Friday, November 02, 2007
One Human Race
You may be surprised to see the article’s title “One Human Race”, but this article will tackle one of the core issues of Marx’s basic ideas: Internationalism.
From here we shall begin with a statement that I always love to write: “All the members of the Proletariat are equal despite race, gender, nationality, color, sect, and tendency.” Tendency refers to the “non-straights” or “homosexuals”. Tony Cliff actually wrote about integrating Tendency in 1976 as part of the class struggle, but for now let us dwell on this beautiful concept of internationalism. This concept is fundamental in every corner of the world, including Lebanon.
Marx and Engel’s theme, Internationalism (and on a later stage Rosa Luxemburg, John Reed, Lenin, Trotsky, Karl Radek, Guevara, and a lot others) remains the heart of Marxism within the Proletariat’s battle to emancipate themselves from the bourgeoisie. The first notion someone might disagree with me is: “But MFL, there are no longer Proletariat and Bourgeoisie.” I would yell out loudly: “Wrong!”
The summarized definition of the proletariat is those who lack the means of production; henceforth they are left with nothing but their muscles to work, and hope that the bourgeoisie would give them a better treatment. Another trait of the Proletariat is the fact they are always alienated due to the fast pace of their work. Due to excessive work, the Proletariat are always isolated from their surrounding, and hence they blocked to attain collective consciousness (whether via a Proletariat Vanguard Party, or build their own). The Proletariat are enslaved in banks, factories (yes assembly lines and sweatshops are still existent through out the world), services section, while the “owners of the means of Production” harvest the fruits, and accumulate cash.
The last two words are very important, ‘accumulate cash’. The supporters of neo-liberalism always celebrate the circulation of money, or pray that money spills from the top to bottom (which rarely happens). The Bourgeoisie spend a mere fraction to allow the right-wing economists to celebrate “the money multiplier” syndrome. Rather they stockpile while the purchasing power of the Proletariat shrinks. Marx said: “Automation is gradually replacing the proletariat while the workers are left to compete for cheaper wages.” This is true, if one proletariat is not satisfied with his/her work, they are easily replaced by others, and in a lot of 3rd world countries: import cheaper labor elsewhere and destabilize the labor market of the country (hence triggering bad case of recession). In 2001, statistics (from the Balance of Payments, and others) showed of the top 100 entities, 51 one of them are corporations while 49 are nation states. I think that is a scary number if you ask me. That means that somewhere in the top 100 entities, a corporation can move 1% of its budget (which would equate to a lot of Asian nations and most of Africa combined) to else where. Actually according to the ILO, again in 2001, the number of global workers within the transnational corporations is only 10%, while the transnational corporations are gradually eradicating minor and middle run corporations (or tiny ones) to integrate them within their own empire. When 3.2 trillion dollars rotate the globe in one day (according to the Balance of Payments), this shows three important details:
- The shift from the manufacturing industry to the services is enormous (hence more unemployment is taking place, which includes also 1st world nations because they are closing their factories and moving east.
- The greediness of the bourgeoisie whereby 3.2 trillion dollars rotate the globe in the form of direct investment, which means the markets of the world (specially 3rd world) are left at the mercy of the transnational corporations.
- The Transnational Corporations, and their servants (the elected officials of the first world) refused to protect the fragile markets because they prefer the free volatile market rather implement the Tobin Tax. The concept of the Tobin Tax was to charge a mini-tax on every direct investment, and the revenues would go to cover the debts of a third world country (which actually is in debt due to previous colonialism). I highly recommend you rent the documentary: “The Corporation” for a nice idea.
This leads us to the concept of internationalism, the majority of the world is starving or suffering from bad economic recessions because bunch of CEOs prefer to maximize their profits rather than believe in a just way of financial distribution.
The previous boundary which divides the world into nationalism is collapsing, as Marx predicted in “The German Ideology”. The world will shrink in size to the extent there will be no difference between what color as long as the corporations are functioning at the expense of the Proletariat. Of course, if one manager miscalculates, it is tens of thousands of unemployed proletariat forced to work cheaper. Religion no longer has any value in dividing the Proletariat, rather, it binds when the religious institution is needed as an oppressive tool. I think the Vatican and Saudi Arabia are nice examples of that fact.
Capitalism has its own functionary internationalism of its own. It also trespasses boundaries to cover the proletariat also despite race, gender, ethnicity, color, religion, and nationality. Lenin was clear on that issue, there cant be a revolution on a national scale, for what is the use to establish a socialist country amidst capitalist greed. The only occasion socialism will temporary work (on a minor welfare degree) is when the nation has sufficient resources /services capabilities to manage to manage throughout the capitalist system. As long as money has a social and purchasing value, capitalism will remain standing still and the poor will get poorer (unless feeling lucky to purchase a lottery ticket).
It is capitalism that produced all this form of decaying 19th century nationalism. It is capitalism that preserves the religious institution as an obedient tool with the promise of “suffer now, and enjoy heaven”. This is class struggle. It is Capitalism that is distorting history. If the US is the land of freedom, why don’t they admit that they established their nation by literally committing ethnic cleansing the original inhabitants of that land.
Here, Marx and his merry warriors step in. Marx attempted to establish the first international movement to bind the proletariat all over, and ever since, the struggle has been going on. The primary goal is the abolishment of this ruthless system, there can be no other way to end the crisis of capitalism, and the “neo-imperialist tools” (whether preemptive wars like Israel and USA, the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank…etc). There is no other way! (you hear that ignorant Democratic Leftists and Lebanese Communist Party?). Any other form of solution will lead us to vicious circles or tyranny.
The borders of the elite are fading away, and remain fading. Previous imperial conquests are replaced with market domination and shoving the workers aside. We are one race, as one motto in Genoa said: “We are six billion, you are 6!” There is no difference where you are, as long as you are fighting for your rights and the rights of your fellow colleague.
Time will come for our return!
Hasta La Victoria Siempre
Links to this post: