Know Your Anti-Worker Propaganda

Popular anti-worker cartoon distributed on social media

Did you know that half a trillion dollars is transferred every year from the native working class in this country to the capitalist class because of cheap foreign labor? This cartoon is corporate propaganda. It’s a paradigm, so pay attention to what I am going to tell you. This is 100 percent truth.

Here is the cartoon’s angle: the artist maligns the worker (here stereotypically reduced to the hard hat construction white worker) by making it appear as if the worker falsely believes cheap foreign labor (depicted here stereotypically as a dark-skinned person to cast the white work as a racist) wants his cookie. But as you can see by the statistics I cited above, a significant part of the explanation for why the capitalist’s plate is so full of cookies is because he deploys cheap foreign labor not just to super-exploit the foreigner (who gets cookie crumbs), but to drive down the wages of the native worker and confuse his consciousness and disorganize his politics. The capitalist does this not only by importing cheap foreign labor to America, but by off-shoring factories to exploit-processing zones where cheap foreign labor awaits.

The irony is that those most harmed by immigration and off-shoring are black and brown Americans, who are idled in disorganized urban neighborhoods burdened by high rates of poverty and crime. Black Americans are especially affected. Want to guess who maintains the custodial arrangements that idle blacks in America’s inner cities (and warehouse them in its jails and prisons)? The same people who share this cartoon: progressives.

Corporate power wins again and again because people don’t take the time to understand basic political economy and the capitalist mode of production. There is probably no greater action one can take to tell an audience who knows better that you do not know better than sharing this cartoon. I see this cartoon all the time. It makes me furious every time because it reminds me how many people don’t know better.

This is the function of race identitarianism: to substitute a false consciousness about the true nature of capitalist relations. So when you see this cartoon, feel free to use my argument. We have to shut down this fake leftwing reflex and educate people about the true nature of corporate state power. If you actually care about black and brown people, you will call out cartoons like this for what they are: anti-worker propaganda.

Published by

Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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