The “Migrant Storm”
The European “refugee crisis” is getting worse by the day, as thousands seek the relative “safety” of Europe, having been forced to flee their ravaged countries under the shadow of western intervention and exploitation. Unmoved by their plight, Europe wants as little to do with the refugees (but as much to do with their markets) as possible, callous in the face of the millions displaced by war throughout Asia and Africa. They have shown as much or less sympathy for the most recent refugees as they have for the tens of thousands displaced by the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. With heads turned from the scene, the first world has raised its voice in indignation at the influx of refugees, conveniently ignoring the US/EU-sponsored destabilization of Libya into a failed-state, and the gauntlet of terror unleashed in Syria which brought them there in the first place. As of now there are over 218,000 refugees in Germany, to which the German population has viciously attacked and denounced.1 So what of the over 4 million from Syria alone now wandering the globe without food, water or shelter befitting a human being? These are 4 million people who have been displaced by the agony of a bloody civil war which has all but destroyed much of Syria and killed almost 3% of their population;2 the same 4 million that the German population can only describe as the “Migrant Storm” which Europe must be saved from.
Though, if one were to have a heart and perhaps any knowledge of context, we can see that what the refugees want—what they need—is what is owed to them. The first world, through its existence as such, has created these conditions. Where else are the impoverished masses to go but the place where the poor have promise and the houses have walls? Of course these people would rather remain in their homes, but imperialism has offered them no choice. Now Europe and North Amerika have no choice but to pay this measly fraction of what is owed, or to eliminate those to whom they owe it. The news that Europeans and amerikans do not want to hear the reality which has shaped these crises is their existence at the expense of 2/3rds of the world. With their continued existence hanging on the promise that their stolen wealth and their humanity, never be returned. If we are to look for a solution to the crisis of refugees in Europe, and thus North Amerika as well, we must realize that the imperialist states, the first world, must be destroyed to do so. That does not mean that we can turn a blind eye to the refugees now, because they belong here, wherever here is. They belong because this is what should be duly paid for the suffering inflicted by the imperialist states on their lives and their countries. They ask for a home, some food, and to be treated as human beings. This must be granted, and must be realized as only a fraction of what is to come.
Imperialism and the Displaced
The displaced people come from all over the world to the places at which they have arrived, from Eastern Europe, Africa, Central Asia and the Levant. This is, however, only in relevance to Europe; if we are to factor in North Amerika then there is not a place on this earth which has been disaffected by imperialism in which the oppressed have not fled in some numbers to the imperialist countries which are responsible. That may sound absurd at first. Why would they come to the countries that have destroyed their lives? Of course it is not necessarily an intuitive thing, one would expect, however it is not unreasonable. The US and Europe has not just destroyed, but looted most of the world and left its people starving for the most basic of human rights and dignities. This wealth of course ended up in such severe concentration in the first world that it would seem unreasonable for someone to have never considered it as an option when forced from their homes by rockets, famine and drought.
These people are not risking everything for nothing, they know—as does most of the world—that the first world carries with it the aura of opportunity to survive at a rate many times that of their home country. That is not to say their existence when they arrive, if they are allowed to stay, is not an abhorrent one at that. However, what it does imply is that the existence for much of the world’s people is below that of what measly existence can be carved out here. If it were not the case why have people risked their lives more than three times in some cases to reach Europe, only to be sent back again; to make the same journey, again and again? We should close the book on this, as we cannot continue to resist the idea that their misery was for the gain of first world peoples; it makes no sense to think otherwise. It is not by some liberal conception of charity that these people are owed what they have come here to acquire, it is not by virtue of the soul that we have given it to them! It is their wealth! It is their humanity we are talking about! The Humanity which they are still denied, even after years in and among the first world population!
The first world workers are not irrationally siding with their reactionary bourgeoisie as if they have no common cause. The labor aristocracy has been created by this very process of wealth concentration within the first world, and as the dam contains the reservoir, as do these borders and their walls contain the seas of stolen wealth. If these walls are to collapse, if labor and wealth is to be allowed free and unfettered passage across national barriers from the global north to the south; we are only to expect that the advantage of exclusivity that the labor aristocracy requires will be sincerely challenged, that they will be challenged by those who can and will work for less than a fifth of their wage—after all, they already do. The battle against imperialism, against exclusion, is not one where it is simply the bourgeoisie standing as enemy to the peoples of the third world, the labor aristocracy is also an enemy, and will present itself as such; has presented itself as such.
The First World is Churning
It is true, the reaction of the first world people is not one of passivity, nor one of the moderate. The first world is churning with opinion, contradiction, anger and frustration. However the labor aristocracy has not, nor ever will, present themselves as the revolutionary class bent on the disruption of capitalism, only the disruption of that which threatens their existence. Though even amongst their own ranks there is contradiction between what petit bourgeois morality exists, urging them to the realization that the poverty of the refugees is appalling, and that they should be able to share in the miracle that has been their countries’ economies. However, this comes with a price, those liberals who have yet to align themselves with the outward imperialists, have deceived themselves into thinking the wealth they have can be enjoyed by the whole world, and that their way of life is in no way dependent on its exclusion from most of the world. That however, is something which can only be held for so long, as even the liberal politicians in North Amerika and Europe are drawing a line in the sand.
In the US, it is Bernie Sanders who has repeated more than a half-dozen times that an “open borders” policy with Latin Amerika would be disastrous for the amerikan working class.3 This has been a politician praised for his outwardly progressive stances, his anti-war policy, and dedication to the increase in the standard of living for the amerikan worker. While Donald Trump, quite the opposite in many regards if you ask the amerikan worker, has more blatantly favored his ideal for the isolation of amerika from the threat of a similar “migrant storm” as to that referenced in Europe. However, what can we really draw from these differences? Although their domestic policy may vary quite a bit within the narrow spectrum it has been observed, on a systemic level one cannot really decipher such a huge leap from the kind of strict isolationism that the republican hopeful has, from the would-be “socialist” Bernie Sanders. This becomes increasingly obvious when you look at the fact that Donald Trump is one of the only Republican candidates to state that he has no interest in touching the social security fund, affirming his commitment in a very basic way to the labor aristocracy.4
In Europe, it is a similar picture, though it can be seen that the opposition rising on the horizon in the whole of the first world is most certainly not a communist one. With the Neo-Nazis of PEGIDA in Germany, and the National Front in France, it would appear that the main influences rising in opposition to the status quo are most certainly of the Far Right. The rise of the far right has not been a peaceful one, fascist groups have already set ablaze several buildings used to house the refugees, and have been responsible for assaults as well as riots against any decisions to allow them asylum.5 The German government, though thoroughly anti-refugee itself, has been depicted as treasonous by the right wing groups which desire a more intense action against all obstacles to the power of the labor aristocracy.
Anti-Imperialism and Anti-Fascism
The issue has now been brought to the point of conflict between two sides, for much of the first world the left is in no shape to commit to the fight against fascism and the far right as they mobilize their own movements and shape politics in the imperial core. However, the task of the creating anti-fascist blocs has become even more important, and the understanding must drift away from the labor aristocracy as a neutral entity which can be brought to the side of the oppressed people internationally. We must not see them as the principal enemy, but they are an enemy nonetheless. The nationalism of the left, and those liberals who would parade themselves as left, from within the core cannot be compatible with our alignment ourselves with the other 2/3rds of the world’s population, the disaffected and displaced majority. This by necessity, however, makes us enemies of the labor aristocracy and their institutions. We cannot afford to delude ourselves with the idea that the countries these refugees have come to, seeking the very lives they have been robbed of, were not built off the suffering they are fleeing.
To think that this wealth, which has been ripped from every corner of the world and poured into the imperial core, belongs to us is fundamentally incompatible with all revolutionary program. It is this miscalculation which has bridged the gap between the social democrats and the fascists which they allow the freedom to organize in their presence. It is this flawed conception which has liquidated much of the first world left into the bourgeois political system, where it now rubs shoulders with the fascists. If we do not put these ideas out of our mind, if we do not declare a continuous conflict with the interests, ideology, and conscience of the labor aristocracy and the imperialist bourgeoisie, we cannot hope to do anything but liquidate into their folds, and become tools against the world’s oppressed majority. This must be a continuous struggle, not on behalf, but alongside the third world to attack the very foundation of the first.
- Europe’s African Refugee Crisis: Is the Boat Really Full? ↩
- Syria: Squandering Humanity – Socioeconomic Monitoring Report on Syria ↩
- Bernie Sanders: Some immigration hurts Latino youth ↩
- Social Security and the Republican Debate: Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee vs. Jeb Bush and the Others ↩
- Neo-Nazi Arsonists: Officials Concerned by Growing Far-Right Networks ↩