We Face the Same Enemy
What has happened to the America millions believed in and fought for – the beacon of hope, democracy, and opportunity known around the world, the America of the Statue of Liberty? Why is it that our nation’s president demonizes Muslims, Mexicans, Central Americans, Haitians, and many others, from what he calls “s__ hole countries?” The answers to these questions drive to the core of what direction we take as a nation, and what the future holds for all children and the world we live in.
We are living in times of momentous change, unparalleled in human history. Every corner of the world has been drawn into the whirlwind of modern productive methods and global trade. New technology that replaces human labor has upset the entire dynamic of how the capitalist economic system functions. It is drawing into sharp contrast the continued control of private property by the capitalist class, where workers are no longer necessary, yet have no other means of surviving.
Labor-replacing technology has the potential to satisfy humanity’s wants and needs like were never possible before. However, with this technology existing as private property of the ruling class, intense misery, displacement, starvation, and suffering is the result and becomes the rule, while the abundance that is produced spoils or gathers dust. A handful of billionaires grow ever richer, casting aside workers they no longer need. This is an intolerable situation.
Fascism American Style
The specter of fascism is once again rearing its ugly head in this country and around the world. The merger of the corporations and the State is already in place. If the ruling class is to maintain private property and their control over the State they must suppress the struggle of millions fighting for survival. The ruling class must brutally suppress democracy, and impose a fascist State. In the process, it must abandon the stated moral principles upon which the country was founded. It includes cultivating a mass base from disaffected and confused workers, something which Trump and others have done consistently with the border wall and other issues. We face a battlefield where the enemy diverts attention solely to immigrants as the source of the problem, when the real intent is to divide and defeat the entire working class.
Today, the attacks on immigrants occur in the setting of unprecedented worldwide migration, cast into motion by the globalization of the world’s economy, and all of its consequences. The massive displacement of people around the world results from intense competition for regional and world markets, that is leading to war and violence. Crop failures and drought from man-made climate change, earthquakes, hurricanes, and many other disasters compel many to migrate. Drug and human trafficking grow along with migration. Unfair trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Central American Free Trade Agreement have forced millions to leave their homelands.
Capitalism has always resorted to the age-old weapon of “divide and conquer,” to weaken the working class. This is the context for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, e-verify, anti-immigrant legislation, lack of immigration reform, attacks on the caravans from Central America, family separations, children in cages, and the government shutdown demanding a border wall. Criminalization and fear abound to scapegoat even child immigrants.
Post World War II Period
For a time, until other developed world economies began to catch up following the devastation of their industries in World War II, the U.S. was an unrivaled economic powerhouse, where the “American Dream” was proclaimed a reality for all. Though the “dream” wasn’t a reality for everyone, this vision functioned as a magnet for immigrants from around the world. Those immigrants who were wealthy were accepted without qualm, as occurs today. However, the vast majority of immigrants have been economically exploited to keep all wages lower, as they entered at the bottom of the wage scale, performing the least desirable and most dangerous jobs, while they struggled to make a future for themselves and their families.
In the past, the relatively well-paid workers of the industrial Midwest area, now known as the “Rust Belt,” and others throughout the country, served as pillars of support for U.S. imperialism. These workers constituted a temporarily privileged section of the working class. As a consequence, in the main, the U.S. working class supported the U.S. foreign policies that overthrew the governments of legitimately elected presidents, such as Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954, Mossadegh in Iran in 1953, Aristide in Haiti in 2004, or Zelaya in Honduras in 2009. U.S. workers went along with what their government told them: that they were stemming the tide of communism, and that Americans were exceptional.
Additionally, austerity measures, such as reductions of social welfare spending, were imposed on less developed nations in Latin America, Mexico, Africa, and Asia for “defaulted loans,” forced upon them by the International Monetary Fund and other agencies. These actions prolonged and fortified the “business unionism” that existed in the U.S., at the expense of other workers around the globe. It served to enrich U.S. corporations, with the complicity of despotic or treacherous leaders of less developed countries, such as Pinochet in Chile or Salinas de Gortari in Mexico.
Today, labor-replacing technology is rapidly replacing skilled, as well as unskilled labor globally, and the clear trend is toward technology replacing all labor. An example of this is how robots are slated to replace 90% of the workforce of one Chinese factory of 1,800 workers. China, second only to the U.S. as a global producer, is rapidly implementing labor-replacing technology throughout the country, as it competes for global markets. U.S. based Amazon now has more than 100,000 robots in its warehouses around the world and plans to add many more. It is projected that by 2030 nearly half of all jobs in the U.S. will be automated.
Just as capitalists are in intense competition for the domination of production and the market, workers have been forced into a competition to live since the beginnings of capitalism. Now, in the midst of the most bountiful production of the necessities of life the world has ever seen, workers labor at bare subsistence wages or are cast out onto the streets to beg – regardless of whether they were skilled or unskilled workers. Under globalization, this process is taking hold throughout the world.
Representatives of the ruling class, like Trump and others, point the finger of blame at desperate migrants, to explain to the millions of suffering US workers why they have lost their chance at achieving the American Dream. In reality, it is the new labor-replacing technology, combined with an economic system based on private property that the ruling class must protect at all costs, that is responsible for such suffering.
In truth, immigrants and U.S. workers of all nationalities face the same enemy, a ruling class, whose only solution is to keep them divided and thus defenseless. The same ruling class that displaced U.S. workers under Free Trade Agreements is the same ruling class that caused Mexicans, Central Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Haitians to migrate. A principal tactic of the ruling class is to isolate immigrants as undesirable or criminal. The ruling class then uses that precedent to criminalize, step by step, the working class as a whole. It is part of the effort to eliminate democracy and institute fascism and to suppress the struggle of all workers for a new society.
The Only Way Forward
We are not disposable people to be lied to and pitted against one another. The sooner we see that we have common class interests, the sooner we can unite based on those interests to reap the benefit of what the new technology promises.
Our first step is for society to demand that the government take care of the people, regardless of color or national origin. Government should serve the people and not the corporations. Globalized production binds us together, regardless of national origin. There is no viable choice other than a society run cooperatively, here and globally. In such a society, cooperation and fulfilling the needs of humanity are the guiding principles. Workers in America and across the world have the same needs and demands. The League of Revolutionaries extends its hand of comradeship around the globe.
We must build the bonds of class unity and internationalism across the globe. Taking on the interests and well-being of immigrants as our own is a place to start. We defend them not just because it is the morally correct thing to do. We defend them because they are our class brothers and sisters. Our mutual human survival and that of the planet depends upon our unified efforts. Forward to victory!
March/April 2019 Vol29.Ed2
This article originated in Rally, Comrades
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The age-old vision of a world without scarcity, without exploitation, class domination, organized violence, and stultifying labor has been the dream of millenia. The new completely socialized labor-eliminating means of production ... sets the basis for its realization. Now human history can begin, the light of the individual shining in the full brightness of liberated life, that can only be realized within true equality and cooperation: communism, a cooperative society.'Without Vision, the People Perish'
Rally, Comrades ! May/June 2011