The Corner

Re: Usurpation

Hey Jonah:

[You] Which elites?

[Me] That CIS paper by Fredo Arias-King nails political elites  –  senators and congressmen — in a way that seems very plausible to me. I mean, the things he says the congressfolk said seem to me like the kinds of things they do say — I don’t think Arias-King is making stuff up. The Bushes — both 41 and 43 — also seem to find the social setup in Mexico (i.e. corrupt light-skinned hereditary elites keeping the Amerind peons in their place) highly simpatico, to judge from their decades-long connections with elite Mexican groups like the Salinas family.

I don’t want to place too much weight on that one paper, but I don’t think it would be too hard to show that at least some of our political elites, whether they think about the matter in precisely these social-theoretical terms or not, are keenly interested in Latin-Americanizing the U.S.A. for their own benefit.

[You] Surely not the folks at the Wall Street Journal.

[Me] Look, I’ve met some of the guys round that table, as of course you have (I even owe a favor to one of them) and they’re not part of a sinister cabal to destroy the U.S.A. If they were, then putting their deliberations on the internet would be pretty dumb!

From the point of view of “usurpation,” I’ll agree with you to the extent that there is definitely daylight between these guys and the politicos that Arias-King is talking about. How much daylight? Plenty in some cases, just a sliver in others, would be my guess. I put in 16 years on Wall St and mixed with some high-business types — the kind of folk the WSJ editorialists hang out with all day, and mainly write for. Are there people in these business elites who, going to a Latin American country and fully grasping the horrid (to you & me) sociology of the place, would think to themselves: “Hey, this is pretty cool!”? You bet there are.

[You] I agree they have not covered themselves in glory in their characterization of the debate, but I think you  –  or your reader  –  do the same thing when you assert motives they clearly don’t have.

[Me] I’m leery about discussing “motives” — rarely linear/rational, often unconscious, etc. What were Stalin’s motives? To get pleasure by revenging himself on his personal enemies? To maintain himself in power? To push the U.S.S.R. towards the society of perfect equality & justice predicted by Marx? A mix of all three, I’d guess — he was a pretty good theoretician — in different proportions at different times.

I’ll agree with you to this extent: that most of us, including I guess me, too easily attribute malign intentions to people whose ideas we disagree with, and that this is bad and dumb. I don’t imagine — no sane person does (though you & I know from our mailbags how many of the other sort there are!) — that when the cameras are switched off, these guys sit back and say: “OK, what’s the next step in our grand plan to Colombianize the U.S.A.?” My experience of daily-newspaper journalism suggests to me that the main motivation of the people round that table was to get the next issue of the paper out.

[You] I find it very difficult to find evidence that the Journal’s editors themselves want to create an economically stratified and stagnant economy along the lines of Latin America.

[Me] See above, but…

[You] You may or may not be right that their preferred policies would lead America in that direction, but it seems pretty obvious to me that that’s hardly the sort of society those guys desire.

[Me] This is really the nub of it. Of course their preferred policies would lead America in that direction! How could opening our Southern border — and that is exactly the declared policy of the WSJ editorial page — to a hundred million or so Latin American immigrants not Latin-Americanize our society to some pretty large degree — part of it wholly, and the whole of it partly? More pertinently: How could a roomful of people as smart as this one think it wouldn’t?

The declared policy preference of the WSJ editorial board is: “There shall be open borders.” That means that great floods of Third World people will come into our country — several hundred million, with truly open borders. (How many people live in nations POORER than Mexico? Four billion? Five? Mexico isn’t actually that poor. So my previous “hundred million Latin Americans” may be the least of our problems. Never mind Colombianizing the U.S.A.: if the Journal types get their druthers, we’d simultaneously be Indonesianizing, Algerianizing, Nigerianizing, Sinifying, Egyptizing, etc.) This will of course be a great thing for them; but it would utterly transform the U.S.A. How could it not? Yet these Journal guys ACTUALLY FAVOR IT — and furthermore, believe that Americans who do not favor it are ignorant yahoos whose heads are filled with dark thoughts. (Talk about attributing motives!)

Look at it from a strict behaviorist point of view, Jonah. Imagine those WSJ guys actually did sit around deliberately plotting to Colombianize (Algerianize, whatever) the U.S.A. How would the outcome be any different from what it would be if all their current policy prescriptions were to be followed?

[You] One can argue they’re pie-eyed optimists,…

[Me] You’re durn tootin’.

[You] …but they really do believe in all of that rising tide lifts all boats stuff. That is hardly a Latin American vision.

[Me] You are right. They have a Vision: but the Vision, and the playing out of the Vision, are two things, as they were with Marzism.

These guys are in thrall to a crazy ideology. If you have open borders, you have no borders. If you have no borders, you have no nations. The ideology of these WSJ elites is an extremely radical form of anti-nationalism. They are One-World managerialists to a degree that would make H.G. Wells blush. This is one of those ideologies, like pacifism, that is only tenable if absolutely everyone signs on to it. A single dissenter wrecks the whole scheme.

A corollary, or perhaps a lemma, is that they are radical Blank-Slatists. Human beings are infinitely malleable; the statistical-psychological profiles of human populations are identical, or can easily be made so. Scientifically speaking, this is Flat Earthism — I mean, we know to very high probability that these things are not so.

This is the new Marxism, except (in my opinion) crazier.

[You] Similarly, I don’t know many immigration maximalists (I’m done using “pro-immigration” and “anti-immigration” as identifiers in this debate), would like to see a permanent underclass of dark-skinned laborers.

[Me] Hmm. I bet I could root out a couple for you. What, after all, does this “guest worker” program amount to?

And whether they want it or not, that’s what they will get. Are getting: Heather Mac Donald or Mark Krikorian will be glad to supply you with the numbers for illegitmacy, high-school dropout rates, etc for Hispanic youngsters.

[You] It might the case that some people’s comfort with that sort of arrangement fosters an openness to rationalizing the immigration status-quo,…

[Me] Again, I bet it is the case; though again, in the case of the WSJ crowd, I’ll grant it’s not likely the main factor.

[You] …but I haven’t heard anybody serious actually making that argument.

[Me] Someone’s making it right now, over a well-stocked dinner-table somewhere. But you’re right, you won’t be seeing it in the public prints. Duh!