Deconstructing Working Class Illusions About the Democratic Party and>
by Lil Joe
December 7, 2010
Politics in the United States is between the two capitalist class
parties. The Republican Party that is directly based in finance and
transnational capital, and the Democratic Party, which is based on
the finances and interests of the industrial and domestic capitalist
The patriotic culture of American capitalism, enables the politicians
in both Parties to circumvent their economic ties to capitalist
factions, to instead masquerade as representing geographical
'constituencies' rather than economic class interests.
The concept of economic classes, based in the reality of mutually
exclusive interests on the basis of economic relations of production's
modes of appropriation- the capitalist class are owners of means of social
production and employers of wage labour, and the working class that
having no means of production must sell its labour power to capitalists
in order to purchase means of subsistence from capitalists.
This recognition of class consciousness exists for capitalists and the
politicians that represent them in government; but, the American
working classes lack such recognition of their class interests that are
mutually exclusive to the class interests of capitalists. The Democratic
Party pretends to represent the interests of the American 'average man'
and 'ordinary working people', providing 'bread and circus'.
The 'Progressive' faction of the Democratic Party, together with
ostensibly, 'socialist', apologists, are pretending to be demoralized
and are spreading the illusion that they are 'disappointed',
"because Obama 'capitulated' to the Republicans".
The President didn't give the capitalists an incremental two year
extension on lessened taxes on their profits and wealth, inheritance
tax and so on as a 'trade off' for extending unemployment compensation
for workers thrown into the unemployed surplus population by this
crisis of overproduction in the capitalist mode of production and
This extension of unemployment compensation to labourers thrown into
the surplus population presented as a 'trade off' is an excuse for the
actual flooding of the capitalists and wealthy classes with surplus
money: even as federal workers wages are being frozen, supposedly to
reduce government deficits that these tax giveaways are the cause of.
Together with 'the extension of the middle class tax cut', it is an
excuse to sell to workers and unions the tax giveaway to the capitalists.
The Democrats joined the Republicans in giving these tax cuts to the
wealthy in the first place, eight years ago. What they are doing now
in continuing these tax cuts is in the same vein. Obama's claim that
he folded to 'Republican tax cuts to the wealthy' as a result of his
concern for the 'middle class and unemployed', the price for
'continuing middle class tax cuts' and 'extension of unemployment' and
thereby avoid the middle class and unemployed becoming 'collateral
damage', is just so much demagogic, manipulative rhetoric.
Obama in actuality is continuing the flooding of the capitalist
classes with surplus money for the same reason he and the
Democrats joined the Republicans in giving capitalists $700 billion
dollars in the bailout of finance capital and $300 billion to
industrial capital - because the Democrats, the same as the Republicans,
are the political representatives of the capitalist class as a whole.
This is consistent with the Democrats in the House refusing to
legislate the Employee Free Choice Act and gutting the health care
reform from single payer to 'public option' and the throwing this
out by the Democrats in the Senate.
The Democratic Party is not a Labour Party, it is a class party of the
American capitalists, their political representatives in opposition to
American and international labour. The trade unionists in the
Democratic Party are not representatives of workers in that capitalist
class party, but representatives of the capitalist class in
the working class who cover for the Democrats and blame the
The supposed 'disappointment' of trade union bureaucrats and
'progressives' in the Democratic Party is predicated upon the
illusion, or rather the lie, that Obama, that is the Democrats,
represent the interests of the working class - at any rate what the
American bourgeois Sociologists classify as 'the 'middle class' and
If and only if The Democratic Party was a political institution of
workers that was financially based on trade unions, having only unions
and working class communities as its constituents and all its political
officers and political office holders were trade unionists and workers
could the Democratic Party could be said in any objective way to represent
the interests of the working class, in government and in the streets.
The fact that America is a class based society, and its State is an
instrument of capitalist's political representatives, is hidden from
social consciousness. Oft-regurgitated by American capitalist's
politicians and print and electronic media propagandists, the capitalist
class is not identified. The working class is not recognized as such.
Capital Vol. I
THE GREED FOR SURPLUS-LABOUR.
"Capital has not invented surplus-labour. Wherever a part of society
possesses the monopoly of the means of production, the labourer, free
or not free, must add to the working-time necessary for his own
maintenance an extra working-time in order to produce the means of
subsistence for the owners of the means of production, whether this
proprietor be the Athenian caloς cagaqoς [well-to-do man], Etruscan
theocrat, civis Romanus [Roman citizen], Norman baron, American
slave-owner, Wallachian Boyard, modern landlord or capitalist. It is,
however, clear that in any given economic formation of society, where
not the exchange-value but the use-value of the product predominates,
surplus-labour will be limited by a given set of wants which may be
greater or less, and that here no boundless thirst for surplus-labour
arises from the nature of the production itself." (See Marx Capital
Vol. I @ http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch10.htm#S2)
"The sum of the necessary labour and the surplus-labour, i.e., of the
periods of time during which the workman replaces the value of his
labour-power, and produces the surplus-value, this sum constitutes the
actual time during which he works, i.e., the working-day. ...(See
Marx's Capital op. cit.)
"... Since the production of surplus-value is the chief end and aim of
capitalist production, it is clear, that the greatness of a man’s or a
nation’s wealth should be measured, not by the absolute quantity
produced, but by the relative magnitude of the surplus-produce. (See Marx ibid.)
The capitalist classes - financial capital, industrial and
agricultural productive capital, merchant's capital, retail capital ...
and the State - are economic parasites on the flesh of the living labouring
classes. They do not produce wealth, the workers do.
The profits of capital and the taxes appropriated by the State is
valorised surplus value, i.e., value derived from the sale of the
surplus product produced by workers. The arguments by bourgeois
economists and the Republicans that tax cuts are needed to provide
incentives to capitalists to invest and exploit labourers, as if
capitalist's are altruists who 'create jobs' for the good of the workers
rather than as the means by which through the labour process workers
are exploited and capital accumulated, is absurd. The only thing achieved
by tax cuts for capitalists is the retention of a greater portion of the
valorised surplus values, profits. Just another redistribution of value from
those who produce it (workers) to those who don't produce at all (capitalists).
Analogies presented as premises are red herrings. The proletarians are
exploited by the State by the appropriation of surplus value valorised
as taxes. Therefore, it is absurd that the State, which appropriates
taxes from workers that are spent in the service of capitalism and
capitalists, to claim it gave hundreds of billions of dollors to
capitalists in the form of tax cuts that it did so because the
Republican factional minority in government was holding worker's
unemployment compensation and reduced taxes 'hostage'.
Regarding the hostage of the repeal of 'Don't ask, don't tell', fuck
'don't ask, don't tell'. It is in the interests of the American
capitalist classes, especially the transnational corporations that are
the economic base of US imperialism to have a strong, i.e. repressive,
invading and occupying armed force killing and maiming workers and
oppressed people who resist US imperialist invasions and occupations.
It doesn't matter whether the members of the military are heterosexual
or homosexual, they are professional killers and mass murderers, even
if those murderers go to war in drag.
As for the deficit, the Obama administration used it as an excuse to
freeze government workers wages but at the same time extended
capitalist tax cuts, which is the cause of the deficit. Besides,
it is and has always been a lie that the US government is a
'government of the people, by the people and for the people'.
The deficits of the capitalist's State is the problem of the
capitalist classes, not the problem of the working classes. If the
government goes bankrupt it is so much the better!
As the collaboration of the Democrat and Republican members in the
executive, legislative and judicial branches of government policies
show, including the Obama administration's policies, it is
a government of the capitalist's politicians, for the capitalist
classes, by capitalist's politicians.
The State's taxing of workers wages is the State's participation in
the capitalist class exploitation of the working classes, and freezing
of government workers' wages, while reducing the taxes of capitalist's
also has employed workers compensate for the reduction of taxes paid by
"Just the other day, Obama freezed the wages of Federal workers for
two years. It was not the workers themselves that offered their wages
cut, not the unions that represent the workers, but, Federal employees
were frozen by their Federal employer with approval of Republicans. It
was not workers doing the 'sacrifice'. Federal workers were sacrificed
by Federal government." - Adaoma
Meanwhile, the unemployed '99ers are not getting extended unemployment
compensation. Moreover, there are 59 million American working poor who
remain without health care access, 49 million living below the poverty level
and 49 million on foodstamps. Giving tax credits to employed workers at
the expense of the unemployed while just a week ago freezing wages of
federal workers shows that Obama's "concern for middle class" workers is
just a gimmick to dupe the working class.
The reason the Democrats and their 'progressive' propagandists refer
to the capitalists as 'the wealthy' and the 'top 2% at the 'high end'
rather than to the capitalist classes, and to the working classes as
'the middle class' rather than the working classes, is because this
language is a red herring to circumvent the issue of capitalist
exploitation of the working classes.
The trumpeting of his 'earned income tax credit'/ 'payroll tax credit'
in his so called 'compromise with the Republicans', in exchange for
tax cuts on profits, actually reveal the conditions of class
domination and exploitation.
The production of wealth characteristic of the capitalist mode of
production and appropriation is capitalist commodity production on the
basis of wage labour.
"The value of a commodity, or the quantity of any other commodity for
which it will exchange, depends on the relative quantity of labour
which is necessary for its production, and not on the greater or less
compensation which is paid for that labour. (See David Ricardo:
On The Principles of Political Economy and Taxation @
"In speaking then of commodities, of their exchangeable value, and of
the laws which regulate their relative prices, we mean always such
commodities only as can be increased in quantity by the exertion of
human industry, and on the production of which competition operates
without restraint. (Ricardo op. cit.
"Labour, like all other things which are purchased and sold, and which
may be increased or diminished in quantity, has its natural and its
market price. The natural price of labour is that price which is
necessary to enable the labourers, one with another, to subsist and to
perpetuate their race, without either increase or diminution.
"The power of the labourer to support himself, and the family which
may be necessary to keep up the number of labourers, does not depend
on the quantity of money which he may receive for wages, but on the
quantity of food, necessaries, and conveniences become essential to
him from habit, which that money will purchase. The natural price of
labour, therefore, depends on the price of the food, necessaries, and
conveniences required for the support of the labourer and his family.
With a rise in the price of food and necessaries, the natural price of
labour will rise; with the fall in their price, the natural price of
labour will fall.
"The exchange value of a commodity estimated in money is called its
price. Wages therefore are only a special name for the price of
labour-power, and are usually called the price of labour; it is the
special name for the price of this peculiar commodity, which has no
other repository than human flesh and blood. ( See Karl Marx: Wage
Labour and Capital
"Real wages express the price of labour-power in relation to the price
of commodities; relative wages, on the other hand, express the share
of immediate labour in the value newly created by it, in relation to
the share of it which falls to accumulated labour, to capital.
"The sum of the necessary labour and the surplus-labour, i.e., of the
periods of time during which the workman replaces the value of his
labour-power, and produces the surplus-value, this sum constitutes the
actual time during which he works, i.e., the working-day. (See Karl
Marx Capital Vol. I @
The Working Day
"The capitalist has bought the labour-power at its day-rate. To him
its use-value belongs during one working-day. He has thus acquired the
right to make the labourer work for him during one day. But, what is a
"At all events, less than a natural day. By how much? The capitalist
has his own views of this ultima Thule [the outermost limit], the
necessary limit of the working-day. As capitalist, he is only capital
personified. His soul is the soul of capital. But capital has one
single life impulse, the tendency to create value and surplus-value,
to make its constant factor, the means of production, absorb the
greatest possible amount of surplus-labour.
"The value of commodities is in inverse ratio to the productiveness of
labour. And so, too, is the value of labour-power, because it depends
on the values of commodities. Relative surplus-value is, on the
contrary, directly proportional to that productiveness. It rises with
rising and falls with falling productiveness.
"Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking
living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks. The time
during which the labourer works, is the time during which the
capitalist consumes the labour-power he has purchased of him.
"The value of a commodity is, in itself, of no interest to the
capitalist. What alone interests him, is the surplus-value that dwells
in it, and is realisable by sale. Realisation of the surplus-value
necessarily carries with it the refunding of the value that was
We have said: "Wages are not a share of the worker in the commodities
produced by him. Wages are that part of already existing commodities
with which the capitalist buys a certain amount of productive
labor-power." But the capitalist must replace these wages out of the
price for which he sells the product made by the worker; he must so
replace it that, as a rule, there remains to him a surplus above the
cost of production expended by him, that is, he must get a profit.
The selling price of the commodities produced by the worker is
divided, from the point of view of the capitalist, into three parts:
First, the replacement of the price of the raw materials advanced by
him, in addition to the replacement of the wear and tear of the tools,
machines, and other instruments of labor likewise advanced by him;
Second, the replacement of the wages advanced; and
Third, the surplus leftover – i.e., the profit of the capitalist.
While the first part merely replaces previously existing values, it is
evident that the replacement of the wages and the surplus (the profit
of capital) are as a whole taken out of the new value, which is
produced by the labor of the worker and added to the raw materials.
(Marx op. cit. http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/wage-labour/ch06.htm)
Every cent the capitalist's State appropriates from the capitalist
classes are taken from profits the capitalist classes derived in their
capacity as economic parasites from the appropriated, value engendering
labour of the working classes. Whereas, every cent appropriated by the
State from the wages of the exploited workers is the State's
participating in the exploitation of the working classes.
Unemployed workers getting unemployment compensation are only getting
back from the State a portion of the wealth already produced by those
very same workers.
Thus, the State's appropriation of money from the workers is the
State's participation along with the capitalist classes in the
economic, parasitic exploitation of the working classes! Thus 'earned
income tax credits' for workers is the opposite of tax cuts for
capitalists, since the capitalists' taxes are derived from the
exploitation of those same workers.
The unemployment compensation for workers isn't giving those workers
anything but returning to them a portion of the wealth that they
produced and was taken from them by the State. So also the Obama
'earned income tax cuts' for workers isn't giving workers anything,
but only reducing its share in the exploitation of wage labour.
The industrial and mechanized agricultural capitalist classes as
classes of owners of the means of social production and distribution
does not participate in the labour processes of wealth production and
distribution, and management of production and sales is the jobs of
Yet, as owners of means of production and distribution, as investors
and coupon clippers, these economic parasites rake in the profits. Even
so, these idle classes and their political and ideological
representatives have the gaul to oppose workers unemployment
compensation and welfare for workers and families thrown out of
employment, claiming welfare and unemployment compensation makes them
'lazy'. They call workers tossed in the trash as a surplus population
of the unemployed the 'idle', 'lazy', 'government dependent' and the
Yet, it is because of capitalism's tendency to produce surpluses of
products, commodities that cannot be sold, that results in cutting back on
production and workers on one hand, and the displacement of human labour power by
steam, petro and electric powered machines and robots, which result in
even more workers being tossed into the surplus population on the other.
There is also globalization, i.e. export capital, e.g. to China, where,
because the government provides free health care, education and
housing subsidies, the wages required for survival of Chinese workers
is not as much as in the US, where the health care industry and
insurance companies are for profit and expensive, both for workers and
This is why the Republican Party, which represents finance capital and
the transnational export capital opposes both health care reform and
duties and tariffs, in fear of retaliation. The Democratic Party, which
represents domestic industrial capital, wanted to legislate health care
reform to lower the price of labour power.
The Republican Party, together with their allies in the Democratic
Party, the so-called 'conservative Democrats', didn't oppose the national
single payer plan because they were 'fiscal conservatives' or
so-called 'deficit hawks', but because they are agents of finance
capital. Thus, they voted for the bank bailouts but opposed the GM/Ford
bailouts. For this same reason: they are the political
representatives of finance capital - insurance companies and banks.
Finance capital thrives on the deficit! Taxes are the economic basis
of the State. Finance capital thrives on the State debt.
"The system of public credit, i.e., of national debts, whose origin we
discover in Genoa and Venice as early as the Middle Ages, took
possession of Europe generally during the manufacturing period. The
colonial system with its maritime trade and commercial wars served as
a forcing-house for it. Thus it first took root in Holland. National
debts, i.e., the alienation of the state – whether despotic,
constitutional or republican – marked with its stamp the capitalistic
era. The only part of the so-called national wealth that actually
enters into the collective possessions of modern peoples is their
national debt. Hence, as a necessary consequence, the modern doctrine
that a nation becomes the richer the more deeply it is in debt. Public
credit becomes the credo of capital. And with the rise of national
debt-making, want of faith in the national debt takes the place of the
blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which may not be forgiven.
"The state creditors actually give nothing away, for the sum lent is
transformed into public bonds, easily negotiable, which go on
functioning in their hands just as so much hard cash would. But
further, apart from the class of lazy annuitants thus created, and
from the improvised wealth of the financiers, middlemen between the
government and the nation – as also apart from the tax-farmers,
merchants, private manufacturers, to whom a good part of every
national loan renders the service of a capital fallen from heaven –
the national debt has given rise to joint-stock companies, to dealings
in negotiable effects of all kinds, and to agiotage, in a word to
stock-exchange gambling and the modern bankocracy. (See Marx Capital
Vol I @http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch31.htm)
Republicans want that State, but finance capital don't want to pay for
it. They want to exploit it.
Or rather, the Republicans would rather limit the amounts of the
capitalist profits appropriated by the State for social programs,
welfare, medical care, unemployment compensation, and so on: let them
die, and decrease the surplus population. The Republicans would rather
'government spending' be on what is essential to their class interests
and power: the Army, the police, prisons to control the working
classes and the poor. The Republican prefer the Stick, that is the
bataan, to the Democrat's carrot.
The Democrats would rather control the passions and cloud the minds of
the American working classes and the poor with 'bread and circus'. Unemployment
compensation, social security, welfare, food stamps, etc., are not gifts of
the government, as the capitalist's politicians and propagandists would have
us believe, but are value taken from workers in the form of taxes.
Workers are paying for the bread and circus, but their portions are shrinking.
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