THE MASS STRIKE by L. Marcus (Lyndon LaRouche)
ment, win the support of other wage-earners in general, and put an end to the capitalist system in this country ( which is to say the world) within the course of the next years.
That is the sort of process Luxemburg uncovered in the mass strike.
What students represent is not simply the most mobile potential catalytic force. Socialism, socialist consciousness, consists in establishing democratic control over the causal relationship between production and "consumption, " that is to control production, not for higher wages at the point of production, but in order to consciously regulate the material conditions of our own lives. In the spiritual side of things, to accomplish that is to become human for the first time in the history of our race, to create a new, higher form of man, exerting conscious control over the forces that shape his own life.
Students, representing in capitalist society the layer to which modern imperialism delegates the duties of regulating production-distribution relationships, etc. , represent that layer uniquely attuned to putting bourgeois management technology at the disposal of the working-class and its allies. It is students of production technology who can program the useful reconstruction, reorientation of whole industries, it is students of architecture who can put conscious control of housing and city planning into tenants' hands, and so forth. By "betraying" their capitalist employers, coming over to the side of working people, students potentially embody the means by which working people can create their own complete alternatives to the economic institutions of the ruling class. At the same time, students gain from this what they can attain in no other way, meaningful lives. Students can arm the potentially revolutionary layers with program, the third decisive prerequisite for an effective mass revolutionary struggle.
The main discrepancy between Columbia and Paris lies not in the political qualities of the leftwing leaders, but in the extent of preparation for mass action among contiguous forces. It is, in any case, inevitable that France, Britain, Germany, and Italy should be immediately riper for mass action on a broad scale. Since the advent of World War II, those former competitors of U.S. Imperialism have been reduced to its virtual semi-colonial satrapies, thus tending to exhibit the qualities of "weak links. " What is far more important than the differences between the two is the essential identity in form and content. Both student upsurges, unlike the mass militant reformist struggles at Berkeley, were actually revolutionary, or embryonic ally revolutionary manifestations of the political class struggle. Paris, as