Class inequality is increasingly becoming a topic of discussion in the classroom and in newspapers and popular magazines. Although class is a part of the common experience of millions of men, women and children in every city and region of the world, it is not easy to understand it in terms of its origin, mechanisms and effects.
A new book, Marxist Theory of Class for a Skeptical World, published in 2017 and written by Raju Das of York University explores class inequality in depth. The book critiques some of the influential radical theories of class inequality and presents an alternative approach. It offers a materialist and dialectical foundation for class theory, and conceptualizes class at the trans-historical level (many kinds of class society) and at the level of capitalism.
Raju’s book shows that capitalism is an objectively-existing articulation of relations of exchange, property and production, between capital and labour, and that the state itself, on whose benevolence many people have a deep trust in, is an arm of class relation. The book draws out implications of class relations for understanding consciousness and political power of the men and women who must go to work every day for a wage or salary.
The hardcover edition of the 684-page book is published by Brill (Leiden and Boston). Haymarket (Chicago) will shortly publish a paperback edition. A Chinese edition will also be published in Beijing. More information about the book is available at http://www.brill.com/products/book/marxist-class-theory-skeptical-world. York University also has an e-copy of the book.
Das is an associate professor of geography in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. He teaches radical political economy, international development, state-society relations and social struggles. He is on the editorial board of Science & Society (New York) and is also a member of its manuscript collective. As well, he is a member of the editorial board of Professional Geographer and Class, Race and Corporate Power, and a member of the editorial advisory board of Dialectical Anthropology.