Working-class exemplifies a modern workforce that lacks a personal means of production and relies on salaried labor to cater to their basic needs. Nowadays, roughly 1.5 billion people globally are categorized as working class (Aljazeera, 2019). Their population is growing progressively, and they have a powerful impact on local and international issues. The working-class comprise a considerable percentage of their society and workforce in developed nations, such as the US, France, or Britain. For decades, employees worked with little benefits associated with rising productivity, but capitalism has led to the formation of trade unions that defend workers' interests. Capitalism has played an integral role in ensuring that the working class has been entitled to their political and civil rights. In most countries, negotiations or state-mandated provisions have led to improved working conditions have led to less working hours, better healthcare, family, and safety benefits. If the working class is denied their fundamental rights, they opt to protest to compel the government to grant them the bourgeois-democratic rights.
Democracy has tamed capitalism. Hence, most nations have focused on public initiatives that empower the middle class to be more liberal and productive. Entrepreneurial labor rights have risen steadily, and blue-collar jobs have allowed the middle-class to live a lifestyle with numerous opportunities and possibilities. Technological advancement has destabilized industrial capitalism. Labour productivity in the manufacturing sector has raised relatively fast than other fields of the economy. In manufacturing industries, the same amount of quality work that was performed by numerous laborers has been automated, and few workers are required to facilitate the production process (Bosco, 2016, p. 376). Currently, most of the working-class are employed in service industries, such as public administration, entertainment, finance, health, and education. The dynamic shift of a majority of the working class from the manufacturing industries to the service sector has exemplified the post-industrial economy common in most nations.
Working Class Struggles in Hong Kong
In the recent past, Hong Kong has experienced remarkable protests regardless of the increasing pressure from the Carrie Lam administration and Beijing regime. The protesters have endorsed militancy tactics. The Hong Kong Movement has advanced from bourgeois liberal approaches to the class struggle technique. The demonstrators are struggling to trounce the acute social flaws generated by their capitalist leadership. Without a Marxist political system, socialist program, and class struggle ideas endorsed by reformist and bourgeois liberal leaders, there will be a constraint to the progress of the interests of the working-class in Hong Kong. On 5th August 2019, the Hong Kong Movement attempted to make a historic mass strike (Aljazeera, 2019). They were determined to express their resentment on reformist betrayals and historical Stalinist developments that denied generations of Hong Kong working class the opportunity to fight for liberty. The current mass protests have embraced a complicated and dangerous confluence characterized by pro-imperialistic public figures' interests, perspectives, and slogans.
The general Hong Kong protests by the working class signal a new form of mounting public pressure caused by the government's extradition policy. Hence, most staff from different industries, such as banking and finance, construction, engineering, civil service, airport, and rail, have joined mass strikes to disrupt the city's vital operations. Likewise, trade union activists did not organize the demonstration, but they participated to ensure that the workers' initiatives succeeded in expressing their grievances. As per Tsang, Lo, and Wong (2019), the Confederation of Trade Unions (CTU) that supports the pan-democratic group nominally did not disown about 200,000 of their union members who participated in the protests. The working class' participation in the mass protests exposes the core economic and social driving forces in society. The Hong Kong Movement's leaders have insisted on the absolute withdrawal of the extradition policy, the removal of indictments against protesters, free and fair elections, the resignation of Carrie Lam, and the establishment of an independent investigation into police violence.
The working-class strikes challenge the lack of fundamental democratic rights, the deteriorating social and economic crisis. Most of Hong Kong's moguls who dominate its economy have close affiliations with the Chinese Communist Party based in Beijing. Conversely, most of the resident in Hong Kong struggle to cater for their necessities in one of the most expensive cities globally. Approximately 20% of the population in Hong Kong live below the poverty line (Parry, 2019, p. l7). Most of the residents live in substandard and cramped dwellings and receive minimal support from their governmental welfare services. The persistent mass protests have continued from more than two months and have been backed by almost 25% of the city's population (Kan, 2019, p. 45). The mass protests occurring in Hong Kong depict the renaissance of the working class that is driven by the worsening global capitalist crisis. Similarly, the Yellow Vest protests in France, the mass Indian strikes, and the mass demonstrations in the American Puerto Rico colony signify the popular rise of global working-class opposition.
The mass demonstrations in Hong Kong are a sign of a revolt of the working class throughout Asia, especially in China. For example, in China, several industrial employees work in extremely exploitative settings in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone and adjacent cities. Beijing's drive for a statute that permits extradition from Hong Kong to Mainland China was stirred by fears that the city had critics and dissidents who could incite political resistance in China (Iturbe, 2019). Therefore, the China Communist Party's veiled ultimatum to use the military to subdue the Hong Kong protests were triggered by the anxiety that the strikes might inspire Chinese workers to demand their democratic and social rights. Regardless of the heavy police-state censorship and repression, several signs exemplify increased industrial demonstrations by Chinese laborers. The China Labour Bullet claimed that the number of strikes recorded has increased progressively from about 1250 to 1700 between 2017 and 2018 (Parry, 2019, p. 24). Therefore, the upsurge of the Hong Kong Movement has inspired Chinese workers to demand from their essential social and economic rights.
No one can undermine the determination and courage of the Hong Kong demonstrators to demand their fundamental democratic rights. Besides, most of the protesters are contemptuous about the pan-democrats representing numerous corporate elite in Hong Kong are concerned with Beijing's interference on their issues (Aljazeera, 2019). However, the working class lacks a precise political alternative strategy to oppose the Hong Kong administration and the Chinese Communist Party's regime.
The working class has opted to use mass protests to express three fundamental issues that Lam's administration should address to quell the demonstrations. Firstly, the strikes are caused by nationalism issues. For instance, the parochial views of Hong Kong separatist factions purport that Chinese mainlanders are liable for the worsening economic and social conditions in Hong Kong (Iturbe, 2019). However, only a unified resistance from the Chinese working class will lead to an upheaval against Beijing's Stalinist bureaucracy and its administrative domination in Hong Kong as a practical approach on the broad international strategy to repel capitalism.
Secondly, the working class should withdrawal its political affiliation from all groups of the ruling class. Corporate factions that support autonomy and democratic rights do so to enhance their profits and position to exploit the working class. The Hong Kong Movement has encouraged workers to reject individuals who propose British and American imperialism as an alternative to guarantee political democracy in Hong Kong. The pro-imperialist allies are not concerned about workers' liberty in Hong Kong. They have misused the human rights slogan continuously as the cause of war and confrontation. Currently, the Trump government has hastily accelerated its military build-up and economic war throughout the Indo-Pacific region against China (Tang & Lee, 2014, p. 65). Any American backing for the mass demonstrations in Hong Kong would be perceived as a scheme to put undue pressure on Beijing.12
Thirdly, the fight for liberty among the working class is absolutely linked to the struggle for basic social rights to decent education, healthcare, job, and affordable housing. The integration of genuine socialism and Marxism with falsified Stalinism and Maoism has led to the inadequate leadership among the working class in Hong Kong. The establishment of radical leadership in the Chinese working class needs an elucidation of vital and strategic experiences of the 20th Century especially the Stalinism betrayals in China (Kan, 2019, p. 44). Socialism ideologies inspired the Chinese Communist Party and Mao Zedong to establish a conservative nationalist philosophy that produced disastrous leadership until 1978 when capitalism was adopted as a restoration strategy (Aljazeera, 2019). Furthermore, in 1997, when the Hong Kong colony was handed back to China, the British imperials did not suggest on either socialism or capitalism policies being used in their previous territory (Parry, 2019, p. l2). The Chinese government did not integrate the two diverse ideologies, but capitalism was applied throughout China. The World Trotskyist Movement provided key historic insights on the struggle to eradicate Stalinism for almost a century. Therefore, the working class in Hong Kong should be inspired to endure governmental oppression to prompt a political negotiation that seeks to address their essential concerns.
Historical Perspectives on the Mass Strikes
Western Imperialist ideas have empowered the ruling class to establish a bourgeois dictatorship system that oppresses the working class. Hence, the ruling class has been bestowed with various tools to protect their status that lead to the incorporation of bourgeois democracy that prioritizes absolute private property ownership, law and order to retain their capitalist accumulation and the free market that exploits the working class. Greene (2019), argued that institutions of bourgeois democracy grant the ruling class effective schemes to repel self-liberation of the proletariat to retain their quo status. The working class should strive to embrace self-emancipation that allows them to vote for their representatives from various political parties. For that reason, universal suffrage will enable the Hong Kong working class to gauge their social and political maturity.
The Beijing government is hesitant about granting democratic rights to the working class in Hong Kong. Consequently, the regime is trying desperately to prevent any attempt that will guarantee a liberalized working-class society. According to Bosco (2016), the Chinese Communist Party's bureaucracy is a vital means to avert a Chinese working-class revolution (p. 379). It has to prioritize its survival by initiating capitalist counterrevolution tactics that deny the working class bourgeois-democratic rights.
The Chinese Communist Party has utilized its capitalistic ideologies to retain their authority over the working class and to uphold its regime in Hong Kong. The working class plays an essential role in the Chinese economy since it provided the required...
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