Tuesday 10 December 2013

Why is it in practice impossible to have sensible policies about immigration? (Because, from where we are, 'good' reforms must necessarily be preceded by repentance and religious revival)


I have noticed that on the secular Right/ Reactosphere/ Alt Right/ Manosphere blogs, immigration policy is used as the major Litmus test, to evaluate whether or not a person or party is support-worthy.

(Whereas on the religious right the Litmus tests are related to the sexual revolution.)

Now it is trivially easy, mere common sense, to know for sure that mass immigration (e.g. of the order of one percent growth/ change per year) is lethal to any social order in the medium to long term; so it seems only sensible that massive population migrations must be prevented and the process must be controlled.

This is non-optional for any society - yet it keeps on and on not happening.



Because from where we are now in the situation we are; common sense policy is precisely what is impossible.

Open-ended mass migration is a problem because the Left has been in charge for many decades (and whatever the name of the party, the Left has won - all mainstream 'right wing' parties are in practice Leftist).

And minimally-restricted (in practice unregulated, mostly unrecorded) mass migration is a major plank of Leftism: such that positivity to long term and open-ended mass 'immigration' is a Litmus test for what they call 'racism' - which is widely taught to be the ultimate sin.


So THIS WORLD we live in is one where sensible immigration reform IS racism, and racism IS the worst of all possible evils.

And believers will RESIST ultimate evil (i.e. racism) to the maximum extent of their strength and will. 

And THIS is our starting place for any future change. 


Thus, from where are are now, 'sensible' changes to immigration policy are impossible.

Impossible, that is, in practice: if sensible reform to immigration policy was possible, it would have happened, long ago.

The fact that sensible reform did not happen, and there is zero sign of it happening, and instead matters are getting worse, is just that - a fact; and what that fact means is that making sensible immigration reform policy into a Litmus test is not as straightforward as it seems.

Not at all.


When the resistance against sensible reform of an obviously-suicidal policy is so strong - that is, resistance is strong enough to overcome simple logic and obvious common sense - this means that common sense reforms become desirable only on the other side of mass repentance and a religious revival.

Because (however sensible or desirable) if immigration restriction became the major priority of a political movement, if it became the 'single issue' for a party which hoped to attain political power sufficient to overturn a half-century of Leftism, such a party would need to overcome massive, powerful, unyielding, entrenched resistance from The Left - which is the party in power, and controls all the major social institutions (especially the mass media - indeed the Left is the mass media).

So, in practice, sensible reform would need to be massively-motivated - viscerally-motivated, (dare I say it) fanatically-motivated, in order to overcome the entrenched resistance of Leftism.

And this level of motivation could (probably) only happen by unleashing, encouraging and organizing the emotion of hatred.

Organized-hatred met by entrenched resistance equals serious civil strife, probably civil war; which is usually the worst kind of war; and once started this kind of thing can be very difficult/ impossible to stop.


This is why immigration is such a desperately fraught question.

And one which it is impossible to solve by secular politics without a high risk of making matters much worse - because in the modern world as it is now secular politics can only generate power by mobilizing wicked motivations such as hatred. 

In sum, the Left have created an impossible and suicidal immigration policy, yet this suicidal policy is so deeply embedded and so recklessly defended, that to stop it and and turn around could/ would produce horrific overall effects. The specific problem or issue of mass migration might be solved, but only at terrible cost.


At root, suicidal mass immigration is a product (just one of many products) of the psychotic and self-destructive mind set of secularism, a disease that can only be cured by religion. 

If the (apparently sensible) treatment is introduced without prior religious cure, then this would necessarily and merely be swapping one kind of psychotic self-destruction for another. It would be like 'curing' society's brain cancer by cutting-off its head.

The real 'answer', the good answer, the only answer we would want is that the first step must be religious revival (i.e. a real-Christian Great Awakening).

Only after the insanity of secularism has been recognized and repented, and the necessity of religion embraced, can 'normal service be resumed' - with sane, common sense, non-suicidal, sensible policies.


There is no short cut to victory against hedonic-suicidal secular Leftism.

The enemy is too strong for short cuts; but the desire for a short cut is a snare, and could easily make things much worse.

We must go the longer way round - via repentance.



Gyan said...

There might have been Romans that railed against Jewish immigration into Rome.
But, the Jewish diaspora in Rome and other places was vital to the providential spread of Christianity.

Thus, if the Church is pro-immigration, there might be deeper spiritual reasons. The question is do we judge the Church or we let the Church teach and form us?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Gyan. Yes, I agree - so long as we are clear that by 'Church' we are talking about *real* Christians in the churches - and not the fifth-columnist-Leftist-fake/ anti-Christians who lead so many of the mainstream "so-called-Christian" denominations.

Gabe Ruth said...

Many individuals on the left can perceive this problem, though they usually remain confident enough in their own righteousness and being on the right side of history that they believe a few more generations will deliver them final victory.

This is a good illustration of some of Rene Girard's thinking.

agraves said...

The Church is run by Socialists/Marxists as proven by Francis. The Left loves him as he goes against traditional Catholics, everyday an insult. The Church left me many years ago and is receding in my rearview mirror at an alarming rate. Repentance usually comes after a catastrophe or when one realizes they are out of options. Middle America is too busying washing the SUV and mowing the lawn to worry about it, they see no reason to repent.

Bruce Charlton said...

@agraves - True.. But I didn't say it would be easy. But, however difficult or unlikely, religious revival is the ONLY chance of a good outcome.

@Gabriel - The present situation is exruciating for all honest and decent men. The only people who could be happy with things as they are and are shaping to be, are those utterly in thrall to the Adversary: those who delight in the prospect of destruction, hatred and death.

Well, those, and also the mass of intoxicated and media-addicted brain-dead fools who are passively but willingly swept along to ruin and damnation - stubbornly refusing to awaken and look about them.

Anonymous said...

Please, have a look at http://openborders.info/, as I suppose you are wrong claiming that mass immigration is suicidal to a country. To the contrary, there is a strong economic benefit to the receiving country, as explained by standard economic theory.

Apart from that, there is a strong moral cause for emigration, which can be summed up in that one (the state in particular) should not prohibit anyone to accept a job or home from a willing employer or landlord.

I would be very keen to hear if you had time to have look at the website's articles and whether they appeared convincing for you.
Best regards,
Mateusz Wywial

Bruce Charlton said...

@MW - I'm not going to get into a debate about this - I know all the economic arguments, and myself used to 'believe in' open borders on libertarian grounds, and argued in print for it; but I woke-up.

Open-borders or anything approximating to it is sheerly insane, a psychotic argument, only believed by clever sillies whose brains are addled by economic abstractions - as is apparent if one does some simple thought-experiments about the logistics of living in a village of fixed size.

Forget it. Mass immigration at the current rate will kill any society - sooner or later - depending on exactly who is immigrating (because humans are not interchangeable units - people differ, and they differ a lot).

The only legitimate question is what to do about it; my answer is that unfortunately nothing *directly* can be done about it for the reasons I give above; but the real *urgency* is for our societies to repent our secular Leftism; or else repentance will be too late to make any substantive difference to material condition (although repentance is never to late to save our souls).

The Crow said...

This is as good an example as any, of the kind of damage 'new age' beliefs can spawn. All spirituality, if it is genuine, understands paradox. In fact an ability to comfortably coexist with paradox is the hallmark of the truly spiritual.
"We are all One" is an example of paradox. What does such a statement mean? That there is no 'us' and no 'them'? Or perhaps 'we are all equal in death, and in the eyes of God'?

In human terms, seeing no difference between 'us' and 'them' leads to utter chaos. While in another sense, it is absolutely true.

The Sacred Law should never be administered unto dolts, who know nothing. Lest chaos consume one and all. As is currently the case.

Right said...

Mass immigration isn't leftist. It's the political right, the business and corporate agenda that naturally drive it in accord with the prevailing dominant ideology and mercantilist ruling caste. The left is simply co-opted in these times.

The alt right is snowed so constantly by what is right and left, the main recent example being the long-running defense of variants of libertarianism among the alt right, that it's absurd. Outclassed, outgunned, outthought. Unless that changes a religious revival will also be co-opted.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Right - the 'political right' is, of course, Leftist - very Leftist indeed.

But what you are complaining of is perhaps short-termist selfishness/ partiality (as contrasted with policies that are long-termist and for the benefit of the nation) - and increasingly widespread, increasingly short-termist and increasingly selfish behaviour is inevitable and irrefutable and irreversible with continuing democracy (decision-making by vote), and without religion.

To combat this requires an individual leader (a monarch, in effect) who is Father to the nation - Father under God. Of course, many or most such leaders/ monarchs are bad - nonetheless only such a system (or an approximation to it) can, sometimes, be long-termist and unselfish.

wywialm said...

@BC: I beg to differ. If I understand you correctly, the thought experiment you are talking about is based on unrealistic assumptions - our village is not of a fixed size, and even if it is not infinitely expandable, we are much below the upper size limit. Nevertheless, it is pretty much economic question whether mass immigration ruins a country. There are theoretical arguments, but also empirical ones - e.g. immigration to America in XIX century! It didin't wreak havoc to the society, to the contrary, it very much helped strenthen it.

Even if we abstract from economics (which we really should not do in discussions about society), it seems very implausible to try to rebuild a culture based on Christian moral premises and at the same time use immoral methods, such as immigration ban. How would you like to enforce shuch ban? With outright force and deportations?
Or are these migrating people not Neighbours in the Biblical sense?

Of course, if you are unwilling to discuss the matter further, neither will I. But if it is, as I believe, that mass immigration is something we do not have to worry about, then we may move our efforts to more urgent matters.

Bruce Charlton said...


"If I understand you correctly, the thought experiment you are talking about is based on unrealistic assumptions - our village is not of a fixed size"

Yes it is.

"and even if it is not infinitely expandable"

Even if!!!

"we are much below the upper size limit."

How do you know? The world economy seems to have peaked some time ago. The limit is practical, not theoretical - and depends on continued, frequent, major technological breakthroughs which have almost stopped. Plus will - which is lacking.

"Nevertheless, it is pretty much economic question whether mass immigration ruins a country."

Nonsense. There is more to life than economics - economics is only a means to Man's proper end.

"There are theoretical arguments, but also empirical ones - e.g. immigration to America in XIX century! It didin't wreak havoc to the society, to the contrary, it very much helped strenthen it."

1. The country was almost empty - nwow it is very full - one of the largest populations ever. Human society does not just scale up and up without qualitative change..., 2. The immigration was of highly skilled and hard working people, mostly, 3. the economy needed a lot more pure physical labour then, 4. the standard of living per capita then was a fraction of what it later became - such that the average for then is regarded as extreme poverty now and a breach of 'social justice'. 5. Actually, if you read contemporary account - havoc was what it did indeed wreak! Thinsg were never the same again - for example corruption/ graft became endemic and was never eradicated.

"it seems very implausible to try to rebuild a culture based on Christian moral premises and at the same time use immoral methods, such as immigration ban."

Of course it is not immoral! - unless you assume that all previous people that ever lived in the history of the world until a generation ago were immoral. I would regard them as far, far more moral than the mass of short-termist, pleasure seeking, cowardly, irresponsible, shallow modern people such as ourselves; not least because they could see further than life focused on economic theories, and could balance moral priorities instead of fixating upon the single virtue of short term kindness!

"How would you like to enforce shuch ban? With outright force and deportations?"

ALL laws are enforced by outright force - ultimately; or else they are not really being enforced.

"Or are these migrating people not Neighbours in the Biblical sense?"

Do you consider yourself a better Christian than the great figures of the past? - everywhere and at all times - who knew it as obvious common sense that no good thing could possibly survive sufficiently massive population movements?

But this was not the subject of my post. I know that I cannot persuade you because I would not have been persuaded myself, until after I became a Christian and discovered a solid root to my thinking. Lacking which, anybody can believe anything they like, because in the end it amounts to nothing. But this pseudo-idealistic nihilism will certainly kill the West.

The Crow said...

And in the Red Corner, we have Bruce...
That's the closest to angry I've ever seen you, Baron.
Good for you.
Christianity has its share of leftists, don't you find? Which is one of the prime reasons for its advanced state of decay in the West.

Right said...

I'm saying there are people who are better at creating alluring ideologies, including ideologies that captivate the altright, than anything I've seen so far on the altright. The altright has neither the defensive mental architecture nor the creative ability to generate something new. So far.

Yes, aristocracy and monarchism can work, mainly because the combination of imposed social duty with a somewhat random genetic distribution of leaders and rulers is a feature, not a bug.

You'll have to wait for the end of the police state interregnum though...

Glengarry said...

"the fifth-columnist-Leftist-fake/ anti-Christians who lead so many of the mainstream "so-called-Christian" denominations."

I just read about Rev Paul Flowers, he of the "two-day, drug-fueled gay orgies" among other things, none of them good. How can such a man be a Methodist leader?

Glengarry said...

Perhaps we should call the current process "reverse colonialism".

Bruce Charlton said...

@G - Ah, so you remember the old days when Methodism was a Christian Church - indeed one of the great Protestant Christian denominations.

Although they have kept the name, Methodists are now an umbrella organization for a chain of small cafes, clubs and residential homes.

Glengarry said...

BC, I take your point. Though in truth, who'd let someone like that run even a bedsit?

Bruce Charlton said...

@wywialm has left a new comment on your post

Thanks - I read your comment, but I don't want to get into an economic debate. You are talking about a complex optimal situation which does not apply and never will apply - politics is crude and simple. If you don't already see it now, nothing I could say will convince, but much of what needs to be said cannot be said because it is against the law to say it. Under such circumstances rational debate is impossible.