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«CROSSING BORDERS IN THE NEW IMPERIALISM Bob Sutcliffe In words which seem uncannily relevant today, two mid-nineteenth century fugitives (in ...»

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Immigration controls are a macrocosm of the pass laws of apartheid and the justifications for them which are given are the same in substance as those historically given by the ideologues of the white minority in South Africa. Yet South Africa has abolished its pass laws, while Europe is looking to strenthen them and seems even to be heading towards the establishment of a new kind of Bantustan for asylum applicants. Some European governments are already also envisaging making offering humanitarian assistance or refuge to illegal immigrants into a criminal offence.

Cosmopolitanism (the word so often used now by Le Pen and formerly by his infamous predecessors to characterise their enemies) seems to me integral to socialism, as it did to the two nineteenth century asylum seekers already quoted. They foresaw a socialist future in which those who did not own capital would build a cosmopolitanism to challenge and supersede that being constructed by those who did.

Proletarian cosmopolitanism, the fight against imperialism and national separatisms, today means fighting for, among many other things, the end to the criminalization of poor people crossing borders. In a broader sense it remains a central weapon against the new imperialism (and the old).

Many thanks to Andrew Glyn for comments on this article.

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto, 1848, available at http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html For a detailed argument see Bob Sutcliffe and Andrew Glyn, ‘Measures of globalization and their misinterpretation’, in Jonathan Michie (ed), The Handbook of Globalization, London: Edward Elgar, 2003 (an extension and updating of the chapter of Socialist Register 1992, ‘Global but leaderless? The new capitalist order’) Angus Maddison, The world economy: a millenial perspective, Paris: OECD, 2001;

World Bank, World Development Indicators, CD-ROM edition, Washington DC,

2002. These figures are measured at purchasing power parity.

Robert Brenner, The boom and the bubble, London: Verso, 2002 Sutcliffe and Glyn, ‘Measures of globalization’ and their misinterpretation’;

UNCTAD, World Investment Report 1993, Geneva: UNCTAD, 1993; UNCTAD, World Investment Report 2002, Geneva: UNCTAD, 2002 World Bank, Global Development Finance 2003, Washington DC: World Bank, 2003, p. 49 Deon Filmer, Estimating the world at work, Background Report for World Bank World Development Report 1995, Washington DC: World Bank, Office of the Vice President Development Economics, 1995 Vernon M. Briggs Jr., ‘International Migration and Labour Mobility: the receiving countries’, in Julien van den Broeck (ed.), The Economics of Labour Migration, Cheltenham, Glos and Brookfield, Vt: Edward Elgar, 1996 Bob Sutcliffe, Nacido en otra parte, Bilbao: Hegoa, 1998 Saskia Sassen, The Global City: New York London Tokyo. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001 For more details and a searching analysis see Stephen Castles, ‘The international politics of forced migration’, in Colin Leys and Leo Panitch (eds), Socialist Register John Willoughby, ‘Ambivalent Anxieties: towards and understanding of the South Asian – Gulf Arab Labor Exchange’, draft, 2000 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Preface to the Russian edition of The Communist Manifesto, 1882 available at http://www.anu.edu.au/polsci/marx/classics/manifesto.html Julian Simon,, The Economic Consequences of Immigration, Oxford and Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell, 1989 Philip Martin, Bordering On Control: combating irregular migration in North America and Europe, Geneva: International Organization for Migration, available for browsing at www.iom.org Wayne Cornelius, ‘Death at the Border: efficacy and unintended consequences of US immigration control policy’, Population and Development Review 27 (4) December 2001, pp. 661–685 All figures in this paragraph come from SOPEMI, Trends in International Migration 2002 edition, Paris: OECD.

Edward Luce and Khozen Merchant, “Visas and the West’s ‘hidden agenda’”, Financial Times, 9 April 2003; Alan Leshner, “America closes the door to scientific progress”, Financial Times, 30 May 2003.

Castles, ‘International politics …’ Douglas Massey et al. ‘Theories of international migrations: a review and appraisal’, Population and Development Review, Vol. 19, No.3, September 1993 Castles, ‘International politics …’ Financial Times, ‘UK Asylum proposals draw mixed reponse’, Financial Times 29/30 March 2003; Alan Travis, ‘Blunkett backed on asylum centres’, The Guardian, 22 April 2003; Theo Veenkamp, Tom Bentley and Alessandra Buonfino, People Flow: managing migration in a New European Commonwealth, London: Demos, 2003, available at http://www.demos.co.uk/uploadstore/docs/MIGR_ft.pdf Statewatch, Statewatch News on Line, September 2000, available at www.statewatch.org/news/sept00/06nato.htm Martin, Bordering On Control Sangatte, near Calais, was a temporary reception centre for asylum applicants to which the British government objected on the grounds that its proximity to the entrance to the Channel Tunnel facilitated illegal entries into the UK. After a long dispute between the British and French government it was finally closed in December

2002. A limited number were offered residence in the UK while the rest were redistributed to other parts of France.

Bob Sutcliffe, ‘A more or less equal world? The world distribution of income during the 20th century’, Indicators, forthcoming Commission for the Study of International Migration and Cooperative Economic Development, Unauthorized Migration: An Economic Development Response Washington DC, 1990; Georges Tapinos, ‘La coopération internationale peut-elle constituer une alternative à l'émigration des travailleurs?’, mimeo, Paris: OCDE 1991 Gregory DeFreitas, ‘Immigration, inequality, and policy alternatives’, in Dean Baker, Gerald Epstein and Robert Pollin (eds), Globalization and Progressive Economic Policy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.

SOPEMI, Trends 2002 edition This point was elaborated by two articles in Socialist Register 2003 (Betz and Flecker and Beynon and Kushnick).



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