[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. <<
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.
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