28th May 2024

Against Immigration and Ideological Hegemony

One can't help but notice that left-wing parties tend to support immigration. Why?

From a left-wing ideological perspective, immigration is bad. Immigrants almost without fail produce a net economic benefit to their country of destination. Hence, a certain amount of of that economic benefit is effectively lost from their country of origin. In short, immigration is the dual of colonialism. The poorer countries are exploited for their resources (in this case people) while the richer countries reap the rewards.

Given the exploitative nature of this relationship, you would expect the left to dislike it. But they don't. I can think of only two possible answers for this. The first is that it's a matter of simple confusion between immigrants and refugees. Generally accepting refugees does not come with the same colonial connotations as accepting immigrants. It is therefore consistent to accept them on humanitarian grounds.

The second reason is simply because right-wing people don't like immigration. Usually the reason is some form of racism, and racism being bad, people have also decided to reject any other ideas held by racist people. However the racists are against immigration, so I will support it is not a valid line of reasoning. It is emblematic of the larger and more corrosive force of two-partyism – where there are two always-opposing positions on all matters corresponding to the two political parties.

I have seen this position recently in relation to the Libertarian party in America. The recent Libertarian candidate is a supporter of gay rights, and many other things the American right has deemed evil. This is a perfectly valid libertarian position, but people are utterly confused by it. A party with some very right-wing ideas also supports some other ideas that are seen as left-wing. People find this to be totally unreasonable. Republicans see the Libertarians splitting the vote and react with vitriol when someone they don't like represents a party they don't want to vote for. The Libertarian vote is then just accused of being a wasted Republican vote. A great act of ideological consistency on the part of Libertarians is seen as utterly inconsistent by a voter-base who cannot conceive of more than two political perspectives.

I would urge anyone reading this to consider the origins of your ideas. Do you simply hold them because someone you dislike things the opposite? Do you agree with essentially everyone who supports a given political party? That would be highly unlikely to occur naturally, so if you do, you likely hold many beliefs simply because you copied them off someone else. This is inextricably linked to first-past-the-post voting systems, which result in only two options with any chance of winning at polling day. Remember that these parties are not the only two perspectives possible, and often aren't even coherent in their platforms as they must appeal to so many disparate people. Do not mould your ideas to fit those of existing organisations.

Reject the two-party system; embrace proportional representation.