Class conflict

Other Names:
Class war
Class exploitation
Dependence on class domination
Creation of a dominant class
Class domination

The interests of the owners (private capital or the State) of the means of production, and its operators (labour, employees, etc.) coincide as far as their viability depends on mutual dependence, but they differ as far as expectations of share in reward (or return on capital), and of benefits for risk and effort contributed. The primary phase of ownership which includes labour (as slaves or indentured servants) still persists, if only in the attitude that human beings can be hired or fired, replaced by machines and otherwise disposed of as a commodity, or cheated or denied political rights. Thus, extreme points-of-view taken by capital or ownership and its management representations evoke their counterparts, who wish to abolish the capital-labour dichotomy at the expense of capital, business for profit, and the free-market system, or state-controlled systems who wish to return to private-enterprise ways. The class conflict is evidenced by characteristics far beyond the simplistic concepts of nineteenth century thinkers.


Modern societies are fragmented in numerous categories of classes, of which the economic are accompanied by such other groupings as: party member, non-party member; bureaucrat, citizen; ethnic majority, minority; young, old, men, women, etc., all of whom have a political voice. The class conflict has extended to diplomatic levels where three or four blocs of nations participating in international organizations cannot adequately address the worlds' problems because of their disarray.

Counter Claim:

Class war always advocates violence because there is no way that the ruling class will give up its power without such conflict. Historically this has always been the case. Violence is necessary to overthrow the state controlled by the ruling classes.


Broader Problems:
Social conflict
Narrower Problems:
Problem Type:
C: Cross-sectoral problems
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequality
Date of last update
17.04.2019 – 09:42 CEST