A political and military conflict between economic classes. The idea is typically identified with Marx
, who characterized revolution
s as conflicts between economic classses, when a new, growing class comes into conflict with an established upper class.
Used by the American "right wing", the term is used to accuse Democrats of attacking wealthy people. This is often rhetorically disguised so people may interpret it as an attack on the "middle class".
Ari Fleischer: "The President does not believe in dividing the American people and playing class warfare."
Of or relating to the upper or middle classes. This term is not generally used by people in the American middle class, and using it may cause the speaker to be identified with the working class. When it's used, it often describes something that is "middle class" or "upper class", with positive connotations.
From Elvis Presley's Hound Dog: "She said she was high class; well, that was just a lie."
Short for lumpenproletariat. A catch-all term used primarily by self-styled Marxists to describe people "below" the proletariat. The lumpen include all people who might belong to the working class, if they worked. The unemployed, disabled, prisoners, and homeless are all part of the lumpen.
Also, the name of a political and cultural zine
The Black Panther Party attempted to organize the lumpen. Eldridge Cleaver: "Armed with this ideological perspective and method, Huey transformed the Black lumpenproletariat from the forgotten people at the bottom of society into the vanguard of the proletariat."