History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Red Fortyeight Group: Toward a new Internationale of the Universal Class

February 5th, 2016 · 2 Comments

150 years since the First International was founded – The working class needs a revolutionary International

It is instructive to recall the short history given at the site (marxist.com). We have to consider if the formulation is right for us now (or if it was ever right). Asking for an Internationale of the working class, once again, is almost ridiculous at a time when figures like Trump are appealing to the working class more than marxists. Classes are abstractions and can’t act according to the principles marxists assign to them.

The Universal Class is clearly evident in the OWS, the followers of Sanders, members of the climate movement, etc…These figures are from all classes, but, by and large, the classic ‘working class’ is a cliche now, and has been in any case outsourced to multiple independent zones from the Congo, to the factories of China, Phillipines, etc…
The Universal Class has to be a nimble ‘passpartout’ class, probably middle class plus/minus, lumpenprolariat, the proletariats of wage labor on any level, etc…
The working class is almost defunct in the US and no international movement of such could start in the US.

The Universal Class must attempt to wake up the working class in the US, but that class, such as it is, has no current active formations beyond the labor unions, which must also be the object of action of the Universal Class, to be sure.
Invoking the working class, one discovers, is a lazy cop out that can pretend and do nothing because the person talking up the proletariat can keep talking and do nothing. Most marxists simply fantasize the working class. I am working class myself: do you think I can hold a conversation with one of these members of the marxist elect?

Why not acknowledge the reality (read the passage at the link): the Universal Class was always the case, and it was that class that was trying to manipulate the working class of its time. But the working class have never really been revolutionary. It was always the Universal Class. Marx/Engels, the marxists, were part of the Universal Class.It was the Universal Class that created marxism, and led the various Internationales. The working class was at too many points no more than a fiction. But taken globally it is no fiction, but a very grim reality. But help must spring from the global Universal Class that alone can move to liberate the larger society. Exceptions are possible and should be welcomed and nurtured by the Universal Class.
This class is therefore those who form the predominant likelihood of those concerned to act, from whatever class. I think history shows that a proletarian revolution will only work for an earlier stage of industry and will not energize if is fed a minimum ration, doped with Hollywood, and subjected to endless manipulations of spirit trying to cripple its members with the propaganda of race, fascism, and class animus.

The point here is that proletarian revolutionary motions were closely keyed to incipient starvation and the politics of panicked desperation. The ruling classes have learned the lesson to maintain minimal well-being short of anything remotely close to starvation.
There could be problems with this approach and it must formulate its perspective around principles rather than classes. After all, why should preference for the working class be trusted to do well by all the others, not just the bourgeoisie? Far better to move beyond classes to one universal class that can do all the work of the proletariat because it is a variant proletariat (wage earners are proletariat by definition, for example, so the redefinition is almost egregious, yet clarifies thinking).
This will create most likely a new vanguard. But this was always the case. At all stages the whole game was conducted by a vanguard, with or without links to the working class. The Universal Class is able to overcome this by acting according to the old-fashioned method of revolutions in principle. Democracy, socialism, communism (the latter pre-exists its definitions in terms of the working class).
This approach might actually work better because acting on principle is more effective than an elite acting in the name of the proletariat: the result is the ‘iron law of oligarchy’ creating a new class of the party elite. A vanguard must instead act according to principle with results that can be objectively assessed.
We live in this reality already. The point is to formulate the stance of communistic postcapitalism in the context of the already present Universal Class. And we can’t defer the task of defining what society is projected, socialism, communism, democracy. We cannot draw from the wishing well of ad hoc constructions of the type that led to Stalinism.

In any case, the groups centered around marxism are defunct now. Most of what is needed remains as a legacy there, but the whole system must be recast for the times, and it can start more easily by moving beyond class to the Universal Class.

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