Political Science

A People's History of Poverty in America by Stephen Pimpare

By Stephen Pimpare

During this compulsively readable social heritage, political scientist Stephen Pimpare vividly describes poverty from the point of view of negative and welfare-reliant americans from the large urban to the agricultural nation-state. He specializes in how the terrible have created group, secured preserve, and located nutrients and illuminates their battles for dignity and respect.

Through prodigious archival study and lucid research, Pimpare information the ways that charity and relief for the negative were inseparable, ordinarily, from the scorn and disapproval of these who may aid them. within the wealthy and sometimes miraculous old tales he has amassed from the bad in the United States, Pimpare overturns any uncomplicated conclusions approximately how the negative see themselves or what it seems like to be poor—and he exhibits basically that the negative are all too frequently conscious that charity comes with a value. it's that cost that Pimpare eloquently questions during this booklet, reminding us via strong anecdotes, a few heart-wrenching and a few strangely funny, that poverty isn't really easily an ethical failure.

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205-8 1 . "The Relations of Production in Russia, " PSW 1 . "Recommencer la revolution," S. ou B. , 35 (January 1964); reprinted in EMO 2, pp. 307-65 . "Recommencing the Revolution," PSW 3 (planned) . See Appendix C for previous title. " Socialisme ou Barbarie," S. ou B. , 1 (March 1949); reprinted in SB 1 , pp. 1 39-83. "Socialism or Barbarism," PSW 1 . "La Situation de l'imperialisme et perspectives du proletariat," S. ou B. , 14 (April 1954); reprinted in CMR 1 , pp. 379-440. "The Situation of Imperialism and Proletarian Perspectives, " PSW 1 .

The Transcendence of the Capitalist Universe and the Content of Socialism (1955-58) If socialism is the collective management of production and of social life by the workers, and if this idea is not a philosopher's dream but a historical project, it ought to be found in what already is its root. And what could that be if not the desire and the capacity of people to give life to this project? Not only does it pre­ clude "socialist consciousness being introduced into the proletariat from out­ side," as Kautsky and Lenin put it, its seeds must already be present in the pro­ letariat; as the latter is not genetically a new living species, this can only be the result of its experience of work and of life under capitalism.

The support of the masses was not motivated simply by hatred of the German occupation; reinforced tenfold after the departure of the Germans, it always contained the confused hope of a social transformation, of an elimina- 6 0 GENERAL INTRODUCTION tion of the old dominant strata, and had nothing to do with a "National Union. " The masses behaved in other respects a s the passive infantry of the CP; only someone who was delirious could have believed that the masses, milltarily com­ manded, trained, and schooled, with neither an autonomous organ nor the in­ clination to form one, would have "outflanked" the CP once it was installed in power.

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