File spoon-archives/marxism2.archive/marxism2_1996/96-04-30.191, message 189

Date: Tue, 30 Apr 1996 05:32:51 +0200
Subject: Re: the working class

Jerry wrote:
> Jorn Andersen wrote:
> > One of the political implications of this is very important:
> > That the emancipation of the working class is the task of
> > workers themselves. Not as an oppressed minority trying to
> > get the oppressed majority to accept working class
> > leadership - but as the oppressed and exploited majority
> > drawing the rest of oppressed layers with them.
> > (Of course this is on a world scale - but so is the arena
> > we are fighting on :-)
> The political implications, suggested above, don't flow directly from the
> size of the working class. To demonstrate that, consider the law of uneven
> (and combined) development. If you accept that law, then does the
> beginning of the second sentence hold for most "developing" capitalist
> nations where the working class is still a numerical minority?

OK Jerry - maybe I was a little too fast there. You are
right: It doesn't flow *directly* from size - and I accept
the law of uneven and combined development.

Two points however:
1. The larger size means that today there is a much larger
number of countries where the workers are in a majority than,
say, at Lenin's time (I guess they were in only a *very* few
countries, maybe only England??). Today workers are in a
majority (or very near) in most of Europe, the Americas, large
parts of Asia, Australia, part of Africa. (Please correct me
if I'm wrong on the specifics - I don't have the statistics
with me.)
This means that - unlike the Bolsheviks - we will not here have
to deal with this "vast pool of peasants" as a primary concern.

2. And even where they are not, their "social weight" is almost
everywhere as big or bigger than that of the Russian workers in
1917. And as the working class *on a world scale* is much larger
even in these countries the slogan of "all power to the workers'
soviets" would be the rallying cry most likely to have success
- much more than any sort of "Peoples War" etc.

What it all comes down to is that our *objective* conditions
are much more favorable today than in '17. The problem is
the subjective ones.

Jorn Andersen


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