GDP statistics - Privilege and its absolute loss.

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Fri Nov 14 10:19:36 MST 2003


In a message dated 11/13/03 5:58:12 AM Pacific Standard Time,
dmschanoes at earthlink.net writes:

>Somebody has to take exception to the above, other than me, right?  What
Americans, higher or lower paid, want to do has nothing to do with it.  The
subcontracting of production to areas outside the United States is executed
in both high wage and low wage areas-- Canada and Mexico,  Malaysia and the
UK, and what capital wants, profit, determines who does what and where, and
equally as important, when.

At a moment when 2.7 million jobs in the US have evaporated, a large portion
in higher wage manufacturing areas, the mythology of  workers' "privilege"
reveals itself to be 180 degrees out of phase with reality, obsolete, and
reactionary.


dms<

Comment

This question of privilege and bribery of the upper strata of the working
class has been debated for at least eighty years on the basis of several
propositions put forth by Lenin. Privilege and bribery - as concepts describing
material categories that appear as stratification within the imperial centers and as
a relationship between the imperial centers (the national formations
underlying imperial state structures) and their areas of exploitation, are
interrelated, interactive but not the same.

"Bribery of the upper strata of the working class" entails "privilege" by
definition. However, "privilege" makes no sense if not understand as a historical
process, while bribery occurs in history but refers more than less to a
political process involving a very narrow layer of people in the imperial centers -
in the Lenin sense of the word.

The historical privilege of the workers in the imperial centers is being
shattered in front of our eyes and the historical bribery of the upper strata of
the working class has become extremely narrow. This can be proven with existing
data. What is meant by the bribery of the upper strata of the working class
in America means not simply workers organized into trade unions but the
uppermost section of the trade union leaders as political representative of a narrow
section of the labor movement.

The historical privilege - not bribery, of the working class - population, of
the imperial center is a product of the curve of development of the material
power of the productive forces. That is to say historical privilege is not a
product of a distinct stage of development of capital but of history itself.
The "historical privilege" describes how actual history development takes place.
History development means the progressive accumulation of productive forces.

A superior technique or more developed mode of production is by definition
exported to a less developed area as the basis of history development. No one
denies that history development is recorded in blood ink, written on a parchment
of genocide and describes murder and plunder with rape throw in as population
expansion.

That is to say combined and uneven development of the productive forces has
been a law of history and not peculiar to the epoch of capital. Those peoples
and institutions at the front of the curve of progressive development of the
productive forces occupy a privileged position in relationship to the areas
where the export of advance means takes place. This was true 100 years ago and
five thousand years ago.

Is it economically correct - accurate, to speak of the privilege position of
the American workers at this juncture of history?  What is taking place is the
destruction of the "relative privilege" of the working class in America in an
absolute sense. Every statistical analysis of the economic conditions of the
working class in America reveals a curve of logic describing the absolute
destruction of their historical position of privilege. This process has been
unfolding for at least 30 years and is increasing in intensity.

Historical privilege does not simply means "more" or "more developed"
productive forces. Historical privilege in the epoch of capital means the
exploitation - the extraction of "tribute," from a peoples unable to prevent or defeat
the unequal relationship imposed on them by a more advance peoples and this
relationship allows for the latter material standard of living to rise.
Specifically this meant slavery as it drove industrial development, the universal
emergence of the commodity form and the value producing system.  Here is the
historical relations signaling the dawn of the epoch of capital.

The curve of history has to be understood and one is challenged to locate
where we exist in the historical curve today. Lenin approached the question of
imperialism during a distinct juncture of history where the industrial cycle of
development was in its ascendency. The basis of the historical privilege - as
opposed to the law of combined and uneven development, has been shattered on
the basis of the revolution in the mode of production. Even the shape of the
law of combined and uneven development is being transformed or is in transition
because we are talking about the law of value and the commodity form and not
simply abstract development of productive forces.

The historical privilege of the working class in the industrial North of the
America Union, has been fundamentally shattered. To speak of the "American
worker" is unrealistic, because what we are talking about is primarily the
industrial class of the North.  To understand the current class configuration of
American society requires gathering figures on the destruction of the industrial
class, the absolute growth of poverty and destitution and the emergence of a
communist class. The emergence of this communist class is not a theoretical
fiction but expressed in the massive growth of those who are required to collect
food stamps during the Bush Jr. administration - from 17 million to 22
million. The absolute growth of unemployment over the past three years.

No level of exploitation of the less developed areas can increase the
standard of living of the workers in America because the material relationship call
capital exploitation has been altered by the revolution in the means of
production. Privilege is not privilege if the exploitation of the less developed area
accelerates the decay and decomposition of the working class in the imperial
centers.

To attempt to apply Lenin's political concepts of the working class and its
leaders in the trade union movement and political office in the imperial
centers, during the economic ascendency of the industrial system and the evolution
of the commodity form, to a period witnessing the decay of the industrial
system and the shattering of the value form produces a distorted picture of the
reality of America. The amount of vehicles owned by the workers of America does
not describe the process logic underway and accelerating at break neck speed.

Nor is it a question of what one thinks the American workers want. To begin
with the words "American Workers" is slang - short speak, for proletarians -
those who possess no means to secure subsistence other than the sell of their
labor power, within the state that is described as the multinational state of
the Union States of North America. The North American proletariat has
historically evolved regional difference and wage structures - and profound differences
in standard of living.

An enormous section of the working class cannot enter production and secure
an exchange with capital to meet its subsistence needs. At least 50 million
cannot enter the social contract and secure an exchange for their labor power
that allows them to secure fundamental access to medical care. Millions are shut
out from receiving welfare and subsistence maintenance and their normal jobs
is not enough to pay rent and put food on the table.

"What Americans, higher or lower paid, want to do has nothing to do with" the
operation of the law of value.

Wait . . . so what if the communist sector of the working class wants to
consume without working. It's labor cannot be deployed in the production process
in a way that allows it to stay above the margin due primarily to the
technological revolution and radical changes in the organic composition of capital.

This is not to say that a certain historical privilege that was codified in
state structures - the bureaucratic system, does not persist. In history the
material standard of living of first the Anglo American people and later the
working class of the North rose and leaped forward with an increase in the
exploitation of the colonies and non-sovereign peoples. This was the era of lynch
rope violence within the American State. This era is long gone.

No amount of exploitation of the less developed area can cause a rise in the
standard of living of the American peoples. The exploitation of the less
developed areas and people by the US State does not end up in the pay envelop of
the American workers at this juncture of history. Our working class - an
enormous sector and section, is being devastated. How can one speak of privilege
today during an era of the race to the bottom and the universal unraveling of the
law of value?

This matter of the narrow strata called the labor aristocracy needs to be
revisited, but at best what is being talked about is not a class but a narrow
layer of working class leaders and working class politicians.

Today our working class is waking up to the meaning of value and society and
needs its educated leaders to articulate its path of growth and evolution.


Melvin P.


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