Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

The Periphery and the Core: All Under Imperialist Occupation

By Troy Southgate

Having watched a YouTube video in which an American leftist provides a personal critique of the H.G. Wells novel, The Time Machine (1895), I feel that I should use his analysis to highlight at least one of the difficulties presented by class-based thinking. Outlining the characteristics of the Eloi and Morlock races that Wells includes in his nightmare vision of the future and who are encountered by a Victorian time-traveller, the speaker went on to explain how the former are portrayed as a surface-dwelling people who live in a kind of naive utopia. He also describes how their subterranean counterparts, the Morlocks, seem brutal and primitive by comparison and live in complete darkness. We are then informed that the role of the cannibalistic Morlocks is to serve the needs of the Eloi, feeding and clothing them in exchange for the odd Eloi sacrifice. So far so good.

However, whilst the symbiotic relationship between the two races is rightly compared to the manner in which Europe and North America rely on the exploitation of the Third World for their sustenance, our left-wing friend then informs his viewers that we – i.e. those of us living in the West – are the Eloi and that the denizens of the Asian sweat shops, not to mention the economic migrants, are the twenty-first century equivalent of the Morlocks. He even uses the term ‘Eloi’ in direct relation to the ‘working class’. This point is emphasised and re-emphasised, reminding me of something I used to say to my children about being able to live a relatively comfortable lifestyle as a result of people in many parts of Africa and Asia having to struggle far harder. After all, there is no disputing that those on the periphery are being ruthlessly exploited and that their resources are being exported to the West at the point of a gun.

Nonetheless, despite all this it is completely wrong to claim that the ‘working classes’ of Europe and North America may be equated with the futuristic Eloi folk of the novel. Typically, the leftist mentality is to apply one set of rules to those living outside the West and another to those of us contained within its borders. Indeed, whilst I am a lifelong opponent of imperialism and colonialism I find myself constantly having to remind leftists that those of us in the so-called First World are under occupation by the same families and puppet-governments that wreak so much havoc elsewhere. It is very easy to employ the term ‘Morlock’ in relation to those abroad – something which, in itself, may well be a form of reverse racism – but the powerful dynasties which deprive others of their very birthright have always been perfectly happy to subject their own captive populations to genocide, torture, imprisonment, deportation, debt slavery, exploitative labour and religious persecution.

To suggest that most of us here are more privileged than the average Congolese miner is probably true, but we still have far more in common with him than the scheming billionaires of the globalist ruling class. To drive a wedge between those of us who lack wealth and power, something the politics of the class warrior is renowned for, is like trying to compare the food at two different prison camps when a bloodthirsty minority elsewhere is sitting down to a nightly banquet.

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