The Spark

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

U.S. Imperialism Creates False Borders, The Working Class Can Bridge Them

Mar 29, 2021

In February, almost 100,000 people arrived at the U.S. border with Mexico. It seems likely that even more will arrive in March, the majority from the Central American countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.

Thousands of people have been arriving since 2014. In spite of increased deportations, numbers increased under Republican and Democrat administrations. In May of 2019 alone, after Trump made a big show of separating children from their parents, the U.S. detained 144,000 migrants.

These migrants keep coming, no matter what walls are built, no matter what cruelty the U.S. imposes on them, no matter who the U.S. president is. They leave their homes knowing that they will have to cross multiple militarized borders, and evade the armies of Guatemala and Mexico.

Having to wait in squalid camps in Mexico that U.S. policies have created has not stopped them, nor have the brutal gangs they confront along the way.

Why? Because they are desperate, and the hell created to block them is better than the hell they left behind.

After more than a century of U.S. economic, political, and military domination, most of the population in these countries lives in extreme poverty. There are almost no regular jobs. After two hurricanes hit last fall, huge numbers of people have no homes. According to the U.N., eight million people in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua are hungry—or about one in five of their total populations. Gangs prey on the population—the military and police leaders are often the biggest gang lords. Children and women are most at peril.

The Central American region has historically been dominated by U.S. fruit companies and the U.S. military. These economies today remain dominated by U.S. banks and corporations and local ruling classes that benefit from administering this exploitation. Their militaries are trained and armed by the U.S. and are little more than extensions of the U.S. military.

The ongoing human crisis at the U.S. border with Mexico is part and parcel of the worldwide disaster that capitalism continuously creates across the world. Millions of people have been driven out of Central and South America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia. There is ruin in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Somalia. There are refugee camps across Europe and the Mediterranean. And yes, tens of thousands at the U.S./Mexican border.

Meanwhile, the world banks and corporations, led by U.S. imperialism, are daily dragging down the standard of living of workers in the wealthier regions, pushing workers to believe the problem is other working people of other nations. Defending borders is their strategy for separating the world’s working class and diffusing its power, for obscuring our interconnectedness.

We are one class worldwide. We already cooperate across borders even when we aren’t aware of it. Every car or truck, every phone, every house, every cup of coffee is made by the labor of people in many countries. And we are also all exploited by the same bosses—meaning we have the same enemies.

This capitalist ruling class and its political servants on the scale of the world offer no future for us but more war, more of the desperation that their system inevitably creates. It has to be rooted out and replaced by a worldwide, classless system. Communism.

There is more than enough wealth to build this kind of society right now. If the working class fought to put itself in power in a few of these countries, if that struggle then spread to others, the accumulated wealth that working people have long produced could address both man-made and natural disaster alike. The working class, in power, would assure the free circulation of people worldwide—and give the population the benefit of travel and culture reserved today for the few.