Campaign Update

March 8, 2008 at 4:59 pm Leave a comment

Obama will win the Wyoming caucus today.

yawn, scratch…

I’ve been revisiting Lukacs:

Quite apart from problems of culture where such fissures and dissonances are crucial, in all practical matters too the fate of a class depends on its ability to elucidate and solve the problems with which history confronts it.

Agreed. That the American proletariat is confronted with the choice between democrats is an ongoing problem. I’ve been watching the nomination process closely since it began in early ’07. Tired, trite, and tried, are the moderate palliatives on offer from Hillary and Barack.

Yes of course, it’s better than anything coming from McCain, but that’s saying so very, very little…

Lukacs tells us:

For a class to be ripe for hegemony means that its interests and consciousness enable it to organize the whole of society in accordance with those interests. The crucial question in every class struggle is this: which class possesses this capacity and this consciousness at the decisive moment? This does not preclude the use of force. It does not mean that the class-interests destined to prevail and thus to uphold the interests of society as a whole can be guaranteed an automatic victory. On the contrary, such a transfer of power can often only be brought about by the most ruthless use of force (as e.g. the primitive accumulation of capital). But it often turns out that questions of class consciousness prove to be decisive in just those situations where force is unavoidable and where classes are locked in a life-and-death struggle.

Lukacs goes on to argue that class consciousness was absent in the absence of classes in pre-capitalist societies. He diagnoses the confused neo-feudal equivocation of the petty bourgeoisie–whose views and efforts, it turns out…gasp!…are largely irrelevant. The two significant classes are the proletariat and the bourgeoisie.

The voting proletariat seems to like Clinton. It’s true, the use of force is a non-starter against the American government. Superior firepower and all. But absent the will. That’s the disturbing part.

As Thoreau wrote in his Plea for Captain John Brown:

It turns what sweetness I have to gall, to hear, or hear of, the remarks of some of my neighbors. When we heard at first that he was dead, one of my townsmen observed that he died as the fool dieth; which, pardon me, for an instant suggested a likeness in him dying to my neighbor living. Others, craven-hearted, said disparagingly, that he threw his life away, because he resisted the government. Which way have they thrown their lives, pray?–such as would praise a man for attacking an ordinary band of thieves and murderers. I hear another ask, Yankee-like, What will he gain by it? as if he expected to fill his pockets by this enterprise. Such a one has no idea of gain but in this worldly sense. If it does not lead to a surprise party, if he does not get a new pair of boots, or a vote of thanks, it must be a failure. But he won’t gain anything by it. Well, no, I don’t suppose he could get four-and-sixpence a day for being hung, take the year round; but then he stands the chance to save a considerable part of his soul,–and such a soul!–when you do not. No doubt you can get more in your market for a quart of milk than for a quart of blood, but that is not the market that heroes carry their blood to.


Entry filed under: Barack, Hillary Clinton, Lukacs, Thoreau. Tags: , , , , .

Adaptation Screams Behind the Shadows

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