The class consciousness of American workers, in case you hadn't heard, is lagging behind such social realities as spiraling inflation and unemployment. Green, applying a stock Marxist analysis to the crisis of capitalism, sees ""a deliberate effort to lower living standards."" Reviewing the ""castration"" of unions in the post-War era, the changing composition Of the working class, and the racial and ethnic antagonisms which retard working-class unity, he suggests that the illusion that America has subdued the ""boom-bust cycle"" of capitalism is currently disintegrating; he is hopeful that the sell-out ""class-partnership"" policies of the AFL-CIO will be replaced by red-blooded class struggle. The book is anything but an exhortation to action, however; a staid, dreadfully sober theoretical work, it calls mildly for ""a coalition of Left and Center forces"" as in the Thirties. A Communist Party ideologue, Green moots the possibility of a Left political party which (taking a leaf from George Wallace's book) would maintain organizational autonomy while also operating on the Democrats' left flank. The issue around which the consciousness of the masses can develop is, according to Green, nationalization of utilities, public transit, and the oil companies. A dull, backward-looking book which confirms the fact that the C.P. hasn't escaped from the thrall of the Thirties.
Pub Date: July 2, 1976
Page Count: -
Publisher: International Publishers (381 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10016)