[Marxism] "Explanations" Divorced from Political Projects

Sayan Bhattacharyya bhattach at umich.edu
Sat Jul 29 04:58:23 MDT 2006

On 7/28/06, Yoshie Furuhashi <critical.montages at gmail.com> wrote:
> There sure has been a great profusion of liberal and leftist books and
> articles about the current period, from flaky (911 conspiracy theory),
> simplistic (peak oil), (ultimately) red herrings (the Israel Lobby,
> neocons, fundamentalists, etc.), to wonky (where lots of Marxist
> "explanations" fit in).  The more books and articles proliferate,
> though, the fewer people get into the streets.  Why is that?

Craig Calhoun in his book THE QUESTION OF CLASS STRUGGLE:

"From Marx's day to the present, the conditions of revolutionary mobilization
have been continuously eroded in the advanced countries... [What this means]
is that the social strength of workers' communities, their links to each
other, and their dependence on a traditional way of life incompatible with
modern capitalism have been greatly reduced.  At the same time, the
distinction between the beneficiaries and victims of capitalism has become
less clear.

"Workers have almost never had nothing to lose but their chains, and in any
case the degree of their immiseration hardly predicts their radicalism.  On
the contrary, the question is _what workers have had to defend_.


"Whether well-paid or poor, the "new" workers have different personal
experiences and social capabilities.  They are a "class" in a way their
predecessors were not, but that is more an indicator of isolation as
individuals than of unity."

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