Workers Who Benefit from the Exploitation of Other Workers

Trabajadores que se benefician de la explotación de otros trabajadores

Trabalhadores que se beneficiam da exploração de outros trabalhadores


  • Marcel van der Linden Instituto Internacional de Historia Social, Países Bajos


Palabras clave:

solidaridad, desigualdad, consumo, empleo, división internacional del trabajo, modo de vida imperial


Con frecuencia, con demasiada frecuencia, la solidaridad de la clase trabajadora a nivel internacional sigue siendo frágil, condicionada o inexistente en la práctica, más allá de la retórica. En el presente artículo se explora una posible explicación: los trabajadores del Norte se benefician de la explotación de los trabajadores del Sur mediante productos y servicios baratos y oportunidades de empleo adicionales. Por ejemplo, a los asalariados del Norte les resulta muy accesible comprar camisetas porque sus salarios reales son mucho más altos que los salarios reales de los trabajadores del Sur. Llamo a esto una desigualdad relacional dentro de la clase obrera mundial: algunos trabajadores están mejor porque otros están peor. El documento presenta un esquema histórico muy tentativo de la desigualdad relacional mundial desde la década de 1830.


Often, all too often, global working-class solidarity remains fragile, conditional or fails to be realized in practice, whatever the lofty rhetoric may be. The present paper explores one possible explanation: workers in the North profit from the exploitation of workers in the South through cheap commodities and services, and additional job opportunities. For example, wage-earners in the North can buy T-shirts so advantageously because their real wages are much higher than the real wages of labourers in the Global South. This is what I would like to call a relational inequality within the world working class: some workers are better off because other workers are worse off. The paper presents a very tentative historical outline of global relational inequality since the 1830s.


Com frequência, com demasiada frequência, a solidariedade da classe trabalhadora em nível internacional permanece frágil, condicionada ou inexistente na prática, qualquer que seja a retórica. Este artigo explora uma possível explicação: os trabalhadores do Norte se beneficiam da exploração dos trabalhadores do Sul através de produtos e serviços baratos e oportunidades adicionais de emprego. Por exemplo, os assalariados do Norte acham muito acessível comprar camisetas porque seus salários reais são muito mais altos do que os salários reais dos trabalhadores do Sul. Chamo isso de desigualdade relacional dentro da classe trabalhadora mundial: alguns trabalhadores estão em melhor situação porque outros estão em pior. O artigo apresenta um esboço histórico muito provisório da desigualdade relacional global desde os anos 1830.


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