[iDC] ...in the future or the past?

Simon Biggs simon at babar.demon.co.uk
Mon Apr 9 08:15:52 EDT 2007

This is a quote from the Guardian's report today on an official UK Ministry
of Defence Report on likely military threat and context in the year 2035.
Reading this I wonder how imaginative they have been or how knowledgeable
they are regarding current trends. Some of it actually reads like recent
history rather than a description of a mid-term future.

"The middle classes could become a revolutionary class, taking the role
envisaged for the proletariat by Marx," says the report. The thesis is based
on a growing gap between the middle classes and the super-rich on one hand
and an urban under-class threatening social order: "The world's middle
classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to
shape transnational processes in their own class interest". Marxism could
also be revived, it says, because of global inequality. An increased trend
towards moral relativism and pragmatic values will encourage people to seek
the "sanctuary provided by more rigid belief systems, including religious
orthodoxy and doctrinaire political ideologies, such as popularism and


I also find it interesting, in light of the recent discussion here on
Marxism, Capitalism and totalisation, that the report conflates Marxism and
religion as totalising ideological systems (wonder what Marx would have made
of that?). The assumption must be that the authors subscribe to the notion
that Capitalism is some sort of default human state against which all other
states are regarded as an unnatural threat. I guess they agree with



Simon Biggs
simon at littlepig.org.uk
AIM: simonbiggsuk
Research Professor in Art, Edinburgh College of Art
s.biggs at eca.ac.uk

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