General Strikes

ermadog at ermadog at
Sat Apr 7 15:19:07 MDT 2001

On Fri, 6 Apr 2001, Joe R. Golowka wrote:

> Does anyone know what Marx's position on the idea of using a General strike
> to end capitalism (popular among many Anarchists) was?  What about Engels?
> Joe R. Golowka
> JoeG at
> Anarchist FAQ -
> "The end is in the means as the tree is in the seed." - Mahatma Ghandi


The general strike doesn't go far enough "He who makes a revolution
half-way, digs his own grave." I found the following on
under Subject Archive/Student Section/Unions/Further Reading (the search
engine wasn't working for me today).

*** Saturday, April 7, 2001 3:14pm

   [3]The Labor Unions and the Class Struggle, by Max Shachtman

   The actual work of the unions is based upon an acceptance of
   capitalism. They are not organized for the purpose of liberating the
   working class from the condition of exploitation and oppression to
   which it is doomed under capitalism. Instead, they confine themselves
   to the attempt to raise the wages of the workers and obtain favorable
   social legislation while keeping the capitalist profit system. The
   longer capitalism is allowed to exist, the more acute become its
   problems. The more acute its problems, the stronger and more urgent
ts drive against the workers' living standard. The most that the
   unions can do given the way they are now constituted and led is
   resist this drive, try to slow it down. If they remain committed to
e capitalist system, the unions, and the workers in general, are
   limited to defensive actions and, in the long run, to defeat.

The Labor Unions and the Class Struggle3

[4]Should Revolutionaries Work in Reactionary Trade Unions?, by
   Vladimir Lenin

The trade unions were a tremendous step forward for the working class
   in the early days of capitalist development, inasmuch as they marked a
   transition from the workers' disunity and helplessness to the
   rudiments of class organisation. When the revolutionary party of the
proletariat, the highestform of proletarian class organisation, began
ake shape (and the Party will not merit the name until it learns
   to weld the leaders into one indivisible whole with the class and the
   masses) the trade unions inevitably began to reveal certain
   reactionary features, a certain craft narrow-mindedness, a certain
   tendency to be non-political, a certain inertness, etc. However, the
   development of the proletariat did not, and could not, proceed
   anywhere in the world otherwise than through the trade unions, through
   reciprocal action between them and the party of the working class.

*** Saturday, April 7, 2001 3:14pm

Hope this helps.

Joan Cameron

More information about the Marxism mailing list