Time Essay: What Workers Get out of Communism

As the stolidly relentless vehicle of Marxism lumbers through history toward the light, its honored cargo has always been a rather dense abstraction called "the proletariat." But Karl Marx never lavished much bourgeois sentimentality on the proletariat in person, on real workers as individuals. In their private correspondence, Marx and Engels even referred to them as "stupid asses."

In Poland this summer, the real workers have taken a little revenge on Marx and Communism's vulgar pretensions to inevitability, on the regressive hoodoo of the All-Daddy state. They have knocked a hole in the...

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