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Marxism at the Millennium
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W we need a revolutionary party? The basic reason is intwo statements Marx made. e stated that “the emancipation of theworking class is the act of the working class” and at the same timehe said that “the prevailing ideas of every society are the ideas of theruling class”.There is a contradiction between these two statements. But thecontradiction is not in Marx’s head. It exists in reality. If only oneof the statements was correct, there would not be a need for a revo‑lutionary party. If the emancipation of the working class is the actof the working class, and that is all, then, to be honest, we need donothing about fighting for socialism—let’s sit with folded arms andsmile. The workers will emancipate themselves!If, on the other hand, “the prevailing ideas of every society arethe ideas of the ruling class”, and that is all, workers will alwaysaccept the ideas of the rulers. Then we can sit with folded arms andcry because nothing can be done.The reality is that the two statements are correct. The class strug‑gle always expresses itself, not just in a conflict between workers andcapitalists, but inside the working class itself. n the picket line it is