Monday, August 29, 2016

"How 'Open Borders' Became An Illiberal [Battle?] Cry"

   I think this is pretty good, though I'd have to think about it more.
   When I was younger I was extremely sympathetic to cosmopolitanism. Now I'm not so sure. I think we in the West pretty much hit the jackpot, culturally speaking. I've never been in any way anti-immigration, though I do worry about barely-checked illegal immigration, and immigration that happens so quickly that immigrants don't have time to assimilate. I also worry about overpopulation...though I'd be just as happy to fight that with lower birth rates as with lower immigration rates... Both would be good...but neither is going to happen any time soon. Not until the problem is out of control, I expect. So anyway, no reason to bring that into it.
   Like Furedi, I think that "diversity" and "multiculturalism" have good versions and bad versions, and I suspect that some elements of the far-ish left are committed to bad versions for bad reasons.  
    And I, too, noticed this:
US vice-president Joe Biden expressed this sentiment last year, when he welcomed the Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff to Washington. Hesaid that ‘those of us of European stock’ will be a minority by 2017, adding ‘that’s a good thing’. But why should a change in the ethnic or cultural composition of a society be a ‘good thing’, or a ‘bad thing’, for that matter?
    Uhhh.... Nobody would stand for a VP saying "it's good that Asians are a minority in this country," or "we should strive to keep blacks a minority." Why should we want whites to be a minority? Maybe the answer is: it's not good for any single racial group to outnumber all the others. I don't think that's crazy... But I do worry about the extreme anti-white racism of the contemporary PC left. When combined with its avowed hatred of Western civilization--not to mention its sworn enmity to (actual) liberalism... I do get concerned that "diversity" and "multiculturalism" are possibly being used as weapons.
In a previous speech, in Morocco in December 2014, Biden said the impending minority status of Americans of European stock would make America a stronger nation. ‘The secret that people don’t know is our diversity is the reason for our incredible strength’, he said. Forget America’s democracy, Constitution, liberal ethos, creativity or entrepreneurship – apparently the real secret of America’s strength is its diversity! Of course, a society open to immigration is likely to benefit from the mixing of cultures and ideas. But when diversity is transformed into a standalone medium for change, it can become a political weapon, and be used to bypass the national will. For Juncker, weakening national borders is beneficial because it serves his project of European federalism. Diversity is the antidote to nationalism.
   I'm no fan of nationalism...though this all makes me realize that you'd think that 'nationalism' would have at least one meaning meaning basically: in favor of nation-states... Because I am in favor of nation-states... And sometimes 'nationalism' is basically used as a synonym for 'patriotism' I guess I am a nationalist, then, to at least some extent...
   Anyway, I have to admit, I'm a little skittish about what seems to me like a mad rush to transform the culture and the nation on the basis of not-very-well-worked-out ideas.
   Furthermore, I've been saying for quite some time that some liberals say and do a lot of things that can only be made sense of in light of a presupposition that we should have open borders (fences are bad, deportations are bad, increased border patrols are bad, sanctuary cities are good, etc. etc.) Open borders positions are fairly common on the PC left, and the PC left seems to currently have a lot of influence over liberalism... It's hard to gauge such things, but it kinda seems to me that the open-borders position is creeping rightward, toward the liberal center, becoming more of a mainstream liberal idea...I could be wrong. I'm probably wrong. I hope I'm wrong. 
   Anyway, a lot of this is just thinking out loud.


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