Sunday, December 29, 2013

One Class United

In spite of a surge of anti-immigrant rhetoric from leading politicians, according to a new poll, British people are happy to accept migrants from the east of Europe who learn English, get a job, pay taxes and become part of their local community.  68% of those asked said they would be happy for migrants to come on those terms. That sentiment was particularly strong among people aged between 35 and 44, with 72% supporting their right to come to live and work in the UK. Despite a barrage of negative publicity about the arrival of migrants from Romania and Bulgaria, the new poll finds that only one in four Britons (24%) believe that restricting the free movement of people, while staying in the EU, should be one of the government's priorities. A similar proportion (26%) said leaving the EU should be a priority if it does not change its rules on allowing people to come to the UK.

 Immigration laws are being tightened up in every country. New immigrants are increasingly finding admittance difficult and many existing ones are now living precariously. At the same time as the governments are tightening up the law on legal immigration, the traffic in illegal immigrants is intensifying.  The authorities are well aware that the division between legal and so-called illegal is one to exploit in their policy of intimidation.

Life is becoming tougher and tougher as the threat of repatriation is actually being used against such migrants as the Roma.  There has been a sharp increase in violence against the foreigner in every country and as the recession deepens we can expect racialist hysteria to increase. The employers, the governments and their attack-dogs in the media have got ready-made targets.

The ruling class hope to keep the worst-off sections of workers in fighting with each other over shrinking pieces of a small pie instead of uniting to fight for a decent life for all.  Much has been done to stoke fears and hostilities against migrant workers. If one was susceptible to conspiracy theories then it would be very easy to accept that it suits the employers much better to avoid integration so to have a permanent rootless and weak stratum in the workplaces.

 We have to oppose all laws that divide the working class into legals and illegals.  We need a united struggle of all workers against the capitalist attacks. It is clear that capitalism cannot afford the  working class as a united force in the world today and it is out to destroy it.

'Jobs for our own people first.' How often is that heard? Our people cannot be defined by their place of birth, the place where they live, the language they talk or the colour of their skin. Our people are the dispossessed all over the world and the common factor that binds us together is our exploitation at the hands of the employers. For far too long, workers have listened to  politicians who have pandered to their fears and insecurity.

We believe that the answer lies in socialism. Socialists is not a system where people are forced through economic circumstances to leave the homes and cultures they know and understand but where movement between regions of the world will be in the real sense voluntary.  Nor will there be need for ‘integration’, to make others 'live like us', robbing people of their culture and customs. Socialism is about building a way of life where the highest standards of life and living exist for all workers.

In a letter to Meyer and Vogt in 1870, Marx describes the situation with a previous arrival of immigrants.
Marx wrote: “Every industrial and commercial centre in England now possesses a working class divided into two hostile camps, English proletarians and Irish proletarians. The ordinary English worker hates the Irish worker as a competitor who lowers his standard of life. In relation to the Irish worker he regards himself as a member of the ruling nation and consequently he becomes a tool of the English aristocrats and capitalists....This antagonism is artificially kept alive and intensified by the press, the pulpit, the comic papers, in short, by all the means at the disposal of the ruling classes. ..It is the secret by which the capitalist class maintains its power....”

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