Ruling Class


The term ruling class refers to the social class of a given society that decides upon and sets that society's political policy by mandating that there is one such particular class in the given society, and then appointing itself as that class.

Sometimes, there is a ruling class in a particular sector of the upper class that adheres to quite specific circumstances: it has both the most material wealth and the most widespread influence over all the other classes, and it chooses to actively exercise that power to shape the direction of a locality, a country, and/or the world.

A sociologist, C. Wright Mills, argued that the ruling class differs from the power elite. The latter simply refers to the small group of people with the most political power. Many of them are politicians, hired political managers, and military leaders.

Under the Marxist view of capitalism, the ruling class, the capitalists or bourgeoisie, consists of those who own and control the means of production and thus are able to dominate and exploit the working class, getting them to labor enough to produce surplus-value, the basis for profits, interest, and rent (property income). This property income can be used to accumulate more power, to extend class domination further. The economic power of such a class gives it extraordinary political power, so that state or government policies almost always reflect the perceived interests of that class.

Ruling classes tend to be looked at negatively because they are often viewed as having little respect of or interest in the rights of the inferior classes.

Read more about Ruling Class:  Examples, In The Media

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Classical Marxism - Main Ideas
... class consciousness Class consciousness refers to the awareness, both of itself and of the social world around it, that a social class possesses, and its capacity to act in its own rational interests ... Thus class consciousness must be attained before the class may mount a successful revolution ... exploitation Marx refers to the exploitation of an entire segment or class of society by another ...
Marxistic - Concepts - Historical Materialism
... ruling class ... existing society is the history of class struggles ... Feudalism aristocrats are the ruling class merchants evolve into capitalists ...
Literature And Revolution
... that since the dawn of civilisation art had always borne the stamp of the ruling class and was primarily a vehicle that expressed its tastes and its ... seemingly obvious conclusion that after a proletarian revolution the proletariat as ruling class should therefore strive to create its own proletarian art as many at the time thought ... To illustrate this he points out that the bourgeoisie as a class had time and resources to form its own culture long before the bourgeois revolutions in Europe in the 19th ...
Ruling Class - In The Media
... There are several examples of ruling class systems in movies, novels, and television shows ... The 2005 American independent film The American Ruling Class written by former Harper's Magazine editor Lewis Lapham and directed by John Kirby is a semi-documentary that ... everyone is genetically made and classified into class ...

Famous quotes related to ruling class:

    Let the ruling classes tremble at a communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win. Workingmen of all countries, unite!
    Karl Marx (1818–1883)