Getting the members of the classes straight is important if we are to accurately distinguish the exploiters and exploited.
Who are the exploiters? All who live off of the industrious class. Besides common crime, there is only one way to do that: state privilege financed by taxation.
In this view, political-economic history is the record of conflict between producers, no matter their station, and the parasitic and predatory political class, both inside and outside of government.
In summary, the taxing power necessarily produces two classes: those who create wealth and those who take and receive it. The producers of wealth naturally want to keep it and use it for their own purposes. Those who wish to expropriate it look for clever ways to get it without unduly upsetting its creators. One way is to teach people that they are the state and that paying ever-more in taxes benefits themselves. The public schools have been particularly useful in that mission.
As long as government is in the wealth-transfer business, class conflict will persist. Class in this sense is an important tool of political analysis. It’s time that advocates of individual liberty and free markets reclaimed it from the Marxists.