Britain: Asylum Seekers : A Socialist Response


There has been much in the press in the recent period about the "Problem" of bogus asylum seekers coming to the UK in large numbers, becoming a drain on the country's resources, and getting involved in criminal and fraudulent activity etc.

As a Socialist and a Marxist who works within the civil service I see these people as yet another group to be targeted by the ruling class and their friends in the capitalist media who seek to blame them for the failings in their own capitalist system. The fact these people are taking such desperate measures to reach here in the first place should make us begin to question the underlying reasons for this phenomena, and to provide a straight forward answer to those people who would seek to make Asylum seekers scapegoats for the ongoing problems, that are a result of the general crisis within the capitalist system itself. Asylum seeking and economic migration as the spokespeople of capital call it is yet another symptom of the general breakdown of the capitalist system on a global scale, and in some parts of the world the crisis is of a much more acute nature than in others. The object of this article is to explain to ordinary people that Asylum seeking, or to put it in a more precise way economic migration is taking place, not just in the UK, but across Europe, and in the US as well.

Globalisation Of Capitalism

The last 20 or so years has seen a transfer of wealth to the rich capitalist countries of the west on an unprecedented scale. The gap between the haves and the have nots has widened, and become so acute, that roughly 90% of the world's wealth is now controlled by about 5% of the world population. In the less advanced economies of the south, especially Africa, central Asia and the Pacific regions this super exploitation of the masses by the rich multi-nationals of the west has plunged whole regions of the world into starvation, desperation and despair. Also, the lack of any mass revolutionary party in these regions, plus the difficulty of even being able to organise the masses in some areas has exacerbated the feelings of the masses that there is no way out, other than to migrate to the west. Of course this has been compounded by organised criminal gangs of human traffickers who have jumped on the bandwagon and are exploiting the situation and making huge profits for themselves in the process.  The way it works is these gangs offer individuals a way out to the west, but at a huge cost, which at some point has to be paid back to the criminal gangs. The "Asylum Seeker", is then forced by his or her circumstances to do whatever it takes to gain entry to the western country, whether it be Britain, Europe, or the USA so they can then work, and pay back their "debts" to the organised gangs.

This is yet another symptom of capitalism in decay, where even people are traded around the world like cattle and commodities to be bought and sold to the highest bidder. These issues though are conveniently ignored by the spokespeople of capital, with their hypocritical diatribe against these terrible asylum seekers, and the lies and deceit they are exhibiting to get into "civilised" Britain. As Socialists have always explained, people react and behave according to the conditions they are forced to endure. As Marxists we do not condone deceit or criminality. I must make that clear here, but we recognise that criminality and deceit are but symptoms of a capitalist system that forces some sections of society down the criminal path in order to survive. When a man or woman cannot feed their family then from a purely dialectic standpoint they will do whatever it takes. This is forced on them by the material conditions of the capitalist system that cannot even provide the basic necessities of life for masses of the world population at the beginning of the 21st Century.

 This explains more clearly why "society" is breaking down as they keep telling us. When an individual is robbed of their dignity and self respect, on a daily basis by a system that seeks to exploit and profit at that individuals expense then it is no surprise that there are masses of people, particularly amongst the youth who feel left out and dispossessed, hence the "break down in society". If the material conditions were different, for example we had a successful socialist revolution, and individuals would be able to fully participate in society and realise their potential then such anti-social behaviour would become a thing of the past, because people would react more positively to the more favourable conditions of socialism. A basic dialectic analysis, that the capitalists do not understand, or cannot afford to understand, because to admit the correctness of scientific socialism, in essence of Marxism would be to admit their system is failing, and that they will never do. They will attempt to hang on for as long as they can, and the only reason they have hung on this long has been the lack of the "subjective factor", that is the mass revolutionary party of the working class.  The current crises that are rocking country after country, are symptomatic of the global breakdown of capitalism, which the process of globalisation over the last 20 years has exacerbated, and has forced all the contradictions inherent within the system to the surface with a vengeance, hence events at the current time.

Solving The Asylum "Problem"

This is not a problem that is going to be solved by unfairly launching attacks on economic migrants, but like all the other issues we have to face as Marxists, we have to approach this issue from the same class perspective, and explain to the masses here in the UK, and in the other Western Countries why this process is happening and how we can solve it.

Firstly we have to explain that these people are coming here because of sheer desperation. Society in their home countries has often broken down. Many of the countries in question are controlled by corrupt dictatorships, and gangsters who have no respect for human life, or human rights, and are often supported by those wonderful organisations of democracy, "The World Bank", and the "International Monetary Fund", whose austerity policies the Governments of these countries carry out with enthusiasm, because if they do not then they are starved of new loans and finance. This is how western imperialism functions to keep control of these economies. Of course the masses in these countries are then forced into a desperate struggle to survive, and many see the only way out of their situation is to migrate. Our task as Marxists is to explain to the masses in these countries patiently that the way forward is the building of a revolutionary party of the masses, to get themselves educated in the ideas and the philosophy of Marxism, so that they may effect a transformation of society, and hence the need to migrate would disappear. Like was mentioned previously, people adapt and conduct themselves in relation to the environment and the circumstances they find themselves in.

Economic migration is but yet another symptom of the bankruptcy of capitalism on a world scale, yet another contradiction that cannot be solved on a capitalist basis. The only way to solve this, like all the other issues, is the socialist transformation of society, here in Britain and Internationally, which would remove the need for economic migration. Then we will be able to truly live in peace, and all our brothers and sisters, wherever they may be in the world will be able to make a positive and meaningful contribution to the world we all live in and live as one, free from the exploitation and the barbarity that so blights the lives of so many of our fellow human beings at the present time.