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By Frank Parkin

ESSAY, classification and nation, classification and social gathering,

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S paramount. jusfice. All this indicates the ease with which the language of closure can be translated into the language of power. Modes of closure can be thought of as different means of mobilizing power for the purpose of 45 Socíal closure as exclusíon Mørxism ønd cløss theory All that this really means, of course, is that Marxists choose to employ the concept in this narrower sense; such a meaning does not inhere in the term itself. To broaden the meaning of th-e term to encompass relations of dominance and subjection ãther than those between capital and labour does not there6y signal u t árr, .

In this respect, if nô other, it is an arrangement that squares well with the ideai of liberal individualism. Credentialist forms of closure in soviet society, on the other hand, r- certain departure from this idear. Entry to the academies of -rlg* higher learning and to the top professions is sull biased in favour of the children from the intelligentsia, indicating that workers, and peasants' children are still at some disadvantage in selective tests, whatever compensatory efforts may have been ñrade by the state on their behalf.

The essence of this version of liberal ideology is that social closure conform-s to the standards of justice only in fu, u, it discriminates "õ capacities and perbetween individuals on the basis of thelr innate formances, and that these are not contaminated by ihe social inheritance of material or cultural goods. t tr,. dominant class in any period wourd bã more dedicated ío the defence of a particular conception of distributive justice than to its own im- mortality. The duty of the state would úe to set up conditions to ensure that class succession went to the gifted and déserving, on the grounds that only this of ineq-uality has any proipect of capturing the affection of-system alr the people, incluáing the réasi rewarded.

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