Our class needs consciousness, not “direction”

Submitted by Matthew on 24 August, 2011 - 10:05

Much of the left’s response to the riots centred on the argument that the whole thing would’ve been positively progressive if only the “anger” or “rage” of rioting youth could have been successfully “channelled” or “directed”.

This is not only thoroughly patronising but also a total misunderstanding of the importance of ideas for socialists.

Patronising, because it implies that all we can expect from urban working-class youth is a formless “rage” that must be “channelled” and “directed” by an enlightened leftist elite. And a misunderstanding because it forgets that for our politics to win, millions of working-class people must take conscious ownership over Marxist ideas.

Fantasising about an “angry” mass being “directed” by the far-left turns the anarchist caricature of vanguardism into a reality. It is one we should reject.

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