1990s >> 1991 >> no-1037-january-1991

Editorial: Classless Britain – A Major Fallacy

After the 1987 election Thatcher looked as impregnable as the Berlin Wall. It turned out that she was. At the Tory conference last year she told her witless followers that she and her government would create a “classless society”. It turned out that her colleagues had something else in mind: a Thatcherless Tory party.

Now that the boy apprentice, Major, has taken power he is uttering as equally nonsensical promises as his deposed mistress. Major promised, in the course f the “friendly” backstabbing contest with Hurd and Heseltine, the ex-public school chappies, that he would lead Britain to become a classless society. He went further—this new “classless Britain” would be established by the year 2000.

Major’s promise is undiluted nonsense. Britain is a small part of the world capitalist system. Under this system there are two classes: those who possess the means of wealth production and distribution (less than 5 per cent of the world’s population) and those who produce all of the goods and services: the overwhelming majority of people, the working class. The capitalist owners live by exploiting the workers. Class exploitation is the sole source of rent, interest profit. Major and his party are fundamentally committed to the defence and perpetuation of the profit system. They are the guardians of the sacred right of capitalists to exploit wage and salary workers. They are as wedded to the class division which characterises present-day society as fleas are to a dirty dog.

When Major speaks of a classless society what he really means is a casteless society. In Britain there has always been a reluctance within the old, aristocratic ruling class to admit the newly-rich capitalists into its ranks. The remnants of feudal power who wanted to deny the industrial capitalists the right to vote in 1832 are still put out by the presence of such vulgar new admissions to the robber class as Thatcher, Tebbit or Major being in their company. The old money exploiters like Heseltine regard the New Money crowd as being in a lower caste. But Major, the lad who left school at sixteen and was turned down for a job on the buses because he could not read properly, wants a capitalist class which robs on equal terms with one another, without distinction of origin.

There is a parallel. In the USA in the 1930s there were several established robber gangs which dominated the criminal scene in cities like Chicago and New York. New gangs of Italian or other immigrant robbers came on the scene and there emerged a massive inter-gang warfare. For a time the police could just sit back while the robbers stabbed and shot one another. Similarly, in recent times the caste struggle in the Tory party has allowed the Labourite Tory reserve team to sit back and enjoy the intra-Tory warfare.

The class struggle in society is between the wealth makers and the profit takers. We are many. They are few. We have a world to win!

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