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Can the Working Class Make a Revolution?

Can the Working Class Make a Revolution?

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Published by Seeing Red Radio
Can the Working Class Make a Revolution by Ernest Mandel & George Novak
Can the Working Class Make a Revolution by Ernest Mandel & George Novak

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Published by: Seeing Red Radio on Aug 21, 2009
Copyright:Public Domain

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02/07/2013

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 Can the workingclass make a socialist
 
REVOLUTION?
by Ernest Mandel & George NovackResistance Books
 
 2
 
C
an
 
the
orking
C
lass
M
ake
 
a
s
oCialist
r
evolution
?
C
ontents
 W 
orkers
u
nder
n
eo
-C
apitalisM
 
by Ernest Mandel ..............................................................................................................3
r
evolutionary
s
trategy
 
in
 
the
i
Mperialist
C
ountries
 
by Ernest Mandel ............................................................................................................20
C
an
us W 
orkers
M
ake
 
a
s
oCialist
r
evolution
?
by George Novack ...........................................................................................................31
The present situation of American labour .........................................................
35
The outlook for American capitalism ................................................................
37 
Possible precipitants of labour radicalism .........................................................
39
The irregular development of American radicalism from 1928 to 1968 ...........
41
Proposed alternatives to the working class .......................................................
43
Depreciating the working class .........................................................................
46 
Marxism and the ‘labour metaphysic’ ...............................................................
49
The hidden capacities of the oppressed .............................................................
51
The problem of leadership.................................................................................
54
g
lossary
............................................................................................................................58
© Resistance Books 2002ISBN
1876646241
Published by Resistance Books, 23 Abercrombie St, Chippendale NSW 2008, AustraliaPrinted by El Faro Printing, 79 King St, Newtown NSW 2042, Australia
 
 W 
orkers
u
nder
n
eo
-C
apitalisM
 By Ernest Mandel
In the history of class society, the situation of each social class is a uniquecombination of stability and change. The structure remains the same; conjunctural
features are often profoundly modied.
There is a tremendous difference both in standard of living and in social environmentbetween the slave on the patriarchal Greek farms of the sixth century BC, the slave on
Sicilian plantations in the rst century BC, and a clerical or handicraft slave in Rome
or the south of France in the fourth century AD Nonetheless all three of these wereslaves, and the identity of their social status is undeniable. A nobleman living at thecourt of Louis XV did not have very much in common with a lord of the manor inNormandy or Burgundy seven centuries earlier — except that both lived on surpluslabour extracted from the peasantry through feudal or semi-feudal institutions.When we look at the history of the modern proletariat, whose direct ancestors werethe unattached and uprooted wage earners in the medieval towns and the vagabondsof the 16th century — so strikingly described by that great novel from my country
Till Eulenspiegel
— we notice the same combination of structural stability andconjunctural change. The proletarian condition is, in a nutshell, the lack of accessto means of production or means of subsistence which, in a society of generalisedcommodity production, forces the proletarian to sell his labour-power. In exchangefor this labour-power he receives a wage which then enables him to acquire the meansof consumption necessary for satisfying his own needs and those of his family.
This is the structural denition of the wage earner, the proletarian. From itnecessarily ows a certain relationship to his work, to the products of his work,
and to his overall situation in society, which can be summarised by the catchword
This paper was delivered at the 1968 Socialist Scholars Conference, held on September 7
at Rutgers University. It was rst published in the
 International Socialist Review
, November-December 1968.

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