World Party of Socialist Revolution

nancybrumback at cs.com nancybrumback at cs.com
Sat Jul 13 21:06:27 MDT 2002


Chris Brady writes:

"....Then there is the mechanical reality that the workers actually have their hands on the means of production.  This adds the dynamism necessary to the concept that the working class is the engine of history."

I like the idea that the agents of revolution will be the ones who lack power -- power to participate in the making of decisions about things that affect their lives. It is inclusive, not exclusive. But your phraseology "...the mechanical reality ... hands on the means of production....engine of history ..." is uncomfortably suggestive of the orthodox definition of the working class, i.e., those who live on wages received from their labor. Some marxists have interpreted this so narrowly that they have focused on organizing at "the point of production," i.e., trade unions involved with heavy manufacture.

So, by working class, do you mean those who live on wages received from their labor? Because a lot of people would be left out of that category, because some people are unemployed, some cannot work, and some work but receive no wage. How would you interpret the relationship of these people to "the engine of history"? Does their lack of a wage and connection to the means of production mean they don't have the dynamism necessary to change history?
nancy

ps: Zwieg's numbers add up to a flat 100%. But already we know that everyone who is neither capitalist nor middle class does not work for a wage...

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