American, the beautiful...
American, the beautiful... JUANMONINO/GETTYIMAGES.COM

There was a very deadly terrorist attack in Manhattan yesterday, and because it was committed by a person reported to be a Muslim, Sayfullo Saipov, Trump has something to say and wants to do something about it.

He wants to terminate the Diversity Visa Lottery that the suspect, originally from Uzbekistan, apparently won in 2010 and used to become a US resident. Trump is in hurry to do this. Of course we saw none of this hurry or action of any kind after last month's Las Vegas massacre—58 Americans were killed, and more than 546 Americans injured, by a white American man with military-grade weapons and ammunition. As far as I can tell, the visa program, which "distributes around 50,000 visas to countries where there is a low rate of immigration to the US," and has been around for almost 30 years, has produced only one suspected terrorist. Because there's nothing here to really be done, but denounce the crime and punish the criminal, Trump is doing as much as he ever can. He is the void that only knows how to operate in voids.

But the Diversity Visa Lottery is great because it's so democratic, in the sense that it's about humans and not about capital. The H-1B visa, which the vacuum that is Trump also abhors, but Amazon, Google, and Microsoft love, is about human capital. The term "human capital," however, is bad because it confuses two things: humans and capital. It's better to call skilled workers something specific: tech workers, scientific workers, social workers, cultural workers (what I am), and so on. But this confusion of humans and capital has deep roots in economic thinking that has favored capital over labor, and so is seen sprouting in university reports, or in the business pages of websites and newspapers, and or even Seattle's current mayoral race.

Jenny Durkan so easily confuses Chinese people with Chinese capital. But they are not the same thing at all.

When I wrote with Cary Moon, Durkan's opponent, about the housing crisis in Vancouver, it was obvious to us that we were talking about Chinese capital, which in essence is homogeneous global surplus capital. This capital began flooding Vancouver in the 2000s and transformed large parts of the city into luxury apartments and "investment" opportunities with spectacular yields (the neoliberal city). This is not what happened with the productive poor, working-class, and middle-class Chinese immigrants of the 1980s and 1990s. Moon and I always had this in mind. We supported the immigrant city, rather than the neoliberal one. We supported the global movement of labor (people). We strongly opposed the free and unchecked movement of homogeneous global surplus capital (money).

But Durkan insists that money has rights just like people. We must see capital from China as identical with people from China. This kind of thinking is not unlike the sort that led the Supreme Court to rule in 2010 that corporations are just like people (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission). This explains why so much money is flowing into her campaign. Capital has a home there. In Durkan's house, money is just like one of us.