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Emancipating Labor Internationalism

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  • Waterman, Peter
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    Abstract

    The secular trinity of c19th socialism was Labor-Internationalism-Emancipation. As early-industrial capitalism developed into a national-industrial-colonial capitalism, the internationalism of labor became literally international, and simultaneously lost its emancipatory aspiration and capacity (or vice versa). The dramatic – and labor-devastating – development of a globalised-networked-informatised capitalism is raising the necessity and possibility of a new kind of labor internationalism, capable not only of defence against neo-liberal globalisation but also of an emancipatory challenge to capitalism as such. This implies self-liberation from the traditional (understanding of the) working-class, the trade-union form and socialist ideology. Such an emancipation can be assisted by a recognition of the work and workers produced by a globalized-networked-informatized capitalism. Positively it requires a close articulation of labor with the global justice movement (a.k.a. 'anti-globalization', 'anti-corporate' and 'anti-capitalist'), and serious address to processes, discontents, social actors, movements and alternatives previously considered marginal or irrelevant. An emancipatory labour internationalism will also need to re-discover utopia. The paper responds to the 'New Labor Internationalism' theme of a major international research project on 'Rethinking Social Emancipation'.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, UC Santa Cruz in its series Center for Global, International and Regional Studies, Working Paper Series with number qt0zc5f88k.

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    Date of creation: 24 Apr 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:cdl:glinre:qt0zc5f88k

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    Web page: http://www.escholarship.org/repec/cgirs/

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    Keywords: Social Movements;

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