In an elegant, erudite article in the September New Criterion on the devastating civilizational and cultural effects that immigration, particularly Muslim immigration, has brought to Europe, Roger Scruton remarks that once Britain had lost its imperial identity after WWII, it found it had no idea of nationhood with which to replace it. Every provincial people of Great Britain could affirm its national pride–Scots, Welsh, Irish–but the English, along with the Britain of which they were the chief bearers, found that they had no core to affirm. Then came further blows to national identity with the counterculture, accompanied by a large influx of immigration. British leaders promoted the idea of multiculturalism, each group having its own identity. Concern about immigration was branded racist and xenophobic and debate was silenced for forty years.
Something similar happened here in the U.S., although it took a different path. The United States came into its own after the war, but the importance of our cultural core was dismissed by supporters of the mass immigration that took off after the 1965 Immigration Reform Act. These supporters took the line that American ideals were so utterly universal that they needed no cultural basis whatsoever and that therefore any concern over the massive demographic changes this immigration was bringing about was misguided or worse. But nature, including human nature, abhors a vacuum, and so this hollowed-out core of America was flooded with subcultural identities. This multiculturalism now threatens the very ideals themselves and is promulgated throughout our educational system, along with constant denigration of America. Illegal Mexican immigrants boldly flout our laws and march in our cities proclaiming that America is a continent, not a country. And so-called moderate Muslims openly announce their intention to bring Islamic government here.
Immigration supporters now try to stress “assimilation” but this is an empty assertion because they offer no specifics on how to enforce it, and furthermore, there is really no cultural core at present into which immigrants can assimilate.
Scruton says it is too late for Europe to do much about the destruction of its civilization. One can hope that that his assertion is excessively gloomy (and perhaps a little defeatist–imagine if Churchill had spoken this way during the blitz). Scruton also says that he could not have published his article in Europe. Let’s not wait until someone writes that it is also too late for America.