Workerism, ADX


Workerism is a term that refers to the supporting of industrial labourers over other modes of labourers. The over-rewarding of labourers who create the capital, economy, nation and material over other labourers can be an element of workerism. In its social context, it’s a sexist ideology by fetishizing the muscly labour and distancing female wage-labourers and feminine workers. In terms of Marxism, Karl Marx had rediscovered the term Work Capital I, The Fetishism of Commodities and the Secret Thereof “On the other hand he has a presentiment, that labour, so far as it manifests itself in the value of commodities, counts only as expenditure of labour power, but he treats this expenditure as the mere sacrifice of rest, freedom, and happiness, not as at the same time the normal activity of living beings”. The outlying difference between Labour and Work was further propagated by Friedrich Engels “The labour which creates use value, and counts qualitatively, is Work, as distinguished from Labour, that which creates Value and counts quantitatively, is Labour as distinguished from Work – Engels”. In its historical context, workerism has it places in moralism with the Christian’s in the 19th century practicing an element of it in the creation of churches and slavery. The search for crucial fractions within the proletariat, whose struggle is privileged, reveals a hierarchical perspective held by the workerist. And from this capitalist ideology, they treat those who take down an external path that isn’t manual with the absolute disdain. The consequences of the workerists plan of action within the programme and proletariat structure had been decoded by Amadeo Bordiga “The degeneration of the social-democratic parties of the Second International and the fact that they apparently became less revolutionary than the unorganised masses, are due to the fact that they gradually lost their specific party character precisely through workerist and “labourist” practices.” As communists, our goal isn’t to create a workers state; as the concept of classes are completely abolish under socialism in terms of Marx stating in Poverty of Philosophy “The condition for the emancipation of the working class is the abolition of every class, just as the condition for the liberation of the third estate, of the bourgeois order, was the abolition of all estates and all orders” and Vladimir Lenin “Socialism means the abolition of classes”. As communists, we must abolish the concept of work. Therefore, we must constantly echo and harshly attack workerists within our philosophical implications and proletariat plan of action. The Councilists, Syndicalists and Stalinists can pronounce their pathos, ethos, and logos of supporting the working class; while not acknowledging the fundamental trend of re-organisation, moralism, democratic, spontaneous and workerism. The famous council communist, Otto Rühle can articulate that “Only in the factory is the worker of today a real proletarian… Outside the factory he is a petty-bourgeois…”, while ignoring the stratosphere of the degeneration of the individual from the capitalist ideology of workerism. We can conclude however that workerists therefore play the blind man’s game. Meaning, the workerists will be running to the hills in the realisation that the proletariat has the outmost certainly to abolish workerism capital and itself, but come to foresee that the proletariat has no fucking limits. 

3 thoughts on “Workerism, ADX

  1. This essay itself seems to be stuck in some form of “moralism”. Why did Lenin turn towards the industrial proletarians and not shop keepers or servants? It is simple: the industrial proletariat was the section of the class that was growing at the most rapid rate, and developing more and more advanced forms of struggle. This section of the class would come to play a leading role in pulling the rest of the working-class into the struggle. Either which way you cut it, industrial workers are at the core of the economy and their labor struggle would play the largest role in weakening capitalism.

    1. The point of “workerism” is about supporting a section of the proletariat over another; but also propagating a sense of fetishism of the working class and rejecting other key individuals of the labor force. Furthermore industrial workers in the center of capitalism don’t play the over-encompassing role of, like you said “are at the core of the economy”. The agricultural sector of the economy has been over the past couple of decades played increasing role in the stabilization of the global market and the exportation of commodities for capital; particularly Australia’s reliance on exporting certain produce of agriculture. But overall, the point of anti-workerism isn’t the thoughts of moralism; but rather acknowledging that the workerist positions of the past have not understood that wage-labour and the non-abolition of the worker have played a role in the social decadence of revolutions; just as much as Amadeo Bordiga would reject workerists in his invariant programme. A clear example of this type of workerism came from Stalinism and Nazism; as their propaganda, focus on specific workers and shaming of those not joining the industrial sector of the proletariat came into play.

      1. Industry being a core part of the economy does not exclude the agricultural sector also being a core part of the economy, though I would argue that agricultural workers are at this point much more similar to industrial workers, as opposed to in Lenin’s times. In my country, and especially in my area, agricultural workers largely work in “rural factories” of sorts and are organized in an industrial union that organizes everyone who works in food production.

        When Amadeo Bordiga spoke of “workerism” it was not in the way that you speak of it, in terms of “moralism” or “fetishization” but as a specific historical tendency belonging to the social-democrats, not to the “stalinists”(who never organized workers’ parties in the same manner that the social-democrats had).

        If I may quote, “Party and Class”,

        “The degeneration of the social-democratic parties of the Second International and the fact that they apparently became less revolutionary than the unorganised masses, are due to the fact that they gradually lost their specific party character precisely through workerist and “labourist” practices. That is, they no longer acted as the vanguard preceding the class but as its mechanical expression in an electoral and corporative system, where equal importance and influence is given to the strata that are the least conscious and the most dependent on egotistical claims of the proletarian class itself. As a reaction to this epidemic, even before the war, there developed a tendency, particularly in Italy, advocating internal party discipline, rejecting new recruits who were not yet welded to our revolutionary doctrine, opposing the autonomy of parliamentary groups and local organs, and recommending that the party should be purged of its false elements. This method has proved to be the real antidote for reformism, and forms the basis of the doctrine and practice of the Third International, which puts primary importance on the role of the party – that is a centralised, disciplined party with a clear orientation on the problems of principles and tactics. “

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