Rethinking Marx’s Concept of Class: Does the emergence of the so-called identity politics indicating the “fall” of class politics?
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It is doubtless that Marx’s concept of Class was very remarkable particularly at the 19th century era, when the implication of The Age of Reason (Aufklarung) in Europe had contributed significant supports of changes in the development of sciences and the historical of thought at that time. Nevertheless, Marx progressive thought that was manifested in the concept of class has been questioned for decades since its capacity is considered ‘limited’ and somehow ‘irrelevant’ if it is applied to the contemporary social phenomena in the late 20th and the beginning of 21st century. Therefore, class as the unit of analysis is viewed to be no longer applicable and comprehensive to answer the complex and ‘sophisticated’ problems prevailing on recent globalisation era.
The consideration that thinks class as theoretically ‘out of date’ was putting it as the part of Enlightenment ‘unfinished project’, of which the modern socialist politics built based on the ‘logic of contingency and plurality’ (Laclau & Mouffe, Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Toward a Radical Democratic Politics, 1985). Harvey in “Spaces of Hope”(2000) criticizes Marx-Engels because of their tendency to homogenize the labours all over the world as an entity of working class that is solid in their shared feelings of solidarity, consciousness and struggle. Harvey noted that the sense of national differences constructed by capitalism could ‘destruct’ their proletariat/working class collective consciousness in the effort of striving against capitalism (Ritzer, Modern Sociological Theory : 218).
As Marx noted that class is social and political entity that plays major or central role in determining the social changes. The history of class struggles for time to time had given M...
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