labour aristocracy

DMS dmschanoes at
Mon Feb 3 17:01:58 MST 2003


Yes its's David.  Old habit, instructions transmitted to a train are signed
with the initials of the person issuing instructions (in the US).

The question is the proposition that imperialism has developed in such a way
that workers in the metropolitan centers have benefited from the
super-exploitation of the workers of the less developed areas.

That argument has been presented in the past, and has been presented here
with the notion that somehow the bourgeoisie in the metropolitan countries
are capable of distributing their profits in a more generous, and
calculating fashion, to the "home" working class, because of the mass of
profits made available through exploitation of those less developed
countries.  In that light, stating that the centers of international
investment, and the biggest "foreign" contribution to the bottom line of US
companies comes from developed countries of Europe and America does not miss
the point.  It is the point.

 The differences in wage rates across the global expanse of capital precedes
imperialism.  It did not start with Spanish American War, nor the aftermath
of WWII.  And I don't believe anyone has shown that the results of the
Spanish American War benefited, in particular, the working class.  Certainly
profit provides for the development of portions of the "social welfare,"
i.e. education, medical care, etc. But do you really think that production
workers at the Ford Rouge plant received that education those benefits at
the expense of the Ford  workers in Argentina? As as stipend, a subsidy?  Or
was it simply part of capital's development?  And Canada's workers?  With
better access to public education and health care, but lower wages than the
US, with their production contributing much more to the profit of the auto
industry?  Is it a daisy chain?  Argentina subsidizes Canada, subsidizes the

A brief respite:1. regarding claims of a different "main contradiction"?
Nestor G. made that claim on this list:  That imperialism has fashioned the
central contradiction of our time as the contradiction between empire and
nation.  You're welcome to argue that out with him.  But that's his claim.
2. regarding your example of different labor units between competing
imperial and imperialized countries: yes the imperialized country sells at a
loss; but that's not  the reality of the current advanced capitalist system,
as a SYSTEM.  The LDCs, or DCs are not exactly competing with the modern
centers-- they are serving them-- as the textile and electronic industries
have shown, they act as SUB-CONTRACTORS, working for the advanced centers.
(And from that fact, we should be able to see the weakness in the notion
that the main contradiction is between empire and nation.). 3. The
production systems and techniques introduced into less developed countries
by the advanced capitalist system are not backward, archaic, less modern.
Electronics production, DRAM fabrication, even the extractive industries of
mining, oil, etc.  all combine modern techniques with impoverished wage
rates to yield a profit.  In this regard, the individual areas of production
mimic the general "uneven and combined" development of the capitalist system

. Back to business:.  "Workers of the world unite,"  is the result of the
understanding and acting on these real differences.  It's the product, not
the producer .  When and if the slogan is used to disregard the very real
differences in conditions  of  workers, for example, there were Marxist
groups in Detroit who attacked the League of Revolutionary Black Workers for
being "separatist" (!),  then it ignores the concrete developments of
capital that make a revolution possible.  Certainly organizing and executing
a program that destroys racism, that articulates racism as a foundation of
capital is  fundamental for a class to act as a class.  Equally essential, a
program that attacks the particular impoverishment of workers in the LDC,  a
program embraced everywhere.

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