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Working-class consciousness cannot be genuinely political consciousness unless the workers are trained to respond to all cases, without exception,
of tyranny, oppression, violence and abuse, no matter what class is
affected. Moreover, to respond from a Social-Democratic, and not from any
other point of view.
The consciousness of the masses of the workers cannot
be genuine class consciousness, unless the workers learn to observe from
concrete, and above all from topical (current), political facts and events,
every other social class and all the manifestations of the intellectual,
ethical and political life of these classes; unless they learn to apply in
practice the materialist analysis and the materialist estimate of all
aspects of the life and activity of all classes, strata and groups of the
population. Those who concentrate the attention, observation and
consciousness of the working class exclusively, or even mainly, upon itself
alone are not Social-Democrats; for its self-realization is indissolubly
bound up not only with a fully clear theoretical -- it would be even more
true to say not so much with a theoretical, as with a practical
understanding, of the relationships between all the various classes of
modern society, acquired through experience of political life. That is why
the idea preached by our Economists, that the economic struggle is the most
widely applicable means of drawing the masses into the political movement,
is so extremely harmful and extremely reactionary in its practical
significance. In order to become a Social-Democrat, the worker must have a
clear picture in his mind of the economic nature and the social and
political features of the landlord and the priest, the high state official
and the peasant, the student and the tramp; he must know their strong and
weak points; he must see the meaning of all the catchwords and sophisms by
which each class and each stratum
camouflages its selfish strivings and its real "inside workings"; he must
understand what interests certain institutions and certain laws reflect and
how they reflect them. But this "clear picture" cannot be obtained from
books. It can be obtained only from living examples and from exposures,
following hot upon the heels of what is going on around us at a given
moment, of what is being discussed, in whispers perhaps, by each one in his
own way, of the meaning of such and such events, of such and such
statistics, of such and such court sentences, etc., etc., etc. These
comprehensive political exposures are an essential and fundamental condition
for training the masses in revolutionary activity.
Originally posted by Phlynx
What are you talking about?