Sociology 1 Social class Conflicts in Pakistan
S O C I A L C L A S S C O N F L I C T S I N P A K I S T
Sociology 2 Social class Conflicts in Pakistan
A N S O C I A L C L A S S
Social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions (or stratification) between individuals or groups in societies or cultures. Usually individuals are grouped into classes based on their economic positions and similar political and economic interests within the stratification system. Most societies, especially nation states, seem to have some notion of social class. However, class is not a universal phenomenon. Many hunter-gatherer societies do not have social classes, often lack permanent leaders, and actively avoid dividing their members into hierarchical power structures. The factors that determine class vary widely from one society to another. Even within a society, different people or groups may have very different ideas about what makes one "higher" or "lower" in the social hierarchy. Some questions frequently asked when trying to define class include the following. 1) The most important criteria in distinguishing classes. 2) The number of class divisions that exist.
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3) The extent to which individuals recognize these divisions if they are to be meaningful. 4) Whether or not class divisions even exist in the society. The theoretical debate over the definition of class remains an important one today. Sociologist Dennis Wrong defines class in two ways - realist and nominalist. The realist definition relies on clear class boundaries to which people adhere in order to create social groupings. They identify themselves with a particular class and interact mainly with people in this class. The nominalist definition of class focuses on the characteristics that people share in a given class - education, occupation, etc. Class is therefore determined not by the group in which you place yourself or the people you interact with, but rather by these common characteristics. The most basic class distinction between the two groups is between the powerful and the powerless. People in social classes with greater power attempt to cement their own positions in society and maintain their ranking above the lower social classes in the social hierarchy. Social classes with a great deal of power are usually viewed as elites, at least within their own societies. In the less complex societies, power/class hierarchies may or may not exist. In societies where they do exist, power may be linked to physical strength, and therefore age, gender, and physical health are common delineators of class. However, spiritual charisma and religious vision can be at least as important.[ Also, because different livelihoods are so closely intertwined in less complex societies, morality often ensures that the old, the young, the weak, and the sick maintain a relatively equal standard of living despite low class.
D e t e r m i
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n a n t s o f c l a s s
In so-called non-stratified societies or acephalous societies, there is no concept of social class, power, or hierarchy beyond temporary or limited social statuses. In such societies, every individual has a roughly equal social standing in most situations. In societies where classes exist, one's class is determined largely by:
• • • • •
Occupation Education and qualifications Income, personal, household and per capita Wealth or net worth, including the ownership of land, property, means of production, et cetera Family background and aspirations.
Although class is rarely hereditary in a strict sense, it will often be affected by such factors as upbringing and the class of one's parents. The child of high status professionals will grow up with the expectation that a similar occupation is an attainable goal, whereas a child of lower status parents in a run down neighborhood will often have much lower aspirations based upon what they see around them. The degree to which, in a given society, an individual's, family's, or group's social status can change throughout the course of their life through a system of social hierarchy or stratification is referred to as
Sociology 5 Social class Conflicts in Pakistan
Social Mobility. Subsequently, it is also the degree to which that individual's or group's descendants move up and down the class system. The degree to which an individual can move through their system can be based on attributes and achievements or factors beyond their control. Those who can attain a position of power in a society will often adopt distinctive lifestyles to emphasize their prestige and to further rank themselves within the powerful class. Often the adoption of these stylistic traits (which are often referred to as cultural capital) is as important as one's wealth in determining class status, at least at the higher levels:
Costume and grooming Manners and cultural refinement. For example, Bourdieu suggests a notion of high and low classes with a distinction between bourgeois tastes and sensitivities and the working class tastes and sensitivities. political standing vis-à-vis the church, government, and/or social clubs, as well as the use of honorary titles reputation of honor or disgrace language, the distinction between elaborate code, which is seen as a criterion for "upper-class", and the restricted code, which is associated with "lower classes"
Finally, fluid notions such as race can have widely varying degrees of influence on class standing. Having characteristics of a particular ethnic group may improve one's class status in many societies. However, what is considered "racially superior" in one society can often be exactly the opposite in another. In situations where such factors are an issue, a minority ethnicity has often been hidden, or discreetly ignored if the person in question has otherwise attained the requirements to be of a higher class. Ethnicity is still often the single most overarching issue of class status in some societies (see the articles on apartheid, the Caste system in Africa, and the Japanese Burakumin ethnic minority for examples). However, a distinction should be made between causation and correlation when it comes to race and class. Some societies have a high correlation between particular classes and race,
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but this is not necessarily an indication that race is a factor in the determination of class
C o n s e q u e n c e s o f C l a s s
Income inequality is one of the most important consequences of social class. Although class status is not a causal factor for income, there is consistent data that show those in higher classes have higher incomes than those in lower classes. This inequality still persists when controlling for occupation. The conditions at work vary greatly depending on class. Those in the upper-middle class and middle-class enjoy greater freedoms in their occupations. They generally are more respected, enjoy more diversity, and are able to exhibit some authority. Those in lower classes tend to feel more alienated and have lower work satisfaction overall. The physical conditions of the workplace differ greatly between classes. While middle-class workers may “suffer alienating conditions” or “lack of job satisfaction”, blue-collar workers are the ones who have to worry about health hazards, injury,
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and even death. Kerbo, Herald (1996). Social Stratification and Inequality. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., 231-233. ISBN 0-07-034258-X. In the more social sphere, class has direct consequences on lifestyle. Lifestyle includes tastes, preferences, and a general style of living. These lifestyles could quite possibly effect educational attainment, and therefore status attainment. Class lifestyle also affects how one raises his or her children. For example, a workingclass person is more likely to raise their child to be working class and middle-class children are more likely to be raised to be middle-class. This perpetuates the idea of class for future generations. Kerbo, Herald (1996). Social Stratification and Inequality. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., 233-235. ISBN 0-07-034258-X.
Class conflict, also class war or class warfare, is both the friction that accompanies social relationships between members or groups of different social classes and the underlying tensions or antagonisms which exist in society due to conflicting interests that arise from different social positions. Class conflict is thought to play a pivotal role in history of class societies (such as capitalism and feudalism) by Marxists who refer to its overt manifestations as class war, a struggle that is viewed by them as a product of capitalism. Class conflict can take many different shapes, for example direct violence such as wars fought for resources and cheap labor, indirect violence such as deaths from poverty, starvation or unsafe working conditions; coercion, such as the threat of losing a job or pulling a much needed investment, or ideology, e.g. trying to convince people that the power should be in the hands of the working class or the capitalist class, or instilling passivity and consumerism with advertising. It can be open, as with a business lockout aimed at destroying a labor union, or it can be hidden, as with an informal slowdown in production that protests low wages for an excessively fast or dangerous work process.
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f i n i t i o n o f C l a s s c o n f l i c t s
Class conflict is a term long-used mostly by socialists, Marxists, and anarchists, to describe social conflicts between two or more social classes. Marxists and many anarchists define a 'class' by its relationship to the 'means of production' --- such as factories, land, and machinery. From this point of view, the social control of production and labor is a contest between classes, and the division of these resources necessarily involves conflict and inflicts harm.
Sociology 9 Social class Conflicts in Pakistan
Cl ass co nfl ict s an d Ca pit ali sm • Class conflict in pre-capitalist societies
Where societies are socially divided based on status, wealth, or control of social production and distribution, conflict arises. This conflict is both everyday, such as the common Medieval right of lords to control access to grain mills and baking ovens, or it can be exceptional such as the Roman Conflict of the Orders, the uprising of Spartacus, or the various popular uprisings in late medieval Europe. One of the earliest Marxist analyses of these conflicts is Frederick Engel's German Peasants War. One of the earliest analyses of the development of class as the development of conflicts between emergent classes is available in Peter Kropotkin's Mutual Aid where he analyses the disposal of goods after death in pre-class societies, and how inheritance produces early class divisions and conflict.
• Class conflict in Capitalism
The typical example of class conflict described is class conflict within capitalism. This class conflict is seen to occur primarily between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, and take the form of conflict over hours of work, value of wages, cost of consumer goods, the culture at work, control over parliament or bureaucracy, and the nature of general social culture. The particular implementation of government programs which may seem purely humanitarian, such as disaster relief, can actually be a form of class conflict. Apart
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from these day to day forms of class conflict, during periods of crisis or revolution class conflict takes on a violent nature and involves repression, assault, restriction of civil liberties and murderous violence such as assassinations or death squads. Class warfare is a term long-used by many socialists (including Marxists and communists, but also anarchists, democratic socialists, etc.) to describe social and political conflicts between classes (groups of people with a different relationship to the means of production, and to each other). In this view, capitalism consists of two social classes: the wage-workers (the proletariat) and the business owners or capitalists (the bourgeoisie). The wage-workers do not own or have control over the means of production, and must sell their labor-power to the capitalists in order to survive. The capitalists own and control the means of production, and subsist by exploiting the workers. Therefore, a socio-political imbalance is said to exist between individuals of extreme wealth or power and those with little or no wealth. This imbalance was probably first recognized by Adam Smith: "The masters [i.e., employers], being fewer in number, can combine much more easily; and the law, besides, authorizes, or at least does not prohibit their combinations, while it prohibits those of the workmen. We have no acts of parliament against combining to lower the price of work; but many against combining to raise it. In all such disputes the masters can hold out much longer. A landlord, a farmer, a master manufacturer, or merchant, though they did not employ a single workman, could generally live a year or two upon the stocks which they have already acquired. Many workmen could not subsist a week, few could subsist a month, and scarce any a year without employment. In the long-run the workman may be as necessary to his master as his master is to him, but the necessity is not so immediate." (The Wealth of Nations, volume I, ch. 8, paragraph 12) Going beyond Smith, the interests of the wealthy are seen to conflict (often dramatically and violently) with the interests and needs of classes without power. Corporations are seen to function as a vehicle for combination of individual capitals, transcending the bounds of mortality and liability that accompany an individual-owned enterprise.
Sociology 11 Social class Conflicts in Pakistan
Arguably, there is little fundamental difference between the class warfare that existed between the Victorian era monarchy and the common public, and a modern corporation and its workers. In any class society, each of the two main classes has its own divisions, so that neither is monolithic. Concerning capitalism, Marxist theory argues that the working class has both an "objective" class interest as a collective group, and a large number of individual interests of workers. Class interest may thus differ from "trade union consciousness", economism, and the like. Similarly, the capitalist class may be driven by the difference between the long-term collective interest of the class and the profit-seeking of individual capitalists. In a revolutionary situation, convergence of individual interests and class interests is expected; this might be seen as a polarization of society. The empirical manifestation of class antagonisms depends on the specific (concrete) historical situation in which they operate. For example, other societal divisions -- concerning issues of nationality, ethnicity, religion, language, and gender -- can interact with, confuse, and/or mute class tensions. Sometimes class can be simultaneously moderated by ethnic issues (as between white proletarians and capitalists in apartheid-era South Africa) and intensified by them (as between blacks and whites there). Class struggle, Class consciousness, Social class, Slave rebellion, Revolution, Economic inequality, Economic stratification, Exploitation, Labor union, No War But The Class War, Class envy, Popular revolt in late medieval Europe, sharecropping, taxation, Conflict of the Orders, Johnson County War are all related to each other.
M a i n c l a s s
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s t r u g g l e
Labor (the proletariat or workers) includes anyone who earns their livelihood by selling their labor power and being paid a wage or salary for their labor time. They have little choice but to work for capital, since they typically have no independent way to survive. Capital (the bourgeoisie or capitalists) includes anyone who gets their income not from labor as much as from the surplus value they appropriate from the workers who create wealth. The income of the capitalists, therefore, is based on their exploitation of the workers (proletariat).
What Marx points out is that members of each of the two main classes have interests in common. These class or collective interests are in conflict with those of the other class as a whole. This in turn leads to conflict between individual members of different classes. An example of this would be a factory producing a commodity, such as the manufacture of widgets (a standard imaginary commodity in economics books). Some of the money received from selling widgets will be spent on things like raw materials and machinery (constant capital) in order to build more widgets. Similarly, some money – variable capital – is spent on labor power. The capitalist would not be in business if not for the surplus value, i.e., the money received from selling the widgets beyond that spent on constant and variable capital. The amount of this surplus value – profits, interest, and rent – depends on how much labor workers do for the wages or salaries they are paid.
Sociology 13 Social class Conflicts in Pakistan
This surplus value is higher to the extent that workers spend time at work beyond what they're paid for and to the extent that they exert effort beyond the cost of their labor-time. Thus the capitalist would like as much "free time" (unpaid labor during official lunch breaks, after official closing time, etc.) and as much worker effort as possible. On the other hand, the workers would like to be paid for every minute they work under the capitalist's authority and would like to avoid unnecessary and unpaid effort. They would also prefer higher wages and benefits (such as health insurance, defined-benefit pensions, etc.) and less of a dictatorial or paternalistic attitude from employers. Working conditions must be safe and healthy, rather than dangerous. Not all class struggle is violent or necessarily radical (as with strikes and lockouts). Class antagonism may instead be expressed as low worker morale, minor sabotage and pilferage, and individual workers' abuse of petty authority and hoarding of information. It may also be expressed on a larger scale by support for socialist or populist parties. On the employers' side, the use of union-busting legal firms and the lobbying for anti-union laws are forms of class struggle. Not all class struggle is a threat to capitalism, or even to the authority of an individual capitalist. A narrow struggle for higher wages by a small sector of the working-class (what is often called "economism") hardly threatens the status quo. In fact, by applying "craft union" tactics of excluding other workers from skilled trades, an economist struggle may even weaken the working class as a whole by dividing it. Class struggle becomes more important in the historical process as it becomes more general, as industries are organized rather than crafts, as workers' class consciousness rises, and as they are organized as political parties. Marx referred to this as the progress of the proletariat from being a class "in itself" (a position in the social structure) to being one "for itself" (an active and conscious force that could change the world). Marx thought that this conflict was central to the social structure of capitalism and could not be abolished without replacing the system itself. Further, he argued that the objective conditions under capitalism would likely develop in a way that encouraged a proletariat organized collectively for its own goals to develop: the accumulation of surplus value as more means of production by the capitalists would allow
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them to become more and more powerful, encouraging overt class conflict. If this is not counteracted by increasing political and economic organization by workers, it would inevitably cause an extreme polarization of the classes, encouraging the revolution that would destroy capitalism itself. The revolution would lead to a socialist society in which the proletariat controlled the state, that is, "the dictatorship of the proletariat". The original meaning of this term was a workers' democracy, not a dictatorship in the modern sense of the word. For Marx, democracy under capitalism is a bourgeois dictatorship. Even after a revolution, the two classes would struggle, but eventually the struggle would recede and the classes dissolve. As class boundaries broke down, the state apparatus would wither away. According to Marx, the main task of any state apparatus is to uphold the power of the ruling class; but without any classes there would be no need for a state. That would lead to the classless, stateless communist society.
H i s t o r y o f c l a s s s t
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r u g g l e
In every state and in every period, class contrasts, class struggles, and class domination depend, (1) Upon the degree of unity or of diversity in the citizen body; these citizens are formed into groups by race, occupation, distribution of income and property, intellectual and religious culture, etc. (2) Upon the type of distinction and of organization peculiar to the classes; (3) Upon the strength and organization of the civic government, this stands for the unity and peace of the society. Every great society exhibits historically a picture of a social differentiating process. A counterbalancing process also goes on by virtue of the force of common heredity, common language, common morality, common religion; in short, the aggregate of cultural factors, and finally the unity of law, of institutions, of the civic power. Every actual situation is a diagonal of these two opposing series of factors. The smaller, more primitive, ruder the social bodies are, the minute the class contrasts. Great, ancient, civilized peoples always have important class contrasts. They grow, in the first place, with the great economic advances. The increase of money and entrepreneur economy has done most to intensify these contrasts and to lead to class conflicts. The decisive factor in this latter development has always been that along with the growing economic contrasts there was the dissolution of the older psycho-moral and religious unity of the folk. In these periods the upper and progressing classes on the whole increased more in intellect and in technicoeconomic ability than in social and political virtues. The lower classes easily lagged behind in development of the
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intellect and of economico-technical qualities. They lost a part of their old virtues (fidelity, obedience, temperance) and they did not at once gain as a compensation increase of other higher qualities. The recovery of unifying supreme ideals of morality and of societary constitution has been difficult in such times of the dissolution of the old societary constitution and of religious conceptions. Indeed it was often wholly impossible, often possible only after long struggles and mistaken endeavors. Accordingly the degree of class contrasts, of class conflicts, of class domination, varies greatly in different peoples. We must now get at, first, an understanding of the nature of class conflicts; second, of the nature of class dominance; third, of the opposing legal and constitutional development, as well as of the adjustment of the class conflicts: a) Wherever there are different classes, they have on the one hand various, distinct, even contradictory interests; but on the other hand they also have common interests. The former or divergent interests are predominantly of an external, practical, and economic sort; they aim at immediate ends. The latter, or common interests, are of a more ideal and spiritual sort. They refer to the total purposes of society and state and to the future. To a considerable degree the former are unorganized, or only loosely organized. At any rate they have a compact organization only under particular circumstances. The latter, or common interests, have also a loose organization of customs and morality; but in state and church, in law and institutions, they have always a certain firmly jointed organization of force, which, to be sure, possesses at different times very different degrees of power. The more strongly the common feelings and the great national purposes emerge, the firmer the civic organization of power eventually becomes, the more will the particularized class interests in time be forced to subordinate, co-ordinate, and adjust themselves to one another. In the larger states, with pronounced class structure, however, these special interests in turn will always occasionally assert themselves, and rightfully, for progress results only from certain frictions and trials of strength. From these the victory of the better is at last gained. The whole interior development thus rests upon the relations of tension, upon the struggles and peace treaties of the social classes, upon the craft and the circumspection of the government, upon the skill and power of its leading minds in arranging
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their peace agreements and in winning the victory for the total interest over the separate class interests. Accordingly the history of folk-economy, of society, and of the state falls into epochs of social peace and others of social disturbance. Even in the former, class antitheses are not lacking. They are, however, either latent, wholly controlled by common feelings, interests, and organizations, or after certain struggles they have withdrawn from prominence, because certain legal principles and institutions have furnished a basis for suppression or conciliation; that is for arriving at a tolerable point of equilibrium. Especially in times of long industrial and technical stability will such a peaceful condition occur? The feelings and relationships of classes will have adjusted themselves to a given distribution of power, of callings and of possessions, and to a certain civic and legal order. The social frictions are reduced to a small total. So far as there is class dominance at all, it is more or less recognized as rightful by all. Contrasted with these periods are those of social conflict. They always occur if the division of economic or other labor is modified, if new upper classes are formed in the course of technical, intellectual, or other progress, if existing or new lower or middle classes are threatened with destruction or with a change for the worse in their condition. Then there must take plague a struggle of classes, not merely of individuals. It is an incident of the universal striving/or power and control. It is precipitated by the new conditions of life. It may last a longer or a shorter time. It may lead to reforms or revolutions. It may start the destruction of the states and the peoples concerned. Or it may end with some sort of equilibrium, with a pacified social condition. The struggles will always have reference to three points: (1) To the constitutional law, to the filling of civic offices, to the appointment or choice of officials, choice of general or local officers,. to the rights of organization, of assembly or of the press, to organization of the army and of the courts, to the position of church and school, to the removal of administrative abuses; (2) To class and family law in the strict sense, to class privileges and their abolition,
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(3) To the distribution of income as affected on the one hand by the play of free forces in the market, and on the other hand by legal molding of economic life. Both of these factors are affected by the existing distribution of power, in connection with the contemporary morality and customs. Chiefly, however, it is the law and the great institutions which favor or embarrass the position of the particular classes in their struggle for economic advantage, and which aid or retard their access to profit and property. The entire legal boundary between common and private property, between Common and private thrift is decisive for the favoring of the upper or the lower classes. The higher economic classes have always understood more or less how to develop customs and laws in their favor, how thereby to increase their incomes and their property, how to give themselves an advantage in commercial intercourse. The middle classes have to a certain extent attempted the same thing, as opposed to the upper classes. Their success has been variable. The lower classes have always been most unfavorably situated for that sort of influence, but custom and law have sought to protect them, and every intelligent state government has had the same purpose. Wherever the self-consciousness of these classes awoke, wherever their culture and working efficiency grew, wherever they could form organizations, under such circumstances, like the middle class,. they have striven for lightening of their burdens, for better means of getting a living, for easier labor conditions, for higher wages, or even for equal distribution of property and income. What in a more remote time everyone held to be proper and tolerable in all these respects appeared to a more refined sense of justice hard and intolerable. Accordingly, it was in part this actual unequal distribution of goods, in part the growing opinion about the same, that ever again, after temporary rest, summoned the social classes into the lists for struggle over change and improvement. In earlier times the issue was joined directly. The upper classes retained the lion's share of conquered lands, of captured cattle, of slaves or serfs, without stopping for justification. On the other hand, the lower classes, when temporarily successful, carried out large confiscations of the property of the rich, new apportionments of the soil, restrictions upon quantities of land and cattle to be owned by the well-to-do, release from debt or reductions, gifts of farms in the colonies, or even free entrance to the theater or to the representative assembly, distribution of bread, and similar
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measures. The more complex a folk-economy is, and the more it is necessary to deal with very diverse classes, with an old division of labor and class structure, the less is it to be expected that such direct attacks, such bungling attempts at reformation and redistribution, will succeed. To be sure, some of these radical attempts have occurred in recent times. Legal emancipation of slaves and serfs, from 1500 to 1860, the abolition of burdens upon the peasantry, the creation of a free peasant class and free landed property, were extraordinarily radical measures. The introduction of craft freedom, indispensable for the new molding of folk-economy, was a deep slash into the existing legal order of industrial life. It immediately raised the higher class of entrepreneurs, just as it depressed the artisans and the laboring class. The struggle over taxes and other civic burdens has been at the forefront in all social conflicts, and every profound change (such, for example, as a new rapidly progressive income and inheritance tax) may greatly encourage one class while it severely embarrasses another. On the whole, however, even radicalism, the right wing of the social democracy, has today become relatively reasonable. Its standpoint is that no fairly earned property rights should be impaired, that means of production should be changed into collective property only with proper compensation. At the same time the more moderate of the radicals no more demand equality of all wages and incomes than they demand abolition of all private property. Gradual reconstructions, working toward more equitable future adjustment of the social organism, are becoming more and more the passwords, even among the radicals. The violent revolutionary movement is of course not satisfied with this program. The question is whether a more violent program can be restrained. b) All the class conflicts appear to be the consequence of that which we are accustomed to call "class dominance." The concept should be defined. Linguistic usage in this case is of two sorts, the one less inclusive, the other more inclusive. In the former case we understand by class-dominance the social dependency relations which result from the customary industrial connections between the upper and the lower classes, between masters and slaves, between entrepreneurs and laborers, between creditors and debtors, between the strong merchants and the weak buyers. We have treated these relations in the whole of the preceding book. They rest upon the ground of private law. They have their origin in the
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spiritual, technical, economic culture of the persons concerned. They exert their share among the social influences of the situation according as morality, law, institutions, or civic constitutions are developed. The higher these latter have ascended, the easier it will always be to restrict or to abolish the worst abuses incident to class dominance. In the second case we understand by class dominance (and this second sense is more correct: we are now using the phrase in this way) that dependence of the weak class upon the strong which comes about from the fact that the latter influences and controls the civic power, that the strong class exploits not merely its economic superiority, but the political power, the sovereign rights of the state, the machinery of government, for its special purposes, for its economic advantage. Wherever anything of this sort is the case the above-pictured abuses of private rights will be the more excessive. In this sense also we are concerned, under the concept of class dominance, with the more extensive, the more significant, the quasi-constitutional, concept of class dominance. This occurs not merely as a quasi-natural, never entirely alterable, phenomenon, but always at the same time as degeneration, as a fact to be fought with all the means available. For it is a part of the essential idea of the sovereign power that it is to be used in the interest of the whole society, not in the special interest of a class. If we disregard very minute communities, consisting of members who are almost entirely equal, and which consequently are able to govern themselves democratically by means of rotating presiding officers, and an assembly of all the citizens, not calling into requisition a compulsory force or machinery; with these exceptions all states of any size have developed a dominating civic power with far-reaching sovereign rights, with strong compulsory force, because power is essential to the nature of the state, because the domestic government of the state cannot possibly be on a high level without paramount power in the hands of the authorities, because the state cannot be strong against external enemies without this power. This power can never rest merely upon individual persons, and no more can it be exercised directly by the totality of thousands and millions of citizens. In order to be capable of decision and action it needs an organization of functionaries, of rulers and subjects, controllers and controlled. There must be groups of fighters, of priests, of noble families, of officials. The compact organization of these under a central head is the secret of the
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existence of the power of the state. With a chief or king supported by an aristocracy, a senate, we have the beginnings of all the higher civic constitutions of ancient times. The mass of the folk, originally participating in the national assemblies, sink more and more, even while retaining certain rights, to the condition of mostly passive members of the civic body. Slaves and serfs, moreover, have no voice at all. The kings, who’s excesses and abuses 'were much more in evidence than their salutary functions, were, as we have seen, set aside by the aristocracy in Greece and Rome. The aristocracy, freed from control by a superior authority, easily fell eventually into the same abuses, and class dominance in the strict sense began. The attempt was made to reform the abuses by extension of civil fights to larger numbers -- as in Rome by the admission of the rural plebeians. There was success along this line when, as in that case, the official and governmental laws were definite and comprehensive, and when the enfranchised had gone through a special discipline in the discharge of public duties. If this was not the case, there was danger that the masses would prevail with selfish, shortsighted, impossible demands dictated by class interests. Revolution and destruction followed. A dictatorship then became the only recourse. This has been the termination of almost all the great social revolutions and civil wars. c) Accordingly the history of social classes and of constitutions in the larger and more complex states seems to run through the following stages: (1) Establishment of a definite civic power, which rests exclusively upon the prerogatives of given monarchical or aristocratic groups. These narrow groups at first govern well and justify. In time, however, they fall into abuses of power, and class dominance begins. (2) The attempt is made to admit wider groups to power, electoral and legislative suffrage, and eligibility to office. At last the whole democratic mass is thus equalized. At first, if it is done wisely and temperately, this leads to good results, particularly so long as the administration remains in the hands of a firm, strong government. If the movement goes too far, if political incompetents gain too great influence, if the democratic masses acquire merely momentary advantage and profit, there follows, instead of the older aristocratic class control, the still worse democratic class control. All firm,
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secure civic leadership then ceases and with it all just government. (3) This can be prevented only if improvement and strengthening of the civic apparatus keeps pace in Free states with the increasing influences of egoistic class interests. It is necessary also that the civic power shall remain in clean hands and shall continue to be stronger than the power and influence of the classes. This is possible through progressive development of a more and more precise and just constitutional and administrative law, by the education of civic officials of a non-partisan type in positions superior to class control, and who from highest to lowest govern state and society in harmonious co-operation. We are thus in the presence of the perception that on the one hand there has been no folk of high civilization without certain onsets and inclinations toward class control; indeed, that all extensions of civil rights in the first instance increase the dangers of such class control; that, on the other hand, every folk of high civilization in the constitutional state has sought and to a certain degree has found in the development of the sense of law and of legal control a counterbalance against class dominance and abuse of civic power. The evolution of the moral and legal judgment of countless generations worked toward the end that certain principles of law became the supreme power in the world. The most barbarous chief who administered law, or who professed to do justice, tanned to act in the interest of all. It became more and more necessary for all rulers to consider the total interests, and to restrain their class egoism. In spite of all retrogressions, of all new class abuses, history exhibits progress, which rests on the one hand upon growing insight into political and social interdependences, upon increasing development of more refined sense of justice in the ruling and the ruled classes, and on the other hand upon the development of the legal institutions and the constitutional forms which hinder class abuses, and, in spite of those which cannot be prevented, make just government easier than formerly, and which consequently tend to assure to all classes their legitimate influence, while turning the mastery over to no single class. Of course this goal will never be fully reached. The great political movements however are incessantly making in that direction.
Sociology 23 Social class Conflicts in Pakistan
The Greek ideals of the state, the Roman administrative law in the time of the free state, the severe emporium of the Caesars, the law of the Middle Ages humanized by Christianity, the mediaeval church with its institutions, the incipient modern civic power, enlightened despotism, with its struggles against the control of society by feudally stratified classes, with its endeavors to establish a good judicial system, to maintain upright administration, the later constitutional organizations, with their guaranties of rights, the attempts of modern democracies to assure a more favorable position for the lower classes -- all these are stations along the difficult, thorny path of humanity in its progress toward a great and firm government, with its minimum of class abuses. It was the historical ro1e of Caesarism and of hereditary monarchy to establish the strong, immovable civic authorities supported by police power, civil officials, and the military organization. It was the ro1e of the constitutional and democratico-republican movements to fight down again the abuses of these powers. In the degree in which it proves possible to have firm, permanent civic authorities also in aistocratic and democratic republics, and particularly such authorities without class domination, monarchy as a form of the state will perhaps retire. Up to the present time this does not seem probable. The great republics of today, and the weak monarchies which are close to republics in essentials, manifest either plutocratic or feudal class dominance, or a civic form which inclines toward an autocracy of popular statesmen and dictators. The European states, accordingly, which combine with a secure hereditary monarchy a free constitution, appear for the time being still to afford the best guaranty against too great abuses by classes. The task of such modern monarchies will be lightened principally by the following circumstances: (1) By the political division of labor, this has created particular strata and classes, which devote the work of their lives to the service of the state and to public interests. (2) By the increasing power of public opinion. (3) By the fact that the social classes of today, while more strongly organized and in conflicts more selfish than formerly, and in the great European states more widely
Sociology 24 Social class Conflicts in Pakistan
divided than ever, still are restrained by the law from irresponsible conduct, and they hold one another reciprocally in check. Even in the ecclesiastical states the relatively good government rested upon the fact of a special training of its rulers for their functions. To a certain extent this was also the case in the military aristocracy. Plato's idea of a government by philosophers springs from the same thought. This thought has been thus far very imperfectly carried out under the monarchical regime in the construction of the civil service. It was only in recent centuries that in the majority of European states a group of jurists, civil officials, military officers, clergy, and scholars has been created, drawn often from all strata of society, yet all alike trained at the universities, secured in their economic positions partly by their own property, partly by salaries, and devoting life entirely to public affairs. Sometimes these very groups have degenerated into narrowly selfish and self-centered classes. This was especially the case where the public power and the participation of the other citizens in public Hie did not prevent the abuses of the bureaucracy. But on the whole this sort of division of labor, this training of the rulers, with the traditions and standards of propriety which incidentally developed, have given to the civic machinery a strength and a compact organization which they have never had before, and on the other hand have made them a bulwark against class domination such as never existed in ancient or mediaeval states. These groups are the bearers of an ideal conception of the state and of its economics. Even so far as they are of feudal aristocratic or of bourgeois origin, their horizon is no longer that of their economic class. They understand the interests of the middle and lower classes with whom they come into daily contact in transacting the business of their respective positions. In this respect they are much broader than the upper strata of business men. Together with the lawyers, physicians, artists, journalists, they constitute a sort of neutral zone, in contrast with the really struggling classes. Besides all this we have today the public opinion, in so far as it is free, not bought up by the ruling classes. Along with the entire phenomenon of the cleavage of classes and of passionate agitation for class interests, our modern
Sociology 25 Social class Conflicts in Pakistan
literature and the press, much as they have also in certain cases served class interests first and foremost, have still been factors in developing a sound public opinion, the cardinal function of which is to be an emotional reaction against governmental and class abuses. Often as public opinion is petty and shortsighted and obstructive of reasonable reforms, yet at last it always flows into strong accord with the noble and the good, with right and truth. Every efficient and wise government has at last the support of public opinion, whenever it opposes class egoism and class abuses. Government can do this the easier today because modern society in great states is never divided merely into two classes, a controlling and a controlled, but into a whole series of classes with very different interests. To be sure, even in those simple conditions in which only two classes were in question, a princely authority that was sure of its aims has time and again made common cause with the folk against an aristocracy hostile to the monarchy, and has strengthened its position by the policy. In ancient times all kingly power rested on this basis, as in later times the enlightened despotisms or the Caesarism of Cromwell and of Napoleon. Particularly was and is this true of the policy "divide and conquer," wherever a rural or an urban class of propertyowners, or land-owners and manufacturers held each other in check, wherever in addition to these an aristocracy of money operators pursued independent interests, wherever an influential stratum of liberal callings had been formed, which, with little or no property, constituted a cardinal factor of government and of public opinion, and which voted now with the higher propertied classes, now with the lower and nonpropertied. By the side of the aristocratic influential classes there is today in most countries a large middle class of peasants, farmers, small artisans, and traders, ready to antagonize the class egoism of the upper and lower classes. All sorts of leagues of laborers with landed proprietors, with the bourgeoisie, with the middle class, occur today. The talented representative of a purely socialistic conception of the history of classes, Loria, admits this; and he makes it the explanation of most of the social advances that have thus far occurred. If the English Tories were the decisive factors in carrying through the English legislation for protection of laborers, and i/Bismarck traded with LaSalle, and offered universal suffrage as his play against the bourgeoisie, these things are weighty evidences of the effectiveness of such
Sociology 26 Social class Conflicts in Pakistan
combinations of different class interests and of their power to overcome opposing class interests. d) We believe that we may thus prove that necessary internal causes of civic development can and will progressively limit class dominance. We have not therewith proved that class struggles will disappear. We may hope nevertheless that the types of their manifestation and the ways in which they will be settled will become better, fairer, and more reasonable. The more inchoate law and state were earlier, the more easily did social conflicts lead at once to extremes, to uprising, to revolution, to violence, to wholesale executions, to great confiscations. In antiquity whole centuries were filled with such occurrences. In modern history they have at least been less frequent. It is worth while to add a remark about the causes which led to the decision in the respective class conflicts and about the way in which the adjustment was made, whether by revolution or by reform. Of course the most important matter is always the strength and power of the government, the degree of its insight and justice; then the strength and organization of those classes which defend the old and of those which promote the new. In this view the foregrounds are occupied by the legal situation with respect to the organization of classes, and by the possibility of the psychical development of a strong class consciousness (cf. Vol. I, §§ 135-36). As has been pointed out, in ancient times the upper classes alone easily formed compact organizations, while today the lower classes are often more strongly organized. Along with the type and strength of the organization of classes and parties, much depends also upon the entire public law situation, upon its rigidity or flexibility, upon the degrees of permitted public discussion of abuses, upon the possibility of winning over to the side of reforms the civic organs, the responsible popular assemblies or parliaments. The more flexible public opinion has become by means of modern constitutions, the more is it possible to avoid explosions. Yet these have always occasionally occurred. Still more frequently have they been stamped out? Usurpers have also succeeded by means of bloodshed. By no means was the unsuccessful party always wrong or the successful party always right. 0nly too easily have accidental circumstances;
Sociology 27 Social class Conflicts in Pakistan
lack of judgment and of tact on the governmental side, cleverness or unscrupulousness in the revolutionary leaders the intervention of foreign powers, given to class a temporary victory, which afforded no guaranty of permanence. Consequently there followed the easy sequence of reaction after revolution, as for example in Greece, Rome, and the mediaeval cities. The outcome may easily be a chain of upheavals, a long sequence of troubled periods. Under such circumstances the lower classes very likely fall into worse conditions than before. Government, even the most arbitrary, is better than perpetual anarchy. Hence, in earlier times, and occasionally even now, foreign domination and military dictatorships are among the outcome of class conflicts. All reasonable people have therefore constantly demanded reforms, but have condemned revolutions. Antiquity had successful social reforms, like that of Solon, and those of Rome between the fifth and the third centuries before Christ. But the passions of the masses, the pressure of social wrong, have ever and again led to revolutionary programs supported either by the upper or the lower classes. This is in spite of the fact that revolution is always the most precarious of all games of chance. With all our condemnation of revolution, and with all our efforts to prevent it, we may not forget this, viz., that the formal law is often dubious; frequently the real issue is between a higher real law and a worm-eaten formal law. Even successful revolutions may operate upon subsequent times and upon other states as salutary influences. And in case farsighted and able leaders succeed early in checking the disorder and in establishing better conditions, the later world has always acclaimed them. The new cannot always succeed by the victories of peace. Nevertheless, we may hope today, and at all events we should wish, that free discussion -- publicity -- will suffice to accomplish in a peaceful way even the great reforms; that it will not be left to violence and terrorism to achieve them; that a responsible government will be won over to them, will establish them by legal means, and will thus give them the guaranty of permanence. In this way alone is it to be hoped that changes which are genuinely social will gain a place in our institutions, changes which correspond with the personal, psycho-moral qualities of the different classes, and new and better rights which show that only those classes will gain new and better rights which show themselves to be the themselves
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to be the bearers of progress, the rise of which coincides with the total interest of the state. We may say that even in the past no class was permanently elevated which did not on the whole benefit at the same time state and folk thrift; no class fell to a lower plane unless it forgot its duty toward the whole, and retrograded in qualities and capacities, in political or economic virtues. Whenever middle is threatened, it will maintain itself only when it regenerates itself economically and spiritually, when its existence and activity are still salutary for the general development. No lower class can permanently raise its social level by merely using clubs, by merely stirring up hatred and suspicion toward the upper classes, by merely chasing unattainable Utopias. It can win greater political rights and greater income only when it advances technically, economically, and morally, when it proves itself to be a bearer of the total progress, when it develops within itself obedience and discipline and subordinates itself to competent, temperate leaders, and not merely to demagogues who are instigators of revolution. Class abuses and class dominance will never wholly disappear. Renan once said that the Jewish spirit has worked in universal history as the bearer of social justice, but it everywhere seeks to destroy every fixed powerful government, because, taking human beings as they are, such a government is unthinkable without certain social abuses. There is a truth in .this. The spirit of social justice has to arrange compromises with powerful governments, and in the last resort it does this in such a way that extreme democracy ends at last with tyrants and Caesarism.
Theories regarding Class Conflicts
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• Theory of Karl Marx
Overall, there are six elements in Marx's view of class conflict. 1) Classes are authority relationships based on property ownership. 2) A class defines groupings of individuals with shared life situations, thus interests. 3) Classes are naturally antagonistic by virtue of their interests. 4) Imminent within modern society is the growth of two antagonistic classes and their struggle, which eventually absorbs all social relations. 5) Political organization and Power is an instrumentality of class struggle, and reigning ideas are its reflection. 6) Structural change is a consequence of the class struggle. The "classes" that Marx distinguishes within a capitalistic society have a continually fluctuating membership. Class affiliation under capitalism is not a hereditary quality. It is assigned to each individual by a daily repeated plebiscite, as it were, of all the people. The buying public, the consumers, by their buying and abstention from buying, determine who should own and run the plants, who should work in the factories and mines, who should play the parts in the theater performances, and who should write the newspaper articles. They do it in a similar way in which they determine in their capacity as voters who should act as president, governor, or judge. In order to get rich in a capitalistic society and to preserve ones once acquired wealth one must satisfy the wishes of the public. Those who have acquired wealth as well as their heirs must try to keep it by defending their assets against the competition of already established firms and of ambitious newcomers. In the unhampered market economy, not sabotaged by concessions and exemptions accorded to powerful pressure groups, there are no privileges, no protection of vested interests, no barriers preventing anybody from striving after any prize. Access to the Marxiandesignated classes is free to everybody. The members of each class compete with one another. They are not united by a common class interest and not opposed to the members of other classes by being allied either in the defense of a common privilege, which those wronged by it want to see
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abolished, or in the attempt to abolish a legal disability which those deriving advantage from it want to preserve. The champions of modern political freedom and laissez faire asserted: If the old laws establishing status privileges and disabilities are abolished and no new practices of the same character? Such as subsidies, discriminatory taxation, indulgence granted to non-governmental agencies like unions to use coercion and intimidation? Are introduced, there is equality of all citizens under the law. Nobody is hampered in his aspirations and ambitions by any legal obstacles. Everybody is free to compete for any social position or function for which his personal abilities qualify him. But Marx saw things in a different light. He maintained that capitalism did not abolish bondage and did not do away with the servitude of the working and toiling masses. It did not emancipate the common man. The people merely changed their masters. Formerly they were forced to drudge for the princes and aristocrats; now they are exploited by the bourgeoisie. The division of society into "social classes" is, in the eyes of Marx, sociologically and economically not different from its division into the castes of the status society. The bourgeois of the modern age is no less a predatory extortion than were the noblemen and slaveholders of ages gone by. The only retort that Marx, Engels and all their followers down to the Russian Bolshevists and the European and American professorial admirers of Marx knew to advance against their critics was the notorious ideology doctrine. According to this makeshift a man's intellectual horizon is fully determined by his class affiliation. The individual is constitutionally unfit to reach out and to grasp any other doctrine than one that furthers the interests of his own "class" at the expense of other "classes." It is, therefore, unnecessary for a proletarian to pay any attention to whatever bourgeois authors may say and to waste time refuting their statements. All that is needed is to unmask their bourgeois background. That settles the matter. This is the method to which Marx and Engels and later Marxians resorted in dealing with all dissenters. They never embarked upon the hopeless task of defending their selfcontradictory system against devastating criticism. All they
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did was to call their opponents stupid bourgeois and to ascribe their opposition to their bourgeois class affiliation.
• Dahrendorf’s theory of class and class conflicts
The ideas of Marx spawned a rich literature; much of it is polemical and political, but some authors have tried to avoid the historical or empirical errors Marx committed, to learn from changes since his time, and to apply the spirit of his sociology to contemporary industrial society. The best of these efforts is Ralf Dahrendorf's Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society (1959). Dahrendorf recognizes two approaches to society, which he calls the Utopian and the Rationalist. The first emphasizes equilibrium of values, consensus, and stability; the second revolves around dissension and conflict, the latter being the mover of structural change. Both are social perspectives; neither is completely false, but each views a separate face of society. Unfortunately, he feels, the consensus view has dominated contemporary sociology, especially in the United States, and he sets out to create some balance between the two views by developing and illustrating the theoretical power of a class-conflict perspective. He begins as he must with a review of Marx's writings, a clarification of his model, a discussion of the sociopolitical changes since Marx. A review of subsequent theoretical works bearing on class is followed by a sociological critique of Marx. These necessary scholarly chores completed, Dahrendorf presents his own view of class. He sees Marx's defining characteristic of class (as property ownership) as a special case of a more general authoritative relationship. Society grants the holders of social positions power to exercise coercive control over others. And property ownership, the legitimate right to coercively exclude others from one's property, is such power. This control is a matter of authority, which Dahrendorf defines, according to Weber, as the probability that a command with specific content will be obeyed by certain people. Authority is associated with a role or position and differs from power, which Dahrendorf claims is individual. Authority is a matter of formal legitimacy backed by sanctions. It is a relation existing between people
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in imperatively coordinated groups, thus originating in social structure. Authority, however, is dichotomous; there is always an authoritative hierarchy on one side and those who are excluded on the other. Within any imperative group are those who are super ordinate and those who are subordinate. There is an arrangement of social roles comprising expectations of domination or subjugation. Those who assume opposing roles have structurally generated contradictory interests, to preserve or to change the status quo. Incumbents of authoritative roles benefit from the statusquo, which grants them their power. Those toward whom this authoritative power is exercised, and who suffer from it, however, are naturally opposed to this state of affairs. Super ordinates and subordinates thus form separate quasigroups of shared latent interests. On the surface, members of these groups and their behavior may vary considerably, but they form a pool from which conflict groups can recruit members. With leadership, ideology, and the political (freedom) and social conditions of organization being present, latent interests become manifested through political organizations and conflict. How does Dahrendorf define social classes? They are latent or manifest conflict groups arising from the authority structure of imperative coordinated organizations. Class conflict then arises from and is related to this structure. The structural source of group conflict lies in authoritative domination and subjugation; the object of such conflict is the status quo; and the consequence is to change (not necessarily through revolution) social structure. It should be stressed that Dahrendorf's theory is not limited to "capitalist" societies. Since authoritative roles are the differentia between classes, classes and class conflict also exist in communist or socialist societies. Classes exist insofar as there are those who dominate by virtue of legitimate positions (such as the Soviet factory manager, party chief, commune head, or army general) and those who are habitually in subordinate positions (the citizen, worker, peasant).
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• Max Weber
The seminal sociological interpretation of class was advanced by Max Weber. Weber formulated a three-component theory of stratification, with class, status and party (or politics) as subordinate to the ownership of the means of production, but for Weber how they interact is a contingent question and one that will vary from society to society.
SOCIAL CLASS CONFLICTS W.R.T PAKISTANI SOCIETY
Class structure in Pakistani society
• The social structure of Pakistan is a vaguely defined concept which includes several commonly used terms that use educational attainment, income and occupational prestige as the main determinants of class. While it is possible to create dozens of social classes within the confines of Pakistani society, most Pakistanis employ a six or five class system. The most commonly applied class concepts used in regards to contemporary Pakistani society are: Upper class; Those with great influence, wealth and prestige. Members of this group tend to act as the grand-conceptualizers and have tremendous influence of the nation's institutions. • Upper middle class; The upper middle class consists of white collar professionals with advanced post-secondary educational degrees and comfortable personal incomes. Upper middle
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class professionals have large amounts of autonomy in the workplace and therefore enjoy high job satisfaction. • Lower middle class; Semi-professionals, non-retail salespeople and craftsmen who have some college education come into this category. Out-sourcing tends to be a prominent problem among those in this class who often suffer from a lack of job security. Households in this class may need two income earners to make ends meet and therefore may have household incomes rivaling the personal incomes of upper middle class professionals.
Working class; According to some experts this class may constitute the majority of Americans and include those otherwise referred to as lower middle. It includes blue as well as white collar workers who have relatively low personal incomes and lack college degrees.
Lower class; This class includes the poor, alienated and marginalized members of society. While most individuals in this class work, it is common for them to drift in and out of poverty.
Class conflicts with reference to Pakistan
The social deprivation of the poor and dominance of the elite in Pakistan has seen Pakistan to the verge of disaster as the country has just become like an absolute bombshell waiting to explode anytime. The capitalistic social system has been a bane in the heart of the society throughout the life of the country. The rich has been always on the ascendancy and the
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poor has seen his living standard getting worse and worse. The political and the social elite have dictated the terms throughout the history. Social injustice and inequality has always been prevailing that has hampered the growth of the country and the social development as well. The self-employed (petit bourgeoisie) — these are people who own their own means of production, thus work for themselves. In Pakistan these people are being swept away by the march of capitalism, such as family farms being replaced by agribusiness, or many small stores run by their owners being replaced by a supermarket, and so forth. Managers, supervisors, white-collar staff, and security officers – these are intermediaries between capitalists and the proletariat. Since they are paid a wage, technically they are workers, but they represent a privileged stratum of the proletariat, typically serving the capitalists' interest that does not do any good in elevating their own living standard and this creates frustration inside them. The mounting frustration is one of the basic causes of the class conflicts in the country. The lumpenproletariat – the chronically unemployed. These people have at most a tenuous connection to production. The problem of unemployment growing more acute as capitalism goes on so these people have to snatch their living from the elites of the society. Peasants, who still represent a large part of the population well. Capital for such workers — for example, a tractor or reaping machine — is in most parts of the country is unthinkable, The landlords and the feudals have been dominating them for centuries and the peasants work day and night to earn his living. They have been deprived of the basic facilities that are necessary for living. The feudals have been doing everything that can suppress the peasants and that can make them realize that their lives are dependent on their so called “godfathers”. These things have haunted the country for decades as the class struggle is going on and on which does no good to the productivity and the development of the country.
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The British left the Indian subcontinent in 1947, and in the wake of the Indian partition, Pakistan was created as an independent nation, but with the solid imprints of the colonial history in the shape of an ‘overdeveloped’ (Alavi, 1972) bureaucratic- military structure. Soon after its independence, Pakistan plunged into a trap of global neo-colonialism as a post-colonial state. Pakistan as a state has always played a very active role, enabling global neo-colonialism to hold its foot firmly on Pakistani soil. As discussed earlier, the colonial state facilitates the penetration of a colonial country’s capital directly. This role was continued after the so-called independence in the shape of allowing neo-colonialism forces to penetrate into the country’s economic structure. This role only changed the shape of dependency from unilateral to multilateral. The death of a local entrepreneur class in Pakistan created a vacuum allowing the global neo-colonialist bourgeoisie to take over. This phenomenon was very common to almost all post-colonial states because “it is not established by an ascendant native bourgeoisie but instead by a foreign imperialist bourgeoisie” (Alavi, 172:61). A very small number of non-Muslim industrial/ merchant classes existed and migrated to India before the Indian sub-continent’s partition. Nevertheless, the direct control of the foreign imperialist bourgeoisie was ended at the time of Indian partition, but by no means had its domination become history. This foreign imperial class was later on known as the neo-colonialist class and surfaced in the economy of Pakistan. As a consequence of the global neocapitalist class’s economic hegemony in Pakistan, the weaker indigenous bourgeoisie came to form an alliance with it as an inferior partner. Therefore, the alliance of local and neocolonialist bourgeoisie very significantly shaped their relationship with the Pakistani state. This alliance became a triple alliance when the landed aristocracy jumped in and sought its share of money-making from the local and neocolonial bourgeoisie. In areas that comprise today’s Pakistan, agriculture has been the predominant lifestyle due to the increased land for cultivation through irrigation. This settled agrarian based lifestyle and increased land for cultivation gave birth to large land holdings and this evolution eventually emerged in the shape of a society based on feudal relations. The British
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colonial government in the Indian subcontinent devised a system of political and administrative control by securing the feudal interests of the local feudal lords. This system worked for the British as well for the local landed aristocracy to share the power over the local people (Ansari, 1992). These big land owners remain very powerful due to their political power base in the shape of land and people, and that increased their socio-economic position to bargain with other two emerging classes — the local and neo-colonial bourgeoisie. Thus, in the backdrop of this tripartite economic power sharing, there emerged a Pakistani state which “mediates between the competing interests of the three propertied classes, namely the metropolitan bourgeoisie, the indigenous bourgeoisie and the landed classes” (Alavi, 1972:62). This conglomeration of the class base in Pakistan leads its macro economic structure to the definition of indetermination. As stated earlier, that economies of the postcolonial peripheral countries have indeterminate modes of production due to the multi-mode production system (precapitalist, capitalist and transitional). In this way, no single economic class has sway in power relations (Gold et al., 1975 & Trimberger, 1977). This indeterminacy in terms of the mode of production leads the post-colonial Pakistan state to greater autonomy as opposed to relative autonomy of capitalist state. The greater autonomy of the Pakistani state is evident from the dominance of military and civil bureaucracy, since mid-1950s. The first martial law was imposed in Pakistan in the year of 1958, and thus stage was set to accommodate the Western neo-capitalism to enter into Pakistan. Jalal (1990) puts this situation as follows: It was during the first decade of independence that an interplay of domestic, regional and international factors saw the civil bureaucracy and the army gradually registering their dominance over [political] parties and politicians within the evolving structure of the state (p.295)…there were strong domestic, regional and international compulsion for the bureaucratic military axis want to depoliticize Pakistani society (p.301). These international factors or compulsions were the forces of global neo-colonialism making it a dependent society. Therefore, the garrison state became an ideal state structure for the global neo-liberal powers to make their power base stronger in Pakistan. During the first military government of General Ayub Khan (1958-1969) there were
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no means to restrict the operations of the global neo-liberal capital which rendered local capital weaker vis-à-vis its international counterpart. If we briefly look at the political history of Pakistan, it is evident that much of the period is taken up by direct military rule and the rest is quasi or procedural democracies. From 1971 to 1977 was the only epoch in the political history of Pakistan when first popularly elected Prime Minister of Pakistan Z.A. Bhutto challenged the power base of neo-liberal capital in Pakistan and tried to dismantle the power structure of landed aristocracy through land reforms (Esposito, 1974; Gustafson, 1976). As a consequence, he was hanged by another military ruler General Zia in 1979. From 1985 to 1999 Pakistan witnessed the emergence of quasi-procedural or controlled democracies under the tutelage of the Pakistani military. In 1999, the present ruler of Pakistan General Parvez Musharaf overthrew the controlled democracy of Nawaz Sharif, when he attempted to assert an all powerful role of the Pakistani army. The macro economic history of Pakistan is dominated by the nexus of three propertied Classes, as discussed above, under the auspices of the military junt a. However, the military bureaucracy, despite differences, has sought help from the ‘overdeveloped’ (Alavi, 1972) civil bureaucracy. The notion of ‘overdeveloped’ refers to the state machinery developed by the British colonial government/bourgeoisie to control all the indigenous social classes. The civil bureaucracy under colonial rule was also known as a steel frame of the British government. In post-colonial Pakistan, however, the nexus of the military and civil bureaucracies emerged as a viable and effective apparatus of the garrison state to further the cause of the tripartite alliance of the three propertied classes of Pakistan. Alavi (1972) calls this nexus a military-bureaucratic oligarchy and argues that besides performing a role of mediation between these three dominant economic classes, it “assumes also a new and relatively autonomous economic role, which is not Paralleled in the classical bourgeoisie state” (Alavi, 1972:62). The civil bureaucracy of Pakistan, as a legacy from colonial government, reproduces itself in the post-colonial Pakistan to maintain the hyper-authoritarian mentalities of the Pakistani state. This partly happened because the democratic forces were explicitly thrown out of the political arena and civil society was also refrained to assert its power out of the state. This military-bureaucratic oligarchy vested itself with extreme administrative powers, because in Pakistani state discourses the y were termed as
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highly efficient and equipped with the administrative acumen to implement and oversee the country’s development process. The local or indigenous bourgeoisie has failed to assert its active and productive role in the economy and paved the way for the greater autonomy of the Pakistani state to assert its own entrepreneurship. Simultaneously, corruption was heightened in the so-called military-bureaucratic oligarchy and enabled these civil and military bureaucrats to enter in the arena of entrepreneurship, either directly or indirectly through others. However, the Pakistani state’s role in entrepreneurship is a form of a new dependent development in the periphery of the world capitalist economy. Capital is gaining visibility in Pakistan due to the capital generated through heightened corruption of the military-bureaucratic oligarchy and its investment in the business and industry. The interaction of the Pakistani state with the landed aristocracy is in the shape of tax relief and forthcoming corporate farming. The largest beneficiary of this collaboration is international capital to gain maximum privileges from the Pakistani state. Evans (1979) calls it a ‘triple alliance’, because dependent development in the periphery of the world capitalist system is between the peripheral state and both international and local capitalist classes. In the case of Pakistan, I call it a quadruple alliance, because dependent development in Pakistan is a Collaborative strategy among the peripheral state, both international and local capitalist classes, and the landed class. Since the local /indigenous capitalist class is weak in terms of its operational capabilities, the post-colonial Pakistani state started assuming the role of problem solver through building an infrastructure, devising an institutional base to favor international monetary organizations, and bargaining with transnational corporations and Western core capitalist countries. The state of Pakistan has practically moved into spheres which traditionally are the domain of private sector.
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Feudalism and Class conflicts in Pakistan • Different facts related to Feudalism
• Feudal mentality:
Throughout history, feudalism has appeared in different forms. The feudal prototype in Pakistan consists of landlords with large joint families possessing hundreds or even thousands of acres of land. They seldom make any direct contribution to agricultural production. Instead, all work is done by peasants or tenants. The landlord, by virtue of his ownership and control of such vast amounts of land and human resources, is powerful enough to influence the distribution of water, fertilizers, tractor permits and agricultural credit and, consequently exercises considerable influence over the revenue, police and judicial administration of the area. The landlord is, thus, lord and master. Such absolute power can easily corrupt, and it is no wonder that the feudal system there is humanly degrading. The system, which some critics say is parasitical at its very root, induces a state of mind which may be called the feudal mentality. This can be defined as an attitude of selfishness and arrogance on the part of the landlords. It is all attitude nurtured by excessive wealth and power, while honesty, justice, love of learning and respect for the law have all but disappeared. Having such a mentality, when members of feudal families obtain responsible positions in civil service, business, industry and politics, their influence is multiplied in all directions. Indeed the worsening moral, social, economic and political crisis facing this country can be attributed mainly to the powerful feudal influences operating there. Almost half of Pakistan's Gross National Product and the bulk of its export earnings are derived primarily from the agricultural sector controlled by a few thousand feudal families. To begin with, the Pakistan Muslim League, the party laying Pakistan's foundation 53 years ago, was almost wholly dominated by feudal lords such as the Zamindars, Jagirdars, Nawabs, Nawabzadas and Sardars, the sole exception being the Jinnahs. Pakistan's major political parties are feudal-oriented,
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and more than two-thirds of the National Assembly (Lower House) is just composed of this elite class which is alarming as well. Through the 50s and the 60s the feudal families retained control over national affairs through the bureaucracy and the armed forces. Later on in 1972, they assumed direct power and retained it until the military regained power recently. Thus, any political observer can see that this oligarchy, albeit led by and composed of different men at different times, has been in power since Pakistan's inception.
In the agrarian sector, it is the landowner who is excluded from the production process, while in industry; domestic technology is almost absent or kept at bay. Industrialization over the past five decades has, to a large extent, been established and operated with foreign capital, technology and raw materials. As a result, native technology has remained stagnant and the rest of the economy is not integrated or not at the same frequency with industry. Today, Pakistan depends mostly on foreign aid for industrial raw materials and spare parts. This dependence has caused severe weakness to its economy. Coupled with these shortcomings, nationalization in the industrial sector has brought further injuries. Many industries, after nationalization, suffered substantially. Consequently, the industrial policy has not only failed to create a sound industrial base and employment opportunities, but has instead increased unemployment. In this connection, it can be pointed out that while much has been said against the families who accumulated wealth, there was little actually done against such a system. In such a system, a vast income-differential also exists which adversely affects Pakistan's balance of payments. One knows that higher income invariably leads to a much more and greater tendency to import. An analysis of an import bill would reveal that a substantial proportion of goods consist of non-essential consumer and luxury items. For example, a significant percentage of imported medicines consisting of vitamins and night pills for the fastidious rich rather than to combat or prevent disease. Further, the demand for luxury household appliances and electronic equipment proved to be so great that the ban on their importation was ineffective. These imports have led to international balance of payment deficits which foreign aid is attempting to bridge. As a result
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Pakistan's economy today is as aid-oriented as it was 10 or 20 years ago.
The influence of feudalism has been most predominant in the political sphere. As stated earlier, Pakistan's administrative and political agencies are almost totally controlled at the higher echelons by feudal lords. Just as the salt in Pakistan's soil has retarded the growth of crops and vegetables, the feudal influence in the country's political soil has hindered the growth of democracy. The relationship between the feudal mentality and the authoritarian tendency in Pakistan's political life is not difficult to perceive. Where feudal lords occupy positions as political executives, they tend to consider the country as their property and the citizens as their subjects. Authoritarianism is thus entrained in the feudal personality and is as essential to the feudal system as oxygen is to human life. Freedom of thought and intellect, and freedom of speech and expression, invariably lead to the exposure of social inequities and injustices, mobilize public opinion and generate movements for establishing an egalitarian order. Therefore, the first target of any feudal regime is the suppression of the press and academic institutions so as to give the regime the freedom to control, influence and manipulate to their own ends. A feudal regime, ultimately, may be conceived of as a regime of intellectual tyranny. The political power of the feudal class is derived from their economic power, while their political power enables them to consolidate and expand their economic power. This combination has given them control over national affairs and enabled them to thwart democracy in maintaining their hegemony. Reflecting on all this, one could be sympathetic to General Pervez Musharraf's claim of Nawaz Sheriff's Government being corrupt, since the majority of National Assembly members belong to the feudal class. One of the greatest factors that caused Nawaz Sharif's downfall was his mismanagement of statecraft. His Government was accused of authoritarian rule, hypocrisy, massive bribery and administrative failure. Under Sharif's rule, Pakistan's bureaucracy, police and public services were so infested with corruption and political favoritism, and so starved of resources, that few Pakistanis expected anything from government except employment.
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In any case, according to Akbar Zaidi’s research, the larger landholdings have shrunk. For instance, in 1939, 2.4 per cent owners controlled 38 per cent of the agricultural land which changed later. Between 1950-55, 1.1 per cent owners controlled 15.8 per cent of land with farm sizes varying from 100 to 500 acres; 0.1 per cent of landlords owned 15.4 per cent land with a farm size of 500 acres and above. This seems to have changed within years, with farm sizes being reduced. This development is attributable to problematic land reforms and laws of inheritance which distributed land. Another important development relates to the fact that most major landowners have become industrialists or successful entrepreneurs. They no longer have private armies. Instead, they run large industrial units such as sugar, ginning and textile mills. But does this data mean that feudalism is no more? The answer is no. In fact, the issue is that as the institution of feudalism was diluted it led to two separate but interdependent developments. First, the landlords diversified in terms of their capitalgenerating capabilities and became industrialists and entrepreneurs. The logic was that since agriculture did not ensure greater profit margins, business and industry were selected as the new course. These big landlords also had the advantage of being in politics which was essential for negotiating loans and manipulating the state bureaucracy. So, in this respect the feudal landlord diversified the source of capital formation. He either did it himself or in partnership with other elites. The land was not just an asset but it also became a source to provide the collateral against which loans were obtained from banks. However, land continued to have its symbolic worth in the form of expression of power. Resultantly, other elite groups also started to mimic the landowning class and began acquiring land. The wonderful farmhouses around Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore are not just an expression of individual economic strength but a symbol of the political influence of an individual as part of the extended elite. Hence, it is not surprising that other elite groups such as those comprising industrialists, generals, senior bureaucrats and educated professionals who acquired capital were inclined to buy farmland. During the 1950s, the 1960s and the 1970s, the
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elite of the civil and military bureaucracy were not interested in retaining or exercising control of the agricultural land which they got from the government. Most would either sell the land to local landowners or neglect it. After the 1980s, especially after the value of land increased and the bureaucracy started to institutionalize its role in the state, the owners became interested in actively becoming farmers. Those who had the institutional support used it in one form or the other to establish better control. Thus, a new class of agriculturists was born. It had no links with the soil but willingly became an influential factor in far-flung areas. Many generals and senior bureaucrats, for instance, became Numberdars of their villages. While they were not performing the role of collecting taxes, which a Numberdar is supposed to do, they enjoyed the authority which comes with the office. Land ownership also had an impact on elite culture and ethos. The culture of farmhouses was not about having large houses but in many ways replicating the decadent lifestyle of the old Nawabs and the feudal elite. For instance, the huge parties, Mujrahs and the flaunting of money which takes place in these new settlements reflected the desire of the inhabitants for copying the traditional landowning elite. They were not rejecting a redundant culture but accepting it as a superior norm. The culture also portrayed a negative development. Second, the new economic groups and non-landowning elite acquired the attitudes of landowning feudals in the form of the exercise of authority. In a traditional feudal culture, there is an essential relationship between the lord of the manor and the vassals. In modern terms, the new elite started to behave like the lord of the manor with those in subordinate positions being treated as vassals or minions. There was, hence, the proliferation of a certain kind of attitude which permeated different vocational groups. As long as an elite group dominated an organization or profession, the attitude could be replicated. New feudals were created from amongst the entrepreneurs, industrialists, the military and civil bureaucracy and professional groups. The late Hamza Alavi defined the professional group as part of the Muslim Ashraaf (elite) of pre-Partition India.
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These new groups also represented the diversification of methods of capital formation which was no longer tied to agriculture. However, such diversification did not necessarily create a capitalist society but resulted in a hybrid form of feudalism which one could categorize as pre-capitalism in which the seeds of capitalism were sown in a solid base of feudalism. The results have been damning. The feudal attitude and the culture of power have proliferated and entered all institutions. The key, of course, is the concentration of power and the subservience of groups of people under a central authority. Resultantly, the MQM is as feudal as the lord of the manor who operates from interior Sindh or other parts of the country.
I s l a m a n d C l a s s c o
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n f l i c t s
Before we discuss Islam's attitude regarding the concept of classes it may be useful to try to understand what is generally meant by a "class system". In medieval Europe, for instance, there were three distinct classes: the nobility, the clergy and the common people. The clergy had their own distinctive clothes. In those ages the power of the church was equal and at times opposed to that of kings and emperors. The Pope claimed that it was he who conferred power on kings but they strove to get rid of his influence in order to rule independently. Owing to the property donated by the religious people and the exactions imposed on them, the church became so rich that at times it could have armies of its own. On the other hand, the nobility inherited nobleness from their forefathers and passed it on to their descendants. A man belonged to the nobility by birth and remained as such until his death regardless of whatever noble or mean actions he might have done in his lifetime. In the feudal age the nobility exercised absolute powers over the common people who lived in their estates. All the legislative, judicial and executive powers were in their hands. Their whims and fancies were the laws by which they ruled over the people. Since representative councils were composed of members belonging to this class, it was only natural that the legislations they made would aim at protecting themselves, safeguarding their own privileges and interests which they surrounded by an air of inviolability. As for the common people, they had no privileges or rights. They inherited poverty, slavery and humiliation and passed them on to their descendants. The significant economic development which took place afterwards led to the emergence of the bourgeoisie: the new class which aspired to displace the
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nobility and to assume their privileges and prestige. It was under the leadership of this emerging class that the common people launched the French Revolution which seemingly abolished the class system and declared in theory, the principles of liberty, fraternity and equality. In modern times, the capitalist classes have replaced the old nobility. It will be noticed that such replacement took place in a disguised manner and was accompanied by certain changes necessitated by economic development. But the basic principle has never changed. The fact is that the capitalist class still has the property, the power and the ability to steer the government's machinery into the direction they desire. Despite the appearances of freedom manifested in democratic elections, capitalism knows how to sneak into parliaments and government offices in order to achieve its shady ends by crooked means and under various names. The class system is based on the wrong assumption that property means power and that the class which owns property has the power as well. Such a class will exercise an influence over the legislative power. Consequently such a class will, by direct or indirect means, make legislations which protect it and subject the common people to its own authority, thus depriving them of their legal rights. In the light of the above-mentioned definition of classes, it may be truly said that there has never been a class system in Islam. This can be clearly seen from the following facts: There are no laws in Islam which aim at keeping the property in the hands of particular persons. The Holy Quran plainly says: ''In order that if may not merely make a circuit between the wealthy among you" (Iix: 7). Therefore, Islam made laws that ensured continual fragmentation and redistribution of wealth. According to the Islamic law of inheritance, inherited property should be distributed among a large number of persons. An inheritance is never passed on to a single person except in the very rare case where such a person has no brothers, sisters or any other kindred. Even in such rare cases, Islam took the necessary precautions by prescribing that a portion of the
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inheritance should go to the deprived people who are not related to the dead man. This provision may be regarded as a predecessor of modern inheritance tax. The Holy Quran prescribed that "if at the time of division (of inheritance) other relatives or orphans or poor are present, feed them out of the (property) and speak to them words of kindness and justice" (iv : 8). It was in this way that Islam solved the problem resulting from the accumulation of property. Property goes to individuals as such and not as members of a particular class, because when they die the property will be redistributed according to new proportions. History bears witness that property in the Islamic society was constantly changing hands without being confined to a particular faction of the nation. This leads to an important conclusion: Legislation in Islam is not the prerogative of a particular class. In the Islamic state no one is allowed to make the legislations he desires because all people are treated according to the same Islamic laws which were revealed by God and which hold no distinctions among people. It follows that the Islamic society is a classless society. It will be understood that existence of classes is closely connected with the existence of a legislative prerogative. Where such a privilege is non-existent and no one can make legislations which safeguard his own interests at the expense of others, there will be no classes. Now let us explain how two relevant verses which, if read carelessly might lead to some doubts. "God has bestowed his gifts of sustenance more free/y on some of you than on others" (xvi: 71). “We raised some of them above others in ranks" (xliii: 32)”. Do such verses mean that Islam recognizes the class system? These two verses merely describe what is actually taking place on earth, be it under Islamic rule or otherwise. They state that people differ in rank and livelihood. Let us take Russia for example. Do all people get the same wages or are
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some people more privileged than others in livelihood? Are all the conscripted people made officers or soldiers or are some of them raised above others in rank? The existence of differences among the people is an inevitable fact. The two verses do not give a Particular reason for such differences. They do not even state that such preference is based on capitalist, communist or even Islamic considerations. They do not say that such preference may be just or unjust by our standards. The two verses merely say that such preference exists everywhere on earth. But, of course, all that takes place on earth falls within the sphere of God's will. It must have become clear by now that the Islamic society is a society without classes or legislative privileges. It will be noticed that the existence of differences in wealth and property should not be confused with the question of classes unless such property and wealth conferred upon their owners any legislative and individual privileges. Differences in wealth will not lead to the emergence of classes so long as all people are-actually, not in the theory only-equal before the law.
C o n c l u s i o n
Income inequality is one of the most important consequences of social class. Although class status is not a causal factor for income, there is consistent data that show those in higher classes have higher incomes than those in lower classes. This inequality still persists when controlling for occupation. The conditions at work vary greatly depending on class. Those in the upper-middle class and middle-class enjoy greater
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freedoms in their occupations. They generally are more respected, enjoy more diversity, and are able to exhibit some authority. Those in lower classes tend to feel more alienated and have lower work satisfaction overall. The physical conditions of the workplace differ greatly between classes. While middle-class workers may “suffer alienating conditions” or “lack of job satisfaction”, blue-collar workers are the ones who have to worry about health hazards, injury, and even death. In the more social sphere, class has direct consequences on lifestyle. Lifestyle includes tastes, preferences, and a general style of living. These lifestyles could quite possibly effect educational attainment, and therefore status attainment. Class lifestyle also affects how one raises his or her children. For example, a working-class person is more likely to raise their child to be working class and middle-class children are more likely to be raised to be middle-class. This perpetuates the idea of class for future generations. The real problem is that this system has become historically obsolete. Either it can be uprooted by a revolution and a socialist system being established or we can accept the defeat and fall into the abyss of barbarism and die. The human race will not die, it will live. Now the only option left for its survival is a Socialist victory through a class war.