Detroit: Apply the Definition of Semi-Proletariat!

Maoist Internationalist Movement mim3 at
Mon Aug 12 11:57:41 MDT 1996

>From owner-marxism  Fri Aug  9 22:32:47 1996
From: Rubyg580 at
Subject: Re: Detroit: Apply the definition of semi-proletariat!

Very good, MIM, you have finally provided a definition of "semi-
proletarian".  Now, please explain how you get from this quote

MIM replies: "Finally"? Gina, we have posted this definition at least
three times on this list, including while you were on it.
Each time it has met with deafening silence from the
revisionists of the imperialist countries that dominate this list.
That's not to mention the number of times it has occurred
in our publications. Finally, however, Gina notices and does
something about it!

[Gina continues:]
of Lenin's, which takes the attitude of considering these semi-
proletarian strata as potential allies of the revolution, though not

MIM replies: They are considered allies of a less
useful nature than the peasant class. Yes, less
progressive than the peasantry.

[Gina continues:]
players of "the significant role"; how you get from there to your
attitude of considering the semi-proletarian strata as being part
of the enemy.


MIM replies: Not so fast Gina. The context is
the Detroit strike which you and others on this list
have accused us of actively opposing. Are you denying
that these are imperialist mouthpieces who have
committed crimes against the people? Are you denying that
these folks regurgitated government press releases
so shamelessly that even some government
officials are probably more independent-minded?
Are you denying that they have attacked the proletariat?
Have you proved that they have put forward any demands
friendly to the proletariat other than to use the proletariat for
its own narrow ends? We don't claim to actively oppose the
strike of the mouthpieces. That is the rhetoric of the people
on this list, not reality. We do have to expose the chauvinism that
arises. That is just necessary when the strikers and labor
bureaucrats attack the international proletariat as they
have on this List. The strikers and their friends didn't have to attack
MIM and spread Mexican scab rumors, but they did, so in
practice they have demonstrated that they have that
enemy aspect to them.

As for a general answer to your question it's easy.
The semi-proletariat is enemy when it claims Marxism
for its own use and thereby sabotages the revolutionary
proletarian ideology from within.

Right now you are blocking
with people who would just assume the sickle be
removed from the hammer and sickle. However, peasants today
are much better allies than semi-proletarians,
and few are the kind of labor bureaucrats who
distort Marxism. Despite their aspirations, peasants also
do productive sector work. That should help us draw
clear lines of demarcation against Trotskyists of today,
and crypto-Trots like Avakian.

The ball is back in your court Gina. Who
>from the imperialist countries on this list
has demonstrated in practice that they are not semi-proletarians
or representatives of the semi-proletariat worming their way
into Marxism and Maoism--other than MIM?
Isn't it abundantly clear that all the attacks on MIM
are in the name of the proletariat, but are in fact
done by representatives of the semi-proletariat
trying to pass themselves off as proletarian?

In a message dated 96-08-08 17:15:02 EDT, you write:

<< Quote #3: Lenin's COMINTERN's definition of semi-proletariat from
 section titled "Our Attitude to the Semi-Proletarian Strata."
 "In Western Europe there is no class other than the proletariat which is
 capable of playing the significant role in the world revolution that, as a
 consequence of the war and the land hunger, the peasants did in Russia.
 But, even so, a section of the Western-European peasantry and a
 considerable part of the urban petty bourgeoisie and broad layers of the so-
 called middle class, of office workers etc., are facing deteriorating
 standards of living and, under the pressure of rising prices, the housing
 problems and insecurity, are being shaken out of their political apathy and
 drawn into the struggle between revolution and counter-revolution."
 Alan Adler, ed., ITAL Theses, Resolutions and Manifestos of the First
 Four Congresses of the Third International END (London: Ink Links,
 1980), "On Tactics," in Adler, op. cit., p. 293.

 "It is also important to win the sympathy of technicians, white-collar
 workers, the middle- and lower-ranking civil servants and the
 who can assist the proletarian dictatorship in the period of transition from

 capitalism to Communism by helping with the problems of state and
 economic administration. If such layers identify with the revolution, the
 enemy will be demoralized and the popular view of the proletariat as an
 isolated group will be discredited."On Tactics," in Adler, op. cit., p. 294.

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