By Dr. Doğu Perinçek, Chairman of Vatan Party (Türkiye)
The world is discussing the issues raised by migrations from Asia and Africa to Europe and North America. Recently, the uprisings mostly of young people of African origin in France further highlighted the issue.
The basis and history of the migration issue
On the first hand, we can determine that these events occur on the basis of the fundamental contradiction of the imperialist era: that between the Oppressor and the Oppressed.
Imperialism was a period of capital export from developed capitalist countries to the Oppressed World. The accumulation of surplus value in the centers of capitalism met with the labor force of the Oppressed World through capital export. This disrupted the fundamental law of capitalism, which is the exchange of equivalents.
In the era of competition in capitalism, the average social labor force required for its production determined the value of a product. Goods were exchanged in the market according to their values. The only means of gaining an advantage over other competitors was to reduce the cost of labor force through technological development. The exploitation of the labor force in the Oppressed World by the capital of developed capitalist countries abolished the law of exchange of equivalents, which had given capitalism its progressive character.
In this new situation, the cheap labor force in the Oppressed World was not exchanged on an equivalent basis. The average social labor force required to produce a commodity in England was not equivalent to the average social labor required to produce the same commodity in India. The export of capital to the Oppressed World where labor force was cheaper hindered the exchange of equivalents, which had formed the basis for technological development.
From exporting capital to importing labor force
Imperialism’s capital export brought about a new form of labor force import from the Oppressed World, the same as it had done in the pre-imperialist colonial era of capitalism. The capital is now seeking cheap labor force in the Oppressed World to employ in the centers of capitalism itself. The phenomenon of migration, which causes anxiety in the Atlantic capitalist world, has its roots in the imperialist system itself.
However, this time the situation is different from the colonial era. During capitalism’s colonial period, cheap labor force was often and mostly slave labor. The relationship between black-skinned slaves crammed into ships and the owners of cotton fields in North America resembled more of a slavery system than capitalism. On the other side, the relationship between the capitalist owner and the free laborer was shaped by market conditions. Labor, like all commodities, was bought and sold on the market, in other words, treated as a commodity. However, those who were transported in ships with chains on their feet were not free persons; they were treated as property.
Then England further developed the process of turning labor into a commodity when it achieved the Industrial Revolution and banned the slave trade in 1807. Other capitalist countries followed England. Moreover, the United States and England established Sierra Leone and Liberia in West Africa to send the freed slaves back to Africa. The process of transforming slaves into free workers reached its peak during the American Civil War (1861-1865) when the Northern Federals under the leadership of Abraham Lincoln emerged victorious. Altogether, in pioneer countries of capitalism like the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, England, Belgium, France, Italy, and North America, former slaves became free workers, but the colonial era of capitalism left a legacy for the capitalist system difficult to overcome: Xenophobia and racism.
In more recent times, the legacy of xenophobia and racism has coupled with labor force import.
Three reasons why imperialist-capitalist countries import labor force
There are three main reasons for monopoly capital to have to import cheap labor force alongside using it in the Oppressed World:
The first reason is the flow of masses from the Oppressed World to the imperialist centers in order to sustain their livelihoods. Their ancestors were forcibly taken away in chains. Now, they are struggling to offer their labor force to the capitals in the imperialist countries by crossing the borders, walls, barbed wires and minefields. Unlike the slaves of the past, they organize their own ways to cross seas and borders themselves.
The second reason is the ageing population in the imperialist countries. The imperialist system has also fettered the reproduction of its own population. This is undoubtedly linked to the excessive backwardness and decay of the system. The ageing population is becoming an increasingly heavy burden on the system. The scarcity of young labor force has become a major problem. Monika Schnitzer, the President of the German Council of Economic Experts, indicates that Germany needs 1.5 million immigrants annually to have 400,000 new qualified workers every year. Young labor force is a vital issue for imperialist-capitalist countries. Germany passed a new law to facilitate and regulate labor migration. Monika Schnitzer emphasizes the “urgent need for a welcome culture.” Imperialist capitalist countries are becoming more and more dependent on imported young labor force while sacrificing their own youths through decay such as LGBT, drugs, alcohol, violence and selfishness. Yet, they don’t abstain from laying down certain “specific qualifications” for the newcomers. A reminiscent of the inspection of labor force bought at slave markets.
The third reason are the privileged working conditions provided to the population of imperialist countries. The workers of the Oppressor nations work for 6-7 hours a day in jobs they choose while the workers coming from the Oppressed countries are forced to work 10-12 hours a day in jobs they are obliged to. These are heavy and laborious jobs such as mining, garbage collection and toilet cleaning. The imperialist exploitation has made the workers of the Oppressing countries a part of the Oppressing nation and granted them certain privileges.
Import of “explosive substance”
Imperialist countries’ import of labor force, just like they export capital, has become necessary. However, the imported labor force is being an “explosive substance” within the system.
“Explosive”, because in this new situation the contradiction between capital and labor force takes on a new dimension and intensifies. Additionally, the racial characteristics or foreign origins of the imported labor introduce entirely new and seemingly unsolvable challenges within the imperialist system. The rulers and intellectuals of the system are driven to conceal this fact.
The deadlock of the system and the solution rising from Asia
Thousands of books are published and late-night television discussions revolve around the causes and solutions of racism and xenophobia in imperialist centers. These eager efforts hold immigrants responsible for the rise of xenophobia and racism.
The rulers of the system frame the question as “How can migration be prevented?”, “How can immigrants be tamed?”, “How can they get chained once again?” Meanwhile, the question of how to address the problems arising from the ageing population in imperialist countries remains unanswered. Parties such as the Victory Party (Zafer Partisi) and the Good Party (İyi Parti) in Türkiye are becoming instruments of imperialist plots by their plans of forcibly expelling immigrants. There are similar parties in other countries. At the same time, debates between this kind of parties and the capitalists who emphasize the need for immigrant labor force become prominent.
Certainly, within the confines of the imperialist-capitalist system, some proposals for improvement are put forward. However, the root of the problems lies within the system itself. Therefore, we must boldly affirm that there is no fundamental solution within the system. All the solutions proposed within boundaries of the system ultimately serve the need for young labor force in imperialist-capitalist countries and therefore are solutions in favor of big capitalists.
When racism and xenophobia in imperialist centers are considered together with ethnic hostilities and wars in Africa and Asia, the impasse of the system becomes even more terrifying.
Under the patronage of the United States, the imperialist system has turned into a destructive force for humanity and nature in all its dimensions. The alienation of humans from themselves, their labor, their societies, people from different ethnicities, religions, sects and even their own sex has led to an extraordinarily intense contradiction between the imperialist system and humanity. While imperialism is dragged into destruction through its self-created contradictions, it also fuels conflicts between ethnicities, nations and religious sects. Furthermore, the system’s states produce homosexual gods just like in the times of ancient Athens and Rome and pit human beings against their own sex through ideological and cultural tools. Liberalism is killing Humanism just like Cain killed Abel. Racism and xenophobia are inherent in the nature of the imperialist system.
There are strong ties between the destruction of humanity and nature and the economic deadlock of mafialized imperialist-capitalist system.
According to Şule Perinçek’s upcoming article in Teori, the economies of the United States and Europe, when compared to the Developing World of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, have entered an irreversible state of decline: In 2030, the United States falls to a distant third place after China and India and Japan and Germany hopelessly struggle to hold on to the ninth and tenth ranks. Their rates of contribution to the growth of the world economy reflect their deadlock.
The Standard Chartered Bank of London, the World Bank and the IMF confirm each other’s projections that the leaders of the world economy will be the Asian, Latin American and African countries of China, India, Indonesia, Türkiye, Brazil, Egypt, Russia and Brazil, respectively.
A new world is being built. Even the rulers of the Atlantic system accept that their system is coming to an end. The world is transitioning into a new Asia-centered era.
This change signifies not just a change of leadership within boundaries of the system but a revolution on world scale. The emerging economies, especially China and India, are signaling the establishment of a national democratic system that paves the way for socialism. Humanity is on the threshold of a world based on the principles of independence of nations, humanitarianism, public ownership, sharing on the global and national scale and the Enlightenment. In this new world, the ground for xenophobia and racism will rapidly weaken.
Notably, the leading countries of the rising Asian Age are the countries with a rich tradition and experience of ensuring the coexistence of diverse communities in their territories, once the heartlands of ancient empires. Migrations from these regions in the past had abolished the empires based on slavery in the West and established new civilizations. And today, migrations from East to West and South to North are bringing both destructive and constructive forces to the heart of the decaying system. These migrations aggravate the crisis of the imperialist-capitalist world and strengthen the social forces that will lead the way out of the great crisis.
 Süddeutsche Zeitung, July 3, 2023.
 Süddeutsche Zeitung, July 3, 2023.