Classless society

Discussion of the working class and middle class are passé in today’s economic and ­political system (Perspective, 
20 February).

Contemporary global capitalism provides the context 
and the means, both material and cultural for a “classless ­society”.

Where are the coal, cotton, steel and shipbuilding working-class communities and trade ­unions of yesteryear?

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What about Jim Murphy wanting working-class parents “to have the chance to have ­middle-class kids”?

A forlorn hope, given a ­recent report describing the middle class as “clinging on and in ­decline”.

Seemingly more than ever, since the idea was first mooted, we live in a “mass society”, its striking feature being an enormous gulf between small, very rich elites and the rest who make up the masses.

These economic, financial, political and cultural elites are what is often known as The ­Establishment.

What gives the new elites unity isn’t class consciousness but money – “their desire for personal enrichment”.

Moreover, what is left of the working-class is being absorbed into the mass society as part of “the public”.

Arguably a graphic example of the loss of working-class ­people and consciousness is 
the low level of trade union membership and participation.

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk