History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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The muddle over the proletariat…a gedanken experiment: dropping the endless gibberish on the working class…

February 10th, 2018 · No Comments

Marxists wring their hands ad infinitum over the working class, but in the US no party of the type enjoined by Engels has ever appeared. Nor is it likely
It should be time for a different approach: how about a majority class of or in the ‘universal class’, one that can deal with all sorts of classes.
Why did anyone thinking the working class was going to be the spearhead of revolutionary transformation? And our marxist elite is so confused as to be almost useless.
We should focus on those who can agree on a social transformation that acts on all classes and aims at some form of communism as a postcapitalist context.
This approach needs a practical synthesis of democracy, markets (in a Commons, after the expropriation of capital in the large)and communism.
This is not mutally exclusive with forming working class parties. But the overall structure must do something better than try to make the working class
kings of the universe. In the final analysis the issue is not the working class but a community of people with different backgrounds arriving at a consensus of social transformation. That’s the way all movements have all functioned in the end. The OWS in a way had a neat trick: the 1% and the 99%, a solution to the confusion so simple it is hard to wonder how noone thought of it before.
Engels (below) lived at a different moment. We are not in the phase of industrialization but in a postindustrial ecological ‘late capitalism’ that requires a larger initiative around a core of economic population/economic rights, a reformed democracy completely protected from capital and some form of functioning economy that assumes a basic axiom of fairness in the creation of a Commons.

He is dead wrong on the issue of a mass working class political party in
the US. It’s interesting that he quotes Engels. He should have remembered
this comment from Engels: “The first great step of importance for every
country newly entering into the movement is always the organisation of the
workers as an independent political party, no matter how, so long as it is
a distinct workers’ party. And this step has been taken, far more rapidly
than we had a right to hope, and that is the main thing. That the first
programme of this party is still confused and highly deficient, that it has
set up the banner of Henry George, these are inevitable evils but also only
transitory ones. The masses must have time and opportunity to develop and
they can only have the opportunity when they have their own movement–no
matter in what form so long as it is only *their own* movement–in which
they are driven further by their own mistakes and learn wisdom by hurting
themselves.” (Engels to Sorge, Nov. 29, 1886)


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