How Do Workers' Ideas Change?

Socialism 2017

August 15, 2017

Marx argued that through collective struggle workers become conscious of their own class interests. But they also wrote that the “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas.” How is the working class able to begin this process of collective struggle—a precondition for developing class consciousness—if it is subject to these ruling ideas? Is it utopian to believe that the masses, manipulated and exposed to the ruling ideas, can ever develop the capacity to resist capitalism? Working-class people are not blank slates or automatons. They carry with them a variety of different, often contradictory ideas, some of which reflect the ruling ideas, and some which challenge them. This session will explore how such ruling ideas can be challenged.

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