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25 Mar 2012

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Soc231, January 23rd lecture
About the test: 4 questions, one page answer for each, list the main points, no rambling. 10% for
each answer.
Marx made a lot of predictions: how societies will develop. His work should be studied as what
is or isn’t the truth, rather it should be viewed as his ideas of the processes that will/might go into
the building of a society.
-video on youtube: crises of capitalism, RSA animation. Sort of puts all of the issues of
capitalism into perspective using simple art.
-class control: conflict between the slave owners and slaves.
-feudalism: conflict between serfs and feudal lords. Had very different interests and therefore had
a very different experience of the same world.
-capitalism: conflict between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. But there were a number of
different types of bourgeoisie: financial bourg (were in the banking structure), landowners
(agriculture for the market so had a huge control over the market), petit bourg (small business
owners such as shops owners, barbers, etc), old middle class, new middle class (don’t own
capital but work for big corps that do, referred to now as white collar workers, ex: profs), the
proletariat (are the working class, work from one job to another, sometimes have 2-3 jobs, no
organization in their work, lack a professional setting).
mature capitalism: “class polarization”
-industrial bourg, financial bourg, and landowners are all capitalists in their own respective ways.
-old middle class, new middle class and the proletariat can be lumped as workers
-polarization occurs as capitalism matures, and you see extended conflict between wage
labourers and capitalists.
Polarization and homogenization of class:
despite conflicts within classes, many times their interests are conjoined. Example of this is the
Wikipedia strike which illustrates the conflict bwteen capitalists of silicon valley andhollywood
who prodiuce media and the digital tech world. So they are both connected and have similar
interests but are from the same class.
-we also see conflict within the qworking class: race, unionized vs. non-unionized, etc.
class struggle and social change:
class in itself: “objective”
class for itself: class consciousness or “subjective”.
the over production of commodity is in Marx’s opinion irrational and contradictory to capital
values. Because over prod=more availability, and prices and profit go down.
centralization of capital: mergers and takeovers. Boom and bust, so recession and depression.
-cyclical crises are built into the system. At one point you have to have a recession or depression.
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