Most readers will not, by now, require a recapitulation of the condition and origins of the so-called ‘migrant caravan’ currently stalled in Mexico. If so, one might begin here, here, and here. What we seek to do is clarify the class-nature of the crisis, the enemy, and the position of the proletarian camp.
Like most problems, we begin with the u.$. Liberals, while acknowledging the “sovereignty” and “security” of the u.$., mock the orange menace for his renewed crop of racist dog-whistles that sound much more like bullhorns, chief among them the claim that the refugee ‘caravan’ contains ‘terrorists’ and ‘Middle Easterners’. Conscientious commentators who point out that so-called ‘Turcos’—that is, Hondurans of mostly-Arab ancestry—are indeed in the ‘caravan’, along with a super-majority of indigenous and afro-descended Hondurans oppressed and immiserated by imperialism in general and the comprador regime of Juan Orlando Hernández in particular, are missing the point. The attacks by the orange menace are not meant to be statements of fact, but lines of march. To Trump, and more importantly, to his mass base of vicious parasites that make up the reactionary core of the greater labor aristocracy in the u.$., refugees are indeed terrorists and enemy combatants.
In 1924, at a lecture on Marxism and the ‘race question’, Li Dazhao, co-founder of the Chinese Communist Party declared that ‘…the race question has become a class question and the races, on a world scale, have come to confront each other as classes.’ The reader might fault him for his crude wording, but the sentiment is nonetheless true. The masses of workers of the u.$. have been fighting this class war since their founding. Whether the land of the native people, black labor, the jobs and property of Xicanx and Chinese workers, annexation after annexation has reinforced the border-ramparts of the parasite-state and delineated the boundary between the core and the periphery, first world and third. Where these battle-lines point inward, police and national guard form the shock troops of occupation against internal colonies. On the border, where the view is of the enemy camp, the border patrol serves this function with even more gusto, and receives the praise of the mass enemy for it.
When the Border Patrol Union and the Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Trump’s campaign for president, they were channeling the sentiments not only of their own membership but unionized workers in general. Richard Trumka, the racist don of the AFL=CIA, whose federation counts the IUPA, a smaller police union than the FOP, and Border Patrol union as members, has admitted that his rank and file exhibited unexpected support for Trump in 2016. Only for the ignorant is such a thing unexpected.
In the AFL=CIA, where the hard kernel of the labor aristocracy retains its bureaucratic leadership, vicious anti-refugee and anti-immigrant sentiment—above and beyond democrat “buy amerikan” populist chauvinism—reigns. The greater labor aristocracy—the mass reaction whose political organization is not centered on the old trade union bureaucracy, and whose wages may not resemble that of the industrial or skilled workers, are even more electrified by this class politics.
The orange menace is banking on the ‘caravan’ to help mitigate his party’s expected losses in the upcoming midterms, and virtually all bourgeois commentators agree this is highly probable. Nothing unites amerikans like a river of the oppressed. Therefore, Trump is correct when he says such ‘migrant caravans’ of refugees are an attack on amerika. Fortress amerika exists to seal in extracted wealth and seal out the workers whose super-exploited labor is being enjoyed by all strata of the population. The worker is immobile, while capital is free. The immobility of the amerikan worker is an identity; the immobility of the world proletariat is a curse—one foisted on them by imperialism, that their labor may be done in one country, and their surplus enjoyed in another. Any challenge to that state of affairs is revolutionary—or at the very least, has immense revolutionary potential. For this reason, the proletarian camp denies the sovereignty of the parasite-states and affirms the sovereignty of oppressed nations.
To agitate for unrestricted immigration is the absolute duty of every revolutionary. Any trepidations regarding the wages of amerikan workers or the implications for social peace—up to and including false concern for the very refugees who might come here, and thereby reclaim some of their lost surplus-value—is a capitulation to labor aristocratic chauvinism and the bourgeois logic of global wage scaling.
If the bourgeoisie reacts to the world working class penetrating the borders of the u.$. with immiseration of its own workers, then so be it. Pogroms are the class struggle of the parasites, and they will come with the crisis, refugees or no. The proletariat does not accept crocodile tears in sly defense of the bourgeoisie or its erstwhile servants in the mass reaction. Whether the immiseration of the core working classes in the inevitable ebb and flow of crisis results in proletarianization and in-roads for communist politics, or merely the final tumults in the collapse of western imperialism, is impossible to say at present and relies on the existence of a large and disciplined communist movement armed with correct theory. Either outcome is positive for the world proletariat.
In our internationalist duties, we urge comrades to concentrate their propaganda and practice on this question. Combat reactionary sentiment, educate comrades and willing audiences. We hope for, but do not expect, mass actions similar to the few laudable anti-ICE demonstrations in June against the separation of families at the border, and the prosecution of asylum seekers. Wherever possible we hope comrades will join or organize such actions in solidarity with these and other refugees. Raise the political level of your friends and comrades—struggle against the logic of global wage-scaling and left chauvinism, both subtle and obvious.
This episode, and the propaganda employed within it—ours and theirs—represents in microcosm the contradiction between the labor aristocracy and the world proletariat. Now as ever, here and always, our duty is to come down on the side of the latter against the former.