Days of October. Necessary Notes to Understand the Migrant Caravan

INTRODUCTION TO THE IMMIGRATION QUESTION.

How to understand the immigration question that has spilled over the past few weeks in Mexico? Perhaps the angle of North American imperialism (which stigmatizes, criminalizes, discriminates, persecutes, represses and kills Latin American migrants) fits with the everyday life of the deepest masses of Mexico? Will it come to impose that logic of bureaucratic capitalism on us in the midst of its crisis?

The problem of immigration for the working class, the poor peasantry and the deepest layers of the population in Mexico, cannot be seen logically from the perspective of the big bourgeoisie nor of our “neighbors” to the North (Yankee imperialism).  This country is built on deep foundations which are migratory, multicultural, multinational, multi-ethnic, etc. arising from internal migration processes, some of them motivated by the search for better conditions of life and work (as in the case of migration to the big cities of the country) and some as a result of internal displacement, such as forced displacement, generated by the dispossession of lands, territories, natural resources and cultures which the latifundia and imperialism generate in a symbiotic way through their large mega-projects that they come imposing at gunpoint in various geographies of Mexico.

Therefore, we think that it is necessary to give a brief review of the immigration question, especially now that everyone has an opinion on the matter, and where unfortunately these opinions (even coming from those who call themselves democrats) are all reactionary, discriminatory, doomsday, unscientific, and divisive to the heart of the people, because they intended to give legitimacy to the discourse of human legality and illegality, legality or illegality of workers, legality or illegality of transit through national territory.

MARX ON EMIGRATION AND IMMIGRATION IN CAPITAL * [1]

“In reality, from a scientific and historic position, capitalism arose precisely from the emigration of the labor force available for the accumulation of capital, something which the xenophobes easily forget. Since capitalism has existed, emigration has never stopped flowing. Migration always has been and is a constant in capitalism, the most brutal form of the mobility of the waged workforce.

Marx in Capital speaks of the primitive accumulation of capital, as well as the plundering and colonization of entire continents, and puts migration as a basis for the expansion of wage-labor. In the countryside, the decline of the feudal mode of production and the introduction of manufacturing accelerated the displacement and migration of workers to the new industrial centers. For Marx, the most important source of the influx of labor force in Europe is the constant proletarianization of the rural and urban middle classes, the decline of the rural economy and the craft industry, as a process of elimination of forms of pre-capitalist production.  The introduction of mechanization further accelerated the abolition of feudalism; the new industries were full of former peasants dispossessed of their means of production. The appearance of new branches of industry expanded this movement of new labor forces, from the countryside to the city.

Marx studied the historical emergence of the proletarian labor force in a double process, its “liberation” from pre-capitalist structures and its subordination to the capital. This “freedom” is transformed into its opposite when it enters the labor market, there it finds the place of coercion, of relations of force. Thus ‘freedom’ acquired by the working labor force is the beginning of a new exploitation and coercion of the industrial capitalist system.

The primitive accumulation of capital based on the separation of the producers from their means of production to make available free workers from the regime of servitude and guilds, free to exploit under wage labor, was carried out by terrorist methods, with the enclosure of the Badlands and the violent abduction of the communal lands of the peasants for the capitalist agricultural production, and land converted to grassland for grazing and hunting. It was that primitive accumulation of capital which caused the massive destruction of villages and peasant homes, where millions of tenant farmers were torn violently from their lands, robbed of their livelihoods, forced to sell their labor power under iron laws which prohibited and persecuted vagrancy and begging.

This was described in detail by Marx in “Capital” as a “process of violent expropriation of the popular masses” and as a “series of robberies, indignities and oppression which accompanies the violent expropriation of the people”. Expropriation carried out by terrorist means on the rural population. These were the “liberating” methods used to increase the number of workers coming from the countryside, which in this journey of 4 centuries of primitive accumulation, through the first industrial revolution in Europe (18th and 19th centuries) to the predominance of the great industry, produced steep death tolls and massive hunger, with legislation which prohibited and persecuted working-class associations, where the strike was a criminal offence and wages was limited to the minimum.

Marx pointed out in Capital the impossibility of extensively and intensively increasing the exploitation of workers that already work, making mandatory the incorporation of additional workforces. Here the very mechanism of capitalist production resolves this, the very reproduction of the working class is the source of the increase in the required labor force available to capital. But he also showed on the other hand, the impossibility of the working class adapting their reproduction to the changing needs of the capital, and hence the existence of the industrial reserve army or relative surplus population (to the needs of capital accumulation) of workers laid off by the mechanization, or by the development of capitalism in the countryside.

For Marx, the relative surplus population goes far beyond the primitive accumulation of capital and covers all stages of capitalism, therefore this additional workforce stems not only from own reproduction of the labor force, their natural multiplication, but also from the expropriation of the workers of their means of production and of immigration that it causes.

FOR MARX, MIGRATIONS ARE A PERMANENT PHENOMENON IN THE EMERGENCE AND DEVELOPMENT OF CAPITALISM.

Marx noted that the mechanization which displaces the craft production allows capital accumulation to use low-skilled labor, where the capitalist industrial regime mobilizes workforces with low exchange value. At the same time, it rejects the specialized workers that the machine makes superfluous, which become part of what Marx would call the relative surplus population, or industrial reserve army. Mechanization and the reserve army cause the emigration of part of that contingent of the remaining national labor force. For this reason, Marx says that the constant “elimination” of workers in countries of great industry encouraged the emigration to and colonization of foreign countries (6). In this case, that emigration to North America, Australia, etc., described by Marx, is an effect of mechanization and of access to waged factory work by fractions of the proletariat hitherto inaccessible for capital: children, women, craftsmen and expropriated peasants. (Ibid).”

CONTRIBUTIVE ASSESSMENT OF WOMEN IMMIGRANTS IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

US imperialism has unleashed a campaign of terror and stigma against all migrants in U.S. territory. Outside its borders, the aggressive and arch-reactionary language of Donald Trump also weighs on the spirits of the broad popular masses that year after year, month to month and day by day they are expelled from their countries of origin and their only alternative for survival is forced migration into the Yankee imperialist beast, thinking that a better future awaits them.

The United States have stacked great power based on the subjugation of peoples and entire nations around the world, fulfilling to the letter every one of the essential characteristics of imperialism, brilliantly described by Lenin.

But also, inside its jaws, the Yankee imperialist beast exploits, oppresses and flays these same peoples and oppressed nations who migrate to the United States, converting the ‘illegal’ migrant, the “undocumented” worker into a commodity whose use value is also a source of value. In other words: Yankee imperialism is held largely by exploiting the labor of “undocumented” migrants. Imperialism knows to hide the precarization of this same employment, the disparity in wages and the erosion of social rights, like health, education, food, among others. The situation of the female proletariat in this country is instructive; their hard data should be studied. According to official data from the USCB (Bureau of the census in North America) we have:

The 11.8 million immigrants working in the United States represent more than 7% of the total of labor in that country.

-The rate of participation in the workforce of women immigrants is of 55.6%, almost equal to the native women: 58.6 per cent.

-A little more than half [50.8%] of immigrant workers are from Latin America, and nearly one-third [31.3%] are from Asia.

-Among all immigrant women, those from Africa have the highest rate of participation in the labor force [65.6%].

– [2.8 million, or 23.8%], Philippines [752,648; or 6.4%] and China [570,378; or 4.8%].

-More than one-third [33.6%] of migrant women have a Bachelor’s degree or more, 23.7% have incomplete secondary education and 42.8% have a high school diploma or less.

-Two-fifths of the immigrant women workers [42.2%] take low-wage jobs where they earn 20 thousand dollars per year or less, while 15.2% earn more than 60 thousand dollars a year.

-Immigrant women are maids [882,663], nurses, psychiatric and home health aides [501,740], cashiers [480,391], registered nurses [454,057] and janitors and building cleaners [364,494] .

-Immigrant women represent more than half [51.5%] of all workers in the classification of agricultural products, 47.1% of workers in the field of personal appearance, 42% of domestic workers, 39.5 per cent of workers in textile presses and 39.5% of sewing machine operators.

-Among women immigrants with low wages, 40% do not have a high school diploma, while another 34.5% have a diploma, but no more education. However, these women do essential work as house cleaning and housewives; cashiers; auxiliary personal care; cooks; auxiliary nursing, psychiatric, and home health; porters, and child care workers. These are the jobs that countless people rely on to do their own work and live their daily lives. However, since these works tend to be underpaid, they are often devalued.

The stock in the labor force, prescribe the American liberal economists, must maintain “a balance” to correct wages, to have a reserve mass with low incomes and few skills, to hold together the capitalist economy which sinks in the sewage of permanent crisis; the hegemony of the North American Empire is sustained by blood and fire which requires soldiers and workers who operate its rusty war machinery.

THE EMPIRE AND THE OLIGARCHY ARE LOOKING FOR CULPRITS OF THE CRISIS.

Skillfully, capitalism, in its superior and last phase, imperialism, knows that its exploitative policy causes seizures in its own territory and in its semi-colonies; seeks to exacerbate feelings of hatred, ignorance and irrationality; encourages the gangs and crime as a method of population control; foments attacks on minorities; doses out its financial support in exchange for the colony yielding more natural resources and raw materials; advantageously imposes anti-drug and anti-migrant policies; is served by mass-media and a countless network of companies that stock these stratagems of “fake news” with sharing, retweeting or virally sharing. Of course, in remote suburban towns this comes very slowly and will be more focused on the cities, where there is a phenomenon that can be observed all over the world and is worthy of further analysis, in another subsequent article, the advent of a neo-fascism, autocrat, warlord-like, based on prejudices and national chauvinism, only to provoke hatred, xenophobia and fear.

We are facing another crisis of capitalism, and in Mexico we are speaking of a crisis of bureaucratic capitalism, which no longer fits in its own skin, and internal confrontations of the bourgeois factions are settled more and more in every terrain, ranging from election scenarios, concessions or bids for mega-projects, consultations, migration policies, political internal security, etc. all in the perspective of the clash and inevitable struggle between themselves, while at the same time intensifying the war against the people.

In this context, the old landowner-bureaucratic State looks for an easy way to divert attention to each new social problem; and in the immigration issue, it is pointing its flamboyant Judeo-Christian finger at “bad immigrants”, which violate national borders, that hurt “national security managers,” making it acceptable to spray tear gas and insecticide in camps filled with women and children from Central America in the streets of Chiapas.

This builds a shameful Manichaeism, where a certain sector of the population is said to “come to take away jobs, dignity and women”, the creole bourgeoisie rubs its hands, fomenting divisions to continue managing the crisis, increasing rates of interest, lowering wages and continuing the recipes of their masters in the Washington consensus, privatizing public services and plundering natural resources to obtain raw materials.

In this month of October thousands of Spanish-speaking Central Americans have already entered Mexican territory looking to simply save their lives in the face of the wave of violence and misery that exists in Central America. This is especially so in Honduras, where a drug ruling dictator, Juan Orlando Hernández, faithful servant of the United States Government of Donald Trump, disguised as a democrat, with his notorious demagoguery in which he accuses opponents of promoting this exodus, when his own criminal policy and semi-colonial recipes that he applies faithfully and without reservations against the working class and the people of Honduras are what expel, year year, thousands of migrant workers who have an uncertain destiny on this trip.

Honduras is without a doubt one of the most miserable economies after Haiti; the number of the reserve army is so enormous that, under the table, the same old Honduran State promoted the caravan to start the blackmail of new loans that contain the migration.  One cannot explain with such repressive policies as this country how it is that they advanced so many kilometers without the repressive bodies acting, given their usual behavior; but their political calculations were wrong, since they were overwhelmed by the events; thousands left their homes and their land facing an uncertain future for a crust of bread for their children and families towards a dystopia walking towards the large walls of an oppressive Empire.

In Mexico the traditional media have developed a media campaign under the banner of the comprador bourgeoisie and large landowners to lynch members of the caravan with the sensationalism, sentimentalism, vulgarization and criminalization of immigrant groups, linking them with native organized crime in those countries, to gain a base of conservative influence, inclined to sustain the old state. Just as Navarrete, the faithful dog of Yankee imperialism at the head of the Ministry of the Interior, recently said.

Another part of the bourgeoisie, the bureaucratic part and its jingoistic sector, which will take executive power on December 1, assures that its mandate will be an immigration policy of open doors to all Central Americans needing to cross into the United States. offering even temporary employment sources in complex or not very clear projects, but one must understand, this refers to the large mega-projects of imperialism, whether Yankee or European, like a kind of Central American labor farms where they will be exploited by a “humanitarian” decree and work permit.

This generates discussion because of the climate of ignorance and xenophobia, heated debates in favor or against, but without arguments of any weight.  Those against the caravan do not see beyond their noses; the problem is larger than their personal spheres, it is the very turbulence of capitalism.  They arm themselves with pseudoscience like Malthusianism, conspiracies or savor the tasteless swallowing of fake news, they do nothing more than make you fat from imperialism and encourage division within the international working class and peoples.

Despite this scenario, thousands of Mexican nationals and people in general have taken to the streets to demonstrate solidarity which is the tenderness of peoples, to give clothing, food or backpacks for an exodus which has already increased in our country.

In parallel, in recent hours the Government of Enrique Peña Nieto has given orders to reinforce the contingent of federal police officers and gendarmes which “protect the exodus” in the region of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, a key area for US imperialism and its transnationals, which are projected to build a virtual wall in the South of Mexico, which absorbs a reserve army, with low wages and poor academic preparation, of immigrant or national origin, but controlled by groups of imperialism which have been conceded the Isthmus at the expense of all factions of the creole bourgeoisie.

At the airport of CD Ixtepec, Oaxaca, battalions of military police, the gendarmerie, the federal police, the naval police and the State police have been posted to organize the “this is your home” operation, a populist program that regulates their legal stay in the country.  In a massive assembly of migrants, they rejected the proposal and there was a flare-up of anger, without reaching any mishap in San Pedro Tapanatepec, where they will depart Santiago Niltepec and from there to CD Ixtepec. The federal and state soldiers were stationed at the immigration checkpoint with buses, trucks and other vehicles on the Pan-American highway that connects Chiapas with Oaxaca, waiting for instructions from the federal government.

Meanwhile, on the border of Guatemala, a new contingent of 2500 migrant women and children is bursting into the port of the country, with the border of Mexico, where they were gassed by Guatemalan police and army, which provoked the rage to turn into blows, intense fighting which is still developing, while other families risked their lives by swimming in the river Suchiate.

For our part we must hold very clearly: the working class is international, it has no homeland nor anything else other than its labor power; the development of all societies depends and has depended on it. In the oppressed countries like those of Latin America, including Mexico and Central America, the main contradiction is not among migrant peoples, or immigrants, but between oppressed peoples and imperialism.

Each of the citizens of Central America that is escaping from their respective countries in this caravan migrant is a victim of bureaucratic capitalism, the semi-feudalism and the semi-coloniality in which we live subjected, millions of workers from the countryside and the city in Latin America.

The position of the democratic and revolutionary movement towards the migrant brothers must be solidarity and proletarian internationalism in the class action, not only in terms of providing attention to food, health and security for a few hours, but in terms of demand and mobilize together with them to stop the xenophobic policies dictated by Donald Trump and Yankee imperialism in Mexico, which has the minion-like Mexican Government dancing to the tune that the gringos play, and each of the factions of the creole bourgeoisie jostling each other to please their masters or improve their positions inside its internal negotiations.

The rights of migrant peoples should not be the object of negotiations, neither by the national bourgeoisie, nor by opportunism, they should be defended in the streets as the rights of the people and that point should be promoted and accompanied by those of us propose the revolutionary transformation of society and national liberation against imperialism of all kinds.

Proletarians and peoples oppressed of all countries, unite!

With Sol Rojo, the people will win!

Let the workers rule the country!

CORRIENTE DEL PUEBLO SOL ROJO

 

[1] capitalism and migration. Miguel A. Montes.

Source: https://solrojista.blogspot.com/2018/10/los-dias-de-octubre-apuntes-necesarios.html

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