December 24, 2011
Discussing working class struggle, reform and revolution
By Lil Joe
Hello Zeno, I have no comment on John and Mikes exchange or your comments concerning them. But, since you cc'd me in the issue of reforms v revolution I will respond to this alone. You inquired:
> Is the consensus that no reforms are possible and that even if they were possible, that they would not be desirable? This is a crucial question at the moment, even though the bourgeoisie has yet to present a package of meaningful reforms. Its not a question of if, but when - when will they figure out some deep restructuring of the capitalist system that is sold to the working as a "gain" of some type. When we are presented with this inevitability, we will have to choose, as our predecessors did in the New Deal, during de-segregation and then in War on Poverty, whether or not we bite the bait, or if its possible to eat the bait without chomping on the hook.
> How are we preparing presently to innoculate the working class against these bourgeois democratic temptations, or, conversely we might ask, what are we doing to take the initiative in formulating a program of transitional measures that we push for the government to meet and/or building ourselves through nascent "dual power" institutions? These are the logical next set of questions that must follow any discussion on crisis and the un/feasibility ruling class's plan to overcome it. What is OUR strategy for becoming a class FOR ourselves???
> If people could ground their working class -centric analysis and strategic hypotheses in the most real mass movement of at least a somewhat working class nature in the US today - Occupy, that would very helpful to us all. Is the consensus that no reforms are possible and that even if they were possible, that they would not be desirable? This is a crucial question at the moment, even though the bourgeoisie has yet to present a package of meaningful reforms. Its not a question of if, but when - when will they figure out some deep restructuring of the capitalist system that is sold to the working as a "gain" of some type. ... Zeno
Lil Joe Reply: The theoretical issues you raise regarding the practical struggles of the working class and of revolution are critical questions.
The various answers to the issues of strategy and tactics for workers, depends upon what one understands to be 'the capitalist system' and what is its present condition, as these are the basis from which the proletarian praxis will compel the political movement, of workers as working class by the dynamic of class struggle toward proletarian revolution.
Every class struggle is a political struggle, a struggle to maintain or ascertain political -i.e. State - power by means of which to govern in its class' interests. In this connection, and in direct response to your challenging question of how do the American workers become a class for itself; an independent, self conscious movement of the working class in a struggle for political power.
I wrote 'workers as working class' in this connection because of the deliberate lack of class-consciousness on the part of wage workers in America is internalised bourgeois patriotic consciousness, owing to socialisation and mis-education in the American bourgeois ideologically saturated culture.
Workers in the US do not regard themselves as a working class, with class interests that are directly opposed to and irreconcilable with capitalist class interests.
Rather, American workers' social consciousness is saturated with the bourgeois nationalist conceptions of 'American exceptionalism'. In this sense workers believe America is 'the most prosperous country in history', with 'good jobs' paying 'good wages'. They are told, and believe that America has no economic classes, but 'income brackets', with corresponding 'social status'.
On this sociology, workers are told to regard themselves as a 'middle class', based not on their mode of income and objective relations of production, but subjective consumer access. Thus, American workers are diverted from the discussion of empirical class relations of production and conflicts of interests of workers and capitalists - not what they produce and how they are exploited in the labor process, but how much money they 'make' and consequently what they buy and consume.
This ideology is reinforced by movies and television, and the labor union concept of business unionism, pragmatism and tying the working class to the Democratic Party as the 'party of the middle class' and 'friend of labor'. In the framework of this ideological American exceptionalism is the illusory "American Dream" - that if individuals - no matter how 'poor' - will work hard, play by the rules, i.e. be obedient to their bosses and the laws of the State, that as individuals they can 'make it', 'achieve the American dream' of 'rags to riches', or in any case enter the 'middle income bracket', buy a 'nice house and car', live in the suburbs and eat good food, send their children to 'good schools' and college.
What the current global and national crisis in capitalist production and appropriation - that is, commodity production on the basis of wage labor - is doing, is exposing belief in American exceptionalism and the illusions of the American dream as false consciousness. "The banks get bailed out, the 'middle class' gets sold out."
The Democratic Party's - together with its print and electronic ideologists and propagandists - role is to preserve capitalism by 'restoring the American dream' and 'rewards' for hard work and playing by the rules, posturing Obama and MSNBC as 'fighting for the middle class', ostensibly contrasting 'Wall Street' and 'the richest Americans' to 'Main Street' and 'the middle class'. In Wisconsin, the State's attack on unionised workers resulted in hundreds of thousands of workers in revolt, for instance. But, the Democratic Party and MSNBC were able to channel these angry protests into the electoral politics of recall - i.e. displacing 'Republican legislators' by Democrats -the illusion that the Democrats were representing unions and the unions the bedrock of 'the middle class'.
The issue of reform or revolution is therefore an issue of party and class struggle consciousness. Before the working class can become a class for itself its members must realise themselves to be the working class - the American working class part and parcel of the international working class movements, the examples of Greece and Egyptian working class battles as class warfare needed right here as well!
The Occupy Movement's slogan, 'we are the ninety-nine percent' is in this direction, provided it evolves from protests to class conscious working class politics. This means socialists and communists must not only join and become one with this movement, but in it fight the Democrats, whose objective is to channel this movement into the Democratic Party's electoral campaign - so-called 'protest to policy' -'occupy the ballot polls' to reelect Obama and return Congress to Democrat majorities.
See Ananysis of David Moros, a participant observer in Occupy L.A. @
The working class must become a political party. Then comes the issues of strategy and tactics regarding reform and anti-reform in connection with whether or not this Party advances proletarian revolution - the proletariat as an economic category, and dictatorship of the proletariat is not just a political, but an economic category, as well as political power.
The issue of economic reforms that are of benefit to the working class, yet still within the framework of capitalist commodity production on the basis of wage labor, that is the present capitalist mode of production and appropriation, and whether or not we ought to regard such reforms as antithetical to working class social revolution has to be answered, posited, I think, in the frame of particular reforms and general working class interests.
Whether or not the issue of reform or Revolution is antithetical or complimentary to working class interests depends upon what is the class basis of the political party carrying out those reforms, that is the general interests of the class party fighting either to hold on to its ruling class' power or a rising class that is challenging that power.
The Great Depression was the crisis of simultaneous declines in rates of profits, which had resulted from the displacement of human labour by machines - that is, the increase of constant capital that had enabled capitalist's increases in surplus value extracted from variable capital - on the one hand, but at the same time thereby increasing levels of unemployment resulting in a surplus population of structurally unemployed workers who lacked money required by commodity production to purchase means of subsistence on the other.
The result was relative overproduction both in Departments I - the production of means of production on the one hand - and in Department II - the production of means of subsistence on the other, thus the production of surplus quantities of capital in both cases. In other words, as capitalist's profits can be realised only when the valorisation of commodities produced by the exploitation of the working class could be sold. Thus, it was in the capitalist's general interest, or class interests, that the Democrats, by the Roosevelt administration and the Congress, push through "New Deal" legisltion.
The reforms of the 30's and 40's were a necessary response, by the Democratic Party, as representative of capitalist's general or class interests, to the universal collapse of capitalist commodity production by wage labor economic relations.
The New Deal also benefitted the capitalist class insomuch as it appeased the rising anger of a desperate working class, by appropriating union leaders into the Democratic Party, thus rechannelling the otherwise more radical natural proclivity of workers in the United States.
In this country, to form their own class party in a fight to expropriate the productive forces by working class parties taking State power and solving the crisis of capitalist declining rates of profits, surplus capital and surplus population by the labor party, as the government, legislating the transfer of the productive forces from the private possessions of the capitalist class to become the public property of the working class.
The New Deal reforms, including the Federal Reserve system and both market and banking regulations was also of direct benefit of the particular capitalists, because this stability of money enabled certainty, as well as unemployed workers to have the wherewithal - money - to purchase means of subsistence as commodities.
New Deal 'reforms' by providing stable currency and government backing of banks, reviving of the farm belt that had become a Dust Bowl, creating public works programs and by providing Social Security and Aid to Families with Dependent Children, - welfare payments to vast numbers of the unemployed surplus population - it, by enabling those working on public works jobs to get paid and the unemployed to have money needed to purchase the otherwise unsaleable commodities, resulted in the revitalisation of the collapsed system of capitalist commodity production on the basis of wage labor.
The continuity of the capitalist labor process, is based on the continual valorisation to be realised as profits by selling of the valorised products and surplus products. Thus, these reforms returned the ability of capitalist's commodity production to be sold and thus turn profits, resulting once again in relative stability to the successful exploitation of the wage workers employed in the so-called private sector. This is the economic content of class struggles, political warfare is class warfare.
Marx Economic Manuscripts of 1861-63 1) Transformation of Money into Capital.
Exchange with Labour. Labour Process. Valorisation Process
Marx Economic Manuscripts of 1861-63 The Valorisation Process:
Unity of the Labour Process and the Valorisation Process. (The Capitalist Production Process)
Marx: Capital Vol. I. Chapter Eight: Constant Capital and Variable Capital
Chapter Ten Section 1: The Limits of the Working-Day
Chapter Eleven: Rate and Mass of Surplus Value
Marx-Engels: Capital Volume II Chapter 20: Simple Reproduction
Marx-Engels: Capital Vol. III The Law of the Tendency of the Rate of Profit to Fall
Chapter 15. Exposition of the Internal Contradictions of the Law
Engels: Anti-Duhring Part III: Socialism II. Theoretical
The issue of reform v revolution is therefore to be regarded as an issue of class struggle, the antinomy of right against right in an economic and political war of class against class. As Marx rightly said:
"There is here, therefore, an antinomy, right against right, both equally bearing the seal of the law of exchanges. Between equal rights force decides. Hence is it that in the history of capitalist production, the determination of what is a working-day, presents itself as the result of a struggle, a struggle between collective capital, i.e., the class of capitalists, and collective labour, i.e., the working-class." Capital Vol I The Working Day" [op. cit.]
When one answers the question of reform or revolution, for us as working class partisans it depends on what class party holds power, the Party platform and programs of the Democratic and Republican parties respectively represent interests of capitalists, particular facts and ultimately of the capitalist class as a whole, whereas Labour, Socialist and Communist Parties represent the particular and general interests of the working classes.
Capitalist parties use reforms to stabilise the existence of the capitalist modes of production and appropriation, to repair damages caused by internal contradictions in it and conflicts between factions of capitalists, on the one hand, and always the interests of capitalists against the working class on the other.
The Readers are asked to review these links to Socialists and Communists concerning reform and revolution. The point for posting them is the recognition that these debates and polemics occurred within these labor parties, and were not discussed with regard to what capitalist parties do or don't do on issues of reform. Capitalist party's use reforms to stabilise capitalist commodity production on the basis of wage labor, to maintain this system of exploitation, whereas working class labor parties approach it in connection with disrupting the capitalist's strategies and bringing the working class to power.
Daniel DeLeon: *Reform or Revolution* @
Eduard Bernstein: *Evolutionary Socialism* @
Rosa Luxemburg: *Reform or Revolution* @
*“The Mission of Socialism is Wide as the World*”: Speech at Chicago, Illinois — July 4, 1901 by Eugene V. Debs @
*Rudolf Hilferding: Parliamentarianism and the General Strike November 1905*
Constance Markievicz:* On Women’s Franchise*
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin:* The Tasks of the Proletariat in the Present Revolution* [The April Theses]
Vladimir Lenin: Left-Wing Communism: an Infantile Disorder. No Compromises
Leon Trotsky: *The Class Struggle in the Light of the Economic Cycle*
Leon Trotsky: The Mobilization of the Masses around Transitional Demands to Prepare the Conquest of Power.
The Transitional Program
The perspective concerning reforms, regarding issues of economic reforms that are of benefit to the working class, when wage labor is yet still within the framework of capitalist commodity production on the basis of wage labor, that is the present capitalist mode of production and appropriation, and whether or not we ought to regard such reforms as antithetical to working class social revolution has to be answered, posited, I think, in the frame of particular reforms and general working class interests. The only representation of the general interests of the working class is a working class labor party that is struggling to win political power, State power.
The Democratic Party's claim that it is representing the interests of 'the middle class and the poor', is pure political populist demagoguery of lies, deception. Reforms carried out by capitalist class parties, whether 'progressive' or reactionary, are always motivated by capitalist class interests in stabilising their ownership of the means of production and distribution, maintaining the power-dependence relationship of workers upon the good will of capitalist 'progressives' or 'defending' workers against reaction, e.g. fascism.
The Democratic Party is first and foremost representative of capitalist interests and thus, labor officials in the Democratic Party and working for the election of its candidates, are not representatives of the working class in the Democratic Party, but are representatives of the Democratic Party within the working class.
The Democrats, once in office, make it clear what class interests they represent, and none more clearly than by the Presidential election of Obama and Democratic majorities in Congress.
Class conscious workers are fighting capitalism by their struggles to build a working class labor party, with its own agenda and not lackeys of 'progressive' Democrats' 'reformism'. This is because the Democratic party is not a labor party. Notwithstanding its progressive rhetoric and populist demagoguery, whatever its policies on reforms, either carried through, or reneged on, the Democratic Party is always in the final analysis governing and legislating in the economic and political interests of the capitalist classes.
Concerning the issue of the transitional program to be taken up by the working class, this is not to be regarded as an issue of reformist v revolutionary objective in general, but specifically as it is taken up, and debated in the working class regarding its program. This presupposes we are talking about a program evolving in the working class party, not whether or not 'revolutionary' workers should or shouldn't support 'progressive' Democrats.
That the emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves, that the struggle for the emancipation of the working classes means not a struggle for class privileges and monopolies, but for equal rights and duties, and the abolition of all class rule;
That the economical subjection of the man of labor to the monopolizer of the means of labor — that is, the source of life — lies at the bottom of servitude in all its forms, of all social misery, mental degradation, and political dependence;
That the economical emancipation of the working classes is therefore the great end to which every political movement ought to be subordinate as a means;
That all efforts aiming at the great end hitherto failed from the want of solidarity between the manifold divisions of labor in each country, and from the absence of a fraternal bond of union between the working classes of different countries;
That the emancipation of labor is neither a local nor a national, but a social problem, embracing all countries in which modern society exists, and depending for its solution on the concurrence, practical and theoretical, of the most advanced countries... http://www.marxists.org/history/international/iwma/documents/1864/rules.htm
Trotsky wrote in response to the economic crisis characterised as the Great Depression, of the Transitional Program of the Fourth International in response to the failures of Classical Social Democracy and the Communist International:
Classical Social Democracy, functioning in an epoch of progressive capitalism, divided its program into two parts independent of each other: the minimum program which limited itself to reforms within the framework of bourgeois society, and the maximum program which promised substitution of socialism for capitalism in the indefinite future. Between the minimum and the maximum program no bridge existed. And indeed Social Democracy has no need of such a bridge, since the word socialism is used only for holiday speechifying. The Comintern has set out to follow the path of Social Democracy in an epoch of decaying capitalism: when, in general, there can be no discussion of systematic social reforms and the raising of the masses’ living standards; when every serious demand of the proletariat and even every serious demand of the petty bourgeoisie inevitably reaches beyond the limits of capitalist property relations and of the bourgeois state.
The strategic task of the Fourth International lies not in reforming capitalism but in its overthrow. Its political aim is the conquest of power by the proletariat for the purpose of expropriating the bourgeoisie. However, the achievement of this strategic task is unthinkable without the most considered attention to all, even small and partial, questions of tactics. All sections of the proletariat, all its layers, occupations and groups should be drawn into the revolutionary movement. The present epoch is distinguished not for the fact that it frees the revolutionary party from day-to-day work but because it permits this work to be carried on indissolubly with the actual tasks of the revolution.
The Fourth International does not discard the program of the old “minimal” demands to the degree to which these have preserved at least part of their vital forcefulness. Indefatigably, it defends the democratic rights and social conquests of the workers. But it carries on this day-to-day work within the framework of the correct actual, that is, revolutionary perspective. Insofar as the old, partial, “minimal” demands of the masses clash with the destructive and degrading tendencies of decadent capitalism – and this occurs at each step – the Fourth International advances a system of transitional demands, the essence of which is contained in the fact that ever more openly and decisively they will be directed against the very bases of the bourgeois regime. The old “minimal program” is superseded by the transitional program, the task of which lies in systematic mobilization of the masses for the proletarian revolution. http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1938/tp/tp-text.htm#op
The capitalist mode of appropriation's relations of production determine the economical basis for the self-organisation and political mobilisation of the American working class as a class in -itself becoming a [revolutionary] class for itself. But, to become a class for- itself it therefore needs a national political formation advancing workers particular interests as workers class interests, organising itself into a Labor Party that is financially based on the labor unions and socially in the working class as a whole.
Trades Unions work well as centers of resistance against the encroachments of capital. They fail partially from an injudicious use of their power. They fail generally from limiting themselves to a guerilla war against the effects of the existing system, instead of simultaneously trying to change it, instead of using their organized forces as a lever for the final emancipation of the working class that is to say the ultimate abolition of the wages system. (Marx: Value, Price and Profits http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1865/value-price-profit/ch03.htm#c14)
Therefore, the sections of the Fourth International should always strive not only to renew the top leadership of the trade unions, boldly and resolutely in critical moments advancing new militant leaders in place of routine functionaries and careerists, but also to create in all possible instances independent militant organizations corresponding more closely to the tasks of mass struggle against bourgeois society; and, if necessary, not flinching even in the face of a direct break with the conservative apparatus of the trade unions. If it be criminal to turn one’s back on mass organizations for the sake of fostering sectarian factions, it is no less so passively to tolerate subordination of the revolutionary mass movement to the control of openly reactionary or disguised conservative (”progressive”) bureaucratic cliques. Trade unions are not ends in themselves; they are but means along the road to proletarian revolution. (Trotsky: The Death Agony of Capitalism and the Task of the Fourth International. The Transitional Program op.cit. http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1938/tp/tp-text.htm#tu)
The discussion of reform verse revolution as it exists today is not the same as it existed in the European working class movements above, as in those cases the discussions took place between 'reformists' and 'revolutionaries' within the working class political formations, class parties with socialist objectives. This context cannot be imported into the U.S.
Here the working class movements not only do not yet have a class party, but the unions are, by its officials, locked into the Democratic Party.
The Democratic Party is the political representative of capitalist class interests, and in it the connection of the Party bureaucracy and elected members of government representing capitalist interests the issues of reform are always determined by those class interests. In this Party, the union presence is a power-dependence relationship, just as in the economy the connection of capital and wage workers is a dominate-subordinate relationship.
In the Democratic Party the interests of unions are subordinate to the dominant interests of capitalists. When 'progressive' Democrats advocate e.g. 'health care reform', extensions of unemployment compensation, the preservation of Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security, and so on, it is in the sense that these policies, the same as those of the New Deal and Great Society, of which these are continuations, are presented in language that represent the interests of the capitalist class, which maintain its economic dominance and political power, thus the continued dependency of the working class and its being under capitalist economic domination, as a class.
The destruction of the capitalist dominated State cannot be accomplished by 'progressive Democrats', but by the working class organised as a class for itself at the federal level that's organised into a political party to take State power.
The working class in the United States, as in every advanced industrial democracy in Europe, must become self-organised as a political power. The objective of political power is to take state power by displacing the political parties of the capitalist classes.
This is accomplished but by the working class organizing itself into a Labor Party that is financed by labor unions and socially based in the working class with the objective of winning the battle of Democracy.
Winning the battle of democracy is electing workers parties into the majority in the House of Representatives, bring the rank and file of the armed forces to back the legislation of a worker dominated House of Representatives to transfer the productive forces from the private possessions of the appropriating classes to the public property of the producing classes, the working classes.
The process, indeed the precondition, for this political formation to progress is that within the trade unions the workers recognise themselves as a working class as a class, expel myths of American exceptionalism, the American dream, the delusions of being a 'middle class, and recognise this in process to displace labor officials who are presently in the Democratic Party from the labor unions as part and parcel of the process, the praxis of forming the Labor Party.
Fighting for the political independence of the working class by formation of a labor class party is the precondition and means by which we can take "the initiative in formulating a program of transitional measures that we push for [a workers] government to meet and/or building ourselves through nascent 'dual power' institutions". The working class' labor party is the political organisation of the workers as a class, the basis for dual power, in that the battle of the Labor Party and the Democratic and Republican parties, which are capitalist class parties, is the clash of class against class in the struggle for power. Any reforms the revolutionaries advance is in the context of building the Labor Party and exposing the class basis of the Democrats and Republicans.
On 12/21/11, x yz
> There appears to be agreement on the point of this debate/discussion:
> capitalism cannot currently find a way out of its own crisis, and the
> working class has to take advantage of this fact to smash the whole system.
> What John is appears interested in is pointing out to the rest of us the
> strategies that capital has used in the past - successfully, where the
> growth and concentration of capital is the rubric - to resucitate itself,
> achieve equilibrium on a higher level of accumulation. Since we know that
> JAI is a revolutionary, we know that his interest is driven by
> the strategic implications for the working class that knowledge of ruling
> class strategy holds for us. His interest is not due to a) academic
> curiosity, b) reformist keynseian theoretical incursion into revolutionary
> milieu, or c) a pursuasive project intended to recruit our loyalty to the
> bourgeoisie. Again, he is driven by an intense proletarian spirit to arm
> the rest of us with familiarity with the enemie's ways.
> Likewise, Michael appears interested in maintaining our vigilance on the
> utter rottenness of this capitalist system and dismiss all illusions as to
> its functionality for meeting the vast majority of human need.
> Is the consensus that no reforms are possible and that even if they were
> possible, that they would not be desirable? This is a crucial question at
> the moment, even though the bourgeoisie has yet to present a package of
> meaningful reforms. Its not a question of if, but when - when will they
> figure out some deep restructuring of the capitalist system that is sold to
> the working as a "gain" of some type. When we are presented with this
> innevitability, we will have to choose, as our predecessors did in the New
> Deal, during de-segregation and then in War on Poverty, whether or not we
> bite the bait, or if its possible to eat the bait without chomping on the
> How are we preparing presently to innoculate the working class against
> these bourgeois democratic temptations, or, conversely we might ask, what
> are we doing to take the initiative in formulating a program of
> transitional measures that we push for the government to meet and/or
> building ourselves through nacent "dual power" institutions? These are the
> logical next set of questions that must follow any discussion on crisis and
> the un/feasibility ruling class's plan to overcome it. What is OUR strategy
> for becoming a class FOR ourselves???
> If people could ground their working class -centric analysis and strategic
> hypotheses in the most real mass movement of at least a somewhat working
> class nature in the US today - Occupy, that would very helpful to us all.
The proletariat goes through various stages of development. With its birth begins its struggle with the bourgeoisie. At first the contest is carried on by individual labourers, then by the workpeople of a factory, then by the operative of one trade, in one locality, against the individual bourgeois who directly exploits them. They direct their attacks not against the bourgeois conditions of production, but against the instruments of production themselves; they destroy imported wares that compete with their labour, they smash to pieces machinery, they set factories ablaze, they seek to restore by force the vanished status of the workman of the Middle Ages.
At this stage, the labourers still form an incoherent mass scattered over the whole country, and broken up by their mutual competition. If anywhere they unite to form more compact bodies, this is not yet the consequence of their own active union, but of the union of the bourgeoisie, which class, in order to attain its own political ends, is compelled to set the whole proletariat in motion, and is moreover yet, for a time, able to do so. At this stage, therefore, the proletarians do not fight their enemies, but the enemies of their enemies, the remnants of absolute monarchy, the landowners, the non-industrial bourgeois, the petty bourgeois. Thus, the whole historical movement is concentrated in the hands of the bourgeoisie; every victory so obtained is a victory for the bourgeoisie.
But with the development of industry, the proletariat not only increases in number; it becomes concentrated in greater masses, its strength grows, and it feels that strength more. The various interests and conditions of life within the ranks of the proletariat are more and more equalised, in proportion as machinery obliterates all distinctions of labour, and nearly everywhere reduces wages to the same low level. The growing competition among the bourgeois, and the resulting commercial crises, make the wages of the workers ever more fluctuating. The increasing improvement of machinery, ever more rapidly developing, makes their livelihood more and more precarious; the collisions between individual workmen and individual bourgeois take more and more the character of collisions between two classes. Thereupon, the workers begin to form combinations (Trades’ Unions) against the bourgeois; they club together in order to keep up the rate of wages; they found permanent associations in order to make provision beforehand for these occasional revolts. Here and there, the contest breaks out into riots.
Now and then the workers are victorious, but only for a time. The real fruit of their battles lies, not in the immediate result, but in the ever expanding union of the workers. This union is helped on by the improved means of communication that are created by modern industry, and that place the workers of different localities in contact with one another. It was just this contact that was needed to centralise the numerous local struggles, all of the same character, into one national struggle between classes. But every class struggle is a political struggle. And that union, to attain which the burghers of the Middle Ages, with their miserable highways, required centuries, the modern proletarian, thanks to railways, achieve in a few years.
This organisation of the proletarians into a class, and, consequently into a political party, is continually being upset again by the competition between the workers themselves. But it ever rises up again, stronger, firmer, mightier. It compels legislative recognition of particular interests of the workers, by taking advantage of the divisions among the bourgeoisie itself. Thus, the ten-hours’ bill in England was carried.
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