Description/Abstract of your Event:
The original motivation for the proposed panel has been the discovery of an unusual Marx assertion in 1870: The English have all the material requisites necessary for a social revolution. What they lack is the spirit of generalization and revolutionary ardor. As professors of mathematics and science at a working class higher institution of learning we know well the absence of the spirit of generalization amongst the students of remedial arithmetic and algebra, who constitute 80% of every freshman cohort in the college. That surprising similarity between working class in England of 1870 and contemporary young generation of the working class growing in the Bronx sparked our interest to investigate the issue deeper. The panel will examine the whereabouts of the spirit of generalization among the working class in England of 1870ties, in Poland of 1980ties and in US of the second decade of 21st century. The examination of the whereabouts of the spirit of generalization leads us to examine details of the relationship between left intelligentsia and working class suggesting its re-assessment and the possible need for its transformation. Antonio Gramsci concept of organic intellectuals of the working class serves as an excellent tool for such a re-examination..