[Marxism] Vote for Clinton?

Carl G. Estabrook galliher at illinois.edu
Fri Sep 2 18:38:13 MDT 2016

[Trump’s attack on illegal immigration is an attack on neoliberalism - and the misery neoliberal policies have produced for much of the US population over the last 40 years - while enriching the 1%. The following is from <https://www.jacobinmag.com/2011/01/let-them-eat-diversity/ <https://www.jacobinmag.com/2011/01/let-them-eat-diversity/>>.]

...who’s for illegal immigration? As far as I know ... the only people who are openly for illegal immigration are neoliberal economists.

First of all, neoliberal economists are completely for open borders, in so far as that’s possible. Friedman said years ago that, “You can’t have a welfare state and open borders,” but of course the point of that was “open the borders, because that’ll kill the welfare state.” There’s a good paper you can get off the web by Gordon Hanson, commissioned by whoever runs Foreign Affairs, and the argument is that illegal immigration is better than legal immigration, because illegal immigration is extremely responsive to market conditions.

So it’s quite striking that you have all this protesting against illegal immigration, and especially at a time when it’s down. So why are people so upset about it? They are upset about it not because it has gotten worse, it hasn’t, but because they somehow recognize that one of the primary sort of marks of the triumph of neoliberalism in the US is a very high tolerance of illegal immigration, and that illegal immigration is the kind of ne plus ultra of the labor mobility that neoliberalism requires. I mean that’s why for years — even though it’s a kind of contradiction in terms — as a policy it’s worked well. The Bush administration did everything it could to talk against illegal immigration but leave it alone and I’m sure the Obama administration would do the same thing except its hand’s being forced by the Tea Party. 

...The Tea Party thinks that immigrants are taking away their money. It’s not immigrants who are taking away their money; it’s neoliberalism that’s taking away their money. And this is true even though the Tea Party is a disproportionately upper middle class movement. There is some debate about that, but what theTimes survey shows, at least in part, is that Tea Partiers in general are richer than most Americans, closer to the top 20 percent than they are to the middle. But if you look at the distribution of income in the last 10 years what you’re struck by is that the top 20 percent looks like it’s done very well in relation to everyone else and the top 10 percent looks like it’s done very very well in relation to everyone else but it’s the top 1 percent who have really made out like bandits. And if you separate out the top 1 percent from the rest of the 19 that makes up the top 20, the 19 have more or less stayed still, they have not increased their proportion of the share of the US income very much over the past 10–15 years. Almost all the increase has gone to the top 1 percent. So you now have a threat even to the upper middle class, which for the first 15–20 years of neoliberalism benefited from it tremendously, but which is now not exactly losing ground in relation to the country as a whole, but is losing ground in relation to this new phenomenon, this extraordinary success of the top 1, or to some extent, the top 5 percent. And you begin to see those people actually feeling a certain sense of anxiety...

People always bridle when I say this, but I really doubt that the main issue here is white male status anxiety. Obviously I’m not in a position to say there aren’t people who are experiencing it. What I’m saying is that people in the Tea Party movement have a problem that is realer than “white male status anxiety,” that the economic shifts that are taking place, the more and more extreme inequality, the more and more going to the top, no doubt some people may be unhappy because of loss of status, but many millions more are going to be unhappy because of the loss of actual money. So my point isn’t really to deny the phenomenon of status anxiety, it’s just to point out the extraordinaire eagerness of American liberals to identify racism as the problem, so that anti-racism (rather than anti-capitalism) can be the solution...


> On Sep 2, 2016, at 10:15 AM, Clay Claiborne via Marxism <marxism at lists.csbs.utah.edu> wrote:
> I am so amazed that people on this list aren't more troubled by Trump's
> racism. Did you hear his speech on immigration?
> Nobody here comments.Nobody here cares. Where are the exposures of Trump's
> white nationalist connections.
> I feel like the treachery of the "anti-imperialist" Left,which is no
> stranger to white chauvinism, has come home/

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