…using utopia… in order not to stop.
The phenomenon of migration is clearly embedded to a particular form of social exclusion. This is due to a strong social cathegorization of migrant as a distinct group inside society that is a consequence of a racist and xenophobic ideology. This mentality is based not only in a instinctive and primitive feeling of fear and ignorance through the foreigner as the unknown, but also in an aware abuse of power that takes profit of that general feeling and, instead of fighting it, develops mechanisms and strategies of subjugation and exploitment. This clearly reveals exclusionist ideology as an effective instrument of opression of a specific layer of society that, for its vulnerability and, consequently lack of ability to reclaim, turn into the motor of the present paradigma of economical development based on exploiment. This structure of economical growth that sustains society is only possible in a conception of huge disparity that, consequently define groups inside community in order to make exploitment possible and effective.
In order to change this present structure it is needed a complex process of changing mentality by raising awareness among the whole society.
This is the main aim of MIRA, that as an Interface can deal and coordinate different individuals and different collectives to promote reflection on basic ideas concerned to migration and social exclusion in order to have a sustained activism.
Building the individual
Consequently, we agree in the utmost importance of an urgent change of the collective imaginary in all the layers of the society. This basic principle moves us to action in two main directions: building the individual and building the community. Building the community consists of actions on the material conditions according to which the social system functions in order to achieve consistent and structural changes in our society, from a long-term point of view. In our opinion, an extensive change of the social structure will bear the direct consequence of an extensive change of its prominent mentalities. On the other hand, building the individual means to create a substantial change of the ideology of each individual. This is as well sustained on a long-term outlook, although it implies a direct and immediate relationship between the activist and the target individual.
From our point of view, there is no main tension between the individual and the community, as it is the individual who builds the community and the community that forms the individual. Both main directions of action become now entangled and strongly interconnected, so we cannot think of them separately. Nevertheless, the primitive nature of a beginning activist organisation, ASF for instance, should make us to focus on the direction of building the individual, whilst the building the community requires of large scale actions that cannot be reached in the present moment.
Building the individual is, in other words, to raise awareness in the core of society. It is essential to have this set of actions well based on a solid speech, that consists of three main points: ‘Migration is not a problem’, ‘Racism must be abolished’ and, finally, ‘Present policies are wrong’.
Migration is not a problem
We should rather talk about the phenomena of migration instead of an only phenomenon. They form a heterogenous set of social processes of great complexity which have taken part of the human evolution since the birth of mankind. When dealing with these processes, the economic and social system, based on the main criterion of the consuming capacity, segregates the migrants into two main classes. It accepts without problems the ones who are able to live in a consumist society, such as tourists or business people, while socially excludes the others, actually repressing them as they don’t have any consuming capacity. This latter class is formed by not only people expelled from their countries due to economic reasons, but to many other social conflicts, such as wars or dictatorships. Ironically, this very social conflicts find their cause as well to the global economic and social system.
Consequently, we find ourselves in front of a social categorization of the class with low consuming capacity, labelling them as ‘immigrants’ and forgetting that the others make the same movement. Consequently, a negative stereotype of the immigrant appears, as it reveals a form of social segregation. From a point of view that thinks of the human need of controlling everything as something to be completely fulfilled, the phenomena of migration presents itself as a problem.
In fact, the exclusion that a certain class of migrants suffer is only social, but not economic. Even though, the whole economic system is founded on their capacity of production, so we should think of migration not as a problem, but a solution to the current economic and demographic weaknesses. There should be no social categorization, as everyone who moves is a migrant and everyone is in that condition. A new definition is needed in order to promote real integration and not exclusion.
Racism must be abolished
To reach this objective we have to deal with two types of racism in our society. On one hand, we can distinguish the fundamental social racism, whilst on the other hand the institutional racism, maintained by governments and the controlling powers. These two types of racism are reinforcing one another. This accumulating process provides the basis for the exclusion and the social categorization of migrants.
Fear and ignorance are the very bases for this social-individual racism. It has to deal with the characteristics of the human nature, such as preconceptions, which are generated by the fear of the unknown... fearing used to mean surviving. Nevertheless, the present society must turn these preconceptions to conceptions, in order not to become misconceptions. Institutional racism is using, abusing, this ignorance and fear to take profit out of it. By using the support of media and by a clearly abuse of their own power, institutional racism is promoting exclusion. This institutionalized racism has infiltrated in all layers of society in a disguised but very effective way.
The strongest weapon to fight this racism is self-evident: knowledge. Creating real knowledge will help to abolish and prevent the current misconceptions and prejudices. The importance of education and, real and
true, information is inestimable in this problem. On the institutional level of discrimination, this knowledge must help to fight the laws and economies that maintain and create discriminating cities.
The final goal is a real interconnection by focusing on similarities instead of differences. Not by a construction of a homogenized "melting pot", neither by a promotion of a model of fake multiculturality. We are not talking about assimilation, that is, actual loss of identity. We are talking about real interculturality.
Present policies are wrong
Present policies for migration are completely wrong because they are based on an ideology which is against the main ethical principle of equality of rights. This system provides "specific policies" for migrants forgetting that they have exactly the same needs of every other citizen. To sum up, the intolerable mix of social exclusion and migration finds one of its main causes in the criminal passivity of power, both political and economic.
On one hand, the naiveness of some policies with which they aim to control the process of migration encourages, even if led by good intentions, the deliberate economic manipulation and the abuse of the resources. On the other hand, they are also the conscious mean and purpose to make propaganda of an ideology that promotes exclusion.
For instance, hosting centers facilitate the segregation of migrants, widening the gap between the already residents and recent newcomers. They are confined spatially, with the only target to "labelling" migrants in order to control them. Flow controls lead as well to irregularity instead of granting rights. This is turning an irregular migrant in a position of vulnerability that makes him even more exposed to be abused. Instead, why not changing the idea of hosting centers into "hosting cities"?
The way is now to change ideology in order to create the right bases for effective policies that can lead to real integration and social inclusion.
Changing collective mentality by building the individual.
Only new ideologies will produce effective policies.
No immigration, no emigration, just migration.
Abolishing racism by building a model of interculturality.
New preconceptions: more about similarities, less about differences.
Hosting cities, no hosting centers.