Class consciousness

…actually turns out to be a pretty simple idea. It’s an socioeconomic phenomenon.

So, you’re a tenant in an apartment complex. Landlord shows up one day and says the rent’s doubled. You say WTF, is everybody’s rent going up? Nope, just yours. Landlord says pay up or get out, because at this time he’s in a financial position to take a double-or-nothing risk on one of the rooms, and if you leave he can rent the room to somebody else for the old price next month. What do you do? You pay up or, more likely, move out.

Or…you complain to your neighbors. You tell them “it’s me today, but it’ll be you tomorrow”. This is a primitive form of organization. What bosses call “whining” is the primitive communication of shared class interests.

If the renters organize a union, like skilled laborers often do, then they can agree to set a constant price and avoid opportunism/abuses through collective bargaining. Landlord goes after one tenant, answers to all tenants. Only works if defection is minimized, so low time-preference is necessary.

What’s an economic class? It’s a group of people who are functionally interchangeable in a particular economic problem. Apartment renters are an economic class. Unskilled laborers are an economic class. “Bosses” are an economic class. Why yes, overlaps and exceptions do happen.

Wherefore the social part of “socioeconomic”? This is due to the way people communicate their interests to other people of their class, sometimes consciously identifying as such, and absorb social norms, mores, etc. We observe in practice that people who identify as “police” are expected to dress certain ways, express certain values, and argue for funding, laws, pay raises, etc.

Unfortunately, I find myself in a socioeconomic class of dumb dumbs, who are also so pampered they think casual Fridays are worth advocation. Guys, I understand you all feel the need to keep pushing, but there’s a real world out there full of stuff that will break if you push on it too much. Oh well.

Edit: Forgot to add a rather important bit. Organizations self-perpetuate after they reach a certain level of self-awareness. Also, Engzig.

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
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2 Responses to Class consciousness

  1. Pingback: The piggyback ratio | Aeoli Pera

  2. Aeoli Pera says:

    This is an application of the theory, not an inconsistency. These legal forms didn’t appear out of nowhere.

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