R.I. is very pleased to publish the final essay in Kenny Lake’s series The Specter that Still Haunts: Locating a Revolutionary Class in Contemporary Capitalism-Imperialism. The series was written well before the Donald Trump was elected president of the US. As such, Part IV of the series does not reflect the radical changes in the political sphere that have recently taken place. However, its analysis of who constitutes the proletariat in the US remains accurate, and if anything the vicious attacks on immigrants and attempts to reinvigorate mass incarceration under the current US government make the analysis in Part IV all the more timely. Along with Part III, this essay will appear in Volume #9 of Uprising, coming out… who knows when! When we have something halfway theoretically profound to say.
by Kenny Lake
Having laid a theoretical foundation for understanding the proletariat as a concept in part one, drawn a broad outline of changes in the capitalist-imperialist system in part two, and extracted lessons from the successes in forging a revolutionary people in recent communist people’s wars in part three, here we turn our attention to understanding who constitutes the proletariat in the United States and especially its most potentially revolutionary sections. Given the lack of any real communist pole in the US (and in most of the world), it will be crucial for those seeking to build communist organization to do so by picking the ripest fruit for harvesting a revolutionary people. Since, as argued throughout this series, it is in the processes of dispossession and proletarianization and in the social antagonisms created by the anarchic movements of capital that those most prone to revolutionary possibilities can be found, communist practice requires a keen analysis of just who those people are to be most effective.