Comment withdrawn by Hawkeye on 21-11-2010.
I would say the basic position of communism is that main struggle for survival resources is not between workers in one country versus workers in another. Rather it is between workers and capitalists. Today, capitalist society produces a huge surplus of food yet millions starve due to not being to buy the food.
The struggle between natives and immigrants is a process which is manipulated by the capitalist class to bring down the wages of both groups. To join one or another "population control" or anti-immigrant group is to merely be a pawn used to advance the policies that one or another bureaucrats has decided on. There's no "we" in the political rhetoric that say "shouldn't 'we' do something about immigration."
It's quite likely that capitalsts will maintain the present semi-closed borders. It suits the capitalist well to have oppressed illegal immigrants and to have them affraid and unwilling to fight for better wages. But internationalist solidarity could force wages up for both groups.
Anyway, I simply don't want to be a cow of any sort and at the moment that's what we are to the capitalist class. We should really be concerned about how well the pastures are maintained but rather about the smash the fences and ending the rule of herders.
More on population later...
(btw, the border is eating all or most-of the line breaks in my posts)
I completely agree with Red. To call for immigration controls by the state would be a complete betrayal of communist principles. We might just as well campaign for more police patrols to protect residents from inner city gangs. Immigration controls make sense to the bourgeois state and capital - of course each state has an interest in defending its national property, its little field. It made sense to British capital and American capital to impose immigration controls on the Jews who were being massacred in Europe. Once we enter into this logic, we are lost, Hawkeye. Do we know you under another name?
It makes sense for the bourgeoisie to continue to impose controls on immigration as it tries to manage the multiple aspects of its crisis, but the working class has no interest in setting captialist state policies. However, even certain bourgeois authors have pointed to the increasing irrationality of immigration law enforcement, which threatens to destabilize society even further.
I think the articles that J. Grevin contributed draw attention to the continued irrationality of capitalism, which creates the social and economic conditions that drive mass migration when the "receiving countries" cannot really fully integrate the newcomers (socially, economically, culturally). As to whether or not these mass migrations create some type of "ecological imbalance" is another question. There has been growing anti-immigration sentiment within the bourgeois envrionmentalist left, which is just as nasty as anything emerging from the right. This ranges from the Sierra Club to local community association activists. This is an important thing for communists to track and analyze, but the class line barrier with this type of politics seems clear.
Comment was withdrawn by its author on 21-9-2010.
Others commenting, IF THEY NOW WANT TO DELETE THEIR COMMENTS, could click on 'edit' on them, click at the start of their text, hold the delete key down until all removed, perhaps then key in 'Comment deleted on (date), then click on 'save'.
If there is a way of deleting an original contribution by its contributor, apart from comments on it, then I would be interested to know what procedure to adopt.
Actually, Africa and the Middle East are the main areas of the world experiencing massive population increases. China, Japan and Russia, ironically enough, are all contending with population decreases, which ironically presents problems for capitalist development.
World population density is still far from the levels at which mere density is a problem. Over time, the tendency of population has become relatively clear - the groups most likely to experience population explosions are peasants just being integrated into capitalism. Once a society experiences urbanization, the tendency is for the birth rate to plummet. This tendency is seen everywhere in the world.
Indeed, in the US and Europe, the real reason for the legal and tolerated illegal immagration isn't population increase but the need of European and American capitalists for cheap, plentiful labor.
I'd mention that "The Camp Of The Saints" is a notoriously reactionary screed (and rather absurd if its wikipedia summary is to be believed).
While discussion is a fine thing, there's only so long that we should spend on "questions" that are mostly disguised reactionary propaganda. IE, there's not much new in what Hawkeye is saying and despite mentioning the replies he got, he makes no answer to them.
"I would recommend that workers take a walk down Rye Lane on a busy sunny Saturday and ask themselves just how many more workers from overseas could reasonably be accommodated in that or in other areas of the UK."
This is more like racist/anti-immagrant propaganda than any kind of question or argument. I'm not a forum admin or ICC member but I suspect that sooner or later the admins will have to stop this. In a sense, it's fine to keep one example of a given reactionary position but letting the same bullshit be repeated over and over again is undesirable. It might be ok to continue discussion if the reactionaries actually responded to our points but I don't see that here.
And I personally like high-density living. Visiting London or New York city is rather of a rush for me and I'd move to Brooklyn now if there weren't other factors in my life. My personal take is that a communist society would do well with a series of very high density cities sarrounded by pleasant, low density areas for our enjoyment. In San Francisco Bay Area, there are 5 million+ people and there are also forrests which seems entirely removed from civilization (except for some radio towers)
Sorry if I'm incorrect, it wouldn't be the first time. I'm willing to listen to what other think of this...
Plus how have you responded to any of the point we've made? Seriously, your last just sounds like canned speach to the peanut gallery, complete with references touching standard "racist chords" regardless of your claim to non-racism.
Communists don't have a "policy on immigration" in the sense of lobbying the government to change its policies, yet you addressing the board as if we do - but it seems more like your aiming for whatever audience happens to read the stuff.
As I said, I'm not an admit or an ICC member but I think the board should, at the least, "constructive guide" the direction of the conversation. Maybe I'm being too restrictive or maybe Hawkeye is being opportunistic.
Trots have policies for the reform or regulation of capitalism via state power. Left communists do not. We are not interested in changing or managing capitalism, which includes making policies about what we think should happen right now under capitalism- including immigration. I don't think anyone, sympathizer or member of a left communist organization, would support ending all immigration laws in every nation-state immediately. Similarly, we aren't interested in altering or abolishing labor law (like Taft-Hartley in the USA, which is part of Trot, Social-Democratic and Stalinist groups programmes).
I agree with Red, that your comments on immigration seem like lightly disguised racialism/xenophobia. It just sounds like you don't want "those people" near where you live, and immigration policy is a means to covor that sentiment.
Immigration today represents a need and a consequence of capitalism. It's need for a cheap source of labour and the consequences of the major powers imperialist adventures in Africa and Asia, as well as the general consequence of its economic breakdown.
Some years ago, I heard a convincing programme on the BBC's World Service that argued that the stricter border controls across the US/Mexico border were primarily to keep illegal immigrants inside the US whereas, if the border was too lax, they'd be more likely to come and go as they pleased, ie, back to see the family more, spend more holidays there, etc.
I think that overpopulation will be the least of the problems of a successful revolution in that the tendency would have to be, in a more secure framework, for the population to stabilise. Overpopulation, as Marx said, is one of the beautiful trinities of capitalism (the other two being overproduction and overconsumption).
On the racist connotations of Hawkeye's 'take a walk down Peckham': I think that they are obvious. There was a similar discussion on libcom with regard to the hidden racism of Arthur of the EDL that was eventually exposed by himself. I think that Hawkeye should be given the benefit of doubt and allowed to explain his position.
Comment withdrawn by its author on 21-9-2010.
Haven't chimed in till now, as this discussion was inundated with references to British politics and trops that I didn't get, Alf's comments notwithstanding. However, this deserves as prompt a response as possible:
"Briefly backtracking to Alf's comment re the US ban on immigration of Jews and their being massacred, I continue to seriously doubt the communist left policy of 'revolutionary defeatism' which would apply in the face of nazi or other threats of invasion."
Historically, the communist left applied exactly this strategy in the case of "nazi and other threats of invasion". Indeed, it was one of the very very few political tendencies in the Second World War to call explicitly for revolutionary defeatism and propaganzide openly to that effect, often at great personal risk to its militants. If you're referring to the present day, well, all that remains to be said is that the level of consciousness and experience in struggle in the working class today, limited as it is, is orders of magnitude stronger than it was in the opening and especially the closing days of the Second World War.
I wonder how I managed to double-post by only touching the "save" button once...
As internationalists the workers of the world are our comrades and we have to refuse to line up behind the ruling class in their efforts to divide the working class. The reason that increasing numbers of workers are desperate to come to the West is in order to survive and to help feed their families. Why are they having to do this, because capitalism is being torn apart by crisis. Their enemy and ours is the capitalist system and our concern is to get rif of that system not choose who its tries to survive. One of foundations of our being able to get rid of this system is the solidarity and unity of the class. So rather than seeing those coming seeking to survive as the 'other' 'a threat' (the same sort of ideas that the Nazi's used to turn people against the Jews) we need to embrace them as fellow workers and strugglers.
In fact you have to admire and draw from the courage and humanity from the likes of my fellow workers who lives the other side of the world to his family in order to feed them, even though this means only seeing his child once a year. Or the Romanian worker who came here in order to find work so that his daughter was not forced into the sex trade, or those who have literally walked across the Sahara, then crossed the Med and walked across Europe in order to find work.
The logic of the arugment you use is that the the poor and workers in Pakistan who have taken in those effected by the floods should have locked their doors too them because they were going to make their lives harder.Or that the slum dwelers of Munbai should have left those effected by the terrorist bombing of the passenger train that blow up in the middle of their slum to fend for themselves because helping meant leterally ripping the doors of their miserable slums in order to carry them to hospital. It is a sign of hope for humanity that they refused to follow your logic which amounts to no more than the capitalist motto of dog eat dog.
We have resolutely and intransigently refuse to accept or follow any capitalist attempt to divid us
The horrors of the death camps are terrible, but if we are going to respect the memory of those who died there we cannot fall for the cold cynicism of the ruling class who use our horror to blind us to their's. Hakeye says wouldn't you defend your child against a Nazi, well yes and anyone else who threatend him or her directly. But that does not mean one takes sides in a war or sees one part of capitalism as a lesser evil. It is also illogical, because the child of an East Bengali peasant faced with starvation in the winter of 1942/3, because the havest had been taken for the war effort, could put the same question to Hawkeye: is my life any less than that of your child, the child of someone lynched in the Southern states at the same time, could ask the same! What about the children in Germany blown to bits by allied bombs or slaugthered in the pogroms after the war, do they not count or did they desrve it for being the children of Nazis? I do not think this is what Hawkeye is trying to say but it is the logic of his arguments.
We do not underestimate or play down the horrors of the camps by our internationalist position on WW2, but show that they were the product of capitalism not some bunch of mad men; that this horror does not justify the horror of barbarity of imperialism as a whole. We have seen this with the whole campaign around the Blitz recently, we were told of the terrible events of those nights but the fact that the told amont of dead in Britain was less than one nights bombing of Hamburg was hardly mentioned. It was mentioned on a Radio 4 programme which had gone on about the Blitz until a historian said about the destruction of whole German cities, when everyone went rather quiet and you could feel their unease.
It's a shame that this thread has moved rather off-subject, because the original title of the thread, on immigration, is an important one for workers today, everywhere (which is why we recently devoted an article in the Review to the subject). IMHO, we need to try to take a historical view of the question if we are to understand it, otherwise we fall into an individualist argument which won't really get us very far. As we've already pointed out before, the working class is anyway nothing but a class of immigrants: first the peasants from the countryside migrating to the cities, then workers from abroad (Irish in 19th century Britain, then later on the continent Poles, Italians, Spaniards, Greeks etc etc).
Is immigration a good thing for the working class? Unequivocally, yes. The ruling class has encouraged immigration for its own economic ends, and it never loses an opportunity to sow division among workers, yet we can hope that it will end up being hoist on its own petard. Immigrants and non-immigrants work together, and that tends to break down barriers between workers of different origins. The Pakistani or the Jamaican is no longer an exotic foreigner of whom you know and care nothing, but your next-door neighbour with qualities and defects as an individual, just like you (including, but not only, in Rye Lane). In this sense immigration contributes to the international unity of the working class, and this can only be a good thing. We can cite a few instances: the solidarity expressed between British and immigrants in the small strike at the Cottam power station in 2006 could almost have been a rehearsal for the much more significant strike in the power stations last year, but these are only recent and spectacular instances of a much broader, molecular process within the working class as a whole.
The next question is our attitude towards shameful government campaigns like the present French government's explusions of Roms. Here also we are unequivocal, the hypocrisy of these campaigns is absolutely nauseating and their pretence of protecting the law-abiding French population is utterly fraudulent, and should be exposed as such.
Are these the issues that Hawkeye is most concerned about however? He says that "My point was and is to consider the questions of the possibility of large numbers of people moving from place to place", and this is undoubtedly a real perspective for the future (or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it is already happening today). However I think that Hawkeye's problem is not racism, disguised or otherwise, but that he can't see that this is something to which there is simply no solution under capitalism - which is why we don't have a "policy" on immigration. There is no doubt that as economic crisis and ecological catastrophe (and wars) continue to get worse, there will be massive movements of populations desperate to escape. This will not affect only the advanced countries either. To take only one example, if current predictions of rising water levels are correct then large parts of Bangladesh will be under water and this will force millions of Bengalis to flee. They won't be coming to England: most will be going to India to start with. The degree of desperation of large parts of the population in Africa is already only too obvious from the risks people are prepared to run to get into Europe and the situation is the same in Latin America vis-a-vis the US. And of course it's obvious that you could not put the whole population of Africa in Europe for example. So the call by people like the WRP to end all immigration controls is idiotic, because a) it would mean putting an end to capitalism and is therefore an impossible demand, and b) it would not improve anything for anyone including immigrants. For the immigrants themselves, the whole process is fraught with danger and misery at every level, from the dangers run in traveling (the recent massacre of migrants in Mexico), to the pogroms directed against them (as in South Africa, against the Zimbabweans), to the destruction of social and family life when parents are obliged to leave their children behind for much of the year (as in China)
Hawkeye's conclusion is that "any state has the duty to control the extent of immigration, however dire the circumstances might be and often is in other lands". But duty to who? Fundamentally the "duty" of the state is to maintain the capitalist order, and it is precisely the capitalist order which is the cause of the intolerable misery that forces masses of poor peasants and workers to migrate. There is much more to be said, but this post is already long enough so I'll stop there for now. Just one final word however, on the admin policy on this site:
1) We don't intend that this forum should be limited to left communists, but that it should be open for to discussion to anyone who wants, in good faith, to discuss revolutionary politics, including people who disagree with us.
2) The site policy should, in my view, be seen as a "last resort". If there is one thing the ICC believes in it is free debate and we will bend over backwards to convince, rather than apply restrictive measures.
Comment was withdrawn by its author on 21-9-2010.
PLEASE SCROLL UP TO SEE TIPS RE SELF-DELETING OF COMMENTS BY COMMENTATORS.
Why have Hawkeyes comments been withdrawn? Notwithstanding the quality of the posts themselves, this was the most active comment thread in the new forum, and having a third of its posts disappear is not necessarily productive.
I would be willing to edit my replies to Hawkeye if folks felt that was the comradely thing to do. What do people think?
Having a record of debates that take place is good but also don't want it seem like I'm calling anyone names or harassing someone for comments they have thought better about.
I will wait a little bit for others to comment.
I think that's good to be as comradely as possible here while putting forward our opinions clearly. Apologies if I was too harsh towards anyone.
"The Internet" often has abysmal levels of respect in discussions and I think we can and should do better than that here.
I was getting fed up with the whole thing, so deleted my post-original comments on the ICC article. As for the offer of Red Hughs to consider deleting his too, no worries, so far as I'm concerned, please suit yourself and comrades, but thanks.
Now then, I'll plunge in again as follows. In Chapter 3 of the ICC's 'Nation or Class' the following sentence appears: "In the decadent epoch of capitalism, communists must assert unambiguously that all forms of nationalism are reactionary to the core." At this point, probably many readers will thrill to the prospect of reading (again) all of it. Well, reactionary for the whole of the working class worldwide O.K., but, and it's a big 'but', surely there are circumstances for workers in certain areas which prove to be exceptionally reactionary, such as when those are invaded and occupied. It is no wonder that, as Zimmerwald pointed out on Sept 15th, that militants advocated revolutionary defeatism "... at great personal risk to themselves". At the time of National Service, a bloke once said to me that, in his opinion, all conchies should be hanged. I suggest that the ICC should re-examine very carefully what it is that workers in invaded countries actually want and need. To ask us to embark on revolutionary defeat of a government when not under invaded occupation is one thing, but to suggest that there is no difference when asking us to overthrow a government which is seeking to oppose invasion is a very different matter indeed, and, in my view, impossible to be met. Now at this point some might be tempted to mention the situation towards the end of the first world war, when Russian troops turned round against the Russian government of the day, so they should remember that Moscow was not occupied by the Germans. In the Warsaw rising, workers fought against the nazis at great personal risk to themselves. I don't think that the issue should be considered by comparing the relative extents of bravery.
It might be worth thinking about to what extent non-violent mass immigration differs from military invasion, in that both can have substantial zoological and cultural impact. Whether that can be considered without dragging racism into the argument again may be more than can be expected by now.
This is one reason that deleting comments is counterproductive. If one viewpoint, or at least its development if not its initial enunciation, is entirely missing from the discussion record, it becomes very difficult to reconstruct the context in which things were said. Fortunately, there does exist the habit, carried over from other internet forums, of quoting for reference brief sections of the argument to which one's post is responding. Thus, Hawkeye, it is not impossible to reconstruct at least part of the exchange.
You said that the policy of revolutionary defeatism either could not or should not be applied in the face of invasion. In all honesty, I'm not sure which "'ould" you were talking about. The relevant point is reproduced here:
Under the assumption that you meant that revolutionary defeatism could not be advocated in the face of invasion and occupation, I then responded that, yes, it could be advocated, and was. Indeed, the communist left was one of a very few political tendencies to do so. However, it seems that my original reading was mistaken, and that you believe that the slogan of revolutionary defeatism is an inappropriate one when faced with invasion and occupation. Your most recent post is most illuminating in that regard, and you marshal your arguments in order to oppose raising the slogan of revolutionary defeatism. In brief, these are 1) that the invading state and the bourgeoisie behind it is necessarily more reactionary, at least from the position of the workers of the invaded country, than the defending state and bourgeoisie, 2) that workers in the invaded and especially occupied countries are unlikely to respond well to revolutionary defeatism, and 3) that there is a distinction to be made between countries not under threat of invasion and occupation and ones that are in determining whether revolutionary defeatism is appropriate. I shall attempt to address these.
First, it should be remembered that what would become the communist movement rejected as soon as it became an issue the distinction between aggressive and defensive wars, and by extension between aggressors and defending states. This is not in and of itself an argument for doing the same, but knowing that this ground has been covered before lets us look at the old arguments and see if they still obtain today. One of the major arguments for what would become the communist movement was that war is not simply the choice of one state or another, one bourgeoisie or another. War between imperialist states is the necessary outcome of imperialist competitions. Blame for war cannot be laid at the feet of the aggressive state because it was not the aggressive state or even its bourgeoisie who created the system in which the aggression must take place. That system, the capitalist, imperialist system, was the creation, unconscious and anarchic as it was, of the whole world bourgeoisie. Aggression in this context is not a moral choice, but a material one: war can give the aggressor the opportunity to expand its share of the imperial cake, if prosecuted effectively, and if war is the way to grab the biggest slice for the smallest cost, then it will, barring other influences, be the path pursued. The distinction between aggressor and defender is merely a coincidence of events: it provides no basis to judge which bourgeoisie, which state, is more or less reactionary.
Now, you might argue that the aggressor, the invader, the occupier, is necessarily the more reactionary, because it will oppress the occupied workers more than their "native" bourgeoisie. This may very well be true, from a strictly material perspective, and even from certain ideological perspectives. Workers in Nazi-occupied France or Poland almost certainly suffered more than they did during the inter-war period. However, this does not mean that lining up behind the "resistant" or "partisan" bourgeoisie in order to fight for "national freedom" is the tactic that will best help the working class, or the tactic that communists should advocate. The question we must always ask ourselves as revolutionaries is this: do our slogans, the positions we advocate, help the working class to act as the working class in a manner tending towards the development of revolutionary class consciousness? The slogan of national defense against the invader tends to dissolve the working class into the nation, or the people, and effectively cedes political leadership to the bourgeoisie. In both cases, then, the slogan of national defense fails the test. It does not help the working class organize itself as a class, and it does not foster a revolutionary consciousness. Rather, it fosters a class-collaborationist consciousness.
Similarly, the slogan of revolutionary defeatism does not state that the invader is better for the working class than the native bourgeoisie. The real content of the slogan is that no bourgeoisie is worthy of defense by the working class. The real content is that the only countervailing force to imperialist war is class struggle. This is a nice segue into addressing your second argument, which is that revolutionary defeatism is unpopular and, the way you talk about it, anti-popular. For you, to advocate a revolutionary defeatist position is to cut yourself off from popular opinion and real appreciation of your ideas. There are a number of responses to this, but I will focus on two: the role of communists within the working class, and the role of the pre-existing state of class struggle and class consciousness.
Not to sound elitist or anything, but communist revolutionaries are, especially outside of times of open class conflict, the cutting edge of the working class. Among our tasks are the retention of historical memory, the theoretical appreciation of the situation facing the working class, and intervention in the existing class struggle based on that. Now, your approach seems to me to totally ignore the task of communists to act as the historical memory of the working class. "Yes", it is our responsibility to say "there is a response possible other than fighting for your old oppressors or collaborating with your new ones: the struggle against all oppressors. Question the options posed to you by the fighting factions of the bourgeoisie." It is our responsibility in times of crisis as momentous as war to fight the bourgeois ideology that says the warring states are the only possible options.
How this approach is received depends, as you say, on the state of class struggle and class consciousness. In the Russian working class of 1917-18, it found resonance because of the recent experience of the successful mass strike, and because the policy of revolutionary defensism had demonstrated its incapability of addressing the needs of the working class. That is, communists had an alternative prepared to the warring bourgeois factions, and the working class was willing to listen and act on what it heard. In, say, France in 1940-45, the working class had been crushed ideologically and materially by bourgeois offensives in through the twenties and thirties, and had little memory of successful class struggle on socialist terms. No surprise, then, that the revolutionary defeatist propaganda found little ground during the war, apart from such considerations as the small size of revolutionary communist groups and their persecution by the occupiers, by the Resistance, and by official Stalinism. Does this mean that communists should have abandoned revolutionary defeatist propaganda? Of course not! In fact, it made convincing the small number of people who could still be convinced by such propaganda all the more vital. It was no longer a question of revolutionaries having any sort of audience within the broad masses of the working class. The working class was in no position to listen, and the groups themselves had little potential for any massive activity. It was a question of keeping alive the historical memory, of building communist political organizations that would be able to act again in the working class once the pressure had let up a bit. Putting out a strong, principled communist message is essential in that case.
Your third point is related to your first, that there is a difference between countries under threat of occupation and countries that are not. I can think of two examples to refer to in examining this argument: the case of the United States now, and the case of Germany in, say, 1918. I bring up the latter because your argument was exactly those of the Independent Social Democrats. Their argument went something like this: Germany holds land far outside her frontiers, we're in no danger of invasion or occupation, therefore we have room to question the war policy of the government. The problem with this attitude is that it is very succeptable to shifts in the balance of military power. As long as Germany's military position held, the Independents held to their pacifist stance. When it began to crack, they vacillated. Class struggle was acceptable in January 1918. In April 1918, and in November 1918, it was not. The communist position was that only class struggle could end the war, and it was bourne out: it was not the retreat through Belgium that worried the German high command and led it to demand an armistice. German territory had yet to be threatened by the Allied armies. What worried Ludendorff was that the home front could now no longer support the German military position. Class struggle had brougt an end to the war, even as it was denounced by the pacifists for putting the homeland in danger of occupation. Similarly, the call for revolutionary defeatism in the United States today is not the call for the victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is a call for the home front to no longer support the imperial policy of the American government, and to express that withdrawal of support by advancing class demands as a class. This is the reason to call for revolutionary defeatism: because anything else is surrender to bourgeois ideology, and because it is entirely in accord with the magnitude of the tasks faced by the working class today.
Of course, this meters-long post has very little to do with immigration, and as your last paragraph does attempt to bring the discussion back to that topic it deserves to be treated. I'm short on time before I have to get to class, however, so it must be brief. I find your talking about the "zoological and cultural impacts" of immigration, as well as your comparison of immigration to military invasion, extremely disturbing. Not to cast aspersions, or to "drag racism into the argument again", but that sort of talk does smack of a dialogue of purity which is extremely racialized. Communists have no stake in preserving cultural traditions, if by this we mean languages, styles of dress, cusines, and the like, either of natives or of immigrants, for their own sake. Neither do we care a bit about "zoological" purity. We do care about making sure the bourgeoisie cannot divide the working class along those lines, and we do care about the group-centerd oppressive policies that the bourgeoisie uses to do this. But that's a topic for another thread.
It is extremely disingenuous to compare immigration to invasion. The latter is the action of a state or coalition within the imperialist system looking to expand its slice of the world cake. The former is the action of individuals or of a population seeking to maintain their physical existence, and maybe to render it more secure. Of course, states can and do manipulate migrations: the Chinese make use of their diaspora to influence events in southeast Asia, for example. However, to reduce the Chinese diaspora to simple tools of Chinese imperialism or, say, Chicano immigrants in the American southwest to tools of Mexican imperialism is to dehumanize them and to trivialize real inter-imperialist confrontations. Again, not to cast aspersions, but in the US that sort of talk is associated with the nativist right, whose real purpose is to sever what links may exist between native and immigrant working class communities by stoking fear of "invasion" in the native workers. They even use the same word, playing on fears of historical reconquest (I don't know what the situation is in the southwest, but in the northeast where I went to school it was very difficult to miss the irony that Texas' annexation into the United States was effected by the same means that the American right accuses Mexico of pursuing now).
Comment deleted by Hawkeye on 21-11-2010.
The problem with revolutionary defeatism for purposes of debate is that it immediately brings to mind in some people images of either Quaker-type pacifists or middle-class student radical 'anti-war' protestors. It is neither. You describe the situation of WWII- during which the Italian left fraction in exile (in France and Belgium) actively distributed revolutionary defeatist propaganda to both Allied and Axis soldiers. Fraternization and supporting fraternization between opposing armies is a big aspect of putting R.D. into practice.
For the record; I'm a building maintanence worker and routinely use the word 'disingenous' online and in regular conversation. Between the ability to learn about anything and everything with limitless possiblities from home via the net and the huge share of workers who attend higher education programs probably means that on average people are better educated and well read today than the average person a generation or 2 ago.
Please delete comment of September 22, 2010. Hawkeye, 21-11-2010.
No comment - please delete
To be honest, saying that immigrating workers are like imperial invaders has been an argument put forward by nazism sympathisers. I don't like saying things which may be construed as 'guilt by association' but really that is the first thing that springs to mind.
The website as per international-communist-party shows the article 'Oppose all divisions in the Working Class!' as in its journal 'Communist Left' - 29-30 - 2010-2011, which seems well worth considering.