By Pat Walker
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Extra info for Between Labor and Capital
It has its own history of mass struggle, not as an ally or appendage of the industrial working class, but as a mass constituency in and of itself. At the same time, most of the U. S. left continues to believe (correctly, we think) that without a mass working class left, only the most marginal of social reforms is possible. S. left is explained by 5 6 BETWEEN LABOR AND CAPITAL the theories to which most of the left now adheres. Orthodox Marxism describes capitalist society as being polarized between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat; it has nothing to say about a "middle class," or of course, about middle-class radicalism.
Thus the relationship between the PMC and the working class is objectively antagonistic. The functions and interests ofthe two classes are not merely different; they are mutually contradictory. True, both groups are forced to sell their labor power to the capitalist class; both are necessary to the productive process under capitalism; and they share an antagonistic relation to the capitalist class. ) But these commonalities should not distract us from the fact that the professional-managerial workers exist, as a mass grouping in monopoly capitalist society, only by virtue of the expropri ation of the skills and culture once indigenous to the working class.
I. Classes In Monopoly Capitalist S ociety The classical Marxian analysis of capitalist society centers on two classes and two alone-the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. , its members are progressively forced down into the proletariat).! Meanwhile, the working class not only expands to embrace the vast majority ofthe working popUlation, but also becomes more and more homogenous and unified. As early as the turn of the century it was becoming evident that the class structures of the advanced capitalist countries were not evolving along quite so straight a path.