Tuesday 10 January 2023

Sam Smith, Kim Petras - Unholy

This didn't make the traditional end of year list, but I am taken with it. In lieu of a post this evening why not give it a go?


Anonymous said...

I'd love to, but much as I respect your political analysis we just are not the same page when it comes to music.

Anonymous said...

Actually, one thing I would disagree with you on is that you tend to be overly dismissive of the continued existence and potential significance of a 'traditional working class' or 'proletariat'. Like, we're still here. Who do academics and journalists think do all the low-paid, low-status, perhaps low-skilled, but still necessary work? Who do they think works in the factories, warehouses, supermarkets, transport, etc? For example, when you buy your food, it didn't get to the shelf by magic; a whole chain of labour put it there.

Phil said...

I certainly don't dismiss the working class - I don't know how anyone who's read this blog for any length of time could think I hold such a position.

Blissex said...

«tend to be overly dismissive of the continued existence and potential significance of a 'traditional working class' [...] factories, warehouses, supermarkets, transport, etc?»

«I certainly don't dismiss the working class»

So this is an example of clear talking past each other, as the first quote above is about "traditional" working class, the "material" (largely manual) one, not the "immaterial" one on which our blogger focuses so much attention.

To answer the first question, my understanding is that our blogger focuses on the "immaterial" working class for two main reason:

* The "material" working class has been defeated brutally and continuously for over 40 years, and is not largely disorganised except for a few sectors.

* The reasons for that are not going to disappear soon, for example the deliberate offshoring to countries that don't allow trade unions of workplaces that are easier to unionise, like large vertically integrated plants.

Not many factories left, and “warehouses, supermarkets, transport, etc.” and coffee places, fast food and other services are widely scattered across the land, have low capital intensity, have casual employment, and other characteristics that make unionisation a lot harder.

If I understand them our blogger and other think that the "immaterial" service class has a much better chance to organise because they are familiar and in constant use of social-media technologies that might allow even low-density casual workers to form interest groups and organise.

Anonymous said...


To express my point (hopefully) a bit more clearly, I wasn't saying that you deny the very existence of the working class (as some Guardian-types actually do); just that you tend to exaggerate the transformation of the working class and the work that we're doing, and that material/manual labour in factory-style working conditions is still the experience of a lot of the working class in Britain right now and is fundamental to this country continuing to function. I think you tend to exaggerate the importance of immaterial labour relative to material labour.