working class and universal class…//The Party We Need: A Revolutionary Socialist Party | Left Voice

We are living in turbulent times. President Trump and the rise of the alt-right are not the only news. Thousands of people have become politically active in the past year, galvanized by the Bernie Sanders campaign and now joining organizations on the left, such as the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the International Socialist Organization, or Socialist Alternative.

Source: The Party We Need: A Revolutionary Socialist Party | Left Voice

This is a useful and cogent article but something in left wing strategies is not right. In part the problem is the emphasis on the working class without understanding the concept properly. Marx’s theories enter to confuse the issue: the working class and class struggle is the dynamic of history. Not really true. The dynamic of history is too obscure a concept and an abstraction on the level of a theory of evolution and there is no simple solution. History bears this out: the evidence is mixed as to the dynamism of the working class.
The point intended is that the working class creates a majoritarian demand for equality and social rebalance of power. But subtle confusions lurk in the idea and we can see the first great German working class movement foundered at the start of the First World War (the russian soviets seemed to have fared better, but then were suppressed) when the SPD voted the war credits… Leftists/marxists have never faced the implications of that tragic moment, which falsified expectations about the working class, Leftists have never recovered from that moment. It would be better to face the obvious and use majoritarian concepts instead. The analysis is simple and the solution equally clear: the ‘working class’ is an abstraction and not a person, cannot represent the abstraction of historical dynamics or revolutionary intent, does nothing and can’t be hypostatized in analysis, and the use of the term is simply that of an aggregate of individuals: in the final analysis the working class is a set of individuals and it is the latter that by forming revolutionary (or evolutionary) organizations based on shared axioms and strategies. A dose of jargon perhaps, but with a subtle difference. The working class does nothing, only individuals can do anything and only if they agree and those whose agree might come from all classes because they are convinced of socialist principles while by any historical reckoning ‘working class’ individuals are often not more revolutionary than bolshie brats of middle class comfort zones (the working class concept worked best for union/labor organization, but even there as this article bemoans, the union bureaucracy has effectively paralyzed the working class radical edge).
There is a way to repair these confusions while still maintaining the class working class flag concept nexus: a question must be asked, what is the working class? We tend to think of proletarian concepts of the nineteenth century. or factory workers in industrial economies. But in reality the working class is the set, say, of those who work as wage laborers in any sense and that is a very large proportion of the whole population. But there is the solution to our difficulty: we promote the working class which consists of and overlaps with many other classes and social memberships, and includes just about everyone, except capitalists,  the status of their managers who are also salaried laborers remaining ambiguous (this example shows the absurdity of the basic definition). We act  then not on the basis of working class membership as such but on shared principles of socialist (or even social democratic, often the reality behind socialist jargon) radicalism. This is a working class version of the overall program, although some might think we should restrict the working class to factory workers excluding everyone else, an impossible notion. A moment’s reflection will show us the ‘working class’ concept is useful but liable to incoherence.
We have another way to look at this: the idea of the universal class: the set of all possible classes in the totality of subsets of that universal class, to use a metaphor of set theory. We note that the working class is perhaps the largest subset of the universal class and we are at once with another simple solution to the fuzzy concept of the ‘working class’: it is almost identical to the universal class. In general we can use this idea to unify multiple groups seeking social transformations, feminists, those fighting racism, in fact, multiple combinations of social activism can coexist inside the universal class: our working class focus can persist and yet coexist with complex totalities inside the universal class. A movement then will be an alliance of different subsets of the larger class.
We should note that in set theory, the individual atoms of the set are themselves singleton sets, and subsets of the whole, pointing to an elegant solution to the various formulations: the working class is the set of members of that class and a revolutionary working class is the set of revolutionary individuals inside that set.
This seems odd but it is the way we always understood the issue: in a democracy, a set of individuals is the main focus and the voter group. No abstraction such as the working class has the vote. Those who vote in a certain way thus share a certain platform or ideology, etc… There is no real way to define the working class as having a certain revolutionary emphasis: it is not true in practice and not true in theory as our suggestions make clear. It seemed an obvious conclusion in the early nineteenth century but now the concept is fuzzy.
We can actually use the working class slogans more effectively with this approach. Leftists spend endless amounts of time wringing their hands over attempts to energize the working class, but it is needless. The working class concept is simply a flag, and works well as a flag, but in the end the name of the game is about individuals from the larger working class which approximates the universal class.

So we can continue with the working class jargon: it is too classic and entrenched to change now, but we must try to understand beyond frozen concepts and be careful of the term which is liable to curious conceptual hallucinations and wasted efforts.

Note: the set theory used here is basic and simple:

consider a set of eight numbers, {1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8}, a subset is any combination of elements, e.g. {3,5,6} etc, there are a large number of subsets as the universal set of all subsets, here, 2 to the eighth power, I think), and a singleton subset is the set formed by an individual number, e.g. {4}…

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