Migration and Politics

How can we combine “migration” and “migrations”? In other words, is it still possible, in politics, which too often wants to act in the short term, in a so-called efficient manner, to honour, as in public life, the uniqueness of each journey, of each migration?...

If we quickly look at the migration phenomenon and the political decisions that were made in recent years, it seems that the answer is "no". Surprisingly, why? The very limited success experienced by politicians in their so-called management of migration flows should lead them to question themselves. Indeed, which government, imbued with democracy, fraternity, hospitality, or vice versa, for various motivations, which government more reserved with respect to these said values, can claim, yesterday as today, to have a widely appropriate model in “migration matters”?

And for good reason: I don’t necessarily need what you need. This is true for states, including those who seem to be part of the same Europe; it’s true for communities and, of course, it’s true for the singular subjects that we all are.

In a way, a geometrical issue of political and certainly ethical definition appears. We could say that it is a question of redefining an anthropological political economy. Yes, but on what scale? At what level?

According to the Josefa perspective, without denying the collective dimension (even if it is very uncomfortable with, among other things, the question of sister or enemy borders), it seems to us, alongside the actions in progress (admittedly, sometimes, of power or of “domination”) conducted locally and internationally, that we should also listen to the singular voices (yours, hers, his, mine…). Better yet, we should listen to each other: it is a question of taking a careful, attentive look at our own stories.

Some will no doubt say that everything has already been thought out through theological, philosophical or analytical reflections, to name a few; others will mention “an-archic” risks: in trying to move away from the too famous “migrants”, to be challenged by our migrations in their uniqueness, and not only when they are spatial or temporal, inevitably involves a price.

So, who among you, among us will dare to pave the way to deepen and/or go beyond/bypass traditional, structural or systemic approaches and attempt an ethical reflection towards an unprecedented or, at the very least, renewed political horizon in terms of migration questioning without a priori and without the pressure linked to a "political result"?

If, as Marx thinks, "it’s not consciousness that determines life, but rather life determines consciousness", we could try to say that our migrations migrate and therefore that they are possible changes: our migrations cannot be thought out beforehand, especially when they are forced (e.g. exile…). They are and make us migrants.

The mass “of ordinary migrants” that we are reveals in itself the reality of the uniqueness of each person, of each migration: I am a migrant, no one can migrate (live out my migration) in the place which is mine.

With the greatest respect for the too many human tragedies experienced during the migrations of yesterday and today, we could however try to say that our migrations are ways (or voices for others) of individuation. Beyond the migrations which appear to us to be collective (and which are categorically considered as such by States or various institutions which find an "interest" in doing so), a truly individual future, meaning the expression of our most intimate uniqueness, is irrevocably possible, for oneself or for others.

In conclusion, at the start of 2020, we would like to invite those who are involved in or are thinking about getting involved in politics to meditate on this: I should not see migration as I think I see it for others, but as I am, a migrant.

And therefore, this combination of migration and politics invites all of us, together, to perceive that our migrations, free or constrained, peaceful or dramatic, shift “political power” towards a “will”. The power of some cannot and must not replace, or worse, dominate, the wishes of others.