Monday, August 29, 2011

On lumpenproletariat and lumpenized proletariat

I just came across a vindication of the early Marxist concept of lunpenproletariat (in Spanish at Aporrea and mirrored by the Coordinadora Antifascista de Jaén).

I tried to reply to the latter but then I realized that the comment sections is for members only, so here it is (because I think I came with something relevant to say) translated to English and also in the original Spanish version (scroll down).

The term lunpenproletariat is a most ambiguous concept because it could well be said that all workers are lumpen because, specially today with so much unemployment, all workers depend on the caprice of bourgeoisie. Also most of them lack a class ideology.

It is therefore normal that the concept of lunpenproletariat is ignored because, sincerely, I know drug traffickers with greater class consciousness than many workers with a contract.

As generic idea, the lunpenproletariat may be a useful concept, but it is not easy to make a difference with the other classes, specially at individual level. I do not think either that Fascism is based mainly on the lumpen, but on the petty bourgeoisie (specially when it becomes impoverished) and bourgeois-ized sectors of the working class.

Much more dangerous than the lumpen, which generally lacks of any power of its own, is the proletariat under bourgeois direction. We must not forget that Capitalism is nothing but the product of the working class, under the direction of a parasitic class: bourgeoisie, unable to create anything by itself but very capable of monopolizing power (mostly by economic but also political means) and of manipulating the working class against its own collective objective interests.

The keystone of the revolutionary process is the emancipation of the working class from ideological, economic and political domination by the parasitic bourgeois class. Marx as bourgeois (and in spite of his genius and greatness) had a somewhat bourgeois-ized view of the working class - and the working class itself often has it because it is mesmerized by the bourgeois imagnary, which steals its consciousness and destroys its revolutionary potential, effectively 'lumpenizing' almost all the proletariat.

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Spanish version

Es un concepto muy ambiguo porque realmente se podría decir que tod·s los trabajador·s son entonces lumpen porque, especialmente hoy día con tanto paro, tod·s dependen del capricho de la burguesía. Además también están casi tdo·s desideologizad·s.

Es normal que el concepto se ignore porque yo conozco traficantes de drogas con más conciencia de clase obrera que much·s trabajador·s con contrato.

Como idea genérica, el lumpenproletariado puede ser un concepto útil pero no es fácil distinguirlo de las demás clases, sobre todo a nivel individual. Tampoco creo que el fascismo se base principalmente en en el lumpen, sino en la pequeña burguesía (sobre todo cuando se ve empobrecida) y sectores aburguesados de la clase obrera.

Más peligroso que el lumpen, que en general carece de poder, es el proletariado bajo la dirección burguesa. No olvidemos que el Capitalismo no es otra cosa que un producto de la clase obrera, bajo la dirección de otra clase parasítica: la burguesía, incapaz de crear nada por si mism·s pero muy capaz de monopolizar el poder (por vías principalmente económicas pero también políticas) y manipular a la clase obrera en contra de sus propios intereses objetivos colectivos.

El quid del proceso revolucionario es la emancipación de la clase obrera de la dominación ideológica, económic y política por parte de la clase burguesa parasítica. Marx como burgués (a pesar de su genialidad y grandeza) tenía una visión un tanto aburguesada de la clase obrera - y la clase obrera misma suele tenerla porque está hipnotizada por el imaginario burgués que le roba su conciencia y destruye su potencial revolucionario, efectivamente "lumpenizando" al proletariado en casi su totalidad.

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