In capitalist society, free time is produced for one class by the conversion of the whole lifetime of the masses into labour time.
- Karl Marx, Das Kapital (via anarcheluxemburg)
Every class tries to occupy a leading position not only in the institutions of power, but also in the actually expressed opinions, values and norms in the majority of society. The privileged classes have occupied a leading position and subjugated the exploited people not only politically but also intellectually. What is more, the intellectual hegemony is a precondition of political hegemony.
- Leszek Kolakowski, Die Hauptströmungen des Marxismus: Entstehung – Entwicklung – Zerfall (quoted in Eco-Socialism or Barbarism: An up-to-date Critique of Capitalism)

(Source: probablyasocialecologist)

This emphasizes, however, that class, in its heuristic usage, is inseparable from the notion of ‘class-struggle’. In my view, far too much theoretical attention (much of it plainly a-historical) has been paid to ‘class’, and far too little to ‘class-struggle’. Indeed, class-struggle is the prior, as well as the more universal, concept. To put it bluntly: classes do not exist as separate entities, look around, find an enemy class, and then start to struggle. On the contrary, people find themselves in a society structured in determinedw ays (crucially, but not exclusively, in productive relations), they experience exploitation (or the need to maintain power over those whom they exploit), they identify points of antagonistic interest, they commence to struggle around these issues and in the process of struggling they discover themselves as classes, they come to know this discovery as class-consciousness. Class and class-consciousness are always the last, not the first, stage in the real historical process.
- E. P. Thompson, Class Struggle Without Classes? (via brunomarconi)
The bourgeoisie, which far surpasses the proletariat in the completeness and irreconcilibility of its class consciousness, is vitally interested in imposing its moral philosophy upon the exploited masses. It is exactly for this purpose that the concrete norms of the bourgeois catechism are concealed under moral abstractions…The appeal to abstract norms is not a disinterested philosophic mistake but a necessary element in the mechanics of class deception.
- Leon Trotsky
The Constitution, then, illustrates the complexity of the American system: that it serves the interests of a wealthy elite, but also does enough for small property owners, for middle-income mechanics and farmers, to build a broad base of support. The slightly prosperous people who make up this base of support are buffers against the blacks, the Indians, the very poor whites. They enable the elite to keep control with a minimum of coercion, a maximum of law–all made palatable by the fanfare of patriotism and unity.
The problem is England’s singular relationship to modernity, or perhaps its singular inability to achieve modernity in the European manner. The failure of the English revolution is all around us: England is caught in an unresolved tension between its apparent modernity and the reality of its deeply embedded semi-feudal social relations. It is this unresolved tension and the inability to really grasp the nettle of what is necessary for genuine social change in England (i.e. a restaging of the Revolution that failed) that fuels much of the rage that underpins English life just as it fuels the fantasy, especially exaggerated in the early nineties under New Labour, that somehow the class system can be wished, or better still shopped, away.
- Carl Neville, Classless (via its-london-calling)
The masses are in reality their own leaders, dialectically creating their own development process.
- Rosa Luxemburg (via fyeahrosaluxemburg)
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Class for Marxism, rather like virtue for Aristotle, is not a matter of how you are feeling but of what you are doing. It is a question of where you stand within a particular mode of production—whether as slave, self-employed peasant, agricultural tenant, owner of capital, financier, seller of one’s labour power, petty proprietor and so on. Marxism has not been put out of business because Etonians have started to drop their aitches, princes of the royal household puke in the gutter outside nightclubs, or some more antique forms of class distinction have been blurred by the universal solvent known as money. The fact that the European aristocracy are honoured to hobnob with Mick Jagger has signally failed to usher in the classless society.
- Terry Eagleton, Why Marx was Right (via brunomarconi)
Workers cannot remain content with the desire for liberal democracy, social reform, and narrow calculation of economic interest. The proletariat must now understand itself as the subject of historical action—not merely the object of external forces—whose purpose is the abolition of alienation and class society.
- Stephen Eric Bronner, Critical Theory : A Very Short Introduction (via rethinksocialism)

A collection of Leftist quotations, sayings, and aphorisms.

Compiled by Euan and Brandon