News from the debt crisis in Spain and the rise of a global response
Washing the face of capital
Por DIAGONAL English

(Photo, Stelios Matsagos) Syrian refugees arriving at the Greek island of Lesbos

The new government of Valencia recently proposed the creation of a passageway in the Mediterranean to bring refugees by boat from Greece. I support the idea and offer to travel in the boat and collaborate for humanitarian reasons. And I will do so because it is absolutely necessary to help our neighbours, because we all are neighbours on this Mother Earth, to live with the dignity they deserve. Having said this, what are the implications?

1. People usually want to live where they are born, with their family and friends. Emigration is neither a common nor a pleasant eventuality. Except for nomadic communities or adventurous people, it is a necessity.

2. When a migratory phenomenon occurs, more frequently than not it is for economic reasons; people from poor places are lured to more economically favoured regions.

3. This phenomenon usually occurs spontaneously, but not always, because the need for workforce is also advertised with ulterior motives. The effect on labour is twofold. On the one hand, migrants occupy the less qualified jobs and on the other, there is an increase in the labour reserve, from which employers profit to have well qualified workers available at a lower cost.

4. It would be useful to analyse how the economic difficulties which produce these migratory phenomena come about. Behind these migrations, whether they occur in constant trickles or en masse, is the spoliation of territory and habitat which, as a result, prevents people from satisfying autonomously their needs, lifestyle and coexistence. But violence is always present, exercised either by a fascist government or through a military conflict brought about with the sole objective of controlling natural resources.

5. Fleeing, when you can afford mafias to transport you, is unavoidable. Warmongers and authoritarians know it. And so do ordinary people, which thanks to the new communication channels (social networks and alternative media), are more and more interconnected.

6. The people who cause and benefit from human pain and their political front men don’t care if people die in their territory, at sea, crammed in a train or fighting to board a bus going nowhere. They don’t care where they end up, be it Europe or the USA, because they neither see them nor smell them; they live in another dimension, parallel word, in their medieval castles with high walls and watchdogs, they travel in private vehicles because this way they don’t have to mix with other human beings at airports, seaports or anywhere else. They don’t buy bread, clothes or drink where the rest of us do. They just don’t care. All they care about is having more slaves, hungry, needy and scared people with whom to feed precariousness.

7. Under these circumstances, we should be careful or we will end up killing each other… yet again. We will be treating the newcomer as an enemy, a risk for our own subsistence. Hatred, racism and intolerance would be strife, and inequality and violence would be practiced between equals. This is a calculated political weapon: divide and you will defeat. As long as ordinary people are occupied fighting for the crumbs, they will not create genuine, collective resistance to eradicate the real evil of society which is capital and the capitalist oligarchs.

8. The human being shows humanity by actively helping those who suffer. However, this should not lead to confusion; in my opinion, this mobilisation is a palliative measure, one of charity rather than solidarity. I believe solidarity is the mobilisation, pressure and collective force necessary to banish the warmongers and front men who protect the status quo through politics, the army, technocracy and the police, achieving a scared, gagged and defeated society.

9. Let the refugees come and we will take them in, just like they did before with us… and at a time when economic necessity is obliging us to be on the street again, to fight for our bread. But this attitude is not sufficient. Mobilisation is necessary. The institutions alone will not change this situation. We must resume social protest to get rid of all the scum that causes human misery. New politics cannot use outdated, almost spiritual solutions to solve old problems.

10. For this reason, we must strengthen collective conscience, popular organisation, the conviction that the solution is not to welcome refugees; the solution is for them not to exist. The new leaderships should use their new social role to mobilise the people, bring pressure to bear and threaten the interests of the economic system. Nothing is achieved without a fight. And this fight should not only be on the electoral front. I am convinced that returning 0.7% to those who have been stripped of 100% is neither solidarity nor commitment. Its intention is to clean the conscience and face of capital.

Cayetano Núñez lectures in law at the University of Valencia.
Original article: Lavando la cara al capital
Translation by Christine Lewis



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    Jue, 11/05/2015 - 14:22
    Wonderful translation Thank you!
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