Who Advocates Spontaneity?
Brecher, JeremyPublisher: Radical America, Cambridge MA USA, USA
Year Published: 1973
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX7138
The working class can come to understand its power to act only by acting.
Abstract: Brecher argues that "the 'consciousness' necessary for socialist revolution consists in workers' shared understanding that they can collectively initiate and control their own action to meet their own needs. Such an understanding does not flow directly and automatically from the position of workers in production, although that position is what makes workers potentially powerful. Nor does it arise primarily from the speeches, manifestos, and other "consciousness raising" activities of the Left, though they may make some contribution to it. The working class can come to understand its power to act only by acting."
He also states that "The working class is potentially revolutionary, and socialism would be the natural result if one tendency of its development were carried to its logical conclusion. But if this were the only tendency in effect, the workers would all be revolutionaries and socialism would have been achieved long ago. To ignore the factors which currently lead workers to adapt to existing society instead of trying to abolish it is to give up the ability to understand "the real, existing American working class with all its limitations." To ignore those limitations is to lose the power to grasp the process that will be necessary to overcome them."