Open letter from OzLeft

Veteran Labor Left Trotskyist Bob Gould has written an open letter to Labor Tribune. In the interest of open debate, we carry the letter on our website.

A reply will be forthcoming. Given Bob's comments perhaps this is a good oppurtunity to break the seal on our comment facilities?

5/26/2006 12:06:31 AM

Marcus Strom has penned a reply to Bob at can be found at:

5/18/2006 2:41:50 AM

This letter was received by the editor from Garry Wotherspoon. Having read some of your articles in Labor Tribune and Bob Gould's response, I would like to add my two-bob's worth. It would seem that some 'intellectuals'‚ of the left haven't read anything since Marx and Marcuse. Older ideas of class analysis are all well and good, but over time what constitutes the classes‚ of society might well change. This issue between Bob and yourself is well exemplified in your analysis of the Greens, where you dismissed them as "middle-class", claiming both that the bulk of the Greens' voters and activists are tertiary educated, and are therefore not "working class". Bob regards this analysis as quite unscientific, as do I and many other social commentators. As Bob notes, viewed in a serious sociological way, the Greens' constituency is working class, mainly from the new social layers of the working class. This view also fits in well with the analysis of Professor Richard Florida, whose book, The Rise of the Creative Class (Pluto Press, North Melbourne, 2003), has taken a new look at some aspects of socio-economic change in contemporary western societies (although the focus is mainly on the USA). In doing so, he touches on issues relating to class and post-industrial‚ society, largely by reconceptualizing workers in the arts‚ and some other groups as part of what he calls "the creative classes", and by suggesting that these creative classes constitute a new and dynamic sector in any economy. In this, Florida seems to be taking on board ideas that were prevalent in the 1950s and 1960s, about investment in human capital and its important role in economic development. Part of the problem then ˆ which largely led to the abandonment of the concept ˆ was the difficulty in actually measuring both such investment in human capital and the returns from that investment. More sophisticated tools and more elegant theories mean that such ideas may again have relevan

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