At the Jacobin magazine website, Richard Seymour suggests that Europe's claim that it can't afford to take in refugees is utterly false. Instead, keeping out the migrants flooding in from Syria and elsewhere is really about "managing the labor force." Here's an excerpt:
And that is also the limitation of humanitarianism in this situation. As I see it, it is not that despite all the racism and xenophobia some baseline, fundamental human sympathy has kicked in.
Rather, what we are witnessing playing out is what in good old-fashioned Marxist terminology might be called the contradictions of the dominant ideology. The liberal-humanitarian element of European ideology has come into stark and obvious conflict with the nationalist and racist elements.
And it is good that the liberal-humanitarian reflex is prevailing for now. That does give antiracists breathing space and an angle from which to attack the fortress: for now, the slogan “Refugees are welcome here” has a clear resonance. But it doesn’t in itself affect the underlying ideological coordinates according to which immigrants are a burden, and a menace, and a problem population to be controlled.
We shouldn’t expect the momentary shock of devastation and disaster to do our political work for us.
Image via Jacobin