Take Your Wall and Shove It

Take Your Wall and Shove It

analysis of Trump's border wall

President Trump has relied heavily on his promise to build a wall between the US and Mexico to appeal to his supporters ever since his election campaign. Supposedly this wall will keep Mexicans from entering the country illegally. The specific proposal of building a wall to deal with immigrants is bone-headed on it's own and ignores the fact that immigrants making their way accross the border already have to deal with repressive and brutal border officers, I.C.E with it's prison camps, racist militias, and a massive, deadly gulf of territory between Mexico and the United States. Clearly more state repression isn't actually going to stop immigration in any way, shape, or form.

The most important aspect of this "build the wall" "movement", if we can call it that, is that it is based on nationalism and racism. The ideology that fuels this phenomena is that people of color from the third world are fundamentally different from white America, possibly more dangerous, and ultimately don't belong among us. Despite what proponents of the wall may tell you, this is not about violating the law through "illegal immigration". If this was true it wouldn't be people of color from Mexico and the middle east who are used as the primary example of the supposed "problem".

On the one hand, since the 19th century capitalist states have ruled by constructing an ideology to make the citizens of a territory controlled by a sovereign state identify themselves with that state, and those from outside, or against that state, as "alien", or outright enemies. On the other hand American nationalism is steeped in white supremacy. The modern American nation-state was created by Europeans who slaughtered indigenous people for their land and enslaved Africans for their labor. The United States is only short of being a white nationalist paradise by the fact that it has yet to get rid of people of color completely. Thus an ideology which directs resentment and political action against people of color for even daring to step foot on US soil is based on the racist nature of the historic project of the American state and American nationalism.

Both nationalism and racism are mechanisms of domination and control. Nationalism enforces the authority of the capitalist state over the population and racism enforces white supremacy through the disenfranchisement of people of color. By buying into these narratives the "build the wall" movement is acting to continue racial oppression and the subjugation of people to the United State's capitalist class. The borders of a nation-state are not sacred, natural, or socially useful institutions.

The borders of a nation-state perform two basic functions. They 1) enforce the state's control of that territory, what is called "sovereignty", and 2) control the flow of the labor market in and out of the country. Both of these basic functions serve the capitalist class at the expense of the rest of us. The territorial sovereignty of the nation-state is simply the mechanism through which it controls the movement of labor in the interests of the capitalist class. Controlling the domestic labor market is about carrying out that control of labor by the capitalist class. Nation-states and their boundaries are strictly mechanisms for those who own finance, agriculture, and industry to control the rest of us in ways that ensure their pockets remain lined and their power remains stable.

Trump's great wall of the US is nothing but another ideological mobilization for the capitalist class, capitalism, and the state, a mobilization designed to control you and me. This is highlighted by the fact that, in most cases, the only objection democrats had over the wall in the fights leading to the recent government shut down were that it would cost the US government too much money. Those who are arguing and campaigning for the wall have been fooled. All their efforts will come out to is perpetuation of oppression and exploitation.

People of color from other countries pose no inherent, existential threat. They are people, like you and me. They have no essential nature different from you and I. In the vast majority of cases, they are fleeing situations which the United States' global dominance have created. They are not rapists and drug lords, they are every day people trying not to be killed by wars in the middle east and economic destruction caused by western imposed policies. The fact that Trumpeters continue to justify the separation of children from parents based on the notion that immigrant parents are likely to be secret slave traffickers in disguise shows that this "immigration problem" is in fact, simply a malicious story that those in power tell us so that we will direct our anger toward other oppressed people rather than the real oppressors. Don't fall for it. Take your wall, and stick it where the shun don't shine!


World Systems Analysis: An Introduction, I. Wallerstein
Colonisation and Decolonisation, Zig Zag
The Empire's War On The Border, Empire Files

Posted By

Apr 24 2019 19:57


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