[Marxism] Fwd: 3 Articles in Black Agenda Report on "Good News of Brexit"

Andrew Pollack acpollack2 at gmail.com
Thu Jun 30 11:20:01 MDT 2016

The quote from Lenin in Louis's recent blog piece explains Lenin's
(correct) support for open borders due to the impact it would have on
working-class unity as workers of many nationalities were brought together.
Echoes of this can be heard today in antiracist quotes from Brits in mixed
neighborhoods - quotes counterposed by reporters to much higher levels of
racism in the same neighborhoods when they were still mostly white. (These
neighborhoods went heavily for Remain.)

But this is not to deny - and Lenin never did - that the bosses try to use
immigrant against "native" labor. By coincidence, today's Socialist Worker
reviews the 1930s Little Steel battles, which should remind us of how in
steel, struggles in the decades leading up to those battles featured the
bosses use of immigrants - and Blacks - as one of their main tools against
organizing efforts initiated by the "native" workforce. A prerequisite for
fighting such efforts at division was the recognition that it existed.

By the same token I vividly remember a Chinese-American labor organizer
asking his members whether they thought their labor dragged down "native"
wages. The first few responses were attempts to explain why that wasn't so.
Then the organizer explained that in fact that WAS the case, that their low
wages WERE being used in that fashion. His point being that, once again, a
prerequisite to fighting against such divisive differences in wage
standards was to recognize what the bosses were trying to do in the first

p.s. This all reminds me of Isaac Hourwich's 1912 work on immigration and
labor, which - like Marx's arguments against Lassalle's "Iron Law of Wages"
- pointed to factors counteracting the bosses' intent in pitting workers
against each other. Haven't looked at it in years though...

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