Sunday, October 15, 2006

Lumpenproletariat


Via-Resistancia sent this short passage from The Peasants' War in Germany by Friedrich Engels. I have never read Engels (or Marx, for that matter), but I found the excerpt revealing of a realistic concept of human nature, not usually associated with communists:

"The Lumpenproletariat, these dregs of individuals adrift from all classes, that sets up its headquarters in big cities is, of all possible allies, the worst. This scum is absolutely venal and troublesome. Whenever French workers, at each new revolution, wrote on houses the inscription 'Death to Thieves!' and shot more than one of them, it certainly wasn't out of enthusiasm for property, but because they knew very well that above all else, this gang had to be gotten rid of. Any worker-boss who hires these hobos as body guards, or who relies on them, is proving already that he is nothing but a traitor to the movement...

According to Via-Resistancia:


This short excerpt summarizes well the fact that the Left has already lost the battle since it has become the ally of the new Lumpenproletariat composed mainly of scum of Muslim origin. Those who continue to support or defend them are traitors.

More on lumpenproletariat from Everything2:


Term used by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to describe members of the most destitute of social classes in society. As criminals, sex workers, beggars, vagrants, the unemployed and other dispossessed characters who are outside the normal wage-labour system, they do not have the class consciousness necessary to organise themselves into pressing the bourgeoise for better conditions. Instead, they would rely on the bourgeoise and aristocracy for patronage, a reliance that would make them support the status-quo and potentially become a reactionary force. Marx and Engels adopted the term to describe people in the historical working class who simply do not behave in the best interests of their own class because of personal circumstances (they are tied to the bottle, or reckon that crime does pay).

In High German the word 'lumpen' means 'rags', the garment of habit by members of the Lumpenproletariat in Marx's times.

The words academic Lumpenproletariat and Lumpenprofessoriat show that the term has survived, if in tongue-in-cheek usage, to describe how through casualisation of the labour force some professionals like teachers are no longer able to collectively unite and fight for better working conditions. I expect the word Lumpenprogrammeriat to surface soon.

Note: Reading this, it occurred to me that when the counter-culture struck the Western world in the sixties, it was spearheaded primarily by minority (black) gangs whose violence became a way of life in our cities. The Left defended them passionately, and adopted their habits and their ways, making the ghetto mentality and culture into the NORMS for everyone else. Thus, the culture we live in today is very much a "lumpenkultur" if I may coin a phrase.

3 Comments:

At October 16, 2006 7:49 PM, Anonymous W.LindsayWheeler said...

I want to second your nomination for "lumpenkultur". American culture is just that---a vulgar, puerile, immoral, crass showcase. I don't call it "culture"---it is trash.

I have turned off the TV. I can't stand it. They call the Fox channel "conservative" but its programming is anything but. All its programming is to show how stupid and infantile the white man is. From the Simpsons to Family guy to King of the Hill, simply outrageous.

I grew up on Adam-12, John Wayne and decent Walt Disney movies. I can't stand to watch anything these days. In one week, I watched five shows that had "Nazi" themes from PBS to crime shows where proto-Nazis went around doing evil things. The Jewish writers have nothing else better to talk about and the scenes of sex and crime are getting MORE lurid and MORE graphic.

I watched some 250 shows of Perry Mason, each one enjoyable. Not one Nazi theme, no sex and no graphic murder scenes.

We do live in a "lumpenkultur".

 
At October 16, 2006 9:07 PM, Blogger tiberge said...

@ lindsay

Glad you approve of my new word. I have nothing to add to your analysis of the boob tube. I used to watch PBS all the time. Now I just tape their classical music performances, and sometimes a movie. They not only offer third rate stuff, the repeat ad nauseum certain shows that THEY like - rock concerts, doo-wop, gurus who will show you the road to salvation and how-to-get-rich-quick shows.

And always the camera pans the audience full of useful idiots who smile and laugh, and look pensive and teary, all on cue.

I keep the secondary audio on. I don't know if you have this feature. You tune to PBS and you receive the video, but you turn on secondary audio and get classical music 24 hours a day, except when the service for the "visually impaired" is enabled. I cover up the video with a dish cloth or towel, and just listen to the music. It's not a bad deal.

 
At October 17, 2006 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's funny.

 

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