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Hong Kong Intelligence Report #115 ‘中產交稅多、福利少’的政宣騙局:地產黨偷換中產概念為炒家資本自己

Updated: Jan 13

Open-source intelligence (OSINT)


Hong Kong Intelligence Report #115 ‘中產交稅多、福利少’的政宣騙局:地產黨偷換中產概念為炒家資本自己
FILE PHOTO: Various paper currency © Envato

🔻 IMPORTANT 【重要】

 


▪️ 從2023年至今的本港實體及虛擬經濟,泡沫經濟都不振的狀態證實了本港資本與外部勢力瘋狂撤除動態清零國策的預計收穫淪為空談了。面對這個極不負責任的社會窘境,一向完全都不被問責的本港主要政經勢力,真正的反中亂港勢力,即地產霸權及其炒家朋黨大聯盟(炒家階層,即本港統治階級,資本家階級,買辦階級的主要成分)最近力推所謂‘中產交稅多、福利少’的政宣作戰,意在自私地要求已陷入嚴重財政赤字的港府全面撤辣(投機不動產免稅)及股票印花稅進一步減稅(減至0.05%) URL


除了‘清一色’的立法會的‘橡皮圖章’,內外資本透過政治捐款擺設在立法機構內的‘舉手機器’之外,一昧服務內外資本的‘擴聲器’,根本不為人民做事件調查,問題分析和監督政權/資本權力的社會批判工作的香港媒體(如今媒體資本純粹實為廣告公司),為廣告主的地產黨照樣歪曲了至今未有國際共識和客觀基準的所謂中產階級或中產階層的階級社會概念。

 

The sluggishness of both the real and virtual economy and the bubble economy in Hong Kong from 2023 to the present confirms that the frantic withdrawal of the National Policy of Dynamic Zeroing by Hong Kong's capital and external forces didn't work out as they irresponsibly promised.

 

The projected harvest of the post-dynamic zeroing has been reduced to empty talk in 2024. In the face of this extremely irresponsible social dilemma, the major political and economic forces in Hong Kong, which have always been totally unaccountable, and the real anti-China forces stirring up trouble in Hong Kong, namely, the real estate hegemony and its speculators, have been totally unaccountable. That is, the real estate hegemony and its crony alliance of speculators (the speculator class, that is, the ruling class, the capitalist class, and the main component of the comprador class in Hong Kong).

 

Recently, they have been pushing the so-called 'middle class pays more tax and gets less welfare' political propaganda war, with the intention of selfishly requesting the Hong Kong Government, which has already fallen into a serious fiscal deficit, to withdraw the remnant of the now reduced-half anti-speculation taxes and further lowering the Stamp Duty on Stock Transactions (from 0.1% to 0.05%).

 

Apart from the 'rubber stamps' of the Legislative Council, which are 'hand-raising machines' set up in the legislature by internal and external capitals through political donations, Hong Kong media, the 'amplifiers' of internal and external capitals, which are serving the legislature, have not conducted any investigation into the incident for the people. The media in Hong Kong, which does not do any investigation, problem analysis and social criticism for the people to monitor the regime/capital. (Nowadays, the media capital is purely an advertising company), and the real estate party, which is the advertiser, distorts the so-called middle class, which has not yet reached any international consensus and objective benchmarks, as usual.


▪️ 所謂中產階級或階層並非階級。在19世紀,中產是指小資產階級(小布爾喬亞),包括半資本家/半勞動者。甚至,中產下層(the lower middle class)也被視為小資本家的範疇,但同時中產的內涵是位於資產階級和勞動者階級之間的外延,並且隨著資本主義的進展,被分化為資產階級或勞動者階級的階層。如今,在2024年,有幾個內涵上的新意已被引進來了,即1)企業內各種經理職位(管理職位及其等級制度)所代表的‘官僚制度’。經理本身佔所謂中產的多數,但他們都仍屬於受僱員工,也並沒有公司固定資本和流動資本的所有權。換言之,這個中產概念的當代主流階層並非資本家。


重要的階級分析原則是,個體富裕與否,其收入規模等抽象本身並不足以定義或可以解釋階級,而只有具有階級性集體行為傾向的群組與其相反的階級性群組衝突對峙時才會顯現所謂階級概念。同時,個體之間在階級社會裏通常屬於競爭狀態;2)官僚也依照其職能(非依照其收入規模)可被分為或變為資產階級和勞動者階級。中產和官僚都不構成獨立的階級,而是階層。


中產概念相當於資產階級的次要範疇,並且完善其階級範疇。而小資本家無論它本身從事勞動,它還是享受勞動手段的擁有權,也可聘用勞動者剝削其剩餘價值。


即使小路邊攤老闆的總收入遠不如一般經理員工,他或她也仍享受產生交換價值和剩餘價值的

勞動/生產手段的擁有權。兩者差異在於權力的概念上。換言之,經理只能有控制權,而非所有權。


於是,今日中產和小資產階級確實有決定性的差別。其差別在於經濟活動上的控制權和其手段的擁有權之別;3)資本家是投資人。不過,‘被投資上市公司’的本港MPF工人階級本身並非投資人,而代辦投資事務的個別MPF代理商才是真正的‘專業’投資人。此外,受僱員工同時擁有部分公司股票這一點也仍不足以控制社會和撼動公司政策。於是,這個群組也不構成獨立的階級,也仍不算資本家。


所謂階級,還是在資本主義社會裏,終究被分為資產階級和勞動者階級。因此,所謂中產是指資產階級和勞動者階級之間動搖和流動的中間階層,它本身仍屬於受僱員工,其收入規模甚至超過小資本家,而非資本家。

 

The so-called middle class or stratum is not a class. In the 19th century, the middle class was the small bourgeoisie (petty bourgeoisie), which included half-capitalists/half-laborers.

Even the lower middle class was regarded as the domain of the small capitalists, but at the same time, the middle class is between the bourgeoisie and the laborers, and as capitalism progresses, it is divided into bourgeoisie and laborers systematically. Now, in 2024.

 

Several connotative novelties have been introduced, i.e. 1) the 'bureaucracy' represented by the various managerial positions (managerial positions and their hierarchies) within the enterprise. Managers themselves constitute most of the so-called middle class, but they are still salaried workers. However, they are still paid workers and do not own the fixed and liquid capital of the company. In other words, the dominant contemporary class in this middle-class concept is not capitalists.

 

The important principle of class analysis is that abstractions such as the size of an individual's income, whether he or she is wealthy or not, are not in themselves sufficient to define or explain class.

 

Rather, the concept of class only emerges when groups with a propensity for class-based collective behavior are confronted by opposing class-based groups.

 

At the same time, individuals are usually in competition with each other in a class society; 2) Bureaucrats are also classified or transformed into bourgeoisie and laborers according to their functions (not according to the size of their incomes). Neither the middle class nor the bureaucrats constitute a separate class.

 

The concept of the middle class corresponds to a secondary sphere of the bourgeoisie and completes its class sphere, on whether it is itself engaged in labor or enjoys the ownership of the means of labor. On the contrary, the petty bourgeoisie enjoys the ownership of the means of labor and can employ laborers to exploit their surplus value.

 

Even if the total income of the owner of a small sidewalk stand is far less than that of the average managerial employee, he or she still enjoys ownership of the means of labor/production that generate exchange value and surplus value.

 

The difference between the two is that the power is in the ownership of the labor/means of production that generate exchange value and surplus value. The difference lies in the concept of power. In other words, a manager can only have limited control, not ownership.

 

Therefore, there is indeed a decisive difference between the middle class and the petty bourgeoisie today. The difference lies in the control of economic activities and the ownership of their means.

 

(3) Capitalists are investors. However, the local MPF workers 'being forced to invest in listed companies' are not investors themselves, and it is the private MPF agencies who act as investment agents who are the real 'professional' investors. In addition, the fact that some of the shares of a company are also owned by its employees is still not enough to control the community. These kinds of workers are still not enough to control society and shake up company policies. Therefore, this group does not constitute a separate class, nor is it a capitalist class.

 

The so-called classes are still divided into the bourgeoisie and the laborers in a capitalist society. Therefore, the so-called middle class refers to the intermediate stratum that oscillates and flows between the bourgeoisie and the laborers. Its income scale even exceeded that of the small capitalists, but still not the capitalists.

 

▪️ 本港地產炒家投機份子勢力(不動產資本)的荒謬矛盾是,他們一邊指責港府巨額財政赤字(香港政府已公布的數據顯示,截止去年11月30日,港府本財政年度首八個月赤字已達1,641億港元,財政儲備急挫至6,707億港元,已不足1年的政府開支)之際,一邊喊所謂全面撤辣(反投機稅的免稅)以及股市印花稅的減稅。誠然,繼續為貪婪不動產資本富豪貴族進行免稅和減稅措施只會加劇港府的財政赤字,是因為此舉直接明瞭地減少主要的股市樓市稅收(與公共服務費比起,稅收才是主要財政水源)。在房屋問題和深層次矛盾每下愈況下,李家超為地產炒家資本勢力減辣(《施政報告2023》 公布減辣,減半了各種反投機稅,額外印花稅(SSD)的適用期限由36個月(3年)縮短至(2年),意味購入新物業後第24個月後出售的交易,不用再繳交10%額外印花稅)之後,遏止投機炒樓的首置物業者可豁免的新住宅從價印花稅(AVD、Ad valorem stamp duty),針對所有非永久居民和公司買樓課稅,以遏止非本地居住需求的買家印花稅(Buyer's Stamp Duty, BSD), 禁售期遏止短炒投機行為的額外印花稅(Special Stamp Duty, SSD) 的稅收如何? 這需要直接看稅務局的資料,而非新聞報導。 印花稅統計資料顯示從2023年10月25日起減辣以先實施後審議的本末倒置的行政手段即時發效後,額外印花稅稅款按月減少了(6.5百萬港幣/6宗),遠不如同年的7月水平(10,300,000港幣/14宗);買家印花稅稅款按月也減少了(77,800,000港幣/60宗),即使交投量差不多一樣,也遠不如同年的7月水平(230,400,000港幣/57宗)。最後,新住宅從價印花稅稅收按月也減少了(248,100,000港幣/311宗),即使投機份子購買第二個物業的交投量倍增了,也遠不如同年的7月水平(322,000,000港幣/124宗)。


整體而言,的確,減辣激化了投機份子的撈底活動,但是激化投機活動也仍然根本無法增加稅收。因此,減辣明顯是向地產霸權搞利益輸送的措施。這些事實都揭示了減辣和全面撤辣都無助於改善港府的財政狀況,而結局只促進了投機份子的撈底/低吸活動而已。總之,根本不需要減辣和全面撤辣,而為了解決超高樓價問題需要加辣,不該進一步向地產霸權投機勢力跪低投降。

 

The absurd contradiction of the speculative forces (real estate capital) of Hong Kong's real estate party is that while they accuse the Hong Kong government of having a huge fiscal deficit (data released by the Hong Kong government shows that as of November 30th last year, the Hong Kong government's deficit for the first eight months of this fiscal year has reached HK$164.1 billion, and the fiscal reserves have plummeted to HK$670.7 billion, which is less than one year's worth of government spending), while clamouring for the so-called full withdrawal of the "hot pepper" (full exemption of anti-speculation tax) and the further reduction of the stamp duty on the stock market.

 

It is true that continuing tax exemptions and reductions for the greedy real estate capitalist ‘rich and powerful’ will only aggravate the government's fiscal deficit, because it is a direct and clear cut in the main stock market and property tax revenue (which is the main source of financial resources compared to public service fees).

 

With the housing problem and deep-rooted conflicts worsening, John Lee Ka-chiu cut the spice for the capital power of real estate speculators (Policy Address 2023 announced the reduction of spice, halving various anti-speculation taxes, and shortening the period of application of the Special Stamp Duty (SSD) from 36 months (3 years) to 2 years, which means that The SSD is not be payable on transactions involving the sale of new properties after the 24th month from the date of purchase), first-time home buyers who are able to buy their own homes without the Ad Valorem Stamp Duty (AVD) on new residential properties. Buyer's Stamp Duty (BSD) for all non-permanent residents and corporate property purchases to curb the demand for non-local accommodation. The Special Stamp Duty (SSD) to curb short-term speculation during the lock-up period.

 

This is a matter for the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), not the press. Stamp Duty statistics show that after the immediate effect of the cart-before-the-horse administrative measure of reducing the SSD from October 25, 2023, the SSD revenue has been reduced on a month-to-month basis (HK$6.5 million/6 cases), which is far less than the July level (HK$10.3 million / 14 cases) of the same year. BSD payments also fell month-on-month (HK$77.8 million / 60 cases) and, even though the volume of transactions was more or less the same, it was still much lower than the level in July of the same year (HK$230.4 million/57 cases). Finally, ad valorem stamp duty on new residential properties also fell month-on-month (HK$248,100,000/311 cases), and even though the number of transactions of speculators buying a second property doubled, it was still far lower than the level in July of the same year (HK$322,000,000/124 cases).

 

Overall, it is true that the reduction in spices has intensified speculators' bottom-feeding activities, but such intensification of speculative activities still does not increase tax revenue at all. Therefore, the reduction is clearly a transfer of benefits to the real estate hegemony. All these facts reveal that neither the reduction nor the total withdrawal of spices will help to improve the government's financial situation, and the result is only to promote the speculators' bottom-fishing/under-absorption activities. All in all, there is no need to reduce the spice and remove all the spices. Instead, there is a need to increase the spice in order to solve the problem of ultra-high property prices, and there is no need to kneel down and surrender to the hegemonic speculative forces in the real estate sector.

 

🔻 NEWS / FACTs 【事實關係】

 

▪️  該黨地產及建造界議員龍漢標強調,當局應開源節流而非增加稅項,指政府過往收入多在土地收入,近年有重大赤字與疫情開支,以及賣地收入不理想有關。他相信問題在於目前政府政策不利市場經濟發展,強調如果可以推出措施增加投資者信心,賣地收入自然增加,「唔需要向市民荷包打主意」。他亦重申資本增值稅「萬萬不能」,因稅項與香港簡單低稅制度背道而馳。


 

▪️ 樓市積弱,業主恐愈等愈傷心,有中產業主不惜損手劈價離場。消息透露,藍籌屋苑鰂魚涌太古城寧安閣極低層F室,實用面積約530方呎,市傳減價102萬元,以648萬元成交,呎價僅約12,226元屬新界屋苑價位。原業主持貨近7年帳面蝕逾80萬元,單位貶值約11.2%。


 

▪️在經濟持續低迷的情況下,奈何政府對中產苦況,仍然充耳不聞,至今仍未全面撤辣,助中產置業。即使政府在去年的施政報告落實樓市「減辣」及下調股票印花稅,然而樓市和股市依舊不見起色。經民聯以及新民黨昨向政府遞交財政預算案建議,均要求樓市全面「撤辣」,並進一步下調股票印花稅稅率至0.05%。其中經民聯主席、議員盧偉國表示,樓市和股市在疫後不振,對香港經濟其他領域產生負面的連鎖反應,也削弱本地市民和海外投資者的信心,促樓市全面撤辣、下調股票印花稅,同時放寬上市規則,重建經濟信心,以吸引外資和管理人才。


 

▪️ 政府樓市「減辣」不「撤辣」。立法會今日(10日)辯論「關注中產階層的需要」議員議案,有議員批評政府對中產支援少,中產抽居屋大部分不合資格,公屋更加不會有,而買私樓亦是不容易,更是「交稅多,福利少」,促請政府全面撤辣,並提出居所貸款利息扣稅額,以幫助中產置業和減輕負擔。


議員陳祖恒指置業問題困擾中產,中產買私樓不容易,抽居屋大部分不合資格,而公屋更加不會有,要求政府為中產提供更多置業選擇,又認為樓市炒風已退港府應全面撤辣,幫助中產置業和減輕負擔。


議員陳振英認為本港社會福利政策面向基層家庭,目前有的措施為不需經濟審查措施,包括交通津貼計劃,需要中產人士可以享用,但並未針對中產人士需要。他又認為中產階層普遍重視子女教育,建議政府訂立子女教育費的免稅額,而且近年利率高企,促請當局提出居所貸款利息扣稅額。


 

▪️ 若單計去年12月份,各項辣招稅收共約3.32億元,按月急升逾49.2%,涉及物業成交377宗,按月增約45.6%,宗數創2022年1月後新高。

 

 

 

▪️ “The internal enemy” of the proletarian Russian Revolution is constituted first and foremost by the lower middle classes. The expropriation of the expropriators being carried out at present does not represent the most serious obstacle in the path of proletarian dictatorship. In the path of the expropriation of capital the obstacles are of a purely objective nature. The small group of large capitalists has not the masses on its side, and therefore speedily becomes powerless in face of the armed proletariat.

 

The lower middle classes of society, on the other hand, represent a considerable section of the population, especially in Russia — to say nothing of the propertied section of the peasantry. To reckon with the wishes of these lower middle classes would mean the halting half-way of the work of the Revolution: it would mean an end of the aspirations towards the destruction of capitalism.

Exactly because the lower middle-class mass is numerically large, it has retained an influence over the working-class movement. But every concession to this influence represents a departure from the Marxian standpoint, because it was precisely Marx who freed Socialism from lower middle-class adulterations.

 

The behaviour of the middle-class Socialist parties during the opening encounters and the final decisive struggle of the proletarian revolution doubly imposes on us the duty of recalling, on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of our first teacher, what his views were on the subject of the lower middle classes. And, though the representatives of various shades of lower middle-class Socialism are constantly referring to Marx, in reality there is no greater sacrilege than this.


I

 

After the revolution alike in Marx’s philosophical world-concept and in his views on the material conditions of social production, he shook himself free of the last vestiges of Liberalism.

 

“The Poverty of Philosophy,” from the economic aspect, and “The Communist Manifesto,” from the political aspect herald the final liberation of Socialism from the last lower middle-class swaddling clothes.

 

The founders of scientific Socialism had not had as yet the experience of a revolution, but by the path of theoretical analysis they had even then succeeded in establishing the fact that, in the progress of the revolutionary movement, the dower middle-class can display itself only as a reactionary and Utopian factor.

 

This lower middle-class — as “The Communist Manifesto” proclaims — “stands half-way between the proletariat and the capitalist class. Being a necessary complement of capitalist society, this class is constantly being reborn.” Composed of extremely mixed elements of the pre-capitalist epoch — the so-called “toiling intelligentsia,” the lackeys of the capitalist class — this class was to be found, in France, in Switzerland, and to a certain extent in Germany, at the advanced posts of the revolution of 1848. According to “The Communist Manifesto,“ the Communists were to support the various party groupings of these elements, while the latter were in opposition, understanding clearly, however, that if the representatives of the lower middle-class were really revolutionary in sentiment, it was only when faced with their immediate descent into the ranks of the proletariat.

 

These hopes of the lower middle-class, little sanguine though they were, nevertheless were completely shattered. The revolution of 1848 clearly revealed the political bankruptcy of the revolutionary section of the bourgeoisie. That revolution laid bare not only their weakness, but also how dangerous they were to the work of the revolution. During the French revolution of that year, the proletariat was crushed, not by the capitalists, but by this very lower middle-class.

 

“The small shopkeeper,” wrote Marx in “The Class Struggle in France,” “rose up and moved against the barricades, in order to restore the movement from the street into his shop. And when the barricades had been destroyed, when the workmen had been defeated, when the shopkeepers, drunk with victory, turned back to their shops, they found their entry barred by the saviours of property, the official agents of financial capital, who met them with stern demands: ‘The bills have become overdue! Pay up, gentlemen! Pay for your premises, pay four your goods.’ The poor little shop was ruined, the poor shopkeeper was undone!”

 

The lower middle-class is not fit to wield power, and a long government by it is unthinkable. This, first and foremost, for economic reasons: the small shopkeeper is the debtor of the great capitalist, and must remain in dependence on him as long as there exists the system of credit — which cannot be destroyed while the domination of private property continues.

 

The Imperialist era of capitalist production has fully justified this view of Marx’s. If the democratisation of capital by means of joint stock companies — the wild dream of the distorters of Marxism — were an economic possibility, even then the majority of the lower middle-class shareholders would be powerless to govern society.

The roots of the dilemma created by Imperialism are to be found in the economic relations on which Imperialism is based. There are only two classes capable of governing: the class of great capitalists, and the proletariat.

Every compromise with the upper bourgeoisie is treachery to the proletarian revolution. Every compromise with the lower middle-class after the victory of the revolution would mean the restoration of the supremacy of the upper bourgeoisie — the restoration of capitalist rule.

 

The experience of the revolution of 1848 completely confirmed Marx in his conviction that the revolution can blazon on its banner these watchwords only: the complete overthrow of all sections of the capitalist class, and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

 

II

 

Within the framework of capitalist society, the lower middle-class is immortal. Not only do small traders and small producers, worshippers of the principle of private property and credit, inevitably ensure the existence of parasites on the social organism, as being causes of the dissipation and waste of social labour; but also from out of their midst there appear the bearers of a special philosophy, directed for the purpose of restraining the proletarian revolution.

 

“The lower middle-class,” in Marx’s words, “has no special class interests. Its liberation does not entail a break with the system of private property. Being unfitted for an independent part in the class struggle, it considers every decisive class struggle a blow at the community. The conditions of his own personal freedom, which do not entail a departure from the system of private property, are, in the eyes of the member of the lower middle-class, those under which the whole of society can be saved.”

 

And this is the very reason why the lower middle-class masses are the most dangerous enemies of the dictatorship of the proletariat. They represent a very strong section of society. Their special interests are absolutely incompatible with the economic disturbances which are the inevitable accompaniment of transitional periods.

 

The disturbance of credit cuts the ground from under their feet. They begin shouting for order, for the strengthening of credit, in such a way that every concession to them leads in effect to a complete restoration of the old order.

 

The bearers of middle-class philosophy, who took up their stand as critics of capitalism in the working-class movement at the time when that movement was still in the stage merely of a critical attitude towards capitalism, and who brought in with them a peculiarly lower middle-class outlook, feel disillusioned when the era of decisive battle arrives. Their supremacy in the realm of ideas can continue no longer; while it is beyond their powers to free themselves from the lower middle-class-world-concept.

 

This is what Marx says in his “Eighteenth Brumaire,” in which he gives a masterly analysis of this lower middle-class outlook, on the subject of these “representatives” of the Labour movement — or, to speak more correctly, of these leeches which have attached themselves to it:

 

“By their upbringing and individual position, the former can be as far apart from the latter as heaven and earth. What makes them the spokesmen of the lower middle class is the fact that their thoughts do not leave the path in which the latter’s whole life moves, and that therefore they come, by a theoretical road, to the same problems and solutions as the lower middle class reaches in actual life. Such, in general, is the relation between the political and literary representatives of a class and the class itself.”

 

Marx was merciless in dealing with this kind of poisoners of proletarian class-consciousness. The whole Labour movement ought to be the same. With the weapons of ridicule and hatred he fought against the “heroes” of the French social democracy of the time — the political movement which represented an unlawful union between the lower middle class and the proletariat.

 

He wished to separate the Labour movement from all lower middle class elements, because the lower middle class attitude — attachment to the idea of private property, more or less open striving to uphold credit, terror of every fundamental social disturbance — is in practice the greatest internal enemy of the proletariat and the proletarian revolution.

 

III

 

A proletarian dictatorship that betrays a readiness to make concessions to the lower middle class is threatened with destruction.

 

A working class struggling against the bourgeoisie “from below” escapes this peril more easily than a victorious proletariat. A proletariat fighting “from above,” possessing State power, and grappling with the problems of organisation of production, is in a much more difficult position than a proletariat which has not yet attained victory. The working class itself is not yet free from all lower middle class habits of mind, while the mass of middle class parasites which lived on the back of the old order is now, equally ready to live on the back of the proletarian State.

 

The crushing of counter-revolution in Russia shows that, here too, the time has come when, as Marx says in “The Civil War in France,” all sections of the bourgeoisie except the great capitalists — “shopkeepers, tradesmen, merchants” recognise that the proletariat is the only class capable of initiative in the sphere of social reconstruction. This means, however, that the same section of the lower middle class which “offered up the workers as a sacrifice to their creditors” will once again attempt to come to an agreement with its creditors.

While the lower middle class exists, it is not capable of renouncing itself, even if it does submit to the proletariat. Though incapable of independent resistance, it will nevertheless try by roundabout ways to distort the meaning and the aims of the Revolution.

 

If it once manages, under whatsoever disguise, to reappear in the arena of the workers’ struggle, it will use all its energies to the end that it may remain the proprietor of its little shop, and the client of capitalism. It demands first of all “the re-establishment of credit” — but this cry is, for the lower middle class, only “a disguised form of the cry for the re-establishment of private property.”

 

The Revolution, when celebrating the centenary of Marx’s birth, will not forget the sentence he passed on the lower middle class.

 


 

▪️ d. Petty Bourgeoisie and Middle Class. The lower middle class or the petty (petite) bourgeoisie (the bourgeoisie was sometimes called the middle class in this era), constitutes "the small manufacturer, the shopkeeper, the artisan, the peasant" (Giddens and Held, p. 24). The characteristic of this class is that it does own some property, but not sufficient to have all work done by employees or workers. Members of this class must also work in order to survive, so they have a dual existence – as (small scale) property owners and as workers. Because of this dual role, members of this class have divided interests, usually wishing to preserve private property and property rights, but with interests often opposed to those of the capitalist class. This class is split internally as well, being geographically, industrially, and politically dispersed, so that it is difficult for it to act as a class. Marx expected that this class would disappear as capitalism developed, with members moving into the bourgeoisie or into the working class, depending on whether or not they were successful. Many in this class have done this, but at the same time, this class seems to keep recreating itself in different forms.

 

Marx considers the petite bourgeoisie to be politically conservative or reactionary, preferring to return to an older order. This class has been considered by some Marxists to have been the base of fascism in the 1920s and 1930s. At other times, when it is acting in opposition to the interests of large capital, it may have a more radical or reformist bent to it (anti-monopoly).

 

Note on the Middle Class. The issue of the middle class or classes appears to be a major issue within Marxian theory, one often addressed by later Marxists. Many Marxists attempt to show that the middle class is declining, and polarization of society into two classes is a strong tendency within capitalism. Marx's view was that the successful members of the middle class would become members of the bourgeoisie, while the unsuccessful would be forced into the proletariat. In the last few years, many have argued that in North America, and perhaps on a world scale, there is an increasing gap between rich and poor and there is a declining middle.

 

While there have been tendencies in this direction, especially among the farmers and peasantry, there has been no clear long run trend toward decline of the middle class. At the same time as there has been polarization of classes, there have been new middle groupings created. Some of these are small business people, shopkeepers, and small producers while others are professional and managerial personnel, and some intellectual personnel. Well paid working class members and independent trades people might consider themselves to be members of the middle class. Some segments of this grouping have expanded in number in recent years. While it is not clear that these groups hold together and constitute a class in any Marxian sense of being combined in opposition to other classes, they do form a middle grouping. Since Marx's prediction has not come true, sociologists and other writers have devoted much attention to explaining this middle grouping – what is its basis, what are the causes of its stability or growth, how it fits into the class structure, and what are the effects of its existence on proletariat and bourgeoisie.

 

 

▪️  There are also groups that sit between capitalists and workers.

When Marx was writing in the 19th century, he referred to them as the “petty bourgeoisie”—small capitalists.

 

They include shopkeepers, professionals who run their own businesses such as GPs, dentists or lawyers, and owners of smaller companies.

 

Changes

 

But changes in capitalism mean other groups, who aren’t “small capitalists”, are part of it too. Managers are one the biggest components of the middle class.

As firms grew into huge corporations, capitalists came to rely on a bureaucracy of managers to discipline the workforce.

 

At the very top of the scale, it’s hard to distinguish between capitalists and managers who enjoy similar privileges. At the other end, line-managers often don’t get paid much more than workers and have others breathing down their necks.

The same is true within the public sector.

 

In a school the head teacher and a handful of people in the senior leadership team are managers. The bulk of ordinary teachers and support staff are workers under managerial discipline. In addition to managers, a small section of white collar professionals are middle class.

 

For instance, professors rely on salaries, but still have a large amount of autonomy from managerial control—although autonomy in some professions has been eroded in recent years.

 

Because middle class people sit in between capitalists and workers, they can identify with both classes.

 

 


 🔻 COMMENT 【評語】‘中產交稅多、福利少’

 


一言以蔽之,地產黨把中產概念偷換成它們資本自己。 萬一全面撤辣,更進一步激化炒樓,超高樓價繼續高企和上升,所謂中產就只會更難買樓 。炒家階層都是資產階級,因此,撤辣的最大獲利者是地產霸權而非首置的人民。本港地產炒家朋黨大聯盟不但把中產概念偷換成炒家資本階層,甚至在批判巨額財赤之下,為地產霸權勢力喊進一步減稅和免稅。最離譜的是,它們資本根本不去問自己企業本身的表現和業績。完全是自私。所謂中產是資本家階級和勞動者階級的中間階層,它仍屬於受僱員工,而非資本家。

 

In a nutshell, the Real Estate Party has replaced the concept of the middle class with its own capital. In the event of a complete withdrawal of the anti-speculation tax, property speculation will be further aggravated and the super-high prices of housing units will remain high and rise, and the so-called middle class will find it even more difficult to buy housing units. The speculators are all bourgeois, so the biggest beneficiaries of the withdrawal of the so-called Chili Scheme - the anti-speculation tax - will be the real estate hegemony rather than the people who are first-time home buyers. The crony league of property speculators in Hong Kong has not only replaced the concept of the middle class with that of the capitalist class of speculators, it has even called for further tax reductions and exemptions for the hegemonic power of the property developers under the pretext of criticizing the huge fiscal deficit. The most outrageous thing is that their capitals do not even take a look at the performance and results of their own enterprises. They are totally selfish. The so-called middle class is the middle stratum between the capitalist class and the working class, and it still belongs to the employed workers, not the capitalists.

 


 

Hong Kong Intelligence Report #115 ‘中產交稅多、福利少’的政宣騙局:地產黨偷換中產概念為炒家資本自己

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