Revolutionary Organisations and
Class Consciousness
(Part 1)

1. Introduction

“Up till now, the philosophers have only interpreted the world. The point, however, is to change it.” Marx

Class consciousness and the revolutionary organisation’s role and task have been one of the most discussed issues of the working class’s history. A lot of questions can be rise regarding this matter such as; what are the consciousnesses in general and proletarian consciousness specifically? Also, what is ideology and what distinguishes ideology from the proletarian (class) consciousness? Finally, what is the revolutionary organisation’s role and tasks?

How have these questions been answered during the history of working class? How we can learn the lessons from our past experiences? What are the Marxist perspectives?

The goal of this article (which is going to be a series of articles) is to answers all of these questions from a Marxist perspective and with a Marxist coherence. In order to reach for these goals and ambitions the historical materialism will be very beneficiary for this. In the development of this process we have to very careful not ending up in some kind of idealism. As a result, we need to make sure that will deal with all these issues through a Development of Capitalism process and in the mean time the lessons from the proletariat.

This article is not "holy verses" which has no room for amendment but is an attempt from an Internationalist perspective and is still in the initial stages, the process is under development. That is why sometimes lots of questions will raise without having any answers.

Finally, we hope this article has been a small contribution and step to proletariat which with its class consciousness and its revolutionary organisations, the communist revolution will bring down the capitalism.

2. Class consciousness

“Both for the production on a mass scale of this communist consciousness, and for the success of the cause itself, the alteration of men on a mass scale is, necessary, an alteration which can only take place in a practical movement, a revolution; this revolution is necessary, therefore, not only because the ruling class cannot be overthrown in any other way, but also because the class overthrowing it can only in a revolution succeed in ridding itself of all the muck of ages and become fitted to found society anew.”
Marx, The German Ideology

Consciousness in generally

The consequence of primitive society maturity was division between manually and intellectual work. This resulted in the creation of specialised layer whose role was, defence and the development of these ideas. Thereafter, idea´s or consciousness’s source has been an employment for class society ideologues. In ancient society declared philosophers that Plato,' idea is creatures' and only by way of thinking is all too apparent. When the idealists occur for the first time, stated that God is the source for mankind's consciousness.

With the development of capitalist society, bourgeois materialists become visible. With the support of science declared that the substantive universe existed independently from us and contact with this universe, is the source of consciousness.

Bourgeois’ materialists see consciousness as an individual consciousness. Then, the historical materialism comes which describes that consciousness is not an individual consciousness but is an historical and social phenomenon. Also, historical materialism is dialectic.

What is class consciousness?

If we shall define class consciousness in a short sentence, then we can say, class consciousness is the proletariat’s consciousness of its historic task. It is the result of class’ historical experience and its material existence. The development of class consciousness is a dynamic process. The revolutionary organisation's function as a part of the class, is to develop, deepen and then generalisation and homogenize this class consciousness, by its intervention in the class.

Different views on class consciousness

The question of class consciousness has not been established from the beginning of the working class, but an issue which has been under constant development of the working class.

There have been two different views on class consciousness’ development process within the working class and it will be taken up both views, their strengths and weaknesses and the working movement has been marked by these apprehensions.

To Be Continued
M. Jahangiry
8 December 2009