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Fri May 4, 2012, 09:55 AM

Why workers must take the lead

Nice article on Socialist Workers tying Marxism to the present, very easy reading (which is where I commonly struggle with Marx) ... and how resistance requires organization to complete the job of transitioning to a new system. Particularly this week with the May Day activities I heard some conversation re why aren't unions working with Occupy? I think Lenin provides us with the answer here: "The outcome of the revolution depends on whether the working class will play the part of a subsidiary to the bourgeoisie, a subsidiary that is powerful in the force of its onslaught against the autocracy, but impotent politically, or whether it will play the part of leader of the people's revolution." So I think we can take that to mean that we shouldn't be asking why the Unions are not backing Occupy, but instead we should query why Occupy is not organizing the Unions? Correct?

Here's the article -

May 4, 2012

ONE OF the most important arguments of Marxism is that workers have the power to change society.

Columnist: Paul D'Amato (Paul D'Amato Paul D'Amato is managing editor of the International Socialist Review and author of The Meaning of Marxism, a lively and accessible introduction to the ideas of Karl Marx and the tradition he founded. Paul can be contacted at pdamato@isreview.org.)

Workers produce all the wealth of society, and because of this, they have the ability to strike at the system. As the 18th century British poet Percy Bysshe Shelley asked of English workers: "Wherefore weave with toil and care / The rich robes your tyrants wear?"

The famous American labor song "Solidarity Forever" makes a similar point: "Without our brain and muscle, not a single wheel would turn." Workers have a power, to quote the same song, "greater than their hoarded gold"--the power to organize collectively and strike.

Karl Marx and Frederick Engels put it this way in the Communist Manifesto: "[W]ith the development of industry, the proletariat not only increases in number; it becomes concentrated in greater masses, its strength grows, and it feels that strength more."

The world working class today--those who work in factories, mines, schools, hospitals, offices and so on--is many, many times larger than the working class of Marx's day. And because of increases in productivity, workers have even greater power. After all, the United Auto Workers strike at a single production complex in Flint, Mich., a few years ago shut down practically all of General Motors' North American operations ...

Much more here: http://socialistworker.org/2012/05/04/why-workers-must-lead

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