#1
Making labor aristocracy a central theoretical tenet is a critical component in understanding the modern world economic and social system. This superexploitation takes both concrete forms and ethereal forms, including cheap consumer goods, inflated wages, the export of pollution and trash, rising sea levels from global warming, the imposition of fossil fuel-based farming, remote labor, environmental destruction, etc. These contradictions are only going to intensify, resulting in an expansion of the united front against US imperialism in the world.

The labor aristocracy as the most numerous class within the US presents several challenges. Capitalism is unable to fulfill the human and emotional needs of the labor aristocracy, even with the superexploited wealth transferred from the core. However, the most direct material goal for the labor aristocracy as a class is to push for a larger share of the superexploited profits, to demand a greater share of the stolen wealth. This fundamentally doesn't lead to a resolution of the contradictions in society, however, since capitalism relies on having the labor aristocracy in a constant cycle of distress and relief driven by the needs to prevent the overproduction of consumer goods.

Within the US, the national question poses the sharpest contradiction. Even with inflated wages and quality of life from superprofits, people from oppressed nationalities are constantly being swindled of their wealth through debt schemes and outright theft. The police overtly act as a parasite class and impose a racial order within the US, since this expropriation is necessary to funding the state without further suppressing the rate of profit. This also creates huge differences in wealth between white workers and those from oppressed nationalities within the US borders, as they occupy a precarious middle strata between the world's proletariat and the white labor aristocracy. Historically, most of the time that the National Guard has been deployed against people it has been over issues related to the national question, including:

Desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas from 1957-58
Desegregation of the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi in 1962
Desegregation of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1963
Integration of Alabama Public Schools in 1963
March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965
Detroit Riots in 1967
1968 King assassination riots in Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
1992 LA Riots
2014 Ferguson uprising
2015 Freddie Gray uprising
2017 DAPL protests
2020 George Floyd uprising

The current regime in the imperialist core is fundamentally unable to integrate the nationally oppressed into the labor aristocracy and also incapable of suppressing the rate of profit in order to funnel that wealth into social programs. The social democratic countires that are trying to keep this balance are going broke and resorting to austerity measures and repression.

The ability for the national question to sap the resources of the imperial state is where the crux of our organizing should focus on. A soldier deployed on the streets of Minneapolis is unable to also be deployed to Iraq. This opens up opportunities for the periphery to expand their struggle. As Lin Biao in Long Live the Victory of People's War says:

When committing aggression in a foreign country, U.S. imperialism can only employ part of its forces, which are sent to fight an unjust war far from their native land and therefore have a low morale, and so U.S. imperialism is beset with great difficulties. The people subjected to its aggression are having a trial of strength with U.S. imperialism neither in Washington or New York, neither in Honolulu nor Florida, but are fighting for independence and freedom on their own soil. Once they are mobilized on a broad scale, they will have inexhaustible strength. Thus superiority will belong not to the United States but to the people subjected to its aggression. The latter, though apparently weak and small, are really more powerful than U.S. imperialism.

The struggles waged by the different peoples against U.S. imperialism reinforce each other and merge into a torrential world-wide tide of opposition to U.S. imperialism. The more successful the development of people’s war in a given region, the larger the number of U.S. imperialist forces that can be pinned down and depleted there. When the U.S. aggressors are hard pressed in one place, they have no alternative but to loosen their grip on others. Therefore, the conditions become more favourable for the people elsewhere to wage struggles against U.S. imperialism and its lackeys.

Everything is divisible. And so is this colossus of U.S. imperialism. It can be split up and defeated. The peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America and other regions can destroy it piece by piece, some striking at its head and others at its feet. That is why the greatest fear of U.S. imperialism is that people’s wars will be launched in different parts of the world, and particularly in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and why it regards people’s war as a mortal danger.



The universality of people's war doesn't mean bringing peasant guerrilla warfare inside the US, it means that the radical sections of the US labor aristocracy act in the same way as urban populations do in supporting the people's war in the countryside. Distraction, pulling resources, providing intelligence, and sowing divisions at home prevent the US imperial machine from sufficiently deploying its resources at all the hot spots that pop up.

A correct analysis of labor aristocracy within the US is impossible to fully develop while the superprofits keep flowing in. It is only when those superprofits start to get disrupted through a combination of economic crisis, environmental crisis, and military crisis from global revolt that the US working class will be able to look back on the past objectively. However, the primary political development of the labor aristocracy in reaction to this will not be communist, it will be overtly fascist as the blindfold obscuring the superexploitation is ripped off for all to see.

The question becomes: how do we organize against this eventuality? We organize against it by striking at the strongest contradictions. We tie in the national question and the imperialist question into one fist against the social and economic order. No communist formation today will be able to organize and grasp the impact of the labor aristocracy, but they can lay the seeds and create the conditions for later formations to grow that are able to integrate a correct analysis of labor aristocracy into praxis within the imperial core.

Edited by pogfan1996 ()

#2
The power in this analysis is that it shifts the role of imperial core communists from taking state power to weakening state power. It isn't our job to win, it is to lose in the most drawn out, damaging, and crippling way possible. There is no preventing the upcoming dominance of fascism, it will undeniably be the strongest and most potent response by the US white labor aristocracy to a global protracted people's war. This changes the tactics and strategies we use considerably, and it also clarifies our role in the international struggle. It also changes the character of what the united front within the US looks like today and will look like in the future.
#3
sakai states his work is a reconnaissance into enemy territory perhaps we should think of ourselves as saboteurs

#4
I don't think it makes (strategic or emotional) sense to build a strategy of action aimed at heroically losing. Or to conceive of action as "sowing the seeds" of the non-specific future revolution. All successful/influential revolutionaries urgently hate the thing they are revolting against and believe they will directly contribute to its destruction. Whether they were/are correct is irrelevant, what matters is it's the only way radicals can do their thing.

The best strategy is the same as it ever was, forcing the oppressor to demonstrate why he is oppressing you. More to the point, forcing the bourgeois state into negotiations over reform in precisely those instances where your (hopefully accurate) analysis tells you it cannot do so without undermining itself. Both Malcolm X and MLK got assassinated after they directly confronted the US federal government. Under formally anti-racist liberal ideology ICE is a criminal organisation, and much of the subtropical land under cultivation in the US is the rightful property of indigenous, hispanic and black people including illegal immigrants. There is no shortage of opportunities for organising substantial sections of privileged white labour around those issues. The problem seems to be the leadership behind most of those efforts are white people or minority PBs, who are building careers or feel like heroes etc. Instead of people who desperately need to build a space for themselves in a society that can not allow them to have one.
#5
Good shit OP
#6
When we start with the recognition of the role of the labor aristocracy, it opens up questions about where we, as individual revolutionaries, should be spending our time. My initial thoughts are that communist groups in the US fall into two camps: groups that organize along a labor aristocratic basis and groups that organize along a political fringe basis.

The groups that are attempting to organize along a multinational working class basis are stuck in a weird place. Since the class they recruit from and mobilize are the labor aristocracy, there is a conflict internally against taking any positions that will harm this class formation. This affects the long-term strategic orientation, is sending a bunch of cadre into unionized government positions useful? Well, it clearly is if you are interested in organizing along those class lines. This also pops up in elections, because in a situation where two geriatric sexual predators are competing to become the HHIC, there is fundamentally no difference in their relationship to imperialism and on domestic issues the differences are performative at best.

The question is whether these groups will be able to fight back effectively against the fascist tide that comes when the global value chains get disrupted.

The groups that organize along political fringes are highly unstable, but more radical. They are much more likely to come closer to a correct orientation to the labor aristocracy and society, but they are unable to grow meaningfully. They tend to be very focused on ideological differences between them and other groups, rather than any sort of meaningful analysis of which conditions are the most antagonist. During past examples of struggles against neo-colonialism and fascism, these kinds of groups are usually one of the first to take up arms to enact a protracted people's war, but they tend to be highly unsuccessful because they are ultimately detached from any sort of popular base of support needed to carry something like that out.

I don't believe that the labor aristocracy thesis will be able to play a dominant role in US communist politics at the current time. The formations that even begin to approach that kind of analysis all organize along their political fringeness, their identity as organizations is wrapped up with the individualist personal identities build on their rejection of the communist movement or the communist movement rejecting them. They aren't a solid base for any sort of growth or development, they exist to chew up people and spit them out as dejected, burnt out husks.

My initial thoughts are that organizing within a local labor aristocratic communist party with a strong anti-imperialist, anti-settler position is the most likely route of success for us as individuals. They will be the best organized to resist state and fascist repression and there is a greater level of experience in different struggles to pull from. I think the worst possible outcome from this analysis is cynicism and inaction, but I would love to hear about different strategies that you all think would be better.
#7

pogfan1996 posted:

However, the primary political development of the labor aristocracy in reaction to this will not be communist, it will be overtly fascist as the blindfold obscuring the superexploitation is ripped off for all to see.


I had a half-thought-out idea for a post I was going to call KKKOPS IN TRUKKKS after watching some documentaries about mercenary companies in Iraq such as Blackwater. They made a lot of enemies as you would expect by shooting people, running them off the road and driving very aggressively. And the subjective experience of these guys was like living out a Wild West fantasy with the Iraqis playing the unwilling role of the "Indians." It is suggested that these guys believed that by creating this aura of aggression around them and being the baddest dudes on the block all the time, that people wouldn't mess with them. That might also not be true, rather they did it because they wanted to, maybe, and because they could. Anyways, the idea that this kind of behavior deterred people from messing with them is mistaken. The aggression doesn't bounce back right away, but the more aggression they created, the more people they pissed off, the more it eventually came back around on them. If you're going about your day and some guys drive past you blasting Papa Roach and shoot up your car, it's not like you forgive them for that.

And then I thought about the guys I see hauling ass in big trucks bought with big, fat, white paychecks with "OIF/OEF" stickers on them and Punisher skulls with blue lines through them. And a decent chunk of these guys are probably ex-military, some of them are probably cops, and other white men trying to emulate them and acting out the same aggressive mentality toward the Amerikan population around them that a mercenary would do in an occupied country. There has been a lot of reporting on military equipment filtering to police departments, but I haven't seen as much written about this colonial-like occupier mentality other than from Sakai, and there you discover it goes all the way back to the beginning, that's how that class always has been, and that it was exported. It was Sakai who also made a comparison to Loyalist bands in Northern Ireland who march into Catholic neighborhoods and boundary zones and bang drums really loudly to exert aggression. There's a parallel now to these pro-cop convoys that will drive into a city as a show of force with pig escorts, which has a precedent in Klan night riders and armed "flagger" groups in the south that will drive through a black neighborhood flying Confederate flags.

pogfan1996 posted:

My initial thoughts are that organizing within a local labor aristocratic communist party with a strong anti-imperialist, anti-settler position is the most likely route of success for us as individuals. They will be the best organized to resist state and fascist repression and there is a greater level of experience in different struggles to pull from. I think the worst possible outcome from this analysis is cynicism and inaction, but I would love to hear about different strategies that you all think would be better.


Well, I'm just throwing down my thoughts ITT. I don't really know, but I have to think this stuff I'm describing is also just pissing people off at a certain level. There are a lot of people in the cities who are not going to take kindly to Cracker ISIS waging a commuter war on them because the Cracker ISIS has decided the cities have been "lost" and are now inhabited by their enemies.

RE: the labor-aristocratic thesis not being a good basis yet... yeah I have noticed an automatic defensive reflex go up when that gets mentioned among some white leftists I've interacted with. It's pathological. Like, you're talking about Sakai? Uh oh, danger zone! You're trying to create disunity among the working class! Yeah, well, I brought up Northern Ireland one time and said, you know the Orangemen when they come banging the drum and set bonfires alight decorated with racist slurs and effigies -- it's kinda like that, and it's a system people are immersed in from birth, and while it's a social construction it's dangerous to pretend it doesn't act itself out in a material way. That might get it to click for some. But it's not something I want to waste a ton of time on.

Edited by trakfactri ()

#8
I can't speak for the U$ situation, particularly when it comes to anti imperialism being or becoming a main tenet of labor aristocratic communist orgs, but here I think entryism is doomed to fail in a country where the political terrain hinges on the contradiction between the big imperialist hydra known as the united $nakkke$ and its cultural decadence and the social fascist egoism and its inherent conservative, chauvinistic, colonial particularism. This, despite appearing like two polar opposites end up being two sides of the same coin, furthering the parasitic comfort of the labor aristocracy. There isn't a single party that thinks outside of the nation's borders, and the only time imperialism is brought up is the palestinian question as a political fly-trap to get ethnics involved in their social-fascist schemes.

It's pretty well known that the political folklore of french masses is to march and 'riot' as soon as the neoliberal political dynasty starts cracking down on the labor aristocracy through outsourcing their jobs to an unknown, faraway land or crack down on the social safety net like retirement pension funds/age or particular benefits some sectors with a historically pretty strong history of trade unionism (which is pretty low on a continental scale, france has the lowest rates of unionization through most european countries). Well what are we supposed to take out of this? every year hundred thousands if not a million or two march in the streets, cause a national turmoil for a few weeks or months, then everything goes back to normal. There is no buildup, no accumulation, nothing that has been learned. It's total cultural spectacle. Some say unions betrayed them, some do the crab in a bucket thing where they don't really care if the national railway workers get fucked over, because for a few months those same train drivers were making their commute a bit more difficult - the every man for itself ethos of the labor aristocrat, which is why, as a transitory class based on the superexploitation of the proletariat, forge their own chains and are solely responsible of their own demise into increasing so-called pauperism, weither it is economic, cultural, mental, physical. The spontaneist cultural folklore of taking it to the streets, a sad legacy of the french left 'revolutionary' trade-unionism, has created a century long tradition of social fascism where every perspective of radical change becomes stillborn as soon as big daddy imp€rialist waves the toy over the crib - either social security, higher minimum wage, healthcare, cheap consumer goods... this ersatz of focoism, made the french radicals forget about sitting down, educating oneself, understanding what scientific socialism has to offer when applied to our current conditions. No wonder this century long history of defeat culminated into the outright fascism of the yellow jackkkets.
This is the clear synthesis of using unions as the main vector for social change. Much like universities, much like electoral politics to some extent, using bourgeois institutions to create an avant garde that has for principal ideological tenet the undermining of said institutions and the society they are apart of.

As for parties/orgs/cells, it dies on the vine as well. It's either newspaper distributing trot cults, the french communist party that has been revisionnist and slowly diverted espousing the same social imperialist line as the FI and the other little satellite parties around that. Our main tasks as revolutionaries is to think global but act local, with the means we have. They think local but don't act, the only time they do is to call for their voterbase to vote neoliberal against the openly racist populist guy. It's hopeless trying to work with them. This is the european synthesis IMO, the total failure to build anything close to a communist mass party, the absolute lack of theorization of our current conditions as an imp€rialist neocolonial nation, ends up in an uprising of social-chauvinistic corporatism as the only 'pragmatic' 'realist' outcome. its fascism, but i think you already said that

As for the main national contradiction between the labor aristocrats and oppressed diaspora, i have a few objections here too. The u$ contradiction between settlers and indigenous/oppressed nation has the historical buildup lasting over centuries and that spawned since the foundation of the country. Amerikkka has this contradiction as its foundational condition. Eradicate racial oppression and amerika will cease to exist. Of course as the Panthers paved the way, this will only be done through defined activism used to serve the people.
Here, the situation is different. The afrikan & asian diaspora, kidnapped through decolonization of their ancestral land to become serfs in the metropolis, have been drenching themselves in the fountain of imperial subsidies. A residual yet important amount are becoming what Fred Hampton said when he announced that there'll be 'negro imperialists' and climb the social ladder by uprooting themselves and espousing the colonial society. the majority do the 'undignified' labor thats been left to them and their ancestors since a crushing majority of whites entered the tertiary sector - theres still little pockets of pauperized whites in now desindustrialized ghosttowns but i dont pay them no mind... the empire affords to put them on welfare because theyre such a valuable asset to populist social imperialist politics theyre literally getting paid to exist. Because of the french labor history i detailed, and particularly the 1906/1912 Charter of Amiens, causing a schism between party politics and unionism, never really helped sprout a class consciousness in the minds and hearts of the kidnapped decolonized proletariat. Instead they have been slowly espousing the labor aristocracy but as a lower caste with a few going through the motions and rising up as compradors. my age fork is 3rd gen immigrant for most, the ones with a higher rate of political awakening but that is sadly influenced by what theyve been learning on the benches of imperiali$t akkkademia lecture halls. on another note, there's this cultural nationalist informal org thats been working for 2 years with mostly material support, helping people find jobs, promoting diaspora owned businesses etc. A contemporary Garveyism to make it short. Though from what ive seen and heard its truly the most reactionary, conservative, labor aristocratic elements in there. dead end when it comes to entryism.

To conclude, ill be pretty clear. engaging in the political landscape as it is is hopeless, so instead of trying to weasel and mold myself in, I'd rather form a cell with less people than i have fingers, with a defined, clear cut line to follow and abide to. it starts with a wordpress, then maybe a zine and dazibaos on the walls of the concrete jungle. this sounds like meaningless and maybe selfish to some, particularly a lot of people here who i assume have a lot of experience on the streets with organizing. but this is what i believe is needed to further the conditions in my vicinity
#9

dizastar posted:

To conclude, ill be pretty clear. engaging in the political landscape as it is is hopeless, so instead of trying to weasel and mold myself in, I'd rather form a cell with less people than i have fingers, with a defined, clear cut line to follow and abide to. it starts with a wordpress, then maybe a zine and dazibaos on the walls of the concrete jungle. this sounds like meaningless and maybe selfish to some, particularly a lot of people here who i assume have a lot of experience on the streets with organizing. but this is what i believe is needed to further the conditions in my vicinity



I actually think this is the other most viable approach, including within the us context. A small group operating to advance theory and practice along the correct political line is what Maoism calls for. I think the toughest part with either strategy is how you are determine if you are pursuing a correct strategy. A labor aristocratic communist organization can look at party membership, demonstration attendance, mass org growth, etc to determine if they are doing things in a way that moves left.

I wish there was a study of RAIM-D since that was the most significant cell of people that held an accurate labor aristocratic view and did mass work along an anti-imperialist line.

Part of the driving force for my view is that it's currently such a fringe view that getting together a cell or even a reading group is extremely difficult, and even if you got together 5-10 people with a correct line, what can you do with it?

#10

pogfan1996 posted:

and even if you got together 5-10 people with a correct line, what can you do with it?


maoist bake sale

#11
Another approach is targeting organizing exclusively within the most marginalized sections of nationally oppressed communities

This is from the MCP-OC:

Our resolution asserts, given the primary role of colonizer-colonized contradiction in the contemporary world situation, that the struggle for national liberation must be the primary force for the struggle against capitalism-imperialism and the world-spanning dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. This follows from the fact that the vanguard role afforded to the proletariat has itself been modified by the colonizer-colonized contradiction. Thus, within the settler-colonial u.s.a. context, because the working class has been shattered by the allegiance of broad sections of the settler proletariat to the maintnenace of the bourgeois dictatorship, we assert that the leading role has principally fallen to the indigenous, New Afrikan and Chicanx proletariat, whose struggles for national liberation are storm centers within the u.s.a. Only through a shift in allegiance, what com. Ignatiev called “treason to whiteness” but what should be better called treason to its own petit-bourgeois tendencies, can the settler proletariat discover again a place at the vanguard of the revolutionary masses.



In reality, their organizing consists of yelling at Gonzaloites online, doing food/clothing giveaways, and setting up community gardens. This gets to the heart of how it is difficult to measure success of a line and strategy within the imperial core. Ultimately, it comes down to this question: which method of practice and political line weakens the ability of the us to attack its enemies?

#12
i think that the declining rate of profit will continue to degrade the labour aristocracy until its a more classical proletariat again, and that this will happen much faster than you can convince people to lose in a cool way
#13

Horselord posted:

i think that the declining rate of profit will continue to degrade the labour aristocracy until its a more classical proletariat again, and that this will happen much faster than you can convince people to lose in a cool way



My argument is that this will degenerate into unbridled settler fascism unleashed on the world and on oppressed nationalities within the us. The questions are: how do we best organize against this happening and how do we best organize until until a collapse of global value chains happens

#14
Every day at the end of the day I steal a pen from work.
#15

pogfan1996 posted:

Horselord posted:


i think that the declining rate of profit will continue to degrade the labour aristocracy until its a more classical proletariat again, and that this will happen much faster than you can convince people to lose in a cool way



My argument is that this will degenerate into unbridled settler fascism unleashed on the world and on oppressed nationalities within the us. The questions are: how do we best organize against this happening and how do we best organize until until a collapse of global value chains happens



"we" is doing a lot of lifting for a problem coming from within the US when talking on an international webforum. living in europe my plan is to wait until america invades us and then shoot at them

#16
London is considered (along with New York City) to be the world's leading financial capital.
#17
so
#18

Horselord posted:

so



https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1916/imp-hsc/

#19
i've also read lenin but you were specifically talking about the situation making all the settlers go full hugo boss uniform fascist and it being unleashed on the rest of the world. copy pasting your conclusions about a settler society onto the society of an old world imperialist power is lazy and mistaken. the settler is in the unique position where he can't even justify his existence without using fascist logic of manifest destiny - if you took the fascism out of a settler society it would be the same as making it cease to exist. the north american cracker is at all times itching to wear a brownshirt, just with varying degrees of self honesty

british fascism is probably inevitable, but its also a pathetic and barely functional wasteland of a country outside of the city of london, which for all its wealth really doesnt have much to show for it either. i can't see it being anything more than some fuckup tag along client state that'll collapse in a stiff breeze. it doesn't have the conviction to do anything else

Edited by Horselord ()

#20
#21
I think you mean

Horselord posted:

i've also read lenin but you were specifically talking about the situation making all the settlers go full hugo boss uniform fascist and it being unleashed on the rest of the world. copy pasting your conclusions about a settler society onto the society of an old world imperialist power is lazy and mistaken. the settler is in the unique position where he can't even justify his existence without using fascist logic of manifest destiny - if you took the fascism out of a settler society it would be the same as making it cease to exist. the north ameriKKKan cracker is at all times itching to wear a brownshirt, just with varying degrees of self honesty

british fascism is probably inevitable, but its also a pathetic and barely functional wasteland of a country outside of the city of london, which for all its wealth really doesnt have much to show for it either. i can't see it being anything more than some fuckup tag along client state that'll collapse in a stiff breeze. it doesn't have the conviction to do anything else


#22
any question of how to organize in the uk or america is going to be very different because the current state of the left in those countries is very different from each other, the immediate tasks aren't the same. going "did you know they're both the center of western finance capital??" doesn't make a one size fits all discussion viable
#23

cars posted:


i don't have a model m but thats very close to what my computer looks like irl

#24
the US is definitely not going to let China alter the global currency or continue it's Belt and Road Initiative forever. the new cold war is ramping up, except this time I think China has the advantage. it's really scary to think about another world war but there's no way the US lets go of its position without scorching the Earth first. we should expect a massive anti-war movement, this time coupled with a stronger socialist presence. whether that leads to reform, revolution, or a fascist government that crushes everything, I don't know.

better brush up on draft dodging though.
#25
I don't think any United States politician will start a massively politically unpopular military draft in the near future because China's subsidizing roads in other countries.
#26
I expect the following to happen. I sent to lenochodek a few days ago:

1. china will become increasingly adversarial towards the chinese bourgeoisie as they try to become socialist by 2050 (along with vietnam, presumably DPRK). This might have already started in a nascent form.
2. The imperialist possessions will withdraw from the international monetary networks as they ally with china
3. The U.$. will have a white nationalist bourgeois-fascist revolution. This is necessary to move to step 4, I claim. Cars seems to agree.
4. The U.$. and it's allies will provoke WWIII, and will lose.

Future Historians will understand 3 as beginning somewhere between 4 and 30 years from now. My claim here amounts to saying that the chinese civil war was the beginning of the end of history.

Edited by Acdtrux ()

#27

Horselord posted:

any question of how to organize in the uk or america is going to be very different because the current state of the left in those countries is very different from each other, the immediate tasks aren't the same. going "did you know they're both the center of western finance capital??" doesn't make a one size fits all discussion viable


I was just being glib. I don't know Europe very well, to be honest. However, as a Canadian, I'm very familiar with cooking up a a sense of pride out of 'opposing' Americans, which is what your line about 'don't assume I'm American, I'm going to shoot Americans when they come here' reminds me of. I think pogfan's analysis is applicable outside of the US, too. How is the labor aristocracy going to turn back into a proletariat without factories returning? Don't you see elements of the European bourgeoisie aligning themselves with Amerikkka as it intensifies its death throes?

#28

Belphegor posted:

How is the labor aristocracy going to turn back into a proletariat without factories returning?



i dont see the relevance of this to be honest. the euro labor aristocracy peaked when european industrialization also peaked. whether these parasites earn their overpaid living standards in a factory or in the financial center or some service job or whatever doesnt matter much when it comes to their labor aristocratic nature. a large part of the workforce in the third world work in informal service jobs yet they didnt stop being proles because of this and the westerner labor aristocrats didnt become labor aristocrats just because they stopped working in factories

#29
r...r...relationship to the m...means of production
#30
.

Edited by sovnarkoman ()

#31
i wasnt talking to you
#32

sovnarkoman posted:

the euro labor aristocracy peaked when european industrialization also peaked.


In what sense is this true? Even in settlers sakai notes that europeans made substantially more working in the US than in europe. I think its more precise and accurate to say that the labor aristocracy in europe arose out of the european labor movements as a mechanism for diverting them. Another way to say this is that class struggle also peaked in europe when wages and industrialization peaked.

#33

c_man posted:

In what sense is this true?



i mean back when post ww2 both industry in europe peaked along with the living standards

Even in settlers sakai notes that europeans made substantially more working in the US than in europe.



i didnt mean peak in the sense that they had it better than anyone else. i meant it in the sense that it was their peak point within its whole history of existence. yanks had it better pretty much most of the time and i wouldnt object to that at all

I think its more precise and accurate to say that the labor aristocracy in europe arose out of the european labor movements as a mechanism for diverting them. Another way to say this is that class struggle also peaked in europe when wages and industrialization peaked.



okay but this is in line with what i meant. industrial labor in europe gave european workers a higher capacity to organize and fight for their interests, which meant that they received more and more benefits and they actually *became* more labor aristocrat instead of less because they were working in the factories. therefore saying the european or american working class would turn into proles and stop being labor aristocrats only if factories return is like the opposite of reality. it s not like labor aristocracy came into existence with the deindustrialization in the reaganite/thatcherite era

#34
More generally, i think its probably a mistake to look for a single correct line to take in the core. The deindustrialization of the core was a conscious policy to defang labor organizing as a vector for communist politics and the "progressive labor movements" have been totally disoriented as a result. The point organizing industrial labor was that by developing the power of the proletariat, for example by winning better working conditions etc, it would augment its own ability to further organize and take more power and resources from the bourgeoisie, with the material goal of seizing the means of production and dispatching with the bourgeoisie as a class. I think the important part of this is working towards goals that increase the ability of the proletariat to gain power and class consciousness. The direct route through seizing means of industrial production is unavailable in the US both because of the dual policy of deindustrialization and labor aristocracy. I dont think this means that there's nothing to be done but i do think it means that the methods at our disposal are necessarily less a priori coherent. There are lots of potential ways to support proletarian class consciousness, but no strong theoretical grounding for how they will work together or how to estimate success or failure in individual cases. I guess what I mean is that I think the problem is an "objective" problem, not due (only) to people being wrong but because there isnt a single thing that actually gets the job done, that we can access in from our positions.
#35

sovnarkoman posted:

they actually *became* more labor aristocrat instead of less because they were working in the factories


I think i agree with your general gist but i think its important to emphasize that industrial labor organization isnt the cause of labor aristocracy, rather the position of being in the imperial core and capable of being bought off by profits generated elsewhere.

#36

c_man posted:

I think i agree with your general gist but i think its important to emphasize that industrial labor organization isnt the cause of labor aristocracy, rather the position of being in the imperial core and capable of being bought off by profits generated elsewhere.



i completely agree, which is why my original point that whether first world workers are labor aristocrats and whether they work (or will in the future) in industry or not are irrelevant. i mean many third worlders work in the service sector yet i would consider them proles but i wouldnt consider a fr*nch working in a peugeot factory or whatever in the 60s a prole

The deindustrialization of the core was a conscious policy to defang labor organizing as a vector for communist politics and the "progressive labor movements" have been totally disoriented as a result.



i agree more with zak cope on this point, he says that deindustrialization did weaken labor movements in the core and led to wage stagnation and stagnation in other privileges as well (and even regression in some) but offshoring production also made commodities much, much cheaper therefore the purchase power of the labor aristocrats in the core actually rose. this is why the reaction to deindustrialization and its repercussions have been quite soft in the core for decades.

i think that the real reason for deindustrialization was the profitability crisis and employing cheap labor abroad solved this crisis temporarily (which seems to be running out now). it helped both the bougies as they got more profits but it also meant cheaper products for the labor aristocracy as well so the arrangement worked fine for both sides (except places that got hit really hard like the coal mines in the UK or whatever) for a long while. if you look at the biggest grievances of the american labor aristocracy, it s not about food prices or whatever but it s mostly about the costs of healthcare, education and housing which are three of the most important sectors that you cant offshore, therefore you cant avert the profitability crisis and the prices have to rise for the companies to stay afloat. i mean it s not like you can build a private hospital in bangladesh to employ bangladeshi doctors on lower wages to serve american patients

#37
Point taken about the 'factories returning' thing. Labor aristocracy is not defined by what sector of the workforce but the extent to which superprofits end up in your pocket. The superprofit pie is going to get smaller, which can only mean you give less of it to fewer people. The question is what happens after that? The reason I even brought up the factory thing was to question what kind of class transformations are possible as the labor aristocracy gets leaner and meaner? If we agree that ongoing crisis for global capital is going to degrade the quantity and quality of the labor aristocracy, then where does that lead? Pogfan argues this is going to be a retreat into settler fascism, Horselord says in Europe this will be a return to a 'classical proletariat', in part because Europe doesn't have settlers. Couldn't Europeans also retreat into ethnic and national solidarity to try and hang on to what they are losing? We shouldn't look at the world through America-colored glasses, but in Europe, too, there are classes who must be struggled against, classes who can be struggled with, and classes who will vacillate.

Just idle speculation here, but what if we see the superprofits slow down and the cost of labor shrink to the point where they start bringing back factories to the imperial core? Then there would be a class of industrial workers well positioned to be 'classical' revolutionaries. However, it seems like you would get a bifurcation where you have a 'factory elite' of overseers and technicians on top-heavy top, and menial industrial workers at the bottom with not enough numbers to contest. idk just spitballing here
#38
I think in Europe it will be like it was in the 20th century. But reducing the labor aristocracy inside the US to reproletarianization and pauperization will rip the country apart, as its a prison house of nations and non-settler classes that want nothing to do with white settler fascism. Since there’s not enough time left wrt the climate for capital to turn another region of the globe into a workshop of the world (China ain’t happening again), they’ll have no choice but to throw that Hail Mary which means civil war. Probably sooner rather than later. Honestly I see everything going on in the US as a prelude to a breakdown in national and class consensuses that were all dependent on continuous value chains and super profits. Just look at how the temporary covid restrictions and shortages have half the country frothing at the mouth.
#39
i think care needs to be taken to look at the conditions of labour aristocracy and where their advantages lie. luxury goods are so abundant that when they get a bit old they're given away, anyone who can wrangle a home can furnish it far beyond the wildest dreams of the most successful cocoa farmer on earth, and they can do it for what's to them a pittance. new commodities can be bought with a few day's wages. yet at the same time, the labour aristocrat is still under significant pressure for food and shelter, medical treatment, necessary transportation, and those pressures are increasing while the cost of the luxurious commodities that are the fruits of superexploitation only goes down over time. the modern labour aristocrat seems incapable of actually accumulating usable wealth over time

surely it's easier to entice someone to communism over their very real concerns about getting evicted or their children not having enough to eat, than it is to make them a fascist by telling them that the communists won't let them buy xbox anymore. i feel like if communists were at all competent in europe they'd have a much easier time recruiting than fascists do. the only europeans fascism can appeal to are those with no real concerns, and the terminally fucking stupid, it only gets anywhere in the working classes by being allowed to swindle people unopposed