Revolutionaries often say that the working class holds the key to overthrowing capitalism. But “working class” is a very broad category—so broad that it can be used to justify a whole range of political agendas.
The Worker Elite: Notes on the "Labor Aristocracy" breaks it all down, criticizing opportunists who minimize the role of privilege within the working class, while also challenging simplistic Third Worldist analyses.
In this provocative study, Bromma highlights the stratification of the working class under modern capitalism, using examples from specific industries and historical events to illustrate the development and key characteristics of the worker elite. He argues that this privileged layer has evolved into a mass middle class with multiple functions in the imperialist system, including attacking and misdirecting the struggles of the global proletariat.
Subjects addressed in this accessible and easy-to-read primer include:
- changes in the international division of labor and in the structure of income inequality
- political and economic aspects of class
- gender and nation as determinants and expressions of class
- the nature of privilege and parasitism
- the worker elite’s relationship to intellectuals, trade unions, the proletariat, and the bourgeoisie
- strategic implications for revolutionaries of the worker elite’s current hegemony over the proletariat
As Bromma concludes, "Class struggle is going on every day inside the working class. It’s time to choose where our class loyalty lies—with the proletariat or with its minders in the worker elite.”