I’m taking a beating from various sources for my suggestion that the Tea Party is not Marxist. I feel duty bound to defend myself.
Actually, I agree with the basic rebuttal to my point made by Borepatch and others – the Tea Party is indeed best understood as a class struggle. The classes involved are: 1) the "governing class" and its dependents and 2) everyone else. So, if one plays enough with words, one can make the Tea Party seem Marxist.
However – and this was my beef with Half Sigma’s over-simplistic thought – just because something is a class struggle, does not mean that thing is "Marxist." Spartacus, after all, lived a while before Marx. All struggles are necessarily between various classes.
Marx’s theory is that the class struggle is the struggle between owners of the means of production and those that do not own the means of production. In modern society, basically everyone can now afford the means of production (a cheap computer is couple hundred bucks). Therefore, Marx was wrong.
To make my point absolutely clear, the two classes that are currently clashing are: 1) the "governing class" and its dependents and 2) everyone else. Marx’s class are: 1) owners of the means of production and 2) those that do not own the means of production. The 1)’s do not match and the 2)’s do not match. This mismatch is devastating to Marxism. To speak of a Marxism with different classes is to speak gibberish. It’s basically the same as saying that my 8th grade basketball team is a lot like the 1995-96 Bulls minus Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
So, adding "small business owners to the ‘Proletariat’" doesn’t just slightly alter Marx to make it correct. Such an addition makes Marx wrong – i.e. Marx’s version of the classes (the essence of Marxism) was totally incorrect.
Finally – and most importantly – saying that the Tea Party is Marxist not only mistakenly gives credit to someone who was wrong (Marx), it takes credit away from people who were correct. Burnham and Belloc come much closer to the actual truth of the modern class division, in my opinion.
In other words, "The study of history reduces to two tasks. One: reading primary sources. Two: assessing their credibility. If we know whom in the past to trust, we know the story of the past. Until he makes this judgment, the historian is no more than a database administrator."
Don’t be a database administrator.