[Marxism] "Building class consciousness" (was: RE: SocialistVoice (Canad...

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Thu Jun 17 08:14:10 MDT 2004


In a message dated 6/16/2004 9:42:36 PM Central Standard Time, 
juliohuato at hotmail.com writes:

>IMO, the defense of their interests is MAINLY the defense of their economic 
interests.  We cannot unite this profoundly divided working class -- divided 
along income, occupational, industrial, ethnic and racial, cultural, 
urban/rural, regional, and even gender lines -- without understanding this.  
And this understanding leads to a lot of compromises.  A compromise doesn't 
mean that we change our minds, our beliefs, our long-term goals.  A 
compromise means that we cannot always do things our way in we are serious 
about advancing together.

While each of us needs to struggle wherever she/he can make the biggest 
difference, the first compromise is to focus single-mindedly on the set of 
economic needs that objectively put workers on a common political platform, 
even if it is at the expense of other differences that mean A LOT to smaller 
segments of the class.<

Reply

We have our hands full in the American Union. Nevertheless, conditions are 
more favorable to us today than for previous generations of communists workers. 
Today we have the economic foundation for communism and not the political 
conception of socialism as a transition to communism on the basis of 
industrialization. 

We have to state the fundamentals and our communist conviction a thousand 
times because comrade proceed from the doctrine and ideology of an era gone by. 
We are abolitionists on the side of the proletariat. Our conviction is that a 
political revolution in the United States - the American Union, is absolutely 
inevitable and is not the result of subversion of the existing social order, 
not does it come about as the result of conspiracy. 

Revolution is the first and inevitable step in creating a new social order on 
the basis of a new economy. The new economy develops spontaneously . . . 
automatically as the result of changes in the mode of production or the material 
power of the productive forces. Qualitative changes in the technological regime 
compels society to leap to a new political basis. During such a period of 
revolutionary transition the subjective factor determines everything - poltiical 
direction.

Today we can understand the full gravity of Marx outlook. This was not 
possible for the previous generation of communist because one cannot know the limits 
of a mode of production until it is under transition. We communist have been 
in historical error. An error is historical because history reveals the limits 
of vision after the events have taken place. 

What happens is that antagonism replaces contradiction. Contradictions do not 
become antagonistic. The old economic relations that is the industrial order 
undergo qualitative change and runs into-collides, with the static political 
relations within the superstructure of the old society. The old society for us 
is the industrial order. The results is an economic collapse. As the economy 
collaspes it drags down society. 

The process of collaspe does not mean that there isn't any production going 
on. The destruction of the economy means the destruction of the existing 
economy, which is the thing that society is built upon. The economy our society is 
built upon is an industrial economy with certain laws. The invasion of advanced 
robotics, computerization and digitalized processes begins to destroy the 
basis of the system of buying and selling of labor power that is the basis of the 
industrial system. 

No society is overthrown by the social and economic formation within the 
system that makes the system what it is in the first place. Something else happens 
and this something else is happening in front of us. The qualitative changes 
in the material power of production creates new classes existing outside the 
old society or old mode of production. The emergence of the New American 
proletariat is more than less outside the system of buying and selling of labor 
power as the basis of the industrial order. 

This New American proletariat is not identical to the working class the 
previous generation of communist spoke of. We misunderstood Marx or rather 
understood Marx on the basis of the quantitative expansion of the industrial order and 
pinpointed the industrial classes as the fundamental contradiction within 
capital. This happened because that is what we faced in the previous era.  

The unity of the working class for us means first of all the epochal fight to 
unify the proletariat as a political force fighting for its economic 
survival. The working class has to be taught to take a conscious stand on behalf of 
the proletariat and its own self interest. The old society is being destroyed by 
an objective process and nothing can stop it. The economic interest of the 
proletariat cuts across nationality, color and gender. How are people going to 
be feed, clothed and provided with medical care when they increasingly lack the 
money to pay for these things? 

We are not talking about "jobs for all" or "jobs or income." These are 
demands of the industrial order. We are talking about to each according to their 
need and from each according to their ability and the productive forces and 
technological infrastructure exists to implement this demand today. 

The supermarkets throw away almost as much spoiled produce as they sell. If 
tiny Cuba can field hundred of doctors to poor countries I will be damned if we 
can't. To hell with building another model of automobile to sell to that 
section of society with stable income. A house can be made in a freaking factory. 

The problem is that we have no organized forces to raise a national campaign 
that teaches and allows our working class to take a class stand on basic 
issues of survival. 

The media has people so confused that most of them think the social 
disintegration is the cause of the problems of society rather than the result of the 
revolution in technology. Economic interest must trump all other considerations 
but this means the economic interest of the New Proletariat is fought for. To 
do this we have to adopt the attitude of the abolitionists fighting against 
the system of slavery and begin the slow process of winning the vanguard of the 
proletariat to the cause of communism. 

To begin this process the communist have to be won over to the cause of 
communism and taught to stop calling the New American Proletariat a bunch of 
welfare bums, bitches, poor black and brown people, lumpen proletariats or what is 
not more than ideological white chauvinism. 

This is the real meaning of unity from below and this will be much easier 
than trying to unite say the African American peoples movement with that of the 
working class movement proper . . . during the post WW2 years. The African 
American peoples movement moved in a different direction than the economic 
movement of the workers. 

There are social forces available but we have not repositioned ourselves as 
insurgents. We face a similar situation as the CPUSA in 1946 . . . just prior 
to the explosion of the "Negro Peoples Movement." Montgomery in the 1950s and 
then the rebellions of the 1960s rendered them obsolete and irrelevant to 
history. 

Melvin P. 




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