[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
**************Feeling the pinch at the grocery store? Make dinner for $10 or
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