trade-union consciousness

trade-union consciousness

the limited, sectionalist, less than revolutionary, social-democratic consciousness which, according to Lenin, the working class spontaneously develops from the narrow ‘conviction that it is necessary to combine in unions, fight employers and strive to compel governments to pass legislation’ (LENIN, 1902). Since these ameliorative objectives serve to impede working-class unity and ensure subservience to bourgeois ideology, the theoretical and philosophical insights of intellectuals are necessary for the development of class consciousness. This thesis has influenced subsequent debates about TRADE UNIONS in capitalist societies. see also CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS.
References in periodicals archive ?
It was capable of making the links between specific instances of oppression and systemic class exploitation and thus able to break people from a narrow trade-union consciousness to something altogether more dynamic and useful to the class as a whole.
The civil servants formed a general committee to respond to the political upheaval of this era and highlighted many of their grievances, and in doing so developed a trade-union consciousness. In the event, as Dublin Castle lurched from crisis to crisis and struggled in the aftermath of the 1916 Rising, there was no real engagement with the problems of Irish administration, and political disloyalty in the civil service was treated with considerable leniency.
Therein, it will be recalled, Lenin insisted that the experience of trade unionism in all countries demonstrated "that the working class, exclusively by its own effort, is able to develop only trade-union consciousness." The spontaneous labor movement, Lenin wrote elsewhere in the same pamphlet, "is pure and simple trade unionism." Political, socialist consciousness could only be brought to workers from without, by Marxist intellectuals whose task was to "divert" the labor movement from its spontaneous, trade-unionist striving.