RE: [OPE] Britain--parasitic and decaying capitalism: A comment

Date: Thu Feb 18 2010 - 08:11:13 EST

> Jerry wrote:
>> you will only have unity when the differences within the class are
>> recognized and
>> dealt with ...
> Jerry, I completely agree with that. The differences that I am concerned
> with in this discussion are national differences created by capitalist
> competition in the current epoch. It's one thing to 'recognize' those
> differences, and another to interpret them and to deal with them
> accordingly. We seem to have a difference on this second thing.

 Hi Paula:
OK, let's pursue that direction. I'm not sure exactly what you mean above
by the current epoch, but most racial divisions, for instance, were
created under capitalism - often having a direct link to colonialism and
modern slavery. Racial minorities are often a consequence of capital's
attempts to overcome labor power shortages. So, how do you deal
with these divides? One tactic (favored by many leftists) is to raise
a demand like that "White and Black workers Unite" (a variation is the
oft repeated - ad nauseum - slogan "The people United will never be defeated").
This, imo, is a failed strategy. An alternative would be for progressives to
support demands for racial equality, etc. *as a step towards* genuine working-
class unity. Thus, fighting racism (and sexism) are essential moments in the
struggle for working-class unity, imo.
No doubt, in many instances the route to working-class unity is more
complex. For instance, what happens when two national minorities within
an independent nation and former colony (what I would call a neo-colony)
both raise demands that appear to be in conflict with each other? For
instance, take the case of Fiji. Indian workers were imported into
Fiji by the British under colonialism as a way of overcoming a labor
power shortage. Following colonialism, there were various inequalities and
conflicts between the descendents of Indian immigrants and those of
Fijian descent - which, after all, had a quite distinct culture and history.
More importantly, these groups have different legal and de factor
rights (e.g. the ability to get government jobs; the legal right to own
land) and wealth and income ownership). Thus, Indians in Fiji tend to
have higher incomes/capita but less legal rights. By no means is this a
unique story. In some ways, it's similar to the modern history of Rwanda.
WHat type of strategy would you favor for situations like this?
In solidarity, Jerry _______________________________________________
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Received on Thu Feb 18 08:14:19 2010

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