Unproductive labor: imperialist countries

Maoist Internationalist Movement mim3 at nyxfer.blythe.org
Sun Sep 10 20:18:36 MDT 1995

On Sun, 10 Sep 1995, Zodiac wrote:

> While you make a case for the decline of the "blue collar" versus the
> "white collar" worker in G7-type nations... you then ask that readers
> accept, as an article of faith, that the working class is now more
> "anti-immigrant"  than before -- in the sense that it is steadily becoming
> more so, as opposed to economic and cultural fluctuations.
> Even accepting both these facts, you then ask readers to accept as an
> article of faith that they are somehow related. If you have evidence that
> a rise in xenophobia is somehow related to the color of one's collar,
> please provide references.

Engels in Heaven beckons me not to reply to calls for undialectical
refutations of linear propositions; however, I cannot resist the
demons. The point raised is a good one. There is the issue of
yardsticks to use and I will return to that question, but for
now let me explain in more detail what I meant.

The rise of the white collar professions occurs at the same
time as numerous other historical phenomena of struggle,
most notably decolonization and general Third World nationalist
movements. Particularly communist China forever alters the
balance of power between East Asians of all classes and imperialism.
Such struggles have been the true locomotive of history this

Hence, there is a general progress in forcing the white man
first away from slavery, then colonialism and now neo-colonialism.
This allows more contemporary whites to look better in their
language and attitudes than the whites of say 1850. Bourgeois
social psychologists have also recorded a change in the
politeness of language. The white collar workers are unwilling
to use the "n" word and know they should be for equality.
Yet, when tested on matters of policy, they differ little from
blue collar workers. Actually having daughters marry inter-racially, lose
out to quotas in college admissions and so on--this is still
a problem in both collars. None of this is my main point,
just that the rise of the white collar worker in time can be
confused with a general progress brought about through class and
national struggle.

According to Sakai and others, workers who are also settlers
on "new" lands have a much more reactionary dynamic than others.
French settlers in Algeria, Jewish settlers in Palestine,
white settlers in South Africa and of course, settlers in North
America come to mind. Over decades and centuries the dynamic may
change, but the hardening of classes with such historical
legacies is part of the result.

When you change to a different yardstick, my point becomes
clearer. Whites  have always been chauvinist and
they may in fact learn more polite language with white-collar
growth, but stability and support for imperialism increase.

If one thinks about 1930 vs. 1980 in terms of percent
of the population ready to live without the system or
if one thinks even in terms of days lost to strikes or
better yet, confrontations that involved violence with or
against political authorities, then my point should be clear,
even in a linear way.

Later I shall quote Lenin on how the issue moves from
internal to external with the growth of "modern militarism."
Through alliance with the labor aristocracy in a bargain
of peace at home in exchange for war on the Third World,
the imperialists have managed to expand the size of the
government absolutely and relative to the economy, such that
now, even after the Cold War it is difficult to cut the
military budget.

mim3 for the
Maoist Internationalist Movement

     --- from list marxism at lists.village.virginia.edu ---


More information about the Marxism mailing list