It seems the bewildered casualties of the post-Tatcher education system still believe that class means talking proper and not naming your children after brands of champagne. People who still need to ask:
Let’s try explaining again how it works.
The bigger the factory you own, the more middle class you are. The less you control the means of your survival, the more working class you are.
So a collier’s factory. his capital, are his muscles and his pick, if lucky. He is therefore more middle class than someone who only ‘owns’ his muscles. It is the sum of his capital assets which can be used to directly create productive work. His pick is his production line and distribution system in one. His ‘factory’s’ orders for labour come from the mine owner, just as his orders for coal come from the wholesalers and the market forces beyond.
But the miner is less middle class than the grocer who sells him his food from his own shop, however modest. He is also less middle class than the tradesman with a highly marketable skill (and his own tools, ideally) who has a lot of time invested in learning his trade. A lawyer is a tradesman, what makes him more middle class than a carpenter is his clientelle – and the fact that like most of the so-called ‘professional classes’* he is also paid to tell lies.
The bigger the capital investment, the more insulated the individual from the whims of the market, and the higher up the social scale the individual progresses. The less the individual can invest, the less he ‘has to show’ for his work, the more he is vulnerable to the needs of others, and the more he needs to work with others to defend what few rights he does enjoy and try to secure whatever advances for his class are achievable.
And so on and so forth, Mr Rockefeller. Surely even trained journalists at the Sun could understand that, inasmuch as they can read, that is.
How depressing after more than a century of state education and one of the most dramatic, publicised and illuminating economic crashes of all time to still have to explain that money means power, and that the strong are more powerful than the weak. I blame the parents.
* ‘The Professions’ – as in a specialist craft or skill which often comes with a uniform and often consists of being ‘economical with the truth’.
Lawyers, the clergy, the military, politicians, the press, and even doctors.