South Park and Immigration: Reserve Army of Labor and Unequal Development

South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker are far from leftists. They probably coincide more with political libertarianism, agorism or Austrian economics than any other ideologies (although I’m sure they don’t wish to be forced into any label). Nevertheless, on many occasions their ideas and beliefs, as they communicate them through their comedy, coincide with many ideas usually associated with the left. Their show, although it may sound unlikely to many, has tremendous potential as an instrument of political agitation and even education. We will occasionaly share some episodes that exemplify this potential. It’s always good to sometimes think, analyze, or reflect on subjects while laughing out loud. 

In this episode, Stone and Parker create an analogy for the issues revolving around the immigration of many Latin Americans into the US. In the episode, people from future America come back to the past looking for jobs. They are willing to work for less, taking jobs away from present day Americans. The boys take on a racist (actually “timecist” because it’s discriminating toward other time people) and conservative position because they lost their jobs as well. Eventually, they recognize their wrong doings; and realize that the issue is helping the future get better. In other words, the issue is, as the “liberal aging hippie douche” says in the episode, that multinational corporations impoverish Latin American countries, creating the need for their workers to seek better jobs elsewhere. If US workers want to stop the immigration of cheaper labor, they should fight against the impoverishment of Third World countries by the hands of global capitalism (i.e, fight for world socialism!). The episode is also handy to visualize the concept of the reserve army of labor. Unemployment incentives people to work for less, lowering average wages. In other words, unemployment sometimes can actually help capitalists.

Watch South Park Episode 6 from Season 8.

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