the working class…the universal class…did marx miscalculate the deadbeat ‘working class’?…//How Class Should Be Central

A strategic focus on uniting the working class doesn’t mean marginalizing the struggle against racism and sexism.

Source: How Class Should Be Central

This is a useful attempt to sort out the idea of the working class…it doesn’t even mention Karl Marx.
As with most of Marx’s great ideas, in embryo, he turned the working class concept nexus into another theory and in the process confused/wrecked the whole idea, he ended up falsifying his own great insight: Marx makes the class struggle with the working class the basic dynamic of world history. Would that it were true. We would have achieved socialism by now if that were true. Due to our ‘eonic model’ we are always cautious about theories of history. No matter how smart you think you are you are likely to get it wrong. Let’s strip Marx’s great ideas out of their theory wrappers and use them as historical/empirical data sets…Still, you may wish to try and prove the theoretical generalization: it will force you to examine world history in detail. And you can redefine the claims here so that they seem to work: was early christianity a form of class struggle? If you make the case the stock of Marx’s claim rises…Or you might claim that class struggle arose with the creation of the state. But the state wasn’t created by capitalists. In the end class issues are simply implicit in a larger field of historical dynamism. That’s a useful idea, but once again ‘grand theory’ spoiled it.
Class struggle did not produce technology, science, religion, etc…
The question of civilization is one of, in some sense, ‘evolution’ as a category. But that is not the same as Marx’s claim that that ‘evolution’ is a succession of economic epochs, …feudalism, capitalism, communism…
Economic issues are too narrow to explain the ‘evolution’ of civilization. (The reader might check out our idea of ‘eonic evolution’). In many ways Marx was trying to energize the doldrums and passivity of the working class. The idea has had a great history but in many ways it has proven a failure. That’s because, as noted, the structure of society is so complex we can’t reduce it to one class and its aims. This perspective of Marx arose because in the great fight for democracy the whole game was lost because in the context of capitalism a new form of the ‘working class’ reified and suffered exploitation, undermining the democratic impulse. So the original game was democracy its freedom and equality. The whole idea suffered its ‘libertarian’ corruption as the new ‘working class’ got shafted as the capitalists demanded their libertarian liberty, etc, etc… The response of the socialists, picked up by Marx, is the classic challenge to capitalism, etc, etc…To champion the working class emerging in the industrial revolution was a great moment, the glory of ur-marxism, but look at its fate: in the Bolshevik calamity, the working class was swiftly subjected to the ‘bolshevik’ class of vanguard phony communist one-party cut throats, the dacha communists/capitalists of ‘state capitalism’. There was something wrong in the original analysis. The idea of creating a government run by the working class failed at once, why?

The idea of the working class had a great success in the labor movements of the twentieth century: unions were directly relevant to question of class struggle. But there again we have seen the passing away of that moment. It is obvious that capitalism was in part the culprit here, but the ‘working class’ was itself at fault, at least in part…
Let us make our simple point: the working class is really one subset in a larger universal class and the dynamics of a socialist transition must take into account this universal class by speaking to all the sectors of that universal class. (Note how ideas of identity politics lurk nearby here). There is no reason why the working class should not lead this transition as it is really a majority in the universal class (really?). But it must do so, and do so spontaneously, if it is the great dynamic of history, without kibbitzing by figures like Marx. Marx create an elite vanguard using theories too complex for most proletarians struggling to achieve basic education. Most marxists can’t even figure it out. Marxist theory has to be the most classist, where not obscurantist, ideology yet invented. It immediately created a one-party state of ideologues alone able to interpret the holy doctrine. And the working class must think (there we go again making it a person) in terms of the whole universal class…

In any case, the working class is an abstraction without a brain, it is not a person. A class has no real identity: it is a subset of the universal class, barely definable and overlapping with other subsets. Leftists expect the ‘working class’ to act miraculously to transform history but at each key moment they/’it’ failed to do so as a new class emerged to issue direct the ‘working class’ herd.
The issues of racism and sexism enter naturally here as simply different sectors of the universal class: there ‘working class’ politics must redefine itself as a new set of strategies for the twenty first century…The nineteenth century version is long gone, despite Marx’s many brilliant flashes mostly wrecked in ponderous sociological gibberish, Das Capital and all that, one of world literature’s most notable cases of writer’s block. Even that deft writer Engels couldn’t rescue the resulting mess…

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