Some thoughts on white workers and the problems with “Third-Worldism”

a lot of “third-worldists” look at how white people are now, or at their worst crimes, and say, “That’s it for white workers, no work to be done there.” but that’s an unmarxist way of looking at it. marxism teaches us that everything is always transforming, that there are contradictions in all things.

one of the “third-worldist” bibles, “Settlers: The Mythology of the White Proletariat,” does contain many sobering examples of times the white working class betrayed oppressed-nations people (aka poc). but one nugget that i think most “third-worldists” ignore is the fact that in the most revolutionary of moments e.g. with the early iww and the 1930s CPUSA, at those most revolutionary times there absolutely were large contingents of revolutionary white workers. the more revolutionary the moment, the more white workers became legit, genuinely internationalist communists.

the book accidentally undermines its own premise: in fact, white people can change and do become revolutionary–there just has to be a viable long-term alternative to the existing power structure to make them willing en masse to abandon their short-term interests with white supremacy. this may be sad, but it’s the truth–it’s marxism, which teaches us that masses of people at core are gonna look after their material interests.

the most important thing, though, is that these two desires, short-term white-person desire to keep white privilege and long-term worker desire for socialism, both are REAL, and in fact both desires *already exist* in the mind of the white worker. it’s just that the long-term desire is not offered any convincing possible way of being fulfilled at the moment. the more something is real and exists and is genuinely offering white workers a way forward into a decent future and it’s not a super-duper long-shot, the more white workers will join the communist movement and abandon the less-and-less-appealing crumbs of whiteness in favor of a world where class is abolished and humanity is thriving.

so what we can do is prioritize the oppressed-nations working classes, build that viable alternative–which is a strong communist party that can realistically promise a socialist future–but all along never ignore white chauvinism, struggle against it arduously, and be doing the hard work of winning over the white workers that we can. and as long as we remain staunch internationalists and refuse to center white workers, then we will win over all the white workers who can be won over to genuine communism.