The term popularly signifies people in, or people from families in blue-collar or manual jobs. Doesn't necessarily relate to income: many people who would describe themselves as working class - for example, oil workers, printers and builders - earn fairly good money. Does relate to heritage: if you are, say, a doctor, or a TV producer with half a ton of academic qualifications, or a professor, or anything normally considered middle class, you might still legitimately describe yourself as working class if you are from a working class background.

Karl Marx told us that the working class had the most power because they had the tools. Translated into reality: Without the working class, the landowners and the fabric owners would not earn any money. Therefore, the working class had the most power - quite simply because they were many!

Today, the traditional pattern with landowners controlling workforces is not as easy to spot in the West. However, if you look to South America or Africa, you will see that traditional companies like Exxon quite brutally use their power on the workforce - power they would not have if the working class organized themselves and demanded their rights.

This is a problem which is not dealt with because the companies I discuss here both control the governments and provide (cheap) services to the Western countries. So. The World will still be unfair.


Note: Exxon is only an example. McDonald's, Ford, IKEA, Statoil, Nike and lots, lots of others maintain the philosophy of getting cheap products through keeping poor countries poor.

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