Fascist Logic and the Politics of Immigration

A response to Brad Carson’s “Democrats Must Fight Illegal Immigration” (no link).

I find the former congressman’s writing incoherent, possibly fascist; he admits that immigrant-rights Democrats offer genuine policy solutions “that are desirable and should be enacted at once” (as we’ll see below) yet he argues that Democrats should follow anti-immigrant Republicans because: “While the opponents of immigration no doubt include nativists and xenophobes, the vast majority of those who oppose illegal immigration do so on sound public policy grounds.”

Immigrant-rights Democrats have THE desirable policy solutions, yet instead of convincing more voters of this fact, the party should switch sides on the issue?
And the party should do this why? Because most
anti-Immigrant voters are able to articulate
non-racist motives? Huh? But what would be the real
motive for betraying a united labor policy?

In the end, the former Congressman offers a fascist gambit. The voters to whom you propose to betray your principles can articulate their reasons in non-fascist form, okay. But deep down you can’t say that these non-fascist articulations constitute your reasons for switching sides, because you’ve already stipulated that the side you are on already has the better policy formulations. But since you have been supplied with non-fascist reasons for doing the fascist thing, therefore you should do the fascist thing? Jesus.

A wedge issue is not “treating the EXPLOITED CITIZEN WORKERS fairly”. In fact, the formula serves as quite a slogan of solidarity, actually. The wedge comes when people claim that ALL exploited workers CAN’T be treated fairly because some are citizens and some are not.

For example, the former Congressman plays loose with the facts of immigrant impact in order to make the threat more vague than it has to be. The Dallas Fed has recently pegged the impact of immigrant wages to about 3 percent (or less).

For three decades the real wages of USA workers have been declining steadily, and there are overwhelming causes for this that have nothing to do with immigrants. For example, what do immigrants have to do with Texas Right-to-Work laws? With NAFTA? With refusal to fund a top-class school system? With outsourcing? With Wal-Mart’s falling prices based on globalized wages? Why have exploited CITIZENS VOTERS not been able to better secure their political interests in either of our one-party regimes since the 70s?

The wedge comes when instead of pledging to overcome a divide-and-conquer situation, instead of seeing in the immigrant-rights movement a possible source of solidarity vs. Republican lockgrip on labor policy, we start trying to figure out how to divide exploited workers from each other. The wedge comes when we don’t really mean ALL EXPLOITED WORKERS after all.

Here’s the passage where the former Congressman says that the real problem is Republican control of Congress and then argues that the weakness of the Democratic party would be a better guiding principle than rights for ALL EXPLOITED WORKERS:

“many Democrats are pushing an increased minimum wage or card-check unionization or – again – more funding for education. They argue that these policies would have a more direct effect on the incomes of
lower-skilled workers. And these policies might, in
fact, be sufficient to resist the effect of illegal
immigration, and, in any event,[QUOTE] all are
desirable policy and should be enacted at once.
[ENDQUOTE]. But there is no political consensus for
such policies, and it is difficult to imagine that the
Republican-dominated Congress would even consider
them. It is irresponsible to hold on to the illusion
of their possibility.”

So, the wedge comes when Democrats have more respect for REPUBLICAN CONTROL than for the principle of fairness to ALL EXPLOITED WORKERS. That is the wedge that divides exploited workers precisely at a time when the possibility of a strategic alliance looks most electrifying.

In sum, if there is a diagnosis of the former congressman’s logic, it is the plain logic of fascist nationalism. Of course, fascist logic can be quite popular among voters in the near term (have you seen film clips of those old Klan marches in DC?).

These are hard times in some ways, but they have been made just a little bit lighter by the immigrant rights movement, if we’ll figure out how to build some kind of alliance between ALL EXPLOITED WORKERS.–gm

By mopress

Writer, Editor, Educator, Lifelong Student

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