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Published January 4th, 2017
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What Just Happened

Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:29 pm

http://anti-capital21stcentury.blogspot ... ned_4.html

Where do you see things going? What are you doing about it? What do you want to see done?

Re: What Just Happened

Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:56 pm

Comrade or comrades over on Reddit were thoroughly enjoying "What Just Happened" until they came to that phrase about "class consciousness" and... for them the party was over. "Uggh" was the response of choice.

Why uggh? Is it the "class" part or the "consciousness" part that is disturbing? Or is it the notion of "class consciousness" itself?

I would welcome elaboration, for, as long abused and misconstrued as that term has been throughout its history, I haven't really found anything to replace a working class, conscious of its own interests in opposition to the interests of the ruling class, and the ruling class' organization of property and production, to actually make a revolution.

Re: What Just Happened

Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:24 pm

[quote="sartesian"]Comrade or comrades over on Reddit were thoroughly enjoying "What Just Happened" until they came to that phrase about "class consciousness" and... for them the party was over. "Uggh" was the response of choice.

Why uggh? Is it the "class" part or the "consciousness" part that is disturbing? Or is it the notion of "class consciousness" itself?

I would welcome elaboration, for, as long abused and misconstrued as that term has been throughout its history, I haven't really found anything to replace a working class, conscious of its own interests in opposition to the interests of the ruling class, and the ruling class' organization of property and production, to actually make a revolution.


Probably due to the emotional nature of reddit in general and /r/socialism honestly. I can't stand going on that subreddit anymore because it's just a circlejerk of dank memes and "LOL LUBRILZ". Seriously, 90% of all I ever see is "OMG THIS IMAGE QUOTE IS SO TRUE" or bitching about how stupid the right is and what they're tweeting about without any actual discussion or analysis.

So don't expect an elaboration on /r/socialism, because there is none to be had. This is basically the reality of reddit tho that brole has touched on which makes reddit as a platform just dogshit for having actual political discussions on anyway though.

Sometimes if you dig through the comments you'll find some gems though that help you develop your understandings, but I don't have time for that ****. I also find that reddit as a platform just makes me combative to people who I have a conflicting opinion with, even though when I'm in person or on other platforms (like redmarx) I'm able to have a coherrent conversation.

Unless you're talking about a different sub like /r/communism, but I have a hard time taking seriously people who actually accept North Korea as a model of communism worth defending. It also has it's own level of circlejerk but admittedly I feel that they have slightly better discussion, even if it's a bit "outdated" and feels like an attempt to emulate the 20th century. Perhaps its due to their more "exclusive" nature and the lower number of people actually participating in the sub to turn it into dog ****.

As far as the actual argument against class consciousness I think people misperceive it as the "brocialist" (another popular slur /r/socialism likes to throw around for those who don't follow the hivemind) tradition of putting class over all other forms of oppression, but obviously we as Marxists understand the importance of combating all forms of oppression in the struggle against capitalism.

Re: What Just Happened

Sat Jan 21, 2017 4:29 pm

OK. Never been on reddit; had no idea what it was.

Re: What Just Happened

Sat Jan 21, 2017 6:16 pm

We've received a further response.

rednoise wrote:
Why not just post here directly?


Largely because reddit is a platform not conducive to discussion which should be fairly evident from the lack of discussion present on reddit.

rednoise wrote:
The problem with the idea that we need to "move toward class consciousness" is the assumption that the working class isn't conscious to begin with. It implies a problem needing to be fixed among the working class, in terms of an intellectual deficit, and that the only people to be tasked with correcting this deficit are the left among the working class or, worse, petty bourgeois intellectuals who have self-appointed this task.


I'm not sure anyone thinks the working class is unconscious, at least not all of them all at one time. The assertion that the working class is not class conscious merely posits that workers do not recognise themselves as such. I have many a co-worker who is awaiting their 'big break' so that they can finally 'make it.' They, of course, do not realise their position in society is not one that enables terribly much social mobility. Additionally, there is a problem, or rather problems that need to be corrected amongst the working class. Racism, sexism, bigotry of all kinds flourish to greater and lesser degrees in the working class. However, I don't see anything in the article that implies or states that the left is the way to creating class consciousness. Indeed, if you read the rest of the articles, I'm sure you will find that our position is that class consciousness in a general sense will arise only from working class struggle.

rednoise wrote:
Workers have consciousness. Class consciousness, even. We understand where we are and what our role is in capitalism; that is, we're exploited. Being a class in itself, which we are as a default, means consciousness is achieved already and there's no where for it to be raised or move toward. Every single time you hear a member of the working class complaining about their jobs, their boss, their shitty health insurance; worrying over an impending foreclosure, being kicked out for non-payment of rent, so on and so forth, is an instance of consciousness.


And so instances where co-workers complain about 'line-cutting,' for instance, is also evidence of class consciousness? Workers are, by and large, more than capable of recognising the problems and challenges they face given that they are facing them, but what solutions are they proposing? Most of my co-workers, when they make similar complaints to what you have listed, merely state that they need to 'find a better job.' But we, as Marxists, know that there is no such better job except the ones we fight for.

rednoise wrote:
What we need to move to is a class for itself. But that comes from dialogue. Not "education." Working out, as a class, alternatives. It doesn't imply the "teacher" and "student" dichotomy that "educating" or "moving toward consciousness" implies. If any consciousness raising needs to take place, it needs to take place among the left with the understanding that it's not us who lead the revolution but the working class as a whole."


You're trying very hard to place us in to a position that we do not hold. We are not trying to 'educate' the working class (I am working to help high school students with classes and such but I don't think that qualifies?), we are trying to help the working class. We want to form organisations that solve immediate problems facing the working class using the resources we have access to.

Re: What Just Happened

Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:26 pm

rednoise wrote:
What we need to move to is a class for itself


"Class-for-itself" is identical to class consciousness.

Re: What Just Happened

Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:46 pm

From https://www.reddit.com/r/leftcommunism/ ... t/dctt2ng/


rednoise wrote:
Broletariat wrote:Largely because reddit is a platform not conducive to discussion which should be fairly evident from the lack of discussion present on reddit.


And yet, we're having this discussion nonetheless.


True, but just because you can, and perhaps sometimes will, use a tool not meant for a specific job, does not mean that said tool is the best tool for that job.

rednoise wrote:
Broletariat wrote:I'm not sure anyone thinks the working class is unconscious, at least not all of them all at one time. The assertion that the working class is not class conscious merely posits that workers do not recognise themselves as such. I have many a co-worker who is awaiting their 'big break' so that they can finally 'make it.' They, of course, do not realise their position in society is not one that enables terribly much social mobility. Additionally, there is a problem, or rather problems that need to be corrected amongst the working class. Racism, sexism, bigotry of all kinds flourish to greater and lesser degrees in the working class. However, I don't see anything in the article that implies or states that the left is the way to creating class consciousness. Indeed, if you read the rest of the articles, I'm sure you will find that our position is that class consciousness in a general sense will arise only from working class struggle.


Okay, but this isn't to do with consciousness or the related idea of "consciousness raising." The idea that there is some playa of consciousness is inherently condescending because it implies someone knows less than you and is in a position to be taught something by someone self-appointed.

If there is "consciousness," like I said, it starts with the proletariat's default position, as a class in itself. Any recognition of alienation, whether or not the worker says that it's alienation or is even familiar with the concept, is a form of consciousness as a member of the class. You're conflating aspirationalism with the ignorance of class. In fact, in a way, the "waiting to make it" is itself consciousness and awareness of being apart of the working class. Which just makes the concept redundant and not really worth pursuing in analysis, unless your aim is to place yourself above someone else in order to "teach" them.


I will have to reiterate that I do not disagree that workers are aware of their own problems, that their own problems are problems relatively unique to the working class, and that thus their awareness of their problems is a roundabout way of recognising their class. Trouble with this is that it doesn't pave the way for working class action, there are alternatives available. What I'm not interested in doing is developing the concept of class consciousness, or any other concepts in general, what I am interested in doing is organising high school students from underfunded schools to help them with school work, applying to college, getting internships and jobs etc. I'm interested in keeping contact with the students I tutor as they get jobs and helping them unionise their workplaces so they can fight for better wages and shorter hours. I don't care if you call what I'm doing class conscious activity or fascism, I will not be drawn in to a debate about words.

rednoise wrote:
Broletariat wrote:And so instances where co-workers complain about 'line-cutting,' for instance, is also evidence of class consciousness?


I don't know if "line cutting" is supposed to mean something other than what I think it does? (Cutting in line, or whatever, at the lunch room?) If so, then of course not. That's not in relation to their condition of exploitation. If not, then you'll have to expand more on what you mean here.


'line-cutting' refers to the racist myth that we're all waiting in line to get our chance at the top but certain groups of people (minorities) cut in line through things like affirmative action. Essentially I am pointing out that the working class can be racist, at times, in parts, and that such racism does not constitute class consciousness, but does arise as a response to working class conditions.

rednoise wrote:
Broletariat wrote:Workers are, by and large, more than capable of recognising the problems and challenges they face given that they are facing them, but what solutions are they proposing?


Solutions come from the working class itself when it turns into a mode of becoming a class for itself. It's not the socialist's job to propose solutions or try to direct the worker's movement. Another note here is that there's a difference between "class consciousness" and a class for itself. If I'm bullied at school, I understand the conditions in which I stand. I'm thinking, complaining and cognizant of my condition in itself. When I choose to fight back, I'm acting for myself. But at no point did my consciousness lack because of my lack of fighting back or my not knowing what I could do to stop the bullying, even if it ended up with my conclusion that "maybe I should just switch schools." The same concept applies here: by being a class in itself, consciousness is achieved by default. Being a class for itself is just the class being ready to organize on the premise of their own liberation after suffering abuse.


You've failed to point out any solutions that the working class proposes. My point is that the 'solutions' they propose do not lead towards better conditions for the working class as a whole, at least not all the time as you seem to think they do.

rednoise wrote:
Broletariat wrote:Most of my co-workers, when they make similar complaints to what you have listed, merely state that they need to 'find a better job.' But we, as Marxists, know that there is no such better job except the ones we fight for.


The line "But we, as Marxists" is part of this problem. That by virtue of being Marxists, it assumes that we actually know all the ins and outs of the capitalist system, and that we need to be self-appointed teachers to those who experience alienation.


I think that's a very good alibi for not doing anything to help improve the living standards of the working class.

rednoise wrote:
Broletariat wrote:You're trying very hard to place us in to a position that we do not hold. We are not trying to 'educate' the working class (I am working to help high school students with classes and such but I don't think that qualifies?), we are trying to help the working class. We want to form organisations that solve immediate problems facing the working class using the resources we have access to.


No one can do that except for the working class itself.


My efforts speak to the contrary, unless you want to challenge the notion that helping minority students in school does not constitute helping the working class?

Re: What Just Happened

Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:47 pm

Hey, so this discord chat is populated by DSA members (Democratic Socialists) and listeners of the popular leftist El Chapo Trap House podcast. Consider trying to sway people here. They also have a book learning chat https://discordapp.com/channels/2578900 ... 1565303809

Re: What Just Happened

Sun Jan 29, 2017 7:46 pm

Nothing seems to come up when I click that link, try giving us an invite link.

Re: What Just Happened

Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:37 pm

Ah, my bad. https://discord.gg/cdpGp

Right now they're talking about movies and shit. But they were definitely srs posting earlier
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