A specter haunts the world and it is the specter of migration.
----Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri
I am late today, but the subject at hand is anything but. Migrant workers around the world face obstacles like few other workers anywhere...and it ain't like those other workers have it all that great either.
In the news we see ships full of poor workers sinking in the Medeterranian and scores drown. In the deserts of New Mexico and Arizona, scores more die of thirst and heat. In the Emirates workers are locked in dorms, cheated, raped, and abused. Everywhere the story is the same, yet everywhere workers are on the move. Why? Is migration a positive or a negative? Why? Is migration the future or the past? Why? What should the stand of communists, anarchists, Marxists, progressive people be in regard to the international movement of labor across borders, seas, and mountain? What can be done and what should be done?
I have my own thoughts on all this, but today I am keeping them silent, except for this. Borders are bullshit and people have the right to move as they please and need. Movement is one way of fighting the Empire and global capital, with our own form of alter globalization. The fight against this exploitation and abuse and on behalf of migratory labor is the fight against Capital. The movement of labor across borders is part of the class struggle today. It is working people who are moving. It is Capital which is forced to respond once again. As capital flows across borders and increasingly knows no State, so labor does the same...fleeing from and moving toward. The exploitation of migratory labor is purely the result of global capital struggling to save surplus value, its rate of profit, its accumulation of capital, its power, command, and control.
Anyway, I'll leave it at that and give you two more posts today. The first is from The South Afreican Civil society Information Service, and can serve as sort of a backgrounder, if you like. The second is a manifesto written by some folks active in the No Borders UK network. It was written last year, but it is far from dated.
AFRICAN MIGRANT DEATHS REMINDER OF EXPLOITATION
By Glenn Ashton · 15 Oct 2013
The recent tragedy off the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, in which over 300 migrants were drowned, placed inequality between the developing and developed world into sharp focus. That people are desperate enough to risk their lives for economic opportunities highlights two perceptions of the migrants – how bad things are in some nations and how good they appear to be in others. World leaders must urgently re-examine what drives the ever increasing numbers of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to leave their homes.