6 pages/≈1650 words
Transnational Labour, Slavery, and Revolt (Research Paper Sample)
Weight: 30% of your final grade Length: 1500 words Due: Upon completion of Unit 2; Week 11 of the suggested study schedule Hint: Think about this assignment before you begin working through Unit 2. Instructions: Write an essay on one (1) of the two topics given below. For this essay, you will need to use the readings assigned to the topic of your choice, plus four other sources that can be from the references list and/or from other Scholarly works on the topic. You should also use the appropriate theoretical concepts from Silver's Forces in Labor to ensure a coherent train of thought in your paper. Choose either Topic 1 or Topic 2: Topic 1: Transnational Labour, Slavery, and Revolt Topic 2: Workers Organizations During the Time of the First and Second International Marking Guide Content: 70% Answers the question in a clear, accurate, logical, and comprehensive manner. Where appropriate, gives examples to illustrate points being made. Format, Mechanics, and Style: 30% Where external sources are referred to, they are appropriately identified and cited according to an established academic style. Grammar, spelling, and sentence structure are used correctly. Style is appropriate for a university-level course. LBST 335 GLST 335 HIST 335 — GLOBAL LABOUR HISTORY Photographic montage composed of images of a young girl in a factory looking out the window; eleven or more women in a large room working at looms making fabric; ten men wearing work clothes, some with hard hats with lights, and one man with a shovel, posed for a portrait; and two men at special desks that hold cast type, fitting text to frames for a printing layout. Textile workers, coal miners, and typesetters from around the turn of the 19th to the 20th century. Top left: Child labourer, 11 years old, at Rhodes Mfg. Co. Spinner, Lincolnton, NC, November 11, 1908. Lewis Wickes Hine, public domain via Wikimedia Commons. Top right: Weavers at work, NY, c. 1912. Byron, Bain News Service, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-B2- 2191-8. Bottom left: Coal miners, c. 1912. Bain News Service via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LC-B2- 2373-15. Bottom right: Compositor/letter setters. Nationaal Archief, via Wikimedia Commons. Unit 2: Workers During the British Empire: Cotton, Coal, Craft Unions, and Workers' Parties Introduction From the title of Unit 2 you may well wonder what cotton, coal, and the British Empire have to do with global labour history. Those words seem to fit much better into the history of technology and political history, respectively. However, the importance of cotton and coal during the time of the British Empire is beyond question. Coal fired steam engines in English textile mills and the railways that delivered raw materials to the factories and finished products to the markets. A significant share of these products was made of cotton. Other industries developed around coal mining and textile mills: sugar plantations supplied the calories that miners and textile workers needed to do their exhausting jobs (Mintz 1986), tool makers and machine builders provided the hardware for the new industries, increasing numbers of accountants kept the books of the emerging empire of capital, and the Royal Navy controlled the seaways that connected world markets with English, and later other European and North American industries (Wood 2005). Building on the concepts introduced in Unit 1, we might say that together, control over technologies, means of production, and transportation, and control over markets represent the forces of capital. The forces of labour, on the other side of the emerging class divide, were scattered around the world, at least during the early phases of the empire of capital and British hegemony (Arrighi 1994, Chapter 3). Hard labour was everywhere. It was found in the factories, fields, and mines of industrializing countries. In was also found in the plantations and mines of European colonies, on the ships that connected the European powers and their offshoots in North America and the Pacific with their colonies and trading posts in countries that were, like China, formally independent but were increasingly exploited and impoverished by Western and, since the late-nineteenth century, Japanese imperialism. The twin development of capitalism and imperialism (Luxemburg 1913) increasingly turned the world into a gigantic sweatshop. Wageworkers toiled under the direct command of the new capitalist classes in the imperial centres (Thompson 1967). Others, like farmers and owners of small craft shops, still worked on their own account, but even they were increasingly dependent on sales to capitalist markets. The progressive industrialization of craft and agricultural production ruined many and turned them into wageworkers. In the colonies, myriads of slaves were brutally exploited in mines and plantations. As diverse as these worlds of wage-labour, independent labour, and slave labour were, they all contributed to the accumulation of wealth and power among capitalists of all countries. And they were sites of resistance against the rule of capital. Slaves tried to escape their masters individually, rose up to the occasional rebellion, and eventually triggered abolitionist movements to end slavery (Blackburn 2011). Toward the end of the nineteenth century, farmers rebelled against banks and railway tycoons whose interest and freight rates cut deep holes in their pockets. Unlike the abolition of slavery, which was achieved in the early nineteenth century, the farmers' rebellion at the end of the century failed. Ironically, freed slaves and politically failed farmers had one thing in common: they became increasingly dependent on wage-labour; the former because they had no other way of making a living after they were freed from slavery, the latter because the pressure from banks and railway companies, later supplemented by the industrialization of agricultural production (Mazoyer & Roudart 2006, Chapters 8 to 10), forced many of them into bankruptcy and from there into the capitalist labour market. This process of proletarianization (Radtke 1983) made wage labour, albeit in very different forms ranging from day-labourers in the informal sector to permanent employment including benefits plans (Harman 2002), the dominant form of labour under global capitalism. Though still progressing, this process is not complete and may never be. Much work that is done in private households, such as child rearing and elder care, will probably never be turned into wage-labour. For capitalist production, it is certainly necessary that the next generation of workers is raised and that somebody cares for those who can no longer work. Yet this care work is too costly—because it is time-consuming and cannot be rationalized in the same way as the production of textiles, autos, or computers—so that private care-providers will continue to target only the higher income strata that can pay for such services, but not the masses of working-class people in rich and poor countries (Mies 1999). Be this as it may, proletarianization in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was concentrated in Europe, North America, Australia, and Japan. These were also the regions and countries where workers first took the step from occasional protests and strikes to organize, in trade union, workers parties, co-operatives, and cultural and sports organizations (Abendroth 1972; Morton 2007; Nicholson 2004; McKinlay 1990; Scalapino 1983). The development of labour movements, which began with some variation across countries between the 1860s and the 1890s, was clearly confined to the world's imperialist centres and some smaller countries that had close ties with these centres and had also begun the process of industrialization (Stearns 2007). The development of labour movements in the imperialist and industrial centres of nineteenth-century capitalism soon turned out to be a problem. Though international solidarity was one of the watchwords of labour movements in all countries, their organizational development occurred almost entirely within the borders of nation-states. Class and nationality developed as competing identities that could lay the basis for rather different strategies ranging from attempts to unite the workers of the world to building coalitions with national bourgeoisies and state apparatuses (Hobsbwam 1989, Chapters 5 and 6: Workers of the World, Waving Flags—Nations and Nationalism). Colonial world strategies also varied: the left, which was clearly centred in Europe at that time (Eley 2002), thought that colonies should struggle for political independence and then pursue industrialization to create the economic basis for socialism. The most vocal proponent of this strategy was the Bolshevik leader Lenin. The right wing of social democratic parties accepted colonial exploitation, which, its leaders thought, would deliver the spoils that could be shared between labour and capital in the centres (Eley 1976). As the nineteenth century turned over to the twentieth, labour movements were entangled in heated debates over strategy (Luxemburg 1899). When World War I broke out in 1914, the die was cast. Workers' parties and trade unions from all countries where they existed embraced their governments' appetite for war, and national identities trumped class identities. Only tiny minorities within labour movements stuck to the cause of internationalism (Nation 2009). However, the tides turned over the course of the war. Starting with the Russian revolution of 1917 (Trotsky 1932), a wave of revolutionary upheavals swept across Europe, with the last ripples being those of a failed uprising in Germany in 1923 (Broué 1971) and a general strike in Britain in 1926 that also was lost (Symons 1987). No revolution succeeded outside of Russia, and the Soviet Union remained an isolated experiment of socialism that was surrounded by its capitalist adversaries. However, the years of war, revolutions, and civil wars sufficed to exhaust Europe's imperial powers, including their leader: Britain. After another world war and the horrors of Nazism and Stalinism, the centres of world power moved from Europe to Washington and Moscow. In the capitalist world, leadership was passed from the British Empire to US hegemony that defined the room for labour movements in the West while workers in the East gained nominal power in the state-socialist regimes from East Berlin to Vladivostok. To be sure, the post-World War 2 developments will be covered in Unit 3. We now move from a very rough sketch of the development of labour during the time of the British Empire to a closer look at different issues that were relevant during that time. More precisely, we will look at the rise of the capitalist world market and first signs of working-class formation and labour rebellions (Section 2.1), the emergence and consolidation of labour organizations in Europe (Section 2.2), and the challenge that imperialism and World War I posed for labour (Section 2.3). To place these specific issues into the bigger picture, you may need to return to this introduction from time to time. Learning Objectives When you have completed Unit 2, you should be able to achieve the following learning objectives. Explain how the emergence of capitalist world markets and the Industrial Revolution in parts of the world created conditions for the formation of working classes. Describe how working-class formation is a global process that proceeds in highly uneven ways across countries and regions. Explain how work and working-class formation can take on many different forms, and that there is no one-size-fits-all model for the development of labour movements. Describe what role the British Empire, and world politics more generally, played in the formation of working classes in the North and the South. Explain how the concentration of organized labour movements in Europe turned out to be a problem for international solidarity when World War I broke out. Section 2.1: World Markets and Working-Class Formation Key Terms and Concepts Atlantic proletariat international labour market shipboard insurrections slave breeding slave labour Reading Assignment Review: Labour History as the History of Multitudes, by Marcel van der Linden Shipboard Insurrections in the Atlantic Slave Trade, by Eric Robert Taylor Archeology and the Invisible Man: The Role of Slavery in the Production of Wealth and Social Class in the Bluegrass Region of Kentucky, by Susan C. Andrews and James P. Fenton A Multinational and Its Labor Force: The Dutch East India Company, 1595–1795, by Jan Lucassen Commentary The first assigned reading for this section, by Marcel van der Linden, is a book review of The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic, by Peter Linebeaugh and Marcus Rediker (2000). This is a fascinating story and if you are looking for a good book, you might consider reading the original piece instead of just the review used in this course. According to the subtitle, the book brings to life the development of an Atlantic economy that forced blacks from Africa to work as slaves in the plantations and mines of the Caribbean and other parts of North and South America. This slave-driven economy led to such products as gold, silver, sugar, and cotton being shipped to the colonial powers of Europe. Some of the cotton, which was manufactured into all kinds of cloth and other items in English textile mills, eventually found its way to India where it was used to compete against and destroy India's domestic textile industry. Economic historians unearth such stories in their focus on (forced) migration and international trade, while historians of the British Empire focus on colonial conquest and competition among colonial powers. What makes The Many-Headed Hydra so fascinating, and particularly interesting for a Labour Studies course, is that it tells these stories from the perspective of those who had to do the hard work of building early capitalism: the sailors, slaves, and commoners who are mentioned in the book's subtitle. Compare this to the images you get from reading Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island (1883) or Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719). The first is a great adventure story, the latter shows some sensitivity for social stratification, but it still takes a patronizing view in which the white man brings civilization to non-white barbarians. If you have taken an introductory course in economics, you may have come across a version of Defoe's story that is completely deprived of any sensitivity toward stratification and the power that is used to produce it. Many economics textbooks present the encounter between Robinson and Friday as the hour of birth of a mutually beneficial division of labour between the two, and the market exchange as the only form of interaction between otherwise isolated individuals. Why certain white men, the capitalist classes of Europe and its settler colonies, could use market exchanges as a means to enrich themselves while workers of all colours remained poor is a mystery to this market economics narrative. By contrast, The Many-Headed Hydra tells the dirty little secret of the rise of the capitalist world economy; it shows the brute force that was used to recruit the labour force needed for the emerging capitalist world economy. Says van der Linden about Linebaugh and Rediker: Their implicit core idea is that the emerging capitalism led to a demand for labour for various activities, such as building and manning ships, chopping down forests, and farming. Whether such labour was ‘free' or ‘unfree', ‘white' or ‘black' mattered little. The chief concern was to find people who provided their labour under economic or physical coercion. (van der Linden 2003: 237) The time period they look at is the pre-industrial capitalism from the early seventeenth century to the American and Haitian revolutions in the later eighteenth century. A crucial point of their book is that the early working classes around and across the Atlantic were highly diverse in terms of their ethnic origins, languages, beliefs, and skills. Another crucial point is that this “motley crew” (Linebaugh & Rediker 2000: 26f) overcame, on occasion, their differences and engaged in multi-ethnic resistance against the forces of capital. These struggles, though they had no lasting successes, were rather different from the nationally confined labour movements that developed under industrial capitalism. They were also different from the separation between labour movements and the struggles of people of colour that also developed under industrial capitalism: “In the 19th century the single story of the Atlantic proletariat was divided into several, especially ‘the story of the Working Class' and ‘the narrative of Black Power' ” (van der Linden 2003: 239). An underlying idea of the book is that the separation between struggles against capitalist exploitation and racist oppression that began in the nineteenth century might be overcome, and that today's working classes might be better understood as a return of the many-headed hydra that had risen its head(s) during the times of early capitalism. We will pick up on this idea in Unit 4 with the transition from the history of global labour into its current state. Van der Linden's review of The Many-Headed Hydra sets the stage for topics that are relevant for a global labour history in the early days of capitalism. The other readings in this section look at some of the actors on that stage. Taylor's “Shipboard Insurrections in the Atlantic Slave Trade” describes that even the most oppressive conditions on the slave ships could not stop blacks who were, in the words of reggae icon Bob Barley, “stolen from Africa” from seeking to escape the slavery that the slave traders in the old world and the plantation and mine owners in the new world had planned for them. The article describes the difficulties that had to be overcome in order to start an insurrection, and notes that only a few of these attempts were successful. An interesting aspect of this article is that it shows how the hierarchies on the slave ships mirrored the class structure that was emerging during that phase of capitalist development. Andrews and Fenton's “Archaeology and the Invisible Man” explores the situation of the many blacks who could not escape slavery, and describes the relations between this particular form of labour with capitalism: “Slavery and capitalism in the American south were not discrete, but a single, integrated system of wealth creation and market exchange” (Andrews & Fenton 2001: 118). Part of this system, they explain, are white settlers who were competing against the owners of large-scale plantations and tried everything possible to consolidate or even improve their social position, even if this meant the exploitation of slave labour and slave breeding. What is interesting about this issue is that later, when small farms did not compete against plantations but against banks and railway companies, a considerable number of farmers turned to a revolt of sorts. This shows that labouring people can go different ways when their social existence is threatened; they can either try to integrate themselves into the existing power structure at the expense of social strata that are still worse off than they are, or they can challenge these power structures and seek the improvement of social conditions for many. We will encounter the issue of farmers' revolt in Section 3.1. The last assigned reading in this section, “A Multinational and Its Labor Force: The Dutch East India Company,” by Lucasson shifts our attention from the Atlantic to the Pacific and to Asia. Arguably, the Atlantic had connected many dynamic regions of the world for a long time. Here were the scenes of industrialization, capital flows, and migration (O'Rourke & Williamson 2000), whereas Asia lagged behind in terms of economic growth and has only recently started to rebound (Arrighi, Hamashita, & Selden 2003). Even so, this does not mean that capitalism did not spread to Asia; the Dutch East India Company was at the forefront of this development. The key insight we can draw from Lucasson's article is that the company created an international labour market centuries before people began to talk about globalization. What is important about this finding is that it corrects widespread myths according to which free labour (i.e., workers who are free to contract with their employers) is associated with industrial capitalism. The two previous assigned readings showed that slave labour was an integrated part of the Atlantic economy and that it delivered some of the key inputs for early industrialization. However, Lucasson demonstrates that Asia, where the transformation from merchant capitalism to industrial capitalism happened much later, already saw an international labour market when the Atlantic slave economy was still striving. The case of the Dutch East India Company also hints at the larger impact of Dutch colonialism in Asia. In Section 3.3, which deals with revolution and counter-revolution in Indonesia, we will see how Dutch colonialism had, for a long time, produced a form of racism that was an obstacle to any struggle against white domination and different forms of economic exploitation. Study Questions These study questions are intended for private study purposes and are designed to assist you in understanding the key points presented in Section 2.1. You may find it helpful to write your responses to these questions in full sentences or a brief paragraph after you have completed the assigned readings. Contact your tutor for assistance if you have difficulty answering any of these questions. According to van der Linden's book review, how do Linebaugh and Rediker define the Atlantic proletariat? What has free and unfree labour to do with it? What role does ethnicity play? What was the social structure on the slave ships? Can you explain the match between the social hierarchy on the ships and the class structures of emerging capitalism? Which obstacles had to be overcome to organize a shipboard insurrection? Why did farmers in Kentucky exploit slaves and engaged in slave breeding? What was the social position of these farmers? Can you describe the international labour market that the Dutch East India Company established? Section 2.2: Europe: Workers Start to Organize Key Terms and Concepts anarchists chartism First International franchise Luddism Second International socialists technological progress trade unions workers' parties Reading Assignment Luddism and Machine Breaking, by Immanuel Ness Chartists, by Jason M. Kelly A Short History of the European Working Class, by Wolfgang Abendroth Chapter 2: The First International Chapter 3: Working-Class Parties and Trade Unions Chapter 4: The Second International up to the First World War Commentary In Section 2.1, we saw that even the most unlikely circumstances can lead to rebellion, like shipboard insurrections on slave ships or, on a much larger scale and more successfully, the Haitian revolution from 1791 to 1804 that actually ended slavery (James 1938). The anti-colonial struggle in Haiti was a forerunner of many other such struggles in the twentieth century. Later, in Section 2.3 we will examine the failure of European labour movements to address colonialism and develop a viable strategy of international solidarity to overcome it as one of the factors that threw European labour into a deep crisis at the beginning of World War I. Naturally, only movements that exist can fall into crisis. Section 2.2 focuses on the making of European labour movements before we consider their crisis in the next section. Luddites and Chartists Labour movements can be defined as the collective efforts of labouring people or workers to improve their working and living conditions. This broad definition is applicable to people who work under very different conditions, and is regardless of their gender, skin colour, language, or beliefs. For any such movement to continue requires some form of organization—a lesson that was learned by workers in different parts of Europe that experienced a series of short-lived or failed rebellions. The most significant of these was the Luddites' struggle against the replacement of weavers by steam-powered looms. Immanuel Ness's short article “Luddism and Machine Breaking” summarizes this episode concisely. The Luddites' idea was simple and effective: If we destroy the machines that take our jobs, and thus our source of income, we will be back on the job. This thinking became popular among English weavers when trade unions were illegal so that other ways of dealing with the impact of new technology on workers' work and lives could not even be tried. From an early twenty-first century perspective, machine breaking looks quite stupid. In the computer age, it is actually quite difficult to imagine what difference hand looms as opposed to power looms made to early-nineteenth-century workers, since both appear equally antiquated. However, the Luddites were only the first group to face the problem that succeeding generations of workers would also have to confront. Each major wave of innovation—whether it be from the steam engine to combustion engines, or from typewriters to computers—cost many jobs and thus workers' livelihoods. On the other side of the issue, each of these innovations allowed commodities to be produced in a shorter time, which also meant they could be sold for a cheaper price. Still, under conditions of capitalist employment, it is the employer and not the workers who reap these productivity gains unless the workers can force the employer to share the profits, through collective bargaining and strike action, or by taking over the factories or other workplaces. Either strategies, or a mix of both, were tried later in the nineteenth century and beyond. The Chartists that Jason M. Kelly discusses in his article represent the first independent political movement of workers. Their quest for the franchise was clearly inspired by the French Revolution (Hobsbawm 1962, Chapter 3) of 1789, whose rallying cry “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité” had rung out all over Europe and even in European colonies such as Haiti, then San Domingo. In the French Revolution, non-nobles of all classes fought against the privileges and power wielded by the French monarchy. English workers in the first half of the nineteenth century were children of a different time: the Industrial Revolution (Hobsbawm 1962, Chapter 2) that, together with the political force exerted by the British monarchy, deprived peasants of their land and forced them into mines and factories where they developed a working-class identity (Thompson 1963). The quest for political liberty that united all non-nobles in France against the hated monarchy made little sense to the English working class, and so the quest itself needed adjustment. While England had the franchise, and a parliament since the Glorious Revolution of 1688 (Hill 1961), the franchise was restricted to the propertied classes, landowners, merchants, industrialists, and bankers, and the parliament represented a compromise between the elected House of Commons and appointed aristocrats and clergymen sitting in the House of Lords. Propertyless workers simply were not part of that equation. However, from the experiences of the Luddites the propertyless workers had learned that they needed a form of mass organization that was also legal. They recognized that, without any source of income other than wages, they could not engage in illegal struggles, at least not over longer periods of time, without losing their jobs. The idea, then, was to fight for the extension of the franchise that would eventually open the road to favourable labour legislation. Strikingly enough, the Chartists only wanted male suffrage; women's rights were not on their agenda. This was partly the tradition of the craft guilds of the early English labour movement, including the Chartists. These guilds were men's only organizations and, as such, they delivered a role model for the formation of craft unions, which sought improvement of their bargaining position by constraining the supply of labour to skilled male workers. The Industrial Revolution easily bypassed such attempts by employing the increasing numbers of unskilled workers, many of them women and children. Male suffrage, then, can be understood as an attempt by working men to regain some of the economic ground they lost to women in the factories Yet, after some fairly significant mobilizations the Chartist movement fell apart without accomplishing anything. From today's perspective, the early English labour movement offers us three useful lessons: The Luddites were concerned with developments in the workplace whereas the Chartists had political goals. Time and again since the early nineteenth century, workers have found that workplace struggles and political struggles are closely connected. A labour-friendly political climate can strengthen workers' position in the workplace through favourable legislation. Moreover, successful workplace organizing can serve as a base for political mobilization. Attempts to stop technological change were unsuccessful because they aimed to restore economic and social conditions to what they were before the change was implemented. Periods of transition to new technologies are challenging. Labour movements must therefore find ways to influence technological change in ways that benefits workers instead of capitalists, and, one should add in these days of ecological crisis, the environment. Attempts to advance the position of some workers at the price of excluding others, such as the Chartists' quest for male suffrage, are bound to fail because they allow the opponents of any such quests to make appeals to the excluded group of workers. The First and Second Internationals Luddism and Chartism were fairly spontaneous movements that tried to fix the problems of technological unemployment and lack of political representation, respectively. Neither was based on a strategic vision nor did they develop lasting organizational forms that could have carried on workers' struggles after the immediate goals—whether stopping power looms or winning male suffrage—could not be reached. The workers and radical intellectuals who built the First and Second Internationals reflected on the reasons why Luddism and Chartism were such short-lived episodes. In their reflections, they engaged in strategic discussions about the means and ends of the labour movement. This is particularly true for the First International as is obvious from the assigned reading by Abendroth. The First International could never claim to either (1) represent mass labour movements from various countries, or (2) be such a movement itself during its existence from 1865 to 1876. In fact, the First International's internal struggles, namely between Marxists (D'Amato 2006) and anarchists (Schmidt & van der Walt 2009), appear to render it quite useless and seem to contradict the idea of solidarity among workers. It is conceivable that a more unified International could have been more effective in advancing the cause of workers, even with its very limited resources, but internal debates and conflict also played an important role in defining future strategies. This situation certainly did not help workers who lived and toiled during the time of the First International, and whether participants in these debates were aware that they were part of some kind of labour movement laboratory is doubtable. With the benefit of hindsight, though, we can clearly see that controversies—whether about the relations between workers, capitalists, and the state, or about unions and workers' parties, or about strikes, elections, and revolutionary insurgency—created a framework that continues to shape strategic debates today (Le Blanc 2006). Controversies within the International were still raging when trade unions and workers' parties began to develop all over Europe. They pursued different strategies and organizational models, and they acted partly in isolation and partly in competition, but they also acted in cooperation with others. Abendroth surveys this diversity of movement making in “Working-Class Parties and Trade Unions” and then proceeds, in “The Second International up to the First World War,” to merge national movements into one of international solidarity. Organizing principles and strategy of the Second International (Joll 1966) were largely guided by Marxist ideas. That does not mean, though, that everybody thought the same way. On the one hand, Marxist ideas were often infused with other ideas that might reflect intellectual traditions of a particular country. One could say that Marxism was spoken with different accents. These accents also reflected the different political and social conditions in different countries and the different expectations regarding economic development. Naturally, the idea of revolution was most popular in Russia because the tsarist regime showed absolutely no inclination to compromise with social movements of any kind. German monarchy, by comparison, followed a carrot-and-stick approach, which led some socialists in Germany to think that social reform within the existing regime could be possible, while others insisted that only a revolution could free workers from political oppression and economic exploitation. This, they argued, would be even truer in times of economic crisis. France and Britain, one a republic and the other a monarchy, had developed fairly liberal politics so that many in the labour movement considered political questions of secondary importance and concentrated instead on union building. It also has to be noted that the dominance of Marxist ideas within the Second International did not mean that other ideas had deserted European labour movements entirely. Anarchism figured prominently in the just-mentioned unions in France and Spain. In Britain, neither Marxist nor Anarchist ideas played important roles in guiding trade unions. They followed a much more pragmatic course that became known as “Labourism,” and they thought of theoretical concepts as a deviation from the day-to-day business of labour organizing. Even so, whatever successes national labour movements achieved in terms of organizing and improving workers' conditions, and whatever their ideational and institutional differences were (Steenson 1991), in the face of the imperialist World War I they had one thing in common: neither of them proved willing or capable to stick to the pledge to strike against such a war that they made at Second International conferences. No matter whether workers were enthusiastic about the war or not, the organizations that they had built to improve their economic conditions and prevent a war collapsed in August 1914 when governments from London to Moscow mobilized their armies, mostly manned by workers and peasants, to kill each other (Frank 2010; Luxemburg 1916). Study Questions These study questions are intended for private study purposes and are designed to assist you in understanding the key points presented in Section 2.2. You may find it helpful to write your responses to these questions in full sentences or a brief paragraph after having completed the assigned readings. If you have difficulty answering any of the questions, contact your tutor for assistance. Why did the Luddites resent technological progress and destroy the steam-powered looms? Do you consider such technological progress to be a curse or a blessing to human progress? Give reasons for your answer. Why is the franchise important to workers? Why did the Chartists seek to restrict the franchise to male workers? Do you see any virtue in labour activists arguing over goals and strategy such as the Marxists and Anarchists did in the First International? Would you take sides in such debates? Give reasons for your answer. In which ways did national labour movements differ even though their organizations had joined the Second International and endorsed its Marxist creed? What were the main points of conflict within the Second International? Why did it collapse when World War I began? Section 2.3: Imperialism: Challenge for Labour Internationalism Key Terms and Concepts Africa China imperialism industrial imperialism mercantile imperialism neocolonialism the Americas the “Indies” Reading Assignment Imperialism, Historical Evolution, by Clifford D. Conner Commentary Clifford Connor's “Imperialism, Historical Evolution” does not talk about labour in Europe or anywhere else. It recapitulates the emergence of a capitalist world market and Africa's and Asia's violent subjugation to the imperial powers of Europe. That European labour movements completely neglected this violent outside world is particularly true for unions that focused on the particular industries they had organized. Alternatively, the right-wing currents of social democratic parties accepted the exploitation of the colonial world as the basis for advancement of workers' conditions in Europe. Finally, many left-wingers considered the violent conquest of other countries and the use of slave labour as a transitory phase toward a globalized industrial capitalism in which the conditions of workers all over the world would be the same as in Europe. For them, Europe was simply the first to move from mercantile imperialism, which was largely based on trade, to industrial imperialism, which was dominated by giant industrial corporations. In reading Connor's article, it should become clear that European labour was not prepared to deal with imperialism in general and its increasing competition in particular. It was this competition—Connor mentions the “Scramble for Africa” and the “Scramble for Concession” in China in this regard—that led to World War I and eventually to the transition from British to American hegemony and the Cold War. After this transition, which led to the substitution of colonial empires by neo-colonialism, the centres of world power had shifted from London, Paris, and Berlin to Washington and Moscow. This shift of power on the side of the forces of capital, and their Soviet antagonist, respectively, was accompanied by a shift of the centres of class struggle. European labour movements, who had often understood themselves as role models for the rest of the world, went through a phase of revolutions and counter-revolutions between the two world wars. Many of their moderate traditions were institutionalized in the welfare states that were built after World War 2, while their radical traditions were suppressed. Adherents to either the moderate or radical traditions had to learn that their ideas about social progress were not, or were not fully, applicable in other parts of the world. The United States, which became the unchallenged leader of the capitalist world after World War 2, had never developed European-style socialism of any significance (Lipset & Marks 2000). The Russian Revolution had brought a socialist state into power that claimed to represent the workers in a country whose population were mostly peasants. Thus, European socialists' idea that capitalism would produce a working class that, in turn, would overcome capitalist exploitation was turned on its head. Instead, the revolutionary regime used massive violence and terror to turn a peasant population into agrarian and industrial working classes. Along the way, it completely lost its appeal as a force of liberation and its leaders established themselves safely as a bureaucracy that was living off the work performed by others. Some critics called the bureaucracy a “new class” (Djilas 1957) and the regime that presided over it was termed “state capitalism” (Cliff 1974). In the colonial world (which includes countries like China, which were not formally colonized, but which were economically dependent on European powers, and which were recurrently subjected to military aggression and occupation), the question of national independence became inextricably linked to the class struggle between labour and capital. As in Russia at the time of the revolution, working classes were just a minority of the populations of southern countries while European labour had always assumed that socialism, or any other kind labour politics, would be built on a working-class majority. Rethinking European labour movements as introduced in the preceding section against the backdrop of Connor's article should help explain why these movements lost their significance in the transition from British to American hegemony. Study Questions These study questions are intended for private study purposes and are designed to assist you in understanding the key points presented in Section 2.3. You may find it helpful to write your responses to these questions in full sentences or a brief paragraph after you have completed the assigned readings. Contact your tutor if you have difficulty answering any of these questions. Can you explain the role of imperial conquest for capitalist development? What is the difference between mercantile and industrial imperialism in this development? What are the commonalities of imperial conquest in all parts of the world? What are the differences between the conquest of the Americas, the “Indies,” Africa, and China? What do you see as the solutions to the problem of imperialism? What lessons can you draw from the experiences of European labour movements in solving this problem? Assignment 2 You are now ready to complete Assignment 2, which is worth 30% of your final grade for the course. Instructions for completing and submitting this assignment are given after this study guide on the main course page. References Abendroth, W. (1972). A short history of the European working class. New York: Monthly Review Press. Andrews, S. C., & Fenton, J. P. (2001). Archaeology and the invisible man: The role of slavery in the production of wealth and social class in the Bluegrass region of Kentucky, 1820 to 1870. World Archaeology, 33(1): 115–136. Arrighi, G. (1994). The long twentieth century: Money, power, and the origins of our times. New York: Verso. Arrighi, G., Hamashita, T., & Selden, M. (Eds.). (2003). The resurgence of East Asia: 500, 150 and 50 year perspectives. New York: Routledge. Blackburn, R. (2011). The overthrow of colonial slavery: 1776–1848. New York: Verso. Broué, P. (1971, 2006). The German revolution, 1917–1923. Chicago: Haymarket Books. Cliff, T. (1974). State capitalism in Russia. London: Pluto Press. Conner, C. D. (2009). Imperialism, historical evolution. In I. Ness (Ed.), The international encyclopedia of revolution and protest. Blackwell Publishing, 2009. D'Amato, P. (2006). The meaning of Marxism. Chicago: Haymarket Books. Defoe, D. (1719, 1998). Robinson Crusoe. New York: Penguin. Djilas, M. (1957). The new class: An analysis of the communist system. New York: Frederick A. Praeger. Eley, G. (1976). Defining social imperialism: Use and abuse of an idea. Social History, 1(3): 265–290. Eley, G. (2002). Forging democracy: The history of the left in Europe, 1850–2000. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Frank, B., et al. (eds.). (2010). The British labour movement and imperialism. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Harman, C. (2002). The workers of the world. International Socialism, 96(Autumn): 3–46. Hill, C. (1961, 2001). The century of revolution, 1603–1714. New York: Routledge. Hobsbawm, E. J. (1962, 2001). The age of revolution, 1789–1848. London: Abacus. Hobsbwam, E. J. (1989). The age of empire, 1875–1914. New York: Vintage. James, C. L. R. (1938). The black Jacobins: Toussaint L'Ouverture and the San Domingo revolution. New York: Vintage Books. Joll, J. (1966). The Second International, 1889–1914. New York: Harper & Row. Kelly, J. M. (2009). Chartists. In I. Ness (Ed.), The international encyclopedia of revolution and protest. Blackwell Publishing, 2009. Le Blanc, P. (2006). Marx, Lenin, and the revolutionary experience: Studies of communism and radicalism in the age of globalization. New York: Routledge. Linebaugh, P., & Rediker, M. (2000). The many-headed hydra: Sailors, slaves, commoners, and the hidden history of the revolutionary Atlantic. Boston: Beacon Press. Lipset, S. M., & Marks, G. (2000). It didn't happen here: Why socialism failed in the United States. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. Lucassen, J. (2004). A multinational and its labor force: The Dutch East India Company, 1595–1795. International Labor and Working-Class History, 66(Fall): 12–39. Luxemburg, R. (1899, 2004). Social reform or revolution. In P. Hudis & K. B. Anderson (Eds.), The Rosa Luxemburg reader (pp. 128–167). New York: Monthly Review Press. Luxemburg, R. (1913). The accumulation of capital. New York: Routledge, 2003. (The subtitle of the German original, a contribution to the economic theory of imperialism, was omitted in the English edition.) Luxemburg, R. (1916). The Junius pamphlet: The crisis in German social democracy. In Rosa Luxemburg speaks (pp. 353–453). New York: Pathfinder Press 1999. Mazoyer, M., & Roudart, L. (2006). A history of world agriculture: From the neolithic revolution to the current crisis. New York: Monthly Review Press. McKinlay, B. (1990). Australian labor history in documents. Melbourne: Collins Dove. McNall, S. G. (1988). The road to rebellion: Class formation and Kansas populism, 1865–1900. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Mies, M. (1999). Patriarchy and accumulation on a world scale: Women in the international division of labour. New York: Zed Books. Mintz, S. W. (1986). Sweetness and power: The place of sugar in modern history. New York: Penguin. Morton, D. (2007). Working people: An illustrated history of the Canadian labour movement. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press. Nation, R. C. (2009). War on war: Lenin, the Zimmerwald left, and the origins of the Communist International. Chicago: Haymarket Books. Ness, I. (2009). Luddism and machine breaking. In I. Ness (Ed.), The international encyclopedia of revolution and protest. Blackwell Publishing, 2009. Nicholson, P. A. (2004). Labor's story in the United States. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. O'Rourke, K. H., & Williamson, J. G. (2000). Globalization and history: The evolution of a nineteenth-century Atlantic economy. Cambridge: MIT Press. Radtke, T. (1983). Proletarianization: Past and present. International Labor and Working-Class History, 24(Fall): 81–83. Scalapino, R. A. (1983). The early Japanese labor movement: Labor and politics in a developing society. Berkeley: University of California Press. Schmidt, M., & van der Walt, L. (2009). Black flame: The revolutionary class politics of anarchism and syndicalism. Oakland: AK Press. Stearns, P. N. (2007). The industrial revolution in world history. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Steenson, G. P. (1991). After Marx, before Lenin: Marxism and socialist working class parties in Europe, 1884–1914. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. Stevenson, R. L. (1883, 2009). Treasure island. New York: Penguin. Symons, J. (1987). The general strike. London: The Cresset Library. Taylor, E. R. (2006). Shipboard insurrections in the Atlantic slave trade. In I. Ness (Ed.), The international encyclopedia of revolution and protest. Blackwell Publishing, 2009. Thompson, E. P. (1963, 1991). The making of the English working class. New York: Penguin. Thompson, E. P. (1967). Time, work-discipline, and industrial capitalism. Past & Present, 38(Dec.): 56–97. Trotsky, L. (1932, 2008). History of the Russian revolution. Chicago: Haymarket Books. van der Linden, M. (2003). Labour history as the history of multitudes. Labour/Le Travail, 52(Fall): 235–243. Wood, E. M. (2005). Empire of capital. New York: Verso Weight: 30% of your final grade Length: 1500 words Due: Upon completion of Unit 2; Week 11 of the suggested study schedule Hint: Think about this assignment before you begin working through Unit 2. Instructions: Write an essay on one (1) of the two topics given below. For this essay, you will need to use the readings assigned to the topic of your choice, plus four other sources that can be from the references list and/or from other scholarly works on the topic. You should also use the appropriate theoretical concepts from Silver's Forces in Labor to ensure a coherent train of thought in your paper. Choose either Topic 1 or Topic 2: Topic 1: Transnational Labour, Slavery, and Revolt Topic 2: Workers Organizations During the Time of the First and Second International Marking Guide Content: 70% Answers the question in a clear, accurate, logical, and comprehensive manner. Where appropriate, gives examples to illustrate points being made. Format, Mechanics, and Style: 30% Where external sources are referred to, they are appropriately identified and cited according to an established academic style. Grammar, spelling, and sentence structure are used correctly. Style is appropriate for a university-level course. source..
Transnational Labour, Slavery, and Revolt Student's Name Institutional Affiliation Slavery and the slave trade are cruel practice against humanity. This crime was committed in the modern era. North American intended to make black African as their slave and followed the method of slave trading where they transported or sold human beings as slaves from one country to another. Africans from western and central Africa were sent by other West Africans to slave traders of west Europeans who sold them to Americans. Americans used them as the slave for the production of crops, goods and a variety of clothes that were sold in Europe. The paper is going to evaluate the problematic situation that is faced by Africans. Americans used to treat Africans as slave throughout 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. They were not bothered about the health and wealth of African people. Even African kings were not supportive of their people; as a result, they used to send criminals to America for slavery. It led to the enhancement of poverty in Africa. As slavery was heritable in America, the number of child labor was increasing day by day. Only adults were not being tortured brutally, and children were also being treated like them. It led to an increased level of disease epidemic throughout the country. No proper treatment, care, food were being provided to the slaves and their family members. This ultimately led to an increased level of cruelty against humanity. African slaves were taken for granted for the production of such goods that were making the economy of America strong. Slaves were not being paid and tortured for long. They were only provided with food (Selwyn, 2015). Due to improper care, the death rate among African slaves was increasing gradually. They even could not spend money on treatment if their family members became affected with some detrimental diseases. Americans never compensated their slaves instead of knowing that their wealth relied on their labors. Labors were sold to Americans at a cheaper cost and in a quick way. They were implemented in the production field of coffee, cocoa, tobacco, sugar, and plantation of cotton (Fuchs et al., 2017). It can be depicted that slaves had to work under intolerable pressure and they could not raise their voice against the torture as their family was under the custody of the masters. Slaves were also forced to work in silver, gold mines, industries involved in construction and timber cutting for ships. Africans have been tortured for long being categorized into domestic slaves or skilled labor. Current analysis has shown that about 12 million Africans had been shipped to America across the Atlantic (Pretzel et al., 2015). This was the main driving force in the development of wealth in America. The number of purchasing of slaves by traders was comparatively higher as many died during the journey. Even during the journey, they were being tortured by the traders. Enough food and water were not provided to them. As a result, the death rate was high. Slave trade was a consequence of the labor shortage. The main aim of Americans was to exploit new land and strengthen the capital of America (Reilly, 2017). It is notable depicted that American was fond of more earning and less spending. This strategy gave a negative impact on the overall community of African slaves. Due to overwork and insufficient food, many slaves died suffering from old world disease. Many crops or goods could not be sold by profit s a result, to strengthen the capital, a vast amount of workers needed for maximizing the production rate. In the new world, many lands were found empty. Thus many landlords tried to implement labors for the production on the farms. Many Europeans became landlords of these properties (Bieler, 2014). From the understanding it can be said as the number of lands were high, it was easy to grab them b...
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