February, 2006

Revolutionary epoch?


Mike wrote:

A question with which I am struggling is whether capitalist society is poised to enter what Marx called "an epoch of social revolution". There is no global or even widespread revolutionary upsurge of which I am aware whose existence would support such a position. But, throughout history, economic change has preceded social reorganization. Currently, scientific advance is giving rise to important economic change. In particular, computer-controlled production, electronics etc. have greatly reduced the labor-time required to produce virtually everything. Much high-tech production is literally labor-less.

Some assumptions and context:

In Capital Marx studied how commodities are produced and exchanged in capitalist society. He articulates the Law of Value which asserts that, generally, the amount of labor-time required to produce a commodity determines its exchange value and that commodity exchange transfers commodities of equal exchange value. He also showed that value-producing labor is the source of profit..

In a concise summation of historical materialism provided by Marx in 1859 he described the connection among political, economic and social change:

"At a certain stage of their development, the material productive forces of society come in conflict with the existing relations of production, or - what is but a legal expression of the same thing - with the property relations within which they have been at work hitherto. From forms of development of the productive forces these relations turn into their fetters. Then begins an epoch of social revolution."
(Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy).

Throughout history, the productivity of labor has climbed. Labor-less production takes it virtually to infinity. Does the resultant heightening of the productive forces compel qualitative change in productive relations?

I would appreciate constructive comments, reactions etc. MikeNOC@aol.com


Revolutionary epoch?

Hi Mike,

To take a shot at your timely question, I would say yes, we are in an "epoch of social revolution".

Looked at from the global perspective in context of the bourgeoisie in the European Union's rivalries with those of the Pacific Realm, and the United States, and conversely those in the Pacific Realm against those of the United States and the European Union, on the one hand, and the American capitalist class wanting to dominate the whole world, and subjugate the Pacific Realm and the European Union to it's domination by controlling the oil/energy sources which power the European and Pacific realm's economies.

You are right in posing this issue in terms of changes in the productive forces at the base of society engendering conflicts with existing relations of production.

"Social relations are closely bound up with productive forces. In acquiring new productive forces men change their mode of production; and in changing their mode of production, in changing the way of earning their living, they change all their social relations. The hand-mill gives you society with the feudal lord; the steam-mill society with the industrial capitalist."
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/poverty-philosophy/ch02.htm

The dominant productive forces determine the dominant mode of appropriation, and division of labor and the forms of the appropriation of labor, and its products. The feudal lord, whose wealth form was the lands of the manor, appropriated the peasants and serfs surplus produce in the forms of rent, taxation and/or tribute, and bourgeois merchants paid tolls as they travel their merchandise from one location to the next, as well as a taxable Third Estate.

The changes of this productive technology in the possession of the bourgeoisie created the basis for the abolition of feudal wealth and power; the force of the world markets created changes on the manor as well: the serfdoms were abolished, and the work forces were now wageworkers in agribusinesses the same as they were wageworkers in industry and service sectors.

In England, there were other contributing factors, such as the Bubonic Plague wiping out a third of the population, the scarcity of laboring masses compelled the landlords to offer wages, the trade with Flanders especially the supply of wool, Protestant Huguenots waivers emigration from Flanders to England, the Enclosure Acts, and so on:

http://www.theotherside.co.uk/tm-heritage/background/medieval-wool.htm


These changes wrought capitalism in England, prior to the industrial revolution.

"The prelude of the revolution that laid the foundation of the capitalist mode of production, was played in the last third of the 15th, and the first decade of the 16th century. A mass of free proletarians was hurled on the labour-market by the breaking-up of the bands of feudal retainers, who, as Sir James Steuart well says, "everywhere uselessly filled house and castle." Although the royal power, itself a product of bourgeois development, in its strife after absolute sovereignty forcibly hastened on the dissolution of these bands of retainers, it was by no means the sole cause of it. In insolent conflict with king and parliament, the great feudal lords created an incomparably larger proletariat by the forcible driving of the peasantry from the land, to which the latter had the same feudal right as the lord himself, and by the usurpation of the common lands. The rapid rise of the Flemish wool manufactures, and the corresponding rise in the price of wool in England, gave the direct impulse to these evictions. The old nobility had been devoured by the great feudal wars. The new nobility was the child of its time, for which money was the power of all powers. Transformation of arable land into sheep-walks was, therefore, its cry."
(Marx: Capital Vol. 1 http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch27.htm )


The introduction of new means of production and subsistence, when a new division of labor related industry is introduced resulting in new methods of exchange engendering either new property forms and corresponding relations of production, or older ones rising to dominance, as bourgeois property challenged; but, consequently, then displaced the feudal property forms within the womb of which these new productive forces and mode of appropriation has been advancing, both qualitatively and quantitatively, throughout the economy, revolutions result. By Revolutions, here I speak of political revolutions, which are but an adjustment to the new productive forces engendered labor productivity and its corresponding new relations of production becoming potentially dominate.

"Protected by the corporative and regulatory system, capital had accumulated, maritime trade had expanded, colonies had been founded-and man would have lost the very fruits of all this had he wished to preserve the forms under whose protection those fruits had ripened. And, indeed, two thunderclaps occurred,the revolutions of 1640 and of 1688. In England, all the earlier economic forms, the social relations corresponding to them, and the political system which was the official expression of the old civil society, were destroyed."
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1846/letters/46_12_28.htm


Writing on the actual event's of the English democratic revolution, wherein the House of Commons displaced the House of Lords and the Royalty in 1640 - Trotsky wrote:


"The lower house represented the nation in that it represented the bourgeoisie and thereby national wealth. In the reign of Charles I it was found, and not without amazement, that the House of Commons was three times richer than the House of Lords. The king now dissolved this parliament and now recalled it according to the pressure of financial need. Parliament created an army for its defense. The army gradually concentrated in its ranks all the most active, courageous and resolute elements. As a direct consequence of this, parliament capitulated to this army. We say: as a direct consequence of this. By this we mean that parliament capitulated not simply to armed force (it had not capitulated to the king's army) but to Cromwell's puritan, which expressed the requirements of the revolution more boldly, more resolutely and more consistently than did parliament.

"The adherents of the Episcopal or Anglican, semi-Catholic Church were the party of the court, the nobility and of course the higher clergy. The Presbyterians were the party of the bourgeoisie, the party of wealth and enlightenment. The Independents, and the Puritans especially, were the party of the petty bourgeoisie, the plebeians. Wrapped up in ecclesiastical controversies, in the form of a struggle over the religious structure of the church, there took place a social self-determination of classes and their re-grouping along new, bourgeois lines. Politically the Presbyterian party stood for a limited monarchy; the Independents, who then were called root and branch men or in the language of our day, radicals, stood for a republic. The halfway position of the Presbyterians fully, corresponded to the contradictory interests of the bourgeoisie -- between the nobility and the plebeians. The Independents' party which dared to carry its ideas and slogans through to their conclusion naturally displaced the Presbyterians among the awakening petty-bourgeois masses in the towns and the countryside that formed the main force of the revolution. Events unfolded empirically."
(Trotsky On Britain http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/works/britain/ch06.htm)


By revolutions, the new mode of production and/or appropriation arise in the bosom of the existing society. Advances of the new production forces and it's corresponding mode of appropriation engender challenges to these existing relations of production and the rising class coming to power puts an end to the existing mode of production.


These revolutions are as essentially conservative as revolutionary and radical:

"Man never renounces what he has gained, but this does not mean that he never renounces the form of society in which he has acquired certain productive forces. On the contrary. If he is not to be deprived of the results obtained or to forfeit the fruits of civilisation, man is compelled to change all his traditional social forms as soon as the mode of commerce ceases to correspond to the productive forces acquired. Here I use the word commerce in its widest sense-as we would say Verkehr in German. For instance, privilege, the institution of guilds and corporations, the regulatory system of the Middle Ages, were the only social relations that corresponded to the acquired productive forces and to the pre-existing social conditions from which those institutions had emerged. Protected by the corporative and regulatory system, capital had accumulated, maritime trade had expanded, colonies had been founded and man would have lost the very fruits of all this had he wished to preserve the forms under whose protection those fruits had ripened. And, indeed, two thunderclaps occurred,the revolutions of 1640 and of 1688. In England, all the earlier economic forms, the social relations corresponding to them, and the political system which was the official expression of the old civil society, were destroyed. Thus, the economic forms in which man produces, consumes and exchanges are transitory and historical. With the acquisition of new productive faculties man changes his mode of production and with the mode of production he changes all the economic relations which were but the necessary relations of that particular mode of production."
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1846/letters/46_12_28.htm

The productive forces in possession of the bourgeoisie, engaged in world-trade, engendered the usage of machines, hitherto unknown in Europe but has been in existence since the days of the Greco-Roman Alexandrian center of scholarship, but not used in production or for trade.

As, for instance there was any number of gadgets present in the ancient Alexandrian schools:

There is, rather remarkably, descriptions of over 100 machines such as a fire engine, a wind organ, a coin-operated machine, and a steam-powered engine called an aeolipile. Heron's aeolipile, which has much in common with a jet engine, is described in as follows:

The aeolipile was a hollow sphere mounted so that it could turn on a pair of hollow tubes that provided steam to the sphere from a cauldron. The steam escaped from the sphere from one or more bent tubes projecting from its equator, causing the sphere to revolve. The aeolipile is the first known device to transform steam into rotary motion.

Heron wrote a number of important treatises on mechanics.
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Heron.html

It was in context of the advances of global trade that such inventions, rediscovered at the same time as the Renaissance philosophers and scientists rediscovered Pre-Socratic materialism and the heliocentric astronomy of the Alexandrian materialist scientists, were applied to commodity production by wageworkers that they engendered the industrial revolution in England/Britain.

It isn't the machine as such in-itself, because many of the principles and the machines had been invented, and used thousands of years ago in Alexandria, Egypt which was the educational center of the ancient Afro-Asian-Mediterranean world, just as gun powder, the compass and the printing presses were known and used in China; similarly, at the centers of learning in the Islamic world, Baghdad, Cairo, and Timbuktu. What was different, was that in Western Europe, in context of the world-market, which didn't exist in the prior empires didn't exist for the economies of the Greco-Roman, Chinese and Islamic golden ages. In the Greco-Roman world centers steam engines were novelties, teaching aids, or/and toys. The Chinese used gunpowder for fireworks and firecrackers for festive holidays and celebrations, whereas in Britain which to conquer the world, in service of world-trade, the world-markets, used steam engines in production and gunpowder for canon and muskets.

It is the changes in the productive forces resulting in changes in labor productivity, increased labor productivity, spreading throughout the economy, such as the industrial revolution in England/Britain that engenders changes in the modes of appropriation of labor and its products.

"The capitalist mode of appropriation, the result of the capitalist mode of production, produces capitalist private property."
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch32.htm

On closer examination it is that changes in the productive forces at the base of the economy, results in changes in labor productivity, increased labor productivity that engenders changes in the modes of appropriation of labor and its products.

It is the mode of appropriation appropriate to the level of development of the productive forces that manifest in relations of production characterizes a social mode of production.

The Marxian concept of the Proletarian Revolution is predicated upon these factors - the progress of industrial commodity production, the transformation of the populations into capitalists and wageworkers as the dominate classes, and the course of class struggles between them, altered again by the progress of industry, labor productivity coming into collision with itself -


"This accelerated relative diminution of the variable constituent, that goes along with the accelerated increase of the total capital, and moves more rapidly than this increase, takes the inverse form, at the other pole, of an apparently absolute increase of the labouring population, an increase always moving more rapidly than that of the variable capital or the means of employment. But in fact, it is capitalistic accumulation itself that constantly produces, and produces in the direct ratio of its own energy and extent, a relativity redundant population of labourers, i.e., a population of greater extent than suffices for the average needs of the self-expansion of capital, and therefore a surplus-population."
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch07.htm


"We have seen that the ever increasing perfectibility of modern machinery is, by the anarchy of social production, turned into a compulsory law that forces the individual industrial capitalist always to improve his machinery, always to increase its productive force. The bare possibility of extending the field of production is transformed for him into a similar compulsory law. The enormous expansive force of modern industry, compared with which that of gases is mere child's play, appears to us now as a necessity for expansion, both qualitative and quantitative, that laughs at all resistance. Such resistance is offered by consumption, by sales, by the markets for the products of modern industry. But the capacity for extension, extensive and intensive, of the markets is primarily governed by quite different laws that work much less energetically. The extension of the markets cannot keep pace with the extension of production. The collision becomes inevitable, and as this cannot produce any real solution so long as it does not break in pieces the capitalist mode of production, the collisions become periodic. Capitalist production has begotten another "vicious circle".
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/ch24.htm


"As a matter of fact, since 1825, when the first general crisis broke out, the whole industrial and commercial world, production and exchange among all civilised peoples and their more or less barbaric hangers-on, are thrown out of joint about once every ten years. Commerce is at a standstill, the markets are glutted, products accumulate, as multitudinous as they are unsaleable, hard cash disappears, credit vanishes, factories are closed, the mass of the workers are in want of the means of subsistence, because they have produced too much of the means of subsistence; bankruptcy follows upon bankruptcy, execution upon execution. The stagnation lasts for years; productive forces and products are wasted and destroyed wholesale, until the accumulated mass of commodities finally filters off, more or less depreciated in value, until production and exchange gradually begin to move again. Little by little the pace quickens. It becomes a trot. The industrial trot breaks into a canter, the canter in turn grows into the headlong gallop of a perfect steeplechase of industry, commercial credit, and speculation, which finally, after break-neck leaps, ends where it began - in the ditch of a crisis. And so over and over again. We have now, since the year 1825, gone through this five times, and at the present moment (1877) we are going through it for the sixth time. And the character of these crises is so clearly defined that Fourier hit all of them off when he described the first as crise plethorique, a crisis from plethora.
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/ch24.htm



In order to prevent the capitalistic mode of appropriation from by its periodic collapses (recessions, inflation, depressions, wars) from forcing the working classes to give up what they have won, gains made, sooner or later, the proletariat will recognize that it is precisely the capitalist mode of appropriation of human labor power as a commodity reproducing itself (in social production) as proletariat (variable capital) and the bourgeoisie (constant capital) expanding by displacement of human labor by machines, robotics, that it is the mode of capitalist appropriation that is the ever present threat and danger.
The necessity for social revolution is therefore ever present.
John Imani and Nelson Perry, as far as I know, separately, but correspondingly, recognized that this post-modern 'information age' of advanced technology, computers and robots, are creating a 'new class' among the working classes and toiling masses, the members of which are structurally outside the production and service economies. Imani calls them an 'exo/proletariat', who, as e.g. 'urban minors', live by collecting cans and plastic bottles, pushing baskets and rummaging through garbage cans, appropriating and returning these in exchange for cash, by means of which to purchase means of subsistence.

This is a new division of labor, part and parcel of the recycling business. I think Imani is right, that this category, as exo/proletariat are still of the proletariat, whose labor time is socially necessary, useful; but, like the industrial and agricultural proletariats, are compelled by conditions to engage in surplus, unpaid labor. In order to turn a 'profit', the recycling centers underpay the can and plastic bottle miners, forcing them to put in more hours collecting these items in order to get enough money to purchase means of subsistence, or what have you.

This class cannot make the Revolution, however.


"Since steam, machinery, and the making of machines by machinery transformed the older manufacture into modern industry, the productive forces evolved under the guidance of the bourgeoisie developed with a rapidity and in a degree unheard of before. But just as the older manufacture, in its time, and handicraft, becoming more developed under its influence, had come into collision with the feudal trammels of the guilds, so now modern industry, in its more complete development, comes into collision with the bounds within which the capitalistic mode of production holds it confined. The new productive forces have already outgrown the capitalistic mode of using them.
(Engels: Anti-Durhing http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/ch24.htm)

"The spinning-wheel, the hand-loom, the blacksmith's hammer, were replaced by the spinning-machine, the power-loom, the steam-hammer; the individual workshop by the factory implying the co-operation of hundreds and thousands of workmen. In like manner, production itself changed from a series of individual into a series of social acts, and the products from individual to social products. The yarn, the cloth, the metal articles that now came out of the factory were the joint product of many workers, through whose hands they had successively to pass before they were ready. No one person could say of them: "I made that; this is my product."
...(Engels: Anti-Durhing http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/ch24.htm)

" The means of production, and production itself had become in essence socialised. But they were subjected to a form of appropriation which presupposes the private production of individuals, under which, therefore, everyone owns his own product and brings it to market. The mode of production is subjected to this form of appropriation, although it abolishes the conditions upon which the latter rests. This contradiction, which gives to the new mode of production its capitalistic character, contains the germ of the whole of the social antagonisms of today. The greater the mastery obtained by the new mode of production over all decisive fields of production and in all economically decisive countries, the more it reduced individual production to an insignificant residium, the more clearly was brought out the incompatibility of socialised production with capitalistic appropriation.
(Engels: Anti-Durhing http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1877/anti-duhring/ch24.htm)

Here, again it is worth restating the Marxian premise:

"Man never renounces what he has gained, but this does not mean that he never renounces the form of society in which he has acquired certain productive forces. On the contrary. If he is not to he deprived of the results obtained or to forfeit the fruits of civilisation, man is compelled to change all his traditional social forms as soon as the mode of commerce ceases to correspond to the productive forces acquired."
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1846/letters/46_12_28.htm

It's as simple as that; but, also just as complex.

The Subjective Issue is the Survival of Individuals; or rather, as we are social animals, Groups of Individuals organized into tribes, clans, families, derived from the need for food, clothing and shelter; the mother and her children are the real foundation. Love, and with it the sense of duty, is the foundation of the family, passed from generation to generation of hominids, human beings, from bands to clans for millions of years.

"The way in which men produce their means of subsistence depends first of all on the nature of the actual means of subsistence they find in existence and have to reproduce."(Marx/Engels) They were, economically speaking, systems of hunter-gatherers, herders, horticulturalists, pastorals; these evolved conditions of production, knowledge, relations of production, animal husbandry and agriculture.

"As individuals express their life, so they are. What they are, therefore, coincides with their production, both with what they produce and with how they produce."
(M/E: German Ideology http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/german-ideology/ch01a.htm#a1)

The earliest stone tools were invented by Homo habilis, Egaster, Erectus; Sapiens created pebble flakes, and the Achulean hand axes; usages included gatherers-scavengers cutting animal flesh for food. The hunters-gatherers economy resulted from the knowledge of making spears, bows and arrows.

With the changes in the modes of production, economic relationships changed. The earliest percussion flaked tools, were truly human as they were made by means of which to make other tools. Chimpanzee don't do this. The first social division of labor, between male and female members of the band, gave rise to the clan, consanguinity. It was a sexual division of labor in which the men made their hunting tools and left the camp (home base) to return to their families, their clan (women and children). Love arose, and with it, culture, values, a sense of 'duty' (obligation); but, the women were the basis, not just of the home and hearth, mothers and wives, but were in fact the primary food providers, gathering vegetables, roots, fruit and nuts that were the staples of the clan's diet.

"Relics of bygone instruments of labour possess the same importance for the investigation of extinct economic forms of society, as do fossil bones for the determination of extinct species of animals. It is not the articles made, but how they are made, and by what instruments, that enables us to distinguish different economic epochs.
(Marx: Capital Volume 1 http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch07.htm)

Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic tool making traditions, determined not just by the tools made, but the techniques by which they were made, and thus, by what instruments, is what characterizes an economic epoch.

"Needless to say, man is not free to choose his productive forces--upon which his whole history is based--for every productive force is an acquired force, the product of previous activity. Thus the productive forces are the result of man's practical energy, but that energy is in turn circumscribed by the conditions in which man is placed by the productive forces already acquired, by the form of society which exists before him, which he does not create, which is the product of the preceding generation."
( Marx Correspondence Vasilyevich Annenkov http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1846/letters/46_12_28.htm)


So, this materialistic conception of history presents not just possibilities, but the specificities of limits that are themselves characteristic in defining a given mode of production and appropriation's corresponding relations of production. Hunter-gatherers' division of labor and corresponding relations of production was direct distribution, predicated upon each contributing according to his and her ability, and receiving according to her and his need. Communism.

Whereas, in civil society, the division of labor in class relations of production, is that those classes that possess ('own') the productive forces (land, workshop, factories &c.) contribute nothing to the labor process, and appropriate the produce of the producing classes, directly, (the produce of their slaves), or indirectly, (rent, tribute and taxes), from serfs, peasants, capitalists even, and the lions share of it. At that - whereas the owning classes whose members don't burst a grape (work) live in the laps of luxury and splendor, having forced their laboring classes to do surplus labor resulting in surplus produce, which owners appropriate, thus leaving the slaves, serfs, share-croppers, proletariat to wallow in poverty. These oppressive relations of production can and will be overthrown when the modes of production breaks down, in the areas of distribution; the working classes and toiling masses are pushed by necessity to rebel. The contradiction between socialized production and capitalistic appropriation manifests itself as the antagonism of proletariat and bourgeoisie.

"It is not a question of what this or that proletarian, or even the whole proletariat, at the moment regards as its aim. It is a question of what the proletariat is, and what, in accordance with this being, it will historically be compelled to do. Its aim and historical action is visibly and irrevocably foreshadowed in its own life situation as well as in the whole organization of bourgeois society today. There is no need to explain here that a large part of the English and French proletariat is already conscious of its historic task and is constantly working to develop that consciousness into complete clarity."
(Marx: Holy Family http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1845/holy-family/ch04.htm#4.4)

The advancing of the productive forces, and by this, increasing labor productivity, in this sense I am in agreement with Mike, it reduces socially necessary labor time, and these reductions spread throughout the economy. What makes these changes change working class consciousness, is that the usage of such new technology in capitalist commodity production by wageworkers at once displace human labor by machines, and glut markets, resulting in recessions and depressions engendered in overproduction and cause capitalist's rate's of profits to decline over time.

These displaced workers either learn the skills required in this new technological situation, or in others, and find work here as such or elsewhere. Displacement of men with machines, whether the old smokestack industrial type machines or new computer-robotics makes no difference; it is still the capitalist mode of production and those displaced workers are still part of the same working class.

While I would agree with you that these displacements contribute to a revolutionary situation in the capitalist mode of production, it will still be the powerful workers in industry and agriculture that have the preconditions required to accomplish this revolution, jobs. It is the struggle to keep their jobs, union wages and benefits, that will engender critical thinking and revolutionary activity in the American working class, as:

"Man never renounces what he has gained, but this does not mean that he never renounces the form of society in which he has acquired certain productive forces. On the contrary. If he is not to he deprived of the results obtained or to forfeit the fruits of civilisation, man is compelled to change all his traditional social forms as soon as the mode of commerce ceases to correspond to the productive forces acquired."
http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1846/letters/46_12_28.htm


It becomes necessary that workers realize, by displacements, downsizing, outsourcing, overproduction, and so on that the new technology is incompatible with the capitalist mode of appropriation. And that, therefore, in order to retain the gains of modern industry and trade union activities, and not to forfeit the fruits of civilization, these workers come to realize the necessity to take the productive forces and abolish the capitalist mode of appropriation - commodity production and wage labor. By so doing, however, these workers will abolish the capitalist mode of production itself.

I therefore disagree with Alvin and Heidi Toffler's 'periodization': the '1st Wave' as the 'agricultural revolution'; the 2nd as the 'industrial revolution', and the present 3rd wave is the 'technological revolution'. This focus on kinds of technology, outside the framework of the modes of production and appropriation operate outside the framework of human history and class struggle, for the possession of those productive forces.
(See A Third Wave Primer. http://www.thirdwave-websites.com/ind_primer.htm)

Finally, I look to the European proletariat, where there is a history of class struggles engendered class-consciousness as such, and on this basis the European Union is a Continent of workers who are organized into not just powerful trade unions, but the politicization of those unions in socialist, labor and communist parties.

The European proletariat understands class in terms of relations of production, and Marxists are holding meetings and forums all over the place, each explaining why it, rather than its rival is the true Leninist Vanguard Party. The sectarianism in this keeps those workers isolated, instead of giving up the idea that one day they will recruit millions each, and overthrow the government, as did the Bolsheviks.

The revolutionaries - Marxists, Trotskyists, Anarchists - are not in the labor, socialist and communist parties, where they should be forming factions on the basis of the single program - becoming the majority in Parliament to write laws legislating the transfer of the productive forces from the private possessions of capitalists and landowners to the public property of workers associations, abolishing capitalist commodity production and wage labor.

As for America, the working classes do not understand class in terms of relations of production and mode of income (capitalist's profits, bank's interests, landlord's rent, proletarian wages). Instead, American workers have internalized by socialization, and 'education', the belief that classes are 'income brackets': Upper 'class', Middle 'class', Lower 'class'.

In addition, Americans are hung-up on race and gender politics, which, while should be dealt with, ought to be dealt with in context of class struggles forging class unity around the objective of wageworkers becoming members of Congress.

False consciousness can be challenged, indeed refuted by the class conscious workers (in the European sense) forging ahead with a Labor Party, struggling to win the battle of democracy by running serious campaigns for national office, the House of Representatives in fact, where they can be the majority.

By revolution, I mean the working classes in the industrial democracies engaging in trade unions and class parties pushing the idea of winning the battles of democracy, and to preserve the standards of living they have achieved under capitalism, as against loosing everything from decent wages and benefits to houses, &c. The revolution is itself the legislating of the productive forces expropriated from the possession of capitalists to public property of workers associations.

Lil Joe
joeradical@earthlink.net



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