Over the past several years, our group has sought to analyze the bases for the functioning of the capitalist mode of production, and in particular, the impact of the real domination of capital on it. One aspect that we have also focused on has been how fundamental economic changes were integrally linked to changes in the organization of society in all of its other domains. Those changes involve the composition of the social classes, the very configuration of which has been modified, the specific modes of exploitation of the proletariat, and both the way in which it sees itself in the world and the bases upon which it can defend itself. The debate that follows originated in the effort to understand how our class, which -- under the impact of the penetration of the law of value into every aspect of life, common and individual – is subject to the full impact of alienation, can extricate itself from that condition; how a class that has been stripped of its traditional benchmarks, and has had to bear the full weight of an effort to reduce it to a disposable commodity, can still grasp its key role in the advent of a new kind of society.
The concept of species being has not been unanimously accepted within our group, and readers of this issue of IP can see the different, sometimes even contradictory, positions articulated on this issue. What is crucial for us is to be able to a have an open and thoroughgoing debate on the fundamental question of the conditions for the development of the political consciousness of the proletariat within the framework established by the way in which the capitalist mode of production functions now.
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