what about the lumpenproletariat?…Trump’s base and Marx’s class bias//Can the (non)Working Class Change the World?

If it can, it should do so, but the evidence is not there that the working class is revolutionary, which is not the same as ‘changing the world’ unless that is what is meant. We have courted the great marxist heresy with a ‘dialectical’ self-debate on the issue and constructed our ‘Red Forty-eight Group’ as either for working class revolutionaries and/or the activism of the ‘universal class’.
What about Trump’s base? Golly
I am the son of a protestant minister and majored in classics which landed me disastrously in the streets as unemployable and there to join the working class, more often the non-working class and have roamed the US and worked in dozens of work spaces from the orchards of Washington to the ag fields of Arizona and probably seen the working class at close range more than 90% of coddled middle class marxists and in all that roaming never met a revolutionary. The working class is too brainwashed and no doubt simply unaware of the issues.

The nineteenth century saw working class revolutionaries, but the species seems to have died out, speaking about the US only. In fact, it hasn’t but in the US the working class concept is ambiguous: does it mean wage laborers who have joined the middle class or real proletarians exploited by capital (consider the coltan miners of the congo).
Our formula allows all possibilities, and ‘working class’ revolutionaries are free to take over our
Two Manifestos for a true neocommunism, not bolshevik.
The real activity of the working class was of course the various union movements. They certainly weren’t the leninists of Lenin, who ended up suppressing working class orgs.
But the real impetus here is a complex mixture of the peoples of the universal class, all types, and this is more likely to be the avenue to postcapitalism, if any..
The working class is an abstraction and we see actual versions do reactionary things, like vote for war credits in WWI, in the process destroying the 2nd International, the infamous case of the non-revolutionary working class.
The left has made a fetish of the working class concept but the reality is a huge variety that is unpredictable and not necessarily the driving force of history (study the eonic effect for a better idea there).
The distinction with the lumpenproletariat is also misleading and misdefined in the way the two strains overlap. Marx was strangely snobbish and his own class perspective betrays itself in his contempt for lumpens.
In general the marxist fixation on the working class is only one way to define the left. A close look shows the way our idea of universal class is really a close approximation to the working class, so what’s the difference, save that the idea of the universal class is a useful tool to study social relations without the bias toward the working class which causes immense hostility to the left by other groups.
One might ask, if that is so, why do it that way, a society controlled by the working class might backfire and exploit or decimate other classes.
We are better off with the idea of the universal class: everyone belongs to that class.

Source: [pen-l] Can the Working Class Change the World? | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

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