Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mass Psychology and the Mass Line: What is Class Consciousness? by Wilhelm Reich

Hitler Youth

Published from exile in Denmark in June of 1934 as a pamphlet; What is Class Consciousness? by Wilhelm Reich criticizes the politics of the Communist Party that had been smashed by Hitler’s National Socialism in 1933. 

In particular, he focuses on the Party’s lack of what Mao would call a mass line and mass perspective and it’s consequent inability to communicate with and win over the broad masses of Germans to the side of revolution, or as he puts it,

 “to achieve a joining of the consciousness of the revolutionary avant-garde with the consciousness of the average citizen.”

Source: http://ri-ir.org/2011/06/02/mass-psychology-and-the-mass-line-what-is-class-consciousness-by-wilhelm-reich/

PDF of What is Class Consciousness by Wilhelm Reich


Democracy and Class Struggle regard the Mass Psychology of Fascism and his later work What is Class Consciousness written in the immediate aftermath of Nazi success has penetrating revolutionary studies with valuable lessons for today.

We are not unsympathetic to his later scientific works but find his analysis in 1933 and 1934 profoundly valuable and this was his revolutionary communist time from which we can still learn today.

We of course reject Reich's later anti-Communism from 1946 in his work Listen, Little Man! which is nothing but anti political psychological reductionism.

He loses the social and economic vision of communism which he in 1947 called Red Fascism and becomes more paranoid.



Mao Zedong outlining the Mass Line in 1943



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