Social class in the UK is very entrenched, nobody likes to talk about or discuss it but it is definitely a prominent feature of our society, and one that divides us all due to the inherent economic and cultural status that is attached to social class. I feel that in relation to social class we have to ask one simple question, who benefits from it? The answer to this is an easy one, the ruling elite, or those who are so wealthy and powerful that their very power base controls the perpetuation of social class and maintains the associated status and exceptionalism that keeps those from different classes from mixing with each other, its divide and rule, and the oldest, but most lethal trick in the book.
What purpose does social class serve?
Social class is a great mechanism for perpetuating and maintaining division that serves the interests of the ruling elite whilst masquerading as a natural outcome of our cultural and economic positions in people lives. The aspiration and ambition that are associated with climbing the so called social ladder breeds competitiveness and individualism, which in turn brings about the division of people from different backgrounds who are simply seen as competition and fair game in the scramble to climb the greasy pole of status and money. The associated snobbyness that comes from all different groups in the social class spectrum is also part of the division mechanism that makes it difficult for people from different social backgrounds to come together. This snobbyness translates as ‘we are better than you, or ‘you are inferior to us’ people from all backgrounds do it and it only serves to strengthen the grip that the Neoliberal elite have over us all in terms of our work, our access to resources, education, and medicine. A squabbling and isolated social class structure is good for business and profit margins, and so long as the poor get enough to eat and the rich keep voting for Conservatives, everything continues to tick along just the way the rich and powerful like it.
How to get rid of social class for a future based on equality and fairness
Social class can only exist because of the structured economic inequality that is created and maintained by the ruling class. Underneath the veneer of social class and the social norms pushed upon us, there is great potential for new alliances to be formed between people from different backgrounds. Social class can only ever really go away when people are in control of their own work and resources within a community setting. With the prevailing Neoliberal ideology attacking everyone regardless of their social class, this creates a fertile climate for solidarity and some semblance of a common political enemy as working and middle class people alike are having their services stripped, their pensions appropriated and the future work lives of their children being torn apart by reckless bankers and traders gambling their future away. When Capitalism ends, so too does social class, one cannot exist without the other, and future communities cannot thrive and develop whilst the inhuman economic model of capitalism dominates and controls the planet.