Class consciousness

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Class consciousness is consciousness of one's social class or economic rank in society. The objective social position of the working class is that they stand in an antagonistic relation to the capitalist class. When the working class become aware of this antagonism, the subjective dimension of class, they can abolish capitalism and establish socialism. As Marx put it, workers would develop from a class ‘in itself’ (a common class position but without workers being aware of it), to become a class ‘for itself’ (a collective awareness among workers of their class position).

Class-consciousness develops mainly out of the working class’s everyday experiences of the contradictions of capitalism (poverty amidst plenty, etc.). These contradictions are, in turn, derived from the most basic contradiction of capitalism: the contradiction between social production and class ownership of the means of de clase