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The America that can be

From the Editors  |  Issue: February | March 2019

Immigrants and U.S. workers face the same enemy: the capitalist class, whose only solution is to ‘divide and conquer.’

 

Father and son migrating

Father and son migrating together. Son comes in pursuit of his dreams.
Father comes to take care of him.
PHOTO: MARGARITO DIAZ

 

What has happened to the America we once knew? What has happened to the beacon of hope, democracy and opportunity known round the world: the America of the Statue of Liberty? Is there “no more room at the inn?” Is it true that we cannot continue to take on caravans full of the “wretched of the earth” – a situation of compassion overload?

We are truly at a crossroads and a decision point in time. There is no way to turn back the clock. Capitalism as we knew it is dying. It penetrated every remote corner of the world, displacing masses of people who grew their own subsistence crops. It made them entirely dependent upon salaries from whoever owned the means of production and sale.

Constantly modernizing their productive tools in order to corner the market and extract ever more profit, the capitalists depended on fostering divisions among working people, particularly over differences in race, gender, religion and country of origin. For a time, capitalism functioned reasonably well for some.

Democracy and opportunity in the United States were possible, but they had to be fought for. The prosperity many experienced was built upon the backs of even more exploited people whose rights were trampled upon in underdeveloped countries, as well as in many places within the United States.

Many exploited people longed for the image of prosperity and freedom the United States symbolized. Those who could immigrated into the United States.

Today capitalism is failing. New productive tools are replacing labor. Joblessness has now hit formerly secure U.S. industrial workers.

It is projected that by 2030 half of all jobs in the United States will be automated. Those feeling the pain used to be a pillar of U.S. policies of which caused lower standards of living, and migration from the countries represented in the caravan.

Confronted with a declining standard of living for millions of workers, demagogues such as Trump easily resort to the age-old tactic of scapegoating immigrants. Trump and the capitalists he represents point their fingers at desperate migrants in order to explain the loss of the American Dream by suffering Americans, when in reality the blame belongs with Trump and his fellow capitalists.

Today, immigrants and U.S. workers of all nationalities face the same enemy: the capitalist class, whose only solution is to “divide and conquer.” The corporations which displaced U.S. workers under NAFTA and CAFTA and which meddle in their country’s affairs are the ones which caused Mexicans, Central Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Haitians to migrate in the first place. They come in order to survive.

The attack on immigrants is only the beginning. It is part of the effort to eliminate democracy and institute a fascist dictatorship to suppress the struggle of all workers for a new society.

Yet the new technology promises unheard of plenty and happiness for everyone in the United States or in their countries of origin. How we achieve this vision entails working past our differences and discovering our common, shared humanity. Let’s get started.

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