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Paul Cockshott's Blog

Paul Cockshott

 Capitalism

Class society

The most important thing about capitalism is that it is a class system. It is a society based on class hierarchy dominated by a rich upper class. Like any class system it is unequal. Like any class system it is based on exploitation, on majority working to benefit a minority. Exploitation and inequality gel together to form classes when they become inherited down through the generations. If the rich pass on their wealth to children, if the children of the rich have special access to the best education and positions of authority then you have a class society.

Previous class systems were open and unashamed. Men of noble families boasted of lineages stretching back to Charlemagne. Even a hundred years ago aristocratic pride did not hide. Now class is more discrete, but no less real. The stability of social class is shown in the…

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