Socialist Standard October 2021 Letter

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  • #223085
    Wez
    Participant

    ‘They are the head of what’s left of the aristocracy and great landowners in their own right.’

    I think that this phrase from the reply to a letter can be misleading. Many people are completely confused by the British class system and its history and this statement just feeds into the confusion. It implies that the ‘aristocracy’ are a separate class and that their economic interests might be separate from, or even antithetical, to the interests of the capitalist class. From the 17th century the aristocracy have merged with the capitalist class and their wealth all derives from surplus value whether it be rents, profits or interest on capital. The aristocracy only exists in terms of the historical anachronism of family inheritance and/or titles paid for or given to them by governments (in the Queen’s name) and they do not represent a different economic class (the only meaningful definition of the term ‘class’ to a Marxist).

    #223100
    ALB
    Keymaster

    It does say “what’s left of the aristocracy”, a reference presumably to the hierarchy of dukes, earls, marquesses and barons, at the top of which is the monarch. All that’s left over from feudalism.

    Of course most aristocrats are now capitalists, even though some of them are still great landowners a part of whose income is ground-rent.

    #223104
    Wez
    Participant

    ‘Of course most aristocrats are now capitalists, even though some of them are still great landowners a part of whose income is ground-rent.’

    ‘Most aristocrats’? Again confusing since we know there are only two classes – working and capitalist. Are you saying that some live entirely off of ground rent and that this makes them a separate economic class called aristocrats?

    #223109
    ALB
    Keymaster

    No.

    #225214

    Aristocracy is the new toy used by the left instead of capitalists The term is very popular within the Latin American left

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