The working class and the "immigration debate"

The Kaiser Chiefs: you can deport them

A critical response to an article about immigration in the Financial Times quoted favourably on a "pro-working class" website containing anti-immigrant misinformation and scaremongering.

I have been meaning to write more for a while, however often writing something from scratch I find I don't know where to start. Therefore instead I thought I would try to practice by analysing and critiquing other texts. I would appreciate feedback and comments on the article and my writing style.

The text below was one I noticed last year, and I was pointed to see it posted with favourable comment by a socialist (and libcom poster no less) on a socialist/"pro-working class" website, Meanwhile at the bar (which had involvement from people around and supportive of the Independent Working Class Association and Liberty & Solidarity, some of whose members and supporters have espoused similar views).

The article is Time for a debate on immigration by Martin Wolf in the Financial Times from 2009, and it was commented by the poster oisleep that it was "fairly decent", and you can read it online here. I thought about doing a more general post about the irrationality of workers supporting immigration controls overall, but for now I will limit myself to just addressing this set of arguments.

Wolf begins by responding to former Home Secretary Alan Johnson's admission that "the government [had] been “maladroit” in its handling of immigration" by describing this admission as "British understatement" and stating instead that in fact "it [was] dishonest: it … pursued a radical policy, with profound consequences, on weak grounds, without serious debate. That is why the British National Party is on BBC television."

He continues: "The government has been able to get away with its dishonesty because immigration is the “third rail” of politics. Few wish to discuss the topic openly. But some discussion is essential. Present policies have big implications. These should be evaluated and discussed openly. That is the democratic way."

This kind of sentiment often crops up in many of the myriad news articles in mass circulation newspapers, TV news reports, televised debates, etc: that the immigration issue is not discussed openly. This is clearly a contradiction in terms. Discussion of immigration is everywhere, in much greater proportion to its relevance even I would argue. Compare it with much more significant issues which really don't get "discussed openly" in the media, for example the billions of pounds in subsidies given by taxpayers to the pensions of the rich, the 20,000+ people in the UK every year who are killed by their work, etc.

Wolf then states a few initial "facts" about future projected population figures, namely that the UK population is predicted to increase from 60 million to 70 million by 2030 and that immigration is predicted to be a major contributor to this. It appears that the intention of these figures is to make them sound scarily large. However, I can well imagine Wolf's grandfather writing in Ye Olde Financial Times 100 years saying that the population was 30 million and could hit 40 million by 1950. Which of course it did1. But so what? Was the UK of 1950 a much more terrible place to live than 1910? Of course not.

In terms of population density, the UK is nowhere near the top of tables. Current population density is 650 people per square mile: well below Japan (836), Belgium (889), the Netherlands (1259) and utterly dwarfed by places like Hong Kong or Singapore (18,000+)2 - all places without social problems significantly worse than the UK.

Now, moving on we come to one huge assumption which is very significant in Wolf's view, and that of many other people but in fact is completely baseless:

The UK has a real income per head of about five times the world average. One must assume that the inflow, under unrestricted immigration, might be numbered in the tens, if not hundreds, of millions. The impact is not hard to imagine.

Now for a lot of people I think this is why people support immigration controls, because they actually think this would happen.

In fact most people are loath to leave their friends, their families and their whole lives behind to move countries. However, you don't just have to take my word from their concrete historical examples which demonstrate this is untrue.

For starters, for most of history immigration controls haven't existed. And despite the global North being so much richer than the global South, migration from Europe to Africa and the Americas since the 16th century has been double the migration into Europe from Africa.3 In fact, immigrants have been actively sought out and encouraged to come (or forced with slavery) to work in the North.

Another recent example of the abolition of border controls was when the USA allowed open migration from the Caribbean. Between 1950 and 1980, when borders were closed, only 0.6% of the Caribbean population moved to the US and England, despite the obvious economic attractions. If this figure were to be applied world wide now the figure would be about 24 million per year or a growth of about 2.4% in population of the industrialised countries - probably under the anticipated labour demand in several European countries.4

There is more than a whiff of Western arrogance in the idea that everyone would just love to come and live here, with our crappy weather and often even crappier job opportunities.

Wolf then discusses the bourgeois economic arguments around immigration. As communists, these don't interest us, as we recognise that the interests of workers do not coincide with the interests of the economy. So I will leave these and move on to the others.

Wolf now acknowledges that the sheer number of people is not an issue, despite having presented the scaremongering figures earlier, stating that England is not "full up", and that 700 million people could fit here with a population density similar to London. However he is basically arguing against an increase in population - stating that "the impact of accommodating a population increase of 10 million, equal to seven Birminghams, would be substantial". However, when he continues he unveils the real problem: "This is particularly true in a country unwilling to expand the housing stock or invest in infrastructure."

The issue of shortage of housing is completely separate. There is already a housing shortage and widespread homelessness, and there always has been, regardless of the population. This is due to housing being constructed largely for profit than for need. It is not profitable to build housing for people who can't afford it! And of course scarcity of housing is vital for the profitability of house building as it pushes prices up.

Even if there were no immigration, the population will still rise. Of course building housing for 10 million people can't be done overnight, but housing for 60 million people went up okay, and other countries obviously have much higher populations - so this is a complete red herring.

Next we get to a really key point in the article, which actually displays his prejudice more than anything else, and makes it particularly concerning that a socialist would consider this article "fairly decent". He states that "diversity brings social benefits. But it also brings costs. These costs arise from declining trust and erosion of a sense of shared values."

These are just assertions. Wolf does not explain even what he means by "trust", or any evidence that it is "declining" and certainly not any evidence that "diversity" has any effect on it at all. As for a sense of shared values, these don't necessarily have anything to do with nationality. I certainly don't have many shared values with white British Tories or racists, or fans of The Kaiser Chiefs, but that doesn't mean that I think we should change the law so that we can boot them out of the country (apart from The Kaiser Chiefs fans).

Wolf then tries to give this clearly prejudiced view a liberal veneer by stating that "such costs are likely to be particularly high when immigrants congregate in communities that reject some values of the wider community, not least over the role of women in society" and "it is not unreasonable to feel concern over such rifts. I certainly do."

Again, no evidence is presented to back up these assertions. As I said above I know plenty of white English people whom I don't consider I have "shared values" with (and I'm sure they'd feel the same about me), and plenty of white English people have dodgy views on women, gays, etc. But that doesn't mean that I don't think I shouldn't share the same geographical space with them. Because really, what difference does it make what nationality or ethnicity of people you live around? We have the choice to freely associate with whomever we please, so we can surround ourselves (as most of us do) with people with whom we do share values, and it's great that we have the opportunity to do so with people from different backgrounds, from different countries and different ethnicities. Imposing restrictions on migration not only restricts our possibilities of socialising and communicating with people from other areas, but it also risks international backlash against British citizens living elsewhere. Your average British emigrant may not share many values with many people in their new country, but they still have the freedom to live there.

In conclusion, while that article may have been written in reasonable language, really it just presents assertion as fact in order to argue for immigration controls - which pretty much is the mass media approach to migration as a whole. What is a real shame in this instance is that this media bombardment is so overwhelming that a fair few self-declared anarchists and socialists, who would normally be more critical, are falling for it and actively supporting anti-working class policies.

Nationalism of any sort has no place in the workers' movement. By accepting the government and the media's line in any way that other workers are the problem, it sets us against one another and reduces the possibility of us uniting to fight together around the real problems which we face: shortage of housing, low wages, job losses and crumbling public services. The slogan is "workers of the world unite!", not "workers of the world unite! Unless you're a foreigner".

Comments

Benzo89
Sep 8 2015 22:01
Steven. wrote:
Benzo89 wrote:
white kids get beat up when they live in majority black areas etc.

What is your evidence for this, and also what area of the UK do you reckon is "majority black"?

Also do you acknowledge your claim that migrant workers can't organise was wrong?

I never said immigrants can't organise, I said getting the working class to show solidarity with and unite with immigrants wasn't going to happen. Seeing as most working class people are against immigration, I am right.

And my evidence? What that black people and Asian also pick on minorities within their areas and that this happens everywhere in every society?

You have never known a white kid who grew up in a predominantly black or other ethnic majority neighbourhood? Are you seriously suggesting only white kids fuck with minorities within their area?

A boy of nine who was found hanged is believed to have killed himself after he was ‘bullied for being white’ by an Asian gang at school.
Aaron Dugmore – thought to be one of the youngest children in the UK to commit suicide – was discovered in his bedroom after being tormented for months, his parents said.
They said Aaron was threatened with a plastic knife by one Asian pupil, who warned him: ‘Next time it will be a real one.’
He was also allegedly told by another pupil that ‘all the white people should be dead’ and he was forced to hide from the bullies in the playground at lunchtime.
Aaron’s mother, Kelly-Marie Dugmore, 30, and stepfather Paul Jones, 43, said that despite complaints to the school, nothing was done to stop the bullying.
Aaron had recently started in Year Five at Erdington Hall Primary School in Birmingham, a school where 75 per cent of pupils come from ethnic minority backgrounds.
According to staff at the school he had already ‘settled in quickly’ with his classmates after he joined the school last September when his family moved nearby.
The school, which caters for 450 pupils aged three to 11, received an ‘inadequate’ rating by Ofsted inspectors last year.

‘Eventually he told us that he was being bullied by a group of Asian children at school and had to hide from them in the playground at lunchtime.’
His mother claimed she went to see the head teacher of the school several times only to be told: ‘You didn’t have to come to this school, you chose to come here.’
A neighbour of the boy’s grandmother earlier told how ‘he had been targeted by a gang of older bullies at the school’.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2283777/Boy-9-hanged-bullied-white.html

What a shock, it does happen, by every group, against every other group.

Benzo89
Sep 8 2015 21:59

It seems odd you have to be defensive about the realities of all races bullying other races when they are in the minority in an area or school, as if to acknowledge that fact is to somehow take attention away from white on POC bullying. Odd also you asked me for evidence of something obvious within all societies but didn't ask the poster who claimed to of been bullied for evidence. As if one deserves more evidence than the other. Here is another example though, along with the experiences of many people who were the only white kid in a majority POC area or school. Just like those who are non white who get bullied in majority white areas and schools.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/shocking-online-bullying-video-goes-2232656

S. Artesian
Sep 8 2015 22:58
Quote:
Where are people getting this idea that working class people don't want low paying jobs, for millions of us that is all we can get. It is a fantasy that everyone in the west has a degree and thus won't do cleaning work, or kitchen work, or manual labour. These jobs are the ones we are losing access to, because employers can easily find Polish or Middle eastern immigrants to take less pay than we will. That does not mean we don't want those jobs, it means we expect minimum wage, which workers of this country fought hard for

From the jobs sectors in which the migrants are concentrated: "entry level" low wage jobs in service industries; or in agricultural seasonal labor; or in food processing where unions have been busted (with the connivance and participation of the top union leadership). Georgia, which passed a highly restrictive piece of legislation, and Alabama, equally hostile to migrants, found themselves without the necessary labor power for agriculture during the harvest seasons. You think those agricultural enterprises simply refused to hire white displaced workers?

I'll give you some facts and figures in a bit. And I said those were the conditions in the US, but you can look at the jobs the migrant labor took in Spain, for example-- agricultural production, "grey economy" service jobs, and sweatshop type employment. Exactly why do you think pre-2008, these Spanish enterprises were more than willing to hire migrant laborers?

fingers malone
Sep 9 2015 09:10

deleted

Benzo89
Sep 8 2015 23:11
fingers malone wrote:
Benzo89 wrote:
Odd also you asked me for evidence of something obvious within all societies but didn't ask the poster who claimed to of been bullied for evidence.

Oh Jesus here we are again with the 'prove it.'

Well, you know what, I can't prove it. Short of asking my mum to log on to an anarchist-communist website to tell a load of strangers about her kid being bullied by racists, which, you know, I think she was quite upset about at the time, no, I can't prove anything I'm saying.

Which was my point, I would simply take your word for it. As I said I was beaten up in school and I would hope Steven would accept my word for it.

Steven though didn't demand evidence from you, but did from me. As if I could simply go around and compile those numbers. Instead I provided links to evidence of whites in majority POC schools and neighbourhoods who are bullied because of their skin colour.

fingers malone
Sep 9 2015 09:10

deleted

S. Artesian
Sep 9 2015 00:54

See, just for starters, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/forbrn.pdf

And this: http://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2013/foreign-born/home.htm

And this: http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2014/article/job-characteristics-among-working-parents.htm particularly Table 2 which shows the declining percentage of immigrant workers as the size of the workforce at the place of employment increases. Analysis has shown that wages are usually higher at workplaces employing larger numbers of workers.

And then there's the [much] greater workplace fatality rate for immigrant workers:http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/cwc/occupational-fatalities-among-the-immigrant-population.pdf

And this from the US Congressional Budget Office: http://www.slideshare.net/cbo/the-role-of-immigrants-in-the-us-labor-market-an-update

And there's this:https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/114th-congress-2015-2016/reports/49868-Immigration4.pdf which makes it abundantly clear that immigrant laborers, particularly the undocumented pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits.

Bottom line: immigrant Hispanic workers represent the most exploited sector of the working class. Anyone who thinks that the poorest, most exploited fraction of the working class undermines "solidarity" or class consciousness is either ignorant of the facts, or deliberately distorting the reality to accommodate his or her own [racial] prejudice.

Benzo89
Sep 9 2015 00:53
S. Artesian wrote:
See, just for starters, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/forbrn.pdf

And this: http://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2013/foreign-born/home.htm

And this: http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2014/article/job-characteristics-among-working-parents.htm particularly Table 2 which shows the declining percentage of immigrant workers as the size of the workforce at the place of employment increases. Analysis has shown that wages are usually higher at workplaces employing larger numbers of workers.

And then there's the [much] greater workplace fatality rate for immigrant workers:http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/cwc/occupational-fatalities-among-the-immigrant-population.pdf

And this from the US Congressional Budget Office: http://www.slideshare.net/cbo/the-role-of-immigrants-in-the-us-labor-market-an-update

Bottom line: immigrant Hispanic workers represent the most exploited sector of the working class. Anyone who thinks that the poorest, most exploited fraction of the working class undermines "solidarity" or class consciousness is either ignorant of the facts, or deliberately distorting the reality to accommodate his or her own [racial] prejudice.

Right, and those facts are true within the U.S context. However they don't adress my point, that those job sectors are now the domain of immigrants because of the cheaper labour force they provide.

I am a cleaner and many of my friends were. When I started many years ago many of the places I worked I was earning around £8.50 an hour. Since leaving another job and returning to cleaning for the places I used to work are now filled with immigrants and thus the wages being offered have dropped, due to immigrants settling for lower wages. Many of my friends who worked as cleaners have also since stopped getting cleaning work because the wages are lower and the jobs have become shitty low hour contract jobs.

They now don't want that work because it no longer provides us decent wages. So yeah now most british workers might not want those jobs, because immigrant labour has subverted the standards we previously enjoyed. You are fitting the facts to suit your already established political view.

I don't blame the immigrants for this, I blame the people making money off both of us. However pretending immigration does not have a negative affect on native workers in the poorest sectors is not realistic, to anyone who has experienced it and can tell you it is.

S. Artesian
Sep 9 2015 01:03

No, the jobs weren't reduced in wages because immigrants became available; the reduced wages in the US followed the assault on US living and working standards initiated after the strike wave of 1974 exhausted itself. That's what happened in industry after industry in the US. It was only after that assault, and defeat of the workers, that immigrant labor was brought in to resume production in the "new" corporate entities.

Meanwhile your earlier claim was

Quote:
Where are people getting this idea that working class people don't want low paying jobs, for millions of us that is all we can get. It is a fantasy that everyone in the west has a degree and thus won't do cleaning work, or kitchen work, or manual labour. These jobs are the ones we are losing access to, because employers can easily find Polish or Middle eastern immigrants to take less pay than we will. That does not mean we don't want those jobs, it means we expect minimum wage, which workers of this country fought hard for

Now you back off and state

Quote:
They now don't want that work because it no longer provides us decent wages

.

Wages didn't decline because of immigration. Not in the US, and I'll bet not in the UK. Wages declined because Thatcher and Reagan's assault on workers was so successful. Look when immigration really picks up.

You've got it ass backwards.

Benzo89
Sep 9 2015 01:18
S. Artesian wrote:
No, the jobs weren't reduced in wages because immigrants became available; the reduced wages in the US followed the assault on US living and working standards initiated after the strike wave of 1974 exhausted itself. That's what happened in industry after industry in the US. It was only after that assault, and defeat of the workers, that immigrant labor was brought in to resume production in the "new" corporate entities.

Meanwhile your earlier claim was

Quote:
Where are people getting this idea that working class people don't want low paying jobs, for millions of us that is all we can get. It is a fantasy that everyone in the west has a degree and thus won't do cleaning work, or kitchen work, or manual labour. These jobs are the ones we are losing access to, because employers can easily find Polish or Middle eastern immigrants to take less pay than we will. That does not mean we don't want those jobs, it means we expect minimum wage, which workers of this country fought hard for

Now you back off and state

Quote:
They now don't want that work because it no longer provides us decent wages

.

Well they did lower because of immigrant labour as we were being paid £8.50 when it was mostly indigenous workers and the wages and contract types went down after more and more immigrants started working there.

Unless you can somehow come up with some other way to desperately try and deny it so you can still maintain it has no affect on native workers, despite this being incredibly dishonest, as thousands of workers who have experienced the same thing as me will point out to you.

You can admit it while still supporting immigrants. Or you can deny it and leave the only people admitting it being the right, who are using it to recruit those poor, working class people who are feeling the brunt of it.

And the two points I made which you tried to show as being at odds with one another are not. They are one and the same, migrants drive down wages and then natives indeed don't want them, because the immigrant labour drives the wages down so low they are not worth having compared to what they were paying before immigrant undercutting wages made them so undesirable.

Pennoid
Sep 9 2015 01:29

So you SUPPORT the communist position, but you think that it is pointless?????

And you never really replied to my contention that given the issue, and the structure of society, the nature of wage-slavery, both the short-term and long term interests of workers is served by organizing internationally/ without national prejudice. It makes me think you're more interested in a ax. One that you would like to grind.

Benzo89
Sep 9 2015 01:35
Pennoid wrote:
So you SUPPORT the communist position, but you think that it is pointless?????

And you never really replied to my contention that given the issue, and the structure of society, the nature of wage-slavery, both the short-term and long term interests of workers is served by organizing internationally/ without national prejudice. It makes me think you're more interested in a ax. One that you would like to grind.

I simply stated, you can either support capitalism and statism or anarchism and class struggle. Immigrant labour does negatively affect native workers, so based on your political beliefs you deal with it in one of three ways:

Anarchist position: Immigrant labour does drive down wages and affect native workers under capitalism, you accept this but argue that all workers need to unite and overthrow capitalism. Until it is overthrown however immigrant labour will affect native workers

Statist Capitalist position: Immigrant labour drives down native workers wages and takes jobs from the native population. Reduce or stop immigration to deal with the issue. Value british workers over foreign workers

Libertarian/free market fundamentalist position: If capital can cross borders so can labour, nationalism and borders artificially inflate wages in the west, opening the borders leads to wages evening out.

Trying to argue based on Anarchist beliefs, within the context of a capitalist system is disingenuous, as your intention is not what is truly best for native workers under capitalism, but the abolishment of capitalism, nations and borders.

Pennoid
Sep 9 2015 02:06
Quote:
Trying to argue based on Anarchist beliefs, within the context of a capitalist system is disingenuous, as your intention is not what is truly best for native workers under capitalism, but the abolishment of capitalism, nations and borders.

Ergh that's not what you simply stated.

What is "truly best for native workers under capitalism" IS THE ABOLITION OF CLASSES. There is no "out" to this problem short of that. Who do you think is arguing otherwise? Again, some people dispute your characterization of the problem (That immigrants "take" jobs, again this is a meaningless phrase). But I don't think anyone here would hide that opinion from a co-worker or dispute it.

And these are not just "anarchist beliefs." You seem to think that anarchism is just a set of random principles that people pick out and favor (never mind communism). It's not, it's a theoretical approach, which implies some analytic framework by which to make sense of phenomenon in the world and take action.

Indeed if I wanted to get a co-worker on board with my line of reasoning, I would start from a point of shared understanding (say, like the fact that wages are just the price of our labor-power or ability work; or that the profit that the company makes is value that we create) and then move from there toward the more complex problems.

How does sitting at home descending into alcoholism and listening to Limbaugh "serve the interests" of workers, even narrowly? It rather seems to me that Limbaugh and others appeal to certain perceptions, and stereotypes, as a means to generating/getting an income/advertising base and supporting their show, and in the mean time peddling garbage.

How does lacing up your boots and crushing the neck of some poor Haitian immigrant make your life any better, or solve the problems of unemployment, job competition? They don't.

You seem to be obsessed with this idea that "No Leftist will admit job-competition!" No one has disputed that. Certainly I have repeatedly suggested that I agree that it happens, and that it sucks. What people have disputed is:

a) the extrapolation of anecdotal evidence (which you offer) to the level of statistical evidence (which disputes you)
b) the solution to the problems (a line of discussion you have dropped completely).

S. Artesian
Sep 9 2015 02:19
Quote:
Trying to argue based on Anarchist beliefs, within the context of a capitalist system is disingenuous, as your intention is not what is truly best for native workers under capitalism, but the abolishment of capitalism, nations and borders.

Fuck you, plain and simple. You are the class enemy. Fucking "nativist." The defeat of the working class organizations, with the cooperation and cowardice of those very organizations [remember the miners' strike you git?, or the meat-packing strikes in the US?] preceded the influx of immigrant laborers driven for their homes by civil war, or economic deprivation by the same "free market" assaults that were used against workers in the "advanced countries."

This is no such thing as "native workers." That's the fundamental truth you seek to obscure.

My bet is you didn't get beat up for being "white" or whatever, but for being a white dickhead.

Tyrion
Sep 9 2015 03:37

Benzo, it's not at all clear to me what you've written here that couldn't just as easily be applied as an argument for the harm that women entering into the workplace has had on the pre-existing working class and so we shouldn't be so dismissive of men who want women barred from employment.

Or maybe you should take up the fight against young people entering the workforce. After all, since they are less likely to have families to support, they're probably willing to work for less and so they undercut the wages of the working class and take the jobs of older workers. And leftists certainly don't spend much time focusing on the harm that young people have on the working class. And certainly I've known plenty of workers who complain about "millenials" and I can't imagine the threat of having their job taken by someone younger, cheaper, and perhaps more pliable helps. Why aren't you taking up this cause?

Benzo89
Sep 9 2015 09:41
S. Artesian wrote:
Quote:
Trying to argue based on Anarchist beliefs, within the context of a capitalist system is disingenuous, as your intention is not what is truly best for native workers under capitalism, but the abolishment of capitalism, nations and borders.

Fuck you, plain and simple. You are the class enemy. Fucking "nativist." The defeat of the working class organizations, with the cooperation and cowardice of those very organizations [remember the miners' strike you git?, or the meat-packing strikes in the US?] preceded the influx of immigrant laborers driven for their homes by civil war, or economic deprivation by the same "free market" assaults that were used against workers in the "advanced countries."

This is no such thing as "native workers." That's the fundamental truth you seek to obscure.

My bet is you didn't get beat up for being "white" or whatever, but for being a white dickhead.

Yes, my acceptance of the fact immigration affects native workers somehow blows your mind. The fact I have saidnumerous times I support immigration simply won't do because for you, only denial of the fact is good enough.

Ah here come the personal attacks, a sure sign someone can't prove their position so resorts to bullying, how tolerant of you. Well done.

Benzo89
Sep 9 2015 09:43
Tyrion wrote:
Benzo, it's not at all clear to me what you've written here that couldn't just as easily be applied as an argument for the harm that women entering into the workplace has had on the pre-existing working class and so we shouldn't be so dismissive of men who want women barred from employment.

Or maybe you should take up the fight against young people entering the workforce. After all, since they are less likely to have families to support, they're probably willing to work for less and so they undercut the wages of the working class and take the jobs of older workers. And leftists certainly don't spend much time focusing on the harm that young people have on the working class. And certainly I've known plenty of workers who complain about "millenials" and I can't imagine the threat of having their job taken by someone younger, cheaper, and perhaps more pliable helps. Why aren't you taking up this cause?

I don't take up the cause of anti immigration, I merely state that it harms native workers under capitalism.I can support immigration and not lie about its affect on workers.

Auld-bod
Sep 9 2015 10:01

I don’t think anyone should be accused of lying.
There is a fundamental contradiction, for a communist, in supporting immigration if you consider it detrimental to the real interests of the working class. My view is that the issue of immigration exposes a limitation in the consciousness of some sections of the working class. This must be confronted and argued against not given any patronising sympathy. The last major bust up in my family was over this very issue.

Benzo89
Sep 9 2015 10:05
Auld-bod wrote:
I don’t think anyone should be accused of lying.
There is a fundamental contradiction, for a communist, in supporting immigration if you consider it detrimental to the real interests of the working class. My view is that the issue of immigration exposes a limitation in the consciousness of some sections of the working class. This must be confronted and argued against not given any patronising sympathy. The last major bust up in my family was over this very issue.

Detrimental to the working class within a capitalist economy. If you support the abolition of capitalism then why is it harmful to accept immigration is harmful for native workers under capitalism, your logical extension would be, end capitalism, not end immigration.

Auld-bod
Sep 9 2015 10:13

Your argument therefore rests on the notion that the workers have a country. My job - my country.
A recipe for national socialism.

Benzo89
Sep 9 2015 10:33

Would people on here not admit gentrification is harmful to working class people in a capitalist system? That does not mean we are against free movement by people. It is accepting the economic impact of a phenomena, within the capitalist system.

You can admit immigration hurts local workers jobs and take the stance that immigration is a human right and that it is the economic system, which takes advantage of immigrants, at the expense of native workers, that needs to go. Not immigration.

Auld-bod
Sep 9 2015 11:16

Benzo89

First, the system puts profits before people. Capitalism hurts workers where ever they live. When jobs are exported from the West is this the fault of the workers in Korea, China, etc.? When seeking a better/safer life in Europe, the USA, etc., are migrants responsible for the impact on the indigenous working class? Under capitalism there are no ‘human rights’ only the economic imperatives which drive the system. The ruling class will try and divide us worker against worker by any means, crude nationalism, or liberal notions of human rights, and equal opportunities; all to one end - to keep us in our place, shovelling sh*t.

Benzo89
Sep 9 2015 11:24
Auld-bod wrote:
Benzo89

First, the system puts profits before people. Capitalism hurts workers where ever they live. When jobs are exported from the West is this the fault of the workers in Korea, China, etc.? When seeking a better/safer life in Europe, the USA, etc., are migrants responsible for the impact on the indigenous working class? Under capitalism there are no ‘human rights’ only the economic imperatives which drive the system. The ruling class will try and divide us worker against worker by any means, crude nationalism, or liberal notions of human rights, and equal opportunities; all to one end - to keep us in our place, shovelling sh*t.

Which is why I said within a capitalist system immigration hurts native workers and is agains there interests. You are arguing that immigration within capitalism isn't harmful, because we should overthrow capitalism. That is again avoiding the issue.

Most people don't support communism, not the native workers, not the immigrants coming over as cheap labour.

If we are to continue living in a capitalist society, in that context, it is in the native workers material interests, to be against immigration. Now as a communist you have no wish to uphold capitalism, so you don't care what impact immigration has on native workers under capitalism, because you are looking to abolish the capitalist system.

I am talking about immigration within a capitalist economy. That was my point, so bringing up how bad capitalism is and needs abolishing isn't addressing my point, which is under capitalism immigration affects native workers.

If people don't even want to address issues within capitalism fine, but just keeping on arguing immigration is fine because everyone should be a communist and overthrow capitalism then immigration could not be used by capitalists to drive down wages is a totally different discussion.

radicalgraffiti
Sep 9 2015 11:32
Benzo89 wrote:
Which is why I said within a capitalist system immigration hurts native workers and is agains there interests. You are arguing that immigration within capitalism isn't harmful, because we should overthrow capitalism. That is again avoiding the issue.
...

If we are to continue living in a capitalist society, in that context, it is in the native workers material interests, to be against immigration.

you've been asked to produce evidence of this and you have completely failed to do so instead just saying the same thing again and again as if the truth of something was determined by how often it is said, and accused everyone who doesn't simply accept right wing propaganda of being lies.

Benzo89
Sep 9 2015 11:37
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Benzo89 wrote:
Which is why I said within a capitalist system immigration hurts native workers and is agains there interests. You are arguing that immigration within capitalism isn't harmful, because we should overthrow capitalism. That is again avoiding the issue.
...

If we are to continue living in a capitalist society, in that context, it is in the native workers material interests, to be against immigration.

you've been asked to produce evidence of this and you have completely failed to do so instead just saying the same thing again and again as if the truth of something was determined by how often it is said, and accused everyone who doesn't simply accept right wing propaganda of being lies.

Take a look at any of the long term studies on immigration to the UK. Even ones that show positive enhancements to the capitalist economy (which would be ironic for you to uphold as a reason to support immigration) shows that since the 90's it has cost the state (read the tax payer) around 95 billion.

As for providing evidence immigrants drive down wages, well if you really don't believe this I don't know what to tell you, you simply won't ever change your opinion because of your dearly held political beliefs. At least a few people in this thread have acknowledged this.

UK research suggests that immigration has a small impact on average wages of existing workers but more significant effects along the wage distribution: low-wage workers lose while medium and high-paid workers gain.

Benzo89
Sep 9 2015 11:43

The story is slightly different for immigrants who came to the UK from outside the EEA in that period. They also put more into the public purse than they took out, but by a smaller margin of 2%.
However, studying the numbers in the UCL report more closely, another finding emerges.
And that is, that if you look at the figures for the whole of the period under study, 1995-2011, immigration has been a drain on the public purse.
To the tune of about £95bn.

Do you think the government workers losing their jobs might of kept them had it not been for 95 billion being spent on immigrants? How about contract workers who were working for the government in cleaning services? Could their pay and job security of been affected? Nope no correlation whatsoever.

radicalgraffiti
Sep 9 2015 11:43
Benzo89 wrote:
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Benzo89 wrote:
Which is why I said within a capitalist system immigration hurts native workers and is agains there interests. You are arguing that immigration within capitalism isn't harmful, because we should overthrow capitalism. That is again avoiding the issue.
...

If we are to continue living in a capitalist society, in that context, it is in the native workers material interests, to be against immigration.

you've been asked to produce evidence of this and you have completely failed to do so instead just saying the same thing again and again as if the truth of something was determined by how often it is said, and accused everyone who doesn't simply accept right wing propaganda of being lies.

Take a look at any of the long term studies on immigration to the UK. Even ones that show positive enhancements to the capitalist economy (which would be ironic for you to uphold as a reason to support immigration) shows that since the 90's it has cost the state (read the tax payer) around 95 billion.

As for providing evidence immigrants drive down wages, well if you really don't believe this I don't know what to tell you, you simply won't ever change your opinion because of your dearly held political beliefs. At least a few people in this thread have acknowledged this.

UK research suggests that immigration has a small impact on average wages of existing workers but more significant effects along the wage distribution: low-wage workers lose while medium and high-paid workers gain.

sauce

Benzo89
Sep 9 2015 11:47
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Benzo89 wrote:
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Benzo89 wrote:
Which is why I said within a capitalist system immigration hurts native workers and is agains there interests. You are arguing that immigration within capitalism isn't harmful, because we should overthrow capitalism. That is again avoiding the issue.
...

If we are to continue living in a capitalist society, in that context, it is in the native workers material interests, to be against immigration.

you've been asked to produce evidence of this and you have completely failed to do so instead just saying the same thing again and again as if the truth of something was determined by how often it is said, and accused everyone who doesn't simply accept right wing propaganda of being lies.

Take a look at any of the long term studies on immigration to the UK. Even ones that show positive enhancements to the capitalist economy (which would be ironic for you to uphold as a reason to support immigration) shows that since the 90's it has cost the state (read the tax payer) around 95 billion.

As for providing evidence immigrants drive down wages, well if you really don't believe this I don't know what to tell you, you simply won't ever change your opinion because of your dearly held political beliefs. At least a few people in this thread have acknowledged this.

UK research suggests that immigration has a small impact on average wages of existing workers but more significant effects along the wage distribution: low-wage workers lose while medium and high-paid workers gain.

sauce

http://www.migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/briefings/labour-market-effects-immigration

http://www.migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/sites/files/migobs/Briefing%20-%20Labour%20Market%20Effects%20of%20Immigration_0.pdf

When you read that then ask me for the 95 billion one, which not only affects the working class but everyone in Britain, their access to healthcare, funding for community projects etc. But of course you don't really care if immigration hurts workers under capitalism, because you want to abolish capitalism. In the meanwhile the lowest paid workers will be the ones most affected by immigration. And as the abolition of capitalism isn't round the corner, I guess they just have to deal with it.

Benzo89
Sep 9 2015 11:55
radicalgraffiti wrote:
Quote:
It isn't white working class men making up stories in order to generate hate against foreigners,

no its middle class men who work for national publications making up stories, and members of the bougeose paying them to do it.

No, it is the bourgeoisie who want immigration, they are the fuckers who benefit from it by undercutting local workers and exploiting immigrant labour. In what fantasy world are the capitalists anti-immigration. The only reason politicians have even started to address immigration in the UK is because of working class mass anger over it.

Tyrion
Sep 9 2015 12:16
Benzo89 wrote:
Tyrion wrote:
Benzo, it's not at all clear to me what you've written here that couldn't just as easily be applied as an argument for the harm that women entering into the workplace has had on the pre-existing working class and so we shouldn't be so dismissive of men who want women barred from employment.

Or maybe you should take up the fight against young people entering the workforce. After all, since they are less likely to have families to support, they're probably willing to work for less and so they undercut the wages of the working class and take the jobs of older workers. And leftists certainly don't spend much time focusing on the harm that young people have on the working class. And certainly I've known plenty of workers who complain about "millenials" and I can't imagine the threat of having their job taken by someone younger, cheaper, and perhaps more pliable helps. Why aren't you taking up this cause?

I don't take up the cause of anti immigration, I merely state that it harms native workers under capitalism.I can support immigration and not lie about its affect on workers.

So do you admit the negative impact that young people entering the workforce has on workers? Don't lie here.