Praying at the False Altar of "Diversity"

Peter Brimelow

A change is coming over the immigration debate. For about a decade, immigration enthusiasts have been loudly minimizing the significance of the influx unleashed by the 1965 Immigration Act, after one of the longer immigration pauses in American history. But now the influx has become so significant that it has actually destabilized the ethnic balance -- population growth will be driven by post-1970 immigrants and their descendants in the next century. And suddenly, the immigration enthusiasts are in favor of this transformation.

All that remains is for them to admit that this transformation is being achieved at taxpayer expense (a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences showed that immigration is a net cost to Americans, for example, costs amounted to over $1,100 per native-born household in California.)

'Re-engineering America'

What the enthusiasts are rationalizing is a social engineering experiment without precedent in the history of the world. And especially without precedent in American history.

Diversity propaganda aside, it is simply a matter of historical fact that America is a nation like the great nations of Europe -- an ethno-cultural community, not entirely ethnic but not entirely cultural either.

If this surprises you, just look at exactly who it was who signed the Declaration of Independence and convened in Philadelphia. You may not like those dead white males -- and of course their voiceless black slaves were excluded -- but, for better or worse, they were the polity. The only difference from Europe is that the process of nation-building through incremental assimilation that took three thousand years on that side of the Atlantic was accomplished here in three hundred.

This is no mere theoretical issue. It goes to the roots of American order. America evolved, it was not merely put together by accepting anyone who agreed to sign on some credal dotted line. It cannot be held together that way now. Not just nation-building, but also nation-demolition, can be accomplished quickly. That is the danger that the United States now faces.

What are diversity's benefits?

In fact, of course, there is no real pretense that America will be held together by an insistence on any credal dotted line. President Clinton, who has snuck out of the closet on immigration since the election, recently enthused to black columnists about "the Third American Revolution -- to prove that we literally can live without in effect having a dominant European culture." Note carefully: that's CULTURE -- not race. Hispanic and Asian political entrepreneurs are already quite openly building ethnic factions that are in effect foreign colonies, complete with a demand for group privileges and taxpayer-financed education in their own languages.

On current form, all immigration enthusiasts will be endorsing this in about five years.

Obviously, diversity is not necessary for the United States in the world economy: Japan does better without it. Obviously, diversity is not a strength but a weakness: Political tension increases precisely when racial groups are most diverse, particularly when hegemony appears to be up for grabs. Indeed, the United States will be particularly unstable because immigration will continue to shift the ethnic balance. Americans are being asked to base their society upon a demographic rolling log.

Obviously diversity will not abolish race, as some of its more messianic advocates fantasize: It is precisely in diverse societies that categories of race, and racial admixtures, become most important. A diverse America will simply be a caste society like ancient India.

And, quite obviously, diversity is not working. The 1990 Census showed native-born Americans in the immigrant-impacted states, both black and white, voting against diversity with their U-Haul trucks. And they fled to quite different areas: the whites to the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, the white areas of the South; the blacks to the great black metropolises of the South, Atlanta, Washington, D.C. etc. Importing diversity is causing the country to polarize along ethnic lines.

'Why is change a good thing?'

Personally, I see no good reason for this. I liked America the way it was in 1970. I think Americans did too -- but nobody asked them.

Still, suppose you like the diversity fantasy. You think pigs will fly. The lion will lie down with the lamb.

The point remains: Importing diversity confronts America with a spectacular form of Pascal's wager. The consequences of being wrong are irreversible. We know America works now, so why take the risk?

For more conservative commentary on the immigration disaster, visit Peter Brimelow's VDARE site.


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