Carrol Cox wrote:
> I'm a bit weary so I won't try to comment now -- but
> those are splendid bouquet of quotes you dug up.
> "Caste" and "estate" are both terms from particular
> societies, so the use of them here is a bit loose,
> but they are the best terms available to make the
> needed distinctions.
Eliot has a chapter in "Notes toward a Definition of Culture"
entitled "The Class and the Elite." In a footnote there he
I believe that the essential difference between a caste
and a class system is that the basis of the former is a
difference such that the dominant class comes to consider
itself a superior **race**.
The note is attached to a discussion about how after the
U.S. Civil War a "stream of mixed immigration" multiplied
the danger of development of a **caste** system. Even 80
years after the war Eliot thought that the danger was not
The note above says much the same as the note to ASG (at
the end of this email) but it seems clearer to me.
Carrol Cox wrote:
> I'm a bit weary so I won't try to comment now -- but those are splendid
> bouquet of quotes you dug up.
> "Caste" and "estate" are both terms from particular societies, so the use of
> them here is a bit loose, but they are the best terms available to make the
> needed distinctions.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: T. S. Eliot Discussion forum. [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
> Of Rickard A. Parker
> Sent: Friday, November 26, 2010 8:57 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Attitudes / Prejudice
> Carrol Cox wrote:
>> When they wrote the Manifesto, Marx & Engels were not yet “Marxists.” That
>> is why they made the mistake of referring to history as a record of
>> conflict. In fact, as Marx later demonstrated¸Class (an abstraction¸a
>> relation and a process) exists _only_ in capitalism. _Caste_ (or
>> is the proper designation for what is called class in non-capitalist
>> societies. Thus you don’t have to label Eliot (or anyone else) a Communist
>> on the basis of their view of the modern world resembling that in the
>> quotation I posted.
>> Eliost clearly abhorred the disappearance of distinctios in the “modern
>> world”: Consider that as a beginning for analysis of the opening paragraph
>> of East Coker. We start with archaic language mng a period whenthere was
>> still an English Peasantry (a caste or Estate rather than a class). And
>> house agent’s clerk is “one of the low,” because he exists in a world in
>> which only the abstractions of “high” and “low” exist. _Murdfer in the
>> Cathedral_ pays homage to a world of visible distinctions and relations, a
>> world of _estates_. _The Cocktail Party_ may be seen as an effort to
>> reconcile himself to a world of abstract individuals. (Abstract in that
>> exist separately and in abstraction from any of a large number of slots
>> which they can fit themselves or be fitted. The stability, the solidity of
>> relationships, the clear demarcation between the sacred and the profane
>> which characterized pre-modern societies has disappeared.
> I have called her [Marie Lloyd] the expressive figure of the lower
> classes. There has been no such expressive figure for any other class.
> The middle classes have no such idol: the middle classes are morally
> corrupt. That is to say, it is themselves and their own life which find
> no expression in such a person as Marie Lloyd: nor have they any
> independent virtues as a class which might give them as a conscious
> class any dignity. The middle classes, in England as elsewhere, under
> democracy are morally dependent upon the aristocracy, and the
> aristocracy are morally in fear of the middle class which is gradually
> absorbing and destroying them. The lower classes still exist; but
> perhaps they will not exist for long.
> The population should be homogeneous ; where two or more cultures
> exist in the same place they are likely either to be fiercely
> self-conscious or both to become adulterate. 1
> 1 Or else you may get a caste system, based on original distinctions of
> race, as in India: which is a very different matter from classes, which
> pre-suppose homogeneity of race and a fundamental equality. But
> social classes, as distinct from economic classes, hardly exist to-day.