movement. From that point on, as the movement throws up its representative leading bodies, the weight of conscious political leadership--or misleadership--increases; the conscious factor in the struggle tends to determine, in increasing proportion, the ultimate victory or defeat of the movement as a whole.
As the first mass strike manifestation alerts the ruling class to this new threat to its power, the rulers begin to prepare countermeasures which demand increasingly better coordination and leadership of the movement as a whole. Already, in the Columbia situation, there have been numerous instancies in which emergent political leaders have made decisions without which the movement would have collapsed or been seriously set back. As the movement develops, ventures on new phases, the role of leadership will increase. For example, the super-activists can become the happy-hunting-ground for police entrapment. The infiltration police agent says, "I have a can of gasoline; let's burn down a hall. " The ultra-anarchists say, "Yeah, man, " and then the waiting red squad outside steps in to announce, "You're all busted. "
The adventurer mindlessly tries to "electrify the masses." He reflects this by his anti-intellectualism, his hostility to the process of developing theory and program--"What wet need is not talk, but action, " such people contend. They do not understand that masses will not move until the way for decisive action has been prepared by clarity on issues of program, that mass force must begin to assimilate an appropriate program, must be won to agreement with its leading demands, before vanguard mass action should be launched in behalf of those demands.
The interests of the class as a whole are always reducible to the form of demands for vastly increased productive employment at wage-levels consonant with employment in the most advanced industries. It is only in that way that the material interests of the class as a whole can be fulfilled and, by the resulting increase in per capita wealth produced, the material standard of living of all workers substantially advanced.
Thus, the aspirations corresponding to the general interest of the class as a whole do not appear as the demands of organized workers at the point of production. On the contrary, if the poorer and unemployed workers are members of a racial minority, etc. , the natural tendencies of organized trade unionists at the local point of production are expressed most clearly in outright and latent racism. It is the poorer, unorganized, and other wage-earners whose urgent need for jobs, for better jobs, for a better standard of living, etc., produces a more direct correspondence between their natural aspirations and the general interests of the class as a whole.