Despite recent traction the left appeared to be gaining in the cultural sphere with its inclusion in the opposition to the “fascist” Trump administration, the opposition and its left-wing have since run into very serious political roadblocks in the form of directionless and immaterial calls to “oust” the president and his cohorts. Informal linkages between […]

Formed originally as a result of intense class struggle coupled with the top-heavy development of capitalism—and monopoly capitalism more specifically—the labor aristocracy has now risen to play a pivotal role in the development of the communist movement, especially in the imperialist core. The first mentions of what can be understood as the nascent labor aristocracy […]

[Leftist Critic is an independent writer, researcher, and comrade who cares about the world around them. Other than posting on radical subreddits, they also tweet infrequently at @leftistcriticabout about the murderous US empire, international solidarity with nations and peoples under attack, and provide necessary criticism of the Western “Left.” They can be reached at leftistcritic@linuxmail.org.] By Leftist Critic As […]

Kabul is under siege. A series of deadly attacks in the heart of the capital just this month, and a history of many others in the past few months have reinforced this fact. Simply put, the expiration date of the regime has been set, and although we cannot be for certain when it will fall, […]

The Trump regime has unveiled its new strategy for National Security in the era of “amerika first” policy-making. The regime’s hope is to stabilize the evaporating amerikan dominance by reorienting amerikan security policy from one predicated on diplomacy to one built on overwhelming force—hardly a novel concept in amerikan foreign policy. The new plan rests […]

[Originally published on Kersplebedeb.com, this article by Bromma serves to unpack the depth of the crisis of amerikan empire as it currently exists and posit possible outcomes for which we must prepare. We at Anti-Imperialism have always endorsed the notion that we must not only prepare for the collapse of the amerikan empire, but actively see […]

Less than a week ago it was reported that several gold miners in Brazil are now under investigation by federal prosecutors for the massacre of 10 people from an uncontacted indigenous community deep in the Amazon rainforest. The men reportedly bragged about having murdered them and cut up their bodies before disposing them in a […]

A new poll released by the Chicago Council of Global Affairs (CCGA) shows that a majority of amerikans now support an armed intervention on the Korean peninsula if the DPRK were to strike the south. This comes after months of heightened tension in which the united $tates has unsuccessfully attempted to bully the DPRK into […]

Wages and class struggle

Karl Marx’s opening line in the first chapter of Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 states that, “wages are determined by antagonistic struggle between capitalist and worker.” (p. 19)

This opening line is often cited by nominal leftists as explanation for exorbitantly high wages of many workers in the United States and throughout the First World. The explanation they reach is that First World workers receive such high wages because they have secured them as historic concessions over the course of past class struggle. But this view is narrow and has quite specific limitations.

In terms of scope, this explanatory view negates the workings of capitalism internationally. Wages of all workers have hardly risen, just those within certain spatial and social limitations (i.e., those within the First World and often part of oppressor nations). The notable idea ignored by the First Worldist viewpoint is that while class struggle certainly may have played a role in elevating the status and material fulfillment of First World workers, this class struggle may not have occurred on their part alone. Instead, the raising of wages for a limited number of worker, i.e. those mainly in the First World, was a measure to counteract not merely their own class struggle but that of the international proletariat. During the 20th century, the international proletariat advanced in their struggle in many regards. They were able to establish nominally socialist states which for a time acted as economic and political bulwarks against capitalist-imperialism. As well, the proletariat of the Third World waged several wars of liberation against direct imperialist occupation and neo-colonial puppets. It was no doubt such heightened class struggle which played a large role in determining the wages of First World countries, so as the secure their passivity and tacit support of the system at the moment it was facing its greatest challenges from the international proletariat movement. Continue reading