[Marxism] Imperialism and the US working class (Was YADL)

nada 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 
developing world.

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.

David




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