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+3 votes
Most countries in the West are dealing with increased levels of legal and illegal immigration. This is causing tension. I know this is not current 'conventional' radical thinking but I believe it would be better if we helped fix the broken countries so people don't have to leave.  And I don't mean help by exploiting natural resources, creating debt traps, I mean mutual aid on an international level. And maybe we sometimes need to use violence to help topple dictatorships. Why should people be forced to flee their homes and we do nothing to solve the problems they face?
by (250 points)
Hello again james, i appreciate seeing a new comer engage with such philosophical questions on here on a forum geared towards not accepting the state as an answer to all problems, no need to thank me.

Anyways, i think your characterizations of the right and left arent totally accurate. Lots of people on the left politically also want to enforce border controls, even though as you point out people on the right are less forgiving ideologically speaking. Barack Obama actually deported a lot more illegal immigrants than donald trump has so far, even though ive read that trump has incarcerated lots of mexicans...to actually support open borders (ie no borders...) as do i is more of an anarchist position.

I dont buy into the logic that we are better off going to other countries to create spaces for them there, i would think that it would be more practical to accept that we have some immigrants and refugees for a divrse variety of reasons and to accommodate them where ever they stand. Mexico is a not a "Mexican's country" in the same way the US is not "my country", i am not bound to the place i was born, even if i will always talk and think a little bit like an american...

Also i want to point out the problem with altruism: to me altruism is the idea that one must sacrifice themselves for the benefit of other humans and perhaps animals. In the end, we all have to look out for ourselves lest we want to be miserable. I have accommodated strangers and immigrants here, showed them humanly affection, but if i am not in the mood to help other people i will not do it.

The xenophobia we see expressed universally in many countries is in part a product of "the nation state", but also due to the fact we live in a dangerous world, and people often are intimidated by things that seem odd to them. I try to respect the latter reason but shit on the former.

james, your points and concerns are spot on, imo. others have already expressed some of what i would, so i'll just let my thoughts roll.

the fact that living beings (not just humans) are consistently and horrifically oppressed, controlled, enslaved, broken, destroyed, etc, is undeniable in today's world. how to deal with that when you are a thinking, feeling individual is... a dilemma for most, to put it mildly. i think a good part of that dilemma is the disconnect between what individuals think/feel/want/are capable of, and the ubiquity/power of authoritarian institutions that exist and operate in almost complete opposition to individual autonomy.

whether it is a nation/state or a massive corporation makes no difference to me, other than possibly strategy and tactics. borders and immigration are just aspects of authoritarian control tied to the concept of the nation/state. if you haven't read it, i suggest "the continuing appeal of nationalism" by fredy perlman (http://theanarchistlibrary.org/library/fredy-perlman-the-continuing-appeal-of-nationalism).

i doubt there is a single "best" way to help others that want and ask for it. each situation needs to be addressed in its own context. but i guess when you talk about toppling a massive corporation or government (again, i see all gov as dictatorships to varying degrees), you are talking about an "enemy" that has virtually infinite resources and support.

my approach would typically be to try to address the problem at its root. to me that points to civilization and mass society. but most people seem to see those as necessary, if not positively desirable. and so i would look at what is possible in the particular context being addressed. the idea that anyone could create a "safe space" - especially in distant locations - is questionable at best. helping them leave that area may be a useful approach. but as you point out, allowing people to leave does not make them safe, it merely removes them from one set of oppressors. and places them closer to others.

i do not see a viable solution at the macro level. at the level of individuals and their relationships, i think solutions need to come from them, based on their context (existing and desired).
bottom line: if the problem can only be seen in the context of nations and borders, then the solution is likely to be based on those same concepts. which is, needless to say, not anarchistic in any sense i am interested in. if, on the other hand, individuals and affinity groups decide to take direct action in ways that can circumvent (or, ideally, destroy) the power of the state, i am all for it.
not a particularly useful response, i know. but i'm glad to see someone new here engaging with these issues.

james, if you care to, take a look at comment #5 on that thread on anarchistnews.org. it addresses a different subject (coronavirus), but i think there are some interesting points in there to chew on. specifically regarding anarchistic behavior and larger, widespread issues of concern.

dot. ¯\(°_o)/¯ no, I'm not saying that at all. (-_-) I don't understand how you arrived at that interpretation. 8-|  I'm commenting on the question about anarchists trying to fix brok countries so the people don't have to migrate, not on the comments. 8^| Westerners have gone to other areas with their perceived noble intentions of trying to "fix" the "broke" areas and end up doing something different that wasn't helpful. It's no a secret. The bat is in the bag. The people of the brok area would be suspicious of the intentions. Probably not too pleased. James' question didn't say anything about peoople in the brok galaxy far, far away... sending a distress signal/asking for help. Perhaps the white savior complex comment was a bit harsh, useless, and not nice thing to write to James. Perhaps vibes of the poem The White Man's Burden: US vs Phillipines would've been more appropiate.

yo zubaz. yea, i got what you were saying. my questions were trying to get you to a) deconstruct the jargon you were using, and b) maybe respond to the questions in good faith -- like, james is getting at something that does deserve some thought, even if his question has a lot going on and waves some red flags (so to speak).

but it's all good.

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