What is The Class Work Project?
We are a workers’ co-operative battling class stigma and marginalisation across the UK!
We consist of four members, Dot, D, Hannah, and Shan - four folks from poor and working-class backgrounds.
We met in 2019 and formed around a shared frustration with the classism of activist and social movement groups that we had been a part of. We seek to centre the knowledge and experiences of poor and working-class people by publishing our quarterly publication Lumpen: a journal for poor and working-class writers, and delivering workshops on class. Our workshops aid the unpacking of class tensions in organisations and communities across the UK. We also work to create opportunities for the redistribution of resources within social movements.
These are our aims:
Examine the ways in which our lives are shaped by our class position
Create spaces for poor and working-class people to share their experiences and knowledge
Encourage middle class and owning class people to recognise and take responsibility for the benefits their class position has afforded them
Help people to better understand and support each other in order to mobilise effectively across classes in the fight for radical social change
Our foundational principles can be summed up by the words ‘Recognition, Redistribution, and Revolution’ (Recite three times in the mirror and the spectre of capital shall appear before you, trembling...)
Recognition: The demonisation and debasement of the poor and working-class has always been a fundamental principle of capitalism. In response, we have used a myriad of tools to affirm ourselves as humans worthy of not just meeting our basic needs, but as individuals and communities with an array of rich cultural practices and intellectual lives. As caring and compassionate people with wisdom to share. The Class Work Project is part of this tradition and seeks to centre those intellectual lives and wisdom.
Redistribution: Contemporary capitalism, like its previous mutations, has a cornerstone principle of extracting as much profit for the capitalist class as possible. The Class Work Project is part of the wider working-class struggle for an equitable distribution of resources and control over the production of those resources. But as that struggle continues, with no end in sight, we also argue for a redistribution of resources within the social movements that challenge capitalism and the manifestations of its violence. The stratification of society looms large over social movements, reproducing exclusion and marginalisation, and leaving the most precarious to fend for themselves. Those of us participating in these struggles must begin to collectivise our resources and redistribute our wealth in ways that build more equitable social movements.
Revolution: The Class Work Project seeks not only an end to capitalism and the state but to all forms of domination and oppression. We don’t think for a second that we can bring that about alone but aim to add knowledge and practice to social movements working towards the same ends. We aim to foster mutual aid, solidarity, support, compassion, and communities of care, in order to live peaceful lives when victory comes to the working class.