Around a year ago Angry Workers of the World published an excellent document around the question of a workers’ insurrection, that looks at the matter in a very concrete and material way.
There is a huge amount in the document that can be discussed, but one thing in particular that stood out was this comment about how to tackle questions of international integration (emphasis added):
Maybe because of the generalisation of the ‘proletarian condition’ of being wage dependent and of the generalisation of ‘parliamentary democracy’ across the globe it now seems obsolete to talk about the impact of uneven development. Everything appears at the same time so similar (global village) and so different, once we look into details. The problem is that we clearly see the effect of regional differences on global class struggle, but:
a) we tend to explain these differences geopolitically or out of ‘national economies’ or even ethnically (oil producing nations, BRIC states, Arab Spring);
b) we celebrate a crude pluralism (‘patchwork of free and unfree labour; all sorts of proletarian income etc.);
c) we don’t develop revolutionary strategies of how regional struggles or struggles within certain stages of development relate to others.
That last bit is key. This question of how struggles in one part of the world affect other parts of the world is a fascinating and important area of study, and something that I personally started thinking about an awful lot during and after writing an analysis of Saudi Arabia and its historical roots in imperialism. It turned out that Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf petro-monarchies have played a major and pivotal role in the functioning of global capitalism, particularly in the restructuring toward neoliberalism after the 1970s, as described in detail in Adam Hanieh’s Capitalism and Class in the Gulf Arab States (2011). If the left-wing movements in the area had been successful in the ’50s and ’60s, it would have changed the course of world history.
Today the Gulf states’ massive oil resources are tightly integrated with global finance capital, as well as with a regional market of precarious migrant labor. A resurgence in communist struggle in this area would almost certainly destabilize global markets, and such a resurgence would almost certainly be embedded in either struggles by migrant workers from India/Pakistan/Bangladesh/Philippines, or in the struggles of the marginalized Shia populations of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain (who have historically been the backbone of leftist movements in the area).
In the case of migrant worker organizing, this would mean that radicals in South Asia and the Philippines have a critical role to play. Revolutionary organizing among the migrant workers of the Gulf will require deep connections with the homelands, and the establishment of some kind of “home bases” away from the ruthless police states of the Gulf.
The supply lines of the Gulf’s repressive apparatus are also a key target for disruption, and arguably a necessary condition for successful communist resurgence. Much of this apparatus is underwritten by the Western military-industrial complex and related surveillance and security organizations and companies. In the modern era, many of these surveillance/security companies are integrated with the tech industry. This gives another front on which radical tech workers can fight on.
And speaking of the tech industry, we can “close the loop” on the above analysis by looking at how many Indians migrate to the US to work in the tech industry (especially its core nexus in the San Francisco Bay Area), including in and around security firms. Perhaps a connection can be made between these migrants, and the lower-skilled migrants in the Gulf; after all both categories tend to hail from the southern Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. The material and social terrain exists here for a triangle of revolutionary class struggle to be developed between south India, the SF Bay Area, and the Persian Gulf.
This is all of course just one thread in the kind of analysis and strategizing needed to develop an international vision for class struggle.