[Marxism] Marx and the Working Class by Francis Wheen (was can capitalism survive)

sabocat59 at mac.com sabocat59 at mac.com
Tue Mar 24 04:21:13 MDT 2009


According to the legend tirelessly peddled by his critics, Marx was an incorrigible snob who despised working-class socialists, regarding them as dolts and asses who had acquired ideas above their station. The biographer Robert Payne, for example, refers to ‘Marx’s contempt for humanity and especially for that section of it which he called the proletariat’. Even a sophisticated Marxologist such as Professor Shlomo Avineri can write that ‘Marx’s sceptical view of the proletariat’s ability to conceive its own goals and realise them without outside intellectual help has often been documented. It suits his remark that revolutions never start with the “masses” but originate in élite groups.’ Where have these views and remarks been documented? You will search the works of Marx – and indeed the footnotes of Avineri – in vain. Avineri mentions the ‘snubbing’ of Wilhelm Weitling: however, Marx was in fact remarkably generous to Weitling, arguing that one shouldn’t be too beastly to a poor tailor who had genuinely suffered for his beliefs, and what caused their eventual rift was not lordly disdain for the underclass but terminal exasperation at the political and religious delusions of an insufferable egomaniac. Had Weitling been a middle-class intellectual, Marx would have treated him far more savagely.    

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

More information about the Marxism mailing list