[Marxism] Petty-bourgeois--the importance of the issue

Jurriaan Bendien andromeda246 at hetnet.nl
Fri Aug 20 10:16:40 MDT 2004


I'm sure, Mark, that you didn't get to be a professor though just with your
"article of faith". Presumably you did some analysis of a real class
movement, to earn your title. Just dropping the tissue for now, what your
view really ignores is:

(1) that the imperialist countries harbour large and powerful middle strata,
who dominate the intellectual industries and provide the bulk of political
cadre, and
(2) that the desire for some people to work independently on own account may
be well be a perfectly valid human need.

As regards (2), I have met many people - not stupid people, bright people
from varying class backgrounds - who worked hard for large corporations, and
who said "if I have the choice, I would rather work for a small business".
Why do you think that would be ? Can you see there is a question there ?

The real thinking in my opinion starts when you begin to consider what it
would take to vest the rule of the working majority, so that they really do
rule. The bolsheviks didn't really think through that seriously in advance,
or if they did, their ideas were overtaken by history, leaving little but
the romance of revolution, real of fictitious (Rosa Luxemburg said, "they
dared").

Personally, I think that workingclass political rule in itself would be an
advance, but still wouldn't mean much, if it didn't embody a socialism which
contained "all the progressive tendencies of human development which
capitalist development has made possible". There are all sorts of species of
radicalism and revolutionism, and all sorts of strata of workers, but you
wouldn't catch me supporting all of them by a long shot. Part of middleclass
activity is also progressive.

The most ridiculous thing I think is when American socialists seek their
main inspiration from a political movement a hundred years ago, from a
country where the majority of the people at that time consisted of peasants
who couldn't even read, rather than the most advanced issues and methods in
their own country or for that matter in the world. What good is
internationalism, if it doesn't mean pooling the most advancing thinking
available anywhere ? If the ruling classes refer back to Adam Smith, that's
just an intellectual ornamentation. In reality, they aim to capture the most
advanced thinking worldwide to advance their interests.

Well... got to get back to translating my book. Call it "petty-bourgeois
activity" if you like, but it's my daily bread.

Jurriaan

Ah-well I'm walking down the street,
It's always students that I meet,
Long hair down and sneakers on your feet,
Write your letters to the Evening News
I clench my fist and sing this tune:
I said Hey student, hey student, hey student,
You're gonna get it through the head,
I said Hey student, hey student, hey student,
You're gonna get it through the head, I said,
Well, walking to work,
It's always students that I meet
Henna in your hair, [,,,]
As you [,,,]
I clench my hand before I flip my lid,
I'm walking down the street,
It's always students that I meet,
Long hair down and sneakers on your feet,
As you listen to Pear Jam in your room,
I'm thinking like that when I sing this song:
I said I walk some more, walk some more,
Walk some more, wah wah wah x2
I'm walking down the street,
It's always students that I meet,
Long hair down and sneakers on your feet,
As you stare in your room at Shaun Ryder's face
Down long long long long days
I said I walk some more, walk some more, walk some more, wah wah
The dead brains of class A-B
Twin swastikas
I'm thinking like this when I sing this tune:
I said I walk some more, walk some more,
Walk some more, wah wah wah

- The Fall, "Hey Student"





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