STUDY GUIDE

On the Dialectics of U.S. "Backwardness"

By Clara Fraser

Find the original document in our Introductory Writings.

Explain what Fraser means by saying that contemptuously dismissing the American proletariat as backward “amounts to rejecting the materialist conception of history.”

Describe the objective material foundations for the backwardness of U.S. workers.

Why has there never been a national, electoral Labor Party in the U.S.? Does this necessarily mean that the prospects for revolution are less than in countries with large labor or socialist parties?

What do those international leftists who accuse U.S. radicals of being “reform-oriented” mean? How is this characterization faulty?

What is the root of the low level of workingclass politics in the U.S. during the past two centuries? What is the role of white skin privilege, male chauvinism and heterosexism?

Is it true that the “backward” U.S. workers have accomplished nothing as a class?

Explain in your own words how “the backward, the late-bloomers, the longtime dumbbells, and the brain-washed” can “rightfully aim to become exponents and leaders of world revolution.”