In an apoplectic fit the RCIT defends the right of fascist emigration, gentrification, capital flight and underdevelopment of the semi-colonies. Yet they say our policy is social-chauvinist. They slip in the non-Marxist innovation of “imperialist and rich countries” throughout their diatribe, thinking themselves clever for having corralled the white-majority worker populations in New Zealand and the U.S. in with the world’s racists.
While we feel the CWG (Aotearoa/NZ) answer to the first of the RCIT’s polemics was sufficient, the charges and slanders which came with the second RCIT screed must also be answered. We post links below to the series of four articles starting with the Class Struggle article wherein our comrades made the distinction between the ‘democratic rights’ of capitalists and fascists to emigrate freely and the conditions of the laboring class internationally as regards our immigration rights.
In the mass movement the ‘Sin Fronteras’ and ‘Open the Borders’ demands are rarely given class context in the U.S.A. because it is accepted that the capitalist state controls the borders and therefore a capitalists’ control of immigration exists in the U.S.A.. We fight for the rights of workers internationally to cross borders not only to escape political and national and religious persecution but for the advancement of themselves as workers who are dictated by the free flow of capital to follow the flows of capital in order to commodify their labor power, i.e. ‘get a fuckin’ job.’
But because of the preferential immigration rules that allow capital extraordinary rights of entry, the comrades in NZ/Aotearoa made the clarification that under workers control of the borders fascists and capital would be excluded at the border. This set the RCIT into an apoplectic fit because it disturbed their bourgeois sensibilities. These we pointed out are the same bourgeois sensibilities that drove them to support the rights of capitalist political parties in Cuba and to stand alongside the capitalist restorationists in the former USSR. The RCIT claims we have no appreciation of the revolutionary potential of democratic demands, yet when the immigrants’ own movement raises such democratic demands, the RCIT does not perform the role of a revolutionary vanguard by attempting to forge united fronts raising demands that pose the question of which class should rule, but on the contrary seeks popular fronts with bourgeois forces around the democratic rights of citizens to freedom of movement! This means the betrayal of the oppressed workers who are arrested and/or trapped by the bourgeois state in the present, since what they need is a mobilized labor movement to force the state to let them in, and they need a workers movement fighting for socialism that scientifically understands the moment-to-moment social weight of the movement and its prospects for success. What the oppressed immigrants DO NOT NEED is a slogan for an abstract, bourgeois freedom for all!
Not incidentally, such demands that neither rally the workers as a class for themselves nor say which class should control the borders is a great disservice of miseducation to radicalizing youth.
First of their slanders is against the working class itself. We are told that in white majority countries when the workers finally gain state power they will employ social-chauvinist policies at the borders. This ignores the transformation of consciousness the class will need to go through in order to win control of the borders, i.e. the state and the economy. Racism as an ideological tool of the ruling class will lose its hegemony as internationalist socialist consciousness replaces it in the course of the actual class struggle. In the real class struggle the various ethnicities, populations and genders will have to defeat their phobias and unite in action. This has always been the understanding of our movement and it is not negated by an orthodox Leninist understanding of the rights of nations to self-determination. Maybe the RCIT confuses the workers state with the Labor Party in government or the Workers party in government or even the ANC in bourgeois parliamentary government. But truth be told, the workers control of the borders requires the defeat of the capitalist class. This is not a policy or demand that can be enforced or realized under a capitalist state. So our slogan For Workers Control of the Borders is qualified with the clear and bold demand that fascists and monarchs in flight and capital are banned and the demands we raise specify the defense of migrant workers to all labor and political rights.
Yet even in the run up to workers seizing the borders from the capitalists we raise transitional demands to stop the preferential treatment provided the gusanos and Marielitos who run from the revolution and the ‘migrant’ capitalists who want to assert their ‘democratic rights’ where migrant labor is criminalized, super-exploited and oppressed.
We do not support an open border for migrants such as Nguyen Kao Ky, the Shah of Iran, Ivan Demjanjuk or any Somoza or Battista or Mobutu. We are not happy at all with the presence of nazi war criminals in the U.S. and we are just as sure workers are right to not want them in New Zealand. We watch as a firm owned by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law sold U.S. Green Cards, a form of work-residence legalization, for the price of $500,000 in Shanghai. We object, but we feel the RCIT is fine with this, finding no conflict with their democratic abstraction of ‘no borders,’ having said as much in their polemic with Class Struggle.
For the RCIT, we are objecting to the immigration of Chinese, like the pre-World War One Socialist Party. But not only is this not remotely like the our true position, which is nothing like the racist national chauvinism they charge, but it is an immense digression from the plight of the real oppressed, the Muslim refugees banned by bourgeois states, in the first place the U.S.A., and the mass deportations threatened against Mexican and Haitian workers right now!
Right at the moment when we are engaged in fighting these racist exclusions, the RCIT slanders us with supporting them!
Capital is always seeking cheap labor and especially skilled cheap labor and will displace populations without any regard for the native economies they destroy. This rule goes for internal displacements within states as well as internationally, i.e., across borders. The importation of rich capitalists from Shanghai, for instance, just as from London, drives up rents and drives workers from home neighborhoods be it in Auckland, San Francisco or New York. This is called gentrification and we have at times been able to organize tenants and neighbors to fight it. What the RCIT does not understand is that the program of revolutionary Marxism does NOT take an agnostic position on any of this, never mind substituting a one-size-fits-all democratic abstraction of “open borders” for a categorical promise to oppressed nations NOT TO CONTINUE with Capital’s project of underdevelopment of their countries when workers take power. But the RCIT plays fast and loose with Lenin to support their slander.
Look at the RCIT method of falsification! “The Bolsheviks continued such a Marxist approach and expressed it on numerous occasions. In 1915, Lenin again wrote that his party unambiguously opposed any support for restrictions on immigration. He concluded that all socialists “who are not against any restrictions of immigration … are in reality jingoes“.”
Now look at Lenin in the original:
“In our struggle for true internationalism & against “jingo-socialism” we always quote in our press the example of the opportunist leaders of the S.P. in America, who are in favor of restrictions of the immigration of Chinese and Japanese workers (especially after the Congress of Stuttgart, 1907, & against the decisions of Stuttgart). We think that one can not be internationalist & be at the same time in favor of such restrictions. And we assert that Socialists in America, especially English Socialists, belonging to the ruling, and oppressing nation, who are not against any restrictions of immigration, against the possession of colonies (Hawaii) and for the entire freedom of colonies, that such Socialists are in reality jingoes.” https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1915/nov/09.htm
Notice how Lenin qualifies where RCIT omits. Lenin says, “And we assert that Socialists in America, especially English Socialists, belonging to the ruling, and oppressing nation, who are not against any restrictions of immigration, against the possession of colonies (Hawaii) and for the entire freedom of colonies, that such Socialists are in reality jingoes.”” This the RCIT reduces to “He concluded that all socialists “who are not against any restrictions of immigration … are in reality jingoes“.
We maintain what ought to be obvious to those who do not edit Lenin for their own purposes that he is speaking of colonial masses and not our class enemies. He is speaking in a historical moment before industrial underdevelopment took root in what were then colonies of empires, not in the present of ‘neoliberal’ globalism. The borders of today are the borders of the capitalist ruling classes of today. In the present we fight for truly international unions that defend their members on both sides of any given borders and demand “Same Contract! Same Fight! Same Rights! Same expiration date!” We have done so in our past organizational forms dating back over forty years! In this way we fight underdevelopment (NAFTA and TPPA!) as well as the suppression of wages on either side of the border as a result of pressures by the bosses to migrate. And this is true whether we are speaking of Operating Room-qualified medical workers or Electricians or Farm workers.
The RCIT position would additionally abandon the Marxist demand for (workers government) control of foreign trade in favor of fortifying the capitalists’ “democratic right” to free motion of Capital! In perpetuity, i.e., in idealist, class-consideration-free “democracy.” Clearly, when we do raise “Open All Borders” we are speaking for the working class, not for some hypothetical non-white speculators of other “peoples.”
Build anti-racist class struggle caucuses in the unions based on the transitional program!
End attacks on undocumented workers! Free all detained undocumented workers! End the ICE deportation raids! Revive the underground railroad and organize labor defense guards to protect immigrant workers, families and youth! Full employment and citizenship rights for all workers! End super-exploitation through working class solidarity across borders, we demand: Same work, same contract, same wages and working conditions! When we said, Open all the borders we explained that workers are trapped in contrast to Capital which crosses borders at the click of a mouse; we defend the right of all workers to cross the borders and seek work and establish their homes without restrictions and arrests or deportation. We were not implying that Capital’s “democratic rights” would be afforded superior bourgeois rights!
Full labour rights for working migrants, students and tourists.
- Expropriate any businesses that exploit migrants under workers’ control (no compensation to the capitalists).
- For full democratic rights for all workers – including the right to vote from the first pay.
- For working class control of immigration! Workers ban on fascists.
- Ban business migrants and capitalist investors.
- Open the borders to political refugees.