rahul at hagar.ph.utexas.edu
Sat Apr 15 21:04:56 MDT 1995
> And it is not clear to me that the
>most egregrious exploitation (in Marxian terms) is in the Third World. The
>labor process is being speeded up and intensified everywhere, and real
>wages are falling in the US, as elsewhere. Whether real wages are falling
>relatively slower in the imperialist nations and whether the real wage is
>still higher here are both irrelevant, as are questions of income
>distribution; if workers experience their real wage as inadequate in the
>face of labor intensification and a drop below a certain
>cultural-historical level to which they have become accustomed, class
>struggle will continue to deepen in this country.
Is this egregious sophistry or are you simply saying that because workers
in the First World have come to expect more they are as likely to feel
exploited? I agree that the class struggle in this country is intensifying,
largely because they have unlearned the lesson of the welfare state.
However, in every sense, Marxian and otherwise, the exploitation of the
people in the Third World is much worse. They have, with respect to
population, a smaller percentage of income and wealth than the workers in
the 1st world, a larger percentage of the surplus they create is
expropriated, they lack even the limited rights of legal redress and
protection from extreme state and other violence that 1st world workers
have, 13 million children (almost all from the 3rd world) die every year of
diseases with 10-cent cures, they are oppressed more by their own elites
and they are oppressed by the 1st world as well, I could go on forever. I
have heard similar statements from many people who call themselves
communists -- either they are extremely naive or extremely dishonest.
In fact, it's pretty clear that the most sever oppression is actually
often more stable than milder forms -- adespotic government is in the
greatest danger when it eases up.
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