What is the Working Class Aristocracy? What is the Labor Bureaucracy? Why do they exist?


What is the Working Class Aristocracy? What is the Labor Bureaucracy? Why do they exist?

Resolution of International Left

International Left Review • SPRING – SUMMER 2012 • YEAR 2, NUMBER 2 •

“The trade union bureaucrats, like the bureaucrats of false Communism, live in the atmosphere of aristocratic prejudices of the upper strata of the workers. It will be a tragedy if the oppositionists are infected even in the slightest degree with these qualities. We must not only reject and condemn these prejudices; we must burn them out of our consciousness to the last trace. We must find the road to the most deprived, to the darkest strata of the proletariat, beginning with the Negro, whom capitalist society has converted into a pariah, and who must learn to see in us his revolutionary brothers. And this depends wholly upon our energy and devotion to the work”

Trotsky, Leon, Militant

May 1, 1929


To address the debate over whether a sector of the working class (the labor aristocracy) benefits from the surplus value extracted from the countries oppressed and exploited by imperialism, we must start with the analysis of the origin of the labor aristocracy itself. This is also necessary in order to see how the bourgeois project that incorporates a layer of the working class in to a higher level of benefits, salaries and privileges — as practiced in every country in the world — is part of the dominant class “divide and rule” strategy against the oppressed and exploited. Continue reading

The Working Class Movement – On its way to become a revolutionary social force?

The Working Class Movement: Obstacles and Adversaries in its Way

By Carlos Petroni

International Left Review • SPRING – SUMMER 2012 • YEAR 2, NUMBER 2 •

The labor aristocracy and the labor bureaucracy are the most difficult obstacles to overcome to advance the mass movement in the midst of a situation of deep crisis  of the capitalist economy and social breakdown.

In places as different as Europe, the United States or Argentina, in the face of this political, economic or social crisis one can perceive the absence of an organized workers’ movement possessing a concrete political program and a leadership that having realized the depth of the changes in the world, mobilizes massively, providing leadership for all of the classes of society affected by the crisis of capitalism and formulates a workers’ socialist alternative.

Without concrete political program and effective leadership, there may be mass protests that can cause an imbalance and even the replacement of governments or political parties in power, however it will not achieve a change of system for one that would guarantee full employment, a sustainable economy, good salaries, quality education and housing, and universal health care for all. Continue reading

MEXICO: The War on Drugs… A Labyrinth Without Exit

By Anastasia Gómez

International Left ReviewSPRING – SUMMER 2012 • YEAR 2, NUMBER 2 •

Mexico is now looking  into  “a deep dark hole that leads to nowhere.” In a real war for the control over narco criminal enterprises, where the drug cartels and the governments of both Mexico and United States play leading roles, the entire population suffers from the horrors of war on a daily basis.

The talk about narco-corridos, narco-trucks, narco-fosas, narco-ranchos1, etc. has become commonplace and no one is shocked by it anymore. The daily news reports of hangings, burnings, corpses littering the large avenues, reports of those missing and abducted, narco-funded churches, military troops guarding different cities, new discoveries of drug plantations or huge drug shipments aren’t news to anyone either.

Nor is anybody surprised by the daily clashes of narcos against narcos, narcos against military, military against policemen, policemen against politicians, politicians against drug traffickers, and a range of possible variants involving even more recently formed paramilitary forces. This is a war that has already gone beyond the framework of drug trafficking and has turned into a mafia war, where crime cartels have expanded their criminal activities to include theft, extortion, abduction, trafficking of people, (mainly Central American immigrants), to name only a few. Moreover, these criminal activities are not confined to the actions of capos, politicians, corrupt security forces, producers, distributors and thugs, but is a phenomenon that has become increasingly integrated into the economic structures of the country. Continue reading