What is the view of capitalists and their political representatives towards the working class? They see workers as lazy and unproductive. They generally do not like trade unions, particularly when they are successful in gaining higher wages and better working conditions. And when particular groups of workers upset them they use their journalists to come down on them like a tonne of bricks.
Socialists are always at the brunt of class hatred. We are ridiculed for 'class envy' if we are too poor and as 'champagne socialists' if we are too rich. And wanting to help our children to navigate the treacherous world of capitalism, we are decried as 'hypocrites'. These accusations are logical fallacies. They attack the person not the argument that capitalism cannot be run in the interest of the working class majority.
The fallacy is known by the Latin phase argumentum ad hominem and stands for "argument against the person". What the idiots who use this fallacy fail to understand, because they are too ignorant, is that it leaves the socialist argument intact; it leaves the socialist case against capitalism sound and valid. It is a very conservative argument often employed in the DAILY MAIL and DAILY EXPRESS by journalists who have often slept through a philosophy course on elementary logic at Oxbridge.
Denigrating the working class is not new. 'Hoi Polloi', 'the Great Unwashed', 'the masses', 'the vulgar and plain', 'Little People', 'the mob', 'plebeians', 'proles', 'peon' and 'riff raff'. To the top echelons of the Labour Party who pass from university to become an MP the working class is the 'salt of the earth' but not the type of salt they want at their table. The working class are referred to all these things, that is, until capitalist politicians want the votes of the working class or when they want workers to elitist in the armed services and fight in capitalism's wars
Edmond Burke dismissed the working class as "The Swinish Multitude". Burke used this abuse in a reactionary polemic, called 'Reflections on the Revolution in France' (1790) to describe the poor and oppressed working class in Britain.
Burke did not want the 'ignorant workers educated'. Educated workers would become a threat. They would begin to think and act for themselves. They would come to realise that they did not need people like Edmund Burke or the class he represented.
And when workers did think and act in their class interests they established trade unions, politically organised for the vote and established a socialist political party.
The reference to pigs that wallow in the dirt shows Burke's contempt for the working class, a contempt recently aired again by Boris Johnson's father, Stanley Johnson.
Johnson believed the 'general public' was too ignorant to spell "Pinocchio" after one caller to the Victoria Derbyshire Show conferred this sobriquet onto his son (BBC 28 November 2019). The working class ridiculed as illiterate know-nothings. Too stupid to educate: just schooled for the labour market.
And the conservative MP, Jacob Rees-Mogg's contribution to class hatred was to blame those who died in the Grenfell tower for their lack of common sense in not leaving a burning building (LBC 5 November 2019). The victims of this crime of gross negligence followed the instructions they were given by the fire authorities. Rees-Mogg did not blame capitalism, the reduced specification in the cladding to save money and the profit-driven considerations of the architects, contractors and Local Authority. No, he blamed the victims: the working class.
And for the capitalist politicians the workers are irrideemingly lazy. Workers on 'furlough' during the pandemic were accused of 'swinging the lead'. The DAILY MAIL ran an article accusing some workers of a 'furlough fever' and enjoying 'a paid holiday at home' (DAILY MAIL 12 may 2020). It is surprising that the capitalist media did not blame the working class for Covid 19!
The former Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, at the 2012 Tory Party Conference, divided the working class between the 'deserving and undeserving poor' - the "strivers and the shirkers". He lamented the lot of the hard-pressed worker going to work in the morning to give his "fair day's work" and who looks up to see the curtains drawn at the house of his neighbour, "sleeping off a life on benefits".
Another of Osborne's fellow MPs, Ben Bradley, once said that he wanted benefit claimants to be sterilised 'before we're drowning in a vast sea of unemployed wasters' (INDEPENDENT 17 January 2018).
Instead of recognising that poverty is caused by capitalism, politicians claim it is the individuals fault. If a mother cannot feed her children it is the mother's fault not capitalism and the profit priorities of capitalism. The Tory MP Mark Jenkinson recently gave his reason why mothers could not feed their children, He said, without offering any proof:
"I know in my constituency that, as a tiny minority as it might be, food parcels are sold or traded for drugs...we can't pretend it doesn't happen (THE OBSERVER 25 October 2020).
Even if it were true, addicts do dreadful and degrading things like selling themselves for sex and petty criminality. Socialists have compassion and understanding for those workers who end up living desperate lives not spite, bile and moral superiority.
To the callous mind anyone not in employment is suspicious. Except, that is, the capitalist class; a class who parasitically live off the unearned income of rent, interest and profit. The capitalist produce no wealth. Wealth is produced by the working class. Workers are made unemployed because it is not profitable to employ them. It is not a bundle of laughs being unemployed. You could be sick, disabled, injured at work, forced to look after aging parent. Osborne does not care.
How the Tory audience laughed at Osborne's sub- Philip Larkin humour. Philip Larkin, though, not only hated a section of the working class but the entire class. Here is Larkin in 1976:
I want to see them starving,
The so-called working class.
Their wages weekly halving,
Their women stewing grass.
When I drive out each morning
In one of my new suits
I want to find them fawning
To clean my car and boots.
Of course socialists do not want to be members of the working class. We do not want to be a subservient class. We want to establish socialism, a classless society of free men and women in which the socialist principle "from each according to their abilities to each according to their needs" describes a better society than one ever conceived in the hateful imagination of Philip Larkin.
Larkin's contemporary, the bigot Auberon Waugh, was no better. While making a documentary in Liverpool about how the working class lived, Auberon Waugh addressed a group of workers and breezily told them that his own manor house in Somerset "probably costs more to heat than most of you people earn"
Two decades later, before the truth of the Hillsborough disaster was known, Boris Johnson, when Editor of the SPECTATOR, published an editorial that Liverpuddians had "an excessive predilection for welfarism". The editorial went on to say:
They see themselves whenever possible as victims, and resent their victim status; yet at the same time they wallow in it. Part of this flawed psychological state is that they cannot accept that they might have made any contribution to their misfortunes, but seek rather to blame someone else for it, there by deepening their sense of shared tribal grievance against the rest of society (16 October 2004).
Apparently, the article was written by Simon Heffer another ugly bruiser and class warrior for the capitalist class.
Not being told what to do by governments when running a business is the philosophy of Lord Rothermere and it is slavishly followed by his employees at the DAILY MAIL and the MAIL ON SUNDAY. Press freedom for Rothermere is to use his attack journalists as his editor sees fit. The Barclay Brothers are no different demanding the same hate-filled copy from their journalists at the TELEGRAPH and SPECTATOR. As does Rupert Murdoch from those he employs to defend his interests in his media empire. They know money can buy the most savage and brutal journalists to defend their economic interest.
For six figure salaries these journalists will say and do anything to support the class interest of their employers even if it makes them look stupid. And it has to be a large salary because £275,000 is mere 'chicken-feed' according to Boris Johnson. That is what the Barclay Brothers paid Johnson for writing his weekly articles. Now he cannot afford a nanny for one of his known children on £150,000 a year as Prime Minister.
When it was clear that office workers did not want to return to work after the lock-down and preferred to stay working from the safety of their home, attack journalists were set upon them, led by the DAILY MAIL's Richard Littlejohn. Under the banner 'One Person working from home is another's P45' Littlejohn lambasted them for being 'cowards' and causing the unemployment of other workers. However buried in the 25th paragraph of his article, Littlejohn admitted:
"In the interests of full disclosure I should tell you that like most people who write for a living, I've worked from home for the past 30-odd years" (DAILY MAIL, August 28 2020).
You just couldn't make it up.
It is one of life's ironies that some of the most spiteful and vindictive comments made against workers are by other workers. These are made by the paid media propagandists: the journalists. It is a veritable journalism of hate. When did the capitalist class last produce their own ruling class ideas? Ruling class ideas usually derive from Professors of economics, sociology and increasingly evolutional psychology. On a daily and weekly basis ruling class ideas are produced by paid journalists. The capitalist media's street walkers. Ideas and beliefs justifying capitalism are now produced by class traitors: members of the working class.
Object and Declaration of Principles
The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community.
Declaration of Principles
THE SOCIALIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN HOLDS:
1. That society as at present constituted is based upon the ownership of the means of living (ie land, factories, railways, etc.) by the capitalist or master class, and the consequent enslavement of the working class, by whose labour alone wealth is produced.
2. That in society, therefore, there is an antagonism of interests, manifesting itself as a class struggle, between those who possess but do not produce and those who produce but do not possess.
3.That this antagonism can be abolished only by the emancipation of the working class from the domination of the master class, by the conversion into common property of society of the means of production and distribution, and their democratic control by the whole people.
4. That as in the order of social evolution the working class is the last class to achieve its freedom, the emancipation of the working class will involve the emancipation of all mankind without distinction of race or sex.
5. That this emancipation must be the work of the working class itself.
6. That as the machinery of government, including the armed forces of the nation, exists only to conserve the monopoly by the capitalist class of the wealth taken from the workers, the working class must organise consciously and politically for the conquest of the powers of government, national and local, in order that this machinery, including these forces, may be converted from an instrument of oppression into the agent of emancipation and the overthrow of privilege, aristocratic and plutocratic.
7. That as all political parties are but the expression of class interests, and as the interest of the working class is diametrically opposed to the interests of all sections of the master class, the party seeking working class emancipation must be hostile to every other party.
8. The Socialist Party of Great Britain, therefore, enters the field of political action determined to wage war against all other political parties, whether alleged labour or avowedly capitalist, and calls upon the members of the working class of this country to muster under its banner to the end that a speedy termination may be wrought to the system which deprives them of the fruits of their labour, and that poverty may give place to comfort, privilege to equality, and slavery to freedom.