Third-Worldism: How to stop communism with a 2% wage increase
I’m reading a fascinating book: “Divided World, Divided Class” by Zak Cope that was recommended to me by Justin Wooten (@justinwooten on twitter). It’s completely wrong, but the writer exhaustively lays out the case for a bribed first world working class.
This is the labor aristocracy theory explanation for why the class struggle in the advanced countries is muted. Cope introduces his argument for the theory this way:
“This book began as an attempt to understand the regularity and intensity of racist and imperialist attitudes and beliefs within the working class of the advanced capitalist nations in order to explain the evident disinterest and disdain with which it greets revolutionary socialist ideas.”
You see, if the working class rejects the self-evident truth of ‘revolutionary socialist ideas’, they must somehow be defective. If we could just figure out what this defect is, we may be able to remedy it. If we can’t remedy it, then we should turn our attention to workers who don’t have this defect. Those less bribed workers, of course, are located in the oppressed countries of the world market.
Now, here is the oddest damned thing: Marx and Engels linked communism to the most advanced countries. But this theory suggest we should look to the least (or at least relatively less) developed countries. So we probably need to fix or correct Marx and Engels — who just didn’t quite figure this shit out.
It can’t possibly be our ‘revolutionary socialist ideas’ that are screwed up. Plainly, the working class has the defect, right? Because, you see, Marxists exhaustively checked and re-checked all of their ‘revolutionary socialist ideas’, using their handy ‘revolutionary socialist ideas verifier’ from Wal-Mart, and found they are correct. The ‘revolutionary socialist ideas verifier’ was made in the People’s Republic of China and that’s a socialist country, right?
What sort of naive young communists buy into this bullshit?
You would think that before certain Marxists decided the working classes of the advanced countries were corrupted and bought out, they would first try to nail down whether they actually understand Marx’s theory correctly. I mean, just think about it: It is easier to change your ‘revolutionary socialist ideas’ than it is to ever actually “un-bribe” a corrupted fucking working class. If, as these folks believe, the first world working class is bribed by super profits, this has unimaginable consequences for politics. You might as well accept the idea that revolution is impossible in the first world, and thus communism, can never happen.
Communism, at least as Marx proposed it, is “the act of the dominant peoples ‘all at once’ and simultaneously”. It requires a very high development of the productive forces, “because without it want is merely made general”. However, according to the theory of a bribed first world working class, a very high development of the productive forces is more likely to be associated with the sections of the working class who are least likely to revolt, because they have been bribed with super profits.
On the one hand, the portions of the class that can create communism, because they enjoy a very high level of development of the productive forces, won’t revolt because they are bribed by superprofits; on the other hand, the portions of the class who aren’t bribed and thus might revolt can’t create communism because they don’t have the material basis of a very high level of development of the productive forces. Over here in the first world we have the basis but not the will; over there in the third world we have the will but not the basis.
So, actually we’re just completely fucked, right?
You can put lipstick on this pig and cheer the workers of the oppressed countries, but that ain’t going to get you to communism.
Does the fact that third world struggle have limited possibilities mean we should ignore them or that the anti-colonial struggle is useless? Of course not. Only an imbecile would make this obviously indefensible argument. But, what it does mean, according to Marx and Engels is:
- (1) “communism could only exist as a local event”
- (2) “the forces of intercourse themselves could not have developed as universal, hence intolerable powers: they would have remained home-bred conditions surrounded by superstition”.
- (3) “each extension of intercourse would abolish local communism.”
Thus, if we don’t wish another failed political attempt to create communism to happen, we have to figure out a way to crack the advanced countries; rather than complain about how corrupt workers are. Even if we COMPLETELY agree with the bribed first world labor aristocrats theory, we still have to figure out how we get these aristocrats to fight for communism. And situation is dire: these workers are fucking a racist, sexist, homophobic, imperialist-minded stratum who openly support fascist state food stamp socialism; but in historical materialism, and despite all of these defects, they play a critical role for communism.
What is the accusation against them? Fundamentally it is that they are paid more than workers in the third world. The argument is that because they are paid more, they are comfortable and couldn’t care less about the plight of the class as a whole. They have their 60 inch plasma televisions, 200 channels of mindless cable drivel and their Apple watches; they really don’t give a fuck if the rest of the class is starving.
Can I just say something at this point?
If the motherfuckers are comfortable, you can’t appeal to them on the basis of a 2% increase in their wages. They make relatively better wages than most of the class, so better wages are not their primary concern. Of course, they will not look a gift horse in the mouth; so if you want to give them more, they won’t complain, but it isn’t like they are going to overthrow capitalism to get a wage increase in the next contract.
Is there another approach, another issue on which even well paid wage-slaves might have an interest that brings them into conflict with bourgeois relations of production? An issue these well-paid wage-slaves might share with their poorly-paid wage-slave comrades in the third world?
Hmmmm, let me think.
The ugly truth of the matter is that Marxists agree with very argument they accuse Nick Land of advocating: the only basis for a working class revolt is that they suffer horribly at the edge of an inescapable starvation. So, when you encounter a first world working class who aren’t actually starving, you have nothing to offer them. Which is to say, your so-called revolutionary strategy can be defeated by something as insignificant as a regular and modest two percent increase in money wages.
But does an increase in money wages change the horrific nature of capitalist relations of production? Of course not. However you really don’t have anything else to offer the working class and so you whine that — My God! — these workers ain’t actually starving. They are bribed! They like their food stamp socialism! They don’t even bother to join unions. And, worst of all, they vote for Obama!
Well, you communist certainly don’t have any fucking money. If the only issue of importance to me in your theory is how much I get paid, the capitalists, who, by definition, have all the money, will always pay better than you assholes. You’re always going to get outbid. All you have to offer is the idea that under communism Warren Buffett will have to get a real job and some workers in Mozambique, Haiti and Bangladesh will get a ten cents raise. Who knows, we might even introduce electrification.
Hallelujah, Jesus! We’s done got FULL COMMUNISM!
I might suggest you look into the role labor hours plays in the production of surplus value and constitution/reproduction of all existing social relations, but that would be too easy for you assholes. You labor aristocracy theory motherfuckers have to fix your fucking theory, not take dictation.