‘If as part of their alienation, workers cannot react to their conditions no matter how bad they get, in a rational manner, then all efforts to attain widespread class consciousness are doomed to failure. They are, that is, unless some manner can be found to affect their character structure during its formative years, to make sure that the behaviour patterns internalised there never develop, or, more to the point, never aquire the degree of durability they now have. Looked at in this way, the focal point of a socialist strategy must be those conditions which most affect the young. For it is possible to alter the character structure of workers by fighting against its construction, by counteracting the disorientating influence of the family, school, and church, whatever in fact makes it difficult for the individual once he/she becomes an adult to make an objective assessment of his/her oppression and to act against it.
‘The concrete aims of radical activity, on the basis of this analysis, are to get teenage and even younger members of the working class to question the existing order along with all its symbols and leaders, to loosen generalised habits of respect and obedience, to oppose whatever doesn’t make sense in terms of their needs as individuals and as members of a group, to concieve of the enemy as the capitalist system and the small group of men who control it, to articulate their hopes for a better life, to participate in successful protest actions no matter how small the immediate objective, and to create a sense of community and solidarity of all those in revolt. The purpose is to overturn (or, more accurately to undermine) the specific barriers that have kept past generations of workers from becoming class conscious’.
– Bertell Ollman, Jewish author and professor of politics ‘Social and Sexual Revolution, Essays on Marx and Reich’ p27.