This article has the overblown title of “The Intellectual Origins Of America-Bashing,” and it’s the Hoover Institution on Marxism, but it’s still interesting.

“The Baran-Wallerstein revision of Marxism does provide a new global reformulation of the immiserization thesis. But the locus of this misery, the Third World, does not and cannot provide an adequate objective foundation for a revolutionary struggle against the capitalist system.”

I would think an even larger problem is that there would be the need for an organized opposition representing and supported by the exploited, which is far more likely within a country than across the world. Is the identity of a global underclass really more powerful right now than so many religious, political, ethnic, and other identifications?

In order for it to become so, I think either the world would need to be seen as simplified with clear antagonists — a bipolar world did that somewhat — or the importance of non-class identity would have to be lessened and class identity placed in opposition to an immediate global environment. (In other words, you’d need to be at least as concerned with the multinational exploiting your town as you would be with the problems you had with your neighboring town.)

It’s interesting that no one is doing more to accomplish both of those conditions than we are.

In the first case of a simplified world with clear antagonists, our attempts at democracy-building — no matter what the outcome — place the U.S. in intimate contact with people’s lives. We become not only an overarching presence, but an immediate concern.

In the second case, the quest for global markets and spreading Western secular culture is also a quest to instill identities much like our own. And we are very familiar with class and the predominance of the economic in life.

Courtesy of Policy Review