My recent item on immigration,
dissenting from conservative alarm on the subject, has riled a number of
readers, probably including many who havent written to say so. I
should add a few clarifications.
Since writing that
piece (a hasty last-minute substitution, by the way, for another item that
had to be pulled), Ive done further reading and thinking on the
subject, and I can see why some of you think I was too sanguine. I remain
open to persuasion.
First, I in no way
endorse current U.S. immigration policy; I agree that its
disastrous, flooding us with problems that are bound to get worse. More on
this in a moment.
I dont deny
that immigrants themselves can be annoying and worse, though my own
ample experience of them has been happy. I havent run into the
youth gangs and organized crime that some of them have brought to parts
of the United States.
Pat Buchanan is
among the most famous of those who favor restrictions on immigration,
and his recent book The Death of the West
is, in my view,
indispensable reading. But I do have one reservation about it. Pat shows,
with powerful evidence, that government policies, here and in Europe, have
systematically undermined the Christian peoples and their culture for the
last generation. Yet he persists in thinking these same governments can be
brought to cure the evils they have created.
But government, as
we know it, is the real enemy. It produces nothing except distortions of
social life, through war, taxation, regulation, and the general
redistribution of wealth and resources. Its immigration policies are part
of this picture. While driving down white birthrates (one of the effects of
heavy taxes), its welfare system has encouraged the wrong sort of
immigrants, the sort among whom crime and other destructive behavior
are most apt to flourish. The U.S. government discriminates precisely
against the productive European immigrants who would be most
compatible with us and add to our material wealth and cultural health.
proponents of limitless immigration recall the last great period of
immigration, which occurred more than a century ago and was largely
from Europe. But that was before the welfare state, and it was a blessing,
in most respects, because the Europeans (my fathers father among
them) were coming here to make their fortunes in a free market, not on
the welfare rolls. The U.S. government has managed to turn an essentially
good thing into an evil.
Could there be a
more insane practice than importing a gigantic new welfare class from
alien cultures? Yet this is precisely what Western governments have been
doing, under the giddy slogans of diversity and
multiculturalism. This has immeasurably aggravated the
inherent flaws of the welfare state, and will inevitably make it far more
burdensome, dangerous, and finally insupportable than even its most
apprehensive critics have been warning all along.
Nearly a century ago,
with deep misgivings, Hilaire Belloc foresaw the advent of the
Servile State; and he wasnt even imagining the possibility
that it might expand to include an unlimited immigrant population in its
dependent classes. He was alarmed by the mere prospect of the harm such
a system would do to an England populated exclusively by Englishmen.
state, not the immigrant as such, is our enemy. And just when sane men
agree that socialism has failed, that the welfare system is the source of
myriad social problems, and that programs like Social Security and
Medicare are becoming impossible to sustain, we have a
conservative Republican president who wants to enlarge
this morbid system, increase spending incalculably, and welcome more
subsidized immigrants aboard.
Time was when we
could think of the socialist corruption of the U.S. government as a
Democratic legacy, and the Republican Party as a sort of brake, however
faulty, on its further growth. But with George W. Bush in the White House,
the Republicans have finally become full partners in the operation
the care and feeding of the Servile State.
It was bad enough
when the Republicans were merely the Servile States loyal
opposition. Now there is no opposition at all. The uproar over terrorism
and the Iraq war have distracted us from this development, which may in
the long run prove far more ruinous than anything else the Bush
administration whose big-government conservatism
is celebrated by The Weekly Standard
has done. Since
the Democrats fully support any growth of the welfare state (and see
prospective immigrants as future Democratic voters), there wont
even be a public debate, unless the overloaded system simply collapses
like the bankrupt Soviet Union.
Irony of ironies, we
were only just now gloating that we had won the Cold War, showing the
superiority of our democratic capitalist system. It might be more
accurate to say that the United States displaced the Soviet Union as the
worlds Socialist Motherland.
So much for
limited government. The U.S. Constitution has been a dead
letter for ages, and some conservatives still havent noticed that
the great majority of the countless laws on the books are
unconstitutional. Some of them think our salvation lies in even more
unconstitutional laws (supplemented by some constitutional amendments).
But how can the state, particularly our Servile State, deliver us from the
state? Can tyranny drive out tyranny?
nearly as much as liberals accept the deadly premise that the state is the
answer for every problem, when most of our huge problems are created by
the state itself. Immigrants dont tax us; the state does (while also
imposing trillions in debt on our descendants into the bargain).
Immigrants dont send our sons (and, now, daughters) to war; the
state does. Immigrants dont attack our traditional morality and the
natural law itself; the state does. So whom do we need to be protected
from immigrants or the state?
While the tyranny
Belloc predicted keeps growing new tentacles, we are constantly
distracted from the implacable pattern before our eyes by momentary but
essentially minor excitements terrorism, same-sex
marriage, elections, even politicians verbal gaffes.
Truly, to quote one of Bellocs friends once again, Men can
always be blind to a thing, so long as it is big enough.
recall the Brezhnev Doctrine: What we have, we keep
Communisms answer to property rights. The same slogan
will do for the Servile State. Its gains are irreversible. Its programs are
eternal. It always demands more. Like any parasite, it wont stop
until it kills the host and itself.
takes a close look at one of the latest alleged evils the state allegedly protects us from: homophobia, formerly known as, well, normality. If you have
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