[Marxism] Michael Yates on growing up working-class

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Aug 17 09:35:54 MDT 2006

On Monday, Michael Yates posted the following:

I can only give verbal encouragement through writing, teaching, signing 
petitions, sending letters, participating in demonstrations, and the like 
to those fighting for radical change around the world. I can provide 
material aid in some cases if asked (to organizations here and around 
abroad). This may be nothing but these outside forces seem to think 
otherwise. I get letters from people around the world from time to time 
thanking me for something I wrote. Today I got one from a man in India 
thanking me for my essay on class in the Monthly Review summer issue 
("Class: A Personal Story"). It gave him comfort and it did the same for me 
(to know that despite our no doubt profound differences in terms of life 
history, we did have important common ground). Now we are in a way comrades 
in struggle. A baby step sure but on the foundation of millions of such 
steps, something good might be built. On a larger scale, Monthly Review has 
a relationship with the Maoists in Nepal. These comrades appear to value 
this relationship very much. We are not fighting, but we are not nothing.

All such efforts are worthwhile.

Michael Yates


I finished reading his article last night in the print edition (a special 
issue on class) and recommend it highly. It is a memoir about growing up as 
the son of a factory worker and becoming an academic, with all the 
contradictions that poses. You can now read it online at:




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