The reactionary, class nature of left Academia today
Publisher: Facts for Working People
Date Written: 24/04/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20646
Mellor challenges the idea that socialism is eurocentric and speaks to how capitalist exploitation and workers' resistance is fundamentally similar all over the world.
The best way to talk about socialism is to start with capitalism. Capitalism, as we all know, is a system that is fundamentally driven by the profit motive. That is at the heart of capitalism. All the ills of capitalism that we know of -- low wages, poor work conditions, loss of workers' autonomy, retaliation against organizers -- all of this come from the profit drive. Capitalists want to make profit; everything follows from that fundamental drive.
Socialism emerges as a response to this fundamentally unjust nature of capitalism. If capitalism is rooted in the profit motive, socialism is rooted in the drive to fight for fairness and justice. Workers, against all odds, always fight back. Socialism is about that fight, and about the vision of a just order, free of oppression and domination, that animates that fight.
The question for us is, do these oppositional forces of capitalist exploitation and socialist resistance look different in different parts of the world?
The question is, do these things in the Global South look any different than what we see over here?.
During the recent Senate hearings of Neil Gorsuch, Trumps Supreme Court nominee, the case of the truck driver, Alphonse Maddin, received national attention. Maddin was driving a trailer truck in sub-zero temperatures when the brakes of his trailer failed. He called for a rescue truck, and after waiting for several hours without heat, he decided to unhitch the trailer and drive to safety. For that decision, Maddin lost his job.
Maddin, like the Bangladeshi garment workers, was forced to choose between his life and livelihood. And again, here in the US, like anywhere else in the world, when workers organize against such brutal work conditions and for better wages, they encounter retaliation.