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