THE TASKS FACING MARXISTS

Jon Flanders 72763.2240 at compuserve.com
Fri Apr 12 11:56:49 MDT 1996


 >> Another decisive factor is contingency. In other
 words marxism failed to consolidate itself and develop because of the absence
of individuals capable of playing that role under the circumstances obtaining.
In other words had Karl Marx died
 from a fatal disease when he was twenty we would never had had marxism:
 "the butterfly effect". <<Karl Carlile

 Jon Flanders:

  I have a hard time buying this, Karl. There have been many very smart people
in and out of the marxist movement and m-l groups over the last 50 years. The
plain fact is that since the 1930's the working class in the advanced
capitalist countries has been asleep politically.

  Engels talked about the bourgeois working class of England in the late 19th
century. Particularly since WW2, this has been the case in the United States.
It is only in the last 10 to 20 years that the "bourgeois" side of  the
working class has begun to be stripped away.

  My co-workers are now beginning to face the fact that they are not that far
>from poverty. Owning cars, ranch homes and boats tended to hide their class
status in the past. Now they are going bankrupt, selling homes and facing
college bills for their kids that they don't know how to pay.

  In this context, the old union cry for "fairness" has a much more radical
effect. There is not going to be any fairness from capitalism without intense
class warfare, and not much even with that. The possibility now exists for
class struggle tendencies in the working class. Out of the experiences of
battle, I am confident that some workers will become open to the idea that the
wages system will have to be abolished.

  In a radicalising working class, there will be plenty to do for marxist
intellectuals, even if they lack some basic organizing skills.

 Best, Jon F

  E-mail from: Jonathan E. Flanders, 12-Apr-1996




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