An Honest Question About Immigration

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LeighGionaire
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Mar 10 2004 18:53
An Honest Question About Immigration

It is my opinion that, as the economy is now global; any 'Workers Revolution' would have to start in the Third World. After all, on a global scale, we (meaning the Western Society we live in) ARE the 'bourgeoisie' of the planet that has to be overcome.

The Banking/Capitalist Elite have pulled off a masterstroke (even if it was unintentional), by moving all the major industrial processes to the Third World, where the major abundance of natural resources reside. In doing this the Corporate Elite have distanced themselves from the problematic industrial workers. They use the power of unlimited credit, vast consumerism and Government handouts, combined with a persistent media dumbing down our western society, to subdue the workers of the West from open revolt. They have effectively pacified the ones in position to threaten their power.

So, how does the constant influx of illegals into the U.S and Europe help the cause of true Socialism/Anarchism? In my opinion it doesn't, in fact it does serious harm.

LET ME EXPLAIN.

It plays into the hands of the Corporations by providing cheap Labour that will drive wages down.

Instead of helping the cause of the left, it gives the native working class a ready made scapegoat, somebody to blame their woes upon, instead of focusing on the working classes REAL enemy, the Banking/Corporist elite. Thus it drives the working classes increasingly towards right wing Fascism.

Finally, aren't the people coming to the West just trying to climb the Capitalist ladder, instead of helping fight the 'Socialist' cause in their own countries?

AN EXAMPLE

The Social Healthcare of the Phillippines is being torn apart by State trained nurses leaving the country. The poor help pay for this training through their hard earned taxes, only to see these nurses betray the 'Socialist' cause by heading to the Capitalist West for better pay from Corporate companies.

They arrive in the U.S/Europe fully qualified and willing to work for less than the normal rates of pay, driving down wages in a supposed skilled trade and making somebody unemployed. Thus the public AGAIN pick up the tab by having to pay unemployment benefits

How does this scenario help global Socialism/Anarchism? The only people gaining out of this scenario are the Neo-Liberals who dream of one global community, with no national boundaries and workers having to travel the globe in search of work.

Quote:
The costs of this migration are being felt in this poor country that needs its best health professionals but spends thousands of dollars training each nurse - only to have them serve the needs of countries like Britain, the United States, Saudi Arabia and Ireland.

"Sadly, this is no longer brain drain, but more appropriately, brain haemorrhage of our nurses," said Dr Jaime Galvez Tan, vice chancellor for research at the University of the Philippines in Manila, and executive director of the National Institutes of Health Philippines. "Very soon, the Philippines will be bled dry of nurses."

Rose Gonzalez is a nursing graduate turned public relations practitioner for seven years, but who is now again a nurse, is leaving soon to work at the Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Maryland in the United States.

She is among the Filipino nurses who find their profession the sure ticket to a better-paying job abroad --and the shortest route to obtaining immigrant status elsewhere.

Government figures report that 2,908 Filipino nurses left for 21 countries in the first quarter of 2002. In the previous year, 13,536 nurses left for 31 countries.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), which processes the departure of migrant workers, said only 304 nurses left for the United States in 2001. This figure, however, is said to be grossly underreported. The agency also does not handle nurses who leave on immigrant visas.

The Philippines is such a rich recruitment ground for nurses - and increasingly, caregivers too - that U.S.-based hospitals hold nursing job fairs in the country. The International Union of Nurses says close to 10,000 nurses were directly hired in this manner in 2001.

Tan says the annual outflow of Filipino nurses is now three times greater than the annual production of licensed nurses of 6,500 to 7,000 year.

http://www.ipsnews.net/interna.asp?idnews=18202

So, can anybody explain how immigration aids the cause of Anarchism?

Augusto_Sandino
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Mar 11 2004 14:31

I heard the IWW in the US opposed immigration for labour market reasons. Immigration and left-wing politics are not inextricably linked.

AlexA
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Mar 11 2004 15:18

I'm pretty sure that when immigrant labour was used to try to undermine US workers, the IWW tried to organise the immigrants too

Anonymous
Mar 11 2004 15:54

Yep, you're right - the normal US unions (AFL, KOL etc) opposed immigration - the iWW stepped up and organised the immigrants, even getting those brought in as scabs to join and walk out.

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JoeMaguire
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Mar 12 2004 13:06
LeighGionaire wrote:
So, can anybody explain how immigration aids the cause of Anarchism?

Freedom of movement undermines capital. In todays society we are told its acceptable that goods can pass from poor to rich countries without burden, enriching capitalists, creating unemployment and offering shoddy, but poor foreign people cant do likewise.

I acknowledge that i)immigrants tend to attack the host working conditions and ii) they CAN strain social services, however the main faults lie with the system and it cant be wrong for people to follow the faults prelevant in the market....

Augusto_Sandino
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Mar 12 2004 13:50

Hmm thats cool. Just make the immigrants part of the labour movement, and then they arent the enemy. It was just a hunch i had that the IWW opposed immigration, maybe that was the mainstream unions.

And i dont suppose immigration helps anarchism particuarly, but then again its about anarchism helping people (immigrant or not) not t'other way around.

JoeBlack
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Mar 12 2004 14:06

This is a bit like the abortion argument. As an anarchist whatever your opinion on the issue there is no way you can support the sort of state powers that would be required to impose either border controls or an abortion ban.

On the issue itself. The problem with a lot of 'No border controls' rhetoric is that it is liberal in content and thus fails to address concerns people raise. Which does not mean that these cannot be addressed.

The bottom line on this has to revolve around the question 'why are the ruling class making so much noise about border controls?' Sure a minority are racist nuts but what are the rest of them up to. What is in other words is in it for them.

Liberals answer in electoral terms, but this fails to explain why the corporations generally support border controls. Not universally true of course, some neo-liberals, including the Economist are for very liberal on no controls.

The answer I think is to be found in the reality of 'illegal' migration into Europe. It happens anyway. The outcome of racist border controls is not less migration but rather the criminalisation of those who migrate.

As Morecombe bay shows those who are criminalised in this way are forced to operate in working conditions well below legal requirements. There 19 died but more usually this means no enforcement of health and safet requirements, no minimum wage, no option with overtime etc, etc. Plus if you start to organise against this your employer sacks you with no recourse to unfair dismissal. And if you actually got anything organised a quick call to immigration can get you jailed and awaiting deportation.

European capital need the labour 'illegal' migrants provide. But keeping them illegal keeps the cost of that labour to capital at a level way, way below other European workers.

LeighGionaire
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Mar 12 2004 14:44
october_lost wrote:
LeighGionaire wrote:
So, can anybody explain how immigration aids the cause of Anarchism?

Freedom of movement undermines capital. In todays society we are told its acceptable that goods can pass from poor to rich countries without burden, enriching capitalists, creating unemployment and offering shoddy, but poor foreign people cant do likewise.

Ok, I see some sense in what you say, but take my example of the nurses coming in from the Phillipines. The health care system in that country is falling apart because of the nurses fleeing to a better life in the West. If all the educated people of the Third World follow suit, who's going to start any global revolution against Capitalism?

Also, I remember Conservative Norman Tebbit once said that workers 'should get on their bikes and look for work'. It sounds like his wish is coming true.

Another thing is, like it or not, immigration leads to the working classes fighting amongst themselves instead of focusing on the real enemy.

Luckily I've stumbled upon Anarchist theory, but for every working class person like me who may join the cause, there will be half a dozen swayed to the cause of Fascism. Some of my own family and work collegues have said they would vote B.N.P if they put up a candidate in my town. sad

Finally, if Anarchism is based upon athieism, how do you propose converting Muslims to the cause?

JoeBlack
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Mar 12 2004 15:03

I'm living in Ireland which up onto the recent boom was a bit like the Phillipines in that 30% or so emmigrated including lots of nurses, doctors and others. A couple of anarchists I knew spray painted 'Fuck emmigration - stay and fight' in huge letters where the train met the ferrys to Holyhead and Liverpool. For all we know maybe anarchists in the Phillipines have done the same at Manila airport.

Anyway the same arguments about state money being used to train these people and them then fleeing the country came up all the time. But really the problem was not that there were better paid jobs in Britain or the US (or jobs at all for that matter) but that there were no jobs and shit wages at home. Like the Phillipines the politicans claimed that this was because the country was poor and that we all had to tighten our belts etc, etc. And like the Phillipines there was in fact a narrow layer of very rich people who owned these politicans. While they were telling us we all had to wear hairshirts they were wearing 11,000 pound shirts bought in Paris with bribes from the rich.

Of course nearly everyone in Ireland then was a lot better off then nearly everyone in the Phillipines now. But the general point applies. The problem of the Phillipines is not that there is no wealth. The problem is that what wealth there is (and it is considerable) is concentrated in the hands of a very few. And it is that very few that will be blaming the migrating nurses for the poor health service.

The other parallel is that many migrants from Ireland were actually heading for the US. There they were 'illegal', every family probably had one close relative working illegally in the US who was unable to return home on holidays for fear of not being able to get back in.

I don't think US anarchists who demanded that immigration be kept illegal would have done any favours for those of us active in Ireland at the time.

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cantdocartwheels
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Mar 16 2004 00:22

It was the leninist infiltrated AFL that put out anti-immigration propaganda.

Most of the IWW's core supporters in the most left leaning unions were immigrants. Also many of the most notable actvists connected to the IWW at the time were immigrants.

I can't see Emma Goldman opposing immigration can you? lol

Never mind the IWW's specific empathy with immigrants it seems hardly likely even from a purely ''practical'' position that the IWW would opose immigration. If anything it was the US clamping down on immigration from specific areas that helped break the IWW.

Immigration could be used to help further the anarchist cause but there are problems. You would definitely need labour organisers to recruit from among the immigrants as sending in representatives from this country as labour organisers would be a long and difficult process.

Sending in labour agitators from the outside is never that effective and obviously suffers from the dangers of bureacratic trade unionism as the revolutionary impulse is not significantly being expressed by the workers themselves.

Part of the US section of the IWW's success in this area was due to the fact that many of the immigrants had a background in radical politics of varying kinds anyway.

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JoeMaguire
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Mar 16 2004 12:02
LeighGionaire wrote:

Another thing is, like it or not, immigration leads to the working classes fighting amongst themselves instead of focusing on the real enemy.

This isnt an easy topic right now, but will it ever be? but it as to be addressed all the same. For me no borders is essetial, however, we have to acknowledge that an influx of new arrivials into a community which is already stretched to capacity in regards to its social services etc is only going to raise animosity. Therefore immigration into a said area is very much a working class issue, why for example are immigrants not taking up residence in leafy Kennsington?

The only solution IMO which is viable is consultation with the community on where immigrants take residence etc. This diffuses the idea of immigrants being lost in the system to scrounge etc, but also gives a precise understanding of how little immigration impacts on our decaying standard of living but is more an issue of how funds are allocated by central and local authorities.

For example on the latter point, immigration 5 years ago wasnt a big issue (well not like now), even though we had more immigrants entering the country than currently. But a successive Labour government which as failed to deliver on social services has left them clutching at straws as to why school sizes are still big, why waiting lists are up etc.

LeighGionaire wrote:

Finally, if Anarchism is based upon athieism, how do you propose converting Muslims to the cause?

Most Muslims are secular, if we can work around community/working class issues religion shouldnt be a prevelant issue. People can have their relgious prejduices as long as they dont enforce them on others....

knightrose
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Mar 17 2004 16:33

I reckon many muslims are religious becasue they feel under threat. Greater working class solidarity would remove the desire to turn to superstition, or at least place it in the same context it is for most other people in GB - something to be thought about a couple of times a year. Like some of the Kosovans who came to Oldham after the war there. They wouldn't eat pork, but didn't care if the meat was halal or not. Only drank alcohol after sundown during Ramadan etc.

Anonymous
Mar 17 2004 20:34

LeighGionaire, The latinos pouring into old Mexico (California, Arizona, Texas, etc) are on average more pro-union than Anglo Americans.

However, they are often very quiet at work because they have no rights,

can easily be deported back to $2 pounds a day labor if the boss decides to call in the government to squash a union drive. That's one of the reasons why the Left should demand the same labor rights for all. Otherwise bosses will substitute cheaper non-citizen labor for higher paid legal worers, and everyone will end up making less of a wage.

Last, the reason there is such a huge destabilizing migration waves into the U.S. and Europe is because of capitalist institutions (IMF, World Bank) that support policies that keep the third world underdeveloped, poor and dependent on the rich countries for a place to sell their raw resources (since the IMF undercuts industrialization).

So, the fundamental work of anarchists in the north, should be uniting with socialists to destroy the IMF, & fighting for the same labor rights for all workers in a country. In the South people should demand trade barriers so as to protect their infant industries from multinationals that can easily outcompete them with cheaper prices, and put everyone out of work. In the North workers should protect themselves with trade barriers since lower wages in other countries will also put them out of work.

I know that is very reformist and statist, would require bureaucracy and plenty of room for corruption, but even if everything was collectivized and the wealth was distributed equally in Haiti, that means most people would go hungry, since there isn't much to collectivize as domestic industries have been destroyed by competition....

-W

red n black star star green black :red:

P.S. The idea that all the people of Britain are the bourgeoisie is part of nationalist thinking. In reality, I'm sure there is growing class & wealth polarization in your country, as is the case elsewhere due to the rules of corporate globalization policy.

Anonymous
Mar 17 2004 20:41

I would add that the reality of class is exposed in the U.S. and other "wealthy" countries by pointing out that some people here benefit from corporate driven globalization (stockholders) and others such as wage laborers and people entirely dependent on public services are not benefitted at all . Essentially the policy is to redistribute the wealth to the wealthiest.

Anonymous
Mar 22 2004 10:39

it seemme that there is not much difference at times, between anarchists and fascists anyway so its a pointless argument trying to really find a deffinitive differentiation

that said, it is obvious that the working classes in this country (london) have a large amount of immigrant/ refugee/ asylum seeker population. any infighting within the proletariat is a victory for the bourgeoisie. the solution is not to divide the identity of the proletariat, but to attack the bourgeoisie with a renewal of working class identity because

THE PROLETARIAT HAS NO COUNTRY

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pingtiao
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Mar 22 2004 11:18

I'm sorry to quibble, but in what sense is there

Quote:
not much difference at times, between anarchists and fascists

?

Anonymous
Mar 24 2004 11:24

i wrote that it seems to be, sometimes, that there is no difference. this is my experience in dealing with 'anarchists' and also, reading about it, for examples:

instances of Proudhon or Bakunin or even Ulrike Meinhof's anti-semitism or, more recently, Steve Booth's defence of the IRRATIONALISTS article in green anarchist where he stated that fascist actions can be inspirational...

and there's even a post on this board called 'the appeal of fascism' or something....

fortunately, this is not at all always the case and mostly i find anarchists to be amongst the most inspirational, open, freedom loving and considerate people i know: although sometimes they don't refer to themselves as anarchists, only other people do... i reckon the real anarchists are against anarchism anyway

black bloc

AlexA
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Mar 24 2004 11:43

AFAIK bakunin was anti-semitic only before he became an anarchist, which he did towards the end of his life.

Was Ulrike Meinhof an anti-semite? I would find that very surprising, and also she was a Leninist anyway.

Don't know much about Proudhon - any references for that? I wouldn't be surprised though if he did hold some of the prejudices of his time though, because everybody does. There is however a huge difference between holding a slight prejudice and being a fascist.

And Steve Booth's just a moron.

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cantdocartwheels
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Mar 26 2004 23:51

Fascism-the binding of state and corporate structures, the beleif that force overides any sense of morality, the militarisation of society

Anarchism-Without order. entailing the removal of the state by popular consensus/revolution and all forms of hierarchy and compulsion

There is a major difference, just because some people who call themselves anarchists are assholes doesn't mean anarchism has anything to do with fascism.

john

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pingtiao
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Mar 30 2004 13:48

LooterBlisset wrote

" i reckon the real anarchists are against anarchism anyway"

What?

gloops
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Apr 23 2004 17:53

whoaa ! - blasphemy alert - wounded hobo "So, the fundamental work of anarchists in the north, should be uniting with socialists to destroy the IMF, & fighting for the same labor rights for all workers in a country." UP YOURS .the fundamental work of anarchists should be the promotion of anarchism ,which includes educating people on the terrible dangers of marxist ideology.

Augusto_Sandino
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Apr 26 2004 13:52

I would advocate co-operation with some socialists. But never authoritarian communists.

And i think that some european anarchists had anti-semitic tinges becuase co-incidentally some jews had alot of money, although that doesent make anti-semitism ok. Its quite farcical too, when you consider that jews and people of jewish decent were the heart and soul of some american anarchist movements.

Anonymous
May 3 2004 08:36
LeighGionaire wrote:
Finally, if Anarchism is based upon athieism, how do you propose converting Muslims to the cause?

Its not necessarily, not all anarchists are atheists, I'm pretty sure that Proudhon was a theist of some description and Tolstoy was a Christian. I'm an anarchist and a deist.

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madashell
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May 3 2004 09:09

The above post was me, btw

Ceannairc
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May 5 2004 10:52

I like to think that there is some form of god, but if there is then we can never really know what form it takes. Maybe the creator of the universe and life was just some guy making minimum wage for Smith and Jenkins Universe Creation PLC or something. I certainly don't buy into all this "perfect being" stuff, otherwise he/she/it has done a pretty shit job or has a warped sense of humour and is therefor imperfect.

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madashell
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May 5 2004 20:25
Ceannairc wrote:
I like to think that there is some form of god, but if there is then we can never really know what form it takes. Maybe the creator of the universe and life was just some guy making minimum wage for Smith and Jenkins Universe Creation PLC or something. I certainly don't buy into all this "perfect being" stuff, otherwise he/she/it has done a pretty shit job or has a warped sense of humour and is therefor imperfect.

But what would be the point of living in a perfect world, I can't see one, it'd be kinda dull wink

Ceannairc
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May 6 2004 09:03
madashell wrote:
But what would be the point of living in a perfect world, I can't see one, it'd be kinda dull :wink:

ah-ha! but if it was dull, it wouldn't be perfect! tongue