[Marxism] Forwarded from Anthony (reply to Julio Huato)/bribery and Lenin

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Sat Jun 12 06:06:42 MDT 2004

The bourgeoisie of an imperialist "Great" Power can economically bribe the 
upper strata of "its" workers by spending on this a hundred million or so francs 
a year, for its superprofits most likely amount to about a thousand million. 
And how this little sop is divided among the labour ministers, "labour 
representatives" (remember Engels 's splendid analysis of the term), labour members 
of War Industries Committees, [8] labour officials, workers belonging to the 
narrow craft unions, office employees, etc., etc., is a secondary question.

Lenin http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/oct/x01.htm

I considered myself once a member of the labor aristocracy, making a wage 
between $90K and $150,000. The issue of the labor aristocracy has been debated 
since Marx and Engels and in fact is a question of the size of ones paycheck and 
social position as a strata of the working class. 

The issue of the relative bribery of the working class as a whole in the 
imperial centers is not identical to the material reality of the existence of the 
labor aristocracy. 

Lenin continues: 

"On the economic basis referred to above, the political institutions of 
modern capitalism -- press, parliament associations, congresses etc. - have created 
political privileges and sops for the respectful, meek, reformist and 
patriotic office employees and workers, corresponding to the economic privileges and 
sops. Lucrative an soft jobs in the government or on the war industries 
committees, in parliament and on diverse committees, on the editorial staffs of 
"respectable", legally published newspapers or on the management councils of no 
less respectable and "bourgeois law-abiding" trade unions -- this is the bait by 
which the imperialist bourgeoisie attracts and rewards the representatives 
and supporters of the "bourgeois labour parties". " (IBID) 

Lenin gets more interesting:

"On the one hand, there is the tendency of the bourgeoisie and the 
opportunists to convert a handful of very rich and privileged nations into "eternal" 
parasites on the body of the rest of mankind, to "rest on the laurels" of the 
exploitation of Negroes, Indians, etc., keeping them in subjection with the aid 
of the excellent weapons of extermination provided by modern militarism. On the 
other hand, there is the tendency of the masses, who are more oppressed than 
before and who bear the whole brunt of imperialist wars, to cast off this yoke 
and to overthrow the bourgeoisie. It is in the struggle between these two 
tendencies that the history of the labour movement will now inevitably develop. 
For the first tendency is not accidental; it is "substantiated" economically. 
In all countries the bourgeoisie has already begotten, fostered and secured for 
itself "bourgeois labour parties" of social-chauvinists." (Same source as 

I, of course uphold the political conception of the bribery of the working 
class in the imperial centers relative to their historical counterparts and the 
majority of the population in their former colonies. 

Within the multinational state of the American Union this bribery is 
institutionalized as the relative privilege of the Anglo-American people in 
relationship to the African Americans, Indians, Mexicans, etc. This bribery is expressed 
as regional wage differentials and social privileges, as well as these same 
divisions within historically distinct regions. Privilege is expressed on every 
level and most certainly housing patterns. 

However, I have come to believe that more than simply the concept of bribery 
and the labor aristocracy is involved in examining the lack of formation of 
class consciousness of the workers and why there has been no sustained fight 
against bourgeois property. 

Nevertheless, in our history white chauvinism was the form that imperial 
bribery took to the Anglo-American people that was an economic block to the unity 
of the working class. It was in fact profitable for white workers and 
hooligans to burn churches, lynch blacks, meet appeals for justice with an 
indescribable bloody violence and enforce by terror segregation. Segregation meant 
institutionalizing a social position of a people. 

The curve of history that creates uneven development is not peculiar to 
capitalism. The word imperial means the export of something and this "something" is 
always reducible to military force founded on more advanced means of 
production. It is this military force - in the last instance, that institutionalize 
the relative privilege of the conquering peoples. 

Lenin of course detail this privilege all the way down to the factory floor 
and who gets promoted and become foremen and straw bosses. 

Then there is the question of bribery and privilege in respects to the Woman 
Factor. Wage differentials here appear as gender. 

Melvin P. 

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