Re: [OPE] Call for Paers: [MARXISM 21] special issue

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Fri Sep 10 2010 - 07:25:22 EDT

The IWW seems to have done a better practical job of explaining exploitation than is usually done now:

The poster informs us that in the decade of 1860 the wages paid were over $300,000,000. It also informs us that the wealth produced by labor during that same period was nearly $2,000,000,000. Applying that arithmetical calculation to the two full sets of figures, we ascertain that the wages were twenty per cent of the wealth produced.

Now we are in possession of a fact. It is not a very cheering fact, but it is a useful fact to know. It is the first fact that conveys practical information. By its light the huge total wage of over $300,000,000 shrinks to its real, its social, dimensions. We now know, from the figures given by the poster itself, that in 1860, out of every $100 that he produced, the workingman got only $20: somebody else got $80; from it we learn that in 1860 the workingman was plundered out of $80 for every $100 worth of wealth that he brought into existence. Immediately a suspicion arises in our minds as to who this fat and festive Uncle Sam must be. But we snuff out the suspicion; twenty per cent of one’s product is not much; indeed, it is very little; but we remember that this is only a start, and that the soaring figures promise progress. Encouraged by this hope, we proceed to test the next decade.

The figures furnished by the poster itself reveal that we are in 1890 just where we were when we started in 1860. After thirty years of arduous toil; after thirty years, during which the soil of the land was literally drenched with the sweat and blood and marrow of the workingman; after thirty years during which the American working class produced more heiresses to the square inch than the working class of any other country, to purchase European noblemen for husbands; at the end of thirty years during which the working class, as this poster itself shows, produced a phenomenal amount of wealth” at the end of these thirty years the American working class is just where it was thirty years before, the wretched retainer of only $20 out of every $100 worth of wealth that it produced!

Daniel DeLeon An address delivered in

Union Temple, Minneapolis, Minn., July 10, 1905

Originally titled The Preamble of the IWW

From: [] On Behalf Of Dave Zachariah
Sent: 10 September 2010 08:40
To: Outline on Political Economy mailing list
Subject: Re: [OPE] Call for Paers: [MARXISM 21] special issue

On 9 September 2010 16:38, Alejandro Valle Baeza <<>> wrote:
Dave, I think it would be useful to write to Marxism 21 editors your
opinions. I published an article in Marx 21 (2008) and I know they are
open minded and very good Marxist.

Yes, that might be a good idea. I just hope I can find the time to write something of greater length than posts on OPE-L.

//Dave Z

The University of Glasgow, charity number SC004401

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Received on Fri Sep 10 07:26:47 2010

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