[Marxism] The problem of the US working class (other notes for Jose)

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Thu Jun 10 16:26:49 MDT 2004


In a message dated 6/10/2004 4:27:58 PM Central Standard Time, 
juliohuato at hotmail.com writes:

>Note the strategic importance of this: While a racist white worker might be 
disinclined to fight for an end to racial discrimination in employment and 
pay (they'll think that's none of their business), they'd be on board to 
fight for a higher pay to everyone of same qualification regardless of 
race/origin because it's to their benefit.

If my impression is correct, the lesson is clear.  Let the media, the 
capitalists, and the politicians dwell hypocritically on the importance of 
"race relations" and let's focus on the class struggle.  We'll get a bigger 
bang for the political buck.

Julio< 

Comment

Your polemics from about a month ago on the plight of the Mexican worker and 
the Chicano workers in their relentless pursuit for work in America lingers in 
my mind. That is the context of the statement above. The Anglo-America 
workers of the North are exceptionally sophisticated about their economic lot and 
the role of the trade unions as economic organizations. 

I am the last one to belittle the color factor - except for my occasional 
slips and rifts into anarcho-syndicalism, and in real life was not able to 
separate the color factor from wage differentials. Although the great regional wage 
differential is based in Southern plantation slavery. 

This matter of class consciousness is complex and deepens as one penetrates 
the various strata of the working class on a national and regional basis. The 
issue of the proletariat as the lowest stratum of society deepens the question. 

One thing is clear as noon day . . . the lowest stratum of the proletariat 
will not enter the industrial order as the lowest section of the industrial 
classes in the American Union because a transition in the mode of production is 
underway and one writer understands this to mean the working class "has moved" 
to China and other countries. In the 1980s during the Reagan years and its 
aftermath, the bourgeois presses and the left called this process of 
deindustrialization of America or the McDonaldization of the economy or McJobs. 

This is no simply quantitative expansion in the process of rationalization of 
production but a qualitative reconfiguration of the material power of 
production.  The qualitative reconfiguration of any process requires you to remove 
something from the process or inject a new element into the process, that causes 
a qualitative change.  It is not like the industrial system kept expanding 
this quantitative expansion lead to a qualitative change. That is not what 
happened. Quantity does not just turn into quality without the injection or 
emergence of a new qualitative ingredient.  

During the Clinton years the recognition of a qualitative change in the means 
of production was called in the realm of politics "the race to the bottom."  
The "race to the bottom" describes value and the price of labor power. This 
entire process is not independent of the color factor but is expressed on the 
basis of the color factor throughout the country. 

The rub is explaining the wage differential between the white workers in the 
South and the plantation area with the white workers in New York City or 
metropolitan Detroit. 

It gets more complex. The real facts of our history in dealing with the 
problems of the laboring classes and class consciousness can be seen in the 
liquidated sharecropper class. There were 11 million sharecropper with six million 
white. These eleven million laborers/owners did not behave as a class but rather 
behaved as white sharecroppers and black sharecroppers. 

As I understand matter you are writing from the Atlanta area or the 
historical border region and financial area of the deep South. "Atlanta is to far North 
to be South and to far South to be North." I am writing with the attitude of 
the Northern (Midwestern) industrial worker. We are all Marxists and 
describing something very real from different angles. 

Class trumping everything else is not the repudiation of the national, women, 
regional and gender factor in our daily lives but the communist position of 
the social struggle as a whole. 

This class thing has driven Marxist up the wall since the time of Marx. 

I flipped the question and posed it as the proletariat within the working 
class and all hell breaks out because it is something worth looking at. The 
working class has not moved off shore to China. We are living the initial decay of 
the industrial system and everyone in America is basically still working 
class. 

This question of class is going to have to be narrowed down as strategy in 
the not so distant future. I DO NOT HAVE THE "ANSWER" BUT PLAN ON WRITING 
VOLUMES ABOUT WHAT NOT TO DO.

HHHUuuuughh . . .don't go that way . . . we did that and it does not work. 

This 3rd Party thing you have written on is complex. If we actually had real 
social forces we could maneuver you would be wrong in my opinion. The fact of 
the matter is that we do not have social forces to maneuver as class.

I supported the anybody but Bush propaganda campaign and stated this is 
excellent until January 2004, when the process of differentiation must begin to 
take place. I stated that after January another level of the fight has to be 
inaugurated and wrote this back in November 2003. This is no more than being 
familiar with electoral politics and I would have taken - but not solicited, George 
Soros money. 

I do not believe we should pretend to have social forces that are not in 
motion. The freaking proletariat - the lowest stratum of society, does not vote. 
It is a complex issue that cannot be decided on the basis of just theory. You 
cannot be wrong at this phase of the social struggle. You are carrying out 
communist propaganda in an important arena of struggle. 

We do not have social forces at our disposal to even argue over the material 
meaning of Marxist/communist strategy. 

You cannot be wrong. Then again the other comrades cannot be wrong . . . 
unless they say you are wrong. 

We do not have the social forces in motion at this stage. 

"Fuck Bush." 

I am voting for Marx or writing in your name on the ballot. I will probably 
vote for Nader. 

Melvin P. 




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