I was always under the impression that, as Scott Wakeham argues, "the class struggle should be a struggle against class itself." This was the underlying assumption of all the great anarchist thinkers on this subject as well as of modern day "class struggle" anarchists. What the issue seems to boil down to is what does this struggle against class actually mean.
According to Scott, this struggle is "not an internecine struggle between classes." He argues that the "means are the ends" and that "internecine class war now can only give rise to further class war in the future." I must admit to being unsure what he means by this. Obviously class war now means further class war later, but only in the sense that until such time as the class war is won, it will go on -- whether we want it to or not. In other words, class society produces class struggle, not vice versa. "Class struggle" anarchists argue that only those subject to class oppression have a direct interest in ending it. By encouraging class struggle, by making its causes understood, we simply point to the only way that classes can be abolished -- by the direct action of those subject to class domination. For this reason most anarchists stress class struggle and the need to fight it in such a way as to end class systems once and for all.
However, I expect he does not mean this truism. I think he means that by pursuing the class struggle as the means of creating anarchism, we ensure that class war will always be with us. I wonder if he applies this logic equally to other struggles. Would he argue that internecine struggle between governors and governed now can only give rise to further struggle between rulers and ruled in the future? I doubt it.
Scott states that "class is a red-herring -- a way of splitting us up that serves capitalism only too well in its attempts to divide and rule us." Which, I suppose, explains the recurring attempts by politicians to deny that we live in a class society. Does it mean that when Blair and Major declared Britain to be a classless society, they were doing capitalism a disservice? Does it mean that when Mussolini and Thatcher stated they had ended class conflict, they were simply trying to undermine capitalism? I doubt it. It serves capitalism far better to deny class and class struggle.
He states that "definitions" of class "currently present us all as innately and inevitably capitalistic animals." Given that any definition of (modern) class only makes sense within the capitalist system, obviously it will present them as parts of that system. The question is, of course, what part of this system has an interest in destroying it and which an interest in maintaining it. The answer is obvious. As Scott notes, "people are interested in what anarchists have to say." Very true, but what kinds of people? Those subject to wage labour or those who whom they serve?
Perhaps we are discussing different things? Scott talks about the middle class and the working class, yet does not mention the ruling class. Most "middle class" people, as he acknowledges, are workers (i.e. wage slaves like the rest of the working class). Nor do "class struggle" anarchists reject the contribution of those who were not, originally, working class. How could we? Bakunin, Kropotkin, Malatesta were not working class but they rejected their class backgrounds and participated as equals in the struggle of the oppressed against their oppressors.
Finally, Scott argues that we must "muster sufficient ingenuity to elaborate new systems of relations." Very true. Anarchists from Bakunin onwards have argued we need to form self-managed associations of producers now in order to, firstly, fight the class war and, secondly, to create the facts of the new world in the current one. The struggle against oppression must be the forum in which we apply our ideas. Only by applying our ideas in our workplaces and communities, creating libertarian organisations which combat wage labour by self-management and statism by self-government, can an anarchist society be a possibility.
Simply put, rather than being a "red herring," class struggle is an essential aspect of anarchist theory and practice. It is the means of creating both a substantial and serious anarchist movement today and an anarchist society tomorrow.