[38]

Classes in the Industrial Societies

With democracy has come dis* Their London palaces and outward show have

richer than they seem. cretion.

disappeared, but the countryside

many of them, with the boom in property, now than they have ever been."* The ob-

aire peers:

are richer servation

of million-

is still full

probably just as true of wealthy financial

is

or manufacturing famihes.

The tors

distribution of

income

is

a£Fected

by

several fac-

other than the distribution of wealth—

the state

^by

of employment, collective bargaining, general social policy,

and

taxation.

During the present century taxes

upon income have been used

increasingly in attempts

to bring about a redistribution

and whereas

in

between

rich

and poor;

1913 those with earned incomes of

10,000 a year or above paid only about 8 per cent of

£.

their

income

in direct taxation, in 1948 those in the

same category paid 75 per cent or more in direct taxation. R. H. Tawney, in the epilogue to the 1952 edition

number payment

incomes ex-

of his Equality, noted that the

of

ceeding £.6,000 a year after

of tax

had de-

clined to a very small figure, and that whereas in 1938

the average retained income of those in the highest

category

(

£,

10,000 a year and above )

was twenty-eight

times as great as the income of those in the lowest

category

(£250- £499 a

year), in 1948

it

was only

thirteen times as great.

However, the tax retmns do not provide anything like a

complete picture of the distribution of income,

and R. M. Titmuss, *

in the

Anthony Sampson, Anatomy

most thorough study of the

of Britain

[39]

(

New

York, 1962), pp. 4-5.

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY question which has yet been made,'^ points to the influence of

life

assurances, superannuation, tax-free pay-

ments on retirement, education covenants, discretionary trusts,

expense accounts and capital gains, in conserv-

ing or increasing the wealth and income of the upper class.

With the present inadequate data

it is

impossible

to arrive at a precise statement of the changes in in-

come

distribution

which have occurred during the

twentieth century. Most students of the problem, however, httie

have concluded that from 1900 to 1939 there was or no redistribution of income in favour of wage-

earners,

and that

end of the period some 10 per

at the

cent of the population received almost half the national

income while the other 90 per cent of the population received the other half; that between 1939 and 1949

may have

some 10 per cent of the national income from property-owners to wageearners; but that since 1949 there has again been grow-

redistribution

transferred

ing inequahty. These calculations are based largely

upon the income

and

tax returns,

do not take income mentioned

so they

account of the other sources of real

above, which benefit mainly the rich.

Both Rowntree and Booth concluded from their vestigations that

two

of the

in-

most important causes of

poverty were the lack of regular employment and the expenses of protracted the conditions of Britain obviously full

ill-health.

life for

in

the working class in postwar

owes much

employment and

The improvement

to the

to the

maintenance of

development of the health

*R. M. Titmuss, Income Distribution and Social Change (Toronto, 1962).

[40]

Classes in the Industrial Societies

employment, besides raising the level of income of the working class and providing a degree services.' Full

of that

economic security which the upper

class has

always taken for granted, has almost entirely eliminated the class of domestic servants; and this is one of the greatest gains which the working class has in the twentieth century, in escaping larly It

from one particu-

onerous form of subjection to another

may be

made

class.^

argued, too, that the social services as a

whole have a much greater

eflPect in

diminishing class

would appear from their economic consequences alone. As R. H. Tawney wrote: differences than

There are certain gross and crushing

disabilities



conditions of

injurious to health, inferior education,

economic insecurity which place the classes experiencing them at a permanent disadvantage with those not similarly afilicted. There are certain services by which these crucial disabilities have been greatly mitigated, and, given time and will, can be altogether removed. The contribution to equality made by these dynamic agencies is obviously out of all proportion greater than that which would result from an annual present to every individual among the forty odd milhons concerned of a sum equivalent to his quota of the total cost.® life .

.

.

.

.

.

The social services do not only help

to create

an equality

in the vital conditions of life for all citizens; so far as

they are used by everyone the standard of the service Rowntreee emphasizes the importance of these factors in his third Seebohm Rowntree and G. R. Lavers, Poverty and the Welfare State (New York, 1931). «

social survey of York. See B.

7 Marx observed in Capital, Vol. I, that the vast inere^M in the numbers of domestic servants, of whom there were well over a million in 1861, showed clearly the growing divergence between the datset; with wealth and luxury concentntted at one extreme, poverty and servitude at the other. • R. H. Tawney, Equality, p. 048.

[41]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY tends to

rise. It

may

well be true, as some have argued,

that the middle classes have benefited at least as as the

working

services,

class

from the expansion of the

much social

but one important consequence has been

for example, the standards of free medical care

that,

have

compared with the time when such care was provided only for the poor and needy. been vastly improved

as

In the field of education a similar progress

is

evident

since the Education Act of 1944, although here class differences

have proved more tenacious and

difficult to

overcome, while the existence of a large private sector of education has

meant

in the drive to

improve the standard of the pubhc

that there has-been less vigour

service.

We

must conclude that the general advance in the material conditions of the British working class, in recent decades, has been due overwhelmingly to the

rapid growth of national income, which has also possible the expansion of the social services,

made

and not to

any radical redistribution of wealth or income between classes.

Moreover, even in

this

more

affluent society a

great deal of poverty remains. Its significance for the relations

between

from that which

it

classes

had

is,

however, very different

in the nineteenth century.

poverty was the lot of a whole expectation that

it

class,

and there was no

could be quickly alleviated within

the limits of the capitahst economic system.

one

Then,

class in society distinctly

It

separated

from others, and at the

same time engendered a movement of revolt. In presentday Britain, as ill other advanced industrial countries, [4^]

1

Classes in the Industrial Societies

poverty has ceased to be of

this kind;

it

extensive,

and

population

—mainly old people and workers

is

now

is

less

confined to particular groups in the

occupations or regions which have been

a result of technological progress

left

—which

in certain

behind as

are too iso-

lated or heterogeneous to form the basis of a radical

movement. These impoverished groups stand in marked contrast with the majority of the working class, social

which enjoys a high

level of

in relation

both to

past societies and to

some middle-class groups

in pres-

hving

ent-day society.

The

thesis of

examined its

embourgeoisement, which was

in the previous chapter, relies in the

factual basis

upon

and the changes

living

this

in the relative

of manual workers and

workers, but ity in gists

it

improvement

some

briefly

main

for

in levels of

economic position

sections of white-collar

also brings in the eflFects of social mobil-

modifying the

have studied

class system. Since the war, sociolo-

social mobility

much more

intensively

than they have studied the changes within classes themselves,

and they have attributed much importance

as a solvent of class divisions. studies®

may be summarized

cial mobility

it

findings of recent

in the following

way. So-

has generally increased with the economic

development of the industrial •See

The

to

societies,

but the increase

D. V. Glass (ed.), Social Mobility in Britain (New York, 1955). This comprehensive study, based mainly upon a national sample survey, has provided a model for a number of later investigatkms in other countries. For comparative studies which bring together

much

especially,

recent research see S.

M. Lipset

ai^d R. Bendix, Social Mobility

and S. M. Miller, "Comparative Social Mobility," Current Sociology, IX (1), i960. in Industrial Society (Berkeley, 1959),

[43

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY has been due very largely to changes in the occupational structure; that

to the expansion of white-collar

is,

and professional occupations and the contraction of manual occupations. For this reason, S. M. Miller has suggested that sociologists ought to give more attention to

"downward

mobihty,**

which involves a

change of occupational and classes

and may well be "a better indicator

in a society than

A

social position

is

upward

between

together; for example,

working

class

is

Britain.^^

by

which are

between the upper levels of the

moclose

levels of the

middle

class.

the working class into the upper class

very limited in any society,

is

of fluidity

that most social

social levels

and the lower

Movement from

between

mobility."^^

second important feature

bility takes place

real ex-

and notably so

in

This characteristic can be shown more clearly

studies of recruitment to particular elite occupa-

tions

such as the higher

ment and

business manage-

the older professions. In Britain, a study of

the directors of large

more than

civil service,

half of

pubhc companies

them began

reveals that

with the ad-

their careers

vantage of having business connections in the family, while another 40 per cent came from families of landowners, professional position. ^^

A

men and

study of higher

others of similar social

civil servants in

ministrative class shows that 30 per cent '® S.

M,

the ad-

came from

Miller, op. cit, p. 59.

11 Ibid., p. 40. 12

G. H. Copeman, Leaders of British Industry;

Careers of More Than a Thousand Public don, 1955).

[44]

Company

A

Study of the Directors (Lon-

Classes in the Industrial Societies families of the

upper and upper middle

and

classes,

another 40 per cent from the intermediate levels of the

while only 3 per cent were recruited from families of semiskilled and unskilled manual workers."

middle

class,

Nevertheless, the

same study

recruitment of high

civil servants

somewhat during the past

may

indicates that the area of

has been extended

thirty years,

and the same

well be true in the case of other professions.

The main

influence here has been the extension of

educational opportunities;

and the view that

social

mobility has increased substantially in postwar Britain derives very largely from the belief that educational

reforms have provided vast

new

opportunities for up-

ward movement. It is certainly true that before the war social mobility was restricted especially by financial and other obstacles in the way of access to secondary and higher education." The Education Act of 1944 estabhshed for the

first

time a national system of sec-

ondary education and gready increased the opportunities for

working-class children to obtain a

grammar

school education.** Also in the postwar period the access of working-class children to university has

been

made somewhat

num-

"R.

K.

Kelsall,

easier

by the increase

Higher CixAl Servants

1955). " See data presented in L.

Hogben

in

of student Britain

(New

(ed.). Political Arithmetic

York,

(

New

York, 1938). *• D. V. Class notes, in his introduction to Social Mobility in Britain,

W. Hertfordshire, between the 1930s and 1951, "the proportion of children of nianual workers in the total entry to granunar schools rose from about 15 per cent to 43 per cent." See also that in one region, S.

E. Floud, A. H. Halsey and F. M. Martin, J. and Educational Opportunity (London, 1957).

the material given in Social Class

[45]

— CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY bers and the

more

lavish provision of maintenance

grants. Nevertheless, Britain

is still

very far from having

equahty of opportunity in education. The existence of a private sector of school education, misleadingly called the "public schools," maintains the educational and

occupational advantages of upper-class families, while in the state system of education, although the opportunities for working-class children is

have increased,

it

probable that middle-class famihes have actually

made

greater use of the

new

grammar we add to

opportunities for

school and university education.^®

Even

if

the social mobihty which takes place through the educational system, that as a result of the tions



^for

still

to occur

growth of new middle-class occupa-

example, in the entertainments industry

where educational can

which may be assinned

qualifications are less important, it

not be said that the

in the social hierarchy

ing rapidly.

The

is

movement

of individuals

very considerable or

vast majority of people

is

still

increas-

remain

in their class of origin. It

may be

questioned, too, whether even a

much

higher rate of social mobility, involving an interchange

which downward mobility was roughly equal to upward mobility, would have much between

effect

classes

upon the

in

class system, in the sense of

reducing

the barriers or the antagonism between classes.

On

the

contrary, in such a situation of high mobility, the workAppendix Two ( B ) to the Report on Higher Education ( Cmnd. 2154) observes that the proportion of university students coming from working-class famihes remained ahnost unchanged (at about 25 per cent) between 1928-47 and 1961. 1®

[46]

Classes in

come

ing class would

tfie

Industrial Societies

who had

to comprise those

failed

to rise in the social hierarchy in spite of the opportunities available to

dirough personal

such a

class,

them, and those

from higher

failure,

made up

who had

and embittered and

social levels;

of particularly

be expected

frustrated individuals, might

descended,

to

be very

sharply distinguished from, and in conflict with, the rest of society.

and

There are apparent, indeed,

in other industrial societies,

in Britain

some elements

of such

a condition among the yoimger generations in the population.

The most important

aspect of social mobility

haps the impression which

be "open" and

fluid,

makes upon the pubhc the type and degree of

may

appear to

its

members

may

and energy, or

it

''closed.'*

In Britain,

manner

all

—the

of behaviour

appear to be rigid and of ancient institutions aristocracy, the

the relationships of the "old boy" network

mobihty and buttress the public conception

Any

pubhc

and accent,

schools, Oxbridge, differences of speech

hierarchical society.

to

presenting manifold opportunities

to talent

and modes

per-

it

consciousness. According to social mobility a society

is

— frustrate

of a rigidly

increase in social mobihty,

even in the past two decades, has been too modest, gradual and discreet to create a

boundaries of class

new

outlook.

may have become more

blurred,

chiefly at the lower levels of the social hierarchy

there

may have been some

The and

expansion of opportunities,

especially in the sphere of consumption, for large sections of the population.

But there [47]

is

no general sense

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY of greater "classlessness," nor of great opportunities for

the individual to choose and create his

way

of life re-

gardless of inherited wealth or social position.

It

was

in the general acceptance of

ideology,

USA

some degree, that the most remarkably from the European

which

differed

still

persists in

societies in the nineteenth century. In

was no established system

memory

America, thefe

of feudal ranks,

of an aristocratic order of society,

provide a model for a ican

an egahtarian

war

of

new

no

historical

which could

The Amer-

social hierarchy.

independence indeed was an important

upon the European revolutions against the ancien regime. In the USA, in contrast with the European countries, the ownership of property was quite influence

widely diffused in the early part of the nineteenth century,

and some 80 per cent of the working population

(excluding the Negro slaves)

owned

the

means

of

production with which they worked. America was, predominantly, a society of small farmers, small traders

and small businessmen; the

been

to a "property-owning

parities of

closest

approach there has

democracy." Of course,

wealth existed, but they were not so ex-

treme as in Europe, and they did not give in

some

still

and

oligarchical

De

saw

in the

USA

European

except

societies.

aristocratic

Tocqueville

the prime example of a tendency to-

wards equality in modern

societies; a society in

he wrote: "Great wealth tends

number

rise,

of the southern states, to disparities of social

rank comparable with those in the

as

dis-

to disappear, the

of small fortunes to increase."

[48]

which,

Classes in the Industrial Societies

The

sense of belonging to a society of equals was

enhanced by the still

movement

possibility of easy

in the

rudimentary hierarchy of wealth. America was

the "land of opportimity," a vast, unexplored and unexploited country in which

seemed

possible,

subjection

it

to escape

by moving

to a

was always

from economic want or

new

place, acquiring land

some other property, and adding efiFort and talent.

or

A

possible, or

to

it

by personal

century and a half of economic change has de-

stroyed most of the foundations upon which the egalitarian ideology rested.

The

society

made up

of small

property-owners and independent producers began to

be undermined soon

after the Civil

War. The i88os and

which industry grew rapidly and communications were vastly expanded, saw

1890s, a period in

modem

the "closing of the frontier," the emergence of the industrial

and

financial

trusts,

first

and a considerable

growth of inequahties of wealth. Class divisions began to appear more clearly, and to resemble more closely those in the European societies, and they were

more

openly asserted. The conscious emergence of an upper class

was

Register

(

signalled

by the estabhshment of the Social

the guide to the

new American "aristocracy"),

and by the foundation of exclusive boarding schools and country clubs; and wealth and social position came increasingly to be transmitted through family connections.

At the same time the working

class

became more

strongly organized in trade unions and pohtical asso-

and from the 1890s to the 1930s there were numerous attempts, though without any lasting sueciations,

[49]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY cess, to

bring these associations together in a broad

socialist

movement.

The changes in the economic system can be documented clearly from the statistics of occupations. Early in the nineteenth century 80 per cent of the

employed

white population were independent (self-employed) producers; by 1870 only 41 per cent were self-employed,

and by 1940 only 18 per

cent. In the

words of C. Wright

Mills:

Over the last hundred years, the United States has been transformed from a nation of small capitalists into a nation of hired employees; but the ideology suitable for the nation of small capitahsts persists, as if that small-propertied world were still a going concern.

^'^

There are several reasons for the persistence of

this

inapt ideology, apart from the inertia which characterizes social doctrines in general.

One

centration of property ownership

was not accompanied

is

that the con-

by any sudden expansion of the working any decline ers

in the level of living.

The

or

class,

industrial

by

work-

formed 28 per cent of the population in 1870, and

31 per cent in 1940; and wage-earners as a whole

up 53 per cent

of the population in 1870,

made

and 57 per

cent in 1940. During the same period, however, the proportion of salaried employees id the population in-

creased very rapidly, from 7 per cent to 25 per cent; and this expansion of the new white-collar middle classes

made

possible a

new

kind of social mobihty, in

place of that which had been achieved earher

by the

setdemcnt of fresh lands. 17

C. Wright Mills,

(New

WhUe

Collar:

York, 1951). p- 34-

[50]

The American Middle

Classes

Classes in the Industrial Societies

Again, the concentration of wealth and income in a

few hands seems never America

as in

to

have proceeded so

many European

countries;

far in

and the gilded

age of spectacular fortunes in the midst of widespread poverty lasted for a relatively short time. As in other industrial countries, there has

to redistribute wealth

been a persistent

and income

in the

USA

eflFort

through

progressive taxation, estate duties, and taxes on capital gains. Since the war, the continued sion, rising levels of hving,

and the steady growth

middle classes have had their structiure in the

in a

same way

more conspicuous

for example, such

economic expan-

effect

of the

upon the

class

as in other countries,

fashion.

And

but

whilst in Britain,

changes have so far produced only

modifications and questionings of a class system which is

still

extremely sohd and which profoundly affects

pohtical Ufe, in America they have brought instead

confirmation of an inherited ideology of "classlessness"

and have

practically extinguished the tentative class

consciousness which found expression in the pohtics of the 1930s.

This divergence

is

not to be explained by a higher

rate of social mobility in the

USA

in recent times,

nor

by a more rapid progress in the redistribution of wealth and income. Several studies have indicated that the

USA

does not have a rate of mobility significandy

higher than that of some other industrial societies, in

which

class consciousness

intense.** This *^

See espedaUy,

is

is

the case, at

S.

M. Upset and

Industrial Society.

[51]

much more when the broad

nevertheless least,

R. Bendix, Social Mobility in

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY movement from manual to non-manual occupations is considered. The long-range movement from the manual strata into the elites does

seem

to

be greater in the

than in most other countries;^® but even

been very considerable

at

has not

any time during the present

century. William Miller has first

so, it

USA

shown

that even in the

decade of the century successful businessmen had

not generally risen from the low^er strata of society, but

had come

most part from old established families

for the

in the business

and professional

strata.^"

Similarly, a

very thorough study of social classes in Philadelphia has revealed that the leading positions in the economic

system are occupied predominantly by individuals from the established upper-class families. ^^

The idea ties is

that a steady reduction of

income inequali-

has been proceeding during the present centiuy

strongly contested, just as a similar view

in Britain. In the case of the

largely

upon the

USA

is

contested

the contention rests

statistical studies of national

by Simon Kuznets;^^ but

as Gabriel

income

Kolko has recently

pointed out,^^ the relevant part of these studies deals only with the wealthiest 5 per cent of the population, and does not examine the changes which have taken 19 S.

20

(ed. 21

New

M.

Miller, op.

cit.,

p. 58.

"American Historians and the Business ),

Men

in Business

E. Digby Baltzell,

(new

ed.;

New

An American

Elite," in

William Miller

York, 1962).

Business Aristocracy

(new

ed.;

York, 1962).

22 See especially his Shares of Upper Income Groups in Income and Savings (Princeton, 1952). 23 Gabriel Kolko, Wealth and Power in America (rev. ed.; New

York, 1964).

[52]

Classes in the Industrial Societies

place in the incomes of other groups in the population. Kolko's

own

calculations,

based upon studies of per-

by the National Industrial 1910-37) and by the Survey

sonal incomes before taxation

Conference Board (for

Research Center (for 1941-59) indicate that between 1910 and 1959 the share in national income of the top income-tenth declined only slightly

around 30 per cent of the second

in the past

and

(

and has fluctuated

decade), while the shares

third income-tenths

actually in-

creased and the shares of the two poorest income-tenths

from 8.3 per cent of national income to only 4 per cent). Kolko also observes, as Titmuss has done in his study of the same question in Britain, declined sharply

(

that calculations based

come real

upon declarations

of pretax in-

necessarily leave out of account various forms of

income which benefit mainly the upper

class

and

thus increase inequality. It

may be

argued, then, that

it is

the traditional con-

ception of American society as highly mobile rather

than any exceptional degree of mobility at the present time,

and the general increase

in prosperity

(though

with a good deal of partially concealed poverty)^* rather than any strong

nomic

equality,

movement towards

which play the main part

greater ecoin

weaken-

ing class consciousness. But there have also been other 2* See, on the extent of poverty, Gunnar Myrdal, Challenge to Affluence (New York, 1963), Chapter 4, and Michael Harrington, The Other America (New York, 1962). The latter book makes plain that poverty is widespread, but (as in Britain) it is concentrated in particular sections of the population here among the old, ethnic minorities, and workers in such regions as the Appalachians and so often tends to go unrecognized.



[53]



CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY factors at work, especially in inhibiting the develop-

ment

of a working class

movement

in

which the ideas

of class interest, and of sociahsm as an alternative form of society,

would have a major

factors, the situation of the

waves

influence.

x\mong these

Negroes and the successive

The

of immigration are particularly important.

Negroes have formed a distinctive American

proletariat,

with the lowest incomes, the most menial and subservient tasks,

and the lowest

social prestige (in part

because of their slave origins ) of any group in Ameri-

can

society.

homogeneous,

The

existence

of

this

relatively

large,

and exploited group

easily identifiable,

has meant that every white American, even the lowest-

paid labourer, possesses a certain social prestige which him, at least in his

raises

of

a

way

own

view, above the level

proletarian. Immigration has

worked

in the

same

to raise the social position of the ordinary Ameri-

can worker, since many groups of immigrants

(

the latest

being the Puerto Ricans) entered the lowest levels of the occupational hierarchy, and

made

it

possible for

those already established to advance themselves. But neither the Negroes, nor any immigrant group, have

formed a proletariat

in the sense that they

lenged the estabhshed order of society.

have chal-

And

so,

al-

though the present vigorous struggle of the Negroes to gain

full

economic,

civil

and pohtical

rights

may be

likened to early class conflicts in Europe so far as these

were concerned with the right to legislation

and with social reform,

these conflicts in so far as

it

it

vote, with labour

differs entirely

from

aims exclusively at winning

acceptance in the existing society and accepts the pre[54]

Classes in the Industrial Societies

dominant values of that struggles ties,

The

society.

success of the

waged by Negroes and other

ethnic minori-

however, would diminish the importance of ethnic

divisions in

American

and one

society,

be the appearance of more sharply classes

and a greater awareness of

result

might

diflFerentiated social

class interests.

Against this development, however, there are working the same influences which

a more or

less

continuous

we have

seen in Britain:

rise in levels of hving;

a

greater differentiation of the occupational structure,

and so a more complex type of

social stratification; a

manual occupations; and an expan-

relative decline of

which has already

sion of educational opportunities

gone much farther

in

These influences are ist societies; in

America than

work

at

France,

in other countries.

in all the

Western

Germany and

Italy,

capital-

where, in

the past, class divisions have been deeper and class conflicts

more

violent than in Britain,

and equally

in the

Scandinavian countries, in which social welfare and equality of opportimity have advanced farther than

elsewhere. tive

The consequences

appeasement of

bitter conflicts over the structiu-e

of society as a whole, cal interest towards

are to be seen in a rela-

and

in a

displacement of

new problems

of technological ad-

vance, economic growth and modernization. cultures have replaced the

two nations

political debate, at least for

many Western

Whether the changes

The two

as a subject of

in social conditions

have actually brought about, or

politi-

intellectuals.

and attitudes

will bring about, a

consolidation of the present social structure in the West-

em

countries,

and what other [55]

political

consequences

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY they are likely to have, are questions which

I

shall

consider later on.

Our immediate concern

to

is

examine the evolution

of classes in the Soviet type of industrial society. Ac-

cording to Marx's view modern capitalism would be "the last antagonistic form of the process of production."

The

As he wrote

in

The Poverty

of Philosophy:

condition for the emancipation of the working class

abohtion of

all classes.

.

.

.

The working

class, in

is

the

the course of

development, will substitute for the old civil society an association which will exclude classes and their antagonism.

its

The USSR, although

the revolution which created

it

did not take place in a highly industrialized country,

does nevertheless claim to be a society of the kind which

Marx predicted would follow tahsm.

It claims, that

is,

to

least in the sense that there

and no domination by one is

the destruction of capi-

be a

classless society, at

no hierarchy of

is

classes

over others. This claim

class

based mainly upon the fact that the private ownership

means

of the

of production has

theorists in the

USSR have

been abolished. Social

rarely attempted to analyse

the social and political foundations of a classless so-

and

ciety,

were

at

for long periods, especially after 1930, they

some pains

"classlessness"

nounced cialism

a sharp distinction between

and "egalitarianism." The

latter

as a "petty bourgeois deviation," Stalin's

was de-

and the So-

time asserted that "so-

and egalitarianism have nothing

in

common. "^^

English Socialist, on the other hand, has written: "Where no egalitarianism there is no Socialism." Roy Jenkins, '"Equalin New Fabian Essays (New York, 1952).

An

there ity"

make

Encyclopaedia of

viet

25

to

is

[56]

Classes in the Industrial Societies

This ideological offensive against egalitarianism coincided broadly with the change in pohcy of the Soviet rulers in the early

wage and

which involved increasing

1930s,

salary differentials,

and

in particular offering

substantial financial incentives to highly skilled work-

and technicians,

ers, scientists

These

intellectuals.

and

after the war,

the

USSR came

policies

managers and

were continued during and

as a result the range of

be almost

to

capitahst countries. It trial

industrial

incomes in

as great as that in the

estimated that in 1953 indus-

is

incomes ranged between 3,500-5,000 roubles a

year for an unskilled worker, and 80,000-120,000 roubles for

an important factory manager. The top incomes

were, therefore, some 25-30 times as great as those at the bottom, which

perhaps somewhat

is

difference in Britain or the

USA between

less

the income of

an unskilled worker and that of a managing

But when the income range

USSR may

the Soviet income tax taxation as a whole

on food and

director.

effects of taxation are considered, the

in the

of the budget

than the

is

income

textile

is

have been greater, for

not steeply progressive, and

regressive, since the greater part is

derived from a turnover tax

goods of mass consumption. These

inequalities of

income have been enhanced by other

by the

abolition of the progressive inheritance

factors:

tax in 1943,

and by the

privileges accorded to the higher

social strata in education cial

and housing,

shops, the acquisition of cars

in the

use of spe-

and other scarce

goods, and the award of prizes, grants and annuities.

The

policy of increasing income differentiation could

[57]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY be explained by the demands of rapid industrialization in the 1930s, and later by the needs of war and post-

war

reconstruction. This

is

planation; but in so far as

might

infer that

not, I think, the

whole

ex-

some

truth,

we

it

contains

with the completion of the stage of

rapid industrialization (which Rostow has called the "drive to maturity") in the

USSR, there would be a

slackening, or even a reversal, of the trend towards

greater inequality.

A

in fact happening.

The author observes

a

number

of

recent study^^ suggests that this

is

that since 1956

pohcy statements have emphasized the

raising of

minimum wages, and he

gramme of

the 22nd Congress of the

quotes the pro-

CPSU

to the eflFect

that in the next twenty years "the disparity

between

high and comparatively low incomes must be steadily reduced."^^ tistics,

He

goes on to calculate, from Soviet sta-

which have become more abundant

years, that

wage

differentials

in recent

have dechned consider-

ably since 1956; for example, whereas the average earnings of engineering technical personnel exceeded those of

manual workers by two and a

half times in the

were only 50 per cent higher in i960. concludes: "The period since 1956 has been marked

early 1930s, they

He

by a narrowing

of skill differentials in

stantial increases in

wage

minimum wages, and

rates, sub-

the dechning

importance of the piece-rate system."^^

Even 2*

at the time

when

the inegalitarian featm-es of

Murray Yanowitch, "The Soviet Income Revolution,"

view, XXIII (4), December, 1963. 27 Ibid., p. 684. 28 Ibid., p. 692.

[58]

Slavic

Re-

Classes in the Industrial Societies Soviet society were so blatant,

it

was often argued that

they did not signify the growth of a

A

new

class system.

sympathetic French observer of Soviet society put

"Some people might be conclude on the basis of this profound wage

argument as follows:

the

tempted to

differentiation that Soviet society has not, in reality,

abolished classes. ... exist in

seems to

It

me

that classes as they

Western countries have actually no true equiva-

USSR. The prejudices based on wealth,

lent in the

one

class to

no longer

exist or

rigid barriers, the organized opposition of its

enlargement from below

—these

are in process of disappearing for ever in the Soviet

Union. Widespread education, the encouragement profusely given

by the

of those elements



authorities to the social

which have been

less

advance

well placed to

points towards a final result that

start

with

may

legitimately be termed a 'classless society.'

That

is

why,

all this

if

.

.

.

anyone may argue about the presence or

absence of classes in the USSR, one must in any case recognize that the upper classes are abundantiy open to

members

levels

of

tlie

lower

have nothing of

cially heredity

The high

crystallization, rigidity, or espe-

mobihty and the absence of against mobihty have often been

rate of social

in this

way

as evidence for the gradual dis-

appearance of social classes

ment >•

is

and that the privileged

about them.''^

important barriers

adduced

classes,

open

in the

USSR. But the argu-

to several objections. In the first place,

Michel Gordey, Visa

to

Moscow

1952).

[59]

,(

English tram.;

New

York,

)

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY there has been no comprehensive study of social bility in the

USSR which would

assertions about

its rate,

comparison with other

have been considerable

mo-

permit such definite

either in absolute terms or in

Social mobility

societies.^**

in the past half century,

may

but

it

can be explained by the rapid industrialization of the country and by losses in war (that tors as in

is,

by the same

fac-

some Western countries) rather than by any

distinctive features of the social structure. Industrial

development created an array of

new

positions in the

higher levels of the social hierarchy, and while the em-

ployed population doubled between 1926 and 1937, the intelligentsia

(officials,

workers, managers nearly four times.

and

The

professional

clerical

and

workers)

The is still

scientific

workers nearly

six

and the

times .^^

process of expansion of white-collar occupations continuing, but in the

USSR

countries, the rate of expansion as industrial maturity 80

of engineers

architects increased nearly eight times,

numbers of

increased

increase in certain occupations

was even more spectacular; the numbers and

scientific

One

of the very

is

is

reached

as in other industrial

hkely to slow (if

we

down

exclude, for

few sources of data is the Harvard study of and R. A. Bauer, The Soviet Citizen:

Soviet imigris; see Alex Inkeles

Daily Life in a Totalitarian Society (Cambridge, Mass., i959)- This is obviously not a study of a representative sample, but such as it is it indicates that the amount of movement from manual into non-

manual occupations as a whole is not exceptionally high in the USSR when compared with some Western societies, but that movement from the manual strata into the elites is particularly high. (For these comparisons see S. M. Miller, op. cit. 31 See S. M. Schwartz, Labor in the Soviet Union ( New York, 1952)-

[60]

Classes in the Industrial Societies

the present, the possible effects of automation), and the degree of mobility will

upon

rectly

social

come

to

depend more

policies designed to

di-

promote the

interchange of individuals between the various social strata. In the later years of Stalin's

some

regime, there were

indications that social mobility

stricted,

was being

while the social privileges of the upper strata

were more strongly emphasized. One step tion

re-

was the introduction,

education and in the

1940, of fees in higher

in

last three

in this direc-

years of secondary edu-

cation. This increased the existing bias in favour of the

upper

strata in the selection of university students,

thus of the next generation of the intelligentsia.

and

The

reservation of high positions for those in the upper

was aided by the new inheritance laws and by

strata

the strengthening of family

ties.^~

Nevertheless, the upper levels of Soviet society prob-

ably remained fairly open and accessible to talented individuals from the Idwer strata,

and

in recent years

there have been attempts to deal with those influences

which

restrict mobility, for

example

in the sphere of

education. Such efforts have been helped by the general

movement

to curb privilege

and

to bring about

a greater equality of economic condition.

time

when income

were other

factors

Even

at the

inequalities

were increasing, there

which made

for social equality over

a large part of Soviet society. There was, and real ^leisure class" in the

USSR; and the

is,

no

fact that so-

** See Alex Inkeles, "Social Stratification and Mobility in the Soviet Union," American Sociological Review, August, 1950.

[6.]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY depends mainly upon occupation

cial status

upon a

is,

definite contribution to the well-being of society

(however tions

—that

arbitrarily the relative value of the contribu-

may be determined

cial eflPects of

economic

in

some

cases)

differences. It



^limits

the so-

seems clear from

the experience of Western countries that the social

based upon property ownership and

distinctions

heritance are their effects,

in-

more strongly felt, and are more divisive in than those which arise from differences

in earned income. Again, the divisions created in the

USSR by income fact that

some

differences

skilled

were moderated by the

manual workers were

also highly

paid, while others could improve their position through activity in the party organizations;

and

still

more by the

absence of such profound social and cultural differences

between manual and non-manual workers most of the Western

as exist in

countries.^^

Yet in the opinion of

many

sociologists the facts

we

have been considering do not bear directly upon the

most

significant aspect of the class structure in Soviet

society.

be

at

However

some

social relationships

"classless''

levels of society,

is

may

there not, in the Soviet

separation between manual workers and non-manual workers Western countries in leisure-time activities is well established by sociological research. On France, see especially P. H. Chombart de Agglomeration Parisienne (Paris, 1952); on EngLauwe, Paris et 33

The

in the

V

land, T. B. Bottomore, "Social Stratification in Voluntary Organiza-

tions" in D. V. Class studies,

(ed.

),

Social Mobility in Britain. Niunerous

from R. A. and H. M. Lynd's Middletown

(New

York, 1929)

to recent investigations of volimtary associations, point to the

phenomenon

in the

USA. This

perhaps, with rising levels of living, to

show any

same

beginning to break down, but there is little evidence as yet

separation

radical change.

[62]

is

Classes in the Industrial Societies

type of society, a governing closely the its

classes of otlier societies, except that

more concentrated and less subject to reMilovan Djilas, in The New Class, has argued

power

straint?

is

Communist party

that the

have come words,

ruhng

which resembles

elite

is

officials

in these societies

new ruling class which, in his those who have special privileges

to constitute a

"made up

of

and economic preference because of the administrative monopoly they hold."'* Similarly, Stanislaw Ossowski, in the work quoted earlier, emphasizes the extent to which in the modem world, and especially in the Soviet countries, changes in the class structure are

brought about by the decisions of pohtical authorities; or as he says classes

later,

no longer

activities

arise

by compulsion or

force.'^^

Thus

spontaneously from the economic

of individuals; instead a political elite im-

poses upon society the type of stratification to be found in a bureaucratic hierarchy.

The most comprehensive expression of this view has been given by Raymond Aron in two articles published in 1950,'^ and more recentiy in his book La Lutte de classes. ^^ Aron asserts tliat the members of the ruling group

in Soviet society

infinitely

more power than the

society, because both »*

Op.

have

cit.,

political

political rulers in a

democratic are con-

and economic power

p. 39.

«*S. Ossowski, Class Structure in the Social Consciousness (Lon-

don, 1963), pp. 184, 186. «• Raymond Aron, "Social Structure and the

RuUng

Class," British

Journal of Socto/ogy, I (1), March, 1950, and I (2), June, 1950. 37 Raymond Aron, La Lutte de classed (Paris, 1964)- See especially

Chapters 9 and

10.

[63]

— CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY centrated in their hands. public

.

Politicians, trade-union leaders,

.

.

generals and managers

oflBcials,

all

belong to one party

and are part of an authoritarian organization. The unified

elite

has absolute and unbounded power.^^

Another element oly which

it

power

in its

enjoys through

and interpretation

of

an

is

its

the ideological

control of the exposition

creed

oflScial

which shapes the thoughts and opinions and provides

of the people

elite

with the

or plurality of elites, in the democratic

elite,

and he seeks

capitalist countries,

to explain the

ence by the presence or absence of

autonomous

—Marxism

justifications for the actions of the ruling

group. Aron contrasts this unified Soviet divided

monop-

classes

diflFer-

and other

interest groups in the society.

These observers agree in discovering a profound

between the ruling

division in Soviet society

elite

and

the rest of the population. Are they right in supposing

new class system? in a movement to-

that this signifies the formation of a

Or

is

it

only a temporary feature

wards a genuinely

classless society?

Defenders of the

Soviet regime have portrayed the Stahnist period

during which the privileges of the upper stratum, ical dictatorship,

treme point

what is

is



as

and an

rule

from

this

cult of personality has itself to is

all

the

more necessary and all

the expecta-

which Marxists had about the nature

of a classless

urgent since tions

ex-

the "cult of personality." But this

no explanation. The

be explained, and

by violence attained an

historical aberration, resulting

now termed

polit-

8« Article cit.,

its

appearance contradicts

British Journal of Sociology,

[64]

I

(2), p.

131.

Classes in the Industrial Societies society.

An

explanation might be attempted by stating

the social conditions which are favourable to the rise of charismatic leaders, along the lines

which Max Weber

USSR

suggested. In the particular instance of the

first

we

could point to such features as the sudden break

with the past

in the revolution,

and the

stresses, to-

gether with the need for authority and discipline, en-

gendered by the rapid industrialization of an economi-

we may

look for

general conditions which favour a unified

elite, as

cally

does

backward country. Or

when he

else,

argues that a "classless society** (in the

restricted sense of a society in prises are publicly

which

all

economic enter-

owned and managed)

produces a great concentration of power

and

of the political

does

when he

come

more Aron

industrial leaders;

suggests that political

so important in

all

and

necessarily

in the

as

hands

Ossowski

power has now be-

the industrial countries, but

especially in the Soviet countries, that the political elite is

able to form and change the system of stratification

rather than being

These ideas are of the relation classes

of

and

how

itself

at variance

ernment,

in

social

power; and also with his account

the class svstem in

The

with Marx's conception

between property ownership,

political

develop.

modem

societies

would

great extension of the activities of gov-

economic development and

of social services; the

powerful

a product of that system.

in the provision

growth of highly organized and

political parties; the influence

which can be

exerted tlirough the modern media of communication: these have

all

worked

to establish a

[65]

major division in

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY society

between the governing

—which

may

elite

clude pohtical and mihtary leaders, high

officials,

the directors of important economic enterprises

in-

and

—and

the mass of the population, to some extent independ-

upon property ownership, stratification. In the USSR, where

ently of social classes based

or of other forms of

—^because

most firmly established

this division is

the

pohtical rulers belong to a party, revolutionary in origin,

which has an exceptionally rigorous organization, and which is further bound together by an all-embracing



ideology

also

it is

most profoundly obscured, because

the doctrine to which the ruling elite adheres excludes

phenome-

either recognition or investigation of such a

non.

At

least, this

at last

has been the case until recently.

some fresh

life

Now

appears to be stirring in the long

body of orthodox Marxism; and not only are Marx*s ideas and theories being re-examined in a more

insensible

critical spirit,

countries

is

but the social structure of the Soviet

beginning to be studied in a more

and objective manner. As a centralization of discussion;

power

are

result, the

problems of the

now more open

and the attempts

to

realistic

to rational

combine public owner-

ship and central planning with the creation of relatively

independent local centres of decision, such as are being

made

in Yugoslavia

through the institutions of workers*

self-management, are no longer rejected out of hand as sinister deviations

from orthodoxy. The Yugoslav

experience, in fact, seems to

and other )

to hold out the

many

socialists

(Marxist

promise of an eventual

[66]

class-

Classes in the Industrial Societies less society in wliich there

would be neither

political

dictatorship nor total intellectual conformity.

same time

it

illustrates

At the

very strikingly the newly toler-

ated diversity of institutions and doctrines within the Soviet group of countries.

The

we have

capitalist societies, as

seen already, are

and any compari-

also diverse in tlieir class structure,

son between the Soviet and the capitalist forms of in-

must recognize that there

dustrial society

is

a con-

siderable range of variation within each type of society



for example, in the nature

and extent of

the magnitude of economic inequalities, in the

ity, in

situation of the

working

fication of the ehte

class

and

in the

degree of uni-

—which makes for a continuum of

differences rather than an abrupt break

two

types. This fact,

which

extreme ideologists on both phasis

social mobil-

is

unpalatable to the more

sides, is

by the common features

societies

which

fluences

upon

result

all

between the

given further em-

in Soviet

and

capitalist

mainly from three important

modem

in-

societies: the rapid progress

of industriahzation, the growing size of organizations, especially in the

economic sphere, and the increasing

part played by governments in the dehberate shaping of

economic and

social life.

Industrialization has sometimes sociologists as a process

been regarded by

which tends natmrally

to bring

about a greater equahty of conditions in society. This

view

ment

is

supported by various arguments. The develop-

of industry breaks

differences of rank,

down any

rigid

and exclusive

by creating unprecedented oppor[67]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY tunities for social mobility,

by extending and improv-

ing education to meet the

new

logical needs,

and by

scientific

and techno-

raising enormously the general

level of living, thus reducing the harshness of the con-

between the conditions

trast

strata of society.

upper and lower

of the

modem

Furthermore,

increasing the size of societies, as well as

by the amount

industry,

which are especially

of mobility, creates circumstances

favourable to the diffusion of egalitarian ideas, as

Bougie attempted to show in a work, lected, it

on Les Idees

egalitaires;^^

and

now much at the

neg-

same time

brings into being a large and articulate social group

—the industrial workers—capable of cal

movement which

of egalitarian

initiating a politi-

gives a great impetus to the spread

and democratic

ideas.

This relationship between industrialization and social stratification

can be seen very well in the present-day

developing countries. In

have been

much

many

of

until recently, extremes of

them there

are, or

wealth and poverty

greater than those in the industrial countries;

and the

upper

traditional

classes

have constituted a

formidable obstacle to economic development, by their general resistance to change and mobility, and by their

propensity to use the large share of the national income

which they receive

for conspicuous

than productive investment. gets

under way successfully

consumption rather

Where

it is

industrialization

very often at the ex-

pense of upper-class wealth and privileges, through confiscation or

high taxation, and the opening of

elite oc-

cupations to talented individuals from the lower social 39 C. Bougie,

Les Idees

^galitaires:

Etude sociologique

[68]

(Paris, 1925).

Classes in the Industrial Societies strata.

Conversely, where, as in India, an extraordinarily

intricate

and

inflexible traditional

form of

stratification

successfully resists any radical changes, the pace of in-

may be

dustrialization

whole endeavour

to

greatly

diminished, and the

promote economic growth be put

in jeopardy. It

would be quite wrong, however,

to suppose that

industrialization leads inexorably to an egalitarian so-

The evidence we have already considered shows

ciety.

Western

that in the

industrial societies there has

been

reduction of economic inequality in the past few

little

decades, while in the

USSR

inequahty actually

in-

creased between the 1930s and the 1950s, to some extent as part of a

pohcy of incentives

to induce

more

rapid industriahzation. Moreover, the other influences at

work

in

modem

increase social inequality,

mentioned

earlier,

tend to

by accentuating the

distinc-

societies,

between ehtes and masses. The increasing size and the growing rationalization of business enterprises has tion

had

by establishing a small group of top managers, supported by expert advisers, in remote conthis effect,

trol of

large

the routine and largely unskilled activities of

numbers

including the of the

same

of workers. Other large organizations,

modem

political parties, also display

some

The increasing scope and powers govemment are another aspect of this

features.

of the central

process in which the making of important decisions

tends to be

more and more concentrated

in

a few

hands, while the powers of independent voluntary associations

The

and

of local elected bodies decline.

principal difference

between the Soviet coun-

[69]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY tries

and the

capitalist

character of the

democracies

elites,

and

is

to

be found in the

poUtical consequences,

its

rather than in the other aspects of social stratification.

As we have

seen, the range of incomes in these societies

broadly similar, and everywhere large differences of income produce distinctions between social groups

is

in their styles of

life,

and

their opportunities

prestige. In the early 1950s,

it

their social

appeared that economic

inequahties were increasing in the Soviet societies and

diminishing societies.

to have

(though very slowly)

in

the capitahst

At the present time, both these trends seem

been reversed, but

it is diflBcult

the consequences of these changes.

as yet to foresee

One

fact does

mark

an important contrast: namely, that in the Soviet societies, economic inequahties do not arise to any sig-

from differences in wealth, whereas the distinctions between property-owners and propertyless workers, between income from property and income

nificant extent

from work, run

all

through the

capitalist societies,

and

largely account for the strong sentiments of class position

which are manifest

there. This circimistance

is

connected with the fact that the distinctions between whole social groups are less obvious and less emphasized in the Soviet societies. Income differences produce

some separation

of groups, but

it is

probably the case

that social intercourse between individuals in different occupations and income levels is a great deal easier

than in the capitalist countries. One of the major divisions in Soviet society has probably been that between

town and country, between urban workers and peas[70]

— Classes in the Industrial Societies

How

ants.

gap has diminished

far the

in recent years

difficult to

it is

determine

in the

USSR

absence

in the

of serious research, but studies in other countries

notably in Yugoslavia and Poland still

considerable;

and

its full

—indicate

extent

is

that

it

is

shown by the

problems of acculturation which arise when peasants are recruited for industrial

work

in the course of eco-

nomic development.

The

contrast

between the unified ruling ehte

in the

Soviet countries and the divided eUte in the capitalist

democracies, which has been so

much emphasized by

sociologists during the past decade, has itself to

terpreted with great care

view that

in

if

we

be

in-

are to escape the absurd

one of these types of society there

is

a

completely monohthic ruling party, while in the other there

is

no ruling group

approach more or elite,

at aU.

less closely

The

Soviet societies

the ideal type of a unified

which suppresses any opposition, whether

political

or intellectual, from other social forces, as well as any conflict within its

societies flicts

own

ranks; but

have experienced

between

it is

clear that these

in practice very serious con-

different interest groups,

and that

in

recent years the opportunities for such interest groups to express criticism

and

to influence

pohcy have

in-

creased.

In the capitalist societies, on the other hand, the evident division of the

elite

into divergent

interest

groups at one level does not preclude the existence at another level of important tions

which tend

to

common

interests

and

aspira-

produce a uniformity of outlook

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY and action on fundamental elites in

issues of social policy.

The

these societies are recruited very largely from

which has its own distinctive economic and cultural interests, and their provenance is likely to shape to a common pattern the ends and forms of an upper

class

which they adopt. Even where the association between an upper class and the elite groups is less action

strong the latter

may

still,

virtue of the manifold

by

connections which are estabhshed between those who wield power in various spheres, come to act generally

between them on particular occasions. This is the principal argument of C. Wright Mills in The Power Elite; but he goes further in concert, despite the conflicts

in suggesting that the

development of

modem

society

tends to produce, by the centralization- of pawer and the-ey«TiiraHoff"6r^we^ening of local and voluntary associations, a

"mass society," the rudiments of which

can be discerned everywhere, and which is gradually taking the place of the older form of industrial society with

its

division into social classes.''^

However,

it is

not so

much

the homogeneity or het-

erogeneity of the ruling ehte as the possibihty of forming and establishing organizations which oppose the

ehte in power, which constitutes the principal difference

between the Soviet

societies

and the

capitalist

democ-

Old-fashioned Marxists explain this disparity very easily, by observing that there are, in the Soviet *0C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite (New York, 1956), p. 304". we have moved a considerable distance along the road to the

racies.

.

.

mass

society.

Germany

At the end of that road there

or in

Communist

Russia."

[7^]

is

totalitarianism, as in

Nazi

Classes in the Industrial Societies societies,

no exploiting or exploited and thus no

class antagonisms, flict;

whereas

classes,

basis for political con-

in the capitalist democracies,

cisely the existence of classes

thus no

it

is

pre-

having opposed interests

The

which engenders the major

political

second part of

very generally accepted,

this

statement

is

conflicts.

though with many qualifications which were indicated in our earlier discussion;**

but the

bear serious examination. In

many of the

—and

especially in the

found

social conflicts,

USSR

first

—there

part will not

Soviet societies

have been pro-

which have erupted from time

to time in large-scale revolts; as for

example

in the

resistance of the Russian peasants to collectivization in

the 1930s, and in the uprising of the Hungarian people in 1956. If these conflicts

have not given

rise to

sustained pubhc opposition to the ruling elite

it is

any only

because they have been forcibly repressed. The absence of an organfzed opposition state of society in

have replaced

is

no indication

at all of a

which harmony and co-operation

conflict

when

it

results in this

way from

the persistent use of violence by the political rulers.

Marx was

consistent in arguing, from his premises,

that with the abohtion of classes the major source of

would be eliminated, and that the need for a coercive state would then disappear. In the phrase of Saint-Simon, which Marx adopted,

pohtical conflict in society

"the government of tion of things." It

men

is all

is

replaced by the administra-

too evident that this

has hapf>ened in the Soviet societies. *i

Sec above, pp. 18-20, 25-27.

[73]

On

is

not what

the contrary

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY the repressive apparatus of the state has grown enormously;^^ and although in the

European countries the

USSR and

rule of force has

since the death of Stalin,

government

other East

been moderated

is still

much more

coercive than in the capitaHst societies.

Of

late there

been more outspoken

in

some spheres

which do not

aflPect

criticism;

and

has

very closely the pohtical regime,

a greater freedom of thought and imagination has been

The

permitted.

official

doctrines of sociahst realism in

music and Hterature seem, happily, to be expiring.

art,

But there

is still

individual, nor

movement for the organized pubUc dis-

neither freedom of

any possibihty of

and opposition on important questions

sent

of social

policy. In certain respects, as in the introduction of the

death penalty for various economic cive

power

of the state has

oflFences,

the coer-

been enhanced,^^ and the

existence of serious conflict within the society all the

more

clearly demonstrated.

Two

may be drawn from

this

that the extent of conflict

and

general conclusions

discussion.

The

first is

of coercive government, in the Soviet societies, indi^2

Except in Yugoslavia, which has remained largely outside the

sphere of influence of the USSR.

Marx himself consistently opposed the coercive power of the state, and he expressed himself forthrightly on the subject of capital punishment, in a passage which is pecuharly apposite to the present conditions in the Soviet coimtries: "Now, what a state of society is that which knows of no better instrument for its own defence than the hangman, and which proclaims ... its own brutahty as eternal law? ... is there not a necessity for deeply reflecting upon an alteration '*3

of the system that breeds these crimes, instead of glorifying the hang-

man who executes a lot of of new ones?" "Capital February

18,

make room only for the supply Punishment," Netc York Daily Tribune,

criminals to

1853.

[74]

Classes in the Industrial Societies cates either that classes

and

antagonisms have

class

survived or have been re-created in a

new form

societies; or else that there are other

important sources

in these

of social conflicts besides those of class interest,

through the influence of a doctrinaire creed

that

if,

such

conflicts are

denied expression,

accomplished in the conclusion

is

that

if

last resort

the

by

this

can only be

violence.

main source

ideological conflicts in the

modem

democracy

and

capitaHst societies

have helped to estabhsh some of the

tions of

The second

of pohtical

has been the opposition between classes, and flicts

and

if

such con-

vital condi-

—the right of dissent and

criticism,

the right to create associations independentiy of the

—then

state

it

must be considered whether the abohtion,

or even the decline, of social classes does not open the

way

for the

growth of a mass

which the

imbounded power, just as much as for of an egahtarian and democratic society.

pohtical elite has

the creation

society, in

[75]

IV SOCIAL CLASS, POLITICS AND

CULTURE

T

^HE

EGALITARIAN movement which came to hfe in

sociahst clubs, trade unions, co-operative ventures

and

Utopian communities grew stronger throughout the nineteenth century as capitalism developed. In the course of time this

forms

—struggles

discrimination,

movement has taken many

for

women's

rights

different

and against

and most recently the

the gap between rich and poor nations

racial

efforts to close

—but

its

driving

force has remained the opposition to the hierarchy of social classes. is

The

class

system of the capitalist societies

seen as the very fount of inequality, from which arise

the chief impediments to individual achievement and

enjoyment, the major conflicts within and between na[76]

Social Class, Politics tions,

and the

political

and Culture

dominance of privileged minor-

ities.

In this

acquired

movement Marx's



or

directly

analysis of capitalist society

indirectly

through the connections which

and

social classes

Marx, the upper

political

it

domination



is, it

tellectual persuasion.

em in

ways under

of a

new

is

neces-

also controls the

means

the

it

divisions within

and engages

the in-

which

domination, are the

this

new

social doctrines,

Only

in the

mod-

however, does a situation occur classes are

reduced to two

demarcated groups, one of which

—because

courts,

classes in society,

ruling class.

which the contending

class

by the

and the agencies of

The other

capitalist societies,

clearly

According to

—constituted production—

source of political opposition, of

and eventually

established between

legislation,

administration, military force,

suffer in various

influence,

class in society

sarily the ruling class; that

pohtical

large

institutions.

owners of the principal means of of

—a

— the working new

contains no significant itself,

social

espouses an egahtarian creed

about a

in a political struggle to bring

classless society.

The appeal

of Marx's theory

is

twofold:

provides

it

a clear and inspiring formulation of the aspirations of the working class, and at the same time

it

offers

an

explanation of the development of forms of society and

government, and especially of the labour

movement

itself.

rise of the

modem

There are not lacking,

in the

present age, governments which are quite plainly the

instruments of rule by an upper

[77]

class, as in

those eco-

.

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY nomically backward countries where the landowners

dominate an uneducated, unorganized and dispirited

When Marx

peasantry.

undertook his studies the class

was just as apparent in the European countries which had embarked upon industrialization. During much of the nineteenth century character of governments

only property-owners in these societies enjoyed full

was scarcely an exaggeration to conceive the government as **a committee for managing

poHtical rights; and

it

common affairs of the many European countries the

two decades suffrage was

bourgeoisie as a whole." In

was only during the

it

first

of the twentieth century that universal

estabhshed.

finally

Since political democracy

is

such a recent growth

Marx can hardly be blamed for having failed to consider all its

imphcations for the association between eco-

nomic and pohtical power. At least he did not disregard the importance of the suffrage. In an article of 1852, in

which he discussed the poHtical progranmie of the Chartists,

The

he wrote:

carrying of Universal SuflErage in England would, there-

be a far more socialistic measure than anything which has been honoured with that name on the Continent. Its inevitable result, here, is the political supremacy of the working class.^ fore,

On

a later occasion,

disparaging

way

true,

it is

Marx

referred in a

to the right of "deciding once in three

or six years which

member

Karl Marx, "The Chartists,"

New

1852. 2

The

Civil

War

in

France

(

was to But he added

of the ruling class

misrepresent the people in Parliament.'*^ 1

more

1871 )

[78]

York Daily Tribune, August 25,

— Social Class, Politics

"On

immediately:

more

the other hand, nothing could be

Commune

foreign to the spirit of the

supersede universal suffrage by hierarchic

The

than to

investitiu'e.*'

which called forth these divergent

situations

ments were

and Culture

assess-

one case Marx

in fact very different. In the

was describing a state of affairs in which a workingclass movement, organized on a large scale, would be capable of putting forward

its

at elections; while in the other trast

the

own

trusted candidates

he was drawing a con-

between an actual working-class government

—and a preceding condition

Commune

working

class

was able

in

which the

one or another

to vote only for

of the bourgeois parties.

The existence come a normal countries,

and

of large working-class parties has be-

feature of the democratic capitahst

one of the principal circumstances

this is

(another being the poUtical system in the Soviet societies

)

which

new problems

concerning the

class

longer as a permanent ruling class? class

rela-

and pohtics. In a pohtical system kind can the owners of property be regarded any between

tionship of this

raise

still

as they

were

still

the same

in the nineteenth-century societies

their restricted franchise?

classes;

Are the relations

classes in the political sphere

emerged

the working

a radical, revolutionary force which seeks

to bring about an egalitarian society?

between

Is

Have new

with

political divisions

alongside, or in the place of, those

or have political conflicts lost

between

some

urgency and importance which they acquired

of the in the

period which saw the rise and growth of the labour

[79]

— CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY movement? These questions controversies

lie at

the heart of present

about the changing class structure of

industrial societies. It

has become common, for example, to remark upon

the great complexity of government in

and upon the influence which interest groups

modem

societies,

exerted by the diverse

is

which are consulted

in the course of

policy-making; and then to argue that where power

divided

among many

different groups,

whose

interests

do not always coincide, the notion of a "ruling has lost

all

dispersed,

meaning. But

how

are

owners of property still

we

if

power

is

is

really so

class"

widely

to accoimt for the fact that the

—the upper

class in Marx's sense

predominate so remarkably in government and

administration, and in other elite positions; or that there

has been so

in spite of the strenuous

labour

movement

to conclude,

and income,

redistribution of wealth

little

to bring

and sustained it

about?

Is it

effort of the

not reasonable

from the evidence provided

in the last

chapter, that notwithstanding political democracy,

and

despite the limited conflicts of interest which occur

between

elite

groups in different spheres, the upper

class in the capitalist societies

is still

largely self -perpetuating social group,

a distinctive

and

the vital positions of power? Its power

commanding, and cised, than in

an

it

is

still

and

occupies

may be

less

certainly less arrogantly exer-

because

earlier period,

an organized opposition and the

it

encounters

test of elections,

and

because other classes have gained a limited access to the ehtes; but the power which

[80]

it

has retained enables

Social Class, Politics it

to

defend successfully

and Culture

most important economic

its

interests.

There are other

diflBcuIties

"ruling class," but I have

elsewhere' and

I shall

present context. It

is

with the concept of a

examined them

at length

not consider them further in the in any case the changes in the

condition of the working class, and especially in political role,

its

which have most impressed students of

class structure in the class," it is

aspires

postwar period. The "new working claimed, is economically prosperous and

to middle-class

consequence

it

standards of living:* and in

has become less class conscious and less

radical in politics.

How far are

these political inferences

warranted? Class consciousness, in a broad sense, may be regarded as one form of the "consciousness of kind"

which develops

enduring social groups; for example, the consciousness of belonging to a particular in all

nation. In this sense, the

emergence of

ness, the increasing use of the

an individual's position

term "class" to describe

in society,

new

social

upon

sociological theories

class conscious-

is

itself

a sign that

groups have come into existence.^ But in Marx's usage, which has had a profound influence both

and upon

political doctrines,

"class consciousness" involves

something more than this; namely, the gradual formation of distinctive ideologies

and

political organizations

•See

my

which have

as their object

and Society (New York, 1965), Chapter 2. Sec above, pp. 28-3 1, » There is a good account by Asa Briggs, "The Language of 'Class' in Early Nineteenth Century England" ia Asa Briggs and John SaviUe Elites

*

(eds.). Essays in

Labour History (New York, i960).

[8.]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY the promotion of particular class interests in a general conflict

between

classes.®

The growing class consciousness of the working class was represented by Marx as showing these characterwas expressed in ideologies and pohtical movements which strongly emphasized the conflict of economic interest between capitalists and workers, and which proposed radical social changes in order to end the system of society istics in

an exceptional degree; for

based upon

classes.

The working

it

class

was, therefore, a

more revolutionary indeed than any earher oppressed classes, since it aimed consciously at abolishing the whole class system. As Marx wrote, with youthful enthusiasm, in a sketch of his theory of modem classes which guided all his mature

revolutionary element in society;

thinking:

A

must be formed which has radical chains, a class in which is not a class of civil society, a class which is the dissolution of all classes, a sphere of society whidi has a universal character because its suflFerings are universal, and which does not claim a particular redress because the wrong which is done to it is not a particular wrong but wrong in general. There must be formed a sphere of society which claims no traditional status but only a human status ... a sphere finally which cannot emancipate itself without emancipating itself from class

civil society

all

the other spheres of society, without therefore emancipating

which is, in short, a and which can only redeem itself by a all

these other spheres;

humanity redemption of

total loss of

total

® Writing about the peasantry in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte Marx observed: "In so far as there is merely a local inter-

among these

smallholding peasants, and the identity of their no community, no national bond, and no political organization among them, they do not form a class."

connection

interests begets

[82]

.

Social ClasSy Politics

and Culture

humanity. This dissolution of society, as a particular

class, is

the

proletariatJ

This conception of the working class as the animator

movement which is to establish a appears to many sociologists to be

of a revolutionary classless society,

highly questionable in the hght of recent investigations. It is

not that the prevalence of class consciousness in

mem-

a broad sense, or the association between class bership and pohtical afiBhaaon,

shown

Social surveys have

is

generally denied.

plainly that

most people are

famihar with the class structure of their society, and

own

are aware of their

position within

Equally,

it.

has been shown that class membership strongest single influence

pohtical attitudes; in

upon a

still

the

person's social

and

is

is

and that the major pohtical

most countries represent pre-eminently

What

parties

class interests.

brought into question by recent studies

is

is

the

class, in

the advanced industrial

striving to bring

about a revolutionary

view that the working countries,

it

transformation of society, rather than piecemeal reforms

within the existing social structure; or that there total

is

a

incompatibihty and opposition between the doc-

trines

and objectives of

their

main support from

political parties

which draw

difi^erent classes.

In Marx's

theory the working class was revolutionary in two senses:

first,

that

aimed, or would aim, to produce

it

the most comprehensive and fundamental change in social institutions that ^ Karl

had ever been accomphshed

in

Marx, "Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right," in DexiUch-

Franzosische Jahrbiicher

(

1844 )

[83]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY the history of mankind, and secondly, that

it

would do

so in the course of a sustained conflict with the bourgeoisie

which was

struggle for power.

to culminate in a violent

likely

The nascent working

mid-nineteenth century

fitted

class of the

reasonably well into this

scheme, which was constructed largely out of the ex-

The "new working

periences of the French Revolution. class" of the

mid-twentieth century,

it

is

argued,

fits

badly.

Studies of industrial workers during the past decade

agree broadly in finding that there has been a decline in their attachment to collective ends, their lish

a

and so

also in

enthusiasm for action as a class in order to estab-

new social

in four

modem

order. F. Zweig, in his study of workers enterprises, observes that

ing about classes a

man would seem

"when speak-

to

be thinking

primarily about himself, about the individual aspect of the problem,

and not about the

social situation or

the social structure,"^ and he goes on to say that

al-

though two-thirds of the workers he interviewed placed themselves in the working class identity

class, this

recognition of their

was not accompanied by any strong

ings of class allegiance.

A

feel-

study of French workers®

The authors distinguish three types of reaction among factory workers to their situation in the economy and in society: (i) evasion (the attempt to escape from industrial work arrives at very similar conclusions.

8

F. Zweig,

The Worker

in

an Affluent Society (New York, 1961),

p. 134. s

A. Andrieux and

J.

Lignon, L' Ouvrier d'aujourd'hui (Paris, i960).

[84]

Social Class, Politics

by

either

by

and Culture

rising to a higher position within the firm or

up

setting

on one's own account); (2)

in business

resignation (a dull and resentful acceptance of indus-

an inescapable fate); and (3) revolt (opposition and resistance to the capitalist organization

work

trial

as

Of these three types, the second is by far most common, while the third is the least so; and

of industry).

the

even the 9 per cent of workers in this category, believe that they can improve their situation by

be able

fundamentally the subordinate

to alter

position of the worker in

summarize

their results

workers they studied (i.e.

col-

no longer believe that any future society

lective action, will

who

the factory.

The authors

by saying that although the

still

have a group consciousness

they regard themselves as "workers," clearly dis-

tinguished from other groups in the population), they

no longer have any worker

is

traditions

collective aims.

The present-day

man who is cut oflF from and who possesses no general "a

working-class principles,

world-view, which might give a direction to his

no

life."^^

This conclusion, they observe, agrees entirely with those

number

of studies in

Germany, by Popitz,

Bednarik and others. Popitz and

his collaborators, in

reached

in a

their study of workers in the

show

that there

which

is

built

is

Ruhr

steel

industry,"

a strong working-class consciousness,

around the distinction between manual

workers and those

who

plan, direct

and command work;

JO Ibid., p. 189.

"

H. Popitz, H.

p.

Bahrdt, E. A. Jiiresr H. Resting,

schaftsbild des ArbeUers (Tiibingen, 1957).

[85]

Das

Gesell-

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY but those

who

still

think in Marxist terms of the victory

of the working class

and the attainment

of a classless

society are a small minority. Similarly, Bednarik con-

cludes his essay on the young worker of today

by saying

that "society has ceased to be an ideal for the working

and that the worker "tends more and more withdraw into private life."^^ class,"

Several of these ideas are brought together

to

by Gold-

thorpe and Lockwood, in their analysis of the notion of embourgeoisement,^^

where

it is

suggested that there

has been, in the Western industrial countries, a con-

vergence between the "new middle class" and the "new

working

class,"

leading to a distinctive view of society

which diverges both from the

radical individuahsm of

the old middle classes and from the comprehensive collectivism of the old working class. In this

perspective collectivism

(and

this

among

is

new

social

widely accepted as a means

accounts for the spread of trade unionism

white-collar workers )

,

but no longer as an end

(which accounts for the weakening of

class allegiance

among workers). Goldthorpe and Lockwood use

the

terms "instrumental collectivism" and "family centredness" to describe the complex of beliefs and attitudes in this conception of society.

The second term

the

phenomenon which other

as a

withdrawal into private

12

K.

Bednarik,

refers to

writers have described

life,

and which

Der junge Arbeiter von heute

is

—ein

revealed neuer Typ

(1953), pp. 138-9, 141. 18 John H. Goldthorpe and David Lockwood, "AflBuence and the British Class Structure," Sociological Review, XI (2), July, 1963. See above, pp. 30-31.

[86]

and Culture

Social Class, Politics

by the individual worker's predominant concern with

own

his family's standard of living, his

advancement, the education of

prospects of

and

his children

their

opportunities to enter superior occupations.

The second

feature of the working class as a revolu-

namely

tionary force, struggles, can

advanced

involvement in violent class

be discussed more

industrial

conflict has greatly

ades,

its

countries

In

briefly.

all

the

the violence of class

diminished over the past few dec-

and the working-class

parties

which

still

regard

their aims as likely to

are few in

be achieved by the use of force number and insignificant. The change from

the conditions at the end of the nineteenth century has

been produced by several

may

among which we

factors,

development of pohtical democracy,

single out the

the more efi^ective power of

modem

governments, aided

by the great advances in military technology, in administration and in communication, and the changes in the nature of working-class aims as well as in the relations

between

classes. It

would be a mistake

to dismiss

entirely the role of force in pohtical conflicts in the

Western

industrial societies; for not only did violent

class struggles take place as recently as the 1930s,

— example, between the USA—have often engendered

other types of social conflict

Negroes and whites

in

but

for

violence during the past decade. Nevertheless, at the

present time

it

embarked upon especially

is

in

which have

just

industrialization that violent struggles,

between

Changes

in those countries

classes, are

mainly to be found.

the relations between

[87]

classes

in

the

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY have accompanied the changes in

capitalist societies

the character of the major social classes, influencing

and being influenced by the

latter.

In so far as social

grown in numbers, the image of society as divided between two great contending classes has become blurred by the superimposition of another image, in which society

mobility has increased, and the middle class has

appears as an indefinite and changing hierarchy of status

which merge

positions,

into each other,

and

between which individuals and families are able to

move with much

everyday economic struggle between

the

addition,

greater facility than in the past. In

workers and employers has been regulated more and

more by the

through the creation of

state,

and

institutions for negotiation, arbitration sultation. It

is

new

joint con-

this situation

which leads Ralf Dahren-

and Class

Conflict in Industrial So-

dorf, in his Class

ciety, to write of "post-capitalist societies" in

industrial

this

conflicts are

still

truth in so far as classes

and

political

it

it

contains an element of

points to the moderation of hostility

and

to the

emergence

of political issues

some measure detached from questions interest. There is unquestionably some common

which are of class

and

very largely about class interests, and

are widely recognized as such,

between

politics;

an exaggeration, inasmuch as

is

which

have been institutionalized

conflicts

thereby insulated from the sphere of

although

social

in

ground between the main

em industrial countries;

political parties in the

and the development

and technology, economic growth and [88]

West-

of science

rising levels of

Social Class, Politics

urban congestion and crime, are among the

living,

issues

and Culture

which have

to

be dealt with pohtically along

much the same lines in all the industrial countries. The social changes which have produced the "new working

class," as well as a political climate in

violent confrontations

between the

which

are rare,

classes

have been interpreted by some sociologists as a crucial phase in a process which is leading to the complete assimilation of the

working

class into existing society, as

a

beginning of the "end of ideology** in the precise sense of

the decline of socialist doctrines

which

radical criticism of present-day society

offer

a

and the hope

of an alternative form of society. But this interpretation

goes beyond the facts which have been discovered by sociological research. It rehes, for instance,

upon a

tacit

comparison between the present state of working-class consciousness and imperfectly

its

known

some vaguely located and which is seen as a time of

state in

past age,

heroic resolution and mihtancy. Against this

be observed that

few decades,

in the past

period in which the working class

is

it

should

in the very

supposed to have

become more middle

class in its outlook, the

for socialist parties in

Europe has been maintained or

has substantially increased.

It

may be

support

objected that this

support has been gained by the progressive elimination of distinctively socialist ideas from the of such parties. But this too

is

doubtful.

programmes

The language

changed over the past century, in ways would be rewarding to study more closely, but

of socialism has

which

it

the ends of the labour

movement [89]

—collectivism

and

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY social equality

—^have not been abandoned or even

seri-

ously questioned.

The

picture of working-class apathy

thusiasm for collective ends which

and lack

is

of en-

given by the

mentioned earUer has to be seen, therefore, as a portrait taken at one moment of time and not as the

studies

final

episode of a serial film.

picture

it

may

Even

not do justice to

as a

momentary

the features of the

all

situation. Serge Mallet, in his study of the

"new work-

ing class" referred to above,^^ suggests that because the worker as a producer is still dominated and con-

consumer he experiences a new freedom and independence, it is in relation to the working environment that class consciousness is most vigor-

strained, while as a

ously expressed;^^ and this

is

apparent, he thinks, in the

changing nature of trade-union demands in the modem sectors of industry, which are concerned increasingly with shorter hours of work, longer holidays, and greater control over the pohcies of management. These de-

mands

reflect the desire of the

"new working

alter radically its position in the

class" to

system of production,

which is close to the ideas of classical socialist thought. The same aspirations, it may be added, find in a sense

14 Pp.

31-32 above. This appears very clearly in the comments of workers reported in the study by Andrieux and Lignon (op. cit.). They mention frequently and bitterly the di£Ference in the treatment which they receive from 15

(in other people according to whether they are recognized as workers One time). leisure the factory, travelhng to work) or as citizens (in

up by saying that when I am out in my around, but tions the policeman comes up touching

worker

summed ".

is

.

it

.

car his

dealing with a gentleman" (pp. 31-32).

[90]

worker he was pushed and stop to ask for direccap because he thinks he

as a

and Culture

Social Class, Politics

expression in the widening discussion of various forms of producers' co-operation, wliich has been inspired

very largely by the progress of workers* self-manage-

ment

in Yugoslavia.

There are several other influences at work Western industrial

which sustain the ideo-

societies

logical controversies over the future

and which lend support, doctrines

of

the

in the

form of

society,

in particular, to the socialist

working

clkss.

One

the

of

most

more general acceptance, of pubhc ownership of industry, public management of the economy, and pubhc provision of a wide range of social and cultural services. The contrast between "private opulence" and "public squalor," to which J. K. Galbraith has pointed, has awakened many important

is

the extension, and the

people to the fact that in

modem

societies

many

of the

most valuable private amenities can only be got or preserved through pubhc action. Individuals

may be

prosperous enough to provide adequately for their personal needs in food, housing, transport, and

some kinds

of entertainment, but they cannot individuaUy assure

what

is

needed

for full

facilities for sport

tions, or a

The

enjoyment

in the

way

of roads,

and recreation, good working condi-

congenial and attractive urban environment.

unrestricted pursuit of private wealth and private

enjoyment

leads, indeed, to the

impoverishment of these

vital public services.

In the economic sphere the growth in the size of firms in

major branches of industry, and the approach to

monopolistic control in some sectors, has reduced the

[91]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY between the operations of publicly owned and privately owned enterprises; and if there is, at the difference

present time, no great pubhc excitement over the issue of "nationahzation" of industry, this it is

is

in part

because

taken for granted that a change of ownership would

not affect the economic performance of the industry. In part, also,

it is

due

to recognition of the fact that

economy as a whole, in a modem society, must anyway be increasingly regulated and directed by the the

pohtical authorities is

if

a consistently high rate of growth

to be achieved, through the systematic apphcation of

Today the entrepreneur has become much less important; while the trained manager (who can perfectly well be a pubhc servant) and the science to production.

scientist

The state,

have become much more important.

increasing provision of social services

which

in recent times has

by the

been largely brought

about by the pressure of the labour movement, has also fortified the sociahst

collectivist society.

State

may

conception of a more equal, more Social legislation in the Welfare

not be preponderantly egalitarian, either in

intention or in effect,^® but as

it is

extended and comes

eventually to include an "incomes policy'* so

proaches the conditions in which, as a scientist

it

German

has observed, the task of social policy

ap-

social is

to

determine the order of priority of claims against the national product." ^*

For a

And

these are conditions which

discvission of this point see T.

(New

"

H. Marshall, Social Policy

York, 1965), Chapter 13, "Retrospect and Prospect." Quoted by T. H. Marshall, Social Policy, p. 183.

[9^]

— and Culture

Social Class, Politics

would accord most

with the institutions of a class-

fully

less society.

This discussion of classes and ideologies in

em

societies,

if it

tlie

West-

suggests that the working class

still

be considered an independent force

life,

and one which

may

in political

aims to bring about radical

still

changes in the social structure, also indicates that the

development of

tlie

working

respects from the course

Marxists expected

it

class has

diverged in

many

which Marx and the early

to follow.

Marx's theory dealt,

necessarily, with the

first

working

proposed broad hypotheses rather

class,

and

it

stages in the formation of the

than settled conclusions based upon intensive research.

The Marxist

sociologists



any case few

in

in

number

have not greatly advanced the empirical study of classes.

social

Often they have seemed to be writing about an

imaginary society, in which a pure class struggle continues inexorably, unsullied life

by such events

of practical

as the advent of political democracy, the extension

of welfare services, the

growth of national income, or

the increasing governmental regulation of the econ-

omy. Marx himself, through

his

dramatic vision of a

revolutionary confrontation between the classes and his initial

optimism about the growth of the labour

movement, gave some encouragement of this kind. There

therefore there

to an outlook

had been bourgeois

would be proletarian

revolutions,

revolutions.

Neither Marx nor his followers examined sufficiently the strengths and weaknesses of ihe major social classes in capitalist society,

many

of which, indeed, have only

[93]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY become apparent through the experiences fifty or sixty years. Marx insisted that the in

any society are the ideas of the ruUng

how

did not seriously consider

of the past

ruling ideas

class.

But he

important the ideas

themselves might be in sustaining that rule, or diflficult it

them with his

own

would be its

own

working

for the

ideas. ^^

class to

how

oppose

Doubtless he thought that

would have a great effect (as it counted upon the economic failure

social theory

has), and he also of capitalism

—the

ever-worsening crises



to discredit

bourgeois ideas. In fact, bourgeois ideas have only been discredited, for brief periods, in those societies

have suffered defeat

and

in war,

it is

in

which

such circum-

stances that the major revolutions of the twentieth cen-

tury have occurred. Otherwise

working

it is

class in all countries has

true to say that the

continued to be pro-

foundly influenced by the dominant ideas of capitalist

by nationalism and imperialism, by the competitive, acquisitive and possessive conception of human nature and social relations, and in recent society; for example,

times by a view of the overriding purpose of society as being the creation of ever greater material wealth.

The attempts diflBculties

to

combat these ideas reveal the immense

involved in doing

so.

The

ideal of working-

class internationalism, in opposition to national rivalries Gramsci was the only one who gave much and I should think that he was influenced in this direction by the work of his compatriot Mosca, who had introduced the term "poUtical formula" to describe the body of doctrine which every ruhng class, in his view, has to develop and to get accepted by the rest of society if it is to retain power. *8

Among

later Marxists,

serious attention to these questions,

[94]

— Social Class, Politics

and war between

more than

and Culture

been realized

nations, has never

in

a fragmentary form, in the face of differences

of language and culture, and the manifold problems of establishing international associations at any level.

On

the other side, the idea of competition and of activ-

ity

as

when

mainly acquisitive easily becomes acceptable is

it

real or

associated with equality of opportunity

supposed

—for

which the working

class itself

has striven; while the idea of uninterrupted economic

growth must clearly appeal, with reason,

who

to those

are struggling to escape from cramping poverty.

Yet in spite of these lectivist ideas

difficulties, egalitarian

have spread widely during

and

col-

this century.

They have done so more slowly than Marx expected, but this might mean no more than that he made a mistake over the time scale while

still

the general direction of change.

whether these ideas have

begun

being right about

The question now

lost their

vigour and have

to recede, or

whether they are

A number

of sociologists, as

effective.

is

still

active

we have

and

seen,

observe a decline in the enthusiasm of the working

any

social

distinctive

work-

class for collective ends, a loss of interest in

mission,

and the gradual erosion of a

ing-class culture.

A

few,

among them

regard the combination of political levels of living as the final

society,"

and thus

M. Lipset, democracy and high S.

achievement of the "good

as the terminal point of the labour

movement: "democracy

is

not only or even primarily

a means through which different groups can attain their

ends or seek the good society; [95]

it is

the good society

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY Lipset concedes that there

itself in operation.**^®

a

is still

class struggle of sorts in the capitalist countries,

he

sees

it

as

but

being concerned only with the distribution

of income, not with any profound changes in the social

and he assumes that there is a constant trend towards greater equality of income which is turning the struggle into a process of limited bargaining between interest groups, while denuding

structure or culture;

it

of

ideological or political significance.

all

There are several reasons to be cautious about accepting this view that the relative peace on the ideological front,

and the apparent decline

ing-class social ideals,

in the vigour of

work-

have become permanent features

of the capitalist societies; that the final form of industrial society

has been reached. First,

there will be growing discontent as that there

is

it

it

is

likely that

becomes evident

no general trend towards greater economic

on the contrary, there are very powerful movements which tend to produce a more unequal distribution of income and wealth whenever equality,

and

that,

the industrial and pohtical pressure of the working class

is

relaxed. It

is

obvious, for example, that in

Western countries there

is

some

a great disproportion be-

tween the modest wage increases which many industrial workers have claimed in recent years, and the large increases of salary

which some groups

of professional

workers have demanded. Those in the professions have

many advantages

in pressing their claims, especially

where the supply of 19 S.

M.

Lipset, Political

qualified people

Man (New [96]

is

limited

York, i960), p. 403.

by the

Social Class, Politics

and Culture

nature of the educational system; their actions are usually interpreted

more sympathetically by the mass

media than are the

similar actions of industrial workers;

and

their

class

consciousness and determination

to

maintain or improve their established position in society

appear to be waxing rather than waning. In society as a

whole

it

is

likely that the

continued economic

growth, which has benefited the working

class,

has

brought even greater gains to those whose incomes are derived wholly or mainly from the ownership of capital.

If,

between

therefore, a tranquil

and moderate struggle

classes or sectional interests,

and ideological

depend upon a setded trend towards greater economic equality, they cannot be regarded at present peace,

as in

any way assured.

A second important,

consideration, is

that there

which seems

me

still

more

a growing discrepancy be-

is

tween the condition of the working in leisure time. Security of

to

class at

employment and

work and

rising levels

of hving have brought greater freedom of choice

and

independence of action for industrial workers outside the workplace, and }'Ounger workers in particular have

taken advantage of their result of this leisure has

is

new

opportunities. But one

that the contrast

become more

between work and

intense: at

work there

is still

constraint, strict subordination, lack of responsibility,

absence of means for self-expression. All the studies of the

modern working

class

which

I

reviewed

earlier

bring out clearly that workers are profoundly aware of this division in their lives,

and that they have a deep

[97]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY hatred of the present system of industrial work.

would undoubtedly recognize

their condition in Marx's

observation that a worker "does not his

work but denies

They

himself in

fulfil

himself, has a feeling of misery

rather than well-being, does not develop freely his

mental and physical powers but

and mentally debased," that

physically exhausted

is

work

is

not voluntary

but imposed, forced labour" and that he

"feels himself

at

home

*Tlis

only in his leisure time."^^

hard to believe that such a division can continue

It is

unchanged, but

it

may be overcome

economic growth

several different ways. Sustained result in such a reduction of

or mitigated in

working hours and expan-

and

sion of leisure time that the hierarchical ian structure of industry

comes

there

and

for concern. Or,

may be renewed

authoritar-

to play a negligible

part in the individual's personal

no longer a matter

may

efforts to

social

life,

and

is

on the other hand, introduce into the

sphere of economic production some of the freedom

and independence which efforts

exist in leisure time,

may be helped by changes

production activity

itself,

as

it

in the character of

becomes increasingly a

—using both the natural and the

—which

and these scientific

social sciences

needs the services of highly educated and

responsible individuals to carry there will be

on.

it

some combination

Most probably,

of these

two move-

ments; but in so far as the second one takes place at

all

be through the actions of working-class organizations seeking to control the labour process, which it

will

20 Karl

Marx, Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts (1844).

[98]

Social Class, Politics

appears, as

still

it

and Culture

did to Marx, as the fundamental

activity in every social system.

The

working class in modem societies has been a more protracted affair than Marx supposed, and it

rise of the

has only rarely approached that state of decisive

struggle with the bourgeoisie

the future a similar likely,

but the end

which he expected. In gradual development appears most

may

still

be Marx's ideal

society, a

it is only now, when the tremendous development of the sciences has created

classless

society.

Indeed,

—but

the possibility of truly wealthy societies uncertainties of population growth fare

can be regarded as

inequality

and

and nuclear war-

—that the economic foundations of

ciety

would remain

assured.

in the

for the

a classless so-

What

kinds

absence of social

of

classes,

where individuals had independence responsibility both at work and in leisure, can only be conjectured. There would doubdess be some differin conditions

and

ences in the prestige of occupations, in incomes, and in the social position of individuals, but there is no reason to suppose that these

would be very

large, or that they

would be incompatible with an awareness of basic human equality and community. The principal fault in many recent studies of social classes has

been that they lack an

the economists of

whom Marx

historical sense.

said that they

Like

beheved

there had been history, because feudalism had disap-

peared, but there was no longer any history, because capitalism was a natural and eternal social order, some sociologists

have accepted that there was an historical [99]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY development of

classes

and

of class conflicts in the early

period of industrial capitalism, but that this has ceased in the fully evolved industrial societies in

which the

working class has escaped from poverty and has attained industrial and political citizenship. But this assumption is

made without any real

study of the evolution of social

classes in recent times, or of the social

movements

at

the present time which reveal the possibihties of future

An historical analysis of the changing class structure in modem societies, such as I have merely social change.

outlined here, remains one of the most important unfulfilled tasks of sociology today.

[lOo]

POSTSCRIPT

TO THE AMERICAN EDITION

.

POSTSCRIPT TO

THE AMERICAN EDITION

T

JLhe

distinctive character of the American class system

has been recognized by social thinkers at least since the

time of de Tocqueville. Early in the present century a German economist and historian, Werner Sombart, published an essay^ in which he sought to account for the absence of socialism that is, of a class-conscious working-





movement in the United States, and found an answer mainly in the high degree of mobihty between the classes.

class

Some

years later a Polish sociologist, Stanislaw Ossow-

fifty

examining the phenomenon which he called "non-egalitarian classlessness" in America, concluded that the most important element in the view of those numerous Americans ski,

who

see their society as "classless"

is

the idea that there

are no distinct and insuperable barriers between the various

book

have discussed between the same the United States and some European countries. But I have done so very briefly, and the publication of an American edition afFords an opportunity and a possible justification for examining more fully this ideological and political classthe Negro lessness, as well as those recent social trends

strata of society.^ In the present

I

question in the course of a comparison



1

Werner Sombart, Warwn

Sozialismus? 2

(

gibt e* in

den VervirUgten Staaten kgkMm

1906 )

Stanislaw Ossowski, Class Structure in the Social Consciousneu York, Free Press of Clencoc, Inc., 1963), pp. 100-10.

(New

[103]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY poverty amidst prosperity, the revival of radical criticism which may change profoundly revolt, the rediscovery of



the political outlook.

Two

books, pubhshed with an interval of nearly twenty

an excellent view of the changing conceptions of social class among American social scientists, and at the same time suggest a relationship between these conceptions and the condition of American society. Charles H. Page, in his Class and American Sociology: From Ward to Ross,^ shows how the founders of American academic sociology reacted against the individualistic theory of Herbert Spencer, which had had so great an influence upon American social years, give

thought, and how they introduced in their writings the ideas of class and class struggle. These ideas were taken in

work of German historians and sociologists, but they were at the same time a response to the changing American society of the closing decades of the nineteenth century, when the great trusts came into existence, the tide of social criticism mounted, and labour organizations on the Ein"opean model began to be formed. Of the writers whose work Professor Page discusses, Sumner, in particular, was still a defender of the status quo, but he felt obliged nonetheless to confront the problem of class interests, and in his book What Social Classes Owe to Each Other he expounded, as an answer to the evident tensions in American society, a doctrine of social harmony based upon the idea of the mutual dependence of the major classes. Others among the early sociologists, and notably Small, Ward and Ross, became much more critical of the economic inequahty and the imperfect democracy of their society, and their radicahsm became manifest in the importance which they attributed to the divergence of class interests. In the writings of Albion Small, who was influenced both by Marx and by Gumplowicz, the theme of large measure from the

class conflict occupies a large place, as 8

it

did later in the

Published 1940; reprinted 1964 by Octagon House, Inc.,

York.

[104]

New

Postscript to the

work of Veblen, though to be those of Marx.

The

American Edition

at this stage the classes

had ceased

book is not only that it draws attention to the deep concern of the fathers of American sociology with the class structure of their society in interest of Professor Page's

it was written at a time when concern had revived very strongly as an accompaniment of the economic depression and the intensification of class

its

pohtical bearing, but that

this

and ideological conflicts in all the great industrial The book appeared, however, just at the close of that era, when American society was about to enter a period of sustained economic growth and more general prosperity. In the next two decades the study of social stratification took quite a different turn, as Leonard Reissman's survey, Class in American Society* makes plain. Instead of the opposition between major classes in a pohtical struggle it was now the manifestations of social prestige in the local community, evaluated in terms of consumption patterns and struggles

countries.

styles of life, or occupational prestige

and individual mo-

through the educational system, which absorbed the attention of sociologists. The underlying conception was that of America as a middle-class society in which some people were simply more middle class than others. bility

The sociologists' view received support from observers of the pohtical scene. Professor Hofstadter, for instance, in two on conservatism in America,** makes a distinction "class pohtics" and "status pohtics" in order to account for the differences between the political movements of the 1930s and those of the 1950s, and argues that whereas "class politics" predominate in times of economic depression and discontent, "status politics" come to the fore in periods articles

between

is meant to have a general apphcation, but Professor Hofstadter thinks that in the

of prosperity. TTiis argument

*

New

York, Free Press of Gler»coe, Inc., 1959. Hofstadter, "The Pseudo-Conservative

•Richard

Revolt" and "Pseudo-Conservatism Revisited: A Postscript" in Daniel Bell, ed.. The Radical Right (New York, Doubleday & Co., Inc., 1963), pp. 75-95. 97-103.

[105]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY United States the basis for "status

politics"

is

broader and

stronger than elsewhere because of "the rootlessness and

heterogeneity of American

life, and above all, of its peand its peculiar search for secure identity."® The scramble and the search are explained in turn by the massive immigration between 1881 and 1920, which exacerbated the struggle to "belong," to acquire or retain a recognized status. Even struggles of this kind, however, may have a reahstic character in periods of economic hardship and may issue in programs of social reform; but in prosperous times they are Hkely to run riot and to project into the political arena "utterly irrelevant fantasies and dis-

culiar scramble for status

orders of a purely personal kind."^ In the second of his

Hofstadter extends the notion of "status

articles Professor

pohtics" to

comprehend what he

calls "cultural politics," or

the persistence of specific historical themes in the political of a given society. This draws attention to an important element in politics, but it opens up a range of problems different from those indicated by the contrast between "class life

and "status politics," which refers not so much to the variations between societies as to the temporal fluctuations politics"

in political activity in the

modem

industrial societies taken

as a whole.

This conception of the alternation of "class politics" and **status politics,"

which makes use

sense of an idea of

Max

in a

Weber's,®

is

somewhat

open

different

to criticism. In

6 Ibid., p. 83. 7 Ibid., p.

8

"When

100.

the bases of the acquisition and distribution of goods are

relatively stable, stratification

by

status

is

favored. Every technological

repercussion and economic transformation threatens stratification by status

and pushes the

class situation into the foreground.

countries in which the naked class situation

is

Epochs and

of predominant signif-

icance are regularly the periods of economic and technological transformations."

Max Weber,

lated in H. H. Gerth

Essays in Sociology

"Classes, Status

and C. Wright

(New

Groups and

Mills, eds.,

Parties," trans-

From Max Weber:

York, Oxford University Press, 1946) pp.

193-94-

[106]

Postscript to the

American Edition

the European societies of the twentieth century, class has generally been a predominant factor in politics and remains so at the present time, but "status politics" have always

had

a place, particularly in the social outlook of the middle classes. There were, for example, plenty of "irrelevant fan-

and disorders" of a personal kind in German politics which saw the rise to power of the National Socialists, even though the major political struggle was one between social classes. In the United States, on the other hand, it seems true to say that "status politics" have always predominated since the early years of this century, if only because one of the protagonists in a confrontation between namely, the working class has always been absent classes as an organized and ideologically committed force. Among the reasons for this, in addition to those which are habitually adduced, such as American individualism and the opportunities for social mobility, may be counted the ethnic diversity of American industrial workers in the crucial period from 1880 to 1920, and the pressures of national sentiment in a "new nation." The United States has exhibited in microcosm the difficulties which prevented the workers of the world from uniting eflFectively, and at the same time has shown the power of a national community to subdue class tasies

of the period





hostilities.

The consequences no labour movement

As there was and trade so there were

of this absence are plain. in

which

socialist doctrines

union organizations became firmly allied, never any "class politics" strong enough or independent enough to supply an alternative to the "status politics" which arose from the need to belong or from such historical oppositions as those between North and South, or between the states and the federal authority. There have been radical

movements among intellectuals (including social scientists), and it is this which makes plausible the contrast between the politics of the 1930s and those of the 1950s, but such movements have never influenced more than a small part [107]

CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY The

of the working class. in the 1960s, far as

it is

which

is

revival of intellectual radicalism

unusual and perhaps surprising inso-

occurring in a period of economic prosperity,

poses the question whether there are changes taking place in the United States

which

will in the future induce or en-

courage the formation of a working-class political movement. This same question may be put in another way by asking, as Mrs. Joan Robinson once did, whether capitalism can survive in a single country namely, in the United States. I shall not pretend to answer the question adequately in the



compass of a

brief

postscript,

but

I shall try to set

out the

important elements of an answer. First of all, the present intellectual radicalism has the advantage of being linked with a practical and realistic political movement, that of the

American Negroes This

movement

is

for economic, civil

and

not a class struggle, as I

in the book, because

it

political rights.

have observed

does not aim at the present time to

bring about any radical changes in the form of American soonly to secure a decent place for the Negro within

ciety,

it.

Nevertheless, the Negro revolt has provoked, in the civil

movement, a fundamental questioning of the nature American society, and it has been at least partly responsible for the present concern with poverty, urban slums, and other social problems. As the revolt proceeds, and if it results, for example, in the greater unionization of Negro rights

of

workers,

it

may

bring about changes in the ideology of the

American working class which will be favourable to the emergence of a more radical labour movement. The acceptance of the Negro in American society is only one aspect of a more general process. As the era of mass immigration recedes and it is already nearly two generations away so the importance of ethnic divisions must be expected to decline. It follows from this that the bases of "status politics" are hkely to be gradually eroded and the conditions created in which class interests are more clearly perceived. This is a phenomenon which it would be exciting and useful for





sociologists to investigate in the next decade.

[108]

American Edition

Postscript to the

A second

factor to

be considered

is

the changing balance

of social ideals in the modem world. In much of Europe and in most of the third world socialist doctrines have become predominant, and the United States can hardly escape their influence. Indeed, this influence

is

plainly to

be seen

proclaimed —now as the goal of the American people— which although harks in the notion of die 'Great Society'

officially

it

back to the New Deal is essentially a reflection of the European "Welfare State." It is still a pale reflection; yet even in its present form it diverges widely from traditional American ideals of individuahsm, self-help, free enterprise and minimum government; and it is bitterly assailed by conservative tliinkers on these grounds. However, if an external model is to influence a society in this fashion there must be

some

propitious circumstances within the receiving society.

In the United States I think that the circumstances are to be found in a growing hostility to the culture of capitalism, as Schumpeter once suggested. Capitalism may deliver the goods economically speaking, though we now know that a planned economy is able to do so just as effectively. What capitalism, at least in its extreme individualistic and enterprising form, cannot do is to produce a civilized society, because it gives an excessive importance to sentiments and

modes

—material production, acquisitiveness, com— which need to be restrained civilization to

of activity

petitiveness

is

if

Schumpeter it was the modem secular moral hostihty to capitalism, and he might have cited as an instance even such a moderate thinker as J. S. Mill, who wrote in his Principles of Political Economy: "I confess I am not charmed with the ideal of life held out by those who think that the normal state of flourish.

According

intellectuals

human

who

beings

is

to

initiated the

that of struggling to get on; that the tram-

pling, crushing, elbowing,

which form the sirable lot of

symptoms Is

and treading on each

existing type of social

human

life,

other's heels,

are the most de-

kind, or anything but the disagreeable

of one of the phases of industrial progress."

anyone charmed any longer? The disaffection of the

[109]

— CLASSES IN MODERN SOCIETY intellectuals has continued

times; but

more important

is

and even increased

in recent

the fact that the hostility to the

beyond the Concern about public squalor,

culture of capitalism seems to have spread far confines of this small group.

the ugliness and inhumanity of the great

cities,

the standards

of public education, and the influence of the mass media, added to the concern about poverty and inequahty of rights, has begun to affect the social attitudes of a large proportion of the population.

How

far this readiness to accept funda-

mental changes in American society has gone it is impossible to determine exactly on present evidence, but it can scarcely be doubted that the new attitudes are widely diffused, since it is they which sustain the social policies of the Great Society.

Even if it be accepted, however, that there is now in the United States a form of social conflict the Negro revolt which anticipates in some degree a more general opposition of class interests, and an intellectual radical movement which has wide repercussions, it may still be doubted whether these will ever culminate in a working-class, socialist movement. One obvious impediment is that, just as in the past, the American trade unions have remained largely untouched



by the new radicahsm. Until they are

affected, until a class

consciousness emerges in these organized groups of the

working

may

class, there

can be no effective

socialist poHtics. It

well be too late for anything of the kind to occur.

growth of the middle which have moderated countries,

United

may

States.

still

On

classes

The

and increasing prosperity, in the European

class ideologies

prevent their appearance at

all in

the

the other hand, present social conflicts,

the extension of automation, the declining role of the entrepreneur, the enormous social problems of the 1960s, the

evident uncertainty about the quality of the American of

life,

way

the impact of socialist ideas in the rest of the world,

may produce

the opposite result. But even supposing that

a more widely based radical

movement began

[no]

to develop,

'

how

could

it

Postscript to the

American Edition

ever find a place, or achieve success, in the

established two-party system?

It

is

true that the obstacles

confronting a nascent third party are formidable. Nevertheless,

such parties have been successful, and the British is one example. More apposite and interest-

Labour Party

is the case of the New Democratic Party in Canada, since it is both recent and North American. The NDP has succeeded in establishing itself as a major party during a period of remarkable economic prosperity, and in

ing, perhaps,

the recent general election

share of the votes. that

it

It

increased substantially

it

its

resembles the British Labour Party in

and between organized working

receives the direct support of trade unions,

achieves, though on a smaller scale, that association

and the industrially which is an essential condition for the success of a socialist movement. How far this experience may be relevant to the present conditions in the United States has still to be seen. There

radical intellectuals class

are signs,

I think,

that a

new

political

movement may

velop successfully over the next few decades. In

be

my

de-

view,

accomplishment of any great United States, and even for the preservation of the hberal and democratic character of American

this will

essential for the

social reforms in the

society.

[hi]

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Selected Bibliography

General Works Aron, Raymond, La Ltttte de classes (Paris, Gallimard, 1964). Dahrendorf, Ralf, Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society (Stanford, Cal., Stanford University Press, 1959). Milovan, The New Class (New York, Frederick A. Praeger,

Djilas,

Inc., 1957)Geiger, Theodor, Die Klassengesellschaft

im Schmelztiegel (Koln-

Hagen, 1949). International

Sociological

Association,

Transactions

of

the

Third

World Congress

of Sociology (London, 1956), Vol. III. Marshall, T. H., Class, Citizenship and Social Development (Garden

Qty, N.Y., Doubleday & Co., as Sociology at the Crossroads

Inc.,

1964). (Published in England

and Other

Essays.

)

Ossowski, Stanislaw, Class Structure in the Social Consciousness

(

New

York, Free Press of Glencoe, Inc., 1963). Schumpeter, J. A., "Social Classes in an Ethnically Homogeneoxis

Environment," in Imperialism and Social Classes (New York, Meridian Books, 1955). Weber, Max, "Class, Status, Party," in H. H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills,

eds..

From Max Weber:

Oxford University

Elssays in Sociology

(New

York,

Press, 1946}.

The Upper Classes Aron, Raymond, "Classe sociale, classe pohtique, classe dirigeante," European Jounud of Sociology, I (a), 1960, pp. 260-S2. Baltzell, E. Digby, An American Business Aristocracy (New York, Collier Books, 1962).

[U5]

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Bottomore, T.

B., Elites

and Society (New York, Basic Books,

Publishers, 1965), Chap. 2. Guttsman, W. L., The British Political Elite Inc., Publishers,

Meisel, James H.,

(

New

Inc.,

York, Basic Books,

1964).

The Myth of the Ruling

Class:

Gaetano Mosca and

the Elite (Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1958). Mills, C. Wright, The Power Elite (New York, Oxford University Press, 1956)-

(New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, i939)Veblen, Thorstein, The Theory of the Leisure Class ( 1899; new edition. New York, Mentor Books, 1953, with an introduction by C. Wright Mills). Mosca, Gaetano, The Ruling Class

The Middle

Classes

Croner, Fritz, Soziologie der Angestellten (Koln, Berlin, Kiepenheuer

and Witsch, 1962). Crozier,

Michel,

sans conscience ou prefiguration de la European Journal of Sociology, I (2), i960,

"Classes

soci^t^ sans classes,"

pp. 233-47. Inventaires III. Classes

moyennes (Paris, F^lix Alcan, 1939). Lockwood, David, Blackcoated Worker (New York, Oxford University Press, 1958). Mills, C.

Wright, White Collar: The American Middle Classes

(New

York, Oxford University Press, 1951).

The Working Class Andrieux, Andree, and Lignon, Jean, L'Ouvrier d'aufourd'hui (Paris, Marcel Riviere, i960). Blauner, Robert, Alienation and Freedom: The Factory Worker and

His Industry (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1964). G. A., The Proletariat (New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1937). Goldthorpe, John H., and Lockwood, David, "AflBuence and the British Class Structure," The Sociological Review, XI (2), July Briefs,

1963, pp. 133-63)Hoggart, Richard, The Uses of Literacy (New York, Oxford University Press, 1957). Lockwood, David, "The 'New Working Class,' " European Journal of Sociology,

1

(2), i960, pp.

248-59.

[116]

Selected Bibliography Mallet, Serge,

La Nouvelle

Classe ouvridre (Paris, Editions

du

Seuil,

1963).

and Kesting, H.. Das CeseU-

Popitz. H., Bahrdt, H. P., Jiires, E. A.,

schaftshdd des Arbeiters (Tubingen, J. C. B. Mohr, 1957). Thompson, E. P., The Making of the English Working Class York, Pantheon Books, 1964). Zweig, Ferdynand, The Worker in an Affluent Society Free Press of Glencoe, Inc., 1962).

(New

(New York,

Class Consciousness Halbwachs, Maurice, The Psychology of Social Class

(

New

York, Free

Press of Glencoe, Inc., 1959).

Centers,

Richard,

The Psychology

of

Social

Classes

(Princeton,

Princeton University Press, 1949).

Luldcs, Ceorg, Geschichte und Klassenbewusstsein (Berlin, Malik Verlag, 1923). French translation, Histoire et conscience de classe

de Minuit, i960). Thought," in Essays on Sociology and Social Psychology (New York, Oxford University Press, 1953)(Paris, Editions

Mannheim,

Karl, "Conservative

Class Conflict, Social Revolution Arendt, Hannah,

On

Revolution

(New

York,

The Viking

Press, Inc.,

1965). Dahrendorf, Ralf, "t)ber einige Probleme der soziologischen Theorie der Revolution," European Journal of Sociology, II (1), 1961, pp.

153-62. Geiger, Theodor, Die Masse

und

ihre Aktion: ein Beitrag zur Soziologie

der Revolution (Stuttgart, F. Enke, 1926). Geiger, Theodor, "Revolution," in A. Vierkandt (ed.), Handworterbuch der Soziologie (Stuttgkrt, F. Enke, 1931), pp. 511-18. Kautsky, Karl, The Social Revolution (Chicago, C. H. Kerr & Co., 1903). Meusel, A., "Revolution and Counter-revolution," in Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (New York, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1934). Vol. XIII, pp. 367-76. Sorel, Georges,

Reflections

on Violence

(New

York, Free Press of

Glencoe, Inc., 1950). See also the books by Axon and Dahr^dorf mentioned under "General

Works" above.

[117]

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Social Mobility and Class Structure (Lund, Sweden,

Carlsson, Gbsta, Social Mobility

Gleerup, 1958). Floud, J. E., Halsey, A. H., and Martin, F. M., Social Class and Educational Opportunity (London, William Heinemann, Ltd., 1957). Girard, Alain, sitaires

Glass,

La

Riussite sociale en France (Paris, Presses Univer-

de France, 1961).

D. V. (ed.). Social Mobility in Britain

(New

York, Free Press

of Glencoe, Inc., 1955). Lipset, S. M., and Bendix, R., Social Mobility in Industrial Society

(Berkeley, University of California Press, 1959). S. M., "Comparative Social Mobility," Current

Miller,

Sociology,

IX (1), i960.

(New York, 1927); reprinted with a chapter from his Social and Cultural Dynamics (New York, Free

Sorokin, P. A., Social Mobility

Press of Glencoe, Inc., 1959).

[118]

Index

Andrieux, A., 84 Arnold, Matthew, 37 Aron, Raymond, 63-64, 65 Asiatic society, 15, a 1-22 Bahrdt, H. Baltzell, E.

P.,

Democracy, 75, 78 Disraeli, B., 37 Djilas, M., 62 Domestic servants, 41

85

Education, 45-46 80-81

Digby, 52

Elite, 62-73,

Bauer, R. A-, 60 Bednarik, K., 86 Bell, Daniel, 105 Bendix, R., 26, 43, 51 Bloch, Marc, 9 Booth, Charles, 38, 40 Bottomore, T. B., 62 Bougie, C, 68

Equahty,

Floud,

36-48 Businessmen, 44, 52 Britain,

Chombart de Lauwe, P. H., 62 Civil servants, 44-45 Class conflict, 13-16, 55, 72-75, Comte,

A.,

48-49,

J.

E.,

45

Gordey, M., 59 Great Society, 109-10 Gramsci, A., 94

Capitalism, 5-6, 56, 109-10 Capital punishment, 74 Caste, 3, 9

104-5

6-8,

Galbraith, J. K., 91 Gerth, H. H., 106 Glass, D. v., 43, 45, 62 Goldthorpe, J. H., 30, 86

Bourgeoisie, 21, 22, 28-29 Briggs, Asa, 81

86^,

3-4,

56-57, 67-68, 95-97 Estate, 9

Halsey, A. H., 45 Harrington, M., 53 Hegel, G. W. F., 16 Hobsbawm, E. J., 16

Hoeben,

L.,

45

Hofstadter, R., 105-6

19

Copeman, G. H., 44

Income

Dahrendorf, Ralf, 27-28, 88

Industrialization, 67-69 Inkdes, A., 60, 61

Dalton, H., 11 Davis. K., 26

distribution, 11, 23, 39-40, 52-53. 57-58. 70-71

[119]

INDEX Tenldns, Roy, 56 E. A., 85

Revolution, 82-84, 92-94 Robinson, Joan, 108

Kelsall, R. K.,

Rostow, W., 58 Rousseau, J. J., 10 Rowntree, B. Seebohm, 38, 40 Ruling class, 62-66, 77-81

Jiires,

45

Resting, H., 85 Kolko, G., 52

Kuznets,

S.,

52

H.

Saint-Simon, Lavers, G. R., 41 Leisure, 97-99 Lichtheim, G., 15

Lignon,

J.,

84

Lipset, S. M., 26, 43, 51, Lockwood, D., 30, 86

96

Mallet, Serge, 31, 90 Marshall, T. H., 5, 10, 92 Martin, F. M., 45 Marx, Karl, 13-29, 32-35. 41, 56, 65, 66, 72-73, 77-79, 81-83, 93-99, 104-5 classes, 23-25, 51,

86

S.

106

Mosca, G., 11, 94 Myrdal, Gimnar, 53

Ossowsld,

S.,

109, 110-11

Sombart, Werner, 103 Spencer, H., 19, 104 Srinivas, M. N., 9

74

-

H., 37, 39,

40

Titmuss, R. M., 40, 53 de Tocqueville, A., 48, 103

USA, 48-55, 103-11 USSR, 56-75 110

21, 33,

63, 65,

103

Veblen, T., 33, 105

Ward, L. 33 Weber, Max, 24-27, Welfare

Page, C. H., 104-5 Pareto, V., 11 Political power, 27-28, 73-74

33, 65, 106

State, 5, 34, 92,

Weydemeyer, Working class,

J.,

109

14

17-19, 24, 29-32,

79, 81-87, 89-91, 93-99, 108,

32-33,

Popitz, H., 85 Poverty, 38, 42-43, 53.54 Prestige; see Social status Property, 37-38, 48-49, 50-51

110-11

Yanowitch, M., 58 Yugoslavia, 66, 74, 91

Zweig, Reissman, L.,

50-52,

Social status, 23-26 Socialism, 70, 71-72, 89, 90-92,

Tawny, R.

Mill, J. S., 109 Mills, C. Wright, 50, 72, Moore, W. E., 26

Nationalism, 19-20 Negroes, 54-55, 108,

mobility, 43-47, 59-62, 88 Social services, 40-42

Stalin, J., 56, 61,

M., 43, 44, 60 Miller, William, 52

MiUer,

de),

73 Sampson, Anthony, 38-39 Saville, John, 81 Schwartz, S. M., 60 Small, A., 104, 105 Social development, 14-15 Social

Lynd, R. A. and H. M., 62

Middle

(Comte

103

[120]

F.,

84

T. B.

BOTTOMORE,

one of the world's leading

stu-

dents of class structure and society, was educated

at

the University of London, receiving his B.Sc. and

M.Sc.

in

He

economics and sociology.

tain with the British forces in India

World War

II.

and Austria during

In 1951, he received a grant from the

Rockefeller Foundation for Paris. Professor

served as a cap-

Bottomore

work is

at the University of

head of the Department

and Anthropology at Simon Eraser University, Canada. He has contributed to numerous learned journals and his previous books of Pohtical Science, Sociology

include Karl Marx: Selected Writings in Sociology and Social Philosophy, Sociology:

and and

A

Guide

to

Literature, Karl Marx: Early Writings,

Problems

and

Elites

work has been translated into many languages, including German, Spanish, Hebrew and Society. His

Japanese.

The author has

recently published a

new

book. Critics of Society: Radical Thought in North

America.

He

is

married and has three children.

SOCIOLOGY

T'B.'BOTTOMORE

"This is a brief but first-rate introduction to the study of class as a sociological concept. It considers class structure both in modern capitalist and socialist societies, examining, in particular, the Professor Marxist theory of class struggle and consciousness. Bottomore presents, in a masterly way, the key questions which any consideration of social classes must raise and, in the small compass of this book has produced a stimulating survey of the .

.

.

subject."

—The Humanist (London) Bottomore has provided us with an excellent introduction [His] book is warmly recwhich deserves to be widely read.

**Mr.

.

.

.

ommended." — Royden Harrison, The Tribune (London) "The appearance of

this

short

book

.

.

.

confirms Bottomore's The arguments are

position as a master of the incisive essay. tight but without formalism, theoretically informed but always in touch with empirical reality, and engage without being ideo.

.

.

Bottomore's book represents a badly needed antidote to the recent spate of works heralding as The First New Nation what can now be studied more fruitfully as The Last Old Society" —Walter Buckley, American Sociological Review logical.

.

.

.

DESIGN BY JOHN KASHIWABARA

A VINTAGE BOOK

394-70414-2