The Condition of the Working Class Friedrich Engels attempts to create a comprehensive representation of the conditions of existence in general and of work in particular that prevailed among the working class in the industrial England of his time. This representation is in the first place a vision of demoralization and alienation, of the most profound social and personal distress. In part it is the Culture of Poverty again, but it is much more as well. Hence the efforts of the industrial workers to combine in unions, and hence the resistance of the members of the middle classes directly concerned against such projects, whose aim on the part of the workers was to nullify and transcend this intraclass antagonism. Among the many other blessings that accompanied the transition from a society based primarily upon status to one based primarily on contract was the creation for the working class of a continuously dissolving world.