Street crime and State crime

April 2024 Forums General discussion Street crime and State crime

Viewing 3 posts - 16 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • Author
  • #88278
    alanjjohnstone wrote:
    When the London riots/looting took place I detected a difference of opinion within the party. Those critical of the actions, accusing the perpetuators of being Lumpen-proletariat and other members also critical but lesser so and more sympathetic who saw the unrest as an understandable reaction to social conditions.

    50% of young black men unemployed, 1 million young people 16 to 24 unemployed, NEETs I think is the term – not in educaton, employment or training.  Huge increases in university tuition fees, no jobs anyway if you manage to graduate.  These are sizeable chunks of the working class, and consequently large lumpenproletarian blocks.  In Spain I think there are 5 million unemployed  or 24%. if these figures are correct then that is huge slabs of lumpen proletariat. We cannot give up on these people. The so-called lumpen proletariat are victims of capitalism. As a socialist I did not condemn the social unrest in our inner cities last August but understand the frustrations of young people, their conditions caused by poverty and alienation under capitalism – these people are, could be, doubly alienated – alienated from bourgeois conceptions of the work ethic, and alienated from humanity because they live in capitalism, they are even alienated from the consumer society and the ability to own branded goods like I phones and nike trainers – these are the goods (aswell as bottles of water!  )- they ‘looted’. These are the products valued in our consumerist capitalist  society, they are only trying to access this aspect of capitalist society. Critics on the Left said it was not a political protest – I disagree – when are attacks on the police (the guardians of the state and private property) and on property itself not political acts. The state reacted with obvious political court sentencing of the ‘looters’ and ‘rioters’.


    Steve, you will find plenty food for thought and contrasting opinions in all these following discussion threads and blog links, perhaps too many for you to read through. The riots/disturbances/uprising or how it is variously described was discussed and debated extensively and as far as i know there was no party-line laid down and no overall concensus except that capitalism is a bastard of a system in many ways. Some comrades understand that the revolution may well be a messy affair, others take a less anarchic stance and therefore less tolerant of their fellow workers behaviour.I think most members found the Marxian term lumpen-proletariat (like others eg under-class or precariat), to be ultimately not particularly useful in socialist analysis. 12 comments 1981


    I do not like the term ‘lumpen proletariat’ hence my use of putting it in bold in my post.

Viewing 3 posts - 16 through 18 (of 18 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.