Net-Exploitation by the Numbers (Hypothetically)


RAIM often talks about Amerikan and First World workers as net-exploiters.

In order to discuss this further, we must first define exploitation. For our purposes, exploitation can be roughly defined as earning through work less than the full product of that work. For instance, a person might work for a day, make 10 widgets; yet only earn in wages enough to purchase six widgets. This would be exploitation.

The modern economy is arranged globally. A minority of First World countries exploit at gunpoint the Third World. Subsets of workers with vastly different functions, wage-levels and standards of living exist. Only in such a situation could a worker be a net-exploiter.

Hypothetically speaking, in today’s capitalist-imperialist economy, we might see a situation where two different workers each create 10 widgets, or 20 total. The first worker, from the First World, might earn enough wages to purchase 11 widgets whereas the latter worker, from the Third World, only one. Through the extreme exploitation of the Third World worker, the First World worker receives wages over and above what they actually created. In this situation, the First World worker gets a small ‘cut,’ the equivalent of one widget, from the 9 widgets produced by the Third World worker yet not included in the latter’s wages. In other words, the First World worker is a net-exploiter.

First World workers are net-exploiters: a class which through its relation to the capitalist-imperialist system lives in great part upon the exploitation of the Third World.

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. Well this is not communism. Workers must always be exploited by this definition of exploitation. A functioning modern society should always make more from its labor than a worker can or should consume. A portion of the product of ones labor must always be taken – by children, the elderly, the disabled, etc. Furthermore a marxist state would take from workers to fund the military, research, infrastructure, etc. I suggest a better definition of exploitation or else the word becomes useless.

    • Definitely, under a purely communist state, a portion of surplus would be consumed socially, either through shared services (e.g., roads, ecological restoration, etc) or services for necessarily unproductive populations. The point this articles makes, however, is that some workers, by virtue of super-exploitation, have access to a larger proportion of the social product than they create with abstract labor- i.e., First World labor is overvalued whilst Third World labor is undervalued, resulting in a one-way transference of value from the latter to the former.


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Political Economy