“Ironically, it is now the managerial elite of international capital that is likely to complain of the false consciousness of those workers on whom the idea of the nation retains some grip (for example those who oppose easy immigration). It is now the capitalist who says, ‘Workers of the world, unite!,’ the better to dissolve those ‘inefficiencies’ in the labor market (that is, high wages) that arise from political boundaries. The slogan once expressed a hope to organise a body of workers who were dispersed and hence exploitable, whereas now it captures the desire for a mass of ‘human resources’, exploitable because undifferentiated. This latter intention is accompanied by all the easy moral prestige of multiculturalism, so it finds its champions on the erstwhile Left. Those at the top of the food chain get a new identity in which to take pride, that of the sushi-eating, Brazilian-girlfriend-having cosmopolitan. But what does the autoworker get as industries lose their national character? It is harder to take pride in one’s work as ‘a Rolls Royce man,’ for example, if the car is assembled from parts made who knows where.”
▪ Matthew B. Crawford, Shop Class as Soulcraft (Penguin, 2009) extract from pages 188 to 189.