On Trotsky

Bradley Mayer concrete at netcom.com
Fri Feb 16 07:41:00 MST 1996


L. Godena :

>I sometimes wonder if the Bolshevik Revolution succeeded
>not in spite of a lack of a large industrial proletariat, but because of it.
>The same is true of China and Cuba.  I think Trotsky, in light of history,
>seriously misjudged both the nature and the capabilities of the western
>working class in that period.

An excerpt from a most revealing post.  As I said in a post to an Anglo
Maoist friend of yours, one cannot seriously contemplate socialist
society or communism without seizure of the major, most developed means
of production - yes, the "commanding heights", as Lenin described them - by
what constitutes the majority of the world working class in East Asia,
North America or Western Europe.  This, the simplest of common sense, is
also the strategy of revolutionary Marxism.

This is opposed to the mechanical "New Left" strategy of revolution from
the "periphery" to the "center" - or to the postmodern varient, from the
marginal "new social movements" to the working class, at least for those
who still believe there is a working class.  It would never dawn on these
schools to think that privileged workers could ever revolt, that the
great revolutions of world history have been precisely combined revolts
of the most privileged and most oppressed of the exploited classes. In
addition, the modern trade union movement was born out of the struggles
of privileged craft workers whose livelihoods were being eliminated by
the advance of capitalism in the late 18th and 19th centuries. So too
was born the Paris Commune, the case study for the Bolsheviks.

What of the working class in this period, today? One of its salient
features has been the relentless rollback of precisely these privileges
within the imperialist countries. Why this is occurring now is an
interesting theoretical problem that needs to be solved (I have my own
ideas on this).  But if this trend continues, an explosion of class
struggle is inevitable. In this case, the LAST thing needed is Maoist,
New Left or Postmodern pessimism concerning the proletariat.

			-Brad Mayer


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