Selection from: The American Revolution


  • James Boggs



Marxism, Political Economy, Inequality, Labor


The fact that we are devoting an entire double issue of Monthly Review to one man's assessment of our present national condition does not mean that we agree with everything James Boggs has to say, any more than publication of his work in MR means that Mr. Boggs shares all the views of the editors. Our reason for publishing these pages is that we think Mr. Boggs has things to say that all Americans, and especially Americans of the Left, ought to listen to. He knows the American labor movement from the inside, and he knows the mood of working-class Negroes because he is one. When he speaks of the American Revolution, he is not using a figure of speech. He means it quite literally. In fact he thinks that the American Revolution has already begun. He also thinks that it will be a protracted, painful, violent process in which not only will Negroes clash with whites but Negroes will clash with Negroes and whites with whites. And there is no end in sight and will not be until Americans finally come to realize that their responsibility is nothing less than the building of a classless society capable of making use of the prodigious powers of modern technology for genuinely human ends. They will not come to this realization and assume this responsibility except to the extent that they purge themselves of the accumulated corruption not of years or decades but of centuries, and this can be achieved only through struggle, suffering, and sacrifice. To this, we can only say amen.