Friday, January 13, 2012

Mary Gabriel of "Love and Capital" has a blog

Marx2.0 – A History Lesson has three fairly short installments in "a series on the dangerous consequences of passivity, immobility, in the face of political, social, and economic challenges." The third focuses on what Marx learned from the failure of the 1848 revolutions and answers a question that may always nag at me: if you ally with liberals, will they betray you?
Marx and the workers learned a terrible lesson from the 1848 elections throughout Europe. Once the prize that had united the revolutionaries was won, and the kings were either dethroned or deflated, the unity of the revolution eroded. The lower classes, who had provided the muscle in the Springtime revolts, were abandoned. They felt betrayed. Marx never forgot that experience and his thinking changed. From 1849 on, he refused to seek political accommodation with the bourgeoisie. Instead, Marx dedicated his life to helping the numerically powerful but politically mute working class learn how to become a governing force. By having elected officials taken from within its ranks, it would not have to rely on untrustworthy and unsympathetic ‘social superiors.’
Also, she quotes one of Marx's many fine observations: “In capitalist society spare time is acquired for one class by converting the whole lifetime of the masses into labor time.”