A Nation of Shopkeepers: The Unstoppable Rise of the Petite Bourgeoisie

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A Nation of Shopkeepers: The Unstoppable Rise of the Petite Bourgeoisie

A Nation of Shopkeepers: The Unstoppable Rise of the Petite Bourgeoisie

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A vital part of social mapping is to understand the workplace and its constituent parts, including how all the various roles work together and what their purposes are. It shows how the rise of home ownership, small landlordism and radical changes to the world of work have increasingly inculcated values of petty bourgeois individualism; how popular culture has promoted and reproduced values of aspiration and conspicuous consumption that militate against socialist organizing; and, most importantly, what the unstoppable rise of the petit-bourgeoisie means for the left. As usually happens in new fascist groupings, personality and class tensions precipitated a split in the organisation which undermined their local standing, yet during their brief residency in Cannock they clearly enjoyed not-insignificant support – highlighting the painful realities of class dealignment and the left’s disorganisation. The party has become one of professional-managerial types, flogging the same old neoliberal capitalism dressed up in flimsy cultural progressivism. Inspired by the work of Marxist thinkers such as Nicos Poulantzas, Evans terms this emergent class the ‘petty bourgeoisie’.

The fascist group Patriotic Alternative framed the protest in terms of the grievances of a native working class singularly left behind – a well-rehearsed narrative gifted to the far-right by Tory populists and Labour centrists like Margaret Hodge.The sense of reneged or overdue entitlements often encourages a turn to the left, but a gulf in mentalities and material privileges separates them from the working class-proper – a theme echoed in D. It was only from the late 1960s, when wider class militancy challenged a prevailing corporate and political paternalism, that Black radicals were able to form (critical) alliances with trade unionists as well as new left activists. When Evans goes so far as to say that the working class’s rejection of the left ‘is an entirely rational one’, (p.

Those familiar with Desolation Radio podcast will know Evans as a firm critic of the established Left (i. PMC personified, is able to portray himself as speaking to ‘authentic’ working-class concerns spurned by out-of-touch Corbynistas. Even if we take the class composition outlined by Evans as given, the causal links between the ideological outlook of mostly powerless individuals and the direction of a highly centralised parliamentary campaign are missing from his analysis. Class is all too often viewed in solely cultural and aesthetic terms, such as having a regional accent or having a great-grandparent who worked in a mine.

And how those things make us think and act vastly differently to the inherently collectivist working class.

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