How did “capitalists”, “petty bourgeoisie”, and other class categories based on Marxist critiques of capitalism become highly visible in local society while communist regimes abolished capitalist institutions? Conventional approaches to class lack the necessary tools for unraveling such “Marxist classes”, let alone their impact on class formation in the common sociological sense. I use Weber, Foucault, and others (together with a study of the emergence of a “petty bourgeoisie” in a Chinese school system) to highlight the bureaucratic struggle of the state to classify everyone with a Marxist schema of classes. Spotlighted are “textual corroboration” and “workplace ascription” of class status, two everyday processes carried out by state representatives that normalized the class categories as well as muddied their boundaries. I contend that official conversion of jobholders into different kinds of predefined class subjects rendered any “class-in-itself” or “class-for-itself” virtually impossible. The conclusion suggests how further research on bureaucratic classification and Marxist classes can advance understanding of state-society relations under communism, especially in comparative terms.