Antifa’s Open Borders Push Proves They’re Anti-American, Not Antifascist
In response to almost two months of uninterrupted rioting in Portland, Sen. Ted Cruz took to the Wall Street Journal last week, calling the Antifa hordes hijacking the city “radicals who hate the police, reject the rule of law, and are intent on terrorizing their communities.” While certainly correct, the senator could have added another important detail about the group: their incoherency.
In its attempts to defend and legitimize Antifa, the elite media has tried to claim the movement has a long “antifascist” and communist pedigree, a deep historical lineage, and an ideological coherency. But as any genuine and honest Marxist or member of the old left will tell you, this is completely false.
The best proof of this lies in Antifa’s stark anti-borders position. Antifa is so extreme on immigration, after Willem “I am Antifa” Van Spronsen attempted to kill two Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Washington state, an Antifa group in Philadelphia vandalized a local Department of Homeland Security building in his honor, sending out a statement that included: “we felt the urgency of attacking those who enforce borders … especially in the wake of Willem Van Spronsen’s death while fighting those maintaining concentration camps in the U$A … RIP Willem Van Spronsen.”
Knocking down borders and removing restrictions on labor mobility, however, was the complete opposite of what Karl Marx advocated. Capital, Marx wrote, always seeks to maintain an extra “reserve army of labor” so it can keep workers cheap and docile; a reserve that can be built up by way of mass immigration and tapped whenever needed. As he said concerning the mass Irish migration into England taking place during his time: “Ireland constantly sends her own surplus to the English labor market, and thus forces down wages and lowers the material position of the English working class.”
Elsewhere, Marx’s right-hand man Friedrich Engels wrote that whenever there was a “temporary improvement even for the great mass” — like the 19th century Poor Laws or Factory Acts in England —“this improvement always was reduced to the old level by the influx of the great body of the unemployed reserve.” In America specifically, Engels wrote that it was precisely mass immigration that was creating class division by allowing so many to “retire in early manhood” while the “position of a proletarian for life, mostly fell to the lot of immigrants.”
Marx also touched on the debilitating effects of mass emigration; what we describe today as “brain drain,” an issue long championed most by American old-left figures like Walter Mondale and Ralph Nader. After all, how could it help global wealth disparities, for instance, if nations like America are allowed to plunder the most educated and entrepreneurial from places like Africa?
Marx even assailed multiculturalism, saying it led to “worker antagonisms” and calling it “a secret by which the capitalist class maintains its power.” Fast-forward to today, and we see an example of this with Jeff Bezos’s Whole Foods. It was recently found, through leaked documents, to treat staff diversity as a positive factor in keeping unionization rates down.
So, when The Onion skewered Antifa as basically the unwitting shock troops of global capitalism, as usual, they were on to something.
Antifa’s hammer-and-sickle imagery further shows how fraudulent its communist pedigree is. “ICE abolitionists” should probably take note that the Soviet Union forcibly evicted tens of millions of ethnic minorities from their homes, both as a form of retribution and political expediency. The victims included Cossacks, Tatars, Chechens, Koreans, Chinese, Germans, Hungarians, and natives of the Baltics. Unlike in the United States, many of these removals were based on actual racial and religious animus, were deadly on a genocidal scale, and, as has been determined by numerous governments and international bodies, were proven crimes against humanity.
If not traditional Marxism and “the workers,” then, what exactly is motivating the extremist, intersectional left on open-borders immigration? What kind of faux Marxism is the elite media apologizing for?
British columnist and former Trotskyite Peter Hitchens (and brother of the late Christopher Hitchens) says when he was a member of the far left, he and his colleagues “were very much in favor of large-scale immigration, not because we liked immigrants but because we thought we didn’t like Britain … And we thought if we had large numbers of people from outside it would make our task of changing the country easier.”
For the far left, Hitchens explains, borders are treated just like any other “cultural restraint” and are seen as hindering “the development of civilization towards its utopian ideal.” Adding, chillingly, that for many on the radical left, if they get there “through a sea of blood, fine.” This gets us much closer to understanding the anti-borders motivations of today’s extremist left.
University College London professor Eric Kaufmann has conducted in-depth surveys on the immigration position of American white leftists and expands on this further. Indeed, he finds their relatively new support for open borders is related partly to a kind of “multicultural millenarianism,” or the belief that the decline of America’s historic majority will lead to a better and somehow more just society. As he states in his 2017 book, Whiteshift, their view is quite clear:
A decline of white America and its replacement by a Guyana-style mixture of minorities portends a bright future of racial equality… The underlying premise is that whites are incurable oppressors whereas new groups unencumbered by racism will treat blacks fairly.
Putting this questionable premise aside, this does seem to align with cultural marxism (also known as “neo-Marxism”), a perverted offshoot of traditional Marxism that focuses on race and sex conflict instead of the interests of the working class. As the precursors of today’s intersectional left, cultural marxists believe that subverting traditions and objective standards could change the West from the inside. If those similarly inclined, such as today’s intersectional left, believed mass immigration can change the West from the outside, pushing for open borders certainly makes sense.
Fundamentally, what Kaufmann describes in his book is the treatment of mass immigration as a form of vengeance or racial justice — something eerily close to the population-engineering ends sought by the Soviet Union. Truly, history has shown that pushing immigration-as-retribution does pop up on the radical left with eerie frequency.
It also could not be farther from the careful and logical analysis Marx and Engels committed to understanding the economic exploitation of mass immigration. No doubt they would find it crude, sophomoric, thoroughly bigoted, and, most absolutely, a giant gift to Big Capital.
Brad Betters is a private practice attorney who formerly worked in U.S. and Canadian conservative politics.