Conservatism Of Today's US White Working Class

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Marx and Engels’ theories do not fully explain the conservatism of today’s U.S. white working class. As an economically oppressed group, Marx and Engels would have expected them to become revolutionary and act collectively to overthrow the current capitalist system. Instead, current working class white Americans focus on racial identity, and ended up electing Trump, a candidate who gives “revolutionary” an entirely new meaning.
When applied to the US white working class, Marx and Engels’ theories fall short in three main ways. The white working class does not fully meet the conditions Marx and Engels laid out for a revolutionary proletariat. They are not similar enough to the proletariat during the Industrial Revolution, and thus, applying …show more content…

They predict that the working classes of each nation will rise up together and join into a massive body with the same revolutionary aims. This, they say, is aided by new technologies such as railroads, telegraphs, and the nature of the factory work environment, which is conducive to starting collective action. However, while the U.S. white working-class does have access to technology that would allow them to communicate and form collectives, they do not become revolutionary leftists, but rather, make bee-lines towards conservative candidates with empty …show more content…

Men want to be “free and conscious producers.” (“The German Ideology”) By impeding man’s ability to realize his true desires, capitalism incentivizes the proletariat to demand change and make it happen. According to Marx and Engels, it is people’s ability to produce not solely to meet their needs, but as an end in and of itself that makes us truly human, and people will not rest until they reach their human potential.
A weakness of applying these theories to the U.S. white working-class lies in the fact that they do not neatly adhere to Marx and Engels’ pre-requisites for a revolutionary proletariat. To fully develop, they say, workers must be in close proximity at work, must be able to organize internationally, and must have a sense of empowerment from knowing they are the force behind the market.
The American white working class works physically closer to each other than the French peasants that Marx and Engels juxtapose with the proletariat. However, their working conditions might not be as ideal for revolution as those of the English factory workers they describe. Because of our service-economy, few people work traditional all-day shifts in huge factories with masses of co-workers. Workers may be part of a large body of employees, but may not be in contact with them during their entire shift, or feel as if they are truly part of a

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