Getting Serious About Class Dynamics: Culture, Politics and Class

by William Tabb

1. Bill Vlasic, "Detroit Sets Its Future on a Foundation of Two-Tier Wages," New York Times, September 12, 2011.

2. This is from Scott Shane and cited by David Callahan, "Freelance Nation," The American Prospect, March, 2012, p. 41.

3. Nicholas D. Kristof, "The White Underclass," New York Times, November 27, 2011.

4. Michael Zweig, The Working Class Majority: America’s Best Kept Secret (Ithaca, NY: ILR Press, Second Edition, 2012). (p.3) Zweig defines classes "in large part based on the power and authority people have at work....A relative handful of people have great power to organize and direct production, while a much larger number have almost no authority. In a capitalist society such as ours, the first group is the capitalist class, the second group is the working class….For all their differences, working class people share a common place in production, where they have relatively little control over the pace and content of their work, and aren’t anybody’s boss. They produce the wealth of nations, but receive from that wealth only what they can buy with the wages their employers pay them. When we add them all up, they account for over 60 percent of the labor force. They are the working class majority."

5. Bertell Ollman, Dance of the Dialectic: Steps in Marx’s Method. (Champaign, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, 2003), p. 40.

6. Ibid.

7. Thomas B. Edsall, "The Future of the Obama Coalition, New York Times, November 27, 2011.

8. Barbara Ehrenreich and John Ehrenreich, "The Making of the American 99 Percent," The Nation, January 2, 2012, p. 19.

9. Robert W. McChesney, "Foreword" to Michael D. Yates, ed., Wisconsin Uprising: Labor Fights Back (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2010) pp. 15 and 17.