Divided World, Divided Class
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Divided World Divided Class charts the history of the labour aristocracy in the capitalist world system, 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.
nomic and political privileges of living in an imperialist nation have come to seem natural and acceptable to the majority therein. The growth of racism occurs through the reproduction of the established mode of production of the contemporary era; that is, the practices of capitalism and its concomitant neocolonialism, imperialist division of labour, border controls and wars. Only in understanding these phenomena, their political supports and their dehumanising effects, can we begin to
and an independent peasantry at the expense of the indigenous population and dispos sessed agricultural labourers. Meanwhile, although indispensable as export markets, non-settler colonies such as India specialised in extracting raw materials from superexploited peasantries. As such, Britain’s “free-trade” imperialism was as much based upon the use of military force against the indigenous people of the colonies as it was upon the direct settlement of these colonies by the mother country, hence
being transformed by mediated information. But they bracket the historical fact that these images are constructed and then transmitted by material means (TV sets, VC R players, CD players, cables, satellite dishes...) “produced” by the “labor” of workers—the source of whose labor power has in turn been produced by labor. They take the “theoretical” knowledge constructed in labora tories but bracket the material conditions of production of these knowledges: not only are the very instruments of
economy, the so cial costs of the capitalist system haven’t been eliminated, they have simply been relocated. The international divi sion of labour under postfordism has the effect of par tially displacing class divisions that were previously expe rienced in the industrial city—between city and suburb, middle class and working class—into spatial divisions between “First” and “Third” world [see Henderson 1989]. Violent clashes between capital and labor, between steel workers or electronics
becomes a reactionary force designed to legitimate (colonialist) capitalism.33 INTRODUCTION !5 In the name of the retention or extension of democratic freedoms in the face of a “foreign” or “non-national” threat, the bourgeoisie is able to convince the popular classes, most especially when the latter are neither proletarian nor otherwise oppressed, that war and repres sion internationally is the surest guarantor of their liberty.34 “Race” and Racism There is a dialectical relation between