How Elites Use Mass Immigration to Suppress Wages and Destroy Unions

The Making and Breaking of Europe

Al Jazeera

Film Review

The Role of the CIA in the Formation of the EU

This is a fascinating documentary tracing the political forces leading to the formation of the EU and the rise of right wing nationalist movements that threaten to break it up. I wasn’t a bit surprised to learn of the role the CIA played in the formation of the EU, via the millions they spent on the Action Committee for the United States of Europe (1955-1975). The CIA’s main goal was to create the false impression that European unification enjoyed wide popular support. There’s never been any doubt in my mind that the EU and the state-like bureaucracy it has created in Brussels mainly serves the interests of banks and corporations seeking to undermine and/or control the democratic process.

Working Class Communities Bear the Brunt of Mass Immigration

This film also takes a refreshingly honest look at mass immigration, a policy European elites championed to support the post-World War II economic boom – it was far cheaper than investing in technological innovation or retraining domestic workers. In fact, this is the first acknowledgement I have seen in mainstream media acknowledging that 1) working class communities have always born the brunt of mass immigration policies and 2) the massive influx of people from other cultures creates immense tensions in any community.

The Use of Immigrants to Crush Unions

In the late 1970s, Thatcher and other neoliberal leaders deliberately used mass immigration in strike breaking and other strategies aimed at crushing unions. The de-industrialization of northern Europe and the loss of good paying jobs would only amplify the tensions this created. As would the 2001 war on terror, the targeted Islamophobia propagated by US and British intelligence and ultimately the painful austerity cuts resulting from 2008 global economic collapse.

There seems to be strong agreement among the four “expert” panelists* that the anti-immigrant backlash should have been predictable – there is no possible way for the EU to accommodate the millions of refugees resulting from the US proxy war in Syria.

Since 2015 the strength of this backlash has fueled electoral victories for right wing nationalist groups in nearly all EU countries. All have campaigned on a dual anti-immigrant and anti-EU platform. In Britain, the rise of the United Kingdom (UKIP) party would lead to Brexit (and a 52% vote to leave the EU) in 2016.

*The panelists include a former Greek prime minster, a member of Hungary’s ruling party and Dr Alina Polykova, research director at the Atlantic Council and co-author of the 2015 The Dark Side of European Integration.


How Bill Clinton Tried to Privatize Social Security in 1998

In this presentation, author Thomas Franks talks about his recent book Hey Liberal, Listen Up: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People. The focus of his latest book is the blue collar backlash that has resulted in the probable selection of fake populist Donald Trump as the 2016 Republican presidential candidate. Franks places the blame for this squarely on Democrats, owing to their abandonment of working people.

As Franks describes it, the pro-Wall Street swing of the Democratic Party is based on a very deliberate strategy by Bill Clinton and his supporters to “screw over” their traditional power base (ie African Americans and organized labor).  Clinton proudly justified this strategy with the observation, “they have nowhere else to go.”

Franks most shocking revelation is that Clinton took office in 1992 with a deliberate determination to repeal the New Deal. In 1997, he made a secret deal with Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich to ram a bill through Congress privatizing Social Security (which Clinton mentions in his 1998 State of the Union address). Thanks to the Monica Lewinsky scandal, this bill never happened.