Labor force society
Korean people went through a period of Japanese occupation, spanning a period of 35 years, which ended when Japan was defeated in World War II. However, that process of colonization created two new states in a different form.
The first was a race through advanced capital management methods and the ability to open up to new production mechanisms quickly, absorbing countless markets.
South Korea achieved the miracle of progress in a relatively short time compared to other countries in the process of development and modernization. These capabilities led to Korea taking the lead in many industries, occupying an advanced position in the ranks of great countries. Sociologists describe this as compact development, where progress has been achieved in just fifty years.
South Korea’s short trip to the top was not only the result of successes and persistence, but of the misery and struggle of millions of workers, housewives, school and university students, too. It was a long and arduous journey that took place every day from nine in the morning until late at night.
So, what we are trying to understand together, is how foreign and national workers suffer, and how the workforce and its suffering turn into a profit machine for the benefit of companies and factories that are considered the core of society – and sometimes the state itself.
The convulsive nature of capitalist production in South Korea is the same as that of capital in all countries, especially industrial ones. It is characterized by its sudden “also surprising” increases and cuts, for industrial production in particular which requires a movement that does not differ much in its nature we are talking about labor and unemployment in particular, and the periodic suffering of the working class in the labor market.
In order to reduce the political and social costs of these issues which are often accompanied by significant human tensions and misfortunes, it is in the interest of the capital that it be provided with workers coming from less industrialized countries, depending on their obedience that results from lack of employment and misery in their home countries.
It also depends on the differences in customs, traditions, and different languages between migrant laborers and the local, “national” working class. In order to develop the concept of true, fair and equitable production relations and a class unit that includes the entire workforce of all nationalities and countries in the same society.
Great migratory movements have played a role in all the history of capitalist modes of production. Russians and Arabs have moved across Europe, North Africans to France and Chinese to all regions of the Pacific Ocean, and many waves of immigrants to North America, and now refugees from Syria, Yemen, Egypt along with workers from Vietnam, Philippines, China and Mongolia to South Korea.
Although by different degrees of intensity, each of these migration waves have been accompanied by exploitation, oppression and discrimination, as migrants work in less-paid sectors, often forced to perform works that are a danger to their health, crammed into cabins, small rooms and metal containers, generally deprived of all vocational education or training or raising awareness of their rights in their mother tongues.
They are subjected to countless forms of discrimination (especially in order to obtain equal civil, political and union rights), in order to impede their cultural and moral development and to keep them demoralized, subject to double exploitation. Leaving them in a state of fragmentation far exceeds the situation of local and naturally organized national workers also under the threat of expulsion from work or forced deportation to their home countries if they start building any labor or union organizations.
Ideological precedents circulating in the ranks of local national workers help exacerbate this situation, as they justify double exploitation and keep the permanent division of the working class into adults and children, men and women, citizens and immigrants, Christians and Jews, black and white, Hebrews and Arabs, etc.
In turn, local workers in South Korea got a taste of the same pre-ideological perception, between men and women at work, and distinctions in pay and opportunities for advancement, which has led to the suffering of Korean society as a whole, as the birth-rate is decreasing. In addition, Confucian culture that demands respect for elders and those with authority is a burden Further above other class and discriminatory considerations for each worker.
Therefore, the working class as a whole cannot successfully wage its struggle for liberation – including defending its most direct and most primary interests – unless it unites and organizes in a way that emphasizes class solidarity and unity at the level of all workers.
The struggle against all forms of discrimination and double exploitation that women, children, school students, university students, immigrants, nationalities, and oppressed races face are not only a primary human and political obligation, It also corresponds to the class interest of all workers.
글 | Ibrahim Abdalla/이브라 기자 (이주민방송MWTV)
영어감수 | Dr. Farrah Sheikh/파라