Saturday, June 6, 2009


precondition of revolutionary action but a consequence of
revolution accomplished.

On consciousness

Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after
they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.

Many pro-revolutionaries argue that revolution cannot happen
without a revolutionary will propelling the revolutionary body
forward. For them the revolutionary body must be conscious of its
goal and of the connection between its actions and the goals, it
must be aware of the consequence of what it is doing when it is
engaging in revolutionary activity. For many pro-revolutionaries
this means the revolutionary body must consciously embody both
explicit revolutionary and post-revolutionary values. The question
of consciousness is therefore absolutely central to the
revolutionary project and to pro-revolutionary practice. But certain
problems become apparent when consideration is paid to the
specific formulations of consciousness and the means of its arrival
of manifestation in the revolutionary body. The first of these is the
relative but objective separation of pro-revolutionaries form the
revolutionary body, there seems little in common between the
political values of the pro-revolutionaries and the economic
struggles of the revolutionary body. This separation is most clearly
stated in class terms: all too few pro-revolutionary are
proletarians, this immediate distance calls for solutions to the
problem of how to reach out to the workers, what language to use,
which short term goals may be pursued without compromising the
revolutionary project, which revlutionary values are appropriate
for expression in this situation, and so on. Most crucially there is
the problem of reproducing class relations within the revolutionary
movement middle class intellectuals as leaders are and workers as,
well, workers. From our experience of the current pro-
revolutionary milieu, we have found no serious theoretical address
of this problem. Most pro-revolutionaries have no clear-cut
definitions of what revolutionary consciousness is, or how it is to be
transmitted by pro-revolutionaries to the revolutionary body without
the contamination of class domination. We have found that pro-
revolutionaries are simply not prepared to discuss why it is that
revolutionary consciousness has been steadily leaking out of the

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