Editorial: To Awaken as if from a Dream
Changes in the way a society produces the wherewithal of its existence inevitably provoke a battle to reorganize society around those new means of production. New forces arise as the old order crumbles, and fighting for their existence helps to give rise to a new society organized around their needs. The battle for existence propels these new forces onward, but what they think — their consciousness — and how they act as a result of that consciousness, determines the outcome of the next stage of human history. This is the process of revolution.
Today a society based on industrial production is being destroyed by the revolutionary means of production, electronics. Every upsurge today is shaped by this reality, its forms deeply rooted in the history of its origin, but its character transformed by the meaning of the qualitatively new content of the times.
The article “Revolution is the Only Answer for the New Proletariat” shows that a new class of proletarians is being created from electronic production as surely as the industrial working class was created from the machine and the assembly line. Its demands cannot be met within the confines of capitalism, and the results of this reality can be seen everywhere in the world. The article looks at what this new class is, the contributions of the League of Revolutionaries for a New America to the understanding of the rise and importance of this new class, and engages in the ongoing debate over its significance to the revolutionary process.
“Third Party: Breaking the Ties That Bind” shows that the upsurges of last year are an expression of not only the deteriorating economic situation but the growing realization among the American people that the existing political party system does not represent the interests of the majority. The motion toward a third party is part and parcel of all the other struggles arising on the new foundation, these various strands interacting and intermingling to influence and shape the movement as it develops.
Struggle by itself cannot create transformation, no matter how great the potential. The battle to change society to conform to the new means of production is determined almost entirely by the consciousness of human beings. “Future Turns on What We Do Now” shows that consciousness develops in stages, and that at each stage of the struggle revolutionaries disseminate propaganda that points out the next step for the movement and explains why.
The article “Consciousness of Society’s Ills Fuels U.S. Upsurges” examines these stages of consciousness in more detail and assesses where the thinking of the American people is today. Knowing where the movement needs to go, the revolutionaries can present the kinds of ideas and answers to problems that are needed in such a way that prepares the class for its tasks at every step along the way.
“Revolution in Health Care Demands Revolutionary Vision” is a model of this approach. After analyzing the corporate concentration of the health care industry to the present time, the article shows that nationalization of the health care industry in the interests of the entire working class is the only solution to the problem of health care in America.
The article shows that even though the words might be different, this is in fact what people are demanding because they cannot live without it. Although it is a stage, not an end in itself, nationalization is a step toward the reorganization of society made necessary by the new means of production.
Revolutionaries today are fighting for the same ideals and vision upheld and fought for by the generations before them. That vision is of a society that provides the wherewithal for all its members to benefit from the material and cultural progress of humanity. It was this deep continuity of hope and intention that Karl Marx referred to when he wrote so long ago. “The reform of consciousness consists only in making the world aware of its own consciousness,” he wrote, “in awakening it out of its dream about itself, in explaining to it the meaning of its own actions.”
This article originated in Rally, Comrades!
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The age-old vision of a world without scarcity, without exploitation, class domination, organized violence, and stultifying labor has been the dream of millenia. The new completely socialized labor-eliminating means of production ... sets the basis for its realization. Now human history can begin, the light of the individual shining in the full brightness of liberated life, that can only be realized within true equality and cooperation: communism, a cooperative society.'Without Vision, the People Perish'
Rally, Comrades ! May/June 2011