Against the Grain

The Working Class and Anticapitalism

The left has been traditionally defined, in its most radical form, as a movement of the working class against capitalism.  What changed over the last half century?  Not only has the working class not been at the forefront of radical politics, but radical politics itself has waned. Why have resistance movements become more sporadic?  And what lessons can be drawn from the past to re-energize leftwing collective action in the age of Trump? Political economist David McNally talks about the past and future of radical class-based politics.

  • okitaris

    The working class, when I worked for welfare hear in Pennsylvania generally did as there boss said and rejected the far left. Then attending left meetings there seemed to always to be an FBI agent with a briefcase, may ask a question, than leaves probably having recorded the whole meeting. They are always out to keep track of the left. Now these thought police will be on steroids. I’m sure they are part of every Union. Than the Union leaders that I have had contact are afraid and generally have no class consciousness. The democrat party cannot see that that cutting off the far left results in less communication of democratic ideas and moves the political centre to the right. The so called conservative ideas are the standard in all U. S. law enforcement.

  • savingracesarah

    I appreciated hearing this discussion and solutions for solutions to creating the collective outside of the workplace. Keep up the great programs Sasha!

  • Brux

    These tantrums by the people are simply that … tantrums. The status quo, at least in the US, and especially in the US don’t care. They don’t want the public to understand how little they care because otherwise the opposition will move on to something else, like violence, or destruction. That will not work either.

    The problem with people who want to bring about class equality is that they get all mixed up when they group together under some banner. Democrats … the average American has thought it enough to be in the Democratic party and watch it lose, lose, lose over the last 40 years. Then they switch to Trump for some screwball reason.

    The left does not think. Possibly because they are uneducated. They are led to think and behave in certain ways, as in to think that listening to rap music or getting high is a political act. Faced up against the people in the corporatocracy who know math, science, engineering, physics, psychology and how the system really works. working people demonstrating in the street is like a baby in their high chair demanding to be an equal member of the family by whining and crying.

    People on the Left go off on all these different causes, and because of that they get associated, or “badjacketed” with the negative associations of the groups like those who make people hate the left.

    There must be a movement for the people, but the people are too stupid to lead it, and too proud to allow someone better than they are to lead it … so we get a Donald Trump.

    There is so much money and power at the top, that to even allow the people to understand how much would be a threat, so people are kept ignorant not really knowing what is going on, thinking on a par with thinking 50 years ago, or just vapidity.

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