The Pretend Revolution of Kevin Rashid’s First Worldism

Kevin Rashid of the blog Democracy and Class Struggle attempts to take on the Maoist International Movement (MIM) by claiming he can debunk the idea of a global labour aristocracy.[1] His answer contains no tangible refutation whatsoever. He mere dogmatically reasserts what has been stated in the past about the labour aristocracy without actually confronting the arguments presented. He like many MLMs don’t bother doing any actual theoretical work, instead they grip even more tightly the theory handed down by past generations under different material conditions. When confronted with this new reality they simply dig in their heels proclaiming that they have all the answers while achieving or demonstrating nothing. If this were true and the First World was revolutionary, then why are they not carrying out struggle/People’s War right now? Why are there no shots being fired against the U.S. government? If revolution in the First World is possible then I challenge them to go out and do it.

My purpose here is not to defend MIM, they do not need my help in anyway shape or form. In truth MIM and I have very different ideas on many subjects. However the labour aristocracy is not one of them. To claim the working class here today is revolutionary is nothing short of a farce, or a demonstration of stubborn dogmatism. Marx said conditions were always changing and that new conditions may arise that give shape to a whole different set of contradictions. This point is singularly forgotten about when it comes to MLM today.

Rashid’s position against Third Worldism is no more fraudulent than any other I have seen. To give one quick example he states that the Third Worldist line, “claims only 3rd World people (of color) are genuine proletarians because the superexploitation of their labor power by the imperialist country bourgeoisie produces ‘superprofits’ which is the source of higher wages paid to Euro-Amerikan (EA) workers, and consequently EA workers produce no surplus value; therefore, they are a parasitic labor aristocracy (LA) with no revolutionary potential and are enemies of the international working class.”[2] Please allow me to respond to this claim.

This is a false argument as Third Worldism makes no claim that First World workers generate no surplus value. We state very clearly that they do. We say that they contribute to the production process that often does contribute to the generation of value. We do say however that this contribution is quite minimal, and depending on what is being produced, may not contribute any. We do not say that First World workers do not contribute anything. In general, when we look at the overall amount of value created in the global economy, the vast overwhelming majority of value is created in the Third World. Even without a detailed explanation we need only see the deindustrialization of the First World as manufacturing (physical commodity production) has been move to the Third World. One prime example is the manufacturing of many products in China which are sent to the First World to be assembled. Instead we are given largely service jobs, administrative duties, these have replaced a great deal of manufacturing. This is often the case with automobiles as well. The act of assembling itself is value generation which we do not deny exists. When we look at the overall value generation we can see that First World people do not carry the lion’s share of that work. Rashid has already begin from a false premise.

Now when we look at the wages that are paid out in comparison to who creates the amounts of value, we see a great imbalance. If the lion’s share of work is being done by Third Worlders but the lion’s share of wages is going to First Worlders, then there really is a section of people working in production who are receiving much more than their contribution. Because Rashid begins from this false premise the rest of his statements collapse afterward. He does however continue with his response.

“We submit that this vulgar LA line 1) does not by any stretch represent a MLM line, and grossly distorts what constitutes a LA; 2) is refuted by the most basic principles of Marxist political economy (PE); 3) serves the counter-revolutionary ruling class agenda of racially dividing the working class (under a false guise of making/applying class analysis); 4) serves as an excuse for not doing revolutionary work among EA workers; and 5) is a purely petty bourgeois line in its character and origin.”[3] (Rashid’s emphasis, not mine)

The most glaring error here is obvious to me as it should be to Rashid. This Third Worldist line on the Labour Aristocracy is not supposed to represent an MLM line. It is a Third Worldist line. I can’t for the life of me imagine why Rashid would claim this, it is an outright misrepresentation of our line. I suspect this may have been intentional in order to attack the Third Worldist line as a lot of First Worldists do this.

Secondly, our labour aristocracy line is not “refuted by the most basic of Marxist political economy”. Now he does provide an example later on in his post which is incorrect. I’m not going to get into that right now but later I will. My goal at this moment is to show that the Third Worldist labour aristocracy line does not violate Marxist political economy. An important point to make here is that it is not merely production itself where First World Workers exploit and have higher living standards off Third World workers. There is also the surplus value that is collected by the First World and then distributed among the society. Allow me to quote the foremost Third Worldist group ,The Leading Light Communist Organization (LLCO)[4]:

“The world economy is made up of chains of economic interaction. Each commodity has a point where it was produced. Before a commodity finally leaves circulation it might be exchanged several times. Let’s say a commodity was produced at point A. It was bought by a middleman company and transported and sold again at point C. After being sold at the department store, the commodity leaves circulation. This chain can be represented thus:

A -> B -> C

“At each stage of the commodity’s journey profit may be obtained. Let’s suppose profit is obtained when the commodity is sold from the factory at A to the middleman at B. Profit is obtained when the middleman company B sells it to the retail store C. And profit is also obtained when the retailer C sells the commodity to the consumer. Even though profit is obtained at each point in the circulation chain, surplus value can only be produced by the direct producer. Even though profit is obtained by the middlemen and distributor, this profit is not produced by the workers employed by either the middleman B or the retailer C. This allows Marx to make the point that the merchant does not get rich by cheating his clerks:

“We must make the same distinction between him and the wage-workers directly employed by industrial capital which exists between industrial capital and merchant’s capital, and thus between the industrial capitalist and the merchant. Since the merchant, as mere agent of circulation, produces neither value nor surplus-value.. it follows that the mercantile workers employed by him in these same functions cannot directly create surplus-value for him.. In other words, that he does not enrich himself by cheating his clerks.”[5]

“When Marx is at his most consistent he extends this point very broadly. There is no reason we cannot extend Marx’s point about clerks to all of those outside production. Even if Marx isn’t always clear, and sometimes contradictory, one has to make this generalization to be consistent with the Labor Theory of Value. Direct production is the origin of value and the original source of all profit in the Marxist Labor Theory of Value paradigm. Thus, as Eleanor Marx points out, the value that is obtained by all classes has its origin in the direct producers. This is true not just of true of the traditional ruling classes, but also of those who are employed but are not direct producers or part of direct production. These workers may help realize value but they do not produce it as the direct producer does. A bank does not create its profit by squeezing value out of its tellers. A bank obtains its profit by receiving a share of the total social product produced by direct producers. Banks obtain their share through investments and financial manipulations, but the origin of that value lies in direct production. The same is true of supermarkets. It isn’t like they grow the lettuce in the store parking lot. Santa’s elves are not toiling away in the back of the Toys ‘r’ Us.

“Because of the tremendous productive capacity of capitalism, these unproductive sectors have expanded significantly. These unproductive sectors have come to dominate whole national economies in the First World. Walmart, for example, is the biggest employer in the United States, with over 1 million employees.[6] The total population of the United States is 309 million. Of the 145 million people who are employed (this includes the undocumented too) within the United States, roughly 26 million are employed in those sectors of the economy that loosely (since we are relying on Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data) correspond with direct production.[7] However, it is important to note that many of those employed in these sectors are not the direct producers themselves. Many in these sectors are management, etc., even if they are employed in the direct production sector of the economy. It is a conservative estimate that at least 10% to 30% of this sector can be considered to not be direct producers in a literal or extended sense. We can generously say that 23.4 million to 18.2 million people in the United States can be counted as direct producers in the loosest sense of the term. By contrast, 126.8 million to 121.6 million in the United States are employed but are not direct producers.[8] This tremendous lopsidedness is why the United States’ economy can be described as a mall economy. As great as the productive forces may be, 23.4 million to 18.2 million people cannot account for the sum of the incomes of the 145 million employed plus the incomes of those tens of millions who are not employed but still have incomes, i.e. capitalists, the petty bourgeoisie, the unemployed, those on welfare, retirees, students, etc. Rather, it stands to reason, the value that allows for this tremendous lopsidedness has to be coming from outside “the mall,” from the Third World. It is, of course, no accident that the increase of this lopsidedness in the United States corresponds to the rise of the United States as the supreme imperialist power after World War II and the decline of inter-imperialist rivalry. Imperialism aided this lopsided development, and continues to maintain it. The lopsidedness is production, but also in wealth and power, after World War II, is why Lin Biao noted that revolution in the First World had halted even while revolution was bursting on the historical stage in the Third.

“Since World War II, the proletarian revolutionary movement has for various reasons been temporarily held back in the North American and West European capitalist countries, while the people’s revolutionary movement in Asia, Africa and Latin America has been growing vigorously.”[9]

“Another assumption Marx made was that the incomes of the direct producers under capitalism, which for Marx mostly meant the industrial workers, would be reduced to subsistence or sub-subsistence. This is because in a pure model competition between capitalists results over time in equalization of technique. So, the only way left for a capitalist to increase profits is to reduce wages. So much did Marx think this an inevitability of capitalism that Marx identified the value of labor-power with the bare minimum necessary to keep the worker reproducing his labor from day to day. Although this immiseration of direct producers does bear out in much of the Third World, it hardly characterizes any worker in the United States except perhaps some negligible undocumented workers at the very edges of the economy. Often, this does not even characterize the situation of prisoners who are forced to produce. Even those who produce in the First World obtain a wide range of incomes, all of them well above the value of labor-power as set by Marx. Their incomes and standard of living are so high as to make them generally happy with their lot within the system. They align with the imperialist system. Even though Marx was wrong about the exact details of immiseration, this view of value allows for what is seen today. Under Marx’s model, it is possible for value to be transferred from direct producers to others. It is also possible for value to be transferred from direct producers to direct producers. In other words, First World direct producers can obtain a share of the surplus that originates in the Third World. Even if a direct producer in the First World is adding to the global social product through his labor, at the same time, he is subtracting from the global social product the same way that other exploiters do. He is obtaining a share of value from the Third World. This offsets whatever value he produces. This makes him a net-exploiter, just like members of other exploiting classes.

“Marx’s theory of value allows for these possibilities that go a long way in explaining current reality. The claim by First Worldist that if profit is being obtained by a particular business, then there is exploitation by that business of its workers does not follow. An epistemological problem arises: how do we know whether a worker is an exploiter or not? Because value can be transferred in so many ways from one person to another, from one direct producer to another, it is necessary to establish a way to measure who is and who is not exploited. Either it is necessary to assign a value to labor-power or it is necessary to find another way to measure exploitation. Today virtually the entire world’s economy is integrated into one giant imperialist formation. The production of a commodity may take place across several countries. To complete a commodity it is not unusual for producers across vast distances to have contributed to its completion. To maintain that the labor-power of First World producers is different than the labor-power of Third World producers is pure chauvinism, especially since economies are so globalized today. Any approach to solving this problem should apply to workers everywhere.”

This is the political economics put forward by the LLCO which certainly does not violate what Marx handed down to us. Rashid merely claims that it does without much of an explanation. Later in his post he gives the example of a fast food worker. This doesn’t actually refute what has been put here. In fact fast food is one of the few semi-exceptions. What we call the First World is a “mall economy”. When you think about a shopping mall you see very little is actually produced there. Almost everything comes from everywhere else. One of the few exceptions is fast food which is produced there. Even then the substance of the food is made elsewhere. This example doesn’t confirm what Rashid is saying, it may stand as an exception but it is not the rule. Rashid has specifically chosen this one because it is an exception which Third Worldists like myself make.

Thirdly, he claims that is serves counter-revolution by racially dividing the working class. I’d like to remind Rashid that the world is already racially divided. There is great global white supremacist reality. Even locally in the US there is one. After all why is he the head of the New Afrikan/Black Panther Party? Why is he the head of a Black liberation group if there is no racial divide? There very clearly is. White imperialist influence affects countries in was that can be seen all over the world. The whole phenomenon of White skin being seen as beautiful as opposed to dark skin which is rejected. Rashid’s claim here is that worker’s of all colours around the world have the same class interest is absolutely false. There are poorer White people in Eastern Europe than there are poor black in the United States. From what we have just demonstrated in terms of political econ, a Black First World person is not in the same class a Black African. First World Black people as we have seen do benefit from the exploitation of Black African workers. This claim by Rashid seems to me to be a thinly veiled accusation of racism. If we ignore the class divide that exists then we doom the revolution by failing to understand the material conditions we face. His statement essentially blinds us to the class reality. His irrational cheerleading of reactionary First World “masses” only prevents revolution from happening by presenting it in a way which it cannot come. His actions are a defence of the exploitation First World people carry out and a reinforcement of the power of the bourgeoisie by presenting a false image of the labour aristocracy.

Fourthly, he claims that this entire line is an excuse not to carry out work among the First World “working class”. This claim is nothing more than a projection of his own line upon others. If we proceed form the premise that First World people are not revolutionary then it would make sense not to waste time, money and resources on them. If we proceed from his opposite view then it would seem as though it was a way of avoid organizing in the First World. I should ask, has Rashid has not noticed the lack of positive outcome from organizing in the First World? His organization and many, many before him have been organizing for over a hundred years and have not succeeded in the least to bring revolution. Even with all the capital advantages of the First World they cannot achieve even the slightest revolutionary advance. With all the disadvantages, revolutionary movements in the Third World struggle on and risk life and death on a daily basis for decades. Investing in revolution in the First World does not work, it hasn’t worked, and it won’t work. What is his excuse for continually championing a people who refuse to be revolutionary?

Fifthly, his claim that the Third Worldist line is “a purely petty bourgeois line in its character and origin”, is a completely baseless accusation. Digging to the “lower and deeper” sections of the proletariat is not bourgeois. What Rashid is doing is bourgeois, continuing to claim people who are not revolutionary to be so. It drives resources away from those who can and do fight class struggle all for the sake of the First World’s ego and victim complex.

Rashid continues with his misrepresentation of the Third Worldist line:

“Marx himself stated those who presume there could be an “equality of wages” under capitalism, harbor “an insane wish never to be fulfilled,” and those who base political lines on such a notion reflect “that false and superficial radicalism that accepts premises and tries to evade conclusions.” Which is a true characterization in every sense of the VLA proponents. So, because the cost and standard of living and thus wages are much higher in the US than, say, Nicaragua, does not—according to Marx himself—make the US worker any less a proletarian than the Nicaraguan worker.”[10]

This statement makes no sense when placed as opposition to the Third Worldist line. We don’t advocate an equality in wages. We don’t suggest either that there should be in this regard. The purpose of this statement is to claim that Third Worldists think that just because there isn’t an equality in wages it makes First World workers unrevolutionary. This is not the case, we don’t make this argument. What we do say is that the inequality in wages and profits transfers mass amounts of wealth from one country to another creating a great divide in living standards. The value stolen from the Third World pays for all the social programs and welfare benefits that we enjoy. We in a tremendous way, an overall social way benefit from Third World exploitation. It is not simply a matter of wage inequality, but a global transfer of wealth. Rashid has blatantly misrepresented the Third Worldist line by constructing a strawman argument. In Rashid’s view that he has presented, he has compared people with wage differences and made it the same as people who live in two completely different global living standards. The fact Rashid can ever claim wage differentials is the same as global imbalances of wealth is disgusting.

On top of this Rashid claims that a First World “worker” is no less proletarian than a Nicaraguan worker. This could not be anymore false. Are we really supposed to believe that a Nicaraguan sweatshop worker is as equally proletarian as a $60,000 a year construction worker? Marx defined proletarian as having nothing to lose but their chains. I think that $60,000 a year union construction worker has a lot more to lose than chains. He’s has a two cars, savings, a house, four weeks of vacation a year, and a nice fat pension (benefitting from financial capital investment). If anyone thinks these two people are on the same level of proletarian-ishness they are deluding themselves. If anyone thinks he’ll give this up to become a guerrilla fight against the government they are deluding themselves.

When Marx spoke of what proletarian is, he did not reduce it to being a wage labourer, which is what Rashid is claiming. In fact Marx gives a more complex view. It is a person who is: 1. Involved in the production of value and surplus-value, 2. have nothing to lose but their chains, and 3. has only their labour to sell. This does not describe a good deal of workers in the First World today. Many can claim unemployment insurance, welfare or disability. They also have homes they can sell. In Marx’s day industrial workers were all the workers, he also differentiated between productive and unproductive labour. Much of the labour performed by the First World is unproductive labour. Rashid has oversimplified what proletariat means by cherry picking Marx’s description of it. There’s more to it than what Rashid has claimed.

This doesn’t even take into account the rate of exploitation.

If you think these two people are equally proletarian then you don't know what proletarian is.

If you think these two people are equally proletarian then you don’t know what proletarian is.

True, Lenin did speak these words. The jist of it being that the labour aristocracy can be both revolutionary and reaction given their position in society. Essentially this does show that Lenin did also think that the labour aristocracy was reactionary, which confirms a part of our claim. But he like all other First Worldists he take Lenin’s words out of context. He was referring to workers in his day around 1917. The world and certainly Europe and North America are not the same as they were in that day. That was almost 100 years ago, but in the mind of people like Rashid and other Marxist-Leninists (and MLMs), nothing has changed since then. In truth the world has changed a great deal since then with wealth polarizing differently than Marx predicted. Clearly there is super-exploitation of the Thrid World for the benefit of the First. Financial capital alone has evolved immensely since Lenin’s days when it was just beginning to come into its own. The power of financial capital has become nearly totalitarian and has made industrial capital subservient to it. This is the opposite of what Marx actually predicted. The error Rashid makes here is transplanting the theory based on the material conditions of a hundred years ago and placing them onto the conditions we have now. Nothing is more dogmatic than to refuse to see the material conditions of our time. As times change theory must change with it. Lenin updated Marx’s work for the 20th century, just as we have to do it now in the 21st century. Yes Rashid, the economic situation of the world has changed in the last 100 years.

In addition he seems to have missed the very clear error that both Marx and Lenin made. Both were confident that the workers of the advanced industrialized nations would lead the revolution as they supposedly had the greatest class consciousness. As we can see this was not the case, this is not what happened. It was in fact the more backward less developed nations that were the ones who went to revolution. China, Cuba, Vietnam, DPRK were all underdeveloped agrarian nations. Russia itself was very backward for Europe, and it too still had a very agrarian society. The advanced societies have not shown the potential to lead revolution as both men had predicted. The closest was Germany just before WW2, but we saw what happened there. Here Rashid, Lenin, like Marx, are all wrong. Even today we see very clearly this is not the case. Who has the revolutions going on right now? Is it the industrialized nations? No, it is the backward semi-feudal countries like India, the Philippines, and Nepal. The First World is not showing any revolutionary initiative.

I would also like to add that there are Lenin quotes that contradict what Rashid has put forth here. Quotes that actually uphold the Third Worldist line.

“The industrial workers cannot accomplish their epoch-making mission. . .if they. . . smugly restrict themselves to attaining an improvement in their own conditions, which may sometimes be tolerable in the petty-bourgeois sense. This is exactly what happens to the ‘labor aristocracy’ of many advanced countries, who constitute the core of the so-called socialist parties of the Second International; they are actually the bitter enemies and betrayers of socialism, petty-bourgeois chauvinists and agents of the bourgeoisie within the working-class movement.”[12]

Another shows his belief that countries exploit and live off other countries.

“The export of capital, one of the most essential economic bases of imperialism, still more completely isolates the rentiers from production and sets the seal of parasitism on the whole country that lives by exploiting the labour of several overseas countries and colonies.”[13]

In fact Frederic Engels even questioned the revolutionary potential of the advanced country of England during his own time.

“The English proletariat is actually becoming more and more bourgeois, so that the ultimate aim of this most bourgeois of all nations would appear to be the possession, alongside the bourgeoisie, of a bourgeois aristocracy and a bourgeois proletariat. In the case of a nation which exploits the entire world this is, of course, justified to some extent.”[14]

In another writing he acknowledged that there must be a revolt by occupied countries in order to have revolution in the advanced countries.

“Do not on any account whatever let yourself be deluded into thinking there is a real proletarian movement going on here. . .

“And–apart from the unexpected–a really general workers’ movement will only come into existence here when the workers are made to feel the fact that England’s world monopoly is broken.

“Participation in the domination of the world market was and is the basis of the political nullity of the English workers. The tail of the bourgeoisie in the economic exploitation of this monopoly but nevertheless sharing in its advantages, politically they are naturally the tail of the “great Liberal Party.””[15]

To further reinforce his argument, Rashid argues that Mao believed the same thing that First World people are not just a revolutionary force, but a necessary one for the liberation of African Americans:

“Neither did Mao. He in fact specifically promoted the EA workers as a potentially revolutionary class, who under the leadership of New Afrikan/Black revolt would overthrow the imperialist system, which he observed was the only path to genuine freedom for New Afrikans/Blacks[16]:

“Racial discrimination in the United States is a product of the colonialist and imperialist system. The contradiction between the Black masses in the United States and the U.S. ruling circles is a class contradiction. Only by overthrowing the reactionary rule of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class and destroying the colonialist and imperialist system can the Black people in the United States win complete emancipation. The Black masses and the masses of white working people in the United States have common interests and common objectives to struggle for. Therefore, the Afro-American struggle is winning sympathy and support from increasing numbers of white working people and progressives in the United States. The struggle of the Black people in the United States is bound to merge with the American workers’ movement, and this will eventually end the criminal rule of the U.S. monopoly capitalist class.”[17]

Here we are faced with a similar yet also different problem than we faced with quoting Lenin. Mao here, while saying there was a White proletariat, was absolutely wrong about their role. While yes, the racism in the United States is rooted in its colonialist and imperialist system, Mao was entirely wrong about the White masses “working class” movement allying with Black liberation. White people in the U.S. receive benefits from discrimination. We see this most starkly when Affirmative Action is brought up. White people see it as losing their rightful place among the possible applicants for various services. White people gain better access to education, housing and employment via the discrimination. They materially lose out on equality with the Black population. Again we run into the same problem of the quote being based on material conditions that didn’t exist. Even then Mao was wrong about White and Black “proletarians” in the U.S. having a common interest. Just watch what every White person does when Blacks express anger at an injustice they suffer. Mao understood very little about race relations in the U.S., he even went so far as to claim the majority of White Americans were not racist, which is blatantly false.

“In the final analysis, national struggle is a matter of class struggle. Among the whites in the United States it is only the reactionary ruling circles who oppress the black people. They can in no way represent the workers, farmers, revolutionary intellectuals and other enlightened persons who comprise the overwhelming majority of the white people.”[18]

With all this, Mao still doesn’t really follow the First Worldist line in this case. He in fact ended up acknowledging that the creation of socialism is more difficult in the advanced First World countries. Even revolutionaries who lived in conditions closer to ours like Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai.

“In the various nations of the West there is a great obstacle to carrying through any revolution and construction movement; i.e., the poisons of the bourgeoisie are so powerful that they have penetrated each and every corner. While our bourgeoisie has had, after all, only three generations, those of England and France have had a 250-300 year history of development, and their ideology and modus operandi have influenced all aspects and strata of their societies. Thus the English working class follows the Labour Party, not the Communist Party.

“Lenin says, ‘The transition from capitalism to socialism will be more difficult for a country the more backward it is.’ This would seem incorrect today.”[19]

To finish a refutation of Rashid’s claim that the Third Worldist position is wrong, he fails to understand our line on the liberation of the Black Nation.

“Yet the VLA proponents recognize New Afrikan prisoners as ‘lumpen’ who are potentially revolutionary. Which begs the question, why aren’t they doing work within the oppressed New Afrikan communities where they’re less apt to be censored, if indeed they compose a lumpen sector? And if the lumpen can be redeemed, why not EA workers? Refusing to do political work among them is to leave them to be used (as Fanon warned about the lumpen) by the bourgeoisie against the revolutionary movement. Even the imperialists recognize and express the real danger of Maoists is that we perceive everyone to be potential allies excepting only the imperialists, who are our only permanent enemy. We thus work to turn their own allies against them.”[20]

The answer is quite obvious if you read any Third Worldist position on the matter. Yes, there is some revolutionary potential among the Black Nation, but there is something important to keep in mind: You can’t have a communist revolution in the US based entirely on Black oppression. Are the Blacks supposed to bring revolution to the Whites? A communist revolution is the masses rising up against their ruling class and the bourgeois state. How is this possible when the revolutionary force is only 12.6% of the population? I believe the Chinese Communist party faced a similar situation when they tried to conduct a worker based revolution against the Nationalist Party and failed. You cannot have a revolution of the “masses” of a country by only using 12% of them.

The best any such movement could hope for is to carve out some kind of autonomous space which is very unlikely given the U.S. government’s history. If there was a Black revolt at all, never mind a communist one, the White population would demand the U.S. military go in and prevent it from taking place. If anyone thinks the White population actually wants true liberation for the Black population they are sorely mistaken. They could at most only want liberal reforms. If any movement actually challenged the systemic oppression it would be rejected by Whites. In other words, a revolutionary Black movement could not bring communism because it couldn’t actually win.

Since we Third Worldists already know that revolution is not possible in the First World, why would we spend money and resources on it? The Third World is full of potential with revolutions actually taking place. This does not mean we oppose Black liberation, we support it; it means we recognise that it is not tactically possible. The Third World is absolutely filled with revolutionary potential which if successful cuts off the “EA” (to use his term) from their exploitation causing an eventual economic collapse, hopefully creating the necessary class consciousness for there to be revolution in the U.S. and Europe.

Unfortunately First Worldism is by no means limited to Kevin Rashid. First Worldism is revisionism that is wide spread across Marxist circles and is a clear danger to revolution. This is why it is important for us, today now more than ever to oppose it. Tit-for-tat we must respond to their poisoning of revolutionary theory and work.

* * *


1. Kevin Rashid Johnson : Answering A Revisionist Line on the Labor Aristocracy

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Revisiting Value and Exploitation, LLCO

5. Marx, Karl Capital Vol. 3 Chapter XVII


7. Data extrapolated from BLS statistic from 2009 and 2010 and

8. The method here is to add up all industries that can loosely be considered “direct production.” We do the same for other sectors. Also, 10% to 20% is subtracted in order to roughly account for those employed in the direct production sector, but who are not themselves direct producers, i.e management, etc. The numbers are from the employment charts at the Census Bureau.

9. Lin Biao Long Live the Victory of People’s War!

10. Kevin Rashid Johnson : Answering A Revisionist Line on the Labor Aristocracy

11. Ibid.

12. V. I. Lenin, “Preliminary Draft Theses on the Agrarian Question”

13. V. I. Lenin, Imperialism, the Highest Stage of Capitalism

14. Frederic Engels, October 7, 1858 “Letter to Marx”

15. Frederick Engels to Bebel August 30, 1883

16. Kevin Rashid Johnson : Answering A Revisionist Line on the Labor Aristocracy

17. Statement by Comrade Mao Tse-tung, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, in Support of the Afro-American Struggle Against Violent Repression (April 16, 1968)

18. Statement Supporting the American Negroes in Their Just Struggle Against Racial Discrimination by U.S. Imperialism (August 8,1963)

19. Premier Zhou Enlai, Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars, China! Inside the People’s Republic

20. Kevin Rashid Johnson : Answering A Revisionist Line on the Labor Aristocracy