[Marxism] The Struggle for a Petty-Bourgeois Orientation [was: RE: The Le...

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Thu Mar 12 12:17:12 MDT 2009


The IDEA(L) of industrial proletarianism clearly needs to be discarded or  
reinvented. I posted something by Orwell a week or two ago that advocated just  
that as (part of) an attempt to stop scaring away the "middle-class" from  
socialism. I do not have a proletarian background but I certainly am not  
bourgeois, save for my habits. If we are to resurrect class politics, and I  think 
that we must, the line needs to be RE-drawn based on the same material  analysis 
Marx used - relations to the means of production. There is still an  
ultra-majority working class (the dynamic between the lower and middle is  rapidly 
changing) and however bourgeois it may look, every attempt needs to be  made to 
attract them to a broad class-based party such as the Greens. << 
 
Reply 
 
Ones class background and economic status is really irrelevant as a measure  
of ones contribution to the "cause." 
 
Lenin, Che, Fidel, Mao, Uncle Ho, Trotsky, Joe, Bukharin, Marx and Engels  
were not "great proletarians" with beefy arms and square chins. Communists as  
Marxists are enlightened men and women drawn to the science of society and  
possess a developed passion for revolution and society change. 
 
The era of industrial proletarianism (an extremely interesting way of  
combining these two terms) is long gone. One does not have to have a proletarian  
background and if such a rule and outlook prevailed and held forces throughout  
history there would be no Lenin or Marx and Engels would not be the first  
general of the proletarian revolution. The social revolution against bourgeois  
property is called the proletarian revolution because the proletariat has to  
emancipate all of society in order to emancipate itself. 
 
The lower section - most destitute, of the proletariat, is not more  
important than the middle section. Rather, one conceives strategy and make  
assessments of the social movement from the standpoint - lens, of the lowest  sector 
because this stratum exists more than less in antagonism with the system.  How 
the spontaneous demands of the lower section of the workers intersect with  
every layer of the working class is important because this intersection defines  
the boundary of the struggle and serves as a gage of what is possible at a 
given  moment. The movement of the lowest section of the proletariat invariably  
collides directly with the state. 
 
Take the trade union section of the labor movement for instance. These  
workers are very important, but their self spontaneous movement is mediated by  
social and political institutions or the union form. Not just a corrupt  
bureaucracy but the union as an organizational form. Due to their very  organization, 
the trade unions exercise a dominating influence within the labor  movement, 
because most of the labor movement has no organizational expression.  The open 
air rallies generated on the basis of the Obama campaign sent me for a  loop. 
80 - 100,000 people showing up at a rally! 
 
I was like  . . . .damn. I remember "yesterday" hoping for 200 - 300  people 
to show up at a rally. 
 
Class intersection as the art of American politics - in the big meaning of  
politics, might  . . . perhaps, need to become a permanent fixture of the  
Marxist outlook. For instance health care is on the agenda because of the  tightly 
intersecting of interest between every layer of classes in America.  Small 
business, big business, the middle class (petty bourgeoisie), and every  layer 
of the working class down into the unemployed and destitute is craving  some 
form of health care coverage. Then government is compelled to act, and  another 
complex inner and inter class conflict emerges. This conflict becomes  
expressed in Constitutional politics but is not limited to the constitutional  arena. 
 
I have never witnessed such an alignment of social forces in my life. This  
is a new things that is part of the unfolding crisis of capital and capital  
hitting the wall of its historical limitation. 
 
What is taking place in America is extremely exciting. Not only is this new  
social movement, as it is developing, off the scale but demands we retool and  
get a new scale of assessment. 
 
WL. 
 
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