Economic engagement with Latin America fuels capitalist exploitation – the plan is used to make imperialist violence more efficient and invisible
Tumino Assistant Professor of English @ City University of New York, 02,
(Stephen, author of Cultural Theory After the Contemporary, May/June 02, The Red Critique, “Contesting the Empire-al Imaginary: The Truth of Democracy as Class,” http://redcritique.org/MayJune02/contestingtheempirealimaginary.htm, [Accessed 7/8/13], JB).
But freedom and democracy under capitalism is only for the few who can afford it because they live off the labor of the many. As capitalism develops on a global scale, the many cannot even meet their basic needsand are compelled to enter into struggle against the bosses—as Argentina, after only 10 years of neoliberal deregulation, and Venezuela, whose workers must arm themselves simply to defend the minor redistributions of wealth of the Chavez government, once again show. The emergent revolutionary struggles in Latin America once again prove the basic truth of Marxism: that the global development of capitalism leads to its own downfall by producing a revolutionary working class with nothing left to lose and a world to win by taking power from the owners and running the economy for the social good. This truth is, however, covered up by a thick layer of mystification by the corporate media through a variety of relays and mediations. This mystification serves to naturalize the social inequality at the basis of capitalism and maintain the status quo. Take the lie that the North, led by the US, has a moral destiny to bring freedom and democracy to the South crushed by poverty and corruption. The poverty and corruption of course are the result of freedom and democracy—the freedom of the capitalist to exploit human labor power for profit which is what in actuality "chases the bourgeoisie over the whole surface of the globe" and "compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to […] introduce what it calls civilization into their midst", as The Communist Manifesto says (Marx 477). The "moral" story about protecting human rights is told to cover up the material truth about democracy being the freedom to exploit others for profit. The story is needed to alibi the regime of wage-labor and capital as a fact of nature. In other words, it portrays the normal daily exploitation of labor under capitalism as the free expression of human nature in comparison with which its everyday brutality is made to appear"extreme" and "irrational" rather than a socially necessary consequence of private property. The representation of capitalism as naturalis of course not natural at all but historical: it is needednow to manufacture consensus that capitalism cannot be changedat a time when it is obvious that the material conditions already exist to abolish class inequality. As Venezuela shows, it is obvious that what stands in the way of a regime directed toward meeting people's needs, which is what Chavez represents, is not a lack of respect for human rights by immoral and corrupt people of the South, but the need of big business for a bigger share of the world market. It was the US oil giants represented by the Bush regime, supported by the trade union bureaucracy in this country, that aided the counter-revolutionary coup in Venezuela (e.g., by fomenting the oil workers strike as the core of a "civil society" movement that tried to abolish the popular social reforms of the Chavez government). It is for profit not democracy that the US supported the reactionary coup to overthrow Chavez (not just in words but with financial aid, military weapons and advisors as the British Guardian has reported); it is for profit and not for democracy that the US supports Israel and is currently colonizing Afghanistan as preparation for taking Iraq. It is obvious that the Bush regime is guided by profit and not democracy, which is why global public opinion is everywhere outside the US opposed to US "unilateralism" and "empire" building. This growing "obviousness" of democracy as hegemony of the rich threatens the ideology of capitalism by exposing democracy as the bourgeois freedom to exploit the labor and resources of the world. It is also behind the formation of a transnational populist left, however, that goes along with the system of wage labor and capital by marking the obvious hoax of democracy but nevertheless channeling the opposition into a reformist politics to maintain capitalism. By merely contesting its obviously barbaric effects rather than engage in a radical critique of capitalism for a social revolution against wage-slavery that is the cause of the effects, the left supports the ideology of democracy as class rule. It thus goes along with the reactionary backlash to make social contradictions into problems of "governance" and "policy" of "unruly" subjects—the powerless are made to bear responsibility for the contradictions of class society. What is emerging in the wake of the revolutionary explosions in Latin America is the growing awareness that it is becoming impossible to simply deny thebasic truth of Marxism on democracy as class inequality. As a result, newer mystifications of capitalism and why it changes are also emerging to stabilize the status quo. The dominant mode of naturalizing capitalism is to represent the new social struggles as spontaneous movements of the oppressed, by denying that they are a product of history as class struggle over the conditions of production. Rather than produce awareness of the class interestsbehind the emerging struggles thepopulist left portrays them as the outcome of spontaneous rebellions of the people against power. It isthus on the left most of all that one finds the alibi of capitalism as democracy that proposes capitalism may be reformed while the exploitation at its root remains intact. A reformed capitalism issimply a code for a more efficient regime of exploitation and imperialist brutality—it is appeasement of the violent democracy of the owners.
The impact is extinction
Brown, 05 (Charles, Professor of Economics and Research Scientist at the University of Michigan, 05/13/2005, http://archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/pen-l/2005w15/msg00062.htm)
The capitalist class owns the factories, the banks, and transportation-the means of production and distribution. Workers sell their ability to work in order to acquire the necessities of life. Capitalists buy the workers' labor, but only pay them back a portion of the wealth they create. Because the capitalists own the means of production, they are able to keep the surplus wealth created by workers above and beyond the cost of paying worker's wages and other costs of production. This surplus is called "profit" and consists of unpaid labor that the capitalists appropriate and use to achieve ever-greater profits. These profits are turned into capital which capitalists use to further exploit the producers of all wealth-the working class. Capitalists are compelled by competition to seek to maximize profits. The capitalist class as a whole can do that only by extracting a greater surplus from the unpaid labor of workers by increasing exploitation. Under capitalism, economic development happens only if it is profitable to the individual capitalists, not for any social need or good. The profit drive is inherent in capitalism, and underlies or exacerbates all major social ills of our times. With the rapid advance of technology and productivity, new forms of capitalist ownership have developed to maximize profit. The working people of our country confront serious, chronic problems because of capitalism. These chronic problems become part of the objective conditions that confront each new generation of working people. The threat of nuclear war, which can destroy all humanity, grows with the spread of nuclear weapons, space-based weaponry, and a military doctrine that justifies their use in preemptive wars and wars without end. Ever since the end of World War II, the U.S. has been constantly involved in aggressive military actions big and small. These wars have cost millions of lives and casualties, huge material losses, as well as trillions of U.S. taxpayer dollars. Threats to the environment continue to spiral, threatening all life on our planet. Millions of workers are unemployed or insecure in their jobs, even during economic upswings and periods of "recovery" from recessions. Most workers experience long years of stagnant real wages, while health and education costs soar. Many workers are forced to work second and third jobs to make ends meet. Most workers now average four different occupations during their lifetime, being involuntarily moved from job to job and career to career. Often, retirement-age workers are forced to continue working just to provide health care for themselves. With capitalist globalization, jobs move as capitalists export factories and even entire industries to other countries. Millions of people continuously live below the poverty level; many suffer homelessness and hunger. Public and private programs to alleviate poverty and hunger do not reach everyone, and are inadequate even for those they do reach. Racism remains the most potent weapon to divide working people. Institutionalized racism provides billions in extra profits for the capitalists every year due to the unequal pay racially oppressed workers receive for work of comparable value. All workers receive lower wages when racism succeeds in dividing and disorganizing them. In every aspect of economic and social life, African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian a nd Pacific Islanders, Arabs and Middle Eastern peoples, and other nationally and racially oppressed people experience conditions inferior to that of whites. Racist violence and the poison of racist ideas victimize all people of color no matter which economic class they belong to. The attempts to suppress and undercount the vote of the African American and other racially oppressed people are part of racism in the electoral process. Racism permeates the police, judicial and prison systems, perpetuating unequal sentencing, racial profiling, discriminatory enforcement, and police brutality. The democratic, civil and human rights of all working people are continually under attack. These attacks range from increasingly difficult procedures for union recognition and attempts to prevent full union participation in elections, to the absence of the right to strike for many public workers. They range from undercounting minority communities in the census to making it difficult for working people to run for office because of the domination of corporate campaign funding and the high cost of advertising. These attacks also include growing censorship and domination of the media by the ultra-right; growing restrictions and surveillance of activist social movements and the Left; open denial of basic rights to immigrants; and, violations of the Geneva Conventions up to and including torture for prisoners. These abuses all serve to maintain the grip of the capitalists on government power. They use this power to ensure the economic and political dominance of their class. Women still face a considerable differential in wages for work of equal or comparable value. They also confront barriers to promotion, physical and sexual abuse, continuing unequal workload in home and family life, and male supremacist ideology perpetuating unequal and often unsafe conditions. The constant attacks on social welfare programs severely impact single women, single mothers, nationally and racially oppressed women, and all working class women. The reproductive rights of all women are continually under attack ideologically and politically. Violence against women in the home and in society at large remains a shameful fact of life in the U.S.
The alternative is to reject the aff
Rejection of the aff is key to a historical materialist criticism – voting negative endorses an anti-capitalist methodology that denaturalizes the functions of capital
San Juan 6 (Epifanio, Jr., Fulbright Lecturer in American Studies at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, “Crisis and Contradiction in Globalization Discourse” http://www.redcritique.org/WinterSpring2006/crisisandcontradictioninglobalizationdiscourse.htm) APB
In order to probe andanalyze the multilayered contradictions of any phenomenon, we need to apply the principle of historical totalizing: connecting spheres of culture, ideology, and politics to the overarching structure of production and reproduction. This is axiomatic for any historical-materialist critique. Consequently, the question of cultural identity cannot be mechanically divorced from the historically determinate mode of production and attendant social relations of any given socioeconomic formation. What is the point of eulogizing hybrid, cyborg-esque, nomadic global citizens—even fluid, ambivalent "subject positions" if you like—when the majority of these postmodernized creatures are dying of hunger, curable epidemics, diseases and psychosomatic illnesses brought about precisely by the predatory encroachment of globalizing transnational corporations, mostly based in the U.S. and Western Europe? But it is not justacademic postmodernists suffering from the virus of pragmatist metaphysics who apologize for profit-making globalization. Even a latterly repentant World Bank expert, Joseph Stiglitz, could submit in his well-known Globalization and Its Discontents, the following ideological plea: "Foreign aid, another aspect of the globalized world, for all its faults still has brought benefits to millions, often in ways that have almost gone unnoticed: guerillas in the Philippines were provided jobs by a World Bank financed-project as they laid down their arms" (Stiglitz 420). Any one slightly familiar with the Cold War policies of Washington vis-à-vis a neocolony like the Philippines knows that World Bank funds were then used by the U.S. Pentagon to suppress the Communist Party-led peasant rebellion in the 1950s against the iniquitous semi-feudal system and corrupt comprador regime (Doty; Constantino). It is globalization utilized to maintain direct coercive U.S. domination of the Philippines at a crucial conjuncture when the Korean War was mutating into the Vietnam War, all designed to contain "World Communism" (China, Soviet Union). Up to now, despite nationalist gains in the last decade, the Philippine government plays host every year to thousands of U.S. "Special Forces" purportedly training Filipino troops in the war against "terrorism"—that is, against anti-imperialist forces like the Communist Party-led New People's Army and progressive elements of the Moro Islamic National Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front (International Peace Mission). One needs to repeat again that the present world system, as Hugo Radice argues, remains "both global and national", a contingent and contradictory process (4). Globalization dialectically negates and affirms national entities—pseudo-nations as well as those peoples struggling for various forms of national sovereignty. Whilea universal "free market"promoted by TNC triumphalismisdeemed to behomogenizing and centralizingin effect, abolishing independent states/nationalities, and creating a global public sphere through juxtaposition, syncretic amalgamation, and so on, one perceives a counter-current of fragmentation, increasing asymmetry, unbridgeable inequalities, and particularistic challengesto neoliberal integration—including fundamentalist political Islam, eco-terrorism, drugs, migration, and other movements of "barbarians at the gates" (Schaeffer). Is it a question of mere human rights in representation and life-style, or actual dignity and justice in the everyday lives of whole populations with singular life-forms? Articulating these historical contradictions without theorizing the concept of crisis in capital accumulation will only lead to the short-circuiting transculturalism ofAshcroft and otherideologies waging battle for supremacy/hegemony over "popular common sense" imposing meaning/order/significanceon the whole globalization process (Rupert). Indeed, academic inquirers of globalization are protagonists in this unfolding drama of universalization under duress. One may pose the following questions as a heuristic pedagogical maneuver: Can globalized capital truly universalize the world and bring freedom and prosperity to everyone,as its celebrants claim? Globalization as the transnationalized domination of capital exposes its historical limit in the deepening class inequality in a polarized, segregated and policed world. While surplus-value extraction in the international labor market remains basic to the logic of accumulation, the ideology of neoliberal transnationalism has evolved into the discourse of war on terrorism ("extremism") rationalized as "the clash of civilizations". Contradictions and its temporary resolutions constitute the imperialist project of eliding the crisis of unilateral globalism. A historical-materialist critique should seek to highlight the political economy of this recolonizing strategy operating in the fierce competition of the ruling classes of the U.S., Japan, and Europe to impose hegemonic control in an increasingly boundary-destroying space and continue the neocolonial oppression of the rest of the world. What is needed is a radical critique of the ideology of technological determinism and its associated apologetics of the "civilizing mission", the evangelism of "pre-emptive" intervention in the name of Realpolitik "democracy" against resistance by workers, peasants, women, indigenous communities (in Latin America, Africa, the Philippines and elsewhere [see Houghton and Bell; San Juan, "U.S. Imperial Terror"]), and all the excluded and marginalized peoples of the planet.