A World of Refugees, Imperialism, and Borders:
Intolerable and Unnecessary

April 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


A food distribution center in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp complex, the world’s largest.
A food distribution center in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp complex, the world’s largest.  Built for 90,000, it now holds some 330,000 refugees, most from war-ravaged Somalia.  Some have been there more than 20 years. (AP photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

Migrants in Idomeni clashed with police, April 7
Migrants in Idomeni clashed with police when they tried to tear down a section of border fence between Greece and Macedonia and escape to Europe, April 7, 2016. (AP photo/Amel Emric)

Today a flood of humanity—some 42,500 every single day on average—are being forced to flee for their lives from war, terror, and persecution. This deluge of displacement has reached 60 million people. That’s one out of every 122 people on Earth—more than ever recorded, even during World War 2. Millions are now desperately trying to find shelter in Europe, where one million landed last year alone.

What do the overwhelming majority of these refugees—the 12 million Syrians, nearly four million Afghans, some five million Iraqis, and 15 million from Sub-Saharan Africa—have in common? They’re escaping regions long dominated by Western colonialism and imperialism—especially Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Why? Because imperialism has made life hell, through decade after decade of exploitation and plunder, of backing despots, and now more than 15 years of bombs and war, which have killed millions and fanned the flames of reactionary Islamic jihadist terror, which has created its own nightmares for the people.

And what is the response of European powers (and the U.S. in its own way) that got rich off robbing and exploiting these areas and created this nightmare? To slam the door shut with walls, barbed wire, armed guards, and now deportations to the brutally repressive state of Turkey.

The predator powers who rampage across the globe bombing, murdering, and exploiting complain that this flood of humanity is “illegally crossing their borders.” But what’s sacred about their borders? Nothing. They arose and reflect the division of humanity into masters and slaves, oppressor and oppressed classes. In Europe they largely emerged from the rise of capitalism, etched through wars and mass carnage. In the colonized world, these borders have most often been drawn by the colonial powers to divide the spoils and maintain their control.

All this is intolerable and unnecessary. It cries out for a revolution to bring into being a much better system whose ultimate goal is communism--a world without division of humanity into classes, without oppressive social relations, and without borders.



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