ADVANTAGES

I'm starting to lose my nerve, so I'd better try to stand back for a bit. I think thatwhat follows has real strengths on the side of demystification but profound weaknesses onthe side of specific practices which will bring into being an alternative cosmology orcounter-hegemonic world-view. Much more development of strategies and techniques togenerate and sustain prefigurative struggles is required, and I think I've only glimpsedat the problems. But I still think I've seen enough to make a beginning. Since writing theearly drafts of this exploratory working programme, I've found that study of, andstruggles about, the labour process provide a very fruitful orienting perspective whichpromises to unite industrial struggles and the New Left concentration on the politics ofprocess (see below and my review of Braverman in 4).This perspectivecan avoid the extreme theoreticism of the history of ideas and the extremeanti-theoretical activism of a purely workerist strategy. By this I mean that the specialclaims made for science have led us to treat it and its history and its social relations(both 'inside' the scientific community and in its history and its relations with the restof society-ultimately a false distinction since the deep structures of those sets ofrelations are the same) as different from other human practices by virtue of itsscientificity. At the other extreme, the focus of many marxist groups and perspectives onthe exclusive revolutionary role of the industrial working class (and the growingproletarianisation of scientific workers) has prevented us from seeing the need to developstrategies for praxis for the mediators-the experts in education, in scientific researchand in science-based industry. (Time for another reminder that I always want to implytechnology and medicine when I say 'science'.) So on the one hand I want to move towardthe industrial model in saying that science isn't fundamentally different from industryand should be subjected to the same political and ideological analyses, while on the otherhand I want to maintain that scientific politics need not be industrial proletarian(‘point of production') politics alone. (This is a slightly misleading way of puttingthe position, since I would also want to say some things about enriching traditionalmodels for industrial struggles.) Mediators of power and ideology have their own struggleswhich should be closely integrated with-but still have distinct aspects from-those ofother workers.

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