Region: TCBook Club
|The Dictatorship of the Catgirl of Feyrisshire|
Just to reinvigorate discussion by answering one’s question!
The Marxist definition of the “petty-bourgousie” being people who still labor but who derive benefits from the appropriation of labor i.e the stereotypical example of small business owner is still correct and is still our base of the concept today – The “petty-bourgouisie” is also conceived by Marx and Engels as that strata that is above the proletarian but below the bourgouisie...
One’s income and wages one receives is also a relationship to the means of production, either if one is exploited or one’s wages is derived from surplus labor. That is, if the wages one receives is more than the value of their labor or is far more to cover the cost of their daily needs (cost of reproduction).
Overall though, its hard to think of “economically secure” and “highly educated specialists” such as software engineers and anesthesiologists fitting into Marx and Engels’ definition of “proletarian” which is “nothing to lose but their chains” so fits both above
In regards to the broader example of professionals and specialists (going away specifically from software engineers and anesthesiologists), going away from Engels a bit, Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong has answered this question:
Lenin in his work “The Working Class and Its Press”: “In the first case, the contributions obviously came from lower-paid office workers, civil servants, etc., and from the petty-bourgeois elements of a semi-proletarian character.” So Lenin considers “lower-paid office workers, civil servants” as “petty-bourgouis” and “semi-proletarian”. Lenin also talks about a “semi-proletarian” class, which is an interesting class. This ties in with Lenin’s thesis of a “labor aristocracy”.
Mao in his work “Analysis of the Classes in Chinese Society” includes as part of the petty-bourgouisie lower government functionaries, office clerks, small lawyers, small traders.
Overall though I think that Mao and Lenin’s definitions of the “petty-bourgousie” as a wider class helps to make clear Marx and Engels and fits in with the both above
And this can be a materialistic explanation, for why in your specific example, some people in the tech industry and IT or others, such as tech bros tend to be reactionary