The “New Proletariat” – Melania Trump and left-wing hypocrisy on immigration

Since the mid-nineteenth century, Marxists have attempted to use the workers – the “proletariat” – and take advantage of their grievances to seize power. As time went by, however, workers increasingly rejected class warfare, prompting the embittered neo-Marxist left to seek new ersatz “proletariats” (such as immigrants and other minorities).

By Paweł Piotr Styrna l August 15, 2016

Melania Trump

Following her speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Melania Trump was subjected to a merciless artillery barrage from not only the liberal-dominated mainstream media but also from leftist and pro-Democrat social media users.

In the spirit of the old Polish saying – “if they want to hit a dog, they’ll always find a stick” – Mrs. Trump was viciously attacked not only because her speech writer seems to have taken a few lines from Michelle Obama’s 2008 speech (never mind that Mrs. Obama lifted and inserted into her speech lines from Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals), but she was also accused of hypocrisy. Images (so-called “memes”) proliferated throughout the social mediasphere implying that, because of her husband’s tough stance on illegal immigration and securing America’s borders, Melania Trump – herself an immigrant (albeit a legal one!) – is supposedly a hypocrite.

As usual, these accusations were accompanied by barely veiled charges of racist hypocrisy, particularly on the part of Trump supporters (the implication being that they are fine with Melania as an immigrant because she happens to be white). The reality, however, is that when it comes to hypocrisy on immigration issues – as in race-baiting and pitting ethnic groups against one another in general – few can hold a candle to the neo-Marxist, multi-culturalist liberal left!

While I am an immigrant myself (from a blue collar milieu at that), I do not want politicians to pander to me, neither do I believe (as the liberal left seems to believe) that, as an immigrant, I am somehow morally duty-bound to embrace massive illegal immigration, unsecured borders, accepting droves of unvetted “refugees” from a volatile part of the world breeding terrorism, or any other things I consider harmful to this nation.

Nor do I believe that exposing so many innocent Americans (and immigrants) to scourges like terrorism, simply for the sake of political correctness, is a particularly good idea. Finally, I find the unspoken but always implicit leftist slogan “immigrants of America unite” (behind the Democrat Party machine, of course) as wrong-headed and absurd as was the Marxist slogan “workers of the world unite.” The question is: unite against whom?

Undoubtedly, such a thing as immigrant solidarity exists, and, admittedly, the Democrats have been much better at building coalitions of diverse immigrant groups than the Republicans. After all, the latter prefer to invoke the common good of all Americans, whereas the former excel at addressing the particular interests of ethnic special interest groups and “hyphenated Americans.”

Nevertheless, immigrant solidarity often has shallow foundations and fractures easily under stress. After all, immigrants are a demographic as diverse as the entire world. Moreover, immigrant identity is often a secondary or even tertiary factor, and it is usually surpassed by ethno-national, cultural, religious, and regional identities and affinities.

Furthermore, we should keep in mind multi-culturalism’s dirty little secret, i.e. the reality that various levels of tension and even hostility frequently exist between different groups, such as: Turks/Azeris and Armenians; Arabs and Kurds; Arabs and Iranians; Sunnis and Shias; Pakistanis and Indians; Poles and Russians; Pashtun Afghans and all other Afghans (esp. the Hazaras); anti-communist Cubans and pro-Marxist Hispanics from other parts of Latin America, etc.

In spite of these complex relationships between disparate immigrant demographics, the left usually prefers to condescendingly scold those immigrants who refuse to rally behind open borders and the slogan of “immigrants unite.” Thus, one Washington Post writer complains bitterly that “established immigrants — like their descendants — have a long tradition of shutting out the next cohort seeking shelter, security and freedom from persecution.”

Leaving aside the fact that not all newcomers are necessarily seeking only “shelter, security and freedom from persecution,” the author clearly demonstrates the typical liberal blindness (whether willful or merely ignorance-based) to the reality that some immigrant groups who have been victimized in the past by other groups at home (tribal, ethnic, or sectarian) may not feel entirely comfortable seeing their former victimizers follow them into this country (how dare they prioritize such trivial matters over the electoral prospects of the Democratic Party!).

One case in point is a young Afghan Shia, who also happens to be a proud Trump supporter. As he put it: “He [Trump] just wants to put American people first, because that’s what every President should do for their country (…) I’m Shia, and most of the refugees are radical Sunnis. … It’s not that I don’t like them; it’s that I don’t support what they do. … They killed my people and stuff, so I don’t want them to come here.” Surely the left – usually so adept at playing the card of historical grievances – should be more sensitive to the sentiments of such immigrants.

The reality, however, is that the left does not care about immigrants qua immigrants, and its attitude towards them is generally quite instrumental. Simply put, the left hopes to utilize immigrants as a tool in its divide-and-conquer politics and to gain and maintain power. This process has been going on for several decades, and it is important to recognize its Marxist origins.

Since the mid-nineteenth century, Marxists have attempted to use the workers – the “proletariat” – and take advantage of their grievances to seize power. As time went by, however, workers increasingly rejected class warfare, prompting the embittered neo-Marxist left to seek new ersatz “proletariats” (such as immigrants and other minorities).

Since then, the goal has been to balance out the majority of native-born Americans, who typically lean towards a more conservative, patriotic, and libertarian platform, thus securing a permanent Democratic majority. Given the left’s contempt and hostility towards American society, it seeks open borders and mass immigration to demographically and culturally reinvent and remake the nation. Given the popularity of Trump’s immigration program, it is clear that this is not the kind of “fundamental transformation” many Americans and quite a few immigrants actually want.

Paweł Styrna is a Ph.D student in Russian history at a DC area university. He holds two MA degrees, one in modern European and Russian history (University of Illinois at Chicago) and another in statecraft international affairs (Institute of World Politics in Washington DC). Mr. Styrna is also a Eurasia analyst for the Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research and a contributor to SFPPR News & Analysis.