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Sunday, 6 February 2011

Trotsky on Regulation of Immigration for Japanese and Koreans

Here's a quote from Trotsky calling for contols on Japanese and Korean
immigrants into Soviet Russia (taken from Problems of our Policy With
Repect To China and Japan).

III. On Japanese Immigration


When resolving the question of Japanese immigration to the Soviet Far
East we must take into account the intense interest the Japanese
public is showing in this matter. However, in view of the danger of
Japanese colonization in the Far East, every step we take will have to be
cautious and gradual. It is premature at this time to fix the number of
Japanese immigrants who are to be allowed into the USSR, but, in any case,
Japanese immigration should not be large. It should be strictly regulated
and should result in the breaking up of Japanese-controlled resources by
means of a special agency set up for that purpose. The Japanese colonists
should be settled in a checkerboard fashion, being alternated with a
reinforcement of colonization from central Russia. The land that is
parceled out should be acceptable to the Japanese peasants and should be
suited to the peculiarities of Japanese agriculture. There are areas
of land suitable for the Japanese colonists in the vicinity of Khabarovsk
and further south, but not in the Siberian interior. We must not allow
Korean immigration into these regions under the pretense that it is
Japanese. The question of Korean immigration must be examined
separately. The Koreans can be granted land that is considerably farther
into the depths of Siberia.


--


Here's a quote from the Erfurt Programme where Kautsky gives a formally
classical but decidely non-class analysis of immigration (note the word
"inevitable"). It is interesting to compare this with quotes from Marx and
Engels on Irish immigration. Kautsky's orthodoxy causes him to acknowledge
that immigration tends to reduce wages, but he presents us with open
borders logic anyway. Question - was Kautsky the first open borders
Marxist?


Very differently from the apprentice or the merchant is the modern
proletarian torn loose from the soil. He becomes a citizen of the
world; the whole world is his home.


No doubt this world-citizenship is a great hardship for the workers in
countries where the standard of living is high and the conditions of
labor are comparatively good. In such countries, naturally, immigration
will exceed emigration. As a result the laborers with the higher standard
of living will be hindered in their class-struggle by the influx of
those with a lower standard and less power of resistance.


Under certain circumstances this sort of competition, like that of the
capitalists, may lead to a new emphasis on national lines, a new hatred of
foreign workers on the part of the native born. But the conflict of
nationalities, which is perpetual among the capitalists, can be only
temporary among the proletarians. For sooner or later the workers will
discover that the immigration of cheap labor-power from the more
backward to the more advanced countries, is as inevitable a result
of the capitalist system as the introduction of machinery or the forcing
of women into industry.


In still another way does the labor movement of an advanced country
suffer under the influence of the backward conditions of other lands. The
high degree of exploitation endured by the proletariat of the economically
undeveloped nations becomes an excuse for the capitalists of the more
highly developed ones for opposing any movement in the direction of
higher wages or better conditions.


In more than one way, then, it is borne in upon the workers of each
nation that their success in the class-struggle is dependent on the
progress of the working-class of other nations. For a time this may turn
them against foreign workers, but finally they come to see that there is
only one effective means of removing the hindering influence of backward
nations: to do away with the backwardness itself. German workers have
every reason to co-operate with the Slavs and Italians in order that these
may secure higher wages and a shorter working-day; the English workers
have the same interest in relation to the Germans, and the Americans in
relation to Europeans in general.


The dependence of the proletariat of one land on that of another
leads inevitably to a joining of forces by the militant proletarians of
various lands.


The survivals of national seclusion and national hatred which the
proletariat took over from the bourgeoisie, disappear steadily. The
working-class is freeing itself from national prejudices. Working-men
learn more and more to see in the foreign laborer a fellow-fighter,
a comrade.


The strongest bonds of international solidarity, naturally, are
those which bind groups of proletarians, which, though of different
nationalities, have the same purposes and use the same methods to
accomplish them.

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