Re: M-TH: Re:A new regular feature in LM magazine

1999-11-03 Thread J.WALKER


I would greatly enjoy a serious debate but I just wasn't clear if it 
was your own particular conviction as it appears in your first reply 
or a party position in the making as it appears in the second. And in 
either case it was not clear to me what you thought was new in such a 
position. Much of what you said (other than that 99% of the world 
population makes up the economic working class) can be found in the 
throughout Marx and Engles writings.

Your central point appears to be that the traditional model has 
altered but as you point out that was just a caricature and so you 
seem to be just restating the more scientific Marxist definition of 
the working class as a economic class confronting capital with no 
power except to fight politically (and physically) against it.

If I am correct then I agree whole-heartedly. If on the other hand 
you argument is that we now live in a post-industrial, post-family 
virtual world where the working class become a disparate collection 
of individuals economically opposed to capital but unable to mobilize 
socially then I remain very wary. This could certainly be taken as 
the ultimate conclusion of your argument by the likes of the 

 No. I am saying that the economic ruling class constitute about 1% or less
 of the world's population. I am not talking about the various remnants of
 previous economic stages, like petit-b and peasants, and the lumpen-proles
 are members of the economic working class who attack their fellow workers
 in the service of capital, right? 

Well what are you saying - you said that the economic working class 
was 99% which if you mean the proletariat as Marx defined it does no 
add up. What it just rhetoric? You initial post was that the problem 
we all need to confront is 'who are the working class and while 
rejecting the caricature your definition is far from clear. These 
other classes may be part of the previous economic stages but they 
are still here and they still effect the balance of political forces. 
On other minor point the lumpen-proletariat (that dangerous class 
that social scum) I have always viewed as a broad spectrum of the 
dispossessed who vasilate between classes and hence are easily won over 
to the services of capital but usually in the form of something 
approaching fascism - but this is often a thorny issue- especially if 
one tries to define them).



 --- from list [EMAIL PROTECTED] ---

Re: M-TH: Re:A new regular feature in LM magazine

1999-11-01 Thread J.WALKER

Simon Wrote in reply yo me: 
I sometimes think that if there are enough Trotskyist splinters they 
will make a whole crucifix :-)

The whoke point about the Split from the IS was as a break from 
Trotskyism (I think the IMG was also Trotskyist but I amd not 
absolutely positive). I am also not sure the RCP/LM view of 
Trotskyism, I don't think they reject it outright like the RCG does 
but they certainly don't stress it. Members I knew seem to take the 
view that So read him and others didn't.
 I was actually running a trial argument past you 

Oh thank you, how kind.

 that there is an economic working class, as the WSM would see it, which 99% of the 
 population would fit into (without going into the "who is still a peasant"
 argument: assume of the capitalist world), and defined by their relations
 to capital, and a much smaller and dwindling group who have a historical
 tradition of opposition to capitalists

So does that mean that the sum total of the Bourgeoisie, 
peti-bourgeoisie, lumpen proletariat and peasantry (however 
constituted) make up only 1 per cent of the population (c.60 mil) !
And within this there is still a further section (perhaps like MArx 
and Engels were) who for non-economic reasons are won over to the 
struggle again capitalism.

 for example have never been in a union (NUS doesn't count...?)

The working class as only that section  of the population restricted 
to the Trade Union movement is not a definition I have found in 
Marx's writings but only in the practice and propaganda of various 
left groups.

 and experience capitalism as an overwhelming force rather than as a particular
 capitalist b***ard to be lynched.

The whole point about Marxist theory was that it is not individual 
capitalists who were the problem but of captial as a force which acts 
just as much on the bourgeois as the proletariat. 

I'm not sure that this 'trial argument' comes to that cannot be found 
just in the Communist Manifesto. It may be new and revalatory ti 
non-Marxists in the historical tradition of opposition to capitalist 
but I'm not sure it comes as a great surprise to most on this list.

The argument on the family I will deal with in another Email as it 
appears to be quite distinct.

John Walker 

  What I actually said was that  'point of the family in bourgeois 
  society should IDEALLY be one that puts up with the worker's long 
  hours and difficult conditions and to selflessly (and at little or no 
  cost to capitalism) maintain and reporduce the worker.' That the 
  present crisises of capitalism make it more and more difficult to 
  maintain such an institution (even with the help of the Church) is 
  merely demonstative of its structural decline. Also I think you will 
  find that, far from an atomised society maintained by packaged 
  homecare utilities, for the most part many couples still have one 
  person who works as well dealing with the household maintanence. For 
  all the talk of 'new men' this role is still generally performed by 
  women working in low-paid part-time evening work and whatever form it 
  takes it is rarely paid for directly by capitalism. 
 Hmm... I accept that that may be the position today. What I was saying is
 that the family is continuing to fragment, and capitalism's own raison
 d'etre supports that. The family would ideally do all the things you
 mention, but then again ideally the workers would reproduce their labour as
 work units in the cheapest manner possible. Capitalism has no particular
 use for the family unless it cheapens reproduction of labour, and I would
 say that it probably doesn't.
 Look forward to your reply,
  --- from list [EMAIL PROTECTED] ---

 --- from list [EMAIL PROTECTED] ---