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Labour aristocracy - critics

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asb1917
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Jul 2 2016 19:54
Labour aristocracy - critics

Could indicate me critical texts of the concept of labor aristocracy?

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bakuninja
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Joined: 27-09-13
Jul 3 2016 10:37

I like these two articles by Charles Post:
- The Myth of the Labor Aristocracy, Part 1
- The "Labor Aristocracy" and Working-Class Struggles: Consciousness in Flux, Part 2

See also this book review:
- Workers in the Global North: A Labour Aristocracy? Review of Zak Cope, Divided World, Divided Class: Global Political Economy and the Stratification of Labour Under Capitalism (Kersplebedeb, 2012)

asb1917
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Aug 4 2016 15:05

Thank you, bakuninja!

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Craftwork
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Aug 4 2016 23:24

Long but really good article by Loren Goldner:

"Luxemburg argued that imperialism expressed the continuing presence of what Marx had called ‘primitive accumulation’, a certain increment of ‘loot’ which capitalism required to compensate for a disequilibrium internally generated by its dynamic. The implications of Luxemburg’s analysis were that the goods and machinery capitalism was exporting to peasants and petty producers in the heartland and in the burgeoning colonial world were in fact exchanged for a huge increment of unpaid wealth (cf. her unforgettable descriptions of the looting of American farmers, African tribesmen, Egyptian and Chinese peasants), a looting that was extended to capitalism’s own working class through taxation to pay for the pre-1914 arms race, driving real wages below the level required for the working class to reproduce itself. Far from constituting an aristocracy, the working class within capitalism was, for Luxemburg, increasingly subjected to a complementary form of the primitive accumulation which the system visited on petty producers of the non-capitalist world. These complementary aspects, inward and outward, of ‘looting’ in fact anticipated the fascism which emerged in Germany and elsewhere two decades later."
[....]
"Let’s go back to the pure system, only capitalists and workers, no banks, no other distorting ‘titles to wealth’. Let us further imagine that the entire world is capitalist and that everything exchanges at its value. In such a world, with rising productivity over time, a greater and greater mass of capital is set in motion by a smaller total amount of living labour, the exploitation of the latter being (for Marx) the source of all profit. Hence (with many ups and downs along the way) the rate of profit capable of sustaining all those titles, unless adequately supplemented by what I have called ‘loot’, declines historically.

But, as Luxemburg points out in her Anti-Kritik, the falling rate of profit does not prompt the capitalists to ‘hand the factory keys over to the working class’. Her framework enabled her to see how capitalism could ultimately destroy society – barbarism, in her words, or the ‘mutual destruction of the contending classes’ as the Communist Manifesto put it in 1847 – by being required to turn more and more to primitive accumulation and non-reproduction, a prophecy we see materialising before our eyes today."

http://www.metamute.org/editorial/articles/fictitious-capital-beginners-...

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Alf
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Aug 5 2016 07:46

There's this critique of the theory, 'Labour aristocracy, a sociological theory to divide the working class' on the ICC's website

http://en.internationalism.org/node/3101

asb1917
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Nov 17 2016 21:27

Thanks, guys!!