Class Structure and Progress

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ThomasHobbes
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Class Structure and Progress

Post by ThomasHobbes » September 14th, 2018, 12:57 pm

Fooloso4 wrote:
September 14th, 2018, 12:42 pm
Burning ghost:
Ifear getting off topic here, but a brief explanation would be nice
As I quoted, ThomasHobbes said that class structure is the enemy of progress and progressive thinking. I am asking if history supports that claim.
A few point to consider.


Roman empire basically static from the 1stC AD till its conversion to Christianity where things got even more hierarchical and eventually died through invasions of relatively unstructured Germanic "barbarians"; basically freemen.
However, Rome's development BC was characterised by a major challenge to class structure in which the Patritian class had to give way to the Plebians, and their Tribune representatives provided more power across the class divides.
Once the imperial aristocracy was established Rome did very little progress.

The British empire when studied in detail was moved on by individuals challenging the stasis of the class system. From the time of Elizabeth it was not the aristocrats that built the empire by 'filthy tradesmen', freebooters and pirates acting with "letters of marque" to pligh the high seas and trade.
The American colonies were lost due to the indolence and inertia of the traditional political system failing to respond to the need for political change.

By the time of the 19thC the class system was once again being challenged with the rise of left wing politics without which the huge social and political progressiveness of the 20thC would not have been possible.

Now contrast the sub continent of India, which was conquered by the Moghuls and then by the British, whilst they clung on the the most strict and unremitting system of class/caste hierarchy; static and counter progressive.

Mod note: This thread was split from viewtopic.php?f=5&t=15777 because it seems like a great topic and didn’t want Georgeanna’s thread to be overwhelmed

Burning ghost
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Re: Class Structure and Progress

Post by Burning ghost » September 14th, 2018, 1:18 pm

ThomasHobbes wrote:
September 14th, 2018, 1:09 pm
Fooloso4 wrote:
September 14th, 2018, 12:09 pm
The intellectual achievements of India, China, Islam and elsewhere all occurred within a class structure.
All the "achievements" of Islam were mostly finished by the time it was established. Text borrowed from ancient Greek writers; regurgitated.
Same with China - no progress either socially or scientifically once the Confusian system was fully established.
India was at the mercy of invaders ruled by the Moghuls and then the British impotent to defend itself.
Your three examples are characterised by a lack of progress.
Class systems practically define a lack of social progress in themselves.
Other kinds of progress, notably technological and scientific have all had to struggle against the status quo of class based stasis; be that from the church or the established aristocracy.

Compare France during Louis XIV, whose only progress was prettier silk imports through Turkey on the one hand with the post revolutionary France of Napoleon.

I think this is a no-brainer.

Do I need to mention Russia under the tsars? A static feudal system untouched by progress since the Viking times that established it, until the revolution.
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Burning ghost
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Re: Class Structure and Progress

Post by Burning ghost » September 15th, 2018, 2:30 am

TH -

Are you saying that politicizing class is destructive to progress or the actual class divisions themselves regardless of any political machinations?

I always get confused with talk of “class” because I don’t know what it really means beyond the distribution of labour. Of course I know the meaning in the street when people refer to some “upper-class twit”: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=k5ba1OKY7 ... fullscreen
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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Class Structure and Progress

Post by ThomasHobbes » September 15th, 2018, 5:37 am

Burning ghost wrote:
September 15th, 2018, 2:30 am
TH -

Are you saying that politicizing class is destructive to progress or the actual class divisions themselves regardless of any political machinations?

I always get confused with talk of “class” because I don’t know what it really means beyond the distribution of labour. Of course I know the meaning in the street when people refer to some “upper-class twit”: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=k5ba1OKY7 ... fullscreen
There are no "actual class divisions". As humans we are not so easily categorised, and because of the existence of classless societies it is evident that these are not natural divisions. Additionally because different societies, where classes emerge, find different 'solutions' we know that these classes are culturally specific/subjective and fulfil differing cultural, rather than natural functions.
As society develops sub groups form to protect economic gains, and move to monopolise functions; such things as guilds or castes. As the scale of society increases so can the tendency for sub-groups to form. Bounded by function and or wealth, sometimes by race or origin these classes ossify the potential for social mobility and infra-societal communication.
In India there still exists hard taboos against marriage outside your caste.

None of these classes are necessary, nor are they conducive to change and encourage stasis in both meanings of the word.

Upper Class 'twits' is the result of too much inbreeding and the indolence that results from being born into wealth there being little or no need to struggle to make a living.

Here's a man of one class struggling to make a living meeting a guy who does not.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1f8UOWF4RY
I've met many "Tim nice but Dim"

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