Let’s have a world without borders

It is an unfortunate fact that many workers are opposed to immigration because they mistakenly believe that it is a threat to the living standards they have achieved.  They claim that immigration has caused problems in housing, education, and health services. Without denying that throwing people of different customs together in the economic jungle of capitalism can cause inconveniences, it is quite untrue that immigration can be said to be the cause of bad housing, crowded schools and inadequate medical services. These problems existed long before the immigrants arrived. They are problems for the working class everywhere and all the time. Immigrants are in the same position as any other worker: propertyless, having to find an employer to live. They, too, are members of the working class.

The Socialist Party sympathise with the suffering of our fellow workers of whichever ethnicity and we ask them all to set aside their nationalism, religious bigotry, ethnic hatred and racism and to join together to put an end to the real problem – capitalism. The World Socialist Movement (WSM) appeals to our fellow workers to unite, irrespective of nationality or colour, to defeat racism and nationalism. The WSM is hostile to racism in all of its forms. Our Principles make clear that socialism will involve the emancipation of all human beings, without distinction of race or sex. For us, the division in society is between exploiters and exploited; all workers are our brothers and sisters, whatever may be stamped on their passports, whatever colour their skin happens to be. Socialism holds out the prospect of one world inhabited by one people, emancipated consciously and politically from the ignorance of racist thinking. Inside world socialism, there will be no countries and no national borders. Everyone on Earth will be free to roam the whole world without passports or visas, free to settle wherever they desire or for as long as they wish.

Workers should be encouraged to think of themselves as members of a worldwide class with a common interest, not as members of different “nations” or different “ethnic” or “cultural” groups with their own different, competing interests. The World Socialist Movement understands that working-class people of all cultures need to come together as equals to fight for issues that unite them as a class. And that’s the only way we’ll ever achieve a society where we can work together for things that unite us all as human beings, regardless of skin colour, religious beliefs, cultural or national origin, or individual differences. The WSM doesn’t advocate the integration of coloured people into “our way of life.” What is “our way of life” but working for the wealthy?

The problem of racial tensions is usually approached from the assumption that we should be devising plans to enable ‘different races’ to exist co-operatively. Although on the face of it this is an anti-racialist attitude, it is in fact quite the reverse. There is, of course, only one race, the human race, and no one has a “pure racial make-up” of one stock. People of the world do enjoy many diverse cultures but there is no necessary link between ‘race’ and ‘culture’. A white Caucasian born and bred in an Indian village will acquire an Indian language and culture and, conversely, an Asian born and bred in England will acquire an English language and culture. The culture of a country is not a fixed, static entity, but rather something which constantly changes with the arrival of new ideas and people from different cultures. Today’s so-called “British stock” in fact traces their ancestry to a great variety of groups who settled on this island including the Celts, Jutes, Angles, Saxons, Vikings, Romans and Normans. Each of these groups was, similarly, the result of a mixture of people of different geographical and cultural origins. So, many of the philanthropic reformers who today advocate measures like “positive discrimination” as ways of improving the relations between the “different races”, are in fact proceeding from the same fallacious racial assumptions as their fascist opponents.

Socialists aren’t interested in helping the owners get workers who are less used to wage slavery to adjust, integrate or fit in with capitalism. The Socialist Party suggest that workers everywhere organise to end the way of life capitalism imposes on them.

Workers everywhere, other than in the legal sense, have no country. The wealth of the world is monopolised by a tiny minority on whom they depend for a living. Workers from various parts of the world have no opposing interests. They are all in the same economic position: wage and salary workers work for those who own. Their interests are the same: to end the system that degrades them by treating them as mere things.

Workers must learn to think with their heads and not be guided by their feelings. They must understand, and they will do when they become socialists, that there is a bond that unites them with their fellow workers. This bond is not the superficial one of the same language, the same colour of skin, the same shape of the nose, the same habits or allegiance to the same capitalist state, but the fundamental one of class interest. The workers of the world have one great task: to overthrow the system of their respective capitalistic masters and establish a world socialist commonwealth, where the word “foreigner” will have no meaning. We must aim for a world in which men and women are truly free and can move over the earth as they like without meeting economic hardship or racial prejudice and violence. Until that happens, the reformist tinkerings will continue to blunt themselves against an insoluble problem. Whilst capitalism lasts, the hardships of the working class will follow them all over the world. That is the lesson they must learn.

Today, the great tragedy is that workers are struggling under the burden of maintaining a privileged minority above them. When this elite looks down and observes that we are blaming our poverty on each other because some are “black” and some “white”, they must contemptuously laugh and feel ever more secure.  The ruling class can enjoy the benefits of working-class disunity.

The World Socialist Movement’s position is that we are all equally worthy members of the human family and when it comes to looking after ‘our own’, none should be excluded and rejected, with no exceptions nor special cases. Humanity is One. We are indivisible.