1. US capital, after 30 years of pounding down the living standards of workers at home and abroad; after driving Latin American into the lost decade of the 1980s, and leading it into the advanced export deprivation of the 1990s; after ruining village, small scale agriculture; after IMF/WB austerity program after austerity program dismantling mine and factory; after a one dozen, two dozen years of NAFTA, the Plaza Accords, the Washington Consensus; after decades of "special zones," "entrepreneur enclaves," "development areas," turning borders and entire countries into maquilladoras, sweatshops, and massage parlors, finally found itself face to face in its home territory with the labor it had imported as the result of the capital it had exported.
Capital, sparkling white and dripping blood and dirt from every pore, was confronted in the streets of its home land by the workers who had migrated, never by choice, but always be need-- economics is never discretionary, always compulsory-- to the land of opportunity, the land of opportunity of sub-minimum wages, unpaid labor, threats, assaults. A place like home.
When capital, recognizing that compulsion without discrimination, that wage-labor without intimidation, was really private property without protection, decided to formalize its degradation of labor and indigenous cultures at home and abroad, just that immigrant wage labor, now concentrated in the cities of the US, took to the streets in the colors of its orgins-- red, yellow, brown, and black.
2. The "immigration issue" is first, last, foremost and everwhere in between an issue of labor. The attacks on migrants are the attacks of capital on labor. The struggle is no more successfully resolved by any piece of legislation, more or less liberal, than that of the Delphi workers can be resolved by pension bailout guarantees, legislated "retraining" or buy-out packages, or contract compromises.
While "leftists" and "Marxists" ponder slogans, actions, demands; while retread Maoists all dressed up in guayaberas excuse their own ignorance by advocating "learn from the masses," the issue of immigration, the struggle of migrants is the issue and the struggle of labor itself. It is the struggle against the wage system itself.
No legislation deserves endorsement. No liberal democrat or Democrat deserves support. Exactly the opposite is required-- the class based rejection of democrat/Democrats.
The opposition to all forms of border control, all punitive measures against migrant peoples, the demand for the reorganization of education, health care, social services, regulatory agencies under the control of workers, with workers represented in their own political party, are the first steps, the lowest common denominators, the minimal demands against the rule of capital.
Open borders are the prerequisite to expelling the capitalists.
April 15, 2006
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