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

Waistline2 at aol.com Waistline2 at aol.com
Mon Apr 6 12:40:43 MDT 2009


Far to many issues and periods of history, and boundaries of development of  
capital/industrial system are being collapsed together. Each boundary of  
development of a system, any system, has its features and characteristics  
peculiar to it. Applying political logic based in one boundary to another  boundary 
is fraught with error . . . and danger. We are not in the era of Lenin  or the 
period of the Third International or 4th. 
 
For instance in the settlement of America the genocidal slaughter and  
destruction of the Native peoples did not typify Lenin's characterization of the  
imperial exploitation of the colonies. The state government offering $10 for a  
female Indian scalp and $12 for a male, was the material act, that entered the 
 saying "the only good Indian is a dead Indian" into the American lexicon. 
This  process of Indian removal was the living material basis for "all class 
unity"  solidified as the ideology of white superiority. The destruction of the 
Indian  and communal life is not the imperial relationship spoke of by Lenin. 
To call  the horrible destruction of the Indian bribery or privilege - and I do 
not  suggest that anyone has, violates and blends historical boundaries into 
a maze  of events making no-sense.  
 
At the front curve of capital development and evolution new world slavery  
drove the transition from manufacture to heavy manufacture and industry. This  
took shape in the form of ship building, improvement in the sciences led by  
navigation and fired up steel making of all kind. Those at the front of the  
curve of this development were destined to prosper the most because they were at  
the front of the curve. To say that capital emerges on the basis of the  
destruction of the native peoples and New World slavery is not to say this is  the 
modern imperial relation of which Lenin speaks. 
 
The issues and discussion is more subtle. 
 
During the period of Southern slavery, when cotton was becoming King,  whites 
enjoyed enormous privilege over blacks in the reality of not being slaves  or 
reduced to the status of slaves, with "many being slaves" in a previous era.  
The privilege of not being forced into slavery is understood, but this is not 
 the relationship described in Lenin's imperialism. It is true that the  
manufacturing and agricultural North produced for and was dependent on the slave  
system. But, this is not the relationship described by Lenin in his  
"Imperialism" or "Imperialism and the Split in Socialism." 
 
After the Civil War, the relations between whites and blacks and most  
certainly in the North, was not that described in Lenin's imperialism, but  rather 
Jim Crow segregation. Perhaps, the relationship between North and  the core 
South mirrored that of the colonial relations spoken of by Lenin, more  or less, 
and generally this relationship is called bribery or privilege, but  this 
relationship cannot be described as the transfer of wealth from the core  South 
laboring classes to the working class of the North. 
 
It is one thing to speak of modern imperialism - post 1880, existing and  
thriving at the expense of the colonies. It is another matter to speak of the  
imperial relations as the definitive explanation of the relative passivity of  
the working class. Further, the advanced countries are not advanced due to the  
colonies, although they are advanced in relationship to the colonies. America 
is  advanced for a number of reasons, primarily because of the lack of feudal 
 economic and social relations and our founding as a bourgeois country or 
being  at the front of the curve of capital/industrial development. 
 
This issue is a tad bit more subtle than simply saying "bribery." Or  seeking 
an explanation of the behavior of the working class exclusively in the  
imperial colonial relations. 
 
An aspect of this passivity and reformism grow out of the capital-labor  
relationship - contradiction, without regard to nationality, color, gender,  
religion or anything else. The reason seems to be the truth contained in Marx  
meaning that capital rest exclusively on competition between the wage earners.  
Once industrial capital consolidates its hegemony over society and reconstructs  
society in its image, the working class is locked into a cycle of history  
defined as a boundary. As one boundary passes into another the unity between the 
 productive forces and social relations unravel and then is reformed. At each 
 boundary and its transition the prospect of revolution arises and then 
closes as  society is reformed. The crisis of capital deepens. 
 
Since WWII, what has driven imperialism, and given American imperialism its  
stability is not the exploitation of the colonies but the rebuilding of war 
torn  Europe. Exploitation of the colonies and former colonies and their 
entrapment in  the web of financial imperial relations is/are real and material.   
Imperialism lives at the expense of the colonies and the less developed world. 
 
What accounts for the seeming stability of imperialism - American  capitalism 
today? Bribery of the working class? Most seems to feel the issue is  a tad 
bit more complex and deeper. 
 
In terms of the post industrial economy the concept "post industrial" is a  
projection of the trajectory of development of the means of production. When  
Marx spoke of industrial production and the world market, there was not really 
a  world market but a probable outline of a world market. Feudalism still 
covered  much of the earth and the industrial revolution would not become 
universalized  until the last century. Some use post industrial to describe so-called 
"de  industrialization" of America, which is actually the on going revolution 
in the  means of production. 
 
Maybe I need to start using the term devalutation rather than "value less"  
because valueless is understood as a flat category or "no labor rather" than 
the  labor content of commodities sinking below what is socially necessary -  
required, to reproduce the working class world wide. 
 
 
Oh yea . . . over production of the means of production had to be chewed on  
yesterday. Not bad. Overproduction of the means of production as these means 
are  capital. 
 
WL. 
 
 
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