The Far-Right Have No Concept of ‘Working Class’

Individuals within the far-right in this country have a very odd understanding of what it means to be ‘working class’, and of the concept of ‘class’ in general.

Over the last few months in various circumstances, I have heard the following categories of people being labelled by the far-right as not ‘working class’….. Students, office workers, teachers, social workers, nurses, black people, Asians, Muslims, Gays, Lesbians, Eastern Europeans, women, and all public sector workers.

In fact I head that the only ‘real’ working class people are construction workers, people who work on factory floors, and people from the armed forces. They are of course mistaken.

I will not attempt to use any high-brow definitions or theories of class as it will bore me as much as people reading it. However, if someone earns £15,000 a year labouring on a building site they are working class. Also, someone else who earns £30,000 a year working as a teacher is also working class. They are both in the same position of having to exchange their labour for a sum of money. Just because one works in manual labour does not them any more working class. However, I do accept that there are differences in standards of living, job security, and social marginalisation.  Nor does it matter what age, gender, sexuality, religion, or colour, the individuals are.  A white, male plasterer is working class, and a black midwife is working class.

Together the working class is strong. Divided they are not. So in whose interests is it to keep the working class divided? Yes you guessed it; it’s the ruling class who benefit from a fractured working class. They want us to fight amongst ourselves, they want us to complain that Bill has got something that Julie has not got, and they want wages, conditions, and jobs driven down to the lowest common denominator. We have absolutely no shared interests with the ruling class, so why do the far right consistently do the bosses job for them.

When the country is in recession, they blame immigrants for being a drain on the British tax payer, yet they never mention multi-millionaire business owners, who control the vast majority of the wealth. They blame benefit cheats, yet they never mention companies who dodge tax equivalent to five times the entire benefit bill. Why do they target the poorest and most vulnerable ‘working class’ people, yet never complain about the bosses?

Boneheads within the far-right are nowhere near to developing any semblance of a ‘class consciousness’. They have no idea of what ‘class’ actually means, where they fit within the pyramid of a capitalist system, how capital works, and how the ruling class use and divide them in order to keep them subservient and grateful.

A genuinely class conscious worker does not attack picket lines, or attack trade unionists. Unions are the main way that working class people organise themselves against the bosses, so why attack them? Why attack socialist paper sales? Why attack immigrants? Why attack anti jubilee protestors? Why attack Muslims?

Why not attack the ruling class and the capitalist system? Yes they talk about corrupt governments and politicians being scum etc. But all they wish to do is change one set of corrupt bosses for their own set of corrupt bosses.

Their attitudes and behaviours are nothing new. Mussolini and Hitler both employed similar methods to smash the working classes within Italy and Germany. The history of the far-right in the UK is riddled with the upper classes, landed gentry, and rich business owners, who use mobs of young white males to push their own political agendas, scapegoating anyone they can for society’s ills, other than the real culprits.

A genuinely class conscious worker does not discriminate against other workers, regardless of colour, creed, or religion, nor do they side with the bosses. They realise that united, the working class are strong, but divided they are not.

I will fight with workers of many colours, but never for a boss of any colour!

6 Responses to “The Far-Right Have No Concept of ‘Working Class’”
  1. This is really poor, sub-trotskyite “Marxism for infants” and I’m going to briefly explain why.

    In vulgar marxist terms, yes you’re absolutely correct. But you’re spectacularly missing the point. The definition of class is not whether or not you wear stone island or what you’re accent is, but the nature of your relationship with the productive base of the economy. Do you sell your labour-time in exchange for a wage, or do you recieve an income from other things, such as owning shares or inherited wealth?

    However, when you reduce a complex and nuanced issue down to a dumb pseudo-marxist binary choice, it begins to break down. For example, by this logic, Wayne Rooney, who earns £120,000 a week by selling his labour to Manchester United, is more working class than my self-employed friend who earns £6,000 a year, who is technically petit-bourgeosis.

    If you really think that someone who’s a teacher earning £30k a year is suffering the same sort of social marginalization and deprivation as someone who’s earning half that working in an unskilled, insecure, labouring job then it speaks volumes about disconnected you must be from everyday working-class experience. I come from a relatively stable and middle-class background myself, even though both my parents were technically working-class. The difference between my upbringing and that of many of my friends was vast, I was very lucky and I will be the first to ackowledge that.

    Truthfully I come accross this type of argument most often from very middle class SWP members who cling onto it as a way of proving that they’re just as proletarian as anyone, even people earning a 1/3 of what they earn. I can’t say I’m surprised that I’m now seeing Anarchists echo the same sort of attitude, I’m met plenty of middle-class anarchits in my time, although I did expect better from LiverpoolAF who I sincerely have a lot of respect and admiration for.

    No hard feelings, Delroy.

    • Fray Bentos says:

      Hi Delroy, thanks for taking the time to respond. Yes, I agreee with some of the things you mention, and I have slightly altered the text re what you discussed about a worker earning 15,000 and one earnign 30,000. How disconnected I musst be from everyday working class experience? FYI my mum packed oxo cubes for a living and my dad was a painter and decorator, and I have had my fair share of minimum wage jobs in factories, labouring, and in supermarkets, but I never resented people who earn a bit more than I did, nor did i see them as the enemy. Also, just for the record, not everyone in LiverAF is an Anarchist

  2. B31 Antifascist says:

    The British working class are depleted, demoralised and disempowered. We of course have Thatcher and her bedfellow Blair to thank for that over the course of the past thirty years, maybe the same could be said for the Left in general, as Britain has become a nation of enslaved Sun-readers. In such a jobs-scarce nation it is easy for fascists to spread filth, however their filth is unsubstantiated as each piece of shit the EDL crap out of their arses is based upon lies.

    Fascist/far right (lie no1, fascism=extreme right, communism=extreme left, learnt that in school) ideology dictates that your average EDL sympathiser is more interested in hisself than his fellow working class citizen. More interested in his ‘country’ than the humans that inhabit it. And more interested in a rose tinted view of a Britain that was (i.e all white, heterosexual, Protestant etc), than a Britain that is in 2012 and the issues and challenges therein(look on Youtube for Gil Scott-Heron ‘B Movie’). But moreso in terms of the working classes the far right would rather have a disenfranchised generation of so-called ‘chavs’ that their upper super-rich Telegraph-reading cronies would happily demonise and criticise…but also prey upon so that the glory goes to their leaders (Stephen Lennon, Nick Griffin, Marine Le Pen etc). We already know the BNP and their EDL cohorts rule upon the basis of ignorance not knowledge. Keep that ignorance festering, scapegoat weak people (such as those on benefits, a hate target of the far right that is now exposed) and the hopeless oblivion continues. Yet inject knowledge into the working classes and the seeds are sown for social justice.

    The far right really are nothing more than more Thatcherites, determined to further fragment the working classes by capitalism, misinformation, unemployment, propaganda (hello Rupert) and petty nationalism. Humanity is stronger than nationhood as is peace and war. It is only us on the Left that can present a strong, united, and empowered working class fighting for 21st century reform along the lines of the founding fathers of the labour movement and the struggle for the vote for women and even the Peoples march for Jobs back in 1982!

    In a nutshell, a book is a very effective weapon against fascism. Probably why the fash sheeple dismiss librarians and teachers as ‘red scum’.

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