Monday, July 13, 2015

The Immigration Question: Part One

The Huns, led by Attila, ride into Italy from the north, 434 A.D.
I left this amended and expanded comment on a July 12th Gatestone article by Soeren Kern, “Europe’s Great Migration Crisis”:

The main problem is a civilization one. The overwhelming number of “immigrants" [or “migrants”] bring cultural and moral attitudes with them that are antithetical to a civilized existence. They will also bring old cultural habits and generations- or even ages-old animosities towards other immigrant groups with them and will continue them in whatever Western country they settle in. Witness the Sunni-Shi’ite division. They will all expect to be "taken care of" economically by their host governments, thus adding more welfare dependents to already burdened welfare systems. They will be hostile to the whole concept of the rule of law that sustains a civilized, ordered existence.

Observe the attitudes and tactics of Muslims in every European country; they expect the various European societies to conform to their religious-political norms and refuse to assimilate into the larger, indigenous society. In Britain, it's not only the Muslims who thumb their noses at British law and culture; there are the Romany gypsies and other ethnicity-centered immigrant groups who demand a "separate but equal" status, as well, and are willing to raise hell if they aren't granted it.

The first hint of resistance by authorities triggers cries of "racism" or "Islamophobia," and the government backs down. The British government is so fearful of being accused of racism that it won't crack down on Muslim rape gangs that prey on British girls and women.

At bottom of all this throughout Europe is the poisonous, moral certitude-sapping policy of political correctness. The U.S. is now in a chaotic debate over the invasion of the country but thousands of "illegals" crossing into it from Mexico. This is aside from the "resettlement" of Muslims in towns and cities in the country by the federal government.

Soeren Kern wrote:

Europe's migration crisis is exposing the deep divisions that exist within the European Union, which European federalists have long hailed as a model for post-nationalism and global citizenship. Faced with an avalanche of migrants, a growing number of EU member states have moved decisively to put their own national interests above notions of EU solidarity. Hungary's parliament, for instance, has approved the construction of a massive border fence with Serbia as part of a new anti-immigration law that also tightens asylum rules.

The move is aimed at stopping tens of thousands of migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East from entering Hungary, which has become a key gateway for illegal immigration into the European Union.

Hungarian officials say drastic measures are necessary because of the EU's inaction in the face of an unprecedented migration crisis, which has seen more than 150,000 migrants cross into Europe during the first six months of 2015. More than 715,000 people have applied for asylum in the EU during the past twelve months.

Kern’s article describes the various physical measures European countries are taking to stem the flow of migrants into their countries: walls, fences, barbed wire, and, in Britain’s case, corralling would-be hitch-hikers and stowaways coming from Europe through the Channel Tunnel in a camp just outside the Tunnel at Calais.

Kern also details the bureaucratic way of stemming the flow: by making it harder to seek “asylum” in Europe, or by denying it all together.

But, the first observation to make is: These European Union countries are fearful of the nonstop waves of migrants alien and likely hostile to their Western societies and cultures. And the natural question to ask then is: Why are they so fearful and in a panic? Every one of these countries has advocated and legislated multiculturalism. Are they now just realizing what a foolhardy policy it is? Has any one of those governments the honesty and courage to repudiate that policy? Except for a few individuals who stand up and say, “Yes, Western culture is infinitely superior to that of any immigrant settler in the West,” such as Geert Wilders of the Netherlands, Europe is governed by a variety of statist elites who invested heavily in multiculturalism and who are making their citizens pay the price for it.

Kern quotes Viktor Orban, Hungary’s Prime Minister:

“The face of European civilization... will never again be what it is now. There is no way back from a multicultural Europe. Neither to a Christian Europe, nor to the world of national cultures."

Say, rather, devolve into a mongrel culture of no specific character but whose chief distinction will be a dominant Islamic coloring overseen by dhimmi European politicians and elected Muslim ones. It would exist tenuously on the remnants of capitalism and freedom and be sustained temporarily by various welfare systems – temporarily until the money and inertia are spent and the private sector finally expires. Then the European elites can impose across-the-board socialism.

The Liberal/Left’s official history is that the West colonized Africa and the Middle East and Asia, exploited their “natural resources” and enslaved their populations,  and brought untold misery and human rights violations to those areas. These areas were invaded and raped by the West. But now it’s payback time and these regions’ impoverished inhabitants are invading Europe in turn. The Liberal/Left sees the phenomenon as a form of “cultural” and “racial” reparations.

That’s the Progressive, Howard Zinn-kind of interpretation of the current immigration crisis. Who impoverished these refugees? The unacceptable, non-Progressive answer is that it was the myriad corrupt regimes and dictatorships in Africa and the Middle East. Like Mexico, they’re glad to get rid of their excess and unwanted paupers and foist as many of them as possible on the West.

A welfare state that patronizes the worst in men – the unshakable desire to be identified with a group, collective, or tribe, and an implicit obligation to recognize and encourage the collectivist worth of an individual and an individual’s unshakable identification with the tribe or the group – be he of an ethnic, religious, or tribal “heritage” – isn’t going to suddenly see 10,000 Somalians or Turks or Pakistanis abruptly develop an appreciation for Rachmaninoff, classical Greek art, or laissez-faire economics. It just isn’t going to happen. That isn’t even happening with most indigenous, umpteenth-generation European or American youth being “educated” in those indoctrination crèches called secondary schools and universities.

A British correspondent of mine, responding to my Gatestone comment above, made these astute observations about the government policies that have put Europe in a cultural bind:

Whatever they expect, it was up to the West to clarify its values and ensure that the rule of law was understood and accepted by all aspiring citizens. 

The reason it didn’t is the widespread belief that cultural values are innate rather than a matter of choice. 

How can the West have granted Charitable Status to a religion that practices its own antithetical legal system? Why did it grant planning permission for places of worship where the values of the West are routinely trashed and where adherents have no intention of separating Church and State?

Aye, there’s the rub. The whole dreamy policy of “diversity” and multiculturalism rests on the premise that cultural values are based, not on choice, but on one’s genes and so are innate and outside of one’s choice. It is wrong, and the very height of arrogant cultural hegemony, say the politically correct, to expect immigrants to dissolve their “national identities” and immerse themselves into a “melting pot” governed by the rule of law – of objective law founded on the sanctity of individual rights.

But their “currents” have turned perilously awry, and they are in a rush to establish corrective measures when none will undo what they have done.

In Part Two I will discuss the American version of Hamlet’s “To Be, or Not to Be.”


Anonymous said...

Excellent analysis, Mr. Cline. With El Chapo Guzman on the loose (again!) and with the rise of illegal alien crimes, NOW more than ever the USA needs to build a strong and secure border. I am so livid at the ineptitude of the GOP! Our society is imploding into chaos.

madmax said...

This gets even more scarier when you consider demographic trends world wide. Its speculated that African blacks will account for *half* of the world's population by the beginning of the end of the 21st century. There will be an African invasion of European nations. Of course the Asians will not let them enter, but white countries will. This is one of those cases where its difficult to imagine a theoretical libertarian/Randian society being able to handle an influx of Africans. But our increasingly socialist society with its own European genetic stock dwindling? One can imagine nightmare scenarios. Imagine Somalia being transplanted into Western Europe and North America. This goes ways beyond Islam.

And this is the problem that no one in the pro-liberty movement wants to address; not libertarians, not Randians, not mainstream Conservatives; racial demographics. America was a limited government republic created by northern Europeans. If you change the nature of the society so that its no longer a European country can you still have the liberty oriented society? Randians are going to say that only ideas matter. That seems so sterile and unpersuasive when you look at the dysfunction in the West being caused by non-Europeans and then speculate what will happen when Europeans are a minority in their own countries.

I keep thinking that the Euro-American world is heading for hell-on-earth. Imagine Atlas Shrugged but with a massive anti-white race war and an Islamic Holy war against Kaffir. I'm glad I'll be dead by then.

Roxanne said...

Madmax, you say "ideas alone matter" is unpersuasive. But do you then mean ideas are tied inexorably to genetics and race and culture? There aren't any facts supporting what you are inferring.

America was invaded once before at the turn of the last century and weathered that storm. Because back then Americans valued and understood, better than today, what freedom was, what it cost, and believed in the MORALITY of the ideals their country was founded on. There was NO MULTICUTURALISM. The immigrants back then all went to government schools where they were instructed in the rightness of these ideals, the morality of American society where the individual's life was protected and was the purpose of limiting government: to allow the individual to live.

Today, the government schools are the Left's brainwashing factories. The Republic has no hope of surviving unless those schools are bypassed, or closed, and American students are educated in a rational curriculum teaching respect for rule of law, individual rights, economic freedom as a corollary to political freedom and why that is moral. Also, teaching the history of America and why she is the ONLY MORAL nation in the history of mankind.

Roxanne said...

Additionally, there was no Welfare State at the turn of the last century.

Rand said, before she died, that it was even then too late for a popular rebellion back towards freedom. I presume she meant the collectivist epistemology was too pervasive to be overcome by popular commonsense and American Sense of Life. The only thing that will fight a bad idea (altruism as a moral ideal, which mandates the social/political suicide) is with better ideas. This means the young and the schools, from toddlers on up.

And what must be understood and taught is reason as an absolute, NOT as a "tool" that one uses when one feels inclined. And that A is A. Since dictatorships/tyrannical types always attack the Law of Identity, no way to understand this except with reason. One's American Sense of Life is useless up against a skilled demagogue.

Edward Cline said...

Roxanne: Ditto. And, yes, I've said many times in these columns that there was no welfare state even in the early 20th century. Immigrants didn't come here to "game the system" and prey on the productive. Why do readers have to be reminded of that by me or by anyone else?

Steve Jackson said...

"Madmax, you say 'ideas alone matter' is unpersuasive. But do you then mean ideas are tied inexorably to genetics and race and culture? There aren't any facts supporting what you are inferring."

Madmax can speak for himself, but I don't know anyone who would say that genes and race inevitably lead to certain ideas. There is nothing in the genes of Hispanics that makes them Catholic as opposed to Muslim, for example.

But biology does place limits on how a population group will develop. This is the evidence from 100 years of study in diverse fields such as anthropology, biology, genetics, economics, psychology and history.

To give one example (which I take from Wade's book, A Troublesome Inheritance), there are Chinese in the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. They always form the upper crust. But since human beings want to improve their standard of living and are imitative by nature, why don't the natives just follow the Chinese and increase their success? Apparently, biology places a limit on their ability to do so.

Or consider Rhodesia and South Africa. You'd think Africans would realize that the whites have a knack for economics and organization, but they couldn't even maintain what the whites accomplished. They didn't want to or, more likely, weren't able to.

Yes, things were better without the welfare state and multiculturalism, but I think if around 1900 we had massive immigration of Africans, Meso-Americans and Muslims we'd probably have a class that didn't assimilate.

One thing that strikes me about non-European immigrants is their level of resentment of white civilization. My grandparents came from Southern Europe and, while they never achieved the level of the WASPs, they weren't bitter. They didn't riot like the Afro-Caribbeans do in the UK or the Algerians do in France. They were greatful for what Western Civilization afforded them.