In this essay I will discuss Marx’s conception of social class with the reference to the bases for class struggle, social class and class consciousness and try to find if this conception can provide the framework to understand the South African society. Context
According to Marx’s view, “There are two main social clusters: a subject class and a ruling class” (Haralambos and Holborn: 37), a ruling class is the bourgeoisie and a subject class is the proletariat. The bourgeoisie has more power, the proletariat has less power and there is conflict interest between them. The reason of the conflict interest it is, because the bourgeoisie have opposing interest to the proletariat. “The main class in South Africa is the working class” (Workers Solidarity Federation: 2005), there are farm workers, services sector workers, the unemployed workers, manual workers and their families and labour workers. The working class lack financial and administrative power, they hinge on wages and maintained by their family members and they do not possess their resources of life. “Marx’s, definition and the explanation of social class is rooted on economic differences and with his ideas” (Moore: 67), I can provide a framework to understand the South African society. I will point-out two scandals that have taken place, here in South Africa, first the Marikana miner’s scandal, secondly the Farm workers scandal. The miner-workers and the farm-workers are the (proletariat) and the owners of the farms and the mines are the (bourgeoisie). The farm and mine owners have the power over the workers, because they own the means of production. “The workers use their physical power for receiving a wage from the capitalist”, (Moore: 64), and the large amount of the money in the production will go to the capitalist, because they own the means of production. Capitalist only have a benefit interest, they want to make more profit and for them to make more profit, the proletariat...
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