The Subjugation of the Third World

The displacement of the political consequences of wage labor relations away from the metropolis is not an incidental feature of capital accumulation, as the economic purists aligned to both the bourgeoisie and the workerist left assert. It is rather the fundamental condition of capital as nothing other than an explicit aggression against the masses. […] Capital has always sought to distance itself in reality—i.e. geographically—from this brutal political infrastructure. After all, the ideal of bourgeois politics is the absence of politics, since capital is nothing other than the consistent displacement of social decision-making into the marketplace [thus depoliticizing it].

Nick Land. Fangued Noumena. Kant, Capital and the Prohibition of Incest: A Polemical Introduction to the Configuration of Philosophy and Modernity.

The modern system of globalized capitalism is the final step taken by the metropolitan bourgeoisie in distancing itself from the proletariat. To the comedic point where the notion of worker rights are exclusively third-world problems, the first-world seems increasingly distinguished by unemployment, distinctly non-worker issues, ironically arising from excess import of pliable third-world labor. An interesting consequence of this externalizations of politics is the rapid devolution of internal politics from the vigorous ambitions of past political projects to a conceited and pathetic politicizing of trivial injustices. One can see that this is by design, since by removing the conditions for oppression one also removes the motivating kernel of politics, real violence.

The search for violence is one that continues to motivate politics, but we seek it instead in everyday motions, empty words and trivial gestures. To wonder at the lost dynamism of politics nowadays is to wonder where violence went. Where you find violence you find real politics. The truly oppressed have no voice and no vote, just as they did in the Ancien Regime, and today slavery is perpetuated by dollar-denominated debt instead of iron chains, as capitalism exploits the loophole of outsourcing exploitation to avoid democratic accountability, in the peripheries the capitalist machine feasts on wage-slave and serf labor, and for close to a century great part of the conditions that led to the developed world’s success were extracted in sub-zero sum outcomes for the Third World.

By removing the source of global demand from the mechanisms of oppression that produce these goods, i.e. by externalizing the political cost of acquisition of material wealth, a stopgap between the elite Imperial states and cheap Third World labor is created. If they revolt, at most they isolate themselves and remove their surplus flows from the feedtube of Imperial consumers–which, depending on the severity, motivates the global powers to push for economic sanctions, “regime change” or war. Crucially, if this happens at the periphery this does not affect supply by much, and these revolutions do nothing to change the conditions that make peripheral country elites eager to extract as much as possible for nice cut. It’s no wonder that developing countries are such hotbeds for corruption, at least if you have the right resources to trade with. And if they have oil or any crucial commodity then you can count on military supremacy. But let’s face it, it’s hardly even necessary. It’s a helluva effective system.

The risk of politics is hedged by exporting it evenly throughout the Third World, from where the seat of capital is insulated from the oppressive conditions of peripheral countries. As examples, all the civil disobedience in Chile, Colombia, and Ecuador all seek to change the circumstances of local oppression, without realizing that by succeeding and redrafting the balance of privilege and justice in their system they will have done nothing to change their condition as competitors in a global labor marketplace, whereby easing economic inequality–the natural consequence of extractive, low value-added economies–all they manage is to become less competitive and thus less favoured by the corresponding feudal lord, mon seigneur. China’s CP and the United States’s FedGov may speak different languages, but they play equivalent games. The very language of democratic resistance used to express the goals of popular politics in Latin America does not satisfy the conditions needed to exit the globalized economy–because conflict is inscribed in dated notions of the nation-state, political processes cannot permeate upwards far enough for the root cause to be affected and thus neutralize through democratic mechanisms. The nation state is obsolescent in an era of enforced interdependence.

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