Southern Insurgency--The Coming of the Global Working Class

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Author: Thomas Klikauer
Date: Autumn-Winter 2016
From: Anarchist Studies(Vol. 24, Issue 2)
Publisher: Lawrence & Wishart Ltd.
Document Type: Book review
Length: 764 words

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Immanuel Ness, Southern Insurgency--The Coming of the Global Working Class

London: Pluto Press, 2016; 237pp; ISBN: 9780745336008

Based on empirical case studies of India, China and South Africa, Immanuel Ness argues that the working class has not vanished. It simply moved to the South, working in sweatshop factories--and there might even be a 'Southern insurgency' (as the book's title suggests). The North-South move is based on Foreign Direct Investment but 'FDI demonstrates that new investment does not offset underdevelopment and structural poverty' (p 21). Instead of the 'rising-of-all-boats' ideology, many boats barely keep afloat at all. But Ness also has a harsh critique of trade unions (p 31), since compliant Northern trade unions lost twice: they became part of a capital accommodating regime; and they failed to create North-South alliances between trade unions, unaware that outsourcing is a strength as 'Northern capital is completely dependent on the super-exploitation of low-wage Southern labour' (p 33).

The North 'displace [d] its own contradictions of accumulation to the periphery' (p 45), now played out in the global South. '[T]o lure multinational capital, local state managers and politicians either ensured that new industrial enterprise zones...

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Source Citation
Klikauer, Thomas. "Southern Insurgency--The Coming of the Global Working Class." Anarchist Studies, vol. 24, no. 2, 2016, p. 127+. Accessed 10 May 2021.
  

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