[Marxism] The working class is growing poorer, statistics prove it

Marv Gandall marvgand at gmail.com
Mon Jul 26 12:58:04 MDT 2010


On 2010-07-26, at 10:26 AM, Carrol Cox wrote:

> So?
==================================
So it angers me when those I know and those I don't know are having trouble finding work and making ends meet in ever increasing numbers and are being made to bear the brunt of a crisis for which they're not responsible. Your response suggests an indifference about the condition of the working class which I don't think you intended.

However, even a cold-eyed and unsentimental Bolshevik like yourself would know there's also a relationship between social conditions and the possibilities for social change. 

Workers' incomes are a reflection of their power in the workplace and outside of it. Their pay, benefits, and job opportunities rise during economic expansions when labour is in short supply (China) and fall during contractions when jobs are lost and pay and benefits are under assault (the US et al). It may or may not be true that workers are more likely develop a greater attachment to the system when their conditions are improving than when they have "nothing to lose but their chains" or when the system is plunged into one of it's periodic crises. But it is certainly the case that they develop more self-confidence and assertiveness during expansions when there other jobs to go to, and are typically more willing and able to fight for reforms, to join left-wing organizations, and to follow the lead of revolutionaries in their unions and social movements. The inverse is also true, as you've also previously pointed out in contrasting working class insecurity and demoralization at the onset of the Depression to the rise in combativity in the latter half of the 30's when there was a modest resumption of growth.

So why the "so what" in relation to Louis' posting of the NY Times article alluded to in the subject line?





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