politics, culture and immigration

One thing I notice on a lot of dissident right sites is an obsession with the idea that immigration must be stopped and that every other issue needs to be either put on the back burner or even entirely abandoned in order to focus on immigration. I think this is a mistaken view. I want to emphasise that this does not mean that I don’t think the immigration issue is important. It is vitally important. I simply don’t think that fighting on that one issue is a viable strategy. I’ll try to explain why I think this way.

The most crucial thing to understand is that politics really is downstream of culture. The state of the culture determines whether a particular political fight is winnable or not, in the current circumstances. At this point in time I don’t think the political fight on immigration is winnable. It could become winnable but that will necessitate at least some degree of cultural change.

The immigration debate cannot be won right now for several reasons. These reasons apply in the US, in Britain, in Australia and in western Europe, to varying degrees.

The first reason is that many people, possibly even a majority, simply do not see immigration as a major problem. The communities devastated by diversity are mostly poorer communities. Upper class and upper middle class people have not been affected. Even lower middle class people have, to a large extent, escaped the worst effects. Since people generally have difficulty in understanding the concept of long-term consequences those who have not so far been affected still believe they never will be.

Secondly, most people are still more concerned about social conformity than immigration. The social consequences to the individual of opposing immigration (accusations of racism, possible loss of jobs, social harassment) seem to outweigh the social consequences of immigration for the nation as a whole.

Thirdly, most people still buy the economic arguments in favour of immigration – without immigration economic growth would slow down and nothing could possibly be worse than having a slight slowdown in GDP growth.

Fourthly, the elites are still absolutely united in their determination to push immigration.

So what changes need to be made to the culture? Firstly the idea that GDP is the one and only measure of national well-being needs to be attacked. People need to be persuaded that there’s more to life than having the latest smartphone. Secondly, the whole basis of liberalism has to be attacked.

The most dangerous delusion is that you can accept liberalism on social issues and still successfully oppose immigration. You can’t. If for example you accept the liberal argument on abortion then it’s impossible not to accept the liberal position on all other social issues. If individual choice (even extending as far as the choice to kill your baby) is all that matters then how exactly are you going to oppose the principle that individuals should have the choice to live wherever they want to live? Including the choice to live in your country rather than their own?

You can’t use the argument that by exercising that choice they are infringing other people’s rights. You’ve already accepted that a woman’s right to choose is sacred, even if it means killing her baby (which is about as big an infringement of someone’s else rights that can be imagined). You can’t use the argument that immigration has social consequences, since you’ve already accepted the principle that only the individual’s wishes matter. It’s the same with all other social issues. If you accept that people can choose their own gender you can’t very well argue that they can’t choose where to live.

If you accept that the individual is all that matters then society as such doesn’t exist (this was in fact the position taken by the right-wing liberal Margaret Thatcher). If we’re nothing but individuals pursuing pleasure and our own interests then borders must inevitably come to be seen as unnecessary, oppressive and harmful.

Interestingly enough you can oppose immigration from a left-wing perspective, if you drop the internationalism. In fact if you’re seriously left-wing you have to abandon internationalism anyway – it’s impossible to maintain a welfare state or anything approaching a command economy if you have open borders. So a communist can, quite logically and coherently, be opposed to immigration but a liberal cannot. This is not an argument in favour of communism, merely an observation.

The bottom line is that if you accept liberalism you will get open borders. If you oppose open borders you must oppose liberalism. And the fight against liberalism is the fight that really matters. It’s the fight that must be won.

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One comment on “politics, culture and immigration

  1. James Higham says:

    I need to draft a longer reply to this than just a few words. Immigration is critical now.

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