[Marxism] Who's running this?

Derek Mortimer derekmortimer39 at gmail.com
Tue May 13 01:59:39 MDT 2014



Sent from my iPad

> On 12 May 2014, at 8:58 pm, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:
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> From Chris Ford's introduction to "Borot'bism":
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> The working class also bore the stigmata of colonialism, emerging at the historic conjuncture when capitalism was shifting into the phase of imperialism. This saw the division of the globe based on the relative strength and influence of the core metropolitan states, a phase characterized by a further concentration and centralization of capital, shifting from laissez-faire with the rise of cartels, trusts and state monopolies. This witnessed a transformation not only in capital but within the working class itself, seeing the growth of a privileged strata, an 'aristocracy of labor'. Whilst it is rarely acknowledged, Russian imperialism was no exception. In Ukraine the working class was comprised initially of mainly Russian migrant labor inclusive of an upper layer in the higher paid, skilled posts. Ukrainian new entrants found Russian not only the language of the state and administration but of the labor regime, the factory owner and foreman, their immediate class adversary.
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> These developments posited the national question at the point of production through a division of labor which relegated Ukrainians to the low paid, flexible labor strata, under-represented in heavy industry and over-represented in service and agricultural sectors. Like the Irish emigrants in England, they served as a pool of cheap labor, with one difference; it was in their own country. It was not coincidental that Russian nationalism expressed itself in the most extreme forms in Ukraine where the notorious Black Hundreds were disproportionately strong. This chauvinism permeated the working class. The observations of a local blacksmith in Yuzovka (now Donetsk) during the 1905 revolution provide flavor: "Whose running this? A bunch of Khokholy and Zhidy", that is Ukrainians and Jews.
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