We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

Remembering Marx~I

2 1 6

Marxist thinkers assert that a socialist revolution can never occur if the workers of that country do not attain revolutionary consciousness. On the issue of feasibility of the emergence of revolutionary consciousness, non-Marxist thinkers are not in agreement with the Marxists. In order to ensure the emergence of revolutionary consciousness of the working class the Marxists devised a novel mechanism. But did they succeed in realising that mechanism?

Non-Marxist social science has made class-consciousness one of its main topics of study, though, the conceptual frameworks that are used have little to do with Marx’s own. The preferred approach is the survey of attitudes, simply by asking workers a whole range of questions as to how they feel, think, and act in regard to specified social and political situations.

One of the most influential examples of this approach is found in Goldthorpe, Lockwood, Bechhofer, and Platt. Those who conduct such surveys generally assume that the answers they get back are honest, of similar intensity, easy to interpret and relatively stable. But Seymour Martin Lipset, whose writings on the working class have made extensive use of such materials, admits that no attitude survey has even foretold any of the great bouts of working class consciousness that have occurred.

Public choice literature offers another non-Marxist approach to the study of class-consciousness. Here, the emphasis is on examining the practical reasoning that leads individuals to make decisions on whether to participate in class actions. Based on a highly individualist sense of decision-making and an extremely egoistic view of human nature, most of the studies that have come out of this school........

© The Statesman