MICROCLASS AND MACROCLASS OF SOCIETY
MICROCLASS AND MACROCLASS OF SOCIETY
To Professor Jan Szczepanski
In study of social system that existed before 1990 in the USSR, Poland and other countries of Eastern Europe a notion of formal socialism can have a greater theoretical value than terms “ real socialism” and “state socialism”. For decades problems of social differentiation and class inequality in these societies were part and parcel of state-party doctrine and official ideology. The doctrine was based on Stalin’s thesis that Soviet-type socialism had nearly become a classless society. In such a socialism the structure of class differentiation was reduced to one working class, one class of peasants and one stratum of working intelligentsia. Almost all pre-Stalinist and post-Stalinist theories of class differentiation and inequality developed by Marxist and Neo-Marxist scholars had become enemies of the socialist classless society. But the three-element scheme of class-stratum differentiation in formal socialism was in obvious contradiction with all theories of class that had been products of the classic extra-Marxist thought. Thus it was possible to regard L. Trotsky and N. Bukharin, A. Gouldner and J. Roemer, G. Konrad and I. Szelenyi, E. O. Wright and R. Dahrendorf, M. Weber and T.Veblen, W. Thomas and F. Znaniecki, W. L. Warner and Ch. Wright Mills as enemies of the classless formal socialist society. Even Karl Marx became a great enemy of classless society. It was only necessary to liberate his ideas from current Marxist and anti-Marxist stereotypes. But a few Marx’ general statements on classes and his whole research praxis had to be also introduced to a new theoretical and methodological structure. The paper includes an outline of a new approach to problems of classes and other kinds of socio-economic differentiation and inequality. It is based on rules of sociological neo-classicism. Neo-classical analysis of socio-economic differentiation and inequality has been mainly inspired by theoretical insight, research praxis and thought style of modern sociology classics: K. Marx, M. Weber and G. Simmel.
The following features distinguish the outline of neo-classical theory of social differentiation from approaches to problem of class typical for contemporary social sciences:
1) The theory of class regains its historically formed research subject: differences and inequality between human individuals determined by social division of labour and ownership of basic factors of production and labour.
2) Four elements and dimensions of the theory of class have been differentiated. They are represented by 1) a concept of microclass, 2) a concept of macroclass, 3) a heuristic - monorelational concept of class, 4) an idiografical concept of class or a concept of class in the panempirical sense. 3) The outline is an attempt to overcome class reductionism, panclassism in theories of labour-ownership differentiation of society. Not every human individual is regarded as a member of a certain class. It points out that in modern societies there are not only classes, but also social estates (functionaries of state, teachers, scholars, clergy, artists, doctors), quasi-classes and quasi-estates (pensioners, the unemployed) and underclasses (the world of crime and lawlessness).
4) The donational understanding of ownership of production, labour and life basic factors has been introduced to a research on labour-ownership differentiation of society. Donational approach to problems of ownership is an antithesis a formal-juridical understanding of ownership. But it is also something qualitatively different from such economic and sociological concepts of ownership as the dominational and utilitarian ones.
5) A tendency to reduce objects of ownership to material means of production has been overcome. Ownership of the means of procurement (Weber) mediated by ownership of money, ownership of stock capital, is regarded as a characteristic feature of modern economic and social relations.
6) Objects of economic ownership has been enriched to include the means of extra-productional labour and the intellectual means of production and labour.
7) A fundamental significance for determining class and estate position has been attached to ownership of ergodynamis (ownership of one’s own and alien labour power). There are similarities and dissimilarities between the concept of ergodynamis ownership and Gary Becker’s notion of human capital and Pierre Bourdieu’s notion of cultural capital.
8) The labour-ownership theory of social differentiation includes an attempt at positive overcoming the three popular modes of thinking about social class. They are represented by 1) a collectivist concept of class, 2) an antagonistic concept of class and 3) an economic-monadic concept of class.
I dedicate this treatise to Professor Jan Szczepanski. He belongs to a family of the greatest Polish and not only Polish sociologists. He has significantly influenced empirical research on social differentiation in the post - war Poland. It would be impossible to get objective and valuable knowledge about the recent history of Poland and the historical fate of the Polish sociology without paying attention to that research and without studying Szczepanski’s books and treatises. The very nature of social and political system in which the Polish post-war sociology functioned and developed still remains a subject of fundamental controversies and disputes.
Real Socialism or Formal Socialism?
A notion of "real socialism" is often used to name the nature of society that existed in the USSR and countries of Eastern and Central Europe before 1989. It seems to me that a concept of formal socialism better than concept of real socialism can describe and explain economic, social and political orders of those countries. I introduced conceptual opposition “formal socialism - real socialism” in 1983. (Cf. Kozyr-Kowalski, 1988: 272-277). It originates in Marx’s distinction between "formal capitalism - real capitalism". The most characteristic feature of formal socialism was its inferiority to modern capitalism in all fields of social life: in economic and technical development, in social welfare, in participation of workers and other popular classes in economic, social and political powers, in social and political democracy. A concept of formal socialism also indicates domination of bureaucratic and ideological fictions and false images of society in economy and politics, in everyday life and mass media, in social and economic sciences. Ideological fictions of formal socialism profoundly penetrated sociological theories of social differentiation and inequality. They have not automatically disappeared after the fall of formal socialism.
In this paper I will deal mainly with explanation of basic categories and theses concerning microclasses, macroclasses and other types of ownership-labour differentiation of society. They are in obvious opposition to prevailing modes of thinking about new structure of social differentiation in former formal socialist countries. I must resign empirical application of theory of microclass and macroclass to economic and social reality. Such empirical application was done in my papers on classes and class relationships in contemporary Poland (Kozyr-Kowalski, 1990: 134-154) and on the Polish parliamentary elections (Kozyr-Kowalski, 1993: 147-169). In the papers presented to the sociological congresses in Vienna and Klagenfurt I also tried to analyse in the language of microclass and macroclass theory processes of appropriation and expropriation in Poland and to criticise theoretical categories concerning social differentiation that are present in the Polish statistic yearbooks.
Scientific Theory and Practical Doctrine
Not only in formal socialism but also in the history of Marxist social-political movement, the concept of class, as the component of the general theory of society and the tool for empirical analysis, was often mistaken for a practical doctrine and to that doctrine it was subordinated. (Cf. Ossowski, 1957: 17-21). A similar phenomenon could have been observed among the opponents and critics of that movement and among academic sociological and economical sciences.
Any practical doctrine contains some extra-scientific or even non-scientific evaluations. It implies positive or negative attitudes towards the social world. It consists of moral and praxeological norms, of conceptions and predictions referring to the future. Confusing a scientific theory with a practical doctrine can already be observed in a famous letter of Karl Marx to J. Weydemayer from the year 1852. Marx writes there that he "proved" that the existence of classes and the struggle between them "inevitably" leads to the dictatorship of proletariat and to the abolition of all classes. (Marx, 1970: 565, Kolakowski, 1988: 296). Strong ideologization of class theory can be seen in the works of the leading theoreticians of the Second International. A doctrinaire attitude towards Marx’s class theory and towards his visions of the future co-determined the course of the October Revolution and many of its atrocities. However, it was for Joseph Stalin and for his co-fighters that the class theory became something like a razor in hands of a madman. Soon after forced collectivisation of agriculture, Stalin declared the Soviet Union to be a classless society. He corrected himself quite quickly. It was created a scheme that reduced a class-stratum structure of socialist society to one working class, one kolkhoz peasant class and one stratum of working intelligentsia. This scheme was accompanied by an absolute prohibition of applying the term of class to any other social category except workers and peasants. Since that moment it was forbidden to name a class neither intelligentsia as a whole nor such parts of it as managers, engineers, clerks or even commercial employees. Stalinist doctrine destroyed all those relative values that existed in the theories of social classes formulated by the leaders and ideologists of the October Revolution.
Leon Trotsky regarded education as an important determinant of class division of society. That is why he had been writing not only about "possessing classes" but also about "educated classes". (Trotsky, 1932: 188). Nikolai Bukharin thought that "officers of production", that is, engineers and managers, form a separate social class. (Bukharin, 1971: 59.). He had been constructing his theory of basic classes, intermediate classes, transitional classes, mixed class types and declassed groups on the basis of the assumption that the division of human labour into "commanding" and "executing" labour is a fundamental determinant of class differentiation. That determinant is as important as ownership of the means of production is. Bukharin treated "technical intelligentsia", "technical mental employees" as members of intermediate classes or, as we would say nowadays, members of middle classes. He was trying to indicate the means that would prevent the transformation of managers and engineering and technical specialists into a new ruling class in a socialist society. (Bukharin, 1978: 276-312). That is one of the reasons why an outstanding American sociologist, Seymour Martin Lipset, for years has been expressing his approval for Bukharin’s class theory. (Lipset, 1968: 26-27, 1968a: 299, Lipset, Bence, 1933: 49-50). This theory, however, could not be reconciled with Stalin’s doctrine of two social classes and one social stratum, the three groups that were supposed to have friendly relations, to co-operate fully and to possess the same basic interests. The truth of Stalin’s doctrine was guaranteed by physical coercion. The adherents of Trotsky’s and Bukharin’s ideas on the nature of class order in the Soviet Union were either murdered or sent to the GULAG archipelago.
In the post-Stalinist era (1956 - 1989), Stalin’s interpretation of social differentiation in socialist countries remained a fundamental element of the official State-Party doctrine. At that time, however, it was not defended from criticism with the aid of police and state terror. Censorship as a profession and as a calling together with the political responsibility of editors of scientific and mass periodicals, administrative, political, spiritual and economic coercion (e.g. dismissal from work) were sufficient. Crossing the borders of the official doctrine of social differentiation was however possible, and even beneficial, especially in Poland. A considerable part of power apparatus was looking favourably upon any ideas stating that "real socialism" is already a classless society or that it is crossing the threshold towards that kind of society, that class differentiation in the Polish Peoples’ Republic gives way to a stratum and vocational differentiation. Post-Stalinist socialism ceased to be - as Andrzej Walicki is wittingly arguing - a totalitarian system (Walicki, 1993: 344-399, 1994a: 1-5) and found itself in the phase which Hanna Arendt called ’detotalitarization" (Arendt, 1989: 242-247), while Zbigniew Brzezinski called it ’authoritarianism’ (Brzezinski, 1989: 252-258). In spite of that detotalitarization and authoritarianism, secret police, prosecutors, judges and even customs duty officers were responsible for the fight against many types of class analysis of "real socialist" societies. This kind of measures was applied in 1980s against Leszek Nowak’s concept of "triple masters", the ruling class in Soviet Union. (Nowak, 1983). Police and administrative repression threatened those who presented the theses that it is not socialism but state capitalism that exists in the Soviet Union and Poland, and not the working class but state bourgeoisie is ruling in those countries, that managers, technocrats and bureaucrats have become a new class of means of production owners. Police and administrative methods were used to prevent those conceptions, which pointed to intellectuals and intelligentsia as new privileged classes in "real socialist" societies, from having any influence on theoretical thought and empirical research. I am thinking here about the opinions expressed by, among others, A. Gouldner (Gouldner, 1979), and G. Konrad and I. Szelenyi (Konrad, Szelenyi, 1979). Similarly, the doors of Polish sociology were shut tight against those neo-Marxists from the West who were constructing their opinions on classes on the basis of the theorem of general theory of exploitation. I think of J. Roemer (Roemer, 1982) and later Eric Olin Wright. (Wright, 1985). The theories mentioned a while ago were saturated with strong ideological tones; they were more or less closely related to Marxism. However, fighting them with the argument of force and not with the force of argument was not too reasonable, even from a purely pragmatic point of view. After 1956 Marxism in Poland was never given much favour by the authorities and by the majority of the representatives of social sciences.
The prohibition - established by Stalin- to apply the concept of class to other than workers, peasants and private entrepreneurs categories of people effectively protected social and economic sciences of post-Stalinist socialism era against the influence of the most importantnon-Marxist class theories. It made those sciences dependent on the most common and apologetic, in relation to any social-economic system, conceptions of social inequality. There were no followers of R. Dahrendorf and such a conception of class as he presented in his book on class and on class conflict that is so deeply rooted in the relations of power and domination characteristic for industrial society. (Dahrendorf, 1969). Max Weber’s, W. Thomas’s and F. Znaniecki’s class theories were in sharp conflict with the official doctrine. Weber’s understanding of social class required including "working intelligentsia stratum" into at least two separate social classes; propertyless intelligentsia and those who were privileged thanks to education. State officials would also have to find themselves in the Weberian middle class of property. The remaining part of intelligentsia would form two separate middle classes of earning. (Cf. Weber, 1956: 177-179, Kozyr-Kowalski, 1979: 44-48, Kozyr-Kowalski, Przestalski, Tittenbrun, 1993: 26-31). Thomas’s and Znaniecki’s analyses comprised an extremely "wrong" and "disloyal" thesis about education being a fundamental determinant of class hierarchy. (Thomas, Znaniecki, 1927: 128-136). That is why it was so convenient to apply, not only towards Marx but also towards the all classics of sociology, the principle which a great Christian thinker, B. Pascal, discovered among the Jesuits of the seventeenth century. That principle stated that the fathers of Church: St. Augustine, St. Hieronimo and St. Thomas were good only for their own times; in new times they have been undoubtedly surpassed by Villalobos, Tamburyn, Vega and 41 other famous and learned men. (Pascal, 1963: 84-85). That Jesuit principle, however, allowed an indirect critique and positive overcoming of Stalinist and post-Stalinist schemes of class differentiation in socialism. But it also allowed questioning the principle itself. That was being done in the form of interpretation of Marx’s and Weber’s class theory. (Cf. Kozyr - Kowalski, 1960, 1970, 1972, 1984, Nowak, 1972).
It was very difficult to reconcile that three-part scheme of social differentiation with the theory of new middle classes formulated by Ch. Wright Mill. Who would dare, without exposing himself to the displeasure of the Party and non-Party, faithful and unfaithful defenders of that scheme, to divide, after W. L. Warner who is considered a conservative in the West, a socialist society into five classes (upper class, upper-middle class, lower-middle class, upper-lower class, lower-lower class) and especially to conduct an empirical research on the relations of social superiority and inferiority, of social distance and exclusion, of respect and contempt existing in the Polish Peoples’ Republic? (Warner, 1957, 1966)
The logophobia, created by Stalinism and post-Stalinism: fear of using the word ’class’ in general or fear of using it there, where it was not used by Stalin and by the official doctrine of social differentiation has not entirely disappeared after the fall of formal socialism. Many regarded the very concept of class as a remnant of communism or Marxism. Not all sociologists, however, and not all politicians, journalists and the Church notables have suffered from that logophobia and from the new version of Orwellian Newspeak. Recently, both in everyday speech and in scholar language, such terms as "new middle class" and "political class" have become very popular. Someone, obviously a brave person, has even used the word “class” when talking about prisoners. Not everybody has put "the working class", the class to which after 1980 so many sociological poems were devoted, on the list of words under a curse. Not only the concepts of class and class struggle but even a kind of class analysis of the problems of the contemporary world can be found on the pages of the encyclical Centesimus Annus which was made public by John Paul II, on May 1st, 1991. (Cf. Giovanni Paolo II, 1991, Kozyr-Kowalski, Przestalski, 1992, p. XLIV). A book in which were published papers from the last Congress of Polish Sociologists in Lublin contains 10 treatises on social differentiation. Majority of authors represents class approach to problems of social differentiation. K. Marx and M. Weber, C. Wright Mills and P. Berger inspire that approach. (Su³ek, Styk, Machaj, 1995: 301-467)
Omnia pro tempore?
Escaping from the word "class" is not only the problem of logophobia or merely a linguistic or verbal issue. That escape is related, and quite frequently so, to the attitude one has towards the principle which Pascal recalled in his dispute with French Jesuits of the seventeenth century:Omnia pro tempore, nihil pro veritate - everything for the (present) times, nothing for the truth. (Pascal, 1963: 193).
You cannot forbid - as V. Pareto rightly said - calling a tunny fish an elephant, or an elephant a tunny fish. Under one condition, however: that we shall not succumb to a sophistry that would allow us to apply, from time to time, the theses which are true in case of an elephant to describe the behaviour of a tunny fish, and vice versa. Nobody can forbid anybody else to call a class by name of a social-vocational group, a stratum, an estate, a social group, a group of interests, a social environment, or even a social segment. The last term appeared in the introductory program of the Ninth Congress of Polish sociologists that took place in Lublin in June of 1994. One can only remark that all those categories, except "social segment" have had, for years, an established meaning in sociology, the meaning that should somehow be taken under consideration. There is anything wrong in replacing a Latin "classis" by a Greek " merij” "meris"- a category of Aristotle. Each scholar has the right to change the existing language of a given branch of social science. He can remove from that language a number, bigger or smaller, of certain categories. He must not, however, arbitrarily, wilfully and without any arguments, remove the merits, the substantial theses those categories express. One should not also remove, together with those categories, important research issues. The removed categories should be replaced by a better conceptual apparatus or, at least, by one that has the same analytical and empirical value. Only when these conditions have been met, our attitude towards the category of class could not be described by that ancient maxim refreshed by Pascal: Omnia pro tempore, nihil pro veritate.
The tendency to eliminate the concept of class from the language of theory was not just a peculiarity of sociology and economy in the countries of post-Stalinist socialism. It appeared also in the West. Over there, however, it was accompanied by the inclination to equip the term "class" with all possible, and impossible, meanings. That inclination was reinforced by one of the views of modern philosophy of science, the view that states that all projecting, non-lexicographic definitions have ultimately an arbitrary character. Therefore, they are neither true nor false but only intellectually useful. Giovanni Sartori, in his book on the theory of democracy, raises many objections to that kind of thinking. (Sartori, 1994: 314-334). Similarly, but only to a certain point of argumentation, I was criticising and I was trying to overcome positively a conventionalist treatment of the relation between the meaning of the definition and the controversies involving truth and falsehood. (Kozyr-Kowalski, 1988: 34-38). So, at this point, I shall remark only that none of contemporary, including most extravagant, concepts of class could avoid expressing their attitude towards the theses involving a historically formed - since Plato’s and Aristotle’s times at the least - subject of research of the theory of social classes. That subject covers the qualitative differences, that is, the inequalities which occur within the two fundamental and eternal systems of securing the means of biological and social existence: labour and ownership, social division of labour and the division of economic ownership. By economic ownership I understand such a factor of human activity and wealth of whole nations and of human individuals, which is absolutely or relatively independent of labour. The classic theory of class was also interested in the research on the influence that a given type of division of labour and ownership exerted on the actions of individuals and on a society as a whole. It paid attention to the influence of various extra-economic phenomena on labour and property. We shall preserve the historical continuity of the research subject of the scientific theory of class and we shall create the opportunity for the analysis of the most peculiar and dynamic features of contemporary structures of the division of labour and ownership, temporarily defining a class as a set of those human individuals who in relation to some other set of people find themselves in a qualitatively different, or in an unequal, position in the structures of social division of labour and of division of economic ownership. Not all the positions within social division of labour and ownership exert the same influence on life, actions, personality and thinking of human individuals, or on the global economy and extra-economic areas in the existence of nations.
Classes, Labour and Ownership
In the process of forming the class structure of contemporary societies a special role is played by the divisions of labour into industrial, agricultural, trade, financial and service labour, into post-industrial and extra-industrial labour, into managing and subordinate labour, into one that requires higher education and that which is open to uneducated people, into independent and dependent labour, into directly productional, indirectly productional and extra-productional labour or, using archaic and figurative speech, into manual and mental labour, the labour of blue and white collars. These divisions of labour will be called great divisions, since they not only comprise huge sets of human individuals but also because they are more important in the process of differentiating people than the division of labour within a given segment of economy (food production, clothes production, etc.), or within the vocational structure of society. The vocational structure comprises thousands of small divisions of directly productional labour and hundreds of small divisions of indirectly and extra-productional labour. (Cf. Kozyr-Kowalski, 1979: 123-125). The theory of productional and extra-productional labour, as I have been pointing out in my writings since the end of the sixties (Kozyr-Kowalski, 1988: 297-304, 442-456), has nothing to do with all those attempts at arbitrary belittling the role played in economic and social life by managers, engineers and technicians, by science, education, commerce, medicine, culture, religion, law, army or police. From that theory, without a litany of conditions, one cannot directly derive any rules concerning the quantity of investments in production, transport, commerce or education, and one is even less likely to derive the rules concerning the wages of workers, the salaries of managers, scientists, doctors or teachers. Adam Smith already knew that irrational and excessive use of resources for manufacturing material goods may cause a greater destruction of nations’ wealth than improper (both unsatisfactory and excessive) allocation of those resources in other areas of human activities. (Smith, 1954: 417-443). Lars Clausen shows the destructive aspects of all kinds of labour, even of the most productive ones, in his study Productive Arbeit, destructive Arbeit (Clausen, 1988). The main cognitive function of the theory of productional and extra-productional labour lies in supplying the tools for scientific distinguishing economic structure versus extra-economic substructures of global society. The concept of direct producer, which is an integral element of that theory, allows to free our analyses from archaisms and ambiguities which are connected with such terms as "physical labourer", "manual worker", "mental worker" and also with words like "worker" and "employee". Even such an outstanding and experienced scholar as Mark Blaug (Blaug, 1994: 76-77) does not notice those universal, and important for social and historical sciences, functions of the division of human labour into "productive" and "non-productive". These functions go far beyond the limits set by the narrow, economic problem of creating the national income.
The social division of labour, like ownership, has an element constituting an economic structure of society and an element enclosing extra-economic areas in the life of nations. One will avoid many simplifications in the treatment of mutual relations between economy and extra-economic subsystems of society, if one limits the concept of class to defining labour-ownership positions, which are an element of economic structure. On the other hand, sets of people who find themselves in qualitatively different labour-ownership positions existing within extra-economic structures, may be called "strata" - which I was doing after O. Lange - or better still, " estates " (Stände): the military, the police, teachers, journalists, clergy, etc. Even today, Marx’s and Engels’s thesis saying that the bourgeoisie have transformed all former estates into hired labour classes is not completely true. People who find themselves outside the structures of social division of labour (the pensioners, the retired, the unemployed) will be defined here with the term of quasi-class or quasi-estate. In research on the ownership differentiation among those who gain the means of subsistence by acting against the law, decency and morality (robbery, theft, fraud, etc.) the concept of social subclass can be applied.
The concept of class has a multirelational character, also in a sense that it expresses the similarity of occupied positions both in a social division of labour and in the division of economic ownership. A set of individuals having similar ownership position but qualitatively different labour position is not a class. Those who have similar labour position but different ownership position belong to different classes. An agricultural worker is a direct producer. Similarly, a peasant-owner of a private farm. The two direct agricultural producers are, however, because of a different ownership situation, members of two separate classes. The manager of an industrial plant belongs to a different class than a worker, since the first one is an indirect producer, one that is giving commands, one that possesses a highly scientifically trained labour power, while the latter is a direct producer, one that receives commands, one that possesses a labour power of elementary or medium scientific training. The owners of capital of similar value are members of different classes in the situation in which one of them does not have any job while the other performs managerial functions. If we use the categories that are either too simplified or too general, then frequently we assign, prematurely and too rashly, the similarity of positions in a social division of labour and ownership to certain people. We assume, for instance, that a rank and file, direct employee of commerce and a worker differ only in respect to their position in social division of labour. A common factor is the same ownership situation: wage labour, no ownership of the means of production and exchange. After a more thorough analysis it appears, however, that a worker is a real wage employee, while a shop assistant - a formal wage employee, that the first one is the owner of elementary scientifically trained labour power, the latter scientifically medium trained labour power. The determination of a class position may yield radically different results, depending on the fact whether we use in our analysis formal-legal or economic-sociological theory of ownership.
Two basic economic factors are the objects of economic ownership: material and intellectualmeans of production and our own or alien labour power. Ownership as a material-sensory relation to the means of production, with small and medium-size ownership of farmers, craftsmen and entrepreneurs being its model examples, is still dominating quantitatively in even the most modern of contemporary societies. What is new, however, in our times, is that which finds its expression in the expansion of that type of ownership of means of production that is economically and socially mediated by the ownership of money and securities (shares, bonds).
Economic ownership is not just an individual relation, isolated and independent of time and place, but rather a whole network of relations in which there appear - continuously, periodically, or only occasionally - absolutely or relatively independent of work gratis acquisition of material and spiritual goods, most often connected with some form of real monopoly. Economic-sociological theory of ownership can be named a donation understanding of ownership(from Latin donatio - gift, donation) since in this understanding a peculiar feature of ownership lies in receiving material and spiritual goods (means of production and consumption) as a specific gift of nature or a gift of some economic-social and historical circumstances. A person of independent means, a rentier, who does not work and lives from the interest bearing capital, from inherited capital, could serve as a model for a pure arch-owner. Another model of a pure owner can be found in a farmer who becomes suddenly very rich after he has found the deposits of oil in his fields.
Ownership of Labour Power, Human Capital and Social Differentiation
In economical and sociological theory of ownership an important role is played by a concept of ownership of labour power. Labour power is nothing else but work capacity, the ability to work, in general, or to perform a specific productional or extra-productional work, especially the kind of work which is very much looked for, highly respected, highly priced and that supplies material and spiritual privileges. Labour power, to be more precise, comprises those physical and spiritual abilities that constitute a part of man’s personality, that part which makes him able or unable to perform a job in general, or to perform some specific job, or to perform the jobs which are priced best and which are most respected in society. Education, especially higher education of specialised technical, economical and legal character, all kinds of training, qualifications, experience and cultivation constitute the elementary components of labour power and are the objects of the ownership of labour power. Labour power can be also calledergodynamis. Many social scientists regard education as a paramount determinant of social inequality. It has been created a concept of meritocracy based on privileged and monopolistic access to education and information. Meritocracy is researched and criticised in The Work of Nations (1991) by Robert Reich, The End of Equality (1992) by Micky Kauss and in Christopher Lasch’s The Revolt of the Elites.
Our understanding of labour power differs considerably from the understanding of labour force that is common in everyday contemporary economics. There, labour force usually means all the people above sixteen, who work for wages or who are actively looking for paid jobs. (Schiller, 1989: 129-130). The theory of the ownership of labour power, on the other hand, shows many similarities to the theory of human capital created by Gary Becker (Becker, 1994), although the first cannot be completely reduced to the latter. Becker understands, among other things, by human capital "qualifications embodied in labour force". While qualifications, for him, mean first of all such ability to work, which is the result of the development of science, education and training. Human capital could also be defined as a set of qualifications possessed by a given human individual (Schiller, 1989, p.820), or as qualifications and abilities of employees (McConnel, 1987: 664-666, 777, G- 13-14). On pages of the famous Becker’s work we also find different, more traditional concept of capital and human capital. Capital is there understood as money that generates new money, as expense that brings surplus, after longer or shorter time. Human capital means increasing money or extra-money expenses by allocation of them in human agent of production and work: in training, educational system, health service, leisure and regeneration system, science, culture, employee’s canteens etc. There is no room for an analysis of advantages and disadvantages of Becker’s theory of human capital. That theory has nothing to do with a practice of certain Polish sociologists. They apply a term of capital to any condition that has been necessary to get a position of modern owner or co-owner of the means of production and exchange. Such a misuse of Beckerian theory takes place then, when we read that post-Stalinist nomenklatura exchange its political capital for economic capital or that cultural, symbolic, religious capitals possessed by a part of Polish clergy turned, after 1989, the Church into an appropriator of national wealth.
Not all people are owners of their own labour power. For obvious biological and especially for economic-social reasons a certain fraction of the elderly, the disabled, the retired, children, pensioners, the unemployed and of housewives do not belong to that category. They may be, however, co-owners of labour power of their parents, spouses, or they may participate in some type of common, joint ownership of the means of procurement. There is a profound differentiation among the owners of labour power, the differentiation determined by the quality of labour power owned by individuals. Certain types of ownership of labour power assure the technological and social-economic monopoly of access to managerial jobs, to managerial positions, to those jobs which are paid best, which expropriate from one’s labour power in the smallest degree, which are most independent and least degrading for labour power and for human personality as a whole. The whole network of economic relations in which there occurs some gratis acquisition of goods and relative or absolute independence of that acquisition from one’s own work express the ownership of labour power. (Cf. Kozyr-Kowalski, 1988: 537- 577). I shall just enumerate those relations here. Some of them involve the ownership of the means of consumption. That type of ownership will be treated as an instrument for measuring labour power value and the tool for determining whether a given kind of ownership of the means of consumption expresses the status of the wage employee, or whether it is merely a disguised form of the ownership of the means of production. The ownership of labour power is expressed, among other things, by the following economic- social relations: 1) the degree of education and scientific training of labour power, 2) cultivation as a component of labour power and the means of monopolising certain positions and as a basis for gratification which is independent of work, 3) earnings based not on the quantity and quality of work but on labour power itself, 4) labour power as a determinant of the position in the hierarchy of directly productional, indirectly productional and extra-productional jobs, jobs that are connected with different and unequal valuation, 5) monetary-formal value of possessed labour power, 6) material- economic value of labour power, 7) providing the means of subsistence for a spouse as an element of labour power value, marital co-ownership of labour power, 8) children as co-owners of labour power of their parents, 9) global value of household wealth measured with time required to gain the means of existence without the necessity to perform hired labour, 10) quantity of savings in relation to different types of hired employment which are the basis of livelihood, 11) inherited goods versus life without hired labour, 12) employment of house servants as an element of the labour power value, 13) real against formal hired labour, 14) social, private and personal ownership of labour power as different forms of a gratis acquisition of goods, 15) radical and gradual expropriation of labour power in the process of working, in economic and extra-economic relations.
Orders of Production and Microclass
Particular types of labour division, of economic ownership of the means of production, of ownership of labour power are linked with one another in such a way that they form separated, in time and space, organic wholes or structures. For years I have been calling them modes of production. Presently, I shall replace "modes of production" - doing something not merely pro veritate but also pro tempore - with orders of production. After this verbal operation, class may be redefined as those sets of human individuals which function within direct and indirect orders of production (commerce, finances, services) in a given society and which occupy, within those orders, different and unequal ownership and labour positions. Orders of production consist of four substructures: 1) substructure of ownership of means of production, 2) substructure of ownership of labour power, 3) substructure of division of labour, 4) substructure of division of means of production. Classes, components of direct and indirect orders of goods production, will be called small classes, ormicroclasses, here. Earlier I was using such terms as "economic classes " and "partial classes". Jerzy Kochan’s work prompted me to use "great classes" and "small classes" (Kochan, 1990). It is also possible to borrow from Lorenz von Stein der organische Begriff der Klasse (organic concept of class) (Stein, 1878: 523-526) in order to name classes connected with orders of production, microclasses.
A characteristic feature of ownership-labour transformations that take place in Poland is the rise, or the quantitative increase, of microclasses linked with capitalist orders of production. The classes that so far have developed most are classes of commercial and financial capitalists. However, a class of industrial capitalists exists and its role in economy is growing every day. It is related to both traditional capitalist order of production (individual and family ownership) and to modern capitalist orders of production (ownership of shares and other securities). Press, television, radio, travel agencies, publishing houses are those places of service where a separate capitalist class functions: microclass of service capital owners. A part of employees of, formally, state sector, a sector that still possesses many features of a nationalised property has gained a status of capitalist managers class and a status of capitalist specialists microclass. The existence of public ownership, next to capitalist orders of production, makes the differentiation of the working class of public sector and the working class of capitalist sector a reasonable venture. A more thorough analysis of the direct material production orders will allow us to discover a class of industry workers and a microclass of extra-industrial workers composed of direct producers employed in commercial, financial, service and extra-economic institutions. Agricultural workers will form a separate class. In post industrial production orders, treated by me not so broadly as by Bell (Bell, 1994: 232-234) - since I do not include there many "services" commonly so understood such as, for instance, garbage collection and disposal, work in water plants, power plants, car repairs or in commerce but only the most modern types of production - we shall encounter direct producers, owners of highly scientifically trained labour power, that is, a post-industrial or higher working class. The theory of the orders of direct and indirect production similarly allows us to differentiate many small managerial classes, various classes of technical, economic and legal specialists, many petit bourgeois and peasant microclasses, small classes of rank and file employees of commerce and finance, and other classes of rank and file non-worker employees. Among these microclasses there is also some room for those workers and employees who are possessors of the shares of their own companies.
The concepts of production orders and of microclasses of society introduced here are of ideal, or better, classic types. Not in the sense, however, that they denote some unreal ownership-labour position which would never appear in pure form, or that they denote some arbitrary conceptual structures. They have a classic character because they show that precise distinction of the number of production orders in a given society, and the number of small classes related to them, requires an empirical analysis of relations between pure and heterogeneous types and also requires an empirical evaluation of the role that particular production orders - and ownership- labour positions which individuals occupy in them - play in the lives of individuals, in global economy and in society as a whole. Only after such an empirical analysis has been carried out, one is able to give a precise answer to the following question: how many orders of production and how many microclasses related to them are there in a given society?
Microclasses of society include also heterogeneous classes. (Cf. Kozyr-Kowalski, Ladosz, 1976: 179-180). These are derived from such pure or homogenous classes as industrial workers, agricultural workers, middle peasant class, poorer peasant class, wealthier peasant class and farmer class. There were such years in Poland when 40% of peasants had additional jobs. (Survey, 1994: 5). A heterogeneous class of peasants-workers was constituted mostly of those people. Today, another very important heterogeneous class has appeared: workers-petit bourgeoisie.
Macroclasses and Great Ownership-Labour Dichotomies
Those microclasses whose ownership-labour position shows the strongest similarity to one another and simultaneously the biggest dissimilarities in relation to a certain number of other microclasses shall be called here great classes or macroclasses of society. Their position is determined by the dichotomies in the area of 1) ownership of means of production, 2) ownership of labour power, 3) social division of labour. Naturally, a class may be great not only because of its numbers but also because of its functional significance in economy and in society. Among the dichotomies which determine macroclasses in contemporary Poland and in the contemporary world are those which have special significance: ownership of capital-lack of ownership of capital, private individual and family ownership of means of direct and indirect production-lack of this type of ownership, hired labour-employment of hired labour, real hired labour-formal hired labour, managerial and order giving work-subordinate and order executing work, higher education-lack of higher education, directly productional work-work of a different character. This enumeration indicates that the differences between a dichotomic and a gradative division of members of society have a relative character. After a careful analysis of labour-ownership differentiation it is always possible to point to such a place in which gradation changes into dichotomy. Initially, we can distinguish the following macroclasses of the contemporary Polish and every former formal socialist society: working class, capitalist class, class of managers, class of specialists (engineers, economists, legal specialists), petit bourgeois class (it can be called after the ancient Greeks and M. Weber a demiurge class), peasant class, class of rank and file non-worker employees of hired labour. Each of the classes has been distinguished with the aid of such a set of ownership-labour relations which shows what is peculiar for a given class, what is specific in relation to all other classes and not to this or some other class only. Between the positions specific for each of the macroclasses there occurs smaller or bigger ownership-labour distance and smaller or bigger closeness. One should not, however, yield to such an unconvincing, unilinear determinism which makes one think that the shorter labour-ownership distance the better harmony and class co-operation, the bigger the distance, the stronger class conflict. Already H. Spencer pointed to strong social distance and antagonism which exists between various "working classes", "employed classes" and "regulated classes". (Spencer, 1896: 224-230).
The class structure of each country possesses some features of character specific only to that one country and none other. Many of those features, as Daniel Bertaux rightly emphasises, are the product of the history specific to that country and they are the product of the experience of generations of particular classes. (Bertaux, 1992). At the same time it has the properties common to all contemporary societies and to all class societies. The theses saying that class division of the Polish, American or Russian society possesses only the specific features and none of the universal ones are simply not true. They are most often derived from the assumptions of second rate, ideological structuralism (the whole totally determines the features of its elements, an element cannot be removed from the whole) and from Heraclitism (everything flows and shakes, therefore each theory must flow and be shaken).
The category of macroclass has a more heuristic and synthetic character than the category of small class. This is so because those labour and ownership relations that constitute microclasses have the basic consequences for life and actions of individuals, for their personalities and their way of thinking. However, the concepts of both small and great classes express an elementary feature of any good theory: organic connection of analysis and synthesis, of microcosmic and macrocosmic phenomena. A theory in social sciences cannot exist without categories and heuristic theses that are comparatively arbitrary and relative. It should not, however, stop at this stage of its development. And it certainly should not make virtue out of necessity. The conception of microclasses and macroclasses sketched here makes possible, on some level of research and for certain cognitive reasons, the application of radically heuristic and monorelational concept of class.
Heuristic-Monorelational Concept of Class
Class-in radically heuristic and monorelational sense-is a set of individuals which are different qualitatively, in given time and place and in researched area of reality, from some other set of individuals in respect to its ownership-labour position or only to its ownership or only to its labour position. In our research work on the role of modern capital in a given society we can use the concept of owners of modern capital class and the concept of labour class, the latter term comprising all hired employees, all the owners of the means of production using their own and their family’s labour and also all small and middle-sized employers. In the analysis of some problems we can find useful the concepts of hired labour class and owners of the means of production class, direct producers class and indirect producers class, class of higher education and class of lower education, ruling class and ruled class, class of independent labour and class of directed labour. The categories of higher, middle and lower classes, labour, peasant and intelligentsia classes may also be easily reduced to monorelation. Radically heuristic and relational understanding of class allows also to distinguish-in some sphere of reality and on a certain stage in investigations-class of technicians, class of engineers, class of direct overseer of human labour, class of shop assistants in large department stores and class of employees in small trade, class of workers-owners of shares in their companies, class of office clerks, class of nurses, and finally classes of qualified and unqualified workers. Such a heuristic concept of class was functioning for years in historical, economical and social sciences. And it still functions. (Cf. Lemaire, 1995). Finally, a communist and anti-communist, Marxist and anti-Marxist logophobia has put an end to it replacing it with a concept of social-vocational stratum or group.
There is naturally a passage from radically heuristic and monorelational understanding of class to empirical-theoretical category of class. If I consider only one ownership relation that differentiates people in a given society qualitatively, then I am able to divide them into owners of the means of production class and non-owners of the means of production class. If, however, I carry out a more thorough analysis of ownership differences among the owners and non-owners of the means of production, taking into account a larger number of ownership relations, then classes of peasants, petit bourgeoisie and of hired employees will appear. Further analysis of ownership- labour positions among the class of hired employees will reveal working class, commercial employees class, managerial class, etc. From that we can see that the number of classes distinguished in this way is a function of the precision with which the analysis of ownership-labour relations existing in a given society is being carried out and it is a function of the precision in evaluating the significance of those relations in lives of individuals and in global economy and global society. One must not, however, give up such analyses or reduce a priori the number of classes to two, half a dozen or to a dozen, just to avoid having "too many of those classes". Masters of sociological thought: Comte, Spencer, Tocqueville, Marx and Max Weber had very rich and multidimensional theory of class. It would be so easy to reduce the whole modern theory of zoological species to an abstract trinity: water, land and air animals. That is how things were being done in science once. (Cf. Kroeber, 1973: 215-216). Modern research on differences and similarities in the world of nature has made this three-parted theory of division of animal world into species not simply false but rather completely futile.
Microworld and Macroworld of Classes, Quasi-classes and Subclasses
Not only classes but also estates, quasi-classes, quasi-estates and subclasses of society can be considered in micro and macro categories.
Estates comprise people employed in extra-economic structures of society. Work that is being carried out in those structures, for technical and economic reasons, does not, and cannot, possess a fully capitalist character. Material and intellectual means of work in most contemporary extra-economic institutions are not private property. Usually one can find in them some form of collective or common ownership, which is expressed- and masked at the same time-by such legal names as state property, communal property, church property or university property. Estates have a hierarchical structure. Hired labour here has a formal character, not a real one. It cannot be reduced and has never been reduced to hired labour of worker so typical for capitalist economy. There has to be a certain degree of (inner) calling and dedication in it. It cannot be only a way to earn a living; the work here is also an end in itself. Estates have some kind of guaranteed monopoly for the use of the means of material and spiritual coercion and they monopolise certain privileges and certain forms of social esteem. Local and national elites of power, culture and social esteem usually originate there.
Employees of the judicial system, the military, scientists and scholars, clergymen and artists, journalists and professional politicians-all of them belong to great social estates. One can include here also students and teachers. For the analysis of labour-ownership position of engineers and doctors one should probably introduce the concept of class-estates. The differences in ownership and labour positions would allow us to distinguish in the military macro-estate, small estates comprising officers, non-commissioned officers and privates; in the macro-estate of lawyers micro-estates of judges, prosecutors, solicitors, etc.
The term quasi-class will be used for people who do not function in the structure of social division of labour because they lost partially or completely the ability to work; they stopped being really economic, private owners of their own labour power, stopped being the sellers of that power. That kind of people cannot sell their labour power at all or cannot find for it temporary buyers, or they may not sell it since they are co-owners of the private means of production, of alien labour power and co-owners of some type of collective ownership of the means of production, e.g. of insurance company funds. (Cf. Tittenbrun, 1991). Quasi-classes include also the retired, the pensioners, non-working members of families, and the unemployed. Also here one can distinguish great quasi-classes and small quasi-classes: unemployed workers, unemployed commercial employees, unemployed managers, etc. In the world, which those who follow Marx uncritically call lumpenproletariat (Cf. Kozyr-Kowalski, 1988: 614-616), we can encounter subclasses of society. The research work on ownership relations and on extra-labour ways of obtaining the subsistence means allows us to distinguish among the so-called ’lumpenproletariat’ numerous microsubclasses and macrosubclasses.
The existence of a specific ownership-labour position is a condition both necessary and satisfactory for the existence of a class. Such an understanding of "reality" of class does not exclude from the field of our investigations the problems of joint actions of members of a given class, the problems of transformation of class in itself into class for itself, of class-consciousness, etc. It only opens up the vistas for a new approach to those traditional problems. It allows overcoming certain typical errors in the treatment of mutual relations between ownership-labour positions and various life styles and various activities of human individuals. These errors include, among other things, personification and reification of the concept of class, ownership-collectivist monocausalism, ownership-antagonistic monocausalism and economic-monadistic monocausalism. (Cf. Kozyr-Kowalski, Przestalski, 1992: XX - XXIII). We must define nature of these three types of monocausalism because they lead to opinions that formal socialist society had and the present societies have classless economic and social order.
Ownership-collectivist monocausalism assumes that classes exist then, and only then, when similar labour-ownership position of people generates consciousness of their own social distinctiveness, consciousness of common interests, collective economic, political and cultural actions and organisations which have a conscious influence on global economy and society. The very concept of class - inspired by the unfortunate interpretation of Marx’s "class for itself" - is here arbitrarily chained to the thesis that a define labour - ownership position must with iron necessity, give rise to common and collective actions. Why should we not free the concept of class from such determinism by researching on the conditions in which similar labour- ownership positions breed, among the people occupying them, the tendencies for solidarity and collective actions? But we must also study of such conditions in which similar labour-ownership position results in lack of solidarity, inability of acting collectively and inability of forming organisations on a large, national scale.
Ownership-antagonistic monocausalism assumes that classes exist then, and only then, when among people of qualitatively different labour-ownership condition appears some Great Relationship of antagonistic nature such as exploitation, oppression, hostility, domination, subjugation, coercion, struggle and war. That kind of monocausalism excludes a priori from social life all situations in which inequality concerning division of labour and ownership co-causes a certain accord of interests, social consensus and peace. Ownership-antagonistic scheme implies sophism mistaking existence of classes and forces of social change with antagonism and struggle. It expresses a strange idea that sole criterion of significance of labour and ownership inequality for economic and social life must be always fighting and war, but never can be peace and armistice.
"Nor are conflict and co-operation - says R.Miliband- between owners and producers necessarily incompatible: the two in fact regularly coexist, even though they may do so very uneasily". (Miliband 1989: 5).
If we liberate our thought from antagonistic schemes of social differentiation then will be obvious for us that any system of labour and ownership division, i.e. class system plays in economic and social life a paramount role both then, when it co-determines social antagonism, struggle and civil war and then, when it generates social consensus, co-operation and civil peace.
Economic-monadic monocausalism is based on idea that classes and class relations exist only there, where economy and ownership have the features of Leibniz’ monad, where they are object to one kind causality only: economic causality. According to this type of monocausalism labour-ownership theory of class can maintain its analytic and empirical value only in such circumstances in which ownership and labour positions are products of pure economic processes. Whereas the class theory must lose its research significance in such circumstances in which systems of social division of labour and ownership are results of some non-economic substructure of society, e.g. political power.
A popular sophism is hidden in economic-monadic monocausalism: mistaking identity forcausality. It may be called the sophism of Abraham and Isaac since it assumes the following reasoning: if Abraham begot Isaac, if Isaac could not exist without Abraham, then Isaac is not Isaac but he is Abraham. This sophism played an important role in attempts at questioning class character of "real socialist" societies. Since "state" was begetting there labour and ownership division, then class differences and inequalities in formal socialism were not class differences and inequalities but they were "state itself" or state relations. M. Weber indirectly discovered that great sophism of modern social science when he divided social phenomena into 1) economic phenomena, 2) phenomena conditioned by economy, 3) phenomena significant for economy.
Our theory of class has four dimensions. The first dimension is constituted by analysis of microclass or organic class. The second one is determined by analysis of macroclass. The third dimension represents the radically heuristic concept of class which must be overcame at some point of research. The fourth dimension can be called empirical analysis of class structure of the given nation at the given time. It would bring us such a general picture of division of economic ownership and of labour that require to estimate significance of the given ownership-labour position for a life of the given set of individuals and economy as a whole. It is impossible to show a process of appropriation which takes place in the former formal socialist countries without empirical research on participation of managers, politicians, journalists, scientists in ownership of shares and dividends or without paying attention to participation of workers, employees and unemployed in the grey or informal sector of economy.
The conception of ownership-labour differentiation of society makes it relatively easy to solve the dilemmas which Andrzej Rychard, author of an otherwise interesting article on power and economy, was facing. (Rychard, 1994: 41-58). A. Rychard reflects on the problem whether the Polish August of 1980 can be analysed in terms of the opposition between "power class" and "labour class" or rather as a conflict between "new middle class" and "power class" or possibly as a result of the opposition "power class" - "hired labour class". The author chains the concept of class not to large groups of people - as Lenin was unjustly doing (Cf. Kozyr-Kowalski, 1984: 148)-but to superlarge groups of people. He identifies class division with Great Dichotomy, with Mono-dichotomy and Mono-relation of antagonistic character. He wants to distinguish classes considering the relation of "power", of political and economic domination. He is probably not aware of theoretical and empirical difficulties that appear in connection with the category of ruling, dominating class, in general, and in connection with the category of such a class in a system of oligarchic dictatorship, in particular. And that was the kind of system that existed in post-Stalinist socialism. That is why his definition of class has rather verbal and not a theoretical-material character. A. Rychard’s arguments, however, are under a strong pressure from a historically formed subject of interests of a scientific theory of class. The main problem of that subject is division of labour and ownership. The theses found in his article gain a certain empirical sense only after common, everyday notions expressing the conceptions of labour and ownership division have been applied.
A. Rychard explains the meaning of the concept "power class" by enclosing in that category "joined managers of politics and economics", that is, as one can easily guess, post-Stalinist Party and state authorities of every levels, all kinds of directors, "the whole hierarchy of managers of enterprises", foremen and overseer included. "Labour class", on the other hand, comprises all waged employees including workers. Peasants, petit bourgeoisie, capitalists of traditional type - who already existed in Poland in August of 1980, or even much earlier (Cf. Szczepanski, 1971: 19-20, Kozyr-Kowalski, 1972: 253-254) - are not considered by the author at all.
A. Rychard also unintentionally recognises the thesis about ownership and labour division as the basis of class structure when he corrects Jacek Kurczewski’s conception of new middle class. Rychard says that it is composed of "better skilled" workers, of "frustrated intelligentsia", of doctors in state health system, etc. We cannot assume, however, that those members of intelligentsia, who do not suffer from that characteristic for contemporary civilisation mental complaint should find themselves in "power class", can we? A. Rychard rejects J. Kurczewski’s idea of new middle class, since it implies gradation, not only the existence of middle class, but also the existence of higher and lower classes in post-Stalinist Polish People’s Republic.
For Rychard, classes exist when, and only when, there are two, and only two, classes. A similar opinion was heard by John Reed in the first ten days of the October Revolution from the mouth of an illiterate peasant, member of the Red Guards, who reacting to intellectually refined arguments of a student, an enemy of the revolution, expressed a simple truth: there are two, and only two classes - bourgeoisie and proletariat. I reminded that people’s theoretician and practitioner of social conflict as early as 1972. I also indicated the borders within which his statement could have been right. (Cf. Kozyr-Kowalski, Ladosz, 1972: 247-248). Stanislaw Ossowski had done it before me. And Georges Sorel even earlier. (Sorel, 1921, 1921a). A. Rychard proposes to treat Kurczewski’s new middle class as "the most conscious fraction of hired employee class". That solution, however, presents a new dilemma for the author of the article on power and economy. Would not then hired employee class comprise the whole society? This dilemma has not been solved by him but only passed over to other sociologists or to younger generation of scholar of social life. The author offers them but one clue. One should define "subordinate class", class of hired employees, in such a way that its designation would be "broader than the working class but narrower than so-called society". Why so-called society? In Rychard’s comprehension of classes there is room for class struggle and for mono-class organisations: "Solidarity" - the organisation of hired employees, PZPR (Polish United Workers’ Party) - the party of power class. The class approach to society must-in Rychard’s opinion-clearly show that economy is "first of all, a field of class struggle, and not merely a field of struggle between different groups of interest". Unfortunately, this thesis seems to be a phrase only, and because of its absolute character is worth as much as its simple antithesis: "economy is, first of all, a field of class co-operation and of class consensus". The author believes that he has distinguished his dichotomic classes thanks to the application of the criterion of "power" - political and economic domination. This belief can survive only when one applies an everyday, common conception of ownership and labour division for one’s analysis of society. In the concepts of worker, administrator, member of intelligentsia - not to mention a hired employee or a state - used by Rychard, one can find hidden ownership determinants.
Rychard writes that it was only after the Polish August, after Kurczewski’s paper read during the meeting of the Warsaw branch of PTS (Polish Sociological Society) in 1980, that there appeared first class interpretations of society (socialist? Polish?). This thesis is true neither in relation to a socialist society nor to the Polish society of post-war decades. It only proves the value of the concept - coined by Pitirim Sorokin - of new Columbuses who, disregarding earlier achievements and scholars thinking differently than they themselves do, proclaim that a real scientific era in their field of interest began "with the publication of the results of their research or of the research of members of their cliques". (Sorokin, 1958: 3-4). Jerzy Kochan indirectly shows that “clique” character of an opinion about the application of class approach to the analysis of the Polish reality in his study on the concept of social classes in post-war Poland. (Kochan, 1994). One of the reasons for Rychard’s theoretical dilemmas is the fact that he has not read Stanislaw Ossowski’s classic book on class structure in social consciousness carefully enough. A. Rychard suggests to the reader that identifying a class with a group of dichotomic and antagonistic character comes from Ossowski, while it is Ossowski himself who praises Marx for his attempts to create a synthesis of the three established patterns in the treatment of class structure: dichotomic, gradative and functional. (Ossowski, 1968: 144 -161).
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The paper was published in “Dialogue and Universalism”: Cf. Stanislaw Kozyr-Kowalski, Microclass and Macroclass of Society, “Dialogue and Universalism” No. 7-8, 1998, pp. 195-218.