Global Independent Analytics
Van Gelis
Van Gelis

Location: Greece

Specialization: Middle East

When the Left Hated Mass Migrations and Didn’t ‘Welcome All Refugees’: Part One

There was a time in the past when the Left hated immigrants and didn’t ‘Welcome All Refugees’. Since the Soviet Union collapsed, it became fashionable in the West to support mass migration in the name of helping the ‘poor’, promoting ‘diversity’ and combatting hate crimes all in the name of ‘tolerance’.

“The purpose of this importation (of labour during a tailoring strıke in Britain) is the same as that of the importation of Indian coolies to Jamaica, namely the perpetuation of slavery. If the masters succeeded through the import of German labour, in nullifying the concessions they had already made, it would inevitably lead to repercussions in England.”

-Karl Marx, 1866

Globalist pseudo-humanitarianism has now fully gone mainstream.

Never a day stops when bleeding heart humanitarians are on TV, in the media, on talk shows, towering above all and sundry selling us drowned or crying babies, people in tents on muddy and wet campsites, showing us images of boat people  either drowned or with life jackets whilst at the same time supporting the militarisation of everything. It’s as if the world has turned on its head and suddenly the migrant is now viewed as a new Promethian god recreating a new and better humanity from its old rotting corpse[i]. The core essence as to whom they are and why they are coming has been lost. No one questions the corporate propaganda campaign, journalists or politicians. The Left just repeats it.

But there was a time in the not too distant past when the migrant flows were deemed to be dubious and reactionary. Insofar as the Soviet Union existed the Left kept at arms bay from imperialist ‘humanitarianism’, now it’s as if all other issues no longer exist and this is their raison d’etre. Three historical cases from the recent past come to light: Cuba, Algeria and Vietnam. It’s the political equivalent of Goldman Sachs doing charity and donning a philanthropic costume, while at the same time looting pensions, destroying nations and exporting real economic and social genocide. Let no one be fooled times may have changed but the core essence of mass migration in the imperialist era remains the same. We will look at the first two in Part One and at Vietnam and the implications of  ‘Welcoming All Refugees’ in Part Two.

The Example of Cuba

The Cuban Revolution, which initially was more about agrarian land and democratic reforms against the hated neo-colonial Batista regime and eventually turned into a full blown Russian style revolution with the adoption of communism by Fidel Castro, had seen a two decades long period of a mass exodus by certain sections of the population. Initially, those that fled were close to Batista’s regime and after the failed US invasion in the Bay of Pigs thousands more fled. In total around 10% of Cuba’s population, 1m people fled. They mostly went across in boats to Miami USA.

The Heritage Foundation writes (emphasis added): “Since 1959, Cubans have been engaged in one of the most significant migrations, proportionally, in modern times. Over eight percent of the island's population has gone into exile with around 700,000 coming to the U.S. prior to 1980 in several phases. Between January 1, 1959 and the October 22, 1962 Missile Crisis, 248,070 migrated to the United States. In early 1959 members of the political and military elite fled, followed by members of the propertied and professional sectors, who by 1961 comprised 45 percent of the registrants with the Cuban Refugee Program”[ii].

Fidel Castro labelled all those fleeing as gusanos (worms), which is what in reality they were. They supported the re-invasion of Cuba, the overthrow of the revolutionary regime, and the return of the hated Batista dictatorship. Failure to achieve the overthrow of the Revolution they became involved in terrorist activity against Cuba and all those that traded with it. The assistance of the American security services was obviously invaluable.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970’s they went around bombing various targets even to the extent of bringing down a Cuban Airliner killing everyone on board[iii]. It was only with a change of US strategy towards Cuba, after it was clear that the Revolution couldn't be overthrown by force, that the US sponsored terrorist activity dried up in the 1980’s.

Nowadays with the large mass migrant flows into the EU, it is easy to entrap them into your own security service agenda as they are migrants. If they don’t do as you say, you can threaten to send them back to where they came from. Also, if they are on the margins of society and are dodgy characters back home, if they are caught by the police of the new country they are residing in, they can be turned and used by the security services for their own narrow agenda. So let no one be fooled that US/EU security services aren’t going to use migrant patsies to further their NWO agenda as after all some of them were recipients of US-EU aid in their respective countries, and have ulterior motives which may not be progressive, but doubly reactionary.  Without any checks or balances, any independent controls, any cross verification of stories anyone can claim anything about their past as they most certainly do, gaining  an asylum status brings in a certain number of privileges, not least to those who profit from this (rental agencies, politicians in kickbacks, businesses in the form of cheap labour etc.) and ensures that the right of permanent stay becomes the norm[iv].

Algeria

The example of Algeria, France’s main colony for decades, is illuminating for we have a mass exodus after independence of the old colonial settlers and as it illuminates the role of the French Left. While both Vietnam and Algeria were French colonies, Vietnam became half independent first but soon fell to neo-colonialism due to America’s intervention, and Algeria became fully independent. Yet they are both interrelated in terms of strategy and occupation.

Once the French lost Vietnam, withdrew and handed over the reins to American imperialism, they focused on Algeria. What Vietnam taught them was that they had to be doubly tough against the Algerian struggle for independence. At the time (1950’s) the French Communist Party wasn’t in government and there were two resistance groups in Algeria against the French occupation. Which one did the CP support? The one of course that ended up collaborating openly with the Occupation under De Gaulle’s France. Below we see the role of the French PCF:

“Nor was the French Communist Party’s record on Algeria any better. From the PCF’s original positive involvement in setting up the Algerian immigrant labourers’ organisation L’Etoile du Nord Africaine it was all downhill. The PCF described the revolt in Constantine as ‘fascist’, even after the natives had been bombed into submission. In 1956 it voted special powers to Guy Mollet’s socialist government to repress the Algerian revolution.[1] The PCF had opposed Algerian independence since Massali Hadj first proposed it in 1937. In 1955 the PCF complained against charges of disloyalty to the Algerians: ‘Have we not already shown that we support a policy of negotiation with the peoples of North Africa for the creation of a true “Union française"?’[2] — as if the Algerian people were demanding a true Union française! But with the outbreak of war, the PCF faced some criticism for this uncomradely betrayal of the Algerian people. Rather than take responsibility for the policy outright, they sought to deflect responsibility by shifting the blame onto the working class. In a speech to students, the PCF spokesman Laurent Casanova asked them to take into account ‘the spontaneous attitude of the French popular masses on the question’.[3] Writer Francis Jeanson, who undertook clandestine work for the FLN, remembers Casanova speaking more bluntly. ‘He used to say, “The working class is racist, colonialist and imperialist.”’[4] In fact it was the Communist Party above all that was responsible for spreading chauvinist attitudes towards the Algerian struggle amongst working class people. ‘Victims of the myth of French Algeria,’ wrote Fanon, ‘the parties of the Left create Algerian sections of the French political parties on Algerian territory’. The truth was that it was they, before it was the working class, who assumed the right of France to rule over Algeria. In fact, the Communist Party of Algeria (PCA) recruited heavily amongst white settlers in Bab el Oued and Belcourt, according to Michael Farrell, who also charges that many PCA members were later active in the reactionary OAS[v].

It was left to an obscure Greek Michel Raptis (Pablo) who was in exile in France to organise a solidarity movement with the Algerian revolution, organise tens of engineers around the world to go set up mobile arms production factories in neighbouring countries and to smuggle weapons in for the resistance[vi]. He was eventually caught trying to overthrow the Algerian economy by flooding it with fake French currency, was put on trial in Amsterdam, and had his French residency withdrawn being put in prison in Holland for two years. Between 1962 and 1965 he became a core minister of Ben Bella’s first liberation government and was instrumental in forcing the mass exodus of the over one million French settlers in Algeria those who became known as Pieds Noir[vii].

Pablo was put in prison and had his status revoked by Holland, and only a sole  British Labour MP came to his defence. This is what he said in justifying his support for Algerian Independence:

“I will limit myself to a few words on the Algerian drama, which is at the heart of the affair that you are judging, Monsieur President, Messieurs Judges. I wonder if the Christian and civilized men and women of Western Europe, wallowing in their current relative material comfort, realize deep down what has been going on for the past seven years in Algeria, what is currently happening in the hell of Angola, or the drama, for example, of the Congolese children dying of hunger in the thousands. If they realize to what point our civilization is
only a matter of an epidermis that it suffices to scratch for an incredible potential for cruelty, violence and injustice toward our brothers – the people of color cruelly oppressed and exploited – to escape”.

“Have we in Western Europe truly realized the horrors of the colonial war in Algeria, that fact that there have been seven years of massacres and torture, around a million deaths on the Algerian side, more than two million poor peasants chased from their villages, displaced, “regrouped” in temporary camps, more than 250,000 Algerian refugees in Morocco and Tunisia, most of whom are elderly, women, and children who are war orphans, more than 300,000 Algerians in prisons and concentration camps in France itself? Yet these figures appear in the official French press and the countless literary and other documents that have been produced by this colonial war, the most atrocious of our century[viii].”

Once Pablo joined the Ministerial Department of Agriculture, 1m French settlers fled the country out of a population of 10m Algerians by FMLN policy of land distribution. Agriculture was returned once more to its rightful owners, and food production was geared to the needs of the domestic economy as a priority, not to serve solely the interests of imperialist France[ix].

No subsequent French Left organisation led campaigns for the poor refugees from Algeria nor did they go round in a mass hysteria of ‘welcome the refugees’. This was obviously logical  as they didn’t do much to support the anti-colonial resistance despite having a Parliamentary representation and commanding a significant percentage in elections (being the number one party in 1945 with 5m votes!). After betting on the wrong horse in Algeria (and supporting Mejj Hadji) they sure as hell didn’t want to be seen supporting the Pieds Noir so they kept silent, as opposed to the experience in our times where supporting every last migrant is evidence of …socialism and the revolution around the corner! The Algerian events led to deep turmoil in many of the French PCF militants, as they were formally against imperialism but in practice defenders of colonial France.

Indeed, all the way till the early 1980’s the French Communist Party maintained a position of strict intransigence to waves of immigration to France and one could argue that this position predated the conflicts in East Germany today, with many attacks noted by towns with Communist Party mayors against the resettlement of migrants in their districts. The 1980’s French elections under the leadership of George Marchais was partly fought on the platform of No Open Borders. Up until early 2000 in Calais where the PCF had electoral strength, closing of the Sangatte migrant squatter camp was one of its priorities. As indeed it did[x].

The Algerian exodus was one of a pattern of post-colonial societies. They had to go through the motions of getting rid of the settlers just to develop as societies on a human level. Without that, they could go nowhere. Imperialism, of course, tried to put every hurdle in the way, but we didn’t live in the era where they would be labelled openly as ‘racists’. That came much later as evidenced when Mugabe got rid of white farmers who allegedly had their land …stolen from them, land which they acquired at the point of a gun.

 

Bibliography

Ian Birchall, Revolutionary History: European Revolutionaries and Algerian Independence 1954-1962

 


[i] Prometheus https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prometheus

 

[ii] http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/1980/07/the-cuban-refugee-problem-in-perspective-1959-1980

 

[iii] http://cuban-exile.com/doc_051-075/doc0073.html

 

[iv] Stuart Monk http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3407885/Asylum-seekers-forced-live-houses-red-doors.html

 

[v] Algeria and the Defeat of French Humanism https://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/fr/defeat-french-humanism.htm#n28

 

[vi] Pablo https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Pablo

 

[vii] Pieds Noir https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pied-Noir

The War in Algeria 1961 Declaration of Michel Raptis at the Amsterdam Trial

Source: Sylvain Pattieu, Les Camarades des freres. Aris, Syllepse, 2002;

First Published: Quatriéme Internationale no. 14, November 1961;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitch Abidor.

 

[viii] Pablo role as Minister of Agriculture https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=_eUtQjseKaIC&pg=PA34&lpg=PA34&dq=michel+raptis+algerian+revolution+french+left&source=web&ots=AdNRSZ1JQI&sig=tMRKjdnqFOcvhBdkrdlnxHgSiyY&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=michel%20raptis%20algerian%20revolution%20french%20left&f=false

 

[ix] Alain Krivine and Algeria https://www.marxists.org/archive/krivine/1956/algeria.htm

 

[x] French Elections https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_legislative_election,_1945

George Marchais, On Immigration https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LG2BA9SxClM

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