Class Consciousness – When a Class recognises its Common Interests

Marxist theory holds that society is divided into two classes. The bourgeoisie, who own the means of production, and the proletariat, who sell their lab or power to the bourgeoisie.

The proletariat is inevitably exploited by the bourgeoisie, as they are paid a fraction of the value of their labour. This exploitation gives the bourgeoisie a monopoly on wealth and power and keeps the proletariat in poverty.

In order to overthrow this system, the proletariat must become conscious of their class – that is, they must recognize that they are being exploited and that they have a common interest in overthrowing the bourgeoisie. Once they have achieved class consciousness, the proletariat can organize themselves and begin to fight for their rights.

Class Consciousness leads to Class Struggle

According to Marx, class consciousness inevitably leads to class struggle, which is the conflict between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. This struggle can take many forms, including strikes, demonstrations, and revolutions.

The ultimate goal of class struggle is to create a classless society, in which all people are equal and no one has power over another.

Related terms:

Bourgeoisie: The class of people who own the means of production in a capitalist society.

Proletariat: The class of people who sell their labor power to the bourgeoisie in a capitalist society.

Means of production: The factories, machines, and other tools used to produce goods and services.

Labour power: The ability of a worker to produce goods or services.

Surplus value: The difference between the amount of money paid to a worker and the amount of money that the worker’s labour is actually worth.

Capitalism: An economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and production is geared towards making a profit.

Communism: A political ideology that advocates for a classless, stateless society in which the means of production are owned by the community as a whole.

Glossary Terms starting with C

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