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The Future Of Class?

Class has become anathema in political discourse in the West. Politicians are able to silence their opponents with the mere assertion that "class war" is being invoked. Liberalism—democracy's insistence that equality constitutes the salient feature of social life—even in spite of the evident social, economic, racial, and political disparities that exist in liberal-democratic regimes—suggests that class is effectively dead as a category of social analysis and critique. Yet the discourse of class seems to reappear regularly among the intellectual categories with which Sandro Botticelli's Birth of Venus (1482). Tempera on canvas. Botticelli painted his masterpiece during the Renaissance, the period in which classicism bloomed. A member of Lorenzo de' Medici's intellectual circle, Botticelli strove to reconcile Christian beliefs with classical concerns in his work. GALLERIA DEGLI UFFIZI, FLORENCE, ITALY. © THE ART ARCHIVE/DAGLI ORTI social thinkers, and social movements, narrate their self-understandings. May class yet outlive those whose interests prescribe its obsolescence?


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Cary J. Nederman

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Chimaeras to ClusterClass - Early Histories, The Renewal Of Class, The Marxist Transformation, The Weberian Reply, Marxist Rejoinders