- 08 Jul 2020 22:33
The reason militant proletarian organizing, and even revolutions, existed in the most backward countries of the world around 1900 was *because* those places were so backward. They were trying to catch-up to the West in industrialization, and that's best fulfilled with a corresponding change in the societal *structure*, or 'social relations'.
If you think about it for a moment, industrialization confers *massive quantities* of mass-produced goods, but capitalism has only featured hierarchical-pyramids of private ownership and management of these means-of-mass-industrial-production, which is inherently *elitist* compared to the massive quantities coming off the assembly lines of industrial production.
If control of this mass production was *collectivized* among the workers of any given factory / workplace, then there would be a more spread-out, *egalitarian* approach to the *running*, and even 'co-administration', of such sprawling machinery, including all of the incremental-step work-roles of the assembly line.
Unfortunately the proletarian-type revolutions (notably the Bolshevik Revolution and the Hungarian Revolution) did *not* prevail, and so we still live under elitist-hierarchical class rule today. But the issue remains burning, since it's still *unresolved*, and the elitism ('income inequality') worsens by the day.
Also, many / most of those so-called 'communist parties' were actually bought-off, and were *bourgeois-nationalist* in practice, molded after the bureaucratic-elitist Stalinist USSR apparatus, for whatever that was worth -- it wasn't about empowering the *workers* in practice, in their workplaces.
Sure, within any *empire*, like that of the U.S., many more people will be relatively *privileged*, compared to their international Third-World-type counterparts, and may be land owners, 'middle-class', etc., with economic interests that are tied into nationalist patronage networks (political commodification, in other words).
I think we have to keep in mind, though, that *anyone* who receives a wage for what they do, whether that's *physical* labor ('blue-collar'), *service* labor ('pink-collar'), or even *office* work ('white-collar'), is thus a *worker* since their economic interests are *not* tied into the health and success of the business entity that they work for.
I think there's certainly *plenty* of a proletarian base in the 'First World', advanced capitalist countries of the West, and certainly enough to carry off a proletarian revolution in their own countries given favorable conditions and adequate militant labor organizing, class consciousness, general strikes, etc. -- which would then have to link with their respective brothers and sisters, by industry, in the rest of the world.
One's class interests can be empirically measured by looking at one's objective relationship to the means of mass industrial production (meaning significant stock ownership and life-means from dividends, or not?). For someone to be petty-bourgeois they'd have to be getting most of their income from the business they own, by exploiting limited numbers of wage-workers.