Bring ’em all in

On Bastille Day, 2019

There is more than one way to cage a child.

There is more than one way to cage a child. Rui, abducted to Japan, June 2010.
There is more than one way to cage a child.  —   Rui, abducted to Japan, June 2010.

It is tempting sometimes to say that the society we live in today can be straightforwardly deduced from the self-development of the logic of its institutions. That the increasingly horrid politics and social exclusions we witness today are prefigured in prior exclusions presumed to have been devised for legal order,  conceived in the certainty of quasi-mathematical determinants to create an inescapably “path-dependent” structure too challenging and therefore too daunting to change or overturn.

We have to resist the conclusion at the end of that temptation, heart and soul.

I learn (with help from Hegel) that an ethical principle (like the necessity to protect, nurture, care for and love a child) is ethical inasmuch as it is intrinsically universal. What is truly universal is the community of all, by which we can recognize that imposition on the vulnerable and exploitation by means of superior strength does not constitute a universal for us.

The difference is clear; the modern era of imperial conquest imposed the triumph of a world system, the victory of a “center” over the rest. This is touted to be an inclusive system; but it is no universal.
What we owe the world instead is to join it in supplanting erroneously-construed universals with the supremacy of inclusivity and the end of exploitation.
This means we have to oppose the institutions that hold us and our fellow creatures in contempt for the sake of wringing a profit or protecting a privilege. Our enemies are those that destroy our families and environments, and those of others. In this inclusive universality, there is no “Other“.

It is not only the kind of love and feeling that grows in the family alone that obligates us. (A family is in many ways the negation of – the opposite of – the universal community.) Help in time of need, sometimes thought of as “rescue”, is a contingent kind of action; what is universally ethical, by contrast, is what is thought and done in ordinary, hum drum, daily reality.

Those who claim they want the blood relationship, or the “legally sanctioned” relationship to be the basis of concern fail an historic task that has fallen to us. What concerns the family doesn’t of necessity concern “the citizen.” Likewise the children at our border, those neglected within it, and those removed from us, are all our concern.

Hegel said: “…the individual, so far as he is not a citizen but belongs to the Family, is only an unreal impotent shadow.” This is not a condemnation of love within the family; it is a claim for a universal love.

The real demand we make must be universal: care, safety, rights. The needs of body and soul, for everyone, excluding no one.

Let them all in. Bring them all home.
Close the camps. Cherish the living.

Pence at Trump's Concentration Camps
Pence at Trump’s Concentration Camps
Migrant caravan 1
The working class on the move in 2019.


Bring ‘Em All In – Mike Scott

Bring the little fishes
Bring the sharks
Bring ’em from the brightness
Bring ’em from the dark
Bring ’em all in, bring ’em all in, bring ’em all in
Bring ’em all in, bring ’em all into my heart
Bring ’em all in, bring ’em all in, bring ’em all in
Bring ’em all in, bring ’em all into my heart
Bring ’em from the caverns
Bring ’em from the heights
Bring ’em from the shadows
Stand ’em in the light
Bring ’em out of purdah
Bring ’em out of store
Bring ’em out of hiding
Lay them at my door
Bring the unforgiven
Bring the unredeemed
Bring the lost and nameless
Let ’em all be seen
Bring ’em out of exile
Bring ’em out of sleep
Bring ’em to the portal
Lay them at my feet
Bring ’em all in, bring ’em all in, bring ’em all in
Bring ’em all in, bring ’em all into my heart
Bring ’em all in, bring ’em all in, bring ’em all in
Bring ’em all in, bring ’em all into my heart
Migrant Caravan 2


One thought on “Bring ’em all in

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