Border abolition and the struggle against capitalism

Soundings - ISSN 1362-6620
Volume 2022 Number 82

Border abolition and the struggle against capitalism
Luke de Noronha, Gracie Mae Bradley pages 47-60
DOI: 10.3898/SOUN.82.03.2022


Immigration controls do not prevent human movement, nor do they protect citizens. In fact, borders produce many of the social harms they claim to prevent, including loss of life, inhuman and degrading treatment and multiplying inequalities. Nor do borders in any way address the conditions that shape
migration processes in the first place - global disparity, the dispossession of lands and livelihoods, climate breakdown: instead, they render people all the more vulnerable to various forms of exploitation and abuse. What we call border abolition is concerned with expanding the freedom both to move and to stay. This article examines the question of immigration controls and work, and discusses how border abolition connects to the struggles of workers for better conditions and wages. It also argues that border abolition is inherently internationalist: it involves a challenge to all the relations that underpin the permanence of borders - vast global inequalities, ongoing processes of dispossession and extraction, and the mirage of ‘development’. Anti-capitalists should remember that there can be no socialism in one country, and no progressive labour movement that puts ‘natives’ first. Because walled workers cannot unite, anti-capitalism is necessarily internationalist, which means committed to border abolition. 

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To cite this article
Luke de Noronha, Gracie Mae Bradley (2022) Border abolition and the struggle against capitalism, Soundings, 2022(82), 47-60.

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