Class warfare is a Marxist notion that people in different social classes must necessarily be in conflict with each other, the rich seeking to keep the poor down and the poor seeking to take away what belongs to the rich.
The era of Obama has ushered in a new push by Democrats to make class warfare a centerpiece of the 2012 political cycle. Obama makes the most noise when it comes to class warfare but his congressional allies and those in the media very much help facilitate the message.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is fundamentally a classic Marxist class warfare direct action movement.
The apocalyptic language of Marx's class warfare argument is articulated in Volume I of Das Kapital. Few modern economists believe there is any scientific basis for Marx's dark forebodings, yet some sociologists and political scientists remain dedicated to varying twists of Marx's emotional appeal.
|“||Hand in hand with this centralization, or this expropriation of many capitalists by few, develops…the entanglement of all nations in the net of the world market, and with this, the international character of the capitalist régime. Along with the constantly diminishing number of the magnates of capital, who usurp and monopolize all advantages of this process of transformation, grows the mass of misery, oppression, slavery, degradation, exploitation; but with this too grows the revolt of the working class, a class always increasing in numbers, and disciplined, united, organized by the very mechanism of the process of capitalist production itself. The monopoly of capital becomes a fetter upon the mode of production, which has sprung up and flourished along with it, and under it. Centralization of the means of production and socialization of labor at last reach a point where they become incompatible with their capitalist integument. This integument bursts. The knell of capitalist private property sounds. The expropriators are expropriated.||”|
Why is class warfare problematic?
At the first glance, the idea of "taxing the rich and giving to the poor" appears "fair". However, there are many problems with this idea. Under a capitalist system, one becomes "rich" through the process of hard work, and raising taxes on this group signals that this hard work is not being appreciated. In addition, the demonized top 1% of Americans pay 22% of all revenue, while the bottom 50% of Americans pay nothing in income tax, clearly indicating that those who are wealthy already pay a "fair" share of revenue. The richest Americans are also known to be in control of job creating industries; taking too much from this group will yield job losses, which ends up hurting the average American.
- The art of "class warfare", Ben Fritz, Spinsanity.org, January 15, 2003
- Karl Marx, Das Kapital, vol. i, ch. xxxii.
- Karl Marx and the Democrats: Why I hate Class Warfare, Mike Volpe, The Provocateur, March 1, 2008.