The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Crisis of Migration, Crisis of Capitalism

Jan 13, 2019

Trump says there is a crisis at the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

Yes there is a crisis at the border, and not only at the U.S. border with Mexico, but at borders around the world. Famine, wars, dictatorships have been loosed on the peoples of the world by the big imperialist powers, the chief of them being the U.S., at the head of which sits Trump. Famine, war and violence have driven people to cross borders, fleeing from where their families have lived for generations, seeking escape.

Caught in an economic crisis of their own making, the big multinational corporations and banks have been pushing to wring one more drop of wealth from the less developed countries for almost half a century now.

They have destroyed the conditions of life for populations around the world, including in El Salvador, from which the migrants fled, trying to get to the U.S. border.

The big multinationals destroyed agriculture, tearing out crops needed to feed the local population, replacing them with cash crops like sugar cane, palm oil, coca and opium.

The big U.S. companies built factories, in which people work under labor conditions not far from slavery. Their factories poison the water and the land, making it uninhabitable.

The imperialist powers have funded and trained paramilitary groups around the globe, using them to control those who labor in their plantations and factories. They have invaded countries around the world, setting off wars between peoples, dredging up ethnic and religious differences.

The U.S. has not gone one day since the end of World War II, without carrying on a war somewhere in the world. And beyond what the U.S. does, there is England, France, Portugal and Germany. Large parts of the world – including most of the Middle East, a good part of Central America, most of Africa, big stretches of Asia – have been made uninhabitable for the people who used to live there.

It’s a crisis. And Trump, sitting at the head of the U.S. government, shares the blame for it with the heads of the other imperialist powers. Just as previous U.S. presidents did.

The migrants who fled their homes did not create the crisis, they are its victims.

And so are we.

We live in the midst of a country of unmatched wealth. But for almost half a century, the economy has been mired in a crisis, bumping from one recession to another, from one financial collapse to another. The capitalists who run the economy have no answer for the crisis, other than to exploit those of us who work ever more severely. Our standard of living is lower than it was 45 years ago. And it will keep going down. If we are just starting out, our possibility for a decent job is almost nil – and what will it be tomorrow?

Inside this country, we face a catastrophe – and the migrants are not the ones who caused it.

The people who run things today, the people who benefit from the world’s wealth are a tiny minority. They are able to do what they do because the working people of the world, the vast majority, are divided. Divisions in our class are a weapon in the hands of our enemies – to be used against us.

We have to prepare to fight. But so long as we let ourselves be divided, we weaken our ability to fight. We need all our forces. Old, young, men, women, black, white, Spanish-speaking. We need people born in this country, and people who just got here. We need everyone. We need workers in the factories and the offices, those with a job, and those unemployed. We need workers in private companies, and those who work for the state. We need full-time workers, and part-time; permanent workers and temporary workers. We need everyone. When we act together, we can have the power to change the world, to turn it into a world without victims. We can become the class that will create a humane future for everybody.