Bangladesh workers torch factory

Many times when we hear about militant strikes happening they’re situated in places like France and other European countries.  This, amongst other things, has led some to think of class struggle as a “European thing.”  This is absolutely wrong.  The class struggle is a world struggle of workers from all nations and ethnicities against those who seek to suck their life away in the pursuit of profit.

Check out this article about workers in Bangladesh fighting back against the effects of the economic crisis.

“About 20,000 workers, some armed with sticks and stones, were protesting on the streets of Ashulia, 30 kilometres (19 miles) outside Dhaka, when some set fire to a factory, assistant police commissioner Nur Ahmed told AFP.”

Full Article here

3 responses to “Bangladesh workers torch factory

  1. in response to the fred hampton post, someone was saying that its not so simple to unite people under the banner of worker unity, that class is not monolithic, that it is divided by gender and nation. a story about a workers’ revolt in predominantly woman employed industry in an oppressed nation should enrich such a discussion. but mine is the first comment so far..

    how come nobody finds this story worthy of comment? posted nearly a week ago and no one has shit to say? i remember reading on the Kasama blog that it was absolutely imperative for revolutionaries to support the Nepal “revolution” rather than criticize it as the RCP has done. but when it comes to class struggle in the manifestation of LABOR upheaval (rather than guerilla war and parliamentarism), it receives virtually no comment!

    i wonder what adherents of the stalinist-maoist/nationalist/stagist theories national liberation through cross class fronts would say about Bangladeshi workers struggle. would they find some new half-way point in order to avoid the obvious: that episodes like the one in this article must become more coordinated, infused with a broader vision of region-wide worker movements taking state power to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat with no capitalist alliances? has a country like bangladesh suffered the purgatory of national sovereignty, capitalist development and formal democracy long enough to pass finally into a socialist stage through worker militancy?

    other than showing that worker struggles, working class identities and class antagonisms are alive and well in “oppressed nations” the events this article covers also offer a good basis for arguments in favor of seeing women’s liberation as a worker issue. the bangladesh wikipedia article says that textile production accounts for over 75% of GDP and that 90% of the workers in the industry are women. this puts women firmly in the center and at the base of the proletariat in bangladesh. keeping that in mind, we must place feminism into the marxist worker militancy framework where it belongs (as opposed to vague academic idealist frameworks).

  2. Personally, I think that some marxists have a type of “marxist-guilt” that’s very similar to white-guilt. Marxism and marxists have been rightfully critiqued for downplaying and being hostile towards an understanding of racial and gender oppression, and these are important critiques for marxists to understand.

    However, it’s unfortunate that many self-proclaimed communists have become uncomfortable and unable to discuss and understand class politics as a result of the often-heard critique in academia and in movement circles of “class-reductionism.”

    This is unfortunate because it doesn’t actually engage the critiques of marxism for reductionist problems, and as a result ignores the important work of developing marxist perspectives on race & gender (amongst other oppressions) and instead accepts a sloppy, ungrounded intersectional approach which in many ways negates a truly materialist and rigorous analysis of the intersections of oppression.

    This “marxist-guilt” ends up spilling over to other areas of analysis, in particular analysis of labor movements which often end up being unfortunately ignored, as in the case of this post . . . Just some thoughts.

  3. like white guilt, which is racist despite itself, what you identify as this form of marxist guilt eclecticism is, ironically, usually the most class reductionist strain of marxism. thats because it started off from a reductionist and narrow view of the working class (male, waged, industrial, located in the core, usually white), and then compensated for it by simply tacking on race/nation (and less often, gender/patriarchy) as independent forces to the class struggle. slightly more sophisticated variants claim that race/nation struggles are themselves the true manifestations of class struggle.

    absent a more holistic concept of class and a more accurate interpretation of the nature of the capitalist world system (eg does Lenin’s Imperialism still represent reality?), approaches like these are understandable and good faith efforts at integrating all dimensions of oppression into marxist politics. but they dont really work and working class people sense that, which is why they dont connect with marxist groups.

    perhaps the biggest challenge facing marxism today is to theoretically integrate all dimensions of oppression into a class struggle based program.

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