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“The ignorant classes are the dangerous classes” (Galbarith). Though it may

appear remote, the quote signifies the proletarian revolution predicted by Marx once they

are no longer ‘ignorant’ of their interests. Karl Marx, the famous sociologist, has used the

concept of class to account for the evolution of society through history till present time.

To evaluate the claim if class indeed exists as the ultimate determining factor for the

dynamics of any society and thus acts as its independent variable, one needs to examine

how far Marx’s theories are still relevant today in contrast to other equally important

theories such as those of Max Weber concerning status and parties, and of Feminists.

Before proceeding further it is important to establish what Marx really meant by

class. For Marx classes are defined in terms of relationship to means of production. One

class, which has access to means of production, is called “bourgeoisie” where as other,

which does not have access to it is called the “proletariat”. Both of them have opposing

interests, as bourgeoisie tries to exploit proletariat by paying them low wages and the

latter tries to get the maximum pay for their work from the former. Although the two

classes can exist in further subgroups such as petty bourgeoisie and lumen proletariat,

these will eventually merge with one or another when a revolution is imminent. For

Marx, the main difference between two is that the bourgeoisie are aware of its goals in

terms of profitability, however this is not the case for the other (Lee and Newby).

                Having established the meaning of class, it is now important to ascertain how

relevant is class in present society. The capital structure of the corporate world has

changed significantly since the era of Marx due to the formation of management teams,

which has resulted in devolution of control from the real owners. This is in stark contrast

to bourgeoisie of the Marx’s time, which held both ownership and control. However it is

important to note that this is just a camouflaged perception as the real owners still

eventually have the control because the decision to select the management team lies with

them. Another aspect of the corporate world is that there has been a distribution of

ownership of companies, as it has now become a kind of public property with issue of

shares (Lee and Newby). Despite new form of ownership in forms of shares, family

businesses representing bourgeoisie class, accounts for about 64 percent of US GDP

(“Family business statistics and Family Business Facts”). Also, although there is minority

ownership in business enterprises, it accounts only for 15 % of US businesses and 99

percent of these businesses falls in small category (“Minorities in Business, 2001”).

These statistics indicate that major amount of control still lies with a certain class. This

shows one of the situations where working of society reduces down to concept of class

and thus makes it an independent variable.

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I can do whatever I want with her. She doesn’t mind, she doesn’t care anymore.


Yes, anything.


If she didn’t want to do it she would say something, wouldn’t she.


I guess she used to say something at first, about how she didn’t want to do it. How she wasn’t the kind of person who would let other people do things like that to her. But she let me do it anyway. Well, I think she tried to stop me but surely if she had meant it she would have tried harder. And if she had meant it she would not have stopped saying anything. It’s a common pattern. I see it all the time at the Academy. The newbies come with their long hair and scrawny bodies and complain
about everything. But you have to do what’s right for them. Cut their hair off and put them through their paces until they stop complaining. That’s when they realize we’re doing what’s right for them.


But she is a fucking human being, isn’t she. The rules are the same.


Like I said if she didn’t want to do it she would say something. But she doesn’t. Go ask her yourself.

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