Confusions of the working class/revolution model
May 29th, 2018 •
Our new distinction of the universal and working class might seem a thorough heresy: the marxist influence has made the invocation of the working class almost a dogma. Have we upset a classic thematic with a dangerous deviation from right thinking? Hardly: the idea of the universal class is a useful tool to analyze the questions of class and class struggle with a reminder that in the end a working class focus just might be more intelligible in the context of the idea of a ‘universal class’.
Once we create this distinction we should turn around and invoke a working class platform but with a finer sense of the dangers of an abstraction called the ‘working class’: there are any number of these and there are a lot of confusions here. Anyone who does wage labor is part of the working class, and this includes a whole range of people who don’t necessarily have jobs in factories. The universal class even includes the bourgeoisie who we can expect like Engels to work toward the resolution of capitalist tragedy to work for a new solution to the economic question. We must in the final analysis attempt to deal with democratic majorities, centers of gravity that overlap with but are not the same as the ‘working’ class. It would be good to do it several ways in a kind of multitasking. We deal with the bourgeoisie, the lumpenproletariat, the petit bourgeois shopkeeper, the agrarian, etc, along with the working class. We must deal with larger categories and have strategies for all of them.
Our formulation of democratic market socialism is an attempt to do this with a triadic fix on the complexities of multiple subsets of the universal class and in an era when the ‘working class’ confronts automation, next to a host of new challenges in a post-factory era, we must look to new and effective combinations of basic ideas.