Re: Labour aristocracy

From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Mon Jan 05 2004 - 21:58:35 EST

  William J Blake 1939 on divisions within the

"But the reason for the victory of British labor was not so much its own as
it was due to the industrial subjugation of India. British capital rewarded
its home labor with part of the newly-won rewards wrung from the natives.
The class conflict was cushioned on the back of Indian labor. Hence there
arose a comparatively priviliged skilled labor-class in England that has
been notably conservative in tactics and obtuse to theory, since it was
junior partner in Imperialism. In the US too the waves of immigrant labor,
together with the opening of the West, enabled the older, skilled labor to
create priviliged craft unions with higher initiation fees, and to trade
off benefits for selected benefits without reference to labor as a whole.
As the immigrant common labor was transmuted by training into skilled labor
and admitted into the charmed circle, while the ever-gaining production
took up millions of new workers from many lands. Unskilled labor come to
given to Negroes and Slavs and Italians, almost exactly as the Roman Guards
were recruited from Macedonia and Mauretania and Dacia. It may be more than
a coincidence that the faces of American millionaires began to look exactly
like those of the Roman patricians."

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