[Marxism] Forwarded from Anthony (reply to Julio Huato)/bribery and Lenin

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Sun Jun 13 06:01:41 MDT 2004

In a message dated 6/12/2004 9:00:42 PM Central Standard Time, 
Waistline2 at aol.com writes:

>In Detroit everyone understood that the unionized workers were not the 
lowest stratum of the working class. Yet, this unionized sector was in motion and 
due to its very nature of being organized could articulate a concerted voice. 
The industrial workers and all the industrial classes are and were bounded to 
capital in motion and this described the framework and meaning of reform.<


The actual relationship of the organized workers to the unorganized poverty 
stricken proletarians is a historical problem grappled with by each generation 
of communist workers. Poverty in and of itself does not mean one will be more 
or less revolutionary, less reformist, or politically astute. In fact the less 
organized one is the lower the understanding of society as system. Further, 
the workers in large scale industry are much more disciplined by the logic of 
capital as their actual life experience. 

Communist have tried to overcome these real obstacle on the basis of 
organization as party units, street units, section committees, etc. For example, the 
unit I was a member of was not a factory unit, but a heterogeneous collection. 
Factory work and trade union activity required a special group composed of 
those member involved in the work and was called a fraction. Even here, the 
fraction always had a member of two outside the actual field of work. This is so 
because of the tendency to reduce totality to ones area of work. 

In my estimate it is historically inaccurate to lay reformism at the door of 
the concept of the material bribery of the working class, when this is 
probably a secondary factory. 

Much of my party life was spent with units outside the sphere of factory work 
or trade union work which can be pretty boring after a while. 

The street units was an interesting challenge and poverty does not produce 
consciousness. Member of the progressive and revolutionary intelligerncia are 
generally more conscious than members of the organized sector of the working 
class and the organized sector of the working class has more discipline and more 
collective consciousness than the scattered members of the proletariat who 
generally lack any organization and more often than not have difficulty reading. 
There is a reason the initial wave of communists and Marxists are 
intellectuals. To become a Marxist one must read books. 

It would be wrong to view the relationship that is stratification as a hard 
category and dangerous to view this same stratification on the basis of 
totality. It is the task of the communist workers to educate the class from the 
standpoint of the lens of the proletariat - the lowest sector of the working class, 
that is rendered impotent by its lack of organization and poverty. Poverty 
has a way of enforcing ignorance on the mass that is stricken with it. 

Reformism means the impulse and tendency to strive to reformulate a boundary 
in the superstructure or a boundary in the industrial system. In the 
ideological sense Lenin long ago stated the essence of reformism as "the movement is 
everything, the final goal nothing." "The movement is everything" has a material 
meaning. What movement if not the one in front of people. This movement in 
front of people is a spontaneous impulse to achieve something within a given 
quantitative boundary. 

I believe that we need to modify our view on the question of reformism during 
the eras of expansion of the industrial system. 

A highly paid worker is not going to be united with a very poor worker. A 
worker that is well situated instinctively understand that his high wage is 
possible because of someone's low wages. Nobody with common sense is going to 
strike against their belly and to expect such is sinning against reality. You have 
to have a precondition of relative economic equality to talk about unity and 
class consciousness evolution. 

The question of the New American proletariat as the lower section of society 
is the challenge of the new era. This does not mean abandoning factory work 
and trade union work (which are not identical). 

One could probably expand the definition of the new proletariat to most folks 
earning less than 25,000 a year . . . and then are society is in transition. 
A person with ten years in the work force does not have a clue where they will 
be in life ten years from know. The objective basis for reformism is being 
shattered stage by stage and population sector by population sector. 

When I entered the work force I had a reasonable expectation of working 25 - 
30 years and retiring. If I went into rubber or steel - 25 years and auto - 30 
and out. No one has such an expectation today. The point is that reformism 
can properly be placed in a historical context that was the distinct 
quantitative boundaries of the industrial system. 

None of this means that the bribery of the working class in America did not 
take place in a fundamental way. Nor can this be misconstrued to mean that the 
Indian peoples are required to prove the daily and hourly material bribery and 
privilege of the Anglo-American peoples in respects to their actual social 
position. Nor does this mean the black workers of the North in particular, can 
be abstracted from the material privilege and bribery of the working class. 

The peoples of America - including the blacks, have taken part in the plunder 
of the world and enjoyed the privileges that has come from such plunder and 
this is self evident and requires "no proof." 

The question of reformism runs deeper, however. 

Melvin P. 

More information about the Marxism mailing list