Working Class USA: The Power and the Movement

By Gus Hall | Go to book overview

chapter 4 laws of motion The Science of the Working Class

The Working Class

[From an unpublished manuscript: "The Working Class,"written in 1966.]

WHENEVER A ZIG OR A ZAG IN THE REALITIES OF LIFE DOES NOT correspond to a straight and narrow preconceived and shallow concept of a theory, the theory itself comes under question. That theories and basic concepts are being challenged is healthy and necessary. Theoretical concepts develop in the process of being measured and tested against realities and new experiences.

But each of these new challenges must be put through the most thoroughgoing examination because a zig or a zag does not make a new reality, nor does a challenge necessarily disprove or add to an old theory. General basic concepts have earned acceptance because they have been proven correct by a long historic train of life's zigs and zags.

The realities of life very often do not unfold in the exact pattern of a theory. That is why a theory cannot be compared to a blueprint. But this in no way reduces or minimizes the role of theory as a guide to the understanding of the unfolding of reality and as a framework for judging new experiences.

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