From: Rakesh Bhandari (rakeshb@STANFORD.EDU)
Date: Mon Jan 05 2004 - 21:58:35 EST
William J Blake 1939 on divisions within the proletariat: "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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