[Marxism] Imperialism and the US working class (Was YADL)
dwaltersMIA at gmail.com
Sun Apr 5 23:44:32 MDT 2009
So...my first comments on this. I generally have felt, in trying to look
at actual trends based on profits, and costs, in particular industries,
if in fact my own standard of living based on wages paid in the US, or,
for that matter, any sector of unionized private industry, is based on
super exploitation of the working classes of the neo-colonies and
Let me say it's not an easy task.
Years and years ago, like the 1980s or something, you know, those
pre-Internet days, I tried to do this. It's very difficult to find data
that would support the classic Leninist contention of the aristocracy of
labor's adherence to Imperialism based on it's participation of the
rape/exploitation of those countries. Capital invested --> Profits taken
out --> Some of those profits paid as wages too workers directly/other
forms of payment *indirectly* in the Metropolis.
A few things to consider.
#Back in the 1970s, only 5% (!!!!) of the US GDP/GNP was even tied,
remotely, to foreign trade and/or investment by finance and
manufacturing capital in other countries. I thought that was
interesting. I found that Sweden over 60% of the same GDP/GNP was
related to foreign trade and/or investment by finance and manufacturing
capital in other countries (mostly other European countries). This stuck
in my mind and is why I remember "Sweden". Also Sweden was, I think,
outside the European Union at that time so it had a similar relationship
to rest of Europe as the US did at that time.
#The shift...that is the almost total de-localization of manufacturing
capital to developing countries in many industries shows that there is a
huge trend to realize that profits are better garnered from having no
working class than any working class in the production of surplus value
in the US. It would be impossible to show that incredibly shrinking
number of US steel workers, unionized and un-unionized, or US
auto-workers, unionized and un-unionized, wages stem from profits
garnered overseas by *return on investment* in other countries by the
manufacturing bourgeois of the US putting up a steel mill in China or an
assembly plant in Mexico. I'd be open to see something that proves this
(that is not 25 years old, I hope).
#Higher and higher amounts of profits are *kept* overseas, either in
terms of direct re-investment or transferred into currency accounts with
non-US financial institutions. Plus, finance capital has tended to
merge, and merge again internationally. What does this portend for how
we view Imperialism?
Thus, I remain skeptical that "America's workers" identify with Yankee
imperialism based on it getting some 'cut' from the takings, directly.
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