[lbo-talk] Big business takes distance from Trump immigration policy

Bill Bartlett william7 at aapt.net.au
Tue Jan 31 15:19:13 PST 2017

On 01/02/201 Carrol Cox wrote:

> A query. How do you define/describe the petty bourgeoisie?
> How large is that element of the population?
> And just for the hell of it, another query: How politically important (now or potentially) are those over 65?

Assuming that "petty bourgeoisie" is just a miss-spelling of the French "petit bourgeoisie", I would define small capitalist pretty much the same as I define "capitalist". That is, a person who doesn't need to work for a living because they own enough capital to live by the profits extracted from the labour of others. What is small and what is large is difficult to define in that context and probably not important. Anyhow, its a vague and confusing concept, those who use the term are a little confused, as evidenced by the fact they confuse the French "petit" with the English "petty", which have different meanings.

For the record, I strongly disagree with Marv's suggestion that "independent contractors" are necessarily small capitalists. Except in the identity politics sense where many people tend identify with a certain class they would like to become part of. But that is just a symptom of the wider malaise of lack of class-consciousness. The bottom line, it seems to me, is that a capitalist needs to have sufficient capital to free him from the need to work himself, or he is simply a worker with ideas above his station. Aspirations alone don't butter any parsnips. Being an "independent contractor" or "self-employed" more often than not merely means a worker is self-exploited.

All these instances of lack of class-consciousness are to be expected. After all, the day subjective class consciousness aligns with objective class reality will probably be the day that the final nail will be driven into the coffin of the ruling class.

Bill Bartlett Bracknell Tas

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