In order to mobilize the working class against itself, the owner class offers significant privileges for workers who agree to enforce owner class interests. Police forces, military personnel, and other security forces bring order to society by enforcing a law crafted by the owner class. Workers in these professions compose a martial class, a identity group clustered around the essential function they serve in society. Their fellow workers are often the targets of enforcement because the law regulates the behavior of workers more extensively than the behavior of the owner class. In particular, the owner class employs these forces when the working class organizes to advance their class interests.

The legal system pits the martial class against the working class by focusing efforts on crimes committed by the working class and ignoring crimes committed by the owner class. The disparity becomes evident when comparing the relative impact of property theft as opposed to wage theft. The owner class deprives the working class of far more money in wages than property stolen, but wage theft is not the focus of any police activity.

Since the martial class often stands between the owner class and the working class during moments of class struggle, the martial class bears the brunt of actions often directed toward the owner class. The owner class exploits the martial class by using them as a bulwark against collective action of workers. While the martial class enjoys additional privilege associated with their work, they risk their health and standing in the community by serving their occupation. The intra-class divide deepens as the martial class forms a distinct identity that supersedes other identities or communities, directly pitting members of the martial class against their communities.

Nevertheless, the martial class must be judged as class traitors when they blame the working class, not the owner class, for the risks associated with their occupation. When the working class rallies to end exploitation, the martial class works to end the demonstration and discourage further action. They ensure that the owner class can ignore the demonstration while the martial class forces the workers to abandon the struggle. Despite sharing in oppression by the owner class, the martial class silences their fellow workers so that the owner class can continue growing wealthy through exploitation.

Since the mission of the martial class is framed as enforcing the law, the martial class identify as protectors of society as a whole. The owner class maintains some working class support for the martial class by promoting this protector narrative. However, the laws governing property and criminal behavior are arranged to benefit the owner class, so the martial class advances their interests by enforcing those laws. Where the members of the martial class accept this narrative, they commit to seeing the rest of the working class as threats to the stability of society and therefore just targets of violence.

Framing the mission of the martial class as a sacred duty to society motivates extreme responses to defiance of the law. As protectors of society the martial class frames themselves as a public service and bulwark against disorder. In this framing extreme measures to punish criminals or suppress organized demonstrations are justified in the same way that one would justify self-defense or defending one’s community from outside invaders. Supportive members of the working class, especially professionals already aligned with the owner class, ignore the martial class’s violence because they take it as an assurance that their interests will be protected just as fiercely even though this is rarely the case.

With the worker class divided among professionals, martial occupations, and privileged identity groups, the owner class has many potential allies against the remaining workers. Professionals empower the owner class through soft power, political, social, and artistic support for nationalist capitalism. The martial class directly supports the owner class by providing hard power in the form of security and suppression of dissent. A worker who begins to understand their position must also confront a fragmented social environment where many natural allies have already been suborned. Effective resistance requires building alliances among others who recognize their situation due to critical reflection or experience with systematic disadvantage. The power of the working class will remain limited unless we can overcome divides that uphold the power of the owner class.