History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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The working class and degrowth economics…

March 7th, 2018 · No Comments

The ground has shifted under feet of the older left with its (always directly cogent) emphasis on the working class. The situation is more complicated now because class entities have changed their character: the working class in the US has dwindled or become absorbed into the ‘middle class’ and it lacks the revolutionary character of an earlier period. Further, the demands of social transformation have begun to focus on issues beyond the economic in the ecological catastrophe that now raises questions of the viability of growth economics. The left has to do something more than try to promote growth to lift the working class. A whole new solution is needed, one that must analyze the case of all class formations.

The treadmill of futility in the hand-wringing over a working class party…

February 6th, 2018 ·
I am often struck by the treadmill of futility in the handwringing over creating a working class movement for socialism, and a working class government. It might be time to examine the assumptions behind this thinking and ask if the endless failures here aren’t in part the result of a wrong analysis.
The class struggle is very real but the attempt to make the working class dominant is probably doomed to failure and in the end it proposes a new form of inequality, a fatal blunder. We have suggested thinking in terms of the universal class as the superset of all classes and to make this the ‘destination’ of class equalization. To pit the working class against all others is probably doomed to futility and it is not true that the bolshevik phase was a government of the working class.

I see no radicals in the working class, nor in the labor movement anything more than a focus on wages: an idea for a socialist society is virtually extinct.
Further the working class has its own class interests and in an age of ecological crisis that working class has close to zero interest in the climate issue, for instance.
That said, I have no objection at all to the idea of a working class movement, but a larger movement, which we have called just to give it a name, like the Red Forty-eight Group should be a multitasking effort to analyze all classes, their interactions and their point of entry to a socialist universal class. It could certainly work with and adopt a partnership with such a movement, but its larger vision would be the creation of a communist endgame for the capitalist era. That is far more than fighting to make the working class some kind of dominant new class.
There are probably more radicals in the middle class than in the working class, and if Trump’s case is examined we have to wonder what happened to the american working class. It has been perverted by conservative mass brainwashing exploiting racism, among other sordid tactics. A genuine horror, and the working class is a curious mess at this point. The proletariat began as a movement of workers whose margins were starvation: that context has changed and most of the working class is mostly middle class.
The solution can be to think in terms of a movement of universal membership uniting many classes and movements, based on a shared set of socialist principles. Then peoples from all classes will join and work together in a common endeavor, whatever their class background…and this can certainly be compatible with a working class associate movement.

In any case our problem has escalated in complexity and we are moving past the era of working class industrialism, must consider new forms of postcapitalist no-growth economies, and devise new forms of democratic communism never properly analyzed by the successive internationals, nor their marxist progenitors.

R48G: does the working class have class interests in capitalism? stealth revolutionism of the ‘communist’ bourgeoisie
August 26th, 2017 ·

Our discussions of the universal versus the working class could backfire but in fact the distinction is more likely to buttress the thinking of many leftists on the question.

However, many are unaware of the difficulties with the working class emphasis: it proposed upside down inequality and many instinctively recoil from the idea. They should not: the working class in fact includes virtually everyone, if we consider the set to equate with ‘wage earners’. In fact the universal class concept is more a way force a rethinking of what the ‘working class revolution’ means.

We should note in passing that a revolutionary communism has the option of being a version of bourgeois revolution by proposing a revolutionary democracy as requiring communist axioms. This might be not unlike the revolution of the american rebs with its elite leadership save that in our version we require a foundation in the Commons as the outcome. Marx would turn in his grave here, but our point is, once again, a card out of the deck of ‘virtual revolution’, and a concept experiment that points to the reality that an alliance of bourgeoisie and working class leftists (there are few revolutionary working class leftist in the US, please note) is almost as good a depiction of the Russia revolution as any other. Lenin was no proletarian. Once we think this way we may soon return to the working class formulation! But this time with a better sense that the working class is really broader than its classic versions: it is really the universal class and this includes many other sectors.
In the end the working class focus can backfire because the working class very likely has class interests in the capitalist order of things.
So in the end we have a left based on a combination set from the universal class and this elite, mostly bourgeois, can foundalionalize postcapitalism as well as the working, or better. Agree or disagree we have made our point: look at Marx/Engels: it was a bourgeois vanguard that founded the revolution. In the Russian case, of course, the proletariat had a crucial yet subordinaate role, next to the peasants. The Bolshevik revolution, mon vieux, was a bourgeois elite with a strategy to speak in the name of the working class. In they end they couldn’t even allow trade unions.

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