Recently, there has been a some discussion about potential changes in contemporary class structure, and how this could lead to potentially increasing social unrest.
Assuming minor shifts in global power dynamics between marginally independent class blocs (western monopoly capital, the national monopoly capital of BRIC countries, third world comprador bourgeoisie, the First World labor aristocracy) might open up situation of further economic destabilization and the de-legitimization of existing political systems around the world, what else goes into making a proletarian social revolution?
What other factors may need to be in play for revolutionary movements to develop with the possibility of altering material and social circumstance, i.e. seizing power to destroy power? What is lacking currently; and how can we play a positive role in creating these factors for revolution?
It seems apparent that part of the problem is the relatively low level of political education not just among the masses but of revolutionaries as well. That is to say that the subjective forces for revolutionaries are lacking, with a cyclical process of low-level political training and education between the masses and the most astute among them. This problem acts like a barrier to revolution even at times of otherwise favorable conditions.
For revolutionaries, the problem is broadly the lack of a creative, critical and coherent response to emergent conditions. Dogmatism on questions such as class structure (i.e. First Worldism and White chauvinism with leftist dressing) and historical verdicts, romanticized versions of past revolutionary struggles and uncritical sectarianism all tend to destroy the role revolutionary intellectuals play as critical allies and leaders in social movements. There is no such thing as a past revolutionary experience that was ‘pure,’ that didn’t occur inside its own specific setting and context and that can be held up as a universal model for revolutionary struggle today. Past verdicts are no replacements for critical assessments of ways to push forward revolutionary movements in today’s conditions. That is not say that revolutionaries should not evaluate past experience of struggle or study past and existing revolutionary methodologies and strategy. Rather, we should do so twice- particularly with an eye toward its application and being open to critical reassessment.
On the part of the masses (and here I am mainly referring to the masses of the Third World), the lack of critical revolutionary intellectuals helps perpetuate their own backward conditions. Left without the development of revolutionary intellectuals capable of critically analyzing modern conditions under a revolutionary lens and their entrance into the struggle for real solutions to basic social problems, Third World people and their allies are likely to be further hood-winked by First World-sponsored charities, non-profit and non-governmental organizations as well as prevalent bourgeois nationalism, reformism and CIA-sponsored neo-colonialism. Without the development of revolutionary, intellectual leaders capable of articulating the basic problems of the masses and strategies for ways forward, proletarian struggle of the basic masses will continue in an abortive form. Political cultures of resistance, insofar as they develop, need this component of revolutionary intellectual influence if they are to transcend the narrow bounds of socially prescribed struggle and truly challenge extant social relations.
At present, it seems two main tasks of the revolutionary movement is to engender revolutionary intellectual leaders and to broadly inspire proletarian struggle amongst the masses.
What else is lacking for the forward movement of peoples’ struggles against oppression and exploitation? What is feasibly missing from existing struggles, that which could bring such struggles to the next level? What can be done individually and as groups operating in different spatial and virtual constraints to help bridge this gap?