Periodization

I think one can trace a roughly unified periodization of history among the “standard” communization tendencies (Dauve, TC, the Situationists and even the “classic” communist left):
1. The representation of the working class becomes an enemy of the working class as it exists (the Stalinist counter-revolution, failure of the old workers’ movement, etc, details varies by tendency)
2. The represent of the working class just vanishes completely ’cause capital no longer needs it and it no longer reflects most people’s reality.
—> With the point that stage 1 is the most important and stage 2 is just a natural corollary (it’s pretty simple – now that unions serve only, only capital, why does capital need unions, well, it clearly has decided it doesn’t).

I think Endnotes 3 basically combines the two stages and emphasizes the second. What this seems to bring them to is a “what people identify with is what the movement is” position. This is not the “history as mistake” since it gives materialist explanations for people’s identification with the different threads of history. But I feel it’s hardly better than “history as mistake” because it is saying all political movements, including the original workers’ movement, were just a matter of what identity was most credible. What it misses is that classes are categories of not just capitalist society but also of “the movement of history”. The proletariat begins, to one degree or another as those who individually have nothing to lose but their chains and becomes those who collectively have this existence. This class is a matter of “life conditions” and not “identification”.

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