Journalist Alexander Rogers analyzed the class structure of Russian society and came to the conclusion that in the traditional sense of the word, classes do not exist in our country:
“Here the other day we again spontaneously had a discussion about the role of the proletariat in modern society. Where is he with us, is there any, and if so, who can be attributed to him?
And after the current discussion in the comments, some people asked me if this theory is out of date and is it time to create a new one instead?
Of course, out of date. But you need not to create something completely new, but to begin with just consider the possibility of applying the old theory to new realities.
But since both orthodox and sectarians are frankly afraid to do this, so as not to be accused of revisionism (as if it were something bad), I will have to. Which has nothing to lose, because sectarians still consider me an apostate (although I never said that I was a communist).
So, here is my door, and here are my Luther's theses.
1. In political economy, David Ricardo contributed to the introduction of a separate scientific term, starting his main work by determining that there are three large classes in society (landowners, capitalists, workers) who share social wealth through various sources of income (land rent, profit and salary respectively).
2. The pre-Marxist researcher and historian Guizot, in his work “The Government of France since the Restoration and the Present Ministry” (1820), spoke of the history of France as the history of two peoples. One nation - the winner - the nobility (Norman conquerors); and the other - the vanquished - the third estate (in fact, the Franks, Bretons, Gascons, Flemings, and so on).
That is, often classes are also oppression on a national basis. So it was in Britain (where the Welsh, Saxons and Irish were oppressed, not to mention the colonies), in Bohemia, in Austria-Hungary, in the Ottoman Empire and so on.
3. Karl Marx himself in a letter to Joseph Weidenmeyer on March 5, 1852 wrote:
“Neither merit belongs to me that I discovered the existence of classes in modern society, nor that I discovered their struggle between themselves. Long before me, bourgeois historians outlined the historical development of this class struggle, and bourgeois economists outlined the economic anatomy of classes. What I did new was to prove the following: 1) that the existence of classes is connected only with certain historical phases of the development of production, 2) that the class struggle necessarily leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat, 3) that this dictatorship itself is only a transition to the destruction of all classes and to a society without classes. ”
4. Again, the classes themselves in different formations were also different:
- in slaveholding, these were slaveholders (citizens) and slaves;
- in the feudal - feudal lords and serfs (there were also free citizens, which also must not be forgotten);
- in the capitalist - capitalists and wage workers, or, more orthodoxly, the "bourgeoisie and the proletariat." Again, also not without the presence of groups that are not included in these two categories - intelligentsia, peasants, officials and so on.
I think that so far these are all well-known facts that will not cause any special objections.
And now there will be a "heresy."
5. The class system implies a clear division of society into fairly closed groups, and the impossibility (or extreme complexity) of transition from one such group to another.
In particular, a person cannot become a member of the ruling elite or an entrepreneur if his parents did not belong to the “same circle”. And marriage between representatives of different classes is considered a misalliance and is condemned in society.
We clearly see such a system in the United States, Great Britain and a number of other Western countries. But where do you see this in modern Russia?
Yes, at the beginning of the twentieth century in the Russian Empire, of course and indisputably, there was a class society. But the revolution destroyed him. And in the USSR, even a peasant could become the head of state (sometimes I think, looking at Khrushchev and Gorbachev, that I could not have been better).
And although a new ruling class, the nomenclature, began to take shape in the USSR, it did not succeed in gaining a foothold in such a status (inherited!) - 1991 struck.
Today, fragments of this class of nomenclature — Ponomarev, Udaltsov, Semin, and a number of others — openly yearn for lost opportunities. Just like white officers in exile, dreaming of revenge.
The following troubled decades, in addition to chaos and devastation, were also characterized by the highest level of lability of social elevators - social situations and huge fortunes were created and lost in a very short time.
Personally, in my forty-two years I managed to be an entrepreneur, a loader, a civil servant, an assistant to the deputy governor, an employee, self-employed, an entrepreneur again, almost became the director of the institute and is now an independent freelancer. What class do I belong to?
There are no “untouchables” in Russia (no matter what Khazin says). Some begin to think so, but break off very quickly. Ulyukaev thought he was an elite, and now he is shaking eight years of strict regime. Colonels and FSB generals fly from their posts and sit on the bunk. Ivanov lazhanul with a memorial plaque to Mannerheim and immediately went to an honorary resignation. Tomorrow Putin will snap his fingers, and any Deripaska will repeat Khodorkovsky’s fate.
Governors in batches fly from their posts and fall under investigation. Gudkov, Arashukov, Illarionov, Kokh, Ponomarev - all also thought that they were “untouchable ileta”. Now on the line for the departure of Narusov (the widow of Sobchak), who used her official position for commercial purposes.
There are no more seven-bankers who died and who are on the run. Khodorkovsky also sat on the run.
And so in everything.
On the other hand, Putin has already organized several "elite appeals." Social elevators in the form of contests such as “Leaders of Russia” work - a number of federal ministers and governors have already left their ranks.
Conclusion: we have NO classes in the traditional definition .
I’m not saying that classes will not be formed in the future (I’m not Laocoon or Cassandra, I don’t see the future), no one can know this. Moreover, no one today can say exactly what these classes will be if or when they arise and become fixed. But for today - they are not!
Therefore, all attempts to apply class theory to Russian society do not work. Due to the lack of classes.
Yesterday you are an official, today an entrepreneur, tomorrow unemployed. Any worker or peasant can freely change his occupation - to become an entrepreneur, military or civil servant - or vice versa.
Today we (specifically in Russia, I'm not talking about the rest of the world) live in a specific classless society.
Although, of course, Marx and Engels themselves imagined it, probably, in some other way (by the way, they never had a concrete description — like this —).
I repeat, perhaps in the future this will all change significantly, but today it is.