63.3 On the so-called “new middle class citizens” as the powers of the changing capitalist system

Wednesday, August 1, 2012: 11:45 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Hiroshi SETOOKA , Economics, Komazawa University, Tokyo, Japan
There appear billions of new working and consuming citizens in the early 21st century world, mainly in East Asia and South Asia.  These so-called new middle class citizens are the producers of goods and services necessary for capitalist society and consumers of such goods and services.  Such working and consuming power grows in step with capital accumulation, forming a very important component of support for the global capitalist system, together with the  financial and corporate powers and citizens of the West. How can we understand this emerging power bloc from the perspective of changing the world capitalist system?

     Modern world history, including the Bolshevik experience, has clearly shown that it is impossible for manual workers and peasants to carry out the great historical tasks completely. The important point here is that the development of capitalism creates not only a mass of manual workers but also a growing number of service and office workers, and many consuming citizens who usually have higher levels of education and administrative skills.  Further, they have, in many cases, higher self-consciousness and morals as residents in modernized societies.  Even though they have appeared initially as supporters of capitalism, through their work directly and through consuming their own products indirectly, this paper argues they will, sooner or later, be betrayed by capitalism itself and become aware of its contradictions, through experiences of defeat in severe competition, heavy debts, unexpected unemployment, etc.  Moreover, the experiences of wars, associated with activities of maintaining and spreading the capitalist system, may awaken citizens to the realities of capitalism's problems.