Summary: Having a good class analysis is necessary to not only understand our political, social, and economic world, but to determine how best to change our world for the better. People often talk about class in general terms, which have more to do with social status and lifestyle than our role in economic production. When we do talk of class in terms of economic production, we often talk about blue collar and white collar, skilled and unskilled workers, rather than in terms of ownership and power. By avoiding the question of ownership, of property, we don’t see how classes are essentially related and how they come into conflict. In this teach-in we discuss class in terms of ownership or control over production and the distribution of goods and ask how it might relate to the 99% versus the 1% motif of the Occupy movement. The differences between wealth, income, and capital; the sites of class struggle (domestic and abroad); and the relation between class and political parties are also discussed.
Dr. Chad Kautzer is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado Denver.