Saturday, 15 June 2024

From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – Trade Unionists Against Mass Immigration (Part 1)
NATIONAL LIBERAL TRADE UNIONISTS – NLTU – are opposed to both capitalism and socialism. We view the workings of both systems as fairly similar. Neither are we particularly interested in class – indeed, the NLTU regards itself as ‘beyond class’. As our Facebook site – – declares:

The National Liberal Trade Unionist aims to promote a non-socialist trade unionism i.e. building employee protections rather than class revolution. The group will support the principles of liberty e.g. the protection of all individual employees, and patriotism e.g. the defence of workers from globalisation, and promote a liberal e.g. supporting greater employee share ownership, agenda.

With the NLTUs opposition to globalisation in mind, our attention was recently drawn to an article – The Left Case Against Open Borders written by Angela Nagle for American Affairs.

Founded in 2017, American Affairs is a ‘is a quarterly journal of public policy and political thought.’ Interestingly, it features ‘established authors and new voices, from both the Right and the Left’ who aims to ‘look beyond ossified ideological modes’ and offer a ‘more informed responses to perennial questions and immediate problems.
The NLTU might not agree with everything Nagle writes. However, in the spirit of comradeship, free speech and open debate, we feature her article below. We invite our readers to share their thoughts when this article is reproduced on the NLTU Facebook site – and the NLP Facebook site – It goes without saying that there are no official links between Angela Nagle, American Affairs, the NLTU and the National Liberal Party. Please note that the NLTU has kept the original US spelling and phrases as they are.


National Liberal Party – From The Liberty Wall – National Liberal Trade Unionists – Trade Unionists Against Mass Immigration (Part 1)

The Left Case Against Open Borders – By Angela Nagle (Part 1)

BEFORE “Build the wall!” there was “Tear down this wall!” In his famous 1987 speech, Ronald Reagan demanded that the “scar” of the Berlin Wall be removed and insisted that the offending restriction of movement it represented amounted to nothing less than a “question of freedom for all mankind.” He went on to say that those who “refuse to join the community pf freedom” would “become obsolete” as a result of the irresistible force of the global market. And so they did. In celebration, Leonard Bernstein directed a performance of “Ode to Joy” and Roger Waters performed “The Wall.” Barriers to labor and capital came down all over the world; the end of history was declared; and decades of U.S.-dominated globalization followed.

In its twenty-nine year existence, around 140 people died attempting to cross the Berlin Wall. In the promised world of global economic freedom and prosperity, 412 people died crossing the U.S.-Mexico border last year alone, and more than three thousand died the previous year in the Mediterranean. The pop songs and Hollywood movies about freedom are nowhere to be found. What went wrong?

Of course, the Reaganite project did not end with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Reagan – and his successors from both parties – used the same triumphalist rhetoric to sell the hollowing out of trade unions, the deregulation of banks, the expansion of outsourcing, and the globalization of markets away from the deadweight of national economic interests. Central to this project was a neoliberal attack on national barriers to the flow of labor and capital. At home, Reagan also oversaw one of the most significant pro-migration reforms in American history, the 1986 “Reagan Amnesty” that expanded the labor market by allowing million of illegal migrants to gain legal status.

Popular movements against different elements of this post-Cold War vision came initially from the Left in the form of the anti-globalization movements and later Occupy Wall Street. But, lacking the bargaining power to challenge international capital, protest movements went nowhere. The globalized and financialized economic system held firm despite all the devastation it wreaked, even through the 2008 financial crisis.

Today, by far the most visible anti-globalization movement takes the form of the anti-migrant backlash led by Donald Trump and other “populists.” The Left, meanwhile, seems to have no option but to recoil in horror at Trump’s “Muslim ban” and news stories about ICE hunting down migrant families; it can only react against whatever Trump is doing. If Trump is for immigration controls, then the Left will demand the opposite. And so today talk of “open borders” has entered mainstream liberal discourse, where once it was confined to radical free market think tanks and libertarian anarchist circles.

While no serious political party of the Left is offering concrete proposals for a truly borderless society, by embracing the moral arguments of the open-borders Left and the economic arguments of free market think tanks, the left has painted itself into a corner. If “no human is illegal!,” as the protest chant goes, the Left is implicitly accepting the moral case for no borders or sovereign nations at all. But what implications will unlimited migration have for projects like universal health care and education, or a federal jobs guarantee? And how will progressives convincingly explain these goals to the public?

During the 2016 Democratic primary campaign, when Vox editor Ezra Klein suggested open borders policies to Bernie Sanders, the senator famously showed his vintage when he replied, “Open borders? No. That’s a Koch brothers proposal.” (1) This momentarily confused the official narrative, and Sanders was quickly accused of “sounding like Donald Trump.” Beneath the generational differences revealed in this exchange, however, is a larger issue. The destruction and abandonment of labor politics mean that, at present, immigration issues can only play out within the framework of a culture war, fought entirely on moral grounds. In the heightened emotions of America’s public debate on migration, a simple moral and political dichotomy prevails. It is “right-wing” to be “against immigration” and “left-wing” to be “for immigration,” But the economics of migration tell a different story.
  1.• ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Angela Nagle writes for the Atlantic, Jacobin, the Irish Times and the Baffler. She is the author of Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars from 4chan and Tumblr to Trump and the Alt-Right (Zero Books, 2017).

    • CHECK OUT the National Liberal Trade Unionists here:

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