Friday, October 02, 2009

Philosophical Continental Drift

Two Wall Street Journal book reviews, both called “Continental Drift” but spaced over two years apart, echo the pessimism about the future of Europe in the books they discuss: one with absolute pessimism, the other with qualified pessimism. The problem the books discuss is the looming conquest by immigration and non-assimilation by Muslims.

A Daily Telegraph (London) article of August 8th, “Muslim Europe: the demographic time bomb transforming our continent,” substantiates the trends and the perils facing Europe.

Britain and the rest of the European Union are ignoring a demographic time bomb: a recent rush into the EU by migrants, including millions of Muslims, will change the continent beyond recognition over the next two decades, and almost no policy-makers are talking about it.

The numbers are startling. Only 3.2 per cent of Spain's population was foreign-born in 1998. In 2007 it was 13.4 per cent. Europe's Muslim population has more than doubled in the past 30 years and will have doubled again by 2015. In Brussels, the top seven baby boys' names recently were Mohamed, Adam, Rayan, Ayoub, Mehdi, Amine and Hamza.


Yet European leaders and the European Union are ignoring or evading the demographics, writes Adrian Michaels, usually for fear of being accused of racism or religious intolerance.

In another article in the Telegraph, “A fifth of European Union will be Muslim by 2050,” Michaels reports:

Last year, five per cent of the total population of the 27 EU countries was Muslim. But rising levels of immigration from Muslim countries and low birth rates among Europe's indigenous population mean that, by 2050, the figure will be 20 per cent, according to forecasts….Data gathered from various sources indicate that Britain, Spain and Holland will have an even higher proportion of Muslims in a shorter amount of time….The UK, which currently has 20 million fewer people than Germany, is also projected to be the EU's most populous country by 2060, with 77 million people.


Gerald Baker’s May 2007 review of Walter Laqueur’s The Last Days of Europe: Epitaph for an Old Continent, makes many of the same points as Paul Marshall’s September 2009 review of Christopher Caldwell’s Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West.

The authors and reviewers concur that Europe is stymied by two disabling phenomena: the deluge of Muslims whose creed forbids all but token assimilation and whose growing numbers will ultimately present non-Muslim Europeans with the paradox of having to choose to assimilate into Islamic society, or else; and the inability or unwillingness of Europe’s policymakers to deal with a problem of their own and their predecessors’ making.

Walter Laqueur, for his part, reviewed Bruce Bawer’s 2006 book on the same subject, While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within. Laqueur, a noted critic of Europe’s timidity and evasion when faced with the consequences of its immigration and multicultural policies, noted in his remarks about Scandinavia:

In Denmark, Muslims make up 5% of the population but receive 40% of social-welfare outlays. Their preachers have told them, Mr. Bawer reports, that only a fool would not take maximum advantage of the bounty that Western Europe offers and that it is perfectly legitimate to cheat and lie. The benefits they receive are a kind of jizya, the tribute that infidels in Muslim-occupied countries have to pay to preserve their lives. (The subsidized-radical situation in Britain and Germany is not much different: The four suicide bombers in London last year had raked in close to a million dollars in social benefits before going on their murderous mission.)

With even radical Muslims entrenched in the Scandinavian countries, it's no wonder that their fellow immigrants are feeling rather confident about the future: In Stockholm, Islamic residents have been known to wear T-shirts that say simply: "2030 -- then we take over." These expectations might be a little overstated, but Muslims in Sweden have indeed already taken over much of the city of Malmo and parts of Stockholm, which are becoming no-go zones for everyone else….The Scandinavian countries are bringing disaster upon themselves.


But what have these books and their reviewers to say about why Europe, heir of the Enlightenment, is becoming an Islamized Europe, whose political and cultural character could only be generously called morbid and medieval? What is missing from the dire predictions and the angst?

It is a recognition that the values born in and nurtured by the Enlightenment -- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, best developed, adopted and applied in the United States -- had never become as deeply rooted in the European character as they had in the American character. Those values were a consequence of a philosophical revolution in Europe, but Europe never completely shed its dependence on and deference to the state and authority. The monarchs and their bureaucrats of one century were replaced with prime ministers and their bureaucrats of another. With very few exceptions, and in spite of the growing prosperity of Europe made possible by capitalism, Europeans retained class and guild mentalities, a desire to be shielded from the risks and vicissitudes of life, and a natural hostility for the kind of individualism and freedom enjoyed by Americans.

They looked to the state to patronize, promote and sanction their class and guild mentalities, and to complement through legislation and controls their hostility for the individualism that would disturb those mentalities. Piled on top of the Muslim conundrum is the accommodating behemoth of the European Union, a kind of Orwellian prototype Eurasian regime with a pretty blue flag and a smiley face, a supra-organization that seeks to dissolve national sovereignties and rule unconditionally over all its byzantine bureaucracy surveys.

The reviewers Baker, Marshall, and Laqueur, and the authors Laqueur, Caldwell, and Bawer, do not delve into the philosophical bankruptcy that could explain why Europeans cannot defend themselves from being overrun by an inimical population of dedicated Muslims, nor be able to assert why their culture and civilization are superior to Islam‘s. The writers dwell on subsidiary issues, and chronicle futile efforts to combat the phenomenon, such as banning headscarves in French schools and tightening immigration rules, which they concede are too little, too late. Indeed, the authors and the reviewers do not seem to be aware of the philosophical bankruptcy that is the root of the problem.

The books’ authors and the reviewers cite multiculturalism as one cause of Europe’s impotency in the face of conquest by Islam. They do not investigate, except in a cursory way, its philosophically nihilistic nature, a nihilism which can only permit the triumph of a barbarism committed to imposing its suffocating, stultifying, and anti-life values by force or fraud. Values apologized for, denied, or destroyed cannot be defended. Multiculturalism is an egalitarian leveler; its function is to render the highest equal to the lowest common denominator. (To paraphrase Ellsworth Toohey: Enshrine the irrational, and the rational is razed.) The barbarism can take many forms: in art, a Jackson Pollack canvas of drips and scratches equal to a canvas by Jean-Léon Gérôme; in science, invalidated global-warming models equal to observable scientific fact; in politics, church-state separation equal to the mosque-state union of Islam.

Marshall, in his review of Calder’s book, goes right to the point in his introductory remarks about the influx of Muslim immigrants:

“Today’s immigrants might be considered hostile to European values, except that Europe itself increasingly has only a foggy idea of what those values might be.”


Marshall notes, quoting author Caldwell:

Many Europeans are determined to defend their values…but it is hard to defend what you cannot define. “There is no consensus, not even the beginning of a consensus about what European values are.”


Marshall cites German philosopher Jurgen Habermas, an atheist, who acknowledged:

“Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of civilization. To this we have no other options. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter.”


Or post-reason chatter, which is the same thing. Christianity might have once been the “ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy.”

But, no longer. As David Greenfield notes in his August 2009 article, “What will a Muslim Europe Look Like?”:

“The old [native] European is likely to have a limited interest in church or synagogue. His children may even hold an open hostility toward organized religion. The churches and synagogues will pursue his grandchildren with all sorts of gimmicks in the hopes of getting them to show up, but even if they do, there will be very little to hold them.”


By the old Europeans, Greenfield means those who are beneficiaries of the welfare state, more concerned with taking advantage of their state-mandated employment perks and pensions, medical care, extra-long paid holidays, and other collectivist entitlements, all of it the result of burdensome tax rates, than worrying about the future of their countries. Let our children take the hindmost, is their attitude, but let us have fun now. As far as Europe is concerned, it is a question of whether or not religion ever was the underlying moral code that permitted the continent to enjoy the fruits of freedom and capitalism, limited as those fruits might have been by government intervention. The Enlightenment, after all, was in large part a revolt against especially Catholic Church authority.

The vaunted “invincible faith of the Christian” has grown flabby and insouciant, and is no match for the invincible faith of the Muslim. Without a philosophy of reason, Europe is left stammering and stuttering in the face of such certitude.

The authors of the reviewed books and the reviewers also point out that European policy of opening the gates to unlimited immigration was an act of expediency by its leaders, with no thought to the future consequences. Their immediate, electorate-focused concern was to bolster their workforces to take the unskilled jobs Europeans no longer wished to take. The overwhelming majority of these immigrants turned out to be Muslims from parts of the globe that were chronically “undeveloped.” The nature of Islamic belief rejects concessions to non-believers’ political and moral norms. Europeans remain despised infidels. Unless they convert to Islam, they are doomed to dhimmitude, or to second-class subservience.

As many “radical” Islamic spokesmen have smugly observed, if Europe cannot be “reconquered” with military jihad, it can be conquered with population jihad. Which is exactly what is happening. These spokesmen see the day when they can boast: Our brothers disposed of your garbage and swept your streets; now we are going to dispose of you and sweep your culture away. You tolerated us, without grasping that we are not tolerant. Notre Dame de Paris will be turned into a mosque, as well as your opera houses, your topless beaches will be abolished, your books will be censored, and the crescent shall adorn the top of the Eiffel Tower as a symbol of our Ummah.

From a journalistic standpoint, it may be profitable to note the disturbing demographics of Muslim population growth in Europe, together with European accommodation of Muslim sensitivities, the latter in itself a mark of uncertainty whose root is nihilistic relativism. But no prominent author has undertaken, to my knowledge, the task of addressing the fundamental problem, which is philosophic in nature: What can account for and permit the decline of a civilization in the face of conquest by barbarism?

What is happening in Europe -- a self-induced philosophic drift, a drift encouraged and sanctioned by universities, schools and official, politically correct policies -- can also happen in America as its politics teeters between a defaulting commitment to statism and the command economy of a compulsory welfare state, and a renewed commitment to freedom, the beginnings of which have been manifested in the Tea Parties and the hesitant behavior of Congress to legislate socialism.

However, Muslim organizations such as CAIR, the American Muslim Council, and other non-profit Muslim councils and advocacy organizations, even though many of their principals have links to Islamic terrorist organizations, are making virtually unobstructed headway in having their customs and barbaric ethics accepted under the ruse of “civil rights.” Death threats against apostates, “honor killings” of teenage girls, and even beheadings go largely unreported in the American media.

The self-censorship practiced by Europeans only encourages Islamic hubris. The same self-censorship, especially by the mainstream media, can only result in the United States contracting the European disease. The Tea Parties of 2009 especially cause some hope that America’s own drift towards statism -- never mind an Islamic demographic jihad in this country -- can be arrested, and the course reset to rediscover its glorious philosophic origins, origins which promoted reason and individual rights.

18 comments:

Adam Reed said...

Where to begin?

"Marshall cites German philosopher Jurgen Habermas, an atheist, who acknowledged:

“Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of civilization. To this we have no other options. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter.”

Or post-reason chatter, which is the same thing. Christianity might have once been the “ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy.”

But, no longer.(....)"

Habermas himself is very much a post-modern pseudo-philosopher, however much he may pretend otherwise, and he is (about this point, and about nearly everything else he ever wrote about) utterly wrong. Everything that Habermas attributes to Christianity is either a part of the Hellenistic heritage that Christianity suppressed until the Renaissance (an implicitly anti-Christian intellectual revolt that revived the values of pre-Christian Hellenism,) or one of the fruits of the Enlightenment, a rather explicit revolt against the Christian churches (albeit paying occasional lip service to Christianity as a feckless sop to the censors.)

Islam is a danger to the values of the Enlightenment because it is a more sincere inheritor of all core Christian values in their original, un-compromised, anti-Hellenistic essence. And of course it is precisely Christian values - turning the other cheek, Imitatio Dei, society as a "superorganism" with a vicar of God at its head - that are the operational causes of the ongoing surrender of Western Europe to Islam.

Anonymous said...

Adam Thanks for the notes on Habermas, with whom I am not familiar (nor likely to become, given just the one quotation of him of mine, and now your own observation). If he's the best Europeans can throw back at the Islamists, they're further along suicide than I could imagine. Seems that he's a philosophical cheat, as you explicate his skewed view of Christianity. Since you're familiar with his ouvre, what exactly does he advocate (in 20 words or fewer!)?

Long ago I saw a movie when it first came out, 1965 -- one of the last unsullied epics to come out of Hollywood -- "Khartoum," which opened my eyes to the similarities between Islam and Christianity, about the conflict between General Gordon and the first modern Mahdi in the Sudan. I won't recap the story line here, but Gordon (played by Charlton Heston, the Mahdi by Laurence Olivier) rhetorically asks the Mahdi at their last secret meeting, after the Mahdi informs him that he plans to attack Khartoum and kill anyone in it who doesn't submit, "Whose God will be remembered: yours or mine?" (Probably not the exact line.)

Of course, in 1965, the Islamic threat was not an issue, not perceived to be a threat. But Yasir Arafat, for example, formerly of the Egyptian army that fought against Israel, was putting together the PLO, while the first major wave of Muslims was in Europe performing the "dirty" work that Europeans didn't want to do.

Ed

Tim C said...

Great essay, Mr. Cline.

Interestingly, Objectivists usually argue in principle for open immigration here (in the US). I hadn't really considered this before, but this presupposes a republic rather than a democracy - in other words, a situation where a shifting majority won't have an adverse affect (or, at least a situation where those coming in desire to actually assimilate).

We don't have the first situation in the US today, nor the second really (not just with Muslims; there are many Mexicans who have in mind restoring territory that was once Mexican - there was even a flap over this in alcohol advertising somewhat recently); the arguments for open immigration should thus be reconsidered.

Adam Reed said...

Re Habermas:

Habermas fuses American Pragmatism with the the original post-Modern doctrine, that of neo-Marxist Herbert Marcuse (specifically, Marcuse's doctrine that knowledge is, and cannot be anything other than, a "socially constructed" rationalization of class interests. This doctrine is the origin of what is called in contemporary sociology the "critical theory.") Habermas is also the mentor of a mind-boggling gaggle of incredible crackpots, including anarcho-racist "Libertarian" Hans-Hermann Hoppe of the von Mises Institute.

Tim C.,

The critical variable is cultural assimilation and bi-culturalism (in America) versus cultural collectivism and cultural exclusivism (in Europe.) European multiculturalism (EM) differs from its American academic counterpart (AM) in that the European multiculturalists believe that cultures are necessarily collective, and that a person, family etc. can only authentically belong to one cultural collective at a time. The Americanized version considers culture an individual choice, and advocates "bi-culturalism" with a second cultural identity as an optional value. In general (that is, with exceptions being literally one-in-a-thousand) adherence to nominal Islam in America has no more existential import than adherence to nominal Christianity or nominal Judaism. In America, the welfare housing projects and the "no-go zones" are not ruled by immigrants, but rather by native, literalist Christians.

Adam Reed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neil Parille said...

Mr. Cline,

Do you agree with the open borders approach advocated by such ARI writers as Craig Biddle and Harry Binswanger?

If Israel adopted Biddle's position it would be Islamic in a geeneration.

-Neil Parille

Anonymous said...

Neil asks: Do you agree with the open borders approach advocated by such ARI writers as Craig Biddle and Harry Binswanger?

I would if we had no welfare state for parasites to exploit at taxpayer expense -- and many Mexicans and other Central Americans come here for the express purpose of getting on all kinds of welfare programs here (and unlike most Cubans, who came here to take advantage of freedom, not free medical care or welfare stipends) -- and if Islamic terrorist organizations were not trying to infiltrate operatives and sleepers into the U.S. from Mexico -- and they are doing this -- and if there were no racist, super-nationalist organizations such as La Raza who have taken a leaf from the Palestinians and claim that the U.S. "stole" most of the Southwest from Mexicans.

I would if there were only a few minor political issues left to resolve and if the U.S. was what the Founders intended this country to be: a republic of individuals whose rights were protected by the government, not violated by it everywhere one turns. That would be the almost perfect, ideal circumstance in which I would agree without reservation about "open borders."

Years ago the U.S. had an "open door" policy that admitted mostly the able, the skilled, the educated, and the accomplished. That policy was scrapped (thru the efforts of the likes of Ted Kennedy) as "discriminatory," and replaced with one that discriminated against the able, the skilled, the educated, and the accomplished, in favor of their antipodes.

If Israel adopted an "open borders" policy, it would cease to exist much sooner than a generation. It would be suicide. There are just too many collectivist ideologies extant hostile to any civilized country, ideologies and organizations whose existence is funded by especially American foreign aid.

Most civilized, semi-free countries like the U.S. and Israel must adopt a siege policy vis-a-vis immigration. I will concede that most "illegal" Mexicans who manage to cross the border do not have conquest in mind or are not motivated by political aims. But, they are basically clueless pawns of organizations (and of many members of Congress) whose aims are not benign and who wish to destroy this country from within.

If the U.S. had a consistent, rational foreign policy, and if it were a truly free country, these issues and questions would never arise. But because the U.S. is under attack, and because those charged with defending it are doing such a pitifully ineffective job of it, this question of "open borders" is way down near the bottom of my list of questions to address and resolve.

Ed

Tim C said...

Ed put it rather better than I did, but yes exactly.

Adam Reed said...

Ed,

"many Mexicans and other Central Americans come here for the express purpose of getting on all kinds of welfare programs here ...."

Evidence? All the actual data I've seen tells the opposite story: other things being equal, undocumented immigrants, just like other immigrants, are much less likely than native-born American citizens to use any welfare program.

"if Islamic terrorist organizations were not trying to infiltrate operatives and sleepers into the U.S. from Mexico -- and they are doing this..."

Again - evidence? There have been, in the last 10 years, two clandestine infiltration attempts from Canada that resulted in arrest of terrorists; zero (as far as I know at this time) from Mexico.

Israel is at war, which makes their context radically different from ours.

My own experience at Cal State LA has been that, on the whole, undocumented immigrants on the average work harder (and do much more to focus their minds) that born citizens. It is not long since a student in one of my Introduction to Programming classes - a student who had compelling reasons not to divulge her name - was the first candidate in the entire history of the Sun Microsystems Certified Java Associate examination to score a perfect 100% on that test. Many native-born citizen students at the same university tell me that they are entitled to a passing grade for attendence.

I should add that like every human being on the planet, I have a moral right to deal by mutual agreement with other humans (to hire them to work for me, to sell or rent living space to them, and so on) regardless of their presence on any government's list of government-approved persons. When my government forbids it, it violates my rights - the exact opposite of its proper function.

Anonymous said...

Adam: To briefly rebut some of your latest points:

The U.S. is not at war? How can we explain the recent arrests of Islamists plotting to blow up buildings and the like? Or Iran's threats and nuclear weapons fuel programs? Or the no-win war in Afghanistan? And, I'm betting that the NSA and other federal security and intelligence organizations -- going by their past record and behavior -- are sitting on instances of terrorists infiltrating from Mexico for political reasons. Couple that phenomenon with the MSM that won't report such episodes unless they can't keep a lid on them, and only if it's a premium, ratings-boosting story. The MSM, with few exceptions, is largely allergic to facts -- a condition fatal to the profession of journalism.

True, Israel is at war, surrounded by hostile countries, or least penned in by governments hostile to its existence. As for Canada and Mexico, their policies toward the U.S. flip-flop as frequently as our own foreign policy.

Note that I remarked that "many Mexicans and other Central Americans come here for the express purpose of getting on all kinds of welfare programs here ...." I didn't say all. Of course there are many exceptions to the rule. The ideal immigration policy would be to not force anyone to jump through bureaucratic hoops to live and work here. You cite your Cal State student out-performing "native" applicants or test-takers. Fine. That episode also points up the common mentality of many Americans raised in a welfare state -- the ones who wanted a passing grade for just showing up in class. Given the obstacles established in this culture to "egalitarianize" ability with mediocrity and non-ability, how difficult a life will she have when she begins to encounter those injustices? (Is the admissions policy at Cal State as corrupt as it is in other schools? I don't know. But I've encountered numerous Ivy League, "native-born" graduates who can't write a straight sentence or do simple math or who think Lincoln okayed the D-Day invasion of Italy -- and that's if they were ever required to study any American or world history.)

I agree with your statement about our right to deal with anyone, government-approved or not. But how do we declare evil the policy of government-approval and see it dismantled, when the trend is for the government to extend that policy and power over everyone, born here or not? If I choose not to sign up for government-mandated health insurance or care -- as the creatures in Congress and the White House would demand -- what happens to me next? Do I become a non-person, living under a bridge because the government emptied my checking account as penality, or sit in jail?

There are priorities in today's chaotic politics, and, for me, a rational immigration policy -- such as that in force during the Ellis Island era -- cannot be intelligently tackled until other fundamentals are dealt with and resolved first.

Ed

Adam Reed said...

Ed,

Of course I disagree with your assumption that I'm dependent on "the MSM" for evidence. There are millions of bloggers and twitterers out there, dozens of search engines, and people, like me or my students, who know how to find the evidence if there were any. There are many words for arguments from no evidence, none of them complimentary.

There are different kinds of wars, and the one that America is in cannot be won on battlefields. Amarica's Pragmatist schools have given us a generation of what Leonard Peikoff calls "Johnnies who can't think." And those, except for immigrants and children of immigrants, feel entitled to passing grades for attendance. Talk to any executive in a high-tech industry here, and you will find that some 80% of their best knowledge workers are immigrants. And that former undocumented "aliens" from Mexico who never finished high school are often better problem-solvers than US-born university graduates.

For the United States to persist in its current anti-immigration policy would deprive the United States of 80% of its conceptual workforce - from the next Jerry Yang or Sergey Brin to the ex-Mexican technician on my wife's team who can diagnose and fix a chromatograph breakdown that stupefies the typical US-born university graduate in chemical engineering. Making immigration to the United States more difficult would be more than a prescription for America's defeat in the real war. It would be a method of national suicide.

Grant Jones said...

Adam,

Who said it was an either/or proposition? To argue that America must gain control of her borders is not to argue against all immigration. To argue that the laws duly passed by Congress dealing with immigration should be enforced is not to oppose legal immmigration. Nor is it to argue against "liberal" immigration policies.

Ed's article was specifically about Moslem immigration and what is has wrought in Europe. For that matter the spread of Islam in the last 1400 years has involved such "peaceful" immigrations. Peaceful until their numbers increase to a point were the demands and stealth conquest began. Indonesia, Malaysia, and Mindanao were not conquered by force of arms, but look at what they are today.

The U.S. and the West are at war. Care to name the enemy? He hasn't changed all that much since the 7th century. You may claim that by not allowing Moslem immigration the U.S. will be deprived of vital knowledge workers. I will respond by noting that there are bigger issues involved than economics. Moslems won't assimilate; they will demand that we do the assimilating. History and current events support this as fact. Re-read Ed's article on the honor killings and other examples of religious fanaticism that are prepetrated by even educated Moslems. Do a little checking and you will discover that most Mosques in America (and in the West) are controlled and bankrolled by a hostile foreign power. The Saudi Entity makes no bones about their agenda. It is inscribed on their flag.

The American people are not obligated to import those hostile to their liberties and way of life. They are not obligated to import a fifth-column that actively works to create a religious tyranny by either stealth or terrorism. They are not obligated to import the inert masses of Moslems who will happily act as a sea of cover for their co-religious activists. Americans are not obligated to import those who will gleefully cut our throats or those who will passively aid and abet the throat cutters.

Since you are an academic let me ask you, how many non-sectarian "meditation rooms" in American colleges, and other institutions, have been turned into Mosques? How often in the workplace, in airports, in cabs, in public swimming pools have Americans been asked to make "special accomodations" for Moslems? This is just the beginning. By its nature, Islam cannot tolerate existance in a free, secular society. We will either become dhimmis or we will have to resist the stealth takeover.

The most effective and peaceful from of resistance to the stealth Jihad is not to allow Moslems in the country in the first place. If Moslems can't peacefully coexist with non-Moslems in Sweden or Holland, there is NO reason to believe things will be any different in the United States. The issue is NOT the differences between American and Europe. The issue is the nature of Islam.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank Grant for bringing a well-written explication to this "debate." For my own part, this will be my last round of comments on the subject of immigration policies. Our current immigration policies are part and parcel of the irrationalism of our foreign polices. My piece was about Muslim immigration, and I think Grant dealt with that subject admirably. It's not about Mexicans or any other national group being restricted entry or citizenship. It's about the U.S. being at war and not dealing effectively with its enemies. The immigration question is very subsidiary to that topic, a secondary subject which won't be resolved until fundamentals are resolved first.

Also, I can't recall that I claimed Mr. Reed was dependent on the MSM, so I don't know how he can disagree with me, when I never made such statement. Also, I don't deny that Jerry Yangs et al. can out-think many American native-borns in problem-solving; I never claimed they couldn't. But these phenomena are irrelevant to the subejct I raised, which is Muslim demographics and why the U.S. is in for the same problem that exists in Europe.

Ed

Adam Reed said...

I'll end my comments also, since it is not my habit to address allegations for which there is no evidence, such as the allegation that terrorists are being smuggled into the United States from Mexico.

The effect of specifically Moslem immigration depends on the dominant culture of the receiving country. In collectivist cultures Moslems become a collective, alien body, and thus a danger to Enlightenment values. In a predominantly individualist culture, which America still is, immigrants are treated as, and eventually assimilate as, individuals. Both my wife and I have professional colleagues who are immigrants from Moslem countries, and they are Enlightenment-based people who, if they pay any attention to Islam, pay it no more attention that American Christians pay to Christianity - and, in the case of those with whom I discussed the issue, mostly no attention at all. Europe's (and, incidentally, Israel's) problem is collectivism. America, in contrast, is still individualist enough to have nothing to fear from immigration.

Neil Parille said...

Adam,

Most of the statistics I've seen about the Mexican-American community indicate that they have a higher level of "social pathology" (illegitimacy, crime, etc.) than the native population. Talking about any specific person is beside the point.

Israel isn't techinically at war with most countries in the Middle East, so I don't see how you could argue for open borders and then make an exception for Israel.

While I agree that the host country's culture is important, there is the obvious risk of large numbers of immigrants swamping the culture, so to speak.

JMW said...

If it wasn't for Mexicans, every restaurant in New York City, common and famous, would be out of business.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile back in the lunatic asylum that the UK has become - '40 fanatics go free from jail.'

They were only plotting mass murder, after all...


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/article2628304.ece

Galileo Blogs said...

Although I am late to this discussion, I want to throw in my thoughts on immigration.

I see two issues being conflated here, immigration as a security issue, and immigration in the context of the welfare state. They are not the same thing. For security reasons, governments can and should restrict immigration if clearly called for as a self-defense measure. The best example would be during wartime.

The second issue is immigration in the context of a welfare state. Here it must be understood that the problem is not immigration as such. Rather, the problem is the existence of a welfare state. The overwhelming majority of immigrants do work and "earn" their keep. This is patently obvious when one sees Mexicans and Guatemalans lined up to be part of construction gangs or populating kitchens in New York City, as one commentator correctly observes.

Those who want to restrict immigration allegedly because of the problem of welfare are doing nothing at all about the welfare state. In fact, they act to expand it, as both Democratic and Republican administrations have done. Such failure to do anything about welfare belies their alleged motive for restricting immigration, that they are concerned about expanding the welfare rolls. Surely, it is just as easy to pass a law limiting welfare as it is to pass a law building a wall on our southern border. Why is it that the former does not get passed, but the latter does?

I would contend that both Democrats and Republicans are incapable of reducing welfare because that would involve acting against their altruist morality. With welfare reduction out of the way, what remains is the hostility of a significant number of Republicans towards those who are not white and "upright Americans", as most of them are or see themselves. (Of course, I use "Republican" loosely, and leave out the many Republicans who do not share such a racist motive.)

There is no security issue in letting Mexicans or Central Americans or Asians or most Europeans in our country. They should be allowed in. And to make an effective case against Muslims, *first* one must properly name them as an enemy and endorse the proper strategy towards the states that sponsor terrorism. Our government has done next to nothing in that direction.

Restrictions against immigration *do* violate rights (we must bear that in mind). They violate the rights of individuals to freely deal with each other, unencumbered by the coercion the state. If I want to hire someone to work on my construction site, or in my kitchen, or in my chemistry lab, I should be free to do so. The government morally has nothing to say in the matter.

The bottom line is that I see a good deal of the argument against immigration hiding under the smokescreen of concern over terrorism, when it really amounts to a fear over having different people come to our shores. I live in New York City and live among a sea of those foreigners. They are not a threat. Rather, they are productive members of our society. They come here, they work hard, and they embrace American values.

To the extent they also get sucked into the welfare system, let's abolish that system. But to keep that system untouched and then violate the rights of immigrants and the Americans who deal with them is unjust, and it is backward. The real problem is the violation of rights that comes with the existence of the welfare system.