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Tuesday December 19th 2017Tim Candler9

 

      One of the problems for Lenin was that those who had nothing much more than their labor to sell in order to earn their living were working in primeval factory conditions and they were doing so eleven or ten hours a day, six days a week. This meant that very few of them had much time or energy to sit around, contemplate the future or engage their minds in the complexities of economic and social theories. And it was by raising the consciousness of this working class Lenin reckoned would provide him with the foundation of a power base with which to make a much better world. It was frustration as much as anything else that led to the idea of a vanguard of revolutionaries, groups of the more enlightened would read the texts, maintain a purity of idea, avoid getting sidetracked. These groups would multiply and as they did so they would raise the consciousness of the working class. In those days they had no Face Book or Pintrest, so for the believer it was evangelistic footwork, like the Mormons except meeting people in bars was allowed, having useful discussions, raising money from sympathizers in the higher strata and so on.

 

Past

     Today you could think about the Tea Party as a sort of vanguard and same with something like Indivisible, Grass roots if you like. And too the Vanguard of Revolutionaries had a propaganda arm, it was dedicated and not nearly as cynical as say Fox Cable News. Interesting also, in the famous pamphlet "What is to be Done," which was the 1901 genesis of the vanguard idea, mention was made of "survival of the fittest" as the path by which groups within the Vanguard would advance and organize themselves rather than rely too much on a central organizing and always expensive authority. Oddly following the last election here in the USA a plethora of groups emerged in vehement opposition to the current president and what he represented. The Democratic Party was in chaos, still is, and when a bigwig in the Democratic Party was asked by eager reporters which of the emerging groups the Democratic Party would support, the answer was basically "survival of the fittest." Depressing, of course it is!  But you and I do have a duty to turn up occasionally, stamp a foot, yell things like "Pull yourselves together!" and generally remind them that we live here too and it's not all about them, the bastards. Either that or both Pareto and Nietzsche were right, we really are a lumpen proletariat.

 

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