Migracije, sekularne krize in lažni nacionalistični preroki

Ekonomisti običajno podcenjujejmo učinek migracijskih tokov. Naši teoretični (konceptualni) modeli nam sicer povedo, da pritok migrantov zniža raven plač domačim zaposlenim, kar je dobro za domače lastnike kapitala. Toda to zviša plače migrantom, ki so prišli ter plače v okolju, od koder so odšli ter zniža dobičke tamkajšnjim lastnikom kapitala. Če gledate na zadevo iz vidika splošnega ravnotežja integriranega (svetovnega) gospodarstva, kakor to gledamo ekonomisti, se zaradi migracij splošna blaginja v svetu poveča zaradi boljše alokacije resursov.

Toda ta pogled ima en problem, in sicer zelo velik problem, ki ga ekonomisti ignoriramo. To pa je, da po takšnih migracijskih valovih ne pride do takojšnjega oblikovanja novega ravnotežja, pač pa da pride v vmesnem času do daljšega obdobja potencialno zelo velike polartizacije in nestabilnosti. V vmesnem času se namreč zelo povečajo razlike v razdelitvi dohodkov – v državi, prejemnici migrantskega vala, se zmanjšajo plače, povečajo pa dobički kapitala in s tem prihodki iz naslova lastništva kapitala, kar močno poveča neenakost. V regiji, ki je najbolj prizadeta, se povečajo frustracije zaradi znižanja plač in/ali manj prostih delovnih mest. To povečanje neenakosti na ravni države in povečanje frustracij na ravni posamičnih regij pa za seboj potegne povečano družbeno nestabilnost in politično polarizacijo, iz katere se lahko rodijo upori in revolucije.

In tukaj nastopi delo evolucionističnega antropologa oziroma evolucionističnega zgodovinarja Petra Turchina iz univerze v Connecticutu, ki je leta 2007 objavil knjigo “War and Peace and War: the Rise and Fall of Empires“. V njej pa je obdelal prav vpliv različnih sil na sekularne cikle oziroma na pojav kriz.

Turchin skozi zgodovinsko analizo pride do spoznanja, da različne sile, ki vplivajo na dohodke ljudi lahko vodijo do sekularnih kriz, ko se te povečane družbene neenakosti in politične nestabilnosti spet zmanjšajo (glejte spodaj nekaj odlomkov iz zadnjega članka Turchina). Ključne sile, ki jih identificira v zgodovinski analizi so predvsem migracijski valovi, povečanje rodnosti in naravne katastrofe ali epidemije. Te sile vodijo bodisi k presežni ponudbi delovne sile, kar znižuje raven plač pod eksistenčno raven in povečuje neenakost, ali pa k zmanjšani ponudbi delovne sile (emigracije, epidemije), ki paradoksalno privedejo do razrešitev socialnih napetosti.

V glavnem zgodovina niha v takšnih sekularnih ciklih in migracije igrajo tukaj pomembno vlogo. Iz tega vidika ne smemo zanemariti frustracij v ZDA, V. Britaniji in drugod zaradi povečanih imigracij, saj po eni strani prinesejo depresivni učinek na raven plač, na drugi strani pa povečujejo občutek ogroženosti in in frustracije med prebivalstvom. Slednje pa je seveda ugodno okolje za rojstvo lažnih, populističnih mesij, ki nagovorijo frustrirane skupine na najbolj občutljivi točki. Namesto, da bi predlagali boljše razvojne politike za hitrejši razvoj prizadetih regij ali boljše targetiranje najbolj prizadetih prek redistributivnih politik, zaigrajo na nacionalistično noto, ki spodbuja agresijo do drugih etničnih skupin ali celo držav.

In our book Secular Cycles (2009), Sergey Nefedov and I applied the Phillips approach to England, France and Russia throughout both the medieval and early modern periods, and also to ancient Rome. All of these societies (and others for which information was patchier) went through recurring ‘secular’ cycles, which is to say, very long ones. Over periods of two to three centuries, we found repeated back-and-forth swings in demographic, economic, social, and political structures. And the cycles of inequality were an integral part of the overall motion.

Despite this complexity, our historical research on Rome, England, France, Russia and now the US shows that these complex interactions add up to a general rhythm. Upward trends in variables (for example, economic inequality) alternate with downward trends. And most importantly, the ways in which other parts of the system move can tell us why certain trends periodically reverse themselves. Understanding (and perhaps even forecasting) such trend-reversals is at the core of the new discipline of cliodynamics, which looks at history through the lens of mathematical modelling.

obs. Unless other forces intervene, an overabundance of labour will tend to drive down its price, which naturally means that workers and their families have less to live on. One of the most important forces affecting the labour supply in the US has been immigration, and it turns out that immigration, as measured by the proportion of the population who were born abroad, has changed in a cyclical manner just like inequality. In fact, the periods of high immigration coincided with the periods of stagnating wages. The Great Compression, meanwhile, unfolded under a low-immigration regime. This tallies with work by the Harvard economist George Borjas, who argues that immigration plays an important role in depressing wages, especially for those unskilled workers who compete most directly with new arrivals.

Immigration is only one part of a complex story. Another reason why the labour supply in the US went up in the 19th century is, not to put too fine a point on it, sex. The native-born population was growing at what were, at the time, unprecedented rates: a 2.9 per cent growth per year in the 1800s, only gradually declining after that. By 1850 there was no available farmland in Eastern Seaboard states. Many from that ‘population surplus’ moved west, but others ended up in eastern cities where, of course, they competed for jobs with new immigrants.

This connection between the oversupply of labour and plummeting living standards for the poor is one of the more robust generalisations in history. Consider the case of medieval England. The population of England doubled between 1150 and 1300. There was little possibility of overseas emigration, so the ‘surplus’ peasants flocked to the cities, causing the population of London to balloon from 20,000 to 80,000. Too many hungry mouths and too many idle hands resulted in a fourfold increase in food prices and a halving of real wages. Then, when a series of horrible epidemics, starting with the Black Death of 1348, carried away more than half of the population, the same dynamic ran in reverse. The catastrophe, paradoxically, introduced a Golden Age for common people. Real wages tripled and living standards went up, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Common people relied less on bread, gorging themselves instead on meat, fish, and dairy products.

Vir: Peter Turchin, Return of the oppressed, aeon

2 responses

  1. Na temo migracij, tokrat iz politično-strateškega vidika zelo odmevna in aktualna knjiga:

    Kelly M. Greenhill:

    Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement as an Instrument of Coercion

  2. Nacionalistično noto razume tudi tisti spodnji del Gaussove krivulje inteligenčenga količnika medtem ko ekonomske, sociloške posledice zgolj izboraženejši in/ali inteligentnejši del naroda. Torej ne volilna baza desnice.

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