[Marxism] Europe's cheap labor

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at tomaatnet.nl
Thu Nov 27 20:52:54 MST 2003

Yes, but here in Europe, American corporations are accused of same. This is
why Marx thought an International of the working class was necessary, aided
by intellectuals who looked a bit further ahead than their next slice of
ham. It was specifically called an "Inter-national", and not a "Global", in
recognition of specific national realities which could not be ignored. The
fact, that the world was round and not flat, was known by educated Genoans
long before Christopher Columbus sailed the seas, and later was accepted by
all except the flat earth society. Globalism is merely a euphemism which
hides bourgeois internationalism, meaning maximum freedom for Capital, and
maximum restrictions on freedom for Labour, maximum freedom for Capital to
exploit and maximum freedom for Labour to be exploited. The American
advantage there is that the vast majority speak English, there is one
and one system of federal law.

The study of postmodernism shows that the language and meaning of absolutely
any discourse can be perverted to its opposite - can it be accidental that
in the land of the Tower of Bable, the new Iraqi dinar features pictures of
an ancient Babylonian ruler, and a 10th century mathematician in place of
the face of Saddam Hussein ? - and therefore I ought to look again at the
way I intervene in an existing discourse. I think I'll get myself a copy of
Michael Perelman's "The Perverse Economy".

While the modern-day neo-Platonists search for the roots of perversion in
the loss of the adoration of Jesus and Mary by children and innocents, and
the mystical, alchemistic transmutation of blood into oil, perfidious
commercial huckstering ensures that children have no adult ethics to look up
to anyway, and capitalism degenerates into that venality which Ernest Mandel
and Eric Hobsbawm describe in their social history of crime.

It's a funny thing you know, I go to this conference at the International
Institute for Social History about the life and work of Ernest Mandel, and
Prof. Marcel van der Linden asks participants to introduce themselves. So
Joost Kircz claims ostentatiously "I'm a Marxist". Is that what it is really
about these days ? His partner actually tried to sack me from my job, and I
am starting to feel like I am Gracchus Babeuf or something. Jairus Banaji
had a sense of humour, he said to me in candid conversation, "chaos theory
?". Jairus has a way with words.

If retreat leads to defeat, we really ought to develop a new logic of the
offensive. Zbigniew Brezinski toys with the analogy of a "chessgame" of
geopolitics. But this assumes the contestants accept the same rules of
competition. In reality of course, that isn't the case, capitalist morality
and socialist morality are different. We can of course counterpose
totalitarianism and libertarianism and thus arrive at all sorts of clever
distinctions, but that doesn't really solve the problem at all.


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