This is an archive of the former website of the Maoist Internationalist Movement, which was run by the now defunct Maoist Internationalist Party - Amerika. The MIM now consists of many independent cells, many of which have their own indendendent organs both online and off. MIM(Prisons) serves these documents as a service to and reference for the anti-imperialist movement worldwide.
Maoist Internationalist Movement
1998 MIM Congress Session II
On the internal class structures of the internal semi-colonies
On the internal class structures of the internal semi-colonies by MC5, February 1998 edited by MC45, March 1999 I. History of the BPP view II. Class structure and exploitation a. Genocide, its meaning for class structure and reparations b. Relative deprivation c. Current surplus-value I. History of Black Panther Party view of class structure In the four years preceding the formation of the Black Panthers, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale had the chance to run into activists of the Progressive Labor Party. The Progressive Labor Party and Robert Williams were conduits to Mao of information about the U$A. In his famous statement of 1963 on the oppression of Black people, Mao countered those nationalists who would say that white workers were the enemy. We have to recall at that moment the Nation of Islam was dominating headlines and Malcolm X was seen as the leader of radical Blacks. He would occasionally have something quotable to say about "white devils." Mao's statement offset the reformism of Martin Luther King and the non-materialism of the Nation of Islam. Huey Newton recalls that even he was not able to summon enough hatred of the Euro-Amerikans to be totally acceptable to the non-Marxist nationalism of the time; although he demonstrated in practice the physical courage to go into shoot-outs with police. Unfortunately, given the climate of the times, Mao veered away from a serious analysis of the class structure of the United $tates and promoted a stereotypical view. Some Chinese documents on the national question within U.S. borders at the time do not even mention super-profits and thus prepare reconciliation with social-democracy in order to fight Islam, a most definitely incorrect strategy. Nonetheless, throughout the 1960s, the Peking Review of the Chinese Communist Party was admitting that comrades in the United $tates "were beginning" to study Mao Zedong Thought. The first Chinese references to the Black Panthers were of this nature. Revisionists of the Wang Ming variety promote the idea that Mao settled the issue of the class structure, when the contrary is the truth: the comrades in the United $tates had only just started studying Marxist-Leninist science and Mao Zedong Thought. To think that they had come up with a definitive analysis of the class structure would be like saying the Chinese Revolution was carried out in Moscow classrooms. Those who attack us with such general statements by Mao and no analysis of U.$. conditions do not understand the first thing about Maoism. We advise them to read the Selected Works of Mao from the beginning. The first analyses of the U.$. class structure in the post-McCarthy period omitted Lenin's concept of labor aristocracy. There are no writings from the CP-USA or the PLP that show any awareness of the original Lenin and COMINTERN pronouncements on the imperialist country class structures. What the Progressive Labor Party said was right out of a chapter of Das Kapital--completely removed from U.$. conditions. As we explain elsewhere in a review of their 1968 Boston Magazine, PLP performed the magic act of disappearing the petty-bourgeoisie in order to smuggle it into the proletarian camp as Lenin spent most of World War I warning against. At first the Black Panthers accepted the proclamations from Mao in 1963 and 1968 on Black people and re-distributed them in the hundreds of thousands by reprinting them in their newspaper. Newton accepted the view in 1968 that 98 percent of Black people were have-nots, even higher than the 94 percent the APSP says today. As time went on the Black Panther Party started showing awareness of the concept of the labor aristocracy, middle classes generally and the situation in Algeria. In comments on the U.S. Constitution Huey Newton referred to settlers. By 1970, Huey Newton and Eldridge Cleaver were both putting forward something a little different than what would be found in standard Maoist circles. Influenced by Fanon, they took up Lenin and wrote off the economic demands of the middle-classes as imperialist parasitism. Then they said what was left was the lumpenproletariat. This represented the correct recognition that salary and wage-receiving people within U$ borders are labor-aristocracy or higher, unless they are undocumented. So at first the Black Panthers were well served by reprinting what Mao said with the feedback of Robert Williams and the Progressive Labor Party. As time went on, the Black Panthers took Mao seriously and devised an analysis specific to their conditions. That analysis shows that there is a bridge from Lenin to Fanon and Mao, if conditions are such that there is no industrial proletariat. As we have explained in MIM Theory 10 and elsewhere, Lenin provided the concept that entire nations might be bought off with surplus-value sucked out of the colonies. Newton and Cleaver accepted this idea and argued that the proletariat ascended to the middle-classes. Only the lumpenproletariat that does not get paid might be considered otherwise. Huey Newton said, "In this country, 1970, the Black Panther Party issued a document. Our Minister of Information, Eldridge Cleaver, who now is in Algeria, wrote a pamphlet called 'On the Ideology of the Black Panther Party.' In that work Eldridge Cleaver stated that neither the proletarians nor the industrial workers carry the potentialities for revolution in this country at this time. He claimed that the left wing of the proletarians, the lumpenproletarians, have that revolutionary potential, and in fact, acting as the vanguard, they would carry the people of the world to the final climax of the transformation of society. It has been stated by some people, by some parties, by some organizations, by the Progressive Labor Party, that revolution is impossible. How can the lumpenproletarians carry out a successful socialist transformation when they are only a minority?"(1) Answering his own question, Huey Newton did not say that the oppressed nations (a concept he was moving out of) were majority lumpen but he said that the lumpenproletariat was going to become the majority of society. "Technology is developing at such a rapid rate that automation will progress. . . If the ruling circle remains in power it seems to me that capitalists will continue to develop their technological machinery because they are not interested in the people. Therefore, I expect from them the logic that they have always followed: to make as much money as possible, and pay the people as little as possible."(2) Furthermore, "If revolution does not occur almost immediately, and I say almost immediately because technology is making leaps (it made a leap all the way to the moon), and if the ruling circle remains in power the proletarian working class will definitely be on the decline because they will be unemployables and therefore swell the ranks of the lumpens, who are the present unemployables. Every worker is in jeopardy because of the ruling circle, which is why we say that the lumpenproletarians have the potential for revolution, will probably carry out the revolution, and in the near future will be the popular majority. Of course, I would not like to see more of my people unemployed or become unemployables, but being objective, because we're dialectical materialists, we must acknowledge the facts."(3) According to Newton, "How can we say that we have accomplished revolution if we redistribute the wealth just to the people here in North America when the ruling circle itself is guilty . . . they have taken away the goods of the people of the world, transported them to America and used them as their very own."(4) This was an excellent point, one that the APSP missed as MIM showed in our review of that organization in ITAL MT8 END. Newton understood what was wrong with narrow nationalism, to such an extent that he preferred to chuck the whole concept of nation. In a related point very similar to MIM line in MT7 , Newton points out that a country that exploits the whole world will have to be corrected by what MIM calls a joint dictatorship of the proletariat of the oppressed nations. Here is how Newton put it: "The bourgeoisie that is based here in America has an international character because it exploits the world, it controls the wealth of the world; it has stolen, usurped, the wealth of the people of the world, including the people who are in the Black colony here in America and who were stolen from Africa. We feel that the only way that we can combat an international enemy is through an international strategy of unity of all exploited people who will overthrow the international bourgeoisie and replace it with a dictatorship of the proletariat, the workers of the world."(5) Newton did not call the present U$ majority revolutionary. The Black Panthers said it would take the descent into the lumpen from the petty-bourgeoisie to create a revolutionary majority. MIM has not put forward the line of an emerging lumpen majority. However, we must admit certain facts pointing in this direction. One is that since the time Newton wrote, a prison craze did start, and middle-aged and younger people alive today are on pace to live to see the majority of the oppressed nations people thrown in prison if present trends continue in the U$A. There is also some evidence of this craze spreading to Europe; although Europe starts considerably "behind," which is one situation in which "behind" means ahead. Secondly, others have pointed to the development of technology that makes it possible for the ruling class to single-handedly oppress the vast majority of people with persynalized weapons of militarism and with technology that makes labor obsolete. Some argue that the labor theory of value is now obsolete, because we are headed for a future where there is no labor or only very small quantities. We believe that the materialism displayed by Newton is leagues ahead of that seen in the labor aristocracy and Kautskyite circles criticizing MIM. We would like to keep his theory of the lumpenproletariat in mind. He also adds to it in the book ITAL In Search of Common Ground, END where he explains why the concept of inter-communalism is necessary. It turns out that just as the PLP break with Mao that resulted in so much splintering since that time was inspired by Vietnam, Huey Newton's eclectic break with Mao was also inspired by Vietnam. Neither PLP nor the BPP liked what Mao was doing about Vietnam -- criticizing revisionism in private and upholding united front in public. Huey Newton relates that he was writing a letter to the Vietnamese Communist Party to criticize it for nationalism, but he wrote the letter and tossed and turned in his sleep. When he awoke he decided he felt too guilty to be able to criticize the Vietnamese while they were being bombed. Like PL, he now accepted that all nationalism is bad, but he also was still unwilling to criticize the Vietnamese for revisionism as Mao did. From this time onward, under the theory of "revolutionary intercommunalism," Newton took up eclecticism. He still liked Mao, but he now liked any resistance to "reactionary intercommunalism" equally. Kim Il Sung, Castro, Ho, Fanon and Mao were now to be treated equally in Black Panther literature. Ultimately the material reason Newton gave for this was that even in China, the U.$. empire was in force, because Mao could not reclaim Taiwan. The problem was even worse of course for occupied Korea and Vietnam. All peoples were under the U.$. empire according to Newton, but there were some liberated territories practicing revolutionary intercommunalism. Thus Newton felt it necessary to lump Mao's China into having merely a community, not a state. The proof of not having a state to Newton was the existence of Taiwan under U.$. control. The community in China was simply the strongest community awaiting other communities to advance so that a state could be administered over U.$. imperialism. In both "To Die for the People" and in "In Search of Common Ground," Newton stresses materialism, science and the fact that oppressed nationality people of the internal semi-colonies are not much different than oppressor nation people. "The people and the economy are so integrated into the imperialist empire that it's impossible to 'decolonize,' to return to the former conditions of existence."(6) Newton went on to say that settlers returned from their colonies in many countries, but those colonies continued acting as before, as part of the empire. Thus "nations no longer exist."(7) Speaking of the successes in China, Vietnam and Korea, Newton referred to these as "revolutionary intercommunalism" and opposed it to the fate of most people which is "reactionary intercommunalism." Our summation of the BPP view on the internal class structure of the U$A and its internal semi-colonies is that in no nation of North America or imperialism generally is the lumpen yet the majority. On the other hand, we agree with Newton that outside the lumpen and undocumented workers, there is no revolutionary class inside imperialist country borders. We continue to uphold international proletarian-led revolution, with exploited and superexploited workers of the Third World at the head. All the combined John Browns and Huey Newtons within U$ borders will not be enough to administer the dictatorship of the proletariat, because we have to be absolutely sure that U.$. imperialism does not raise its head again once it is defeated. MIM organizes for the interests of the u.$. lumpenproletariat as we organize for the interests of the international proletariat. Yet we take to heart Mao's admonition that the lumpen class without proper and decisive leadership is not a reliable revolutionary vehicle. Mao wrote that the lumpen "lead the most precarious existence of all One of China's difficult problems is how to handle these people. Brave fighters but apt to be destructive, they can become a revolutionary force if given proper guidance."(8) MIM takes this analysis by Mao to mean that while the lumpen truly have nothing to lose in revolutionary struggle and everything to gain, they may lack elements of class consciousness that define more organized proletariat. So as we look at the situation within u.$. borders today and see that the revolutionary classes have no kind of majority here, we take responsibility for leading with the line of the economic interests of the lumpen and undocumented workers. Unlike Newton, we say that any time a community has organized force it has a state, the dictatorship of one class over another. It is necessary to say as much to avoid the unaccountability of anarchists and bourgeois democrats. For example, the U.S. Civil War involved the organized use of force and the next major advance in class and nation relations will also involve oppositions of organized force. Calling MIM seditious for pointing this out would be like blaming a historian of Abraham Lincoln for the Civil War. We just point out the facts and which theories go along with the facts. Even the Maoists in Peru and the Philippines have incipient states. The Mohawk Nation also has a state and Huey Newton had one in Oakland. The advantage of Newton's position is that it accounts for the situation of small nations and does not expect that they will seize territory and set up completely independent nation-states. Newton says that is impossible for everyone including China, thus setting up a standard of what is ultraleft. By his definitions, MIM reasons that Newton would have called us ultraleft for insisting that a party with organized force must have a state. He went a step farther in opposing imperialism while also attacking narrow nationalism. MIM agrees with Newton that even small communities must get on the revolutionary road and start the struggle even if they are dispersed as Newton believed the Black communities to be. If Blacks in Los Angeles organize force to be their own police, they are a state just as much as a state set up parallel in New York. There may be very small states. What Newton missed was that within those communities he was calling revolutionary intercommunalist, it is possible to return to reactionary intercommunalism. Such a return is not a foregone conclusion because of the degree of imperialist assimilation of oppressed peoples. It is a question of the class enemy from within. Vietnam has proved willing to return to assimilation and capitalism. In this, MIM calls Newton ultraleft, because looking at the many revolutionary movements around the world some of which held state power like the Chinese Communists, Newton insisted that none should be weighted with the accountability of statehood. We say this is ultraleftism because the theory moves ahead of concrete conditions rather than accounting for what is really going on. MIM believes part of Newton's problem lies in his failure to fully explain the need for a new theory of revolutionary intercommunalism. Unable to distinguish among revolutionary movements with different ideological leadership and unwilling to account for the defense of territory seized through revolution, Newton's theory of intercommunalism disagrees with Lenin's line on ending World War I. Lenin argued against Trotsky that the first responsibility of a revolutionary party upon seizing state power was to defend its gains in the largest territory possible by not overreaching the boundaries it could defend. Mao's private criticism of the Vietnamese for revisionism was another approach to taking responsibility for revolutionary gains. Honoring the united front, Mao took responsibility for trying to help the Vietnamese learn from China's more advanced stage of revolution. While Newton elaborated on some important aspects of the struggles of revolutionary governments, his theory of revolutionary intercommunalism has the air of theory for its own sake. The theory makes proletarian parties less accountable for protecting their own political gains than either Lenin or Mao did. Newton's theory is newer, but it is a step back from the practice of building socialism in one country or one base area. Mao proved to be correct about Vietnam being on the capitalist-road. What the communists of the time failed to do was follow Mao on both fighting revisionism and upholding some united front. PL wanted to fight revisionism and ditch the united front. Others like many in RYM I wanted to ditch fighting revisionism and uphold the united front as the be-all and end-all. MIM does not believe it is possible to fight revisionism without upholding united front and we also don't believe it is possible to have a proletarian-led united front without fighting revisionism. In fact, where there is no proletarian pole there is no united front, so in this sense it is meaningless to talk about united front without fighting revisionism first. It is fitting that it would be Huey Newton to be so concerned about imperialist assimilation that he would devise a whole theory of intercommunalism to address it. We agree with him that it is not a straight-forward matter for an oppressed nation to put itself first while it is within an imperialist economic framework. In such a case where the relationship is such that super-profits flow into an oppressed nation (internal semi-colony) we cannot even say nationalism of an oppressed nation is applied internationalism. Specifically Newton did not want to see Black organizing for a share of global imperialist loot. For this reason he did not believe that even Black workers were a revolutionary proletariat and he took greater interest in the lumpenproletariat and how the lumpenproletariat was assuring its consumption rights without a job providing income. II. Class structure and exploitation a. Genocide One of the main reasons that MIM has had difficulty with pinning down the class structure of the internal semi-colonies is understanding the role of genocide and past appropriations of labor in class formation. Today, when it comes to answering what class various oppressed nationality people are in, we finally answer that historical genocide and exploitation should be thought of as affecting the property passed down from generation to generation. When it comes to understanding whether oppressed internal semi-colonies are net exploiters through imperialism or whether they are exploited, it seems that genocide should be accounted for as an historical and continuing debt. Recently, a former member of CP-USA circles apparently decided that MIM is slightly more correct than both the CP-USA and the Workers World Party and started working with MIM. He wrote to MIM various anti-Semitic comments that also showed a confused understanding of fascism. Not surprisingly the same persyn contended that First Nation people cannot be said to be exploited. He says they were killed, so no labor was extracted. This brings us in a crude way to the question of the impact of genocide on class structure. In the main, oppressors carry out genocide in the capitalist context to ease the appropriation of labor both past and present. Past labor known as "dead labor" is capital, unless we mean property of the sort that is land. Of course, land also has congealed labor that goes into it as a means of production. The work of First Nations to remove rocks from agricultural fields and to build various improvements is something stolen when land is stolen. It is the accumulation of the means of production through genocide that establishes the basis of class society from the earliest existence of class society. Thus genocide can be thought of as a pre-condition for capitalist exploitation. It is much easier to extract super-profits once an oppressor nation has established its ability and willingness to use genocidal force. Genocide is thought of as something requiring reparations as a matter of justice. Does such a concept relate to our understanding of class structure? According to an informative APSP pamphlet we reviewed in ITAL MT8 END, the debt owed for slavery is in the trillions of dollars. During the Vietnam War, the Black Panthers suggested that the U$A pay $10 billion for 1 million killed in Vietnam in reparations. How do we relate such calculations to our understanding of class structure? And what do we do with the fact that any repayment of First Nations must surely make each remaining First Nation member a millionaire, a new capitalist? Aside from the theft of the products of labor that usually goes along with genocide, we should look at the economic meaning of genocide. People are after all congealed labor themselves. It took so much food, shelter, clothing and education to make the persyn before s/he was killed by the imperialists or their allies. When a persyn with one day left to live is killed by imperialists, his or her people are deprived of his or her labor or creations for that one day. When a persyn is struck down at age 13, a whole adult lifetime of labor is lost to the oppressed nation. Genocide involves both the appropriation of labor and labor-power. As scientists, we must admit that killing is not part of what Marx called the "productive sector." Rather it is a kind of appropriation more in the waste sector. The military, police and oppressor nation lynch-mobs are part of the unproductive sector. (See a forthcoming ITAL MT END on the controversial subject of the ideological ramifications of the "unproductive" sector.) Oppressor nations appropriate the labor and labor-power of other peoples either to waste them in order to seize control of resources and sometimes to take them home and use them. The commodities they steal after killing involve the theft of labor. Much other destruction is appropriation through waste. When we look at an oppressed nation and wonder why its national bourgeoisie is so weak and why there is either semi-feudalism or dependent capitalism in place, the reason can often be traced to genocide. To be a strong and vibrant bourgeoisie, a bourgeoisie has to have had labor to appropriate. If the people in one's area of economic intercourse have been killed off, it is difficult to appropriate labor and become thriving bourgeoisie. Genocide stunts the upper ranks of the petty-bourgeoisie and bourgeoisie. Not surprisingly the same writer in MIM circles formerly of CP-USA circles also failed to understand that home and real estate ownership are class and national in nature. The fact that an oppressor nation persyn rarely owns the exact farm his/her great grandparents took from the First Nations does not mean those great grandparents did not trade within their nation. Classes and nations are groups of people not individuals or families. That property ended up in the hands of oppressor nation people one way or another, usually through sale in exchange for other capital. To this day, people of the same occupation but different nations--e.g. Black versus white--have different average amounts of property. Genocide increases the development of the petty-bourgeoisie and bourgeoisie proper in the oppressor nation. The debt owed by the oppressor nations to oppressed nations of the internal semi-colonies is in the trillions. The problem for our analysis of the class structure is that the oppressor nation is now paying it back through economically integrating the semi-colonies with imperialism: Now the internal semi-colonies appropriate the labor of the Third World with the help of Uncle Sam. Thus the payback is not with Euro-Amerikan labor but with Third World labor. The APSP is correct to say that the main issue of reparations is not cash. It is control of institutions. The trillions owed to the oppressed nations mean control of the land and institutions on top of it. The First Nations must control their land here and the Africans must receive control of Africa. In Europe, Blacks can receive their reparations by control of institutions of the economy and in the U$A, Blacks can work out something with the First Nations to seize land. We do not mean to favor transferring the wealth of Third World people to internal semi-colonies. Quite the opposite, we seek to inspire the internal semi-colonies to be a bridge back to the Third World for the flow of reparations from ex-imperialism under the dictatorship of the proletariat. b. Relative deprivation Various bourgeois social-scientists claim that Marx's labor theory of value is incorrect. Most simply are unaware of it in any meaningful way. Nonetheless, there is a sociology discourse claiming that Marx's ideas of "absolute deprivation" are incorrect, because supposedly absolute immiseration of the proletariat has not happened under capitalism since Marx's time. MIM does not agree with this thesis. The Third World proletariat has been increasingly exploited. Life expectancies have improved over feudalism. We cannot deny that, but Marx never did deny that capitalism represented progress over feudalism. The question is what happens within capitalist society. We agree that the conditions of those workers bought off by imperialism and turned into a labor aristocracy have improved, but for the world's majority, imperialism has brought absolute immiseration. We hold that Marx's absolute immiseration theory holds true to this day with regard to life under capitalism. We point to three facts alone that justify it, the first two of which are rooted in the anarchy of production under capitalism created by intra-bourgeois competition. One is the continued and incremental destruction of the environment that only becomes more thorough the more technology advances under capitalism. Such destruction is mitigated only by the class struggle to put the workers' health interests into account in the design of production processes. Two, we point to modern militarism which threatens more people and kills more people than ever before. Thirdly, the greater wealth of imperialist societies and their modernization of social control means higher percentages of people in prison and psychiatric wards, higher than at any time in previous history. It all boils down to killing and wasting of humyn life. To avoid talking about militarism, the environment and prison, the bourgeois social scientists talk about "relative deprivation," in which having one VCR is a disadvantage if your neighbor has two. Obviously this is a backward concept in many regards as far as we Marxists are concerned. It is not fundamental to our political economy analysis. Genocide is a matter of absolute immiseration. There can be nothing worse. In contrast, the fact that the internal semi-colonies have stunted upper ranks of the petty-bourgeoisie and bourgeoisie is a matter of relative deprivation. Knowledge of relative oppression helps us form an understanding of what we Marxists call "the particularities" of our material conditions. When comparing Euro-Amerikans with oppressed nations, we can often show that oppressed nations are in a relatively poor position. Such is important for reasons ranging from the united front to why national consciousness arises to why separate nation vanguard parties may be necessary until we reach higher stages of humyn development. c. Appropriation of labor Ultimately the class structure is about the appropriation of labor. In "Imperialism and Its Class Structure in 1997," I go at length into the calculations for who is appropriating labor. Blacks, First Nations, Aztlan people, Puerto Ricans and Asian-descended people within imperialist country borders have histories of exploitation and oppression, but today, with the exceptions of the undocumented and lumpen-proletariat, they differ from Euro-Amerikan workers only in degree, not in quality when it comes to their relationship to the Third World proletariat. As we have already shown in ITAL MIM Theory 1 END, for this reason, Blacks taken as a nation are ahead of some advanced European capitalist countries in terms of income. This shows us that there is variation within capitalism and the buying off of workers. A similar thing is seen in Ireland and the Six Counties of "Northern Ireland," where although Ireland faces national oppression, its workers are integrated economically into imperialism to such an extent that they compare favorably with the conditions of workers in some imperialist countries. Thus there is only a proletariat in the war-torn Six Counties of Ireland . The proletariat there suffers discrimination relative to Protestant workers on a national basis with religion as the cover. We must recall that "having nothing to lose but chains" is the definition of proletariat. Genocide and historical exploitation determine whether one is born into the proletariat, but they do not prevent the imperialists from lifting today's oppressed nationalities out of their propertyless condition into the labor aristocracy. A persyn born with no property may nonetheless start to absorb more labor in consumption than the persyn gives back to class society in production. True, such a labor-aristocracy will be newer and less stable than the labor aristocracy of the oppressor nations, but it is labor aristocracy nonetheless. In fact, those with a sense of scrambling for crumbs off the plate are often the most reactionary of all towards the proletariat they just left and seek to stay above. In this regard, as we have seen already, Latino workers continue to have a high proportion in the productive sector. We can still speak of an Aztlan proletariat. We see a genuine "split in the working-class" as Lenin said within that oppressed internal semi-colony. As we will detail elsewhere though, even in the case of Puerto Rico, the economic integration with imperialism has already occurred to such an extent that the economic tide is on the Puerto Rican labor aristocracy's side. The "Brown" peoples are the most proletarian within the internal semi-colonies. There are also immigrant Haitians and African nationalities and "boat people" from Asia--all terribly exploited or super-exploited and oppressed. To the extent that these people are workers and they are subjected to oppression outside the law applying to U.$. citizen laborers, we can say there is a small Black and Asian proletariat. What we must be clear about though is that only class sectors dominated by undocumented work in the productive sectors form a proletariat. Not even all undocumented people are proletariat or lumpenproletariat. A good portion enters the petty-bourgeoisie immediately upon migration through family connections and various legal fronts. The vast majority of the employed Black, First Nation and Asian-descended peoples is labor aristocracy or higher. An examination of the figures in "Imperialism and Its Class Structure in 1997" makes clear that the repatriation of profits from the Third World, the transfer of surplus-value from the productive sector in the Third World to the unproductive sector in the First World and the administrative fixing of prices by multinational corporations to artificially lower prices of Third World goods and thus disguise transfer of surplus-labor -- all these add up to such an extent that it is impossible to see any proletariat where there is an imperialist country minimum wage in effect. That minimum wage is almost ten times the average wage in the Third World. The conclusive calculation in an upcoming ITAL MT END is to look at the new wealth and profits of the imperialists every year and figure out where they got that piece of pie. If the imperialists gave back their discrimination profits to the internal semi-colonies, would the imperialists still have the same new wealth added each year? The answer is yes. The imperialist countries are absorbing so much pie from the Third World that even if discrimination ended, the imperialists would still be covered completely by the pie from the Third World, without losing any pie. The reason for this is that the Third World hands all of the people within U.$. borders with minimum wage status using U.S. currency an enormous piece of pie. Out of that enormous pie that also ends up in internal semi-colony hands, the internal semi-colonies surrender a relatively small piece as discrimination profits. The class that would lose from an end to discrimination is the white petty-bourgeoisie, mostly the labor aristocracy. The labor aristocracy would still be eating super-profit pie, but its piece would be smaller if the discrimination profits were gone. The pie the labor aristocracy makes would still be smaller than it eats. The imperialist piece of surplus-value pie is covered by merely one slice of the pie that the Third World has to hand over to the imperialist countries. If we look at the piece of pie called "transfer of surplus-value from the productive sector in the Third World to the unproductive sector in the imperialist countries," we see the following. The Third World delivers bananas and sneakers to the door of imperialism. Upon arrival in the imperialist countries, the banana and sneaker workers do not sell them; salespeople sell them. These salespeople help the boss make his profit and they get paid out of the surplus-value extracted in the Third World. Surplus-value is never extracted from salespeople or other unproductive sector workers that Poulantzas correctly refers to as "new petty-bourgeoisie" in keeping with Lenin's teachings on the labor aristocracy. The persyn on the street can figure it out this way. If all a country had was salespeople and security guards, it would die quickly with nothing to sell or guard. If however, a country had no unproductive sector, it could still barter and create wealth, just not the usual way under capitalism. The mark-up on Third World goods delivered to imperialism is sufficient to explain all the new wealth of the imperialists every year. The other pieces of the surplus-value pie can be used to account for the obesity of the oppressor-nation labor aristocracy and the internal semi-colony labor aristocracy. Only the lumpenproletariat (e.g. making license plates in prison or the minority of lumpen getting sub-minimum wage as a hooker or drug-dealer) and undocumented workers face life without an imperialist country minimum wage and similar laws. Workers making license-plates in prison may be more objectively revolutionary than regular industrial proletarians. On the whole, MIM looks to the lumpen and the undocumented productive sector workers to form the core of that group whose economic demands we can cater to somewhat successfully. Even in these groups we will have difficulty though, because the pull of parasitic life in the labor aristocracy exists for the majority and is clear to any persyn who looks around--Euro-Amerikan, Black, Latino, Asian or First Nation. The tendency will be for people to see that parasitism all around and seek to join it rather than wage a class struggle to end parasitism. It was a disappointment to see voting Blacks and Asian-descended people go for Proposition 187 in California. That is the kind of extreme thing we would expect to see from the labor aristocracy and other exploiter classes. There were also key Black labor spokespeople attacking foreign workers in bashing NAFTA. In 1998, there are die-hard state-hood supporters in Puerto Rico who only wish to complete the seal of parasitism on Puerto Rico. The state-hooders argue that all Puerto Ricans will be entitled to more welfare benefits if they hook up officially with the world's greatest gravy-train. All such people attacking workers outside imperialist country borders represent the parasitic classes. Their attitude of seeking to integrate with imperialism to re-divide the surplus-value extracted from the world must be combated. On the other hand, where the labor aristocracy is in dominant position relative to the proletariat, there is a question of whether military struggle and various other resources would be better committed in some other nation where the imperialist link in the chain is weaker. The extent of the parasitic classes in the minority of the world's population inside imperialist borders is no cause for paralysis. We simply adjust our strategy to focus in more fruitful areas than advocating the economic demands of parasitic classes. Notes: 1. Huey Newton, To Die for the People: The Writings of Huey Newton (NY: Random House, 1972), p. 26. 2. Ibid., p. 27-8. 3. Ibid., p. 28. 4. Ibid., p. 34. 5. Ibid., pp. 197-8. 6. Kai T. Erikson intro., In Search of Common Ground: Conversations with Erik H. Erikson and Huey P. Newton (NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 1973), p. 30. 7. Ibid., pp. 29-30. 8. Mao Zedong, "Analysis of the Classes in Chinese Society," Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung Vol. I. (Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1967), p. 19.
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