The reality of immigration

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The reality of immigration

Post by DSN on Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:56 pm

I'm always skeptical about people's views on immigration. It either seems to be a simple "let's let everyone in for the sake of not looking like Nazis!" or, at the other end of the hall, "the solution to all of our problems is not letting anyone into the country and putting our people first." So, are there actually any significant problems caused by immigration as we see it happening now? Or are all of our problems apparently caused/fuelled by immigration just there to put the blame on someone else? Is there a reasonable solution without a full blown revolution and all that socialist jazz?

This is a bit of a short question for such a big topic, but I never know where I stand on this issue. Most leftists will stamp this out like a cigarette on the floor as soon as it comes up and call anyone who disagrees a racist/xenophobe.

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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by Confusion on Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:39 am

Those who care deeply about anti-immigration in my country sometimes propose a national referendum were the people will decide. I imagine such a referendum must have more alternatives then just "yes" and "no", but it might be a good idea anyway. Since people care so much about it, we might repeat this referendum with regular intervals, like every ten year or something. With stuff like international trade and unemployment and lack of workers within this or that sector, negative climate-events and such, a immigration-policy can't be hammered out in stone for all eternity.

I don't think any country in the world has completely open boarders on neither goods nor people, so protectionism is not outdated in the real world - specially now that stuff like the EU and the Euro might break. (Hopefully we will find a new form of European collaboration, perhaps something like a mini-UN for Europe, perhaps as a sub-group of the big UN, but that is a different debate)

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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:07 pm

DSN wrote:So, are there actually any significant problems caused by immigration as we see it happening now? Or are all of our problems apparently caused/fuelled by immigration just there to put the blame on someone else? Is there a reasonable solution without a full blown revolution and all that socialist jazz?

There are legitimate problems which working class people endure as a result of immigration. The most serious issue associated with immigration is that it inflates the size of labor market, thereby putting downward pressure on wages and rendering jobs more precarious in nature.

To answer your question, I would submit that nothing short of fundamentally changing modes of production can sufficiently address the problem. It's a truism that within capitalist societies the bourgeoisie shape public policy, and since capitalists benefit from labor and capital mobility, the problems it causes for the national proletariat cannot be resolved. We can obviously conceive of policies which would limit immigration and capital flight within the context of capitalism, but they simply aren't politically viable.

This is a bit of a short question for such a big topic, but I never know where I stand on this issue.


Anyone concerned with assisting the working class should oppose immigration.

Most leftists will stamp this out like a cigarette on the floor as soon as it comes up and call anyone who disagrees a racist/xenophobe.

That's because most contemporary Leftists don't possess an adequate understanding of economics, and are obsessed with promoting cosmopolitanism—even if it's to the detriment of advancing socialist revolution.

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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by DSN on Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:10 pm

Celtiberian wrote:Anyone concerned with assisting the working class should oppose immigration.

Well I think the obvious idea running around everyone's minds is that we have to help the working class of every country and therefore support the immigrant's right to a good standard of living in the more developed countries of Europe and North America, although this obviously doesn't work out as well as we'd like it to.

That's because most contemporary Leftists don't understanding economics, and are obsessed with promoting cosmopolitanism—even if it's to the detriment of advancing socialist revolution.

So how exactly would bringing immigration to a halt in our current situation make a socialist revolution more likely to happen in the first place?

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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:35 pm

DSN wrote:Well I think the obvious idea running around everyone's minds is that we have to help the working class of every country and therefore support the immigrant's right to a good standard of living in the more developed countries of Europe and North America, although this obviously doesn't work out as well as we'd like it to.

I understand their argument, but it's based on fallacious reasoning. As I stated in my previous post, it reduces to a zero-sum situation: the immigrants benefit only at the expense of the host population's working class. This, in turn, causes resentment and hostility within the working class, which ultimately only benefits fascist demagogues and/or right-wing politicians who disingenuously promise to restrict immigration.

So how exactly would bringing immigration to a halt in our current situation make a socialist revolution more likely to happen in the first place?

Sociologically speaking, it's much easier to organize individuals around a common cause when the differences between them aren't too drastic. Mass immigration merely prolongs the dictatorship of capital because it provides reactionaries with the opportunity to quell the class struggle by encouraging the working class to perceive their problems as related solely to nationality or race. This is a successful strategy to employ because it's partially accurate; the national proletariat are suffering hardships as a result of immigration—though it is capitalism which is the cause of that immigration (which the reactionaries intentionally omit).

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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by NazBol on Sun Aug 19, 2012 12:30 pm

I'm against right-wing populism and anti-immigrant rhetoric

The Problem is Capitalism, not a poor people
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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by SalfordAnarchist on Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:42 pm

NazBol wrote:I'm against right-wing populism and anti-immigrant rhetoric

The Problem is Capitalism, not a poor people

This, how can anyone call themselves socialist and support a capitalist government accepting or allowing/rejecting people into a certain territory. The earth does not belong to anyone and a socialist would never support a government, capitalist to boot, controlling the flow of people in and out of a certain space.

I am really freaked out at some of the things even considered debate worthy on here considering it is supposed left wing people.

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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by SalfordAnarchist on Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:46 pm

Celtiberian wrote:I understand their argument, but it's based on fallacious reasoning. As I stated in my previous post, it reduces to a zero-sum situation: the immigrants benefit only at the expense of the host population's working class. This, in turn, causes resentment and hostility within the working class, which ultimately only benefits fascist demagogues and/or right-wing politicians who disingenuously promise to restrict immigration.

Well seeing as the first world workers can only have the reforms and standard of living they have under capitalism is because of the capitalist, imperialist nations plundering the third world and extracting billions in practical slavery and natural resource theft, I think the amount immigrants make in wages, compared to benefits first worlders receive from the third world nations is minuscule.

You seem to view immigrants as parasitic where as in actual fact it is 100% the other way round.

Colonise half the world, complain about immigrants!

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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by Red Aegis on Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:56 pm

Just because the government is bourgeois and the economic system is Capitalism does not mean that we have to support free immigration. I think it would be prudent for you to elicit your reasoning for wanting a borders to disappear. It is up to the people that live in a place who is allowed to enter that area, within reason of course.

Addition:

SalfordAnarchist wrote:Well seeing as the first world workers can only have the reforms and standard of living they have under capitalism is because of the capitalist, imperialist nations plundering the third world and extracting billions in practical slavery and natural resource theft, I think the amount immigrants make in wages, compared to benefits first worlders receive from the third world nations is minuscule.

You seem to view immigrants as parasitic where as in actual fact it is 100% the other way round.

Colonise half the world, complain about immigrants!

He said nothing of the sort. Try reading.

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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by SalfordAnarchist on Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:00 pm

No, if I live on my street can I stop you living here?

Just because you live somewhere, does not give you the right to stop other people living there, your position on self determination is wrong, self determination is one thing, when you determine other peoples destiny's by authoritarian means, you are being anti democratic and evil.

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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by Rev Scare on Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:06 pm

SalfordAnarchist wrote:Well seeing as the first world workers can only have the reforms and standard of living they have under capitalism is because of the capitalist, imperialist nations plundering the third world and extracting billions in practical slavery and natural resource theft, I think the amount immigrants make in wages, compared to benefits first worlders receive from the third world nations is minuscule.

This is largely irrelevant. While it is true that imperialism has certainly contributed to the expansion of western capitalism at the expense of the global south, the proletariat in the global north has benefited only indirectly, and in large part, imperialism is ruinous for the working class regardless of country. (To borrow Engels' famous quote, "No nation can be free if it oppresses other nations.") Capital flight and immigration are deleterious to both the First World proletariat and to international proletarian solidarity. The former fosters competitive relations between nations, while the latter depresses wages and foments resentment on the part of both immigrants and native inhabitants.

Furthermore, the average member of the working class is not aware of the sources of Third World poverty, let alone do they view themselves as beneficiaries thereof. It seems as though you are implying that imperialism is the only manner of securing a greater standard of living in the First World, when this is patently false. A gross misallocation of global resources and their concentration ensure widespread poverty and waste, but this can be rectified with socialized production and fair trade as opposed to "free" trade.

You seem to view immigrants as parasitic where as in actual fact it is 100% the other way round.

Nobody has claimed that immigrants are "parasitic." Capitalists are the only significant parasites in society. Immigration, however, is inimical to working class interests. All leftists should staunchly oppose immigration. There is no indication that it benefits the international working classes, although it certainly generates unnecessary friction and renders the proletariat more vulnerable to reactionary nationalist appeals.

Colonise half the world, complain about immigrants!

Western capitalists have colonized, but this is entirely removed from the average proletarian in the global north, who merely seeks to get by the day with a minimal degree of comfort.

SalfordAnarchist

Yes, we are perfectly aware of your pseudonym. Is it absolutely necessary to "sign" almost every post?

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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by SalfordAnarchist on Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:33 am

Why do you think white worers can still enjoy things as oppressed workers the third world workers can only dream about?

Labour aristocracy, we here all benefit in some diret way from the wealth stolen and plundered from the third world.

Them huge super prfits generated mean the capitalists in the imperialist nations can give workers here reforms and higher wages and even benefits if they are not even producing, how would this be possible if not for the billions made off slavery and plundering abroad, it would not be.

If not for imperialism workers would have to receive less than the value of their labour and lose all benefits to keep the capitalist in profits, whenever anyone moans about immigrants it is the biggest hypocrisy going and shows someone's true colours.

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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:59 am

SalfordAnarchist wrote:Why do you think white worers can still enjoy things as oppressed workers the third world workers can only dream about?

Labour aristocracy, we here all benefit in some diret way from the wealth stolen and plundered from the third world.

Them huge super prfits generated mean the capitalists in the imperialist nations can give workers here reforms and higher wages and even benefits if they are not even producing, how would this be possible if not for the billions made off slavery and plundering abroad, it would not be.

If not for imperialism workers would have to receive less than the value of their labour and lose all benefits to keep the capitalist in profits, whenever anyone moans about immigrants it is the biggest hypocrisy going and shows someone's true colours.

SalfordAnarchist

Your contention is patently false (and clearly based on Lenin's fundamental misunderstanding of how imperialism would evolve). Today, the only individuals making the argument that globalization leads to the sorts of economic benefits (for first-world workers) you cite are Maoist Third Worldist quacks and neoliberal charlatans.

The fact of the matter is that globalization has not led to any corresponding increase in the wages or benefits of workers in the Global North. Wages in the U.S., for example, have remained stagnant for roughly 40 years — during which time the rate of offshoring and outsourcing has skyrocketed. The only 'benefit' that globalization has arguably introduced to the Global North has been a reduction in the price of various (non-essential) commodities. The increased job precarity, wage stagnation, and rises in the prices of essential goods and services (e.g. energy, food, healthcare, and housing) have all demonstrated that imperialism has not led to the creation of any so-called aristocracy of labor.

Scarcity in the supply of available labor is what leads to increases in the wages and benefits of workers in growing capitalist economies.


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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by SalfordAnarchist on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:18 am

I actually despise thirdworldists, I just recognise fact and don't ignore it. I f I am wrong can you explain why even when production in the UK is at an all time low and workers are producing less and earning higher percentages of the value of their labour at the same time, if there was not a massive open pool of cheap labour and resources to plunder, first world working class peoples conditions would plummet as the push to drive profits up and costs down would mean longer hours less pay and no state benefits.

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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by SalfordAnarchist on Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:24 am

Where I say thirdworldists are full of shit is this does not mean workers here are not exploited or slaves, we are just the house slave and the third world workers and peasants are the field slaves.

We just get benefits for the supporting of the monopoly capitalist economic system in place, the military force used to impose the system and having a benefited exploited class stops outbreaks of serious revolution in the first world in the heartlands of the capitalist system.

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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by Celtiberian on Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:46 am

SalfordAnarchist wrote:I f I am wrong can you explain why even when production in the UK is at an all time low and workers are producing less and earning higher percentages of the value of their labour at the same time, if there was not a massive open pool of cheap labour and resources to plunder, first world working class peoples conditions would plummet as the push to drive profits up and costs down would mean longer hours less pay and no state benefits.

As Rev Scare already explained, the 'superexploitation' of labor abroad doesn't lead to changes in the class consciousness of workers in the global north, because the benefits accrued therein are indirect (I discuss this further here). Moreover, these 'privileged' workers you're referring to are witnessing a progressive immiseration, and globalization is partly to blame. In addition to immigration inflating the size of the labor market, union busting, and automation rendering ever larger segments of the proletariat redundant, capital mobility has enabled the bourgeoisie to offshore many of the formerly well paying jobs to the Third World. What we're left with in its wake, as Admin pointed out, is low wage, service sector employment. The working class now relies on cheap commodities from the Third World to maintain a semblance of a dignified existence, but even this will not last. Proletarians in the global north would have benefited far more had capital mobility and immigration been restricted, and tariffs been implemented.

In short, what we're witnessing is not an imperialism which shares the spoils of conquest with its domestic working class in order to pacify them, but rather a gradual slumification of the entire world.

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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by cogarian888 on Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:29 pm

Celtiberian wrote:I understand their argument, but it's based on fallacious reasoning. As I stated in my previous post, it reduces to a zero-sum situation: the immigrants benefit only at the expense of the host population's working class. This, in turn, causes resentment and hostility within the working class, which ultimately only benefits fascist demagogues and/or right-wing politicians who disingenuously promise to restrict immigration.


Sociologically speaking, it's much easier to organize individuals around a common cause when the differences between them aren't too drastic. Mass immigration merely prolongs the dictatorship of capital because it provides reactionaries with the opportunity to quell the class struggle by encouraging the working class to perceive their problems as related solely to nationality or race. This is a successful strategy to employ because it's partially accurate; the national proletariat are suffering hardships as a result of immigration—though it is capitalism which is the cause of that immigration (which the reactionaries intentionally omit).

To be fair, to oppose immigration on these grounds would be analogous to opposing welfare because some Right-Wing Populists complain about brown-faced "leeches" all the time. I think that, "Well, right wingers use it to divide the working class," is a pretty poor argument in the grand scheme of things. The second half is more relevant, I suppose; however, the same could be said of welfare, as it provides a cushion for the working class to fall back on, and in turn reduces radicalism. It may be easier to organize culturally/racially homogenous workers, but it still means worse lives for a large number of non-White workers.
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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by Red Aegis on Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:42 pm

cogarian888 wrote:To be fair, to oppose immigration on these grounds would be analogous to opposing welfare because some Right-Wing Populists complain about brown-faced "leeches" all the time. I think that, "Well, right wingers use it to divide the working class," is a pretty poor argument in the grand scheme of things.


The difference is a perception of who has a right to the work in a certain location. If everyone has a right to work anywhere then it follows that mass immigration would be acceptable regardless of the economic consequences. If the ones who are born in a location have the right to that area's resources then it does not follow that mass immigration is acceptable without the permission of the natives. The arguments about a race-based right to the jobs of an area are rejected by both Celtiberian and myself. This is why your comparison is invalid, but I understand your confusion.


The second half is more relevant, I suppose; however, the same could be said of welfare, as it provides a cushion for the working class to fall back on, and in turn reduces radicalism. It may be easier to organize culturally/racially homogenous workers, but it still means worse lives for a large number of non-White workers.


We are not talking about race at all but I'll address your other point.

The end goal of Socialism does not have to be reached through purposefully applying pain to the proletariat and I would argue that such methods are wrong and paternalistic. The point of preferring a more homogenous proletariat is solely due to the ease of organizing, which you agree with. The difference between cutting welfare and lowering immigration is that cutting welfare is actively harming the community, whereas lowering or limiting immigration is both helping the immediate economic problems and making it clearer who the enemies really are.

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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by cogarian888 on Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:59 pm

Red Aegis wrote:The difference is a perception of who has a right to the work in a certain location. If everyone has a right to work anywhere then it follows that mass immigration would be acceptable regardless of the economic consequences. If the ones who are born in a location have the right to that area's resources than it does not follow that mass immigration is acceptable without the permission of the natives. The arguments about a race-based right to the jobs of an area are rejected by both Celtiberian and myself. This is why your comparison is invalid, but I understand your confusion.

I was referring more to the position that we ought to oppose something because the right wing uses it to divide the working class. Such a position doesn't make much sense, because they do this with plenty of things which help the working class as a whole. I also think that viewing this in terms of nations is clouding the issue of class. The idea that one has a right to work in one area of the world because he was born within some border which was defined through previous bourgeois conflicts seems, well, petit-bourgeois. It accepts the implicit division of the working class, and undermines the perception of their shared interests.


We are not talking about race at all but I'll address your other point.

To clarify, I'm aware that this is a race-neutral discussion, but race is connected to geography, and non-Whites live in relatively poor areas. With the exception of East Asians.

The end goal of Socialism does not have to be reached through purposefully applying pain to the proletariat and I would argue that such methods are wrong and paternalistic.

This would be precisely what you'd be doing by not allowing non-Native proletarians access to advanced nations.

The point of preferring a more homogenous proletariat is solely due to the ease of organizing, which you agree with. The difference between cutting welfare and lowering immigration is that cutting welfare is actively harming the community, whereas lowering or limiting immigration is both helping the immediate economic problems and making it clearer who the enemies really are.

I'd actually like some sources on the supposed negative impact of immigration on the economic standing of native proletarians. I understand the economic argument, but it ignores the fact that immigrants buy things with the money they receive when they take a job. That is, they expand the economy as well as take jobs. The simplest form of anti-Immigration logic would imply that population growth leads to unemployment.
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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by Red Aegis on Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:18 pm

cogarian888 wrote:I was referring more to the position that we ought to oppose something because the right wing uses it to divide the working class. Such a position doesn't make much sense, because they do this with plenty of things which help the working class as a whole. I also think that viewing this in terms of nations is clouding the issue of class. The idea that one has a right to work in one area of the world because he was born within some border which was defined through previous bourgeois conflicts seems, well, petit-bourgeois. It accepts the implicit division of the working class, and undermines the perception of their shared interests.

Your wording is awkward so I may have misunderstood you.

We should not oppose a policy that a rival holds if we agree with it. Conservatives also uphold breathing as good, and so do we.

How does it cloud the issue of class at all? It is merely preventing different groups of proletariat from being further used as pawns against each other and allowing them to fight the correct battle, namely, against the bourgeoisie. Also, how is a position on immigration the same as owning a business? That makes no sense.

To clarify, I'm aware that this is a race-neutral discussion, but race is connected to geography, and non-Whites live in relatively poor areas. With the exception of East Asians.

So you just said it for no reason?

This would be precisely what you'd be doing by not allowing non-Native proletarians access to advanced nations.

How exactly is that?

I'd actually like some sources on the supposed negative impact of immigration on the economic standing of native proletarians. I understand the economic argument, but it ignores the fact that immigrants buy things with the money they receive when they take a job. That is, they expand the economy as well as take jobs. The simplest form of anti-Immigration logic would imply that population growth leads to unemployment.

I could find them later, but it is fairly obvious. I'm procrastinating on schoolwork right now so I can't present the research atm.

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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by cogarian888 on Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:45 pm

Red Aegis wrote:Your wording is awkward so I may have misunderstood you.



I thought I was being clear, but:
We should not oppose something merely because the right wing uses it to divide the working class. They use good things to divide the working class as well as bad things.

How does it cloud the issue of class at all? It is merely preventing different groups of proletariat from being further used as pawns against each other and allowing them to fight the correct battle, namely, against the bourgeoisie.

Yes, because complaining about immigrants taking their jobs will take their minds off of immigration.

Also, how is a position on immigration the same as owning a business? That makes no sense.

What?

So you just said it for no reason?

No, I said it because most of those who would be negatively affected by closed immigration would be Asian, Hispanic, or Black.

This would be precisely what you'd be doing by not allowing non-Native proletarians access to advanced nations.

How exactly is that?

I was saying that preferring one group of proles, i.e., Westerners, over another, i.e., immigrants, harms the immigrants. That is, it harms part of the working class. Why do you think we should do this? Because it will, allegedly, make the revolution go down more smoothly. So, you think we should hurt the working class (Yes, migrant workers are members of the working class), so that we can save it.
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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by Red Aegis on Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:10 pm

cogarian888 wrote:I thought I was being clear, but:
We should not oppose something merely because the right wing uses it to divide the working class.

Correct.

They use good things to divide the working class as well as bad things.

This would be an example of a bad thing; therefore, I oppose it.

Yes, because complaining about immigrants taking their jobs will take their minds off of immigration.

It is not complaining if you support the accompanying policy to remedy the problem.

What?

You called a position petit-bourgeois. I was poking fun at that since it holds little meaning and isn't a good criticism.

No, I said it because most of those who would be negatively affected by closed immigration would be Asian, Hispanic, or Black.

Why do you insist on bringing race into everything? Just call them foreign workers since that's the important descriptor here.

Your concern is this no: regulating borders would make it harder for workers in other countries to find work since they will have to find it in their own area instead of going to others?

That may be true, but it would also mean that it would lessen the burden and improve the situation of those workers in the nation they would like to enter. It would also force the proletariat to face their problems head on instead of fleeing the policies and practices of the bourgeois government and the bourgeoisie. This would not be an attack on the people of the nation in which people want to leave. It would be preventing the suffering of one area from entering another and causing harm to the whole class in general.

Let us talk plainly, you are referring to the fact that if we were to limit or prevent Mexicans from entering the United States the mexican proletariat would be forced to live in the poverty that is Mexico for the non-bourgeois. That is true, but it would also force the mexican proletariat to address their own issues and work out what is best for them without injuring their neighbors. You may not mind if there is an influx of cheap labor in your industry that you cannot compete with, but that is not your decision to make for everyone. You are presuming that since it may lessen the suffering of one group that it is alright to increase the suffering of another even if the second group was not a part of that decision. This is what I mean when I say that the people of one area are the ones that must control the flow of people in their area. People must be responsible for their own lives and make those decisions for themselves instead of having the fluctuations caused by the bourgeoisie of another country control their destiny.

Both foreign and domestic capitalists must be fought, but you cannot expect any group to take on the suffering of another without consent.

Does that make sense?

This would be precisely what you'd be doing by not allowing non-Native proletarians access to advanced nations.

You are comparing apples to oranges as I described above.

I was saying that preferring one group of proles, i.e., Westerners, over another, i.e., immigrants, harms the immigrants. That is, it harms part of the working class. Why do you think we should do this? Because it will, allegedly, make the revolution go down more smoothly. So, you think we should hurt the working class (Yes, migrant workers are members of the working class), so that we can save it.

I addressed this above.

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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by cogarian888 on Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:47 pm

Red Aegis wrote:This would be an example of a bad thing; therefore, I oppose it.

Prove it?

It is not complaining if you support the accompanying policy to remedy the problem.

A. How long do you think it would take to get such a policy enacted?
B. How would that affect the focus of the working class on class-based politics during that time?
C. How is it even a problem?

Why do you insist on bringing race into everything? Just call them foreign workers since that's the important descriptor here.

To call them foreign workers would be to paint with a broad brush. Europeans aren't immigrating to Africa in large numbers, yet they'd be "foreign workers." We're talking about non-Europeans going into European nations - as well as America, which has a population of mostly European descent - and integrating into the economy of these nations. To say it would hurt "foreign workers" isn't specific enough and obfuscates who's being hurt by this policy. I don't drag race into every issue, race is just more descriptive in this case. In fact, I wouldn't even make a big issue of it, I just thought it was more descriptive.

Your concern is this no: regulating borders would make it harder for workers in other countries to find work since they will have to find it in their own area instead of going to others?

That may be true, but it would also mean that it would lessen the burden and improve the situation of those workers in the nation they would like to enter. It would also force the proletariat to face their problems head on instead of fleeing the policies and practices of the bourgeois government and the bourgeoisie. This would not be an attack on the people of the nation in which people want to leave. It would be preventing the suffering of one area from entering another and causing harm to the whole class in general.

You haven't even proven the long term or short term negative effects of immigration on the host populace. All I've seen is a logical argument that it floods the labor market, but this is an oversimplification. Immigrants buy things as well as sell their labor, and thus the economy grows. On top of that, not all recent migrants immediately enter the labor force.

Let us talk plainly, you are referring to the fact that if we were to limit or prevent Mexicans from entering the United States the mexican proletariat would be forced to live in the poverty that is Mexico for the non-bourgeois. That is true, but it would also force the mexican proletariat to address their own issues and work out what is best for them without injuring their neighbors. You may not mind if there is an influx of cheap labor in your industry that you cannot compete with, but that is not your decision to make for everyone. You are presuming that since it may lessen the suffering of one group that it is alright to increase the suffering of another even if the second group was not a part of that decision. This is what I mean when I say that the people of one area are the ones that must control the flow of people in their area. People must be responsible for their own lives and make those decisions for themselves instead of having the fluctuations caused by the bourgeoisie of another country control their destiny.

Both foreign and domestic capitalists must be fought, but you cannot expect any group to take on the suffering of another without consent.

Does that make sense?

No. See above. The average standard of living didn't permanently decline after the first major wave of European immigration into the United States. You're not transferring misery; if you were, immigrants wouldn't even bother in the first place.
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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by Red Aegis on Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:35 pm

cogarian888 wrote:You haven't even proven the long term or short term negative effects of immigration on the host populace. All I've seen is a logical argument that it floods the labor market, but this is an oversimplification. Immigrants buy things as well as sell their labor, and thus the economy grows. On top of that, not all recent migrants immediately enter the labor force.

They may produce demand and spend some of their earnings, that is true but what about this? http://www.elpasotimes.com/news/ci_19882101 That is a lot of money to leave the economy.

Even this NPR article that supports the view that illegal immigrants add to the economy admits that it harms low-skilled laborers. It makes petty arguments that people wouldn't do the dirty work even though there is high unemployment. The article also makes the case that without the illegal workers the companies would just build machines to do the jobs, but if they could they would do it anyway so that they wouldn't have to pay the illegal workers. The author also uses the argument that there are bigger issues that effect the economy and that is true, but I would still rather limit every source of harm if possible. Anyway here's that article: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5312900

Even NPR - which is a reputable source - makes only a weak case in favor of allowing or not strictly regulating immigration by saying, roughly, that since it makes the rich richer and doesn't hurt the middle class too much it's alright. I say that is a pretty stupid line of reasoning.

No. See above. The average standard of living didn't permanently decline after the first major wave of European immigration into the United States. You're not transferring misery; if you were, immigrants wouldn't even bother in the first place.

It shouldn't be surprising that there wasn't a reduction in the standard of living since there was a manufacturing boom and war. Both of those phenomena increase the demand for labor. This is not the case now and the current wars are small by comparison.

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Re: The reality of immigration

Post by Celtiberian on Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:29 pm

cogarian888 wrote:To be fair, to oppose immigration on these grounds would be analogous to opposing welfare because some Right-Wing Populists complain about brown-faced "leeches" all the time.

It's not analogues, because right-wing populists would be misinforming the public about welfare, whereas they would be correct in stating that immigration is driving down wages—especially for low- and semi-skilled workers.

I think that, "Well, right wingers use it to divide the working class," is a pretty poor argument in the grand scheme of things.

It's an important argument for those of us concerned with successfully organizing the working class in order to end the international dictatorship of capital.

It may be easier to organize culturally/racially homogenous workers, but it still means worse lives for a large number of non-White workers.

Actually, "in the grand scheme of things," it doesn't. One of the prime causes of immigration is the constant interference by North American and European capitalist hegemons in the drafting of economic policies in developing countries. Simply put, the neoliberal "Washington consensus" forced onto our trading partners in the global south has retarded their economic development to a considerable extent. Were they instead permitted to pursue an independent path and provided with foreign assistance which wouldn't crush them with exorbitant interest rates, poverty would be declining and, consequently, the impetus behind emigration would be mitigated. Ending capitalism would enable this to occur.

Moreover, socialists are generally concerned with finding collective solutions to social problems. Allowing a few immigrants into developed countries may indeed serve to better the lives of those specific individuals, but the lot of their less fortunate compatriots are no better off. In fact, many of the skilled workers in those countries are the ones who immigrate to the West with ease, and those scarce skills are far more needed in developing countries than they are here.

I was referring more to the position that we ought to oppose something because the right wing uses it to divide the working class. Such a position doesn't make much sense, because they do this with plenty of things which help the working class as a whole. I also think that viewing this in terms of nations is clouding the issue of class. The idea that one has a right to work in one area of the world because he was born within some border which was defined through previous bourgeois conflicts seems, well, petit-bourgeois. It accepts the implicit division of the working class, and undermines the perception of their shared interests.

I recently had this argument with a user in the Cosmopolitans sub-forum, but to recapitulate: it's a mistake to unduly elevate class identity over other self-identifications. In our activism, we obviously must stress the primacy of the class struggle, but we mustn't think that people will suddenly abandon the rest of what defines them as individuals as a result of acknowledging that labor is exploited by capital. Humanity's concern for justice is nearly matched by our yearning for community. Mass immigration undermines the latter, which is yet another reason why working people find it objectionable.

I'm of the view that the earth should be viewed as humanity's common inheritance, but that needs to be reconciled with the reality of ethnocultural self-identification. Incidentally, the way I propose this be handled under socialism is by accepting geographical territories as being possessed (as opposed to owned) by national groups—thereby permitting those populations to establish their own citizenship criteria—but with the caveat that access to the resources within those territories be granted to other nations, as outlined in an annual international economic plan.

non-Whites live in relatively poor areas. With the exception of East Asians.

I would narrow "East Asians" down to Japanese and South Koreans, with respect to those nations currently possessing a First World standard of living in that part of the Asian continent.

I'd actually like some sources on the supposed negative impact of immigration on the economic standing of native proletarians. I understand the economic argument, but it ignores the fact that immigrants buy things with the money they receive when they take a job. That is, they expand the economy as well as take jobs. The simplest form of anti-Immigration logic would imply that population growth leads to unemployment.

Whatever economic growth they cause disproportionately benefits capital. The issue of wage suppression is a simple matter of supply and demand. Increases in the size of the labor market simultaneously increases competition per job in the economy, thus providing employers with greater bargaining power in wage-for-labor-time contract negotiations. And although it is difficult to empirically quantify the extent by which immigration negatively impacts domestic workers, most analysts don't deny the reality of the situation. For example,

"Economists long ago have realized that there is no way to prove or to measure the job displacement of citizens by illegal immigrants. This is because when immigrants (including the large illegal immigrant component) move into a local labor market, citizens tend to move out. Mass immigration has affected the internal migration patterns of citizen workers. As they leave the area or as they drop out of the labor market because they cannot find jobs, immigrants move in to claim the jobs. But there is no way to measure the loss since many of the victims are no longer in the local labor market.

As for wage suppression, all studies show that the large infusion of immigrants has depressed the wages of low skilled workers. It is the illegal immigrant component of the immigration flow that has most certainly caused the most damage, but there is no way to isolate their singular harm. But even these studies most likely underestimate the true adverse impact because there is a floor of legal wages set by minimum wage laws that do not allow the market to set the actual wage level. What is known is that wages in the low wage labor market have tended to stagnate for some time. It is not just that the availability of massive numbers of illegal immigrants depress wages, it is the fact that their sheer numbers keep wages from rising over time, and that is the real harm experienced by citizen workers in the low skilled labor market.

What is apparent is that the unemployment rates in the low skilled labor market are the highest in the entire national labor force. This means that the low skilled labor market is in a surplus condition. Willing workers are available at existing wage rates. By definition, therefore, illegal immigrants who are overwhelmingly present in that same labor market sector adversely affect the economic opportunities of legal citizen workers because the illegal workers are preferred workers. No groups pays a higher penalty for this unfair competition than do low skilled black Americans, given their inordinately high unemployment levels
."
Vernon M. Briggs, Jr., "Illegal Immigration: The Impact on Wages and Employment of Black Workers" in Commission on Civil Rights (ed.), The Impact of Illegal Immigration on the Wages and Employment Opportunities of Black Workers, pp. 38-39.

(It should also be noted that the progeny of these immigrants inevitably compete with domestic workers for semi- and skilled-jobs, thereby putting downward pressure on the wages of those professions as well.)

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