By Miguel Campos They came from heaven. Where there is plenty of everything. Cloaked in death, reeking of blood. They descend upon the Wretched with an insatiable hunger. Some come armed, wielding the fruits of their research. Weapons made from the blood of their conquest, and guts which roar with anticipation of their next meal. […]

TRIGGER WARNING: the following article contains a frank discussion of rape. We feel this issue is of great importance, but it may cause some readers distress. For as long as they have served in the united $tates military, women recruits have been subjected to waves of brutal sexual assault, abuse and harassment. Nowadays, however, the […]

By Nemequene Tundama [Nemequene Tundama is an anti-imperialist activist based in Quito, Ecuador, originally from Muisca Territory in Colombia] There’s little doubt that Jeremy Corbyn has consistently, more than any other British politician, challenged neoliberal and conservative politics for decades. He has also been known for his tireless anti-war campaigning. Be that as it may, Corbyn’s […]

The UN Humanitarian Chief, Stephen O’Brien, has appeared before the Security Council to discuss the effects of the conflict in Yemen. The results have been absolutely horrifying, with the report detailing what they call the “largest food security emergency in the world” caused by the Saudi-led coalition’s campaign against the revolutionary government of Yemen. He […]

By Torkil Lauesen [Torkil Lauesen is a long-time anti-imperialist organizer and activist, former member of the Danish Communist Working Circle [KAK] and later Manifest-Communist Working Group [MKA], and author of Det Globale Perspektiv (the Global Perspective), soon to be published in English. The story of the MKA and its members’, including Lauesen’s, daring acts of illegal […]

The “Migrant Storm” The European “refugee crisis” is getting worse by the day, as thousands seek the relative “safety” of Europe, having been forced to flee their ravaged countries under the shadow of western intervention and exploitation. Unmoved by their plight, Europe wants as little to do with the refugees (but as much to do […]

By Jaime Dixon; comments from the editor at the end The consumerism generated by capitalist imperialism in the ‘Developed‘ or ‘Western’ world is the main obstacle to tackling climate change, a major problem facing all of humanity.  So the next question must be: why is capitalism still so widely accepted? Why do workers in the […]

Mike Ely and myself share many commonalities. We desire a better world, understand this can only happen through socialism, and have confidence that such a socialism can only emerge via class struggle and revolution. Between these areas of unity, we have many differences, largely stemming from different analyses of class structure in modern society. In […]

Analysis of Classes, Trajectory of Worldwide Revolution, and the Problems of First Worldism As has been outlined in the work of various Third Worldists and those near it, the world is not as simple as the dogmatic ‘Marxist’ understanding of ‘workers vs. bosses.’ Moreover, the precise explanation of ‘who are our enemies, who are our […]

By Kirkpatrick Sale Students for a Democratic Society, or SDS, was the preeminent radical student-based organization among the white sector of the US Left in the 1960s. It lasted from 1960 to 1969, when it collapsed from factional fighting that led to the birth of the Weather Underground and various groups that made up the […]

A new axiomatic phrase is making the rounds in the hollows of Amerikan culture. ‘YOLO,’ abbreviated for ‘you only live once,’ is meant to capture the attitude of freewheeling youth. Used to justify sometimes risky pleasure-seeking, YOLO enthusiastically expresses the individualistic hedonism prevalent within petty-bourgeois circles. One does, in fact, only live once. For communists, […]

Growing up in middle Amerika, punk rock made a huge impact on my teenage years. Like many who grew up on punk rock during its resurgence in the 90’s and early 2000s, the mostly irreverent 1994 Punk in Drublic was one of my favorite albums. Another NOFX album left a lasting impression on me. ‘The […]

This question recently came to us via comment, and it is a question we frequently get from those outside our movement. While we typically offer more direction and coordination for RAIM cadre, the below answer represents our basic public strategy which anyone can follow. “How can a First Worlder be effective beyond supporting third world […]

Dear RAIM, The term revisionism has always been confusing to me, not just because re-visioning something sounds like a pleasant experience of creative imagination. But more seriously, I understand revisionism as watering-down or modifying theory to gain more popularity, basically abandoning aspects of the theoretically correct analysis for one purpose or another. However, I also […]

In Bangladesh another tragedy has befallen workers in the country’s garment industry. On the morning of April 24th a factory building collapsed in Savar, just outside the capital city of Dhaka. The confirmed death toll as of this writing is over 600, and may approach 1,000, making it so far the most deadly factory incident […]

Socialism, as mentioned elsewhere, is a transition period between capitalism and communism. Capitalism has many features and its hands in many pots. Thus socialism must entail a series of class struggles to remake society at all levels. At their most fundamental level capitalism and communism are distinct production relations. Capitalism assigns value according to labor-content […]

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