Each person is special. Amanda is in a class of her own, Fred is in a class of his own. Amanda has many different properties: where she came from, what she looks like, what behaviors she habitually does, what she knows and doesn't know, what her plans are, how she speaks, how she would behave if given power, etc. Fred has his own versions of those properties. They overlap partially but not completely with Amanda's properties.

When conflict arises, sides must be chosen [citation needed]. One side has people with one set of properties, the other side has people with the negation of those properties. Sides can be chosen out loud and explicitly, or in silence and implicitly.

Sometimes one side is more coordinated with itself than the other side is. For example: business cartels can collude to raise prices. Since customers coordinate with each other less, they don't know that they're being exploited. And the cartels can hack systems, such as the government, to prevent competitors from breaking the cartel.

In the case of workers vs. capitalists, workers can gain "class consciousness": awareness of themselves as a group of people with shared properties, who are in a conflict with another group of people.

But what about those who object to class consciousness? Those who wish to resolve conflict based on reason, negotiation, justice, goal-factoring, pulling the rope sideways?

Such people have a reflexive horror at the inclination towards class consciousness. They view it as degrading, Molochian, and fundamentally suicidal. By choosing to escalate class conflict, you are choosing a bid for sole sovereignty over a pile of ash, and rejecting the hope of shared sovereignty over a beautiful growing world.

Because they have a reflexive horror at the inclination towards class consciousness, those who are against the class system choose to not see, not acknowledge, not speak about, and not understand the existence of classes, class conflict, and people engaging in class conflict. It is understandable to wish for a world where there is no reality that you thereby ignore, when you make that choice. And it is understandable to reflexively feel that by choosing to not ignore that reality, you make it more real.

However, as Trotsky said: "You may not be interested in the dialectic, but the dialectic is interested in you." There is a war, and to choose to ignore it is to roll over and die. How can those against the class system gain appropriate class consciousness without being thereby destroyed?

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I guess it'd be helpful to understand more about why you think class consciousness is in conflict with using "reason, negotiation, justice, goal factoring and pulling the rope sideways".

I would think (decent) trade union activity was precisely interested in reasonable negotiations targeted at justice for a group of people.

Because when you have an enemy, you try to

  1. enforce your boundaries to exclude the enemy;
  2. try to generally decrease your enemy's power, including cutting off resources, which includes lying to them and otherwise harming their thinking (think propaganda, gaslighting, misinformation, FUD);
  3. view moves by the enemy as hostile--e.g. the enemy's public statements are propagandistic lies, the enemy's overtures for and moves within a negotiation are trying to dispossess you, etc.;
  4. in particular you use the misinterpretations of your enemy's actions as hostile, to further strengthen your boundaries and internal unity of will;
  5. and all of this escalates in a self-reinforcing way.

Jesus christ. Savages on lesswrong.

I agree with some of your premises:

  • sometimes people have a common interest
  • sometimes they coordinate well about the common interest
  • and sometimes they don't
  • so the group that coordinates well typical wins over the group that does not

But the discussions about class struggle typically imply more things, such as:

  • most interests are so much correlated, that is makes sense to talk about clearly defined groups of people being in an eternal conflict against each other (as opposed to different coalitions for different interests)
  • it is all a zero-sum game (unless "our side" wins, and then it suddenly becomes a huge win for everyone)

There is a war, and to choose to ignore it is to roll over and die.

By a similar logic, one should join an organized crime group, because there is crime, and to choose to ignore it is to roll over and die.

(Or, imagine the same argument, except for a race war.)

I totally agree with what you say! ... And that's why I'm on the side of those against the system of conflict between groups of people with common interests amongst themselves, against the side of those in favor of that system.

That taking sides in this way, is paradoxical (cf. the paradox of intolerance), is why I asked:

How can those against the class system gain appropriate class consciousness without being thereby destroyed?

A key aspect of that is to not look away from the fact that there is a class struggle between those in favor of class struggle and those against it.

I think the key premise that you didn't say you agree with, is this: that there are people who are opposed to sharing information, pointing out norm violations, justice in general; perspective synthesizing, pulling the rope sideways. Cf. http://benjaminrosshoffman.com/notes-on-the-autobiography-of-malcolm-x-2/

there are people who are opposed to sharing information, pointing out norm violations, justice in general; perspective synthesizing, pulling the rope sideways

Generally, I agree that these are bad people and should be opposed.

There are also situations where I might locally do a similar thing, for example sometimes I oppose doxing (which is a special case of "sharing information"), I might disapprove of reporting violation of specifics norms that I consider bad (such as copyright), etc.

But these people are in control of most institutions in our society. It's not a small problem.