Book Review: Border and Rule: Global Migration, Capitalism, and the Rise of Racist Nationalism

Harsha Walia’s Border & Rule: Global Migration, Capitalism, and the Rise of Racist Nationalism, offers a timely categorical takedown of the artificial and increasingly indefensible notion of the settler nation-state. Contemporary forces like the climate crisis and the coronavirus pandemic have irreversibly disrupted the free-market economy and socio-political status quo. Walia speaks to these phenomena and provides alternative ways to imagine our lives beyond the existing state of affairs.

Every reader will have their assumptions questioned and perspectives stretched upon engaging with this book. This book will infuriate liberal centrists. It will be discarded and laughed at by conservatives, the alt-right, and libertarians. The argument Walia delivers will be dismissed as socialist fantasy, and as overly utopian in practice.

Yet, these are the dismissals that have upheld generations of nationalist protectionism and stifled structural change—the same dismissals that have aggressively reduced global migration and ensured the suffering and deaths of countless racialized bodies fleeing undemocratic regimes, settler occupied regions, and unlivable environments facing ecological collapse. Appropriately, Walia asks us to consider a more harmonious way to live.

Walia reimagines a new global community, free from the suffocating clutches of capitalism and imperialism, and far beyond the violent anti-migrant protectionism forced upon past generations. Simply put, this deeply researched book offers us a blueprint for a better world.

Border and Rule: Global Migration, Capitalism, and the Rise of Racist Nationalism

By Harsha Walia
Fernwood Publishing, 2021

Author

  • Deborah Mebude is CPJ's interim Communications Coordinator.

1 Share
1 Share
Share via
Copy link