New Book on Parasitism and the Imperialist Working Class: Divided World, Divided Class
The always excellent and intriguing Canadian left-wing Kersplebedeb, publisher and/or distributor of such important texts as Settlers: The Mythology of the White Proletariat, Night-Vision: Illuminating War & Class on the Neocolonial Terrain and Meditations on Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth has launched its new Kalikot Book Series. The first title to be published as part of the Kalikot series is Zak Cope’s Divided World Divided Class: Global Political Economy and the Stratification of Labour Under Capitalism, a work which sets out to chart the history of the labour aristocracy in the capitalist world system.
For those not familiar with Lenin’s theory, the labour aristocracy (sometimes called the aristocracy of labour) is a working class that has been bribed by imperialism. While Many “Leninists” claim to uphold this theory, they refuse to examine the breadth of this pseudo-class and rather try to deny it’s size to the extent that it seems to rarely (if ever) factor into either their analysis or organization. At the same time Lenin himself remarked that the seal of parasitism can mark entire nations. J. Sakai in his book Settlers demonstrates this clearly in the history of the United States. Other important contributions to the theory of the labour aristocracy demonstrate that it was not a phenomenon born into the world fully developed in the era of imperialism, but in fact goes right back to what Marx referred to as the primitive accumulation of capital.
Cope demonstrates that the history of the labour aristocracy from its roots in colonialism to its birth and eventual maturation into a full-fledged middle class in the age of imperialism. It argues that pervasive national, racial and cultural chauvinism in the core capitalist countries is not primarily attributable to ‘false class consciousness’, ideological indoctrination or ignorance as much left and liberal thinking assumes. Rather, these and related forms of bigotry are concentrated expressions of the major social strata of the core capitalist nations’ shared economic interest in the exploitation and repression of dependent nations.
The book demonstrates not only how redistribution of income derived from super-exploitation has allowed for the amelioration of class conflict in the wealthy capitalist countries, it also shows that the exorbitant ‘super-wage’ paid to workers there has meant the disappearance of a domestic vehicle for socialism, an exploited working class. Rather, in its place is a deeply conservative metropolitan workforce committed to maintaining, and even extending, its privileged position through imperialism
The book is intended as a major contribution to debates on the international class structure and socialist strategy for the twenty-first century.
The book will be available from AK Press, Amazon, etc. – but remember you can also get copies directly from Kersplebedeb at leftwingbooks.net website!\
What People Are Saying
“Dr. Cope presents a thought provoking study of the political economy of the world system by focusing on the concept of a global labour aristocracy. Within the world system, which has also been described as a global apartheid system by some, enormous differences exist between workers’ wages and living conditions, depending on where the workers are located. The author details how a global labour aristocracy in core countries benefits at the expense of workers in periphery countries. The mechanisms supporting such a situation are identified as exploitation, imperialism and racism. The book is a valuable contribution to globalization critique.”
– Gernot Köhler, Professor (retired) of Computer Studies at the Department of Computing and Information Management, Sheridan College, Ontario, Canada and author of The Global Wage System: A Study of International Wage Differences and Global Economics: An Introductory Course
“How can we link the division between the poor and the rich people in one and any country and the division between the rich and poor nations together into an analytical framework? The answer lies in the concept of ‘the embourgeoisement of the working people’ of the rich core countries and the fact that colonialism and national chauvinism have gone hand in hand so as to breed a ‘labour aristocracy’. This book is a must-read for anyone who cares about fairness. Zak Cope brings together brilliantly the concepts of nation, race and class analytically under the umbrella of capitalism, by situating racism in the class structure and by locating class in the context of the global economy.”
– Mobo Gao, Chair of Chinese Studies and Director of the Confucius Institute at the Centre for Asian Studies, University of Adelaide, and author of The Battle for China’s Past: Mao and the Cultural Revolution
“This is a surprising book. At a time when confusion about Globalization surrounds us, Zak Cope pulls us towards what is fundamental. He outlines the 19th & 20th century recasting of the diverse human world into rigid forms of oppressed colonized societies and oppressor colonizing societies. A world divide still heavily determining our lives. Working rigorously in a marxist-leninist vein, the author focuses on how imperialism led to a giant metropolis where even the main working class itself is heavily socially bribed and loyal to capitalist oppression. Much is laid aside in his analysis, in order to concentrate on only what he considers the most basic structure of all in world capitalist society. This is writing both controversial and foundational at one and the same time.”
– J. Sakai, author of Settlers: Mythology of the White Proletaria
Posted on September 14, 2012, in Economics, Imperialism & Colonialism, Revolutionary Theory, White Power and tagged Divided World Divided Class, Labour Aristocracy. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.