Net-Exploitation by the Numbers (Hypothetically)

Net-Exploitation by the Numbers (Hypothetically)


RAIM often talks about Amerikan and First World workers as net-exploiters.

In order to discuss this further, we must first define exploitation. For our purposes, exploitation can be roughly defined as earning through work less than the full product of that work. For instance, a person might work for a day, make 10 widgets; yet only earn in wages enough to purchase six widgets. This would be exploitation.

The modern economy is arranged globally. A minority of First World countries exploit at gunpoint the Third World. Subsets of workers with vastly different functions, wage-levels and standards of living exist. Only in such a situation could a worker be a net-exploiter.

Hypothetically speaking, in today’s capitalist-imperialist economy, we might see a situation where two different workers each create 10 widgets, or 20 total. The first worker, from the First World, might earn enough wages to purchase 11 widgets whereas the latter worker, from the Third World, only one. Through the extreme exploitation of the Third World worker, the First World worker receives wages over and above what they actually created. In this situation, the First World worker gets a small ‘cut,’ the equivalent of one widget, from the 9 widgets produced by the Third World worker yet not included in the latter’s wages. In other words, the First World worker is a net-exploiter.

First World workers are net-exploiters: a class which through its relation to the capitalist-imperialist system lives in great part upon the exploitation of the Third World.


Filed under Agitation Statements, Imperialism, Political Economy

4 responses to “Net-Exploitation by the Numbers (Hypothetically)

  1. Serve the People

    It is important to add that most people in the First World don’t produce anything: they work (if at all) in the unproductive sector. That’s another example of First World parasitism.

    Also, the example above is oversimplified. A worker that produces 10 widgets in a day probably doesn’t create all of the value in those widgets: the value in the raw materials, semi-finished products, equipment, energy, and other inputs was created by others.

  2. PW

    There are problems with the method of quantifying exploitation here is not very good. Most workers don’t make individual widgets as a petty bourgeoisie craftsman might. Socialization of production means that workers work collectively, they are part of a process, to make widgets. Socialization of labor is a big feature of the capitalist mode of production. A worker might service equipment at the factory or only work on an aspect of the widget For example, a worker is less likely to make 10 individual widget sand more likely to be involved in one aspect of the production of hundreds of widgets, for example, painting the widgets. You can’t just subtract how much the worker is paid daily from the cost of the widgets produced in a day because lone, individual workers typically don’t produce widgets individually in capitalism. In addition, there are other inputs to the production of widgets besides the labor.

  3. Yes, this article sets up a over-simplified example. This was intentional, to express as clearly as possible how vast differences in wages could lead to a situation whereby one worker can materially benefit from the exploitation in another. ‘Making widgets’ could best be understood as being part of this socialized production process, as Comrade PW described.

    Unfortunately, in setting up this hypothetical explanation, one could get the impression that First Worlders are less of a parasite minority than they are. For example, for every First World so-called ‘worker,’ there are around five in the Third World. Likewise, on average First World wages are 30 time that of those in the Third Worlders, not 10.

    Nonetheless, I think it is a good article and important demonstration of parasitism.

  4. Serve the People

    Also, the First World “worker’s” share of superprofits is usually a lot higher than 10%. In the united $nakes, typically it starts around 100% and goes up almost without limit.

    Again, it’s important to remember that not many First World “workers” are in the productive sector at all. Even by a generous definition, not even 20% of U$ “workers” are in the productive sector. This is another manifestation of parasitism.

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