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Showing results by Johnson Abhishek Minz only

Global value chains (GVCs) have reconfigured production processes over numerous geographies of the globe, leading to an international division of the labor process. This division has been congruent tot he plot of the expansion of transnational corporations, posited within the logic of capitalism, which continuously seeks to traverse to greenfield avenues. This process has been aided on one side by capital becoming increasingly mobile, and on the other by the financialization of markets. However, these transitions in the world economy have been made possible by the coming-in of a supranational state embedded in the international bodies that govern world trade, finances and credit structures in our present times.

In all of these processes, an important factor has been the "locking in" of economies to maintain their competitive advance. The shift of global capital from the developed to the developing world has been made possible by the extraction of relatively cheap labour, flouting basic regulatory mechanisms, and an expanded market opportunity. The logic of global capital would be to maintain the status quo of the developing countries by retaining their competitive advantage. Thereby, what has been witnessed is that even after changes in the world economy from the early 1980s onwards, production processes have bee delineated in specific pockets of developing countries that promise a higher output-input ratio. Moreover, any attempts to rectify this arrangement through the coutervailing force of worker organizations or trade unions have been met by the heavy hand of the state.

when it's laid out this way it all makes so much sense. kind of obvious yet describes it way more eloquently than i could

—p.129 Decoding the Transition in the Ports of Mumbai (129) by Johnson Abhishek Minz 5 years, 8 months ago

Genuine social movements arise when a social formation can no longer realize its aspirations for the good life in the prevailing system and are prepared to travel the arduous path of social transformation.1 Historically, movements that cease to expand and improve and under adverse economic and political conditions are likely to stagnate and decline. Samuel Gompers’s “More” may have served the AFL’s craft union members adequately for the first decades of the twentieth century, but neither he nor his comrades in leadership considered the aspirations of the industrial workers or the possibility that changing economic, technological, and political conditions might affect the crafts. In the 1930s, industrial workers were inspired by the idea that the union was a way to achieve industrial citizenship—that workers could get off their knees and out from under an imperial ownership that watched and controlled them on and off the job and dictated the terms and conditions of their employment and their lives. These workers sought to take their fate into their own hands. Just as workers had at the turn of the twentieth century, they brandished their desire for dignity in every strike, workplace occupation, and march through city streets. Their vision was not typically anticapitalist, but industrial unionism was a movement of a class that aspired to power over their own labor in the factory and other workplaces at least, and in many instances also in their cities and towns. Union members ran for city council, were elected to school boards, and made their voices heard on a wide range of public policies.

Today, U.S. unions have lost any semblance of this radical imagination, and so are generally unable to inspire working-class passion. They have been passive in the face of dramatic changes in the economy, which have visited hardship on a considerable portion of the workers, and accepted the indifference of the political class to their problems. Their explicit commitment to the existing setup, particularly to the capitalist economic system, and to a perverse version of class peace, have put most of them in a dependent and defensive position. Specifically, they have no tools for any analysis that would help workers evaluate the state of their own affairs and those of the country at large. Dimly, unions recognize that we live in an age when national borders no longer define the economy, but they are still tied to conceptions of reform that this new age has outmoded. More egregiously, instead of acting for themselves, they have fixed their hopes on a series of political “saviors” who either ignore the needs of their labor allies or else pay them lip service and then proceed to betray their trust at almost every turn.

—p.136 Decoding the Transition in the Ports of Mumbai (129) by Johnson Abhishek Minz 5 years, 8 months ago

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