On the myth of globalization reducing poverty

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Re: On the myth of globalization reducing poverty

Post by Proletarian » 2019-02-18 04:58pm

K. A. Pital wrote:
2019-02-18 03:58am
*laughs* Bold words about us. But what have you got to show for it, Comrade Postcard?
Left-Communists have nothing to 'show' for it, because we categorically reject the view that revolution is something any faction or sect can create of their own or take responsibility for. The revolution will not be a specifically "left-communist" revolution; the overwhelming majority of those participating - which is to say the overwhelming majority - will not be consciously Communist at all.

The Russian Revolution, for example, was well underway before Lenin ever boarded his sealed train, and if he had an influence on the course of events thereafter it was far eclipsed by the degree to which he was led along by them.
Literally nothing. You are much like those philosophers of whom Marx said, „Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.“
Indeed, the point is to change it. Mirror-imaging bourgeois liberalism (nationalism, but left-nationalism; imperialism, but in the name of anti-imperialism) draped in red flags changes nothing.
You are just standing aside and waiting for the water to carry the bodies of your enemies. But by doing that you exclude yourself from any contact with the global working class.
And yet I myself am part of that working-class - I'm sitting in my trailer just now, looking at the workboots I wear to the factory every day.

The overwhelming majority of workers do not want to (amd will not let themselves) be led around by the nose by sects of collegiate professional revolutionaries. We will make revolution in our own time, when circumstances require, and not before.
There are millions of dichotomies in capitalist development. By absolving yourself of class struggle, you want to just wait on the sidelines until capitalism destroys itself.
I deny that political activism can constitute class struggle at all.
But you have to play an active role. And if you see a fault-line, which is for example the contradiction between the international character of capital and by now, alienation on an international scale, and localized production- it is very important to put more and more pressure on the system at every turn.
If we see a contradiction between the international character of Capital and localized production - we ought to always prefer international to local production. Decentralization, trust-busting etc. are petit-bourgeois policies which reinforce market competition. Only a thoroughly centralized monopoly capitalism is fit for international revolution.
The fight of the Third World for better wages, collectively, intensifies the capitalist dead-end for the First World, and thus is very welcome. As are attempts to severe the trade links, because when capital hurts itself in such a manner due to fractional infighting, the contradictions are greatly amplified and preconditions for a revolutionary struggle may arise as a direct consequence.
Ww have no long-term interest in better wages for Third World workers except to the extent they are necessary for the further intensification of capitalism in those nations.

Moreover, national protectionism demonstrably does not result in revolutionary conditions globally - the wave of protectionism following Smoot-Hawley in 1929, followed by the termination of the revolutionary wave (which had already been in rapid decline from 1924) demonstrates as much. Periods of intensified nationalism and protectionism are not advantageous for revolution - they erect too many barriers between laborers of different nationalities.
We had our share of struggles, but who is going to listen to you of all people, when the time for revolution comes?
I don't want anyone to listen to me, because I don't see myself as part pf some vanguard. Neither do I think such will be necessary under revolutionary conditions, or at least not in its Leninist conception - the vanguard as I understand it consisting of nothing more than those workers with a broader practical understanding of capitalism than their immediate neighbors and not professional activists.
I mean, even Engels said the following:
All this says is that protection and free trade are in fact two iterations of the same process, as I insisted on initially. The benefits accrued by protection (increased domestic production capacity and higher wages) are eventually spent on trade.
By now there is no „protectionism“ in the sense of the XIX century either. It is often merely a question of whether global capitalist corporations can freely genocide people in poorer parts of the world or not, because free flow of goods and capital has been by now universally accepted as base norm, and achieved possibly to the fullest extent it could have ever been.
I disagree. In fact, as has been mentioned elsewhere in this thread, to a real extent there is more protection within certain segments of the economy today - the labor market, for example, with movement restrictions and hard borders - than there were when Marx and Engels were active. And certainly subsidization and dumping (what right-libertarians blithely call "crony capitalism") is far more commonplace today.

The same is true of the free-flow of Capital. Thanks in part to the War on Drugs, and also to populist measures implemented in the wake of the collapse of Bretton-Woods, there are far more restrictions on the flow of Capital today than in, say, the 1970s, before the closure of the gold window.

We are arguably further away from global integration today than in Marx's time - when a German revolutionary could travel to Belgium to attempt to buy arms for the working class, then move to Paris and thence on to London all without encountering a single border guard.
Of course, if you buy into the „reactionary people will be done away with by progressive capitalist people“ (Engels‘ crude thought)
That isn't Engels' position.
I also have nothing but pity for you. Both Marx and Engels paid in dear disillusionment for their attitude towards poorer, not fully developed nations that barely had nascent capitalist industries. It is these nations who carried out most revolutions, whereas the developed nations in the XX century did jack shit other than war, plunder, and mass genocide.
And yet those revolutions failed - not in 1991 or 1989, or in 1956 with the Secret Speech, but virtually from their inception - Lenin recognized that the revolution in Russia was doomed with the failure of the revolution in Germany.
All revolutions in the rich world failed for a reason Marx himself perceived already. “Free trade” served only to enrich some nations at the expense of other nations and thereby turn a whole nation into capitalist opressors, including a bourgeois working class.
Try to find the phrase "labor aristocracy" in Marx. You will not find it - it being the invention of later 'Marxians', just as "dialectical materialism" is the invention of Stalinists.

The strata described by these people as "labor aristocrats" - union functionaries, highly skilled manual laborers and the like - typically prefer protection to free trade. This accounts for e.g. the phenomenon of the Teamsters endorsing Trump. If free trade were in their immediate interest they would support free trade candidates and policies.
Marx made an observation that the free trade system of his time was destructive, dissolving the old groups and sharpening contradictions between proletariat and the capitalists. This was the sole reason to support it, basically Marx was the first accelerationist. ;) Nowadays the following process has been in place: free trade has been used to placate the masses of the proletariat, turning them into “worker aristocracy” with cheap goods, and isolate the struggles of other proletarians by fragmenting them - destroying their local, national, family, and any other common identity. Not that Marx himself didn’t get into self-contradictions, like when he supported the right of weaker nations or former colonies to protect their nascent industries. He basically opposed protectionism by the strong, whilst allowing it for the weak.
Again, the "worker aristocracy" - defined as a subset of pseudo-petit-bourgeois workers in all capitalist societies, rather than the glistening generality extended to all First World workers it becomes in the mouths of Maoist Third-Worldists - have a strong preference for protectionism and for economic nationalism, not for free trade. On this very issue turned the fates of Pennsylvania and Michigan in the last American Presidential election.
This modern “free” trade policy (a monopoly at core, as Marx also had noticed before in the case of England) has immiserated huge swathes of the world, destroyed proletarian classes in many nascent industrial nations (Middle East, for example,is lost), but it has not led to global solidarity or a global worker’s class unity.
Nor will it, by itself. But it will create the conditions necessary for sucu solidarity - not least by fully internationalizing Capital (which has by no means been achieved yet).
The idea that this type of “free” trade can lead to a world revolution when it hasn’t done so in 150 years and counting is... well, not exactly corroborated by evidence. Even if we go solely by the old communist thinking, which is outdated in many points that seemed important in the 1850s.
The Manifesto and many other works are not just hopelessly outdated in their anthropocentric, Eurocentric and Orientalist views, they are by now practically harmful, serving as left-wing enablers of colonialist conquest and capitalist genocide.[/quote]

There certainly are parts of the Manifesto which are outdated. Marx and Engels made this point themselves in the introduction to the 1872 edition:
However much that state of things may have altered during the last twenty-five years, the general
principles laid down in the Manifesto are, on the whole, as correct today as ever. Here and there,
some detail might be improved. The practical application of the principles will depend, as the
Manifesto itself states, everywhere and at all times, on the historical conditions for the time being
existing, and, for that reason, no special stress is laid on the revolutionary measures proposed at
the end of Section II. That passage would, in many respects, be very differently worded today. In
view of the gigantic strides of Modern Industry since 1848, and of the accompanying improved
and extended organization of the working class, in view of the practical experience gained, first in
the February Revolution, and then, still more, in the Paris Commune, where the proletariat for the
first time held political power for two whole months, this programme has in some details been
antiquated. One thing especially was proved by the Commune, viz., that “the working class
cannot simply lay hold of the ready-made state machinery, and wield it for its own purposes.” .
However, to argue that these documents empower "left-wing enablers of colonialist conquest and capitalist genocide" is laughable unless you refer to e.g. the People's Republic of China - a colonialist, genocidal, capitalist State with a Marxist veneer. And it isn't as if the Chinese bourgeoisie and Party apparatchiks take them seriously, either.

Leninism serves as a "left-wing enabler of of colonialist conquest and capitalist genocide" by enabling apoligism for the capitalist States of China, North Korea, the Soviet Union et al.
Leninsts saved Marxism from that pit of smug Western superiority and actually helped to destroy the colonial order, helping many people achieve self-determination in the face of advanced capitalist empires as enemies.
Marxists have no interest in the "self-determination of many people", but in the self-emancipation of the international proletariat. We neither have any interest in the replacement of a Belgian colonial empire in Africa in 1919 with a Chinese colonial empire in Africa in 2019, for we mean to see the end of the mode of production whoch creates the impetus for imperialism altogether.

[Quore]But if we are still in the „just destroy all the inconvenient people on the capitalist development path“ mode, then we have truly learned nothing. Thanks Engels and his crude imperialistic, Western superiority shit he peddled with even greater zeal after Marx.
[/quote]

Third-Worldism has more in common with anarcho-primitivism than it does with any kind of rigorous Marxism.

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K. A. Pital
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Re: On the myth of globalization reducing poverty

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-02-19 05:24am

Left-Communists have nothing to 'show' for it
I see. But then you are practically nothing but subservient capitalist stooges, Kautskian do-nothings or worse, active supporters of the ruling capitalist class and its policies. All of which is based on the mistaken and Euro/US-centric view that capitalism still has to “develop”, as if it weren’t developed already so far beyond what old Marx could have envisioned. I already suspected as much, thank you for confirming. You are the “leftists” who do nothing but conjure excuses for capitalism, it’s left-wing servants. Which is why the capitalist ruling class has zero fear of you, it’s faithful defenders, but a lot of fear for the Leninists you try to ridicule. Theory without practice is dead.
Mirror-imaging bourgeois liberalism (nationalism, but left-nationalism; imperialism, but in the name of anti-imperialism) draped in red flags changes nothing
Funny, even Marx thought the Irish, to protect themselves from Britain and ensure they have a flourishing, diverse capitalist industry (“all branches”, diversification in the modern sense), were well justified in installing protectionist policies against Britain immediately - even with a bourgeois-liberal government. You seem to deny the oppressed people even that. We shall remember it for the future. You just support imperialism in the name of imperialism (as there is no “free trade” other than that of, and on the terms of, the imperialist nations). Also, I infer you are just a privileged semi-bourgeois First Worlder, hence, you have no idea what living under the red flag actually was like; unlike you, I was born under it, so I do have an idea.
We will make revolution in our own time, when circumstances require, and not before.
You will neither make nor see any revolution, being a member of a bourgeois working class.
If we see a contradiction between the international character of Capital and localized production - we ought to always prefer international to local production
Crude view of a pro-capitalist free-trader who, in the words of Engels, could not understand how it is possible that some nations become poor while others become rich. Contrast this with Marx himself on Ireland. Or the late Marx, who repudiated an earlier belief that communal land ownership must be destroyed to give way for capitalist private property everywhere.
Moreover, national protectionism demonstrably does not result in revolutionary conditions globally
Obviously it does not, just as free trade does not, because the contradictions of capitalism as per Marx were supposed to have been resolved by communism in the late XIX century. This has not happened, and instead, imperialism became the norm. Free trade has been critical to the origins and to the continued perpetuation of the imperialist stage of capitalism. Revolutionary conditions in the Third World have been greatly improved by World War II and the weakening of many capitalist empires, however, so that the capitalists have, for a significant period of time, lost a substantial fraction of the world population. Barriers between labourers? There never was an idyllic period of worker’s global unity, neither in the XIX century, nor later. This has to do with complete, utter failure of the idea that further development of global capitalism will directly lead to a revolution in the most industrialized nations. Full stop.
I disagree. In fact, as has been mentioned elsewhere in this thread, to a real extent there is more protection within certain segments of the economy today - the labor market, for example, with movement restrictions and hard borders - than there were when Marx and Engels were active. And certainly subsidization and dumping (what right-libertarians blithely call "crony capitalism") is far more commonplace today. The same is true of the free-flow of Capital. Thanks in part to the War on Drugs, and also to populist measures implemented in the wake of the collapse of Bretton-Woods, there are far more restrictions on the flow of Capital today than in, say, the 1970s, before the closure of the gold window. We are arguably further away from global integration today than in Marx's time - when a German revolutionary could travel to Belgium to attempt to buy arms for the working class, then move to Paris and thence on to London all without encountering a single border guard.
You are seriously thinking that? Then you are delusional. The ability of bourgeois like Engels to travel freely was always unimpeded, no matter if they had revolutionary friends or not. The ability of workers to move freely? It was only an abberation in the period of railway expansion, which was in any case swiftly ended by imperialism. Capital requires immobile workforces to be able to capitalize on lower costs of labour force sustenance, so hypermobility is actually an enemy of free trade. It is no coincidence that the greatest development of the imperialist “free trade” came with the ability to exploit the essentially immobile populations in the Third World, and limited mobility was always the destiny of the working class due to the fact capitalism never gives more than what is required for workforce subsistence.

Also (since it is unbefitting of me as a communist to say something but provide no direct empirical foundation) world tariffs have never been lower:
Image
That isn't Engels' position.
It is. He explicitly called for not just a defeat or revolution, but for genocide of “non-historic peoples” (“barbarians”) and called it progress.
Engels wrote:But at the first victorious uprising of the French proletariat ... the Austrian Germans and the Magyars will gain their freedom and take a bloody revenge on the Slav barbarians. The general war which will then break out will scatter the Slav Sonderbund, and annihilate all these small pigheaded nations even to their very names. The next world war will not only cause reactionary classes and dynasties to disappear from the face of the earth, but also entire reactionary peoples. And that too is an advance.
He also said it imperialism and war are OK as long as it all furthers capitalist development.
Engels wrote:Will Bakunin accuse the Americans of a "war of conquest", which, although it deals with a severe blow to his theory based on "justice and humanity", was nevertheless waged wholly and solely in the interest of civilization? Or is it perhaps unfortunate that splendid California has been taken away from the lazy Mexicans, who could not do anything with it? That the energetic Yankees by rapid exploitation of the California gold mines will increase the means of circulation, in a few years will concentrate a dense population and extensive trade at the most suitable places on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, create large cities, open up communications by steamship, construct a railway from New York to San Francisco, for the first time really open the Pacific Ocean to civilization, and for the third time in history give the world trade a new direction? The "independence" of a few Spanish Californians and Texans may suffer because of it, in someplaces "justice" and other moral principles may be violated; but what does that matter to such facts of world-historic significance?
So sorry, but he held this position very much, being a Euro- and US-centric racist, whose views were shaped by Orientalism, and as he was a bourgeois, and you cannot be free from your own class, he also espoused a defense of capitalist imperialism. Logical.
And yet those revolutions failed
Yes. So did the Paris Commune. The revolutions expected by Marx also failed - actually, even worse, they never came to amount to anything, despite Marx being quite sure that the contradictions of capitalism will be resolved as communism in the industrialized nations within the XIX century, i.e. that the material basis of communism has been created already by concentrated capital. Your point was?
Try to find the phrase "labor aristocracy" in Marx. You will not find it - it being the invention of later 'Marxians', just as "dialectical materialism" is the invention of Stalinists. The strata described by these people as "labor aristocrats" - union functionaries, highly skilled manual laborers and the like - typically prefer protection to free trade. This accounts for e.g. the phenomenon of the Teamsters endorsing Trump. If free trade were in their immediate interest they would support free trade candidates and policies.
All wrong. Labour aristocracy as a concept was already noticed by Marx and Engels, even if they failed to expand on it. As follows:
“Engels, Letter to Marx, 1858” wrote:...the fact that the English proletariat is actually becoming more and more bourgeois, so that the ultimate aim of this most bourgeois of all nations would appear to be the possession, alongside the bourgeoisie, of a bourgeois aristocracy and a bourgeois proletariat. In the case of a nation which exploits the entire world this is, of course, justified to some extent.
You are the bourgeois working class riding hundreds of years of exploitation of oppressed nations; you have long lost your revolutionary character. You are, and amount to, nothing as far as the revolutionary process is concerned. In fact, with the de-proletarization of the hyper industrialized nations (starting with the turning of proletarians into small-bourgeois and “self-employed” artisans) your role is even further diminished. All you have left it to be a capitalist lapdog, and you serve your masters well.

As to how they vote - firstly, it is possible to fool the working class into voting against their interests (shown time and again), but this is not even the case here. The worker aristocracy, that is, the most bourgeois strata of the bourgeois working class of the world-exploiting imperialist metropoles, is actually pro-free trade. Silicon valley, that is. „The educated“, because they only know what their masters tell them. Education is a weapon of the propertied classes and there is no such thing as neutral knowledge. The de-proletarized elements, more like shambles of a working class, with no unions, no class consciousness, fall prey to the most reactionary forms of capitalist ideology.
Nor will it, by itself. But it will create the conditions necessary for sucu solidarity - not least by fully internationalizing Capital (which has by no means been achieved yet).
No, see above. It has mostly bred racist imperialist lapdogs, capitalist accomplices, such as what we encounter here. And note how the quote relates to the entire working class, calling it “bourgeois”. No wonder, you have internalized fully the values of your capitalist masters, wishing for nothing but further enslavement of all under your imperialist thumb.
Marxists have no interest in the "self-determination of many people", but in the self-emancipation of the international proletariat. We neither have any interest in the replacement of a Belgian colonial empire in Africa in 1919 with a Chinese colonial empire in Africa in 2019, for we mean to see the end of the mode of production whoch creates the impetus for imperialism altogether.
“Marxists” such as you? Yes, you see no need for self-determination as a pre-requisite to emancipation. Thankfully, you have exposed yourself for what you are already.

Thank god that left communists, the infantile disorder they are, never amounted to anything historically, except an article and a few footnotes. At least you are just denying the national dimension of class struggle, as opposed to calling for outright genocide of „barbarians“ and „non-historic peoples“. A step forward for you and your kind.
Third-Worldism has more in common with anarcho-primitivism than it does with any kind of rigorous Marxism.
You are just bitter that the First World has produced no revolutions, has ONLY played the role of a reactionary world policeman, has actually engaged in genocide to the benefit of you, a bourgeois working class absolutely disinterested in any proletarian revolution, much less a world one, as it will sweep you away, destroy your system of imperialist exploitation and end you as a class.

I understand. Engels was also bitter. Failing to account for the complex dynamics of international exploitation actually led to the utter defeat of all revolutionary movements in the industrialized nations. Enjoy the rest of your time Comrade Postcard, an exemplary left-wing opportunist.

Of you, it could be said:
“Manifesto” wrote:A second, and more practical, but less systematic, form of this Socialism sought to depreciate every revolutionary movement in the eyes of the working class by showing that no mere political reform, but only a change in the material conditions of existence, in economical relations, could be of any advantage to them
You depreciated real revolutionary movements because oh god, they were defeated, called China “genocidal” and “colonialist” all whilst supporting the nations that really owned or still own colonies, and really implemented a policy of genocide in the name of profit... and show disdain for political revolution because to you it is purely a matter of “helping capitalism to develop” i.e. there is no political revolution, only an economic one, done by an apolitical proletariat. Poor bourgeois must tremble in fear before a bunch of kowtow do-nothings that never expropriated a single capitalist, but only helped them to “develop”. :lol:

No matter the failings or errors of Marx and Engels, they never denied the necessity of communist political action and the support of every revolutionary movement, and raising the question of abolition of private property in every such fight. They did not think they had to step aside and wait for capitalism to develop or that the fights in other nations are irrelevant, even if Engels was 180 degrees away from the truth. They were hoping and thought that Germany would undergo a communist, proletarian revolution immediately after a bourgeois one, but they said of others:
In short, the Communists everywhere support every revolutionary movement against the existing social and political order of things.
You show disdain for revolutionaries worldwide, and oppose them because they made errors in the process. You are no communist.
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Re: On the myth of globalization reducing poverty

Post by K. A. Pital » 2019-02-20 05:16am

After some pondering, I have re-read „Imperialism as the highest stage of capitalism“ - and found that it answers most of the left-communist confusion and criticism.

The analysis of imperialism as given by Lenin was extremely apt. Saying we „should go back to original free trade“, as liberals/libertarians wish for, is simply reactionary, as the imperialist oligarchy and oligopoly is a natural product of capitalist development.

This so-called free trade is naturally producing a world oligopoly and a corresponding world oligarchy, and the blockage of world trade between spheres of influence can put the system into a severe crisis that causes wars to erupt, less the export of capital and the control of the imperialist metropoles over indebted states be in any way threatened. Such crises, representing the natural development of capitalism in its imperialist stage, are moments when history can be changed. „Peaceful development“ of capitalism is therefore just a nonsense fairlytale, which can exist only on the basis of world parasitism. A period of peace is eclipsed by war, which is the attempt to resolve contradictions on the basis of force.

Destruction of monopolies, rollback to a more competitive state is useless, because competition begets monopoly. The calls for „freer trade“ are just as useless, especially in our day and age when no trade other than trade in an imperialistic system, may take place.

The bourgeois nature of large sections of the British working class were noted even by the classics at the end of the XIX century; opportunism, betrayal, support of the most barbaric forms of capitalist plunder by the workers were all signs of a parasitic capitalism.

The situation now, if anything, has only worsened in terms of parasitism, for through the „free trade“ of the oligopolies, the ability of capital to exploit the entire world and thereby buy off the ENTIRE working class of the oligarchic enclaves, like the First World financial and industrial centers, makes it absolutely worthless to discuss the „development“ of the parasites as something beneficial.

The rise in wages in the Third World and rapid industrialization of some parts of it, much like the threat of nascent German imperialism and financial capitalism that threatened Britain when it was the apex of capitalist parasites, sends the First World parasitic system into a crisis. Free-traders of our days are just agents of the comprador-bourgeois that seek nothing but to stunt development of the working class in other nations, intensify reactionary policies abroad and continue the export of capital unhindered.

No need for communists to unite with the oligarchy, the ruling class and their bought-off pawns in the working class.

Imperialism and the existence of monopolies (more correctly oligopolies, but this is more of a matter of degree than a true contradiction) is a fact.

Proletariat in the West where a bourgeois working class has formed, is by now factually non-existent in the Marxian sense (a person with no means of production, fully exposed to the mercies of the market, for whom selling his labour power is the only thing that stands between life and starvation) - most workers of the First World e.g. in Europe are able to receive unemployment insurance and even social support for survival beyond this, there is a nice infrastructure in place, schools and daycare centers, and other privileges won in class struggle on one hand and often conceded by the capitalists to ensure a wide social base for opportunism and do-nothing mentality, to coopt, destroy and weaken any communist movements. All of this cemented the betrayal of communism back then and serves the very same purpose now. Many workers are no longer belonging to the proletariat because they own means of production (a computer), or are petty rentiers even, who own shares of the largest monopolies in the world! Inasmuch as reaction intensifies, these strata can be put into a precarious position similar to real proletariat, but their class nature is small-bourgeois, and they fully engage in support of the bourgeois political parties, showing no class conscious actions.

A disruption in world trade often forces harsher living conditions on the working class, and weakens opportunism (to such an extent that even among bourgeois working classes in the aftermath of WWI and the Great Depression, there had been uprisings). Such disruptions also originate naturally from the logic of development of the capitalist system, and it is not the task of communists to try and smoothen the contradictions between the promises of bourgeois politicians and a reality in which they can no longer deliver on said promises.

I feel like I was unnecessarily harsh on Proletarian. But then again, such silly illusions have no place in the XXI century of all times.
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Re: On the myth of globalization reducing poverty

Post by His Divine Shadow » 2019-03-09 05:08am

Here is another article on the utter failure of neoliberalism on all fronts and all promises it made. Well worth a read.

http://rooseveltinstitute.org/the-failu ... -politics/
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