We tried to explain our critical marxism in a previous post. Here, whatever the case over Biden, I am often surprised by the stance of the Marxist type left. The DSA wants to take fifty years to build up working class support in a revolutionary workers party. They had one in the early twentieth century. But now they have nothing. Given the climate change calamity, we don’t have fifty years. We have maybe five. The left has confused itself: it can’t do anything without the working class, and they once attracted the working class but now they can’t. They can’t even trust unions anymore: they are run by fat cats as crypto establishment. This is the failed strategy par excellence.
The left needs a new formulation. A focus on the working class is great, but the left must deal with any and all from any class who will join in the effort to create socialism. The idea you have to wait for the working class to do that is almost ridiculous. It won’t happen, and if it did the result would probably fail anyway. The Russian situation came close, but the working class were swiftly left out of the Bolshevik result.
The left is mostly working class itself, and middle class. The left is using nineteenth century jargon in a situation that has changed. The issue of the working class refers to early proletarian revolution: to be working class you either worked in the factory system or you starved. That’s not true anymore. The working class is a middle class variant, and sure enough not revolutionary. In my own case, I am working class: I have worked in the American industrial system for a long time: picking apples in Washington, weeding spinach on Arizona truck farms with a short handle hoe. Roustabout in oil fields, dozen of jobs all a flash in pan ending on freight trains to find still another job. I am middle class, upper class, working class, lumpen, I also went to a prep school and college and could have been upper class at will, had I wished. As a classic scholar noone would hire me so I was de facto either working class, or panhandler, hitchhiker or, well, I never stooped to petty crime. I own a book business name, so I am even a capitalist, I guess. Some think me a shady character, so I am a lumpenprole to boot. After all that I will court the wrath of idiot leftists who want to work only with factory assembly line working class cliches. I have worked assembly in a score of factories as temp labor, scorned by the working class types who had the good jobs there. You guess it, working classes have classes, and the upper working class looks down on the their inferiors. So are working class temps human trash, as the steady working class thinks? I am working class, I guess, so form a party around me. Not much chance of that. In almost any revolution done by marxist idiots I would be dead day one. The point is that the class analysis doesn’t work any more. And the left forgets that anyone who works at wage labor is working, which means almost everyone. So create a party of any and all and that’s a working class party. The left completely misunderstands their own jargon and are using the fiction of a working class to do nothing.
As the pressure to support the lesser evil grows, socialists should be proud that their largest organization is charting a path of independence.