What do liberals want?

Ken Hechtman is of course the leftist activist in Canada (though more recently he calls himself a liberal, and he has close ties to the U.S.) who regularly comments at VFR. While he and I have been corresponding for several years, we never get into arguments, probably because Mr. Hechtman is a low-key fellow who, unlike yours truly, avoids arguments and keeps his comments to factual rather than ideological or philosophical points. He has at times in the past touched on more substantive matters concerning ultimate goals. For example, last year he shocked VFR readers when he indicated his support for the legalization of polygamy in Canada. In his comment in yesterday’s post about a Muslim running for governor of Washington State, he used a phrase in passing that led me to question him again about what he really believes in, and he was forthcoming.

Ken Hechtman wrote:

I agree, Mohammed Said isn’t serious. Keith Ellison is a serious Muslim politician. Andre Carson is a serious Muslim politician. This guy is an independent no-hoper.

And if I knew nothing else about him, the fact that he’s running for governor would be the give-away. We’re not there yet. I don’t see any serious Muslim candidate running for any state-wide office for a while. I don’t see any serious Muslim candidate running for state-wide or even Congressional office specifically on a foreign policy platform for even longer than that.

LA replies:

You say “We’re not there yet,” by which, as I understand, you mean the left and the Muslims. And won’t you be happy when “we” are there, when “we” gain power in the U.S.

What do you believe in? What do you want?

KH replies:

I want Muslims to take their place at the national table just as every wave of immigrants before them including my own has done. Muslims are two percent of America so one state governor and a senator or two isn’t out of line. Do you remember, after the ghetto riots of the 1960s, what was the conservative argument against public housing and in favor of Thatcherite rent-to-own privatization? It was “people don’t burn down what they own.” Well, people don’t blow up what they own either.

I believe what most Muslims believe on social-democratic welfare-state economics. This is the glue that will hold the Unholy Alliance together after our various foreign wars end. [LA replies: I presume Unholy Alliance means the coalition of the left and the Muslims]

It should go without saying that I believe what they believe on 80-90 percent of foreign policy issues. Darfur depends on which Muslims you ask and so does support for the MEK in Iran. Further, it’s not just that I want what they want on Palestine and Iraq and Afghanistan and all the rest, but I rate the importance of those issues as high as they do.

The rest of it, the social-policy culture-war stuff, I’m as far away from them as you can get. We’re going to butt heads on that stuff—no avoiding it. Within the NDP we already have. Twice on gay marriage alone.

LA replies:

Bottom line, you want to Islamize the West, and you think that in your Islamized West you’re going to keep your social democracy, your tolerance, your freedoms, your rule of law etc.

As you once told me, you gave up your big “L” Leftist delusions years ago with the fall of Soviet Communism, but the fundamental leftist delusions have not left you. For all that you read VFR, you still think Muslims can be assimilated. You think that Muslims are like Jews—which is the ultimate, unforgivable delusion of Jewish left-liberals and right-liberals.

KH writes:

You’re quite right that I think Muslims can be assimilated. Not just here, but in the Middle East as well. I’m a liberal. We believe culture is thermoplastic, not thermosetting—apply heat and it changes shape.

You know what Saudi Arabian housewives do in their spare time? They watch this. This one stupid soap opera is going to do more to Westernize the Middle East, Westernize the Wahhabi heartland of the Middle East, than anything the neocons ever imagined they could accomplish with high-altitude bombing. Your Bat Ye’or and the other Eurabia-watchers are only tuned into half the picture—yes, they are transforming us but we are transforming them far more. Western liberalism flows from Europe to Turkey and Morocco and Lebanon, from Turkey and Morocco and Lebanon to the Middle East and short of invoking Auster-style separationism themselves, there’s nothing they can do about it.

Liberalism defanged most of Christianity and most of diaspora Judaism. You admit this yourself. Islam will be a harder nut to crack for reasons I’ve gone into before. But there’s no doubt in my mind we can do it.

With respect, I think what’s delusional is to believe that if we open the door even a crack, we’ll all be transported through to the 7th century Arabian desert.

LA replies:

Yes, yes, of course, all kinds of influences can temporarily weaken Islamic practice and change customs and manners in Islamic countries. But as long as Islam remains Islam, there is always the potential and the likelihood that it will return in force, as has happened over and over in history.

So what’s the advantage of bringing them here? Why do this thing that requires all this social engineering and may fail? Why not just leave them where they are? What is it that drives you?

KH replies:

Because at the end of the day I want one world and one people, not 200 mutually suspicious nation-states and 5000 mutually suspicious tribes. The Brotherhood of Man and all that …

And beaming propaganda in by satellite TV can only go so far. It’s retail politics that’s really going to do this—person-to-person contacts from Westerners in the West to Muslims in the West to Muslims back home. The Emir of the UAE gets this. The UAE spends far more to send their kids to school n the West than it would cost to build a state of the art higher education system at home. In your terms, this is a deliberate policy of national suicide, planned and executed at the highest level. They know what their kids are going to be like when they return after five or 10 years in the West. And they want this.

Libya does the same thing. The Libyan government will pay for their kids to go to school anywhere in the world.

LA replies:

All right, now I understand where you’re coming from, stated loud and clear.

What the Communists sought through the world-wide dictatorship of the proletariat and the construction of a classless society, One World, you seek through the world-wide demographic merging of all peoples, cultures, and nations.

Earlier I was going to ask you, re your comment, “Yes, they are transforming us but we are transforming them far more,” why we should want to let them transform us at all? But you’ve answered the question. You don’t care about preserving us. Your program is to dispense with everything about us that stands in the way of one world, one people.

Indeed, if there were any Western country that was distinct and homogeneous, say, the Irish as they were up until the mid 1990s with barely a single nonwhite person on the island, a country that just existed by itself and was bothering nobody, your program would require that Ireland be made over into a multiracial, multicultural, Muslim, Indian, African, Chinese country. Your program would allow no society, culture, or people to continue to exist as it is, or, rather, to exist at all. And you regard this program as humanitarian.

- end of initial entry -

Chris B. writes:

One Worldism has no conception of Otherness. Because everyone is deemed to be “One” there is no discerning of serious differences in the world’s various people’s. Ken Hechtman is blind, cognitively and ethically blind, to the damage his scheme does to Canada and other Western countries.

Chris B. continues:

I should also add that Ken Hechtman is a chiliast, or at least his desire for a “Brotherhood of Man” is derived from a religious impulse for union with the infinite. St. Augustine’s psychology included two passions, Amor Sui (love of self) and Amor Dei (love of God). Mr. Hechtman, among others like him, has blended religious feeling with human society—hence his desire for “Oneness” with all humanity.

It won’t work of course. But for him to give up this hope would mean falling into a state of sin with no hope of Luciferian evolution to a higher state.

Joseph L. writes:

Ken Hechtman is, refreshingly, both forthright and civil.

But his goal, stated loud and clear, is incompletely stated. He wants “one world and one people, not 200 mutually suspicious nation-states and 5000 mutually suspicious tribes,” but he says nothing about what this one people will believe, nor how they will behave. The homogeneity of his ideal world does not determine the nature of that world. One world and one people under sharia law is consistent with his goal. That is not what he has in mind at all, but nothing he says rules it out. Given his liberalism, and hence his hostility to any idea of a natural kind, I don’t see how he can affirm anything of that one world at all, beyond the fact of its unity.

I hope KH will remain civil if one points out that at the heart of his vision is a vacuum, the same void recognized by Le Conservateur when “tolerance” is erected as the keystone of civilization.

LA replies;

Ken Hechtman once told me, and this has been discussed at VFR, that since the fall of Soviet Communism, he doesn’t believe in any Big Truth. His main concern is to prevent someone else’s Big Truth from dominating him. And he pursues this end through liberalism, relativism, diversity, and so on. But now he says be believes in the Brotherhood of Man. If that’s not a Big Truth, what is?

Sebastian writes:

Regarding your exchange with Ken Hechtman, does he not see the profound cultural arrogance and imperialism implicit in his view? One World means everyone adopting soft liberal manners like those of Ken Hechtman. All the proud peoples of the world must learn to accept same-sex marriage, promiscuity and libertine lifestyles. Instead of genuine diversity, he wants the world be one huge San Francisco, albeit in Technicolor. It is such an insular perspective. He has no respect for the traditions, culture and languages of anyone. All cultures are great if and only if they are not real but reducible to dresses and spicy food; only if the whole of human life is robbed of all existentiality and nothing really means anything. Muslims are cool dude, if they listen to Zeppelin.

I takes a genuine appreciation of tradition and diversity to have enough respect for a foreign culture to fear its influence or take its claims seriously. By shrugging at Islam, he therein shows his contempt for it. It’s not naivete; it’s arrogance.

After reading the exchange, I wonder if he’s for real and not some conservative guy having fun at your expense.

LA replies:

Well if he is, he’s been putting on a quite an act for his whole life. He is an activist in the NDP (New Democratic Party) in Canada, and known as a journalist, though I don’t think he’s been doing that lately, and, of course, he was arrested as a spy by the Taliban in 2001 when he went to Afghanistan as a freelance journalist. He was also famously expelled from Columbia University in 1987 for taking uranium from a forgotten underground storage chamber beneath the Chemistry Building (perhaps left over from the Manhattan Project) and keeping it in his dorm room.

LA continues:

On the substance, I think Sebastian is mistaken in not taking Mr. Hechtman seriously. I kept pressing him to find out what he really wants, what is all this diversity and immigration and welcoming of other cultures really aimed at? And he told me.

Now, do liberals ever tell us what is their bottom line, as Ken Hechtman has done here? Do they ever tell us where the ever greater mixing of peoples is heading, when we will have enough diversity? No. Mr. Hechtman has told us. He’s told us what all liberals ultimately believe and, even if they don’t consciously believe it, where their demands inevitably must lead. And if we want to have a real debate in this country, we need to identify where the other side’s beliefs are really heading and we need to bring out what is their bottom line, which they themselves never state, at least voluntarily.

That’s what I did in the Introduction of The Path to National Suicide, where I wrote:

One can only wonder what would happen if the proponents of open immigration allowed the issue to be discussed, not as a moralistic dichotomy, but in terms of its real consequences. Instead of saying: “We believe in the equal and unlimited right of all people to immigrate to the U.S. and enrich our land with their diversity,” what if they said: “We believe in an immigration policy which must result in a staggering increase in our population, a revolution in our culture and way of life, and the gradual submergence of our current population by Hispanic and Caribbean and Asian peoples.” Such frankness would open up an honest debate between those who favor a radical change in America’s ethnic and cultural identity and those who think this nation should preserve its way of life and its predominant, European-American character. That is the actual choice—as distinct from the theoretical choice between “equality” and “racism”—that our nation faces. But the tyranny of silence has prevented the American people from freely making that choice.

Robert C. writes:

Ask him if he would favor moving half of China to Africa, and half of Africa to China, if he could. Or half of Europe to Africa. What does he suppose that the Chinese and Africans would think of that?

Ken Hechtman replies:

Yeah, well, we as a species have made an exact science of turning humans into monsters. We don’t know nearly as much about turning monsters back into humans. Most of what we do know comes from the DDR (Disarmament, Demobilization and Re-integration) programs that deal with African child soldiers. Canada does a lot of work in this area. It’s not easy and they don’t salvage everyone but they’ve taken savages worse than the ones in the picture (fake or not) and taught them how to be human again and it didn’t take 100 years.

LA replies:

I wonder why you blame the whole human species for the formation of monsters that has occurred only among specific human groups, namely the Palestinians and Africans. Yes, there were the Nazis, but we conquered Nazi Germany put it under military rule, and de-Nazified it.

Further, while you attribute the production of monsters to the “human species,” thus implicitly making the West and the English speaking peoples party to the production of monsters, you don’t give Western civilization credit for turning barbarian tribesmen into civilized Christians, and for turning generation after generation of children into civilized men and women, or for settling the entire wild continent of America west of the Alleghenies in about 100 years and making it part of civilization. Those achievements were of a specific culture and people, not of the whole human race, and not of modern liberalism. Yet you would destroy that people and culture in the One World that you long to create. You would include people you describe as monsters in a single Israel-Palestinian state and then put the burden of de-monster-fying them on the civilized Israelis whom the monsters seek to destroy.

I mean there’s leftism/liberalism in a nutshell: to drag down the good, drag down the productive, drag down our own, for the sake of equalizing them with the bad, the destructive, and the alien. The good become morally and materially responsible for those trying to destroy them. It’s right out of Atlas Shrugged.

Andy K. writes:

KH wrote:

Because at the end of the day I want one world and one people, not 200 mutually suspicious nation-states and 5000 mutually suspicious tribes. The Brotherhood of Man and all that …

I assume he means a people of one mixed race and of one faith, if any. This sounds like a world of no diversity, which is ironic, as in order to reach this goal we must first maximize diversity and destroy the traditional West via 3rd world immigration and Multiculturalism. This is where I thought liberalism would end. But Ken doesn’t just stop there, he then wants to destroy his creation, which could only be done via several generations of forced interracial marriages, or by some massive futuristic test-tube baby genetic breeding! And this still hasn’t taken into account how he would have the rest of the world go along with this.

Mark Jaws writes:

This is nothing new. When it started to become evident that their social engineering programs were not achieving the desired effects of equality, the lefties started musing about doing away with the races through miscegenation—as if the East Asians would go along gleefully. As I have always said, the Obama constituency presents no long term threat to our western people—it is the white leftists who destroy from within. In a word, these people are dangerously delusional and they must be stopped by any means necessary.

LA replies:

Of course, the Old left changing into multiculturalism has been a recognized theme for almost 20 years.

What is new is that Ken H. connected the diversity/multicultural idea with the One World idea. The left don’t just want more diversity, they want to have more diversity so as to eliminate all existing nations and make humanity One. I’ve been saying things like that for a long time. But to have a leftie openly say it, and to say it in Ken Hechtman’s direct, low-key manner, is very useful.

But apparently you feel that this whole discussion is not worthwhile at all.

KH replying to Andy K:
I don’t mean that at all. My utopian schemes are ambitious enough without it. I don’t want to get rid of actual racial and religious differences. I just want to get rid of the idea that the differences are worth fighting over.

LA replies:

But as I’m sure you realize, in every very racially diverse society, the problems become so insoluble that liberals start saying that the only way to solve them is through intermarriage, and racial intermarriage starts to become a preferred ideal.

LA continues:

If you don’t want to get rid of actual racial and religious differences, then why do you want to keep bringing more Muslims into Canada, and empower them politically, and legalize polygamy (and probably sharia for all I know)? Such incompatible diversity can have one of two effects. It can force the majority to give up its culture so as to accommodate the Muslims, which would mean reducing and eliminating the majority culture, which would mean getting rid of actual cultural and religious differences, which you say you don’t want to happen. Or it can lead the majority to resist this threat to its existence and fight back, which also goes against what you want, since you “just want to get rid of the idea that differences are worth fighting over.” So, by bringing such an incompatible culture into our society, you are either going to DECREASE actual diversity rather than preserve it, or INCREASE cultural conflict rather than getting rid of it. You say you want diversity and peace, but what you’re going to get is either uniformity or war.

Which returns me to my question to you in our initial exchange. If you believe in peace and concord, isn’t it best achieved with each people in its own house, living contentedly among its own kind, rather than forcing them all peoples together, so that no one has his own house? Don’t you see that your diversity scheme is as anti-natural and anti-human as the Communism you once believed in?

Ken Hechtman replies:

I probably have a much narrower definition of “incompatible” than you do. I also believe immigrants can be assimilated. And the problem with “each people in its own house” is that it’s too easy to spread lies and whip up fear and hate against the people in the other house when nobody really knows anything about them.

I mean, there are enough genuine elements of Muslim culture that will offend most Americans and vice-versa. Troublemakers with an agenda shouldn’t be able to make it worse than it is with claims that bestiality is common among Americans (I heard this over and over in Pakistan) or cannibalism is common among Muslims. When you hear the word Muslim, your first thought should be of some real person you know from school or work or the neighborhood—not a (possibly fake) gore-porn picture from a Zionist website. And same rules apply—J. Random Waziristan Villager should hear the bestiality story and say “That’s gotta be crap! My neighbor’s cousin lives in Atlantic City and if he’d seen anything like that he’d have said so.”

But at bottom, I believe free migration is a basic human right. It’s not that I want to “bring” Muslims or anyone else to Canada. It’s that if somebody wants to come live here the government has no business saying they can’t do it.

LA replies:

I believe free migration is a basic human right…. If somebody wants to come live here the government has no business saying [he] can’t do it.
—Ken Hechtman

With a straight face, as though it were the most ordinary, commonsensical thing in the world, you say that no country has the right to control who enters it, which means that no country has the right to exist. If 10 million Chinese and 10 million Pakistanis decided tomorrow that they wanted to move to Canada, you would say, let them in, it’s their right. If 100 million Chinese and 30 million Mexicans and 20 million Muslims and 10 million Africans and the entire population of Haiti said tomorrow that they wanted to move to the US, you would say, let them in, it’s their right.

It’s simply insane. No one has the right to utter such insane things.

LA continues:

If governments have no business saying who enters the territory for which those governments are responsible, then who or what shall be responsible for securing the safety and peace of any territory and people anywhere? Mr. Hechtman says he believes in social democracy. Social democracy implies government. But he denies the most basic power and duty of government. And thus he denies the legitimacy of government itself. If millions of Africans wanted to enter a country that had no available housing, so that they’d have to construct vast shanty towns, which they wouldn’t mind doing, because shanty towns in the wealthier country they seek to enter would still be preferable to the shanty towns they inhabited in their native country, Hechtman would say that it’s not the business of government to keep them out. Let them in and let them build their shanty towns. So he’s saying that a nation’s government has no power to prevent the invasion, degradation, and impoverishment of that nation—no power to secure its basic order and the well being of its citizens. What happens, then, to his social democracy, his social justice, his welfare, his anti-hate laws, his peaceful society? He wants total anarchy, and he wants an orderly society presided over by a Provider Government! Has he thought any of this through at all? It appears not.

Ken Hechtman replies:

Most of the border controls on people that exist in the West came in as a temporary emergency measure that was supposed to be repealed at the end of WWI. Much like income tax… Before that, there were border controls on goods but almost none on people. Other than Britain, most countries didn’t even have passports before then and the ones that did also used them to control internal travel.

A hundred years ago, when race and religion and nationality were much more important to more people than they are now, we also had much more open borders. [LA replies: Absurd and counterfactual. There wasn’t global migration from the whole world going on then. There wasn’t a Mexico that would, if it could, send 30 million people to the U.S. There wasn’t a China in which, as a Chinese person once told a journalist, that if they could, every person in China including the lampposts would go to America. That’s a billion people. Second, when the huge European immigration began, it was opposed and was shut down after a few decades.] Someone from that time wouldn’t think what I said was insane, even if he’d probably take your side over mine on most everything else.

And “national right to exist” is a emotional hot-button I first heard used by Zionists. I don’t buy into that frame or any of the assumptions behind it.

[LA replies: Well, excuse me. You assert out of the blue an unlimited right of migration which has never existed or been recognized by anyone, even the UN. And at the same time you casually, on the basis of nothing but your own will, deny the right of national existence, which even the super-liberal UN recognizes. You’re beyond the left. You’re off in some fantasy land of your own.

Which may mean that, contrary to what I thought earlier, you are not representative of the true though often unspoken beliefs of liberal leftists. There are lots of open-borders advocates around, ranging from the Catholic hierarchy to George W. Bush; but even they recognize that it’s up to each government to adopt the open borders policy that the advocates think the governments ought to adopt. But you go beyond that. You deny that the government of each country has any say at all in immigration policy. You don’t say to the government of the U.S. or Canada, “I think you ought to adopt the open borders policy that I think is right.” No. You say, “You, the governments of Canada and the U.S., have no right at all to determine who comes into your country. So just get out of the way and let my Muslim friends in.”

So, again, you seem to go beyond, at least in my experience, any recognizable left, though perhaps some of the anarchist paleolibertarians and Cato-ists speak the way you do. But of course, they don’t believe in government at all . You believe in social democracy, an activist government that looks after its people. Yet you want this same government to have no control over who enters the country.]

Joseph C. writes:

Your parlay with Ken Hechtman illustrates forthrightly that the biggest battle in the world is not freedom vs. terrorism, but nationalism vs. transnationalism. Hechtman has stated honestly what most liberals believe—i.e., that no country has a right to exist as a sovereign entity. Of course, he has plenty of company—liberals, neocons, the Catholic church, the Evangelical Christians, Jews, Democrats, Republicans (especially Bush and McCain), ad nauseam.

A few months ago there were some commercials featuring Chris Matthews warning parents about teaching their children a four letter word—“HATE.” I submit that Matthews et al have forgotten the most important four letter word in the English language—“THEM.”

I am glad Hechtman is at least honest about his beliefs. If only the rest would be as honest we would actually have a target to shoot at.

Joseph L. writes:

Ken Hechtman’s program of assimilation though immigration hasn’t worked very well with this Canadian family with links to Al Qaeda. It didn’t work with Vince Weiguang Li, either.

A question, then: is Ken Hechtman going to acknowledge the consequences suffered by Canadians, like Tim McLean, along the way as his plan unfolds? Is the bestial killing of bystanders like McLean truly worth it, in Hechtman’s view? What, for Hechtman, would be an unacceptable price to pay?

Sam B. writes:

Mr. Hechtman is likely a nominal (secular) Jew, and the rest falls into place—an admirer of the Soviet “experiment” (like many of my fellow Jews, and I as a teenager in the mid-late 1930s}, until it became obvious, very early in the game, to old ex-leftists, and they early gave up on the Dream. But even as late as the last decades of the last century, Mr. Hechtman, though admittedly very young, still had Soviet (red) stars in his eyes. And in the long night preceding his time, the great fighters contra the Soviet dream had been the thousands of dissidents in Stalin Russia. The late great Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who spoke the truth about the Gulag, Sakharov, Sharansky—all put their lives on the line—and all pierced the empty shell that was the West’s denial of Soviet realities. In the West, Arthur Koestler, Ignazio Silone, George Orwell, Whittaker Chambers—these were crying havoc when the babes of Hollywood wept and deplored blacklists. Now the Hollywood liberal establishment have their own blacklist of conservative actors and writers. How the worm turns!

Mr. Hechtman with his One (Soviet) World—or rather a child’s vision of that world—was still dreaming: “The International Soviet shall be the Human Race.” This is someone who in his Himalayan guilt would like nothing better than to have the West prostrate itself before that great abstraction of the left, some amorphous glob of “World Humanity.”

As the late Isaac Bashevis Singer put it in his novel The Family Moskat, alluding to the Maskillim (Jews of the Jewish enlightenment—18th and early 19th centuries):

A new generation [of Jews] has arisen that has only one thing in mind—humanity! They weep bitter tears over every Ivan, every Slav. There’s only one nation they’ve got no use for…their own flesh and blood…”

And KH writes:

“Liberalism defanged most of Christianity and most of diaspora Judaism.”

Apart from the arrogance of the phrase, worse luck for “most of Christianity,” which happens to be a pretty large slice of the world’s population, Mr. Hechtman’s humanity,—liberalism a mere 200 years old; Christianity, a not so mere 2000—in which there are enough denominations and schismatic differences to satisfy the bleeding heart of Mr. Hechtman (“multi-Christianism,” to coin a word). Let’s see who outlasts whom.

And how much of a threat is it that impels Mr. Hechtman to cry out that it’s a good thing that liberalism not only “defanged” Christianity, but also that other succubus, “diaspora Judaism”? Of course, Islam (or Islamists) doesn’t need “defanging” since it can be so easily assimilated. It appears that Mr. Hechtman’s—shall we call it paranoia?—is very selective.

Dream on, Mr. Hechtman—your-latter day world vision is about as likely to be fulfilled as your once believed-in humane Communist world order!

LA replies:

Actually KH said that Christianity and disaspora Judaism had to be defanged, while Islam will be a harder nut to crack. So Christianity and Judaism have (or had) fangs; Islam is a hart nut.

(The next three comments are out of order; they were actually sent earlier but are being posted here.)

Lydia McGrew writes:

Your correspondent KH says, of Muslims, “[Y]es, they are transforming us but we are transforming them far more.”

I’m surprised no one has pointed out in the thread yet that the second part of this appears to be a flat-out empirical falsehood. On item after item, it is the Westerners that have backed down, changed, accommodated, rather than successfully demanding even fairly minor and moderate cultural compromise on the part of Muslims. To name just one item, instead of the Muslims’ adapting and giving up an elaborate religious washing ritual five times a day, including foot washing, American government-run entities (universities and airports) have now built them religious ritual footbaths in public restrooms. This would have been unthinkable even twenty years ago. Examples of the transformation of the West along these lines could be multiplied ad nauseam, especially when we include England, which is further down the path than we are. Beyond all doubt, they are transforming us far more than we are transforming them.

LA replies:

Absolutely correct. And why doesn’t Mr. Hechtman notice this? Well, why should he? As he has said himself, his agenda is not to preserve our existing society, but to advance Muslim power and influence in Canada and America as step toward building One World. So, when our culture loses ground to Muslims, he’s not going to bothered by it or place much importance on it. But when there’s a Saudi TV show that expresses secular sensibilties, he thinks that that is having a a bigger impact on Islam than the rapid spread of Muslim populations and Islamic influences in the West is having on the West.

Also, I hope Mr. Hechtman doesn’t feel he’s being ganged up on here, despite the fact that in this discussion it’s everyone else against him. His ideas and agenda are being opposed, not him personally.

Hannon writes:

A very worthwhile post indeed. It cuts through reams of ponderous argumentation. The point that stood out for me was where Hechtman says:

” … yes, they are transforming us but we are transforming them far more. Western liberalism flows from Europe to Turkey and Morocco … and short of invoking Auster-style separationism themselves, there’s nothing they can do about it.”

This misleading assertion leaves off the fact that areas under long term Islamic dominance have not undergone any permanent immigration by Westerners (or others) to speak of. The arrival of Muslims as residents of Western countries is a one-way street and exemplifies the desire of those in the “developing countries” to head for greener pastures at any opportunity. It cannot work in reverse.

If liberalism successfully corrupts the Muslim world as Hechtman seems sure will be the case, will they not be in a similar situation to what the West faces now—the seemingly inexorable degradation of society under the banner of One Us, tolerance, etc.? We have a fairly good idea of what reactionary Islamic conservatism looks like, and if that can’t stem the tide from the left, what can?

LA writes:

It may seem, as I said earlier, that Ken Hechtman’s views are so extreme that they cannot be seen as representative of even the usual (i.e. the radical) pro-large-scale immigration, pro-open-borders position, such as that of the people who supported the Comprehensive Immigration Reform. But, because his views are so extreme, they might provide a useful index to see where open-borders supporters are really coming from.

Here is a questionnaire based on his positions, which range from less extreme to more extreme. When debating with open borders supporters, we could ask them the following:

Do you strongly agree, agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, agree, or strongly disagree with each of these statements, and why?

1. I want Muslims to take their place at the national table just as every wave of immigrants before them.

2. I think Muslims can be assimilated. Not just here, but in the Middle East as well. I believe culture is thermoplastic—apply heat and it changes shape.

3. At the end of the day I want one world and one people, not 200 mutually suspicious nation-states and 5000 mutually suspicious tribes. The Brotherhood of Man and all that.

4. Free migration is a basic human right…. If people want to come live here the government has no business saying they can’t do it.

5. “National right to exist” is an emotional hot-button. I don’t buy into that frame or any of the assumptions behind it.

Robert B. writes:

What Hechtman has admitted to, unwittingly, is that he is still a dyed in the wool, Soviet-style Communist. As with the neocons, when it became clear to the West (thanks to people like Solzhenitsyn) what an evil Communism really is, these people gave up on “revolution” and infiltrated the established parties. Slowly, as in Fabian Socialism, they have marched us down a road that we would not have accepted if asked directly.

Remember, that in Nazi Germany, a socialist state, big business went along with it—better to get a guaranteed 10 percent profit than to have to risk competition with anyone and a zero profit. Likewise, in America, business has gone along with the societal change. And it is precisely this change—this zero summing of mankind, that the Third World and Islam in particular, reject. They don’t want it. They do not want to become like America. They absolutely do not want to become what they see as Americans. Sure, they will take our wealth if they live here, but they will not take “our way.” This is absolutely the story of Iran and other “extremist” Islamic republics. They came, they saw, they rejected—“us.” This is probably why the higher the education and the more exposure to the West Moslems have, the more they hate us.

And therein lies Hechtman’s mistake. He has rejected or otherwise not foreseen what Islam is capable of. Does he not see why Iran did what they did? Carter instigated it, he could not see it. They didn’t revolt so they could sit around and sing “Kumbaya” with the Western leftists, they revolted so they could get away from that. The Iranians I was in school with at the time made it very clear how much they hated the West and its lack of morals and manly courage—how we let women take over our society and ruin it.

And maybe, just like the USSR met its demise, in some respects, on Islamic soil, so the Western leftists will reach their demise with Islam—maybe that is the long term historical purpose of Islam, to destroy the modern Western Leftist State, to break its back. Maybe then those of us that are left can rise up and take back what was once ours. Remember, history is very seldom one man’s lifetime—more often than not, it requires centuries to unfold. Today, we still live in the shadow of the French Revolution and its Reign of Terror. They are still fighting for the egalitarianism of the French Revolution and destroying anyone that gets in their path.

Andrea C. writes:

Hi, your exchange with Ken Hechtman is another clear and sad portrayal of the intractable liberal drive for one world. But KH went on to define what he’s after even better when he said he wants to “get rid of the idea that differences [are ever] worth fighting for.” To have nothing worth fighting for means there are no beliefs at all.

To supplement the ideas raised by the discussion with KH I recommend Evan Sayet “How Modern Liberals Think” on YouTube. Evan Sayet gets to the heart of why KH and others like him pursue antipathy toward beliefs and how this pursuit leads INEVITABLY to the promotion of evil. ES, “The modern liberal looks at 10,000 years of human history and sees that none of the ideas, religions, philosophies have lead to a world devoid of war, poverty, and injustice so the cause [of these things] must be found, can only be found, in the attempt to be right.”

JS writes:

“I’m a liberal. We believe culture is thermoplastic, not thermosetting—apply heat and it changes shape.”

I’m a conservative, and I believe the same thing. It’s just that I don’t believe that we should do something simply because we can. And KH’s glib “apply heat” is a short-hand for the application of the coercive power of the state in mega-tonnages unknown outside of dictatorships.

“I don’t want to get rid of actual racial and religious differences. I just want to get rid of the idea that the differences are worth fighting over.”

One thing which never changes is the left’s blindness to the law of unintended consequences. Whether KH wants it or not, the world he is trying to conjure up will be one in which racial and religious identity will be actively discouraged. And not just for other people, but for KH himself. The Soviet Union was dedicated to exactly the same idea KH is pushing (why does he think that he’s abandoned Communism?), and they persecuted their racial and religious minorities for just that reason. Left wing politics are a jealous god, and thou shalt have no other gods before them.

August 8

Ken Hechtman writes:

You’re right, I’m not coming from the same place as John McCain and Edward Kennedy on this issue. I’m coming from here:

By its own admission, No One Is Illegal is a radical group with a radical stand. It’s not the same as the mainstream “comprehensive immigration reform” movement.

I used to do some work on NOII campaigns and events a couple of years ago. I’ll still go to the occasional event but I’m less involved with them now. To the extent that I can, I try to bring the NDP towards NOII’s position. Sometimes it works. Last year, the party made recognition of foreign credentials a top priority and that was in part because another NOII member and I were in the right room at the right time.

I agree that it would be a useful exercise for you to learn who’s who on our side (and not simply let Discover The Network tar everyone with the same brush). Much like I find it useful to learn who’s who on yours (and not let the Southern Poverty Law Center tar everyone with the same brush). But do you really need to rate everyone in reference to me personally?

It may seem, as I said earlier, that Ken Hechtman’s views are so extreme that they cannot be seen as representative of even the usual (i.e. the radical) pro-large-scale immigration, pro-open-borders position, such as that of the people who supported the Comprehensive Immigration Reform. But, because his views are so extreme, they might provide a useful index to see where open-borders supporters are really coming from.

LA replies:

I don’t know that it’s in terms of you personally, but rather that you gave virtually classic expression to certain positions, and it struck me that the way people respond to those positions would be informative. Besides, what’s wrong with being a touchstone?

Cindi S. writes:

Ken Hechtman believes Islam is assimilable? Assimilable to what, in lieu of a culture he doesn’t believe in, doesn’t champion and doesn’t want?

Another thing: he believes governments don’t have the right to national sovereignty and borders? He’s right; governments don’t have RIGHTS. But people do. We don’t have the right to keep intruders out of our own house?

KH doesn’t have a really coherent philosophy but he is dangerous.

Adela G. writes:

By the way, I found Ken Hechtman utterly chilling in the narcissism underlying his civil and reasonable tone. In essence, he’s decided the One World model should be imposed on billions of people because he doesn’t want to be dominated by anyone else’s ideology. Lovely. As a typical liberal, he is quite unaware of the irony and the inconsistency of his position. And the inhumanity.

Ken Hechtman writes:

Well, it’s five direct quotes of mine. And I don’t have the standing to be the touchstone for this. I’m not the guy who decides what the movement stands for, I’m just telling you the parts of it I believe in. If you skimmed the NOII article you’ll see that Jaggi Singh and the other people interviewed put much more emphasis on crypto-Marxist explanations of everything (what they call their “class analysis”) than I do.

I watched most of the Evan Sayet Youtube. I could pick it apart line by line but it’s 45 minutes long. I don’t have the time to write that and you probably don’t have the time to read it. So I’ll accept (with many reservations) his premise that liberals are deeply suspicious of anyone who needs to be right at all costs. But (as you can imagine) we tell the story differently. This is how we believe conservatives think:

We call them “The Right Man”:

Essential here is that the “Right Man” must always have his way and is afraid of losing face above all (“How dare you talk to me this way?”): anything that might be an indication of his infallibility or erroneous ways, something that he can never admit.

Or “The Violent Man”:

“In 1954, Van Vogt began work on a war novel called The Violent Man, which was set in a Chinese prison camp. The commandant of the camp is one of those savagely authoritarian figures who would instantly, and without hesitation, order the execution of anyone who challenges his authority. Van Vogt was creating the type from observation of men like Hitler and Stalin. And, as he thought about the murderous behaviour of the commandant, he found himself wondering: “What could motivate a man like that?” Why is it that some men believe that anyone who contradicts them is either dishonest or downright wicked? Do they really believe, in their heart of hearts, that they are gods who are incapable of being fallible? If so are, are they in some sense insane, like a man who thinks he is Julius Caesar?”

“Looking around for examples, it struck Van Vogt that male authoritarian behaviour is far too commonplace to be regarded as insanity…. [For example,] marriage seems to bring out the “authoritarian” personality in many males, according to Van Vogt’s observation.”

Or “The Authoritarian Personality”:

The book, Conservatives without Conscience, makes extensive use of the research into right-wing authoritarianism of University of Manitoba Professor Robert Altemeyer. The title is a play on The Conscience of a Conservative, a seminal book attributed to Barry Goldwater and ghostwritten by L. Brent Bozell Jr.. Goldwater and Dean had planned to write such a book in the 1980s in response to their disaffection with the religious right.

True story: Last spring I went to Manitoba to work for Robert Altemeyer’s son’s re-election campaign to the Manitoba legislature. I’d heard of Rob Jr as the inventor of the Global Change Game, in which 60-odd players, each representing 100 million people in the world, act out world politics on a map the size of a school gym. I didn’t make the connection at first that he was the son of Rob Sr. Anyway, he told me the story of how his father had used the game in his research. He ran several simulations in which the game was populated exclusively by right-wing authoritarians and they managed to blow themselves up in a nuclear war every time.

LA replies:

This is low-level leftist garbage, Adorno-type bigotry against, basically, all non-leftists and ordinary people, on the level of “Pleasantville,” “American Beauty,” and a thousand other productions aimed at portraying ordinary people as fascists, sexually repressed, depraved, etc.

The fact that this is the way that “you,” meaning your fellow liberals and yourself, see conservatives, only further underscores the fact contained in your program to merge all nations into one through open borders and mass migrations: you seek to destroy us.

You want to destroy Canada, the U.S. and Europe. You want to destroy everything the West and the Western peoples have been.

That’s what your ideas add up to. The only difference between you and your fellow leftists or liberals is that you are less confrontational than they, more moderate and civil.

Adela G. replies:

Well, I don’t consider seeking to destroy us a moderate position. I consider it a threat.

And I am unimpressed by Ken Hechtman’s civility or maybe I should say it is overshadowed by the menace inherent in his position.

Gintas writes:

We watched the Olympics opening ceremony last night. I can’t imagine anyone not appreciating the variety of peoples we saw in the parade of nations. But what does Ken Hechtman see? Does he really want to throw them all into a pot and melt them down to the statistical genetic average, with a lowest common denominator culture?

LA replies:

According to KH, the borders of all countries will be effectively eliminated, leading to unlimited global migration and ultimately to One World, One People. At the same time, he says, ethic and religious diversity will preserved. Well, maybe in the countries from which the immigrants are coming, but not in the countries to which they are coming, which will simply cease to exist as distinct countries and cultures.

KH’s ideas are simply a formula to destroy everything that we are, and should be identified as such.

Janne K. writes:

Thank you for posting Ken Hechtman’s views. It was extremely illuminating and confirms some of my own observations based on discussions with leftists.

1. Hubris. According to Hechtman, liberal culture with soap operas an such is simply so attractive that it tames Islam all by itself. This can easily be refuted by the fact that Islamic radicalism is prevalent in liberal Europe among highly educated individuals exposed to the Western liberal way of life.

You can enjoy soap operas and still be a die hard jihadist.

2. Moralism. Every single political issue can be reduced to a simple right or wrong dilemma. It is morally wrong to prevent people from immigrating to the West and therefore all border controls must be eliminated. The principle of self-preservation does not count. Any attempt to distinguish between groups of people is discriminatory.

3. Demonization and primitive kitchen psychology. Those who do not agree with liberal principles have psychological problems or they are evil people who are against ‘good’. This can best be illustrated by Hechtman’s comments about Global Change Game and conservatives that played it.

Gintas writes:

Tip to Ken Hechtman about the Global Change Game: each of the participants didn’t really represent anyone, or any country. No authoritarians really inherited the earth. No nukes really flew. It was a game, with arbitrary victory conditions! It had nothing to do with reality.

There are people who take these games seriously. Typically they are liberals detached from reality who think that everyone playing the game should play this game like they’re in the movie Wargames, and if they don’t have peace and lots of diplomacy (Diplomacy Good!) in the game, real people will die. So they let the Russians run wild across Europe, or give California to the Japanese, or form 10 Super-UNs in parallel. Victory conditions usually favor the liberal interpretation of how these little historical replays should run. If you can help form 20 Super UNs, you win. if you successfully defend the West you lose.

The non-liberal folks—they’re always labeled “authoritarian”—probably played like it was a game of Risk. I know I would. When I’ve played Risk with friends, I’ve always played a bit crazy, and if I had a “nuke” option (regrettably missing from the game) I’d let fly with the works. Not because I really want to lay waste to large chunks of the real world. It’s called “We’ve played this long enough, it’s time to call it a night” or “Let’s have a little fun with so-and-so” or “I will bury you!! ” (banging a shoe on the table), or “this useless sector of the world could use some heavy metal mining opportunities!” with laughter and fun all around, and epic struggles over obscure and out-of-the-way locations, and no one really cares who wins. It’s not Really Running a Country. Liberals who take these games super-seriously cannot understand this. They’re like women who think they understand men but do not.

LA replies:

These leftists live in an unreal world and are hyper-alienated from anyone who doesn’t share their unreality.

August 10

Steve R. writes:

Ken was not properly understood. Having carefully reread his posts and the criticisms, I see that he actually does not contradict himself; his logic is in fact impeccable. It just requires that two little facts be true:

That Muslims and the rest of the non-Western world are on the path to abandon their values and adopt his. So One Worldism will pose no problem for him and the West.

That if immigration to Western countries became completely open, Third Worlders would likely migrate to the West only in the same numbers as they did prior to World War I. So that our welfare states would not be imperiled.

He said that “liberals are deeply suspicious of anyone who needs to be right at all costs,” and that we rightists think we’re infallible. No doubt he is sure about this. Probably 100 percent sure? So he is, no doubt, deeply suspicious of himself.

See—it all makes sense.

P.S. I realize I’m quite late to this party and perhaps too late for this to be posted. But I loved this thread and spent a fair part of the last couple days trying to figure out if there was some possible way to find logic in Ken’s thinking. I had to share with someone that only with these absurdities does he not contradict himself .

Vivek G. writes from India:

KH wrote:

“Because at the end of the day I want one world and one people, not 200 mutually suspicious nation-states and 5000 mutually suspicious tribes. The Brotherhood of Man and all that …”

What makes you (KH) believe that “one world” and “one people” will remove suspicion from the minds and hearts of humans? And what makes you believe that if nation-states (or traditions) or tribes survive as fairly homogenous groups they will necessarily be mutually suspicious?

Your assumptions that (1) one people, one world is not only a solution but THE UNIQUE solution to the problem of mutual suspicion, and (2) until there is one world and one people, there will be mutual suspicion, have no solid basis.

If mutual suspicion is THE PROBLEM, why can we not think of solving this problem in some reasonable way? Why this dogmatism of one people, one world?

Auster-like Separationism seeks only separation, and is not based on suspicion, but a reasonable and realistic knowledge of one group. I, personally, am of a more extreme view than LA is. However I believe that what LA is saying is THE LEAST that needs to be done.

KH wrote:

“But at bottom, I believe free migration is a basic human right. It’s not that I want to ‘bring’ Muslims or anyone else to Canada. It’s that if somebody wants to come live here the government has no business saying they can’t do it.”

So it is your belief vs. others’ belief again. Now, why are you so suspicious of others’ beliefs? If people should be FREE to migrate, why should people not be FREE to OPPOSE migration? Why should the government have no business saying they can’t do it, when the government legitimately acts as per the WILL of ITS PEOPLE? Do you want to control what other people must will? In that case, what freedom are you giving to the people? I do not mean to offend you, but I am reminded of a saying, “Beware of the person who knows what is GOOD for others, for there hides a tyrant”.

If I may suggest, please do understand that people can live according to their traditions without being unduly suspicious of others, and living in somewhat isolated homogenous groups (the nation-states) is not so EVIL. It may not be necessary to do away with nation-states, not to mention that even doing away with nation-states may not achieve what you want to achieve, i.e. cessation of mutual suspicion. It may be much easier to do away with suspicion in some other better ways.

LA replies:

The answer to Vivek’s questions is simple. KH and those who think like him are opposed to all ordinary human existence, and want to replace it with something else, just as Marx and his follower wanted to overturn all the existing social orders of mankind and replace them by a new society, inhabited by a New Man. Therefore everything that is—all human things as they have come into being over time—are as nothing. They have no value, they are to be destroyed. Only the dreamed-of New Order has value. David Horowitz in his books on the left, such as The Politics of Bad Faith, explains very well this leftist revolutionary psychology.

KH may not be immediately recognizable as the type of leftist described by Horowitz, because his interest is in eliminating group conflict through open borders and multiculturalism, rather than in eliminating economic inequality though the classless society; and also because, as I’ve said, he’s low key and does not shout from a soap box. But in his utter lack of any valuation of man and society as they now exist (except for his love for Muslims and other aliens who will help him destroy the existing society), and in his desire to replace them with his own imagined ideal society, in short, in his cold intent to eliminate what is for the sake of what has never been and can never be, he is cut from the same cloth.

Josefina writes from Argentina:

I would normally consider Ken Hechtman’s statements as hilarious, but if VFR actually posted this thread, it must be that this man believes in what he says and that he is taken seriously by many people.

If anyone older than me (I’m 19) comes and tells me, “at the end of the day I want one world and one people, not 200 mutually suspicious nation-states and 5000 mutually suspicious tribes. The Brotherhood of Man and all that,” I would laugh in his face.

Well… so this is the left in the first world countries.

I want to admit It’s refreshing for me, leftists here are socialist, communist or Fidel Castro’s fans, while the right wing are catholic nationalists feeling nostalgic of our military dictatorships and none of both groups like democracy very much.

Now about Ken Hechtman’s ideology:

He does not believe in any country’s right to exist (including his own), the boundaries between them or national identity. I do not recommend you to continue trying to have rational debate with this man, What this left and the one in Latin America have in common is that they won’t change their mentality until reality crushes them hard (I’ve tried to dissuade some people from their Communist mentality with historical evidence, but believe me, it won’t work).

He wants one world, but that would mean in the end one culture. Which one? This would imply a clash of civilizations. Because if he comes and tells the people of the world, “There can only be one,” none of them will let die all what they believe in.

August 11

Robert R. writes:

I actually think Ken Hechtman’s position is quite reasonable. Some eggs will have to be broken to create his utopian omelette, but certainly it will be worth doing that for an eternity of peace. Unfortunately, as it is my eggs (my nation, my race, my culture) that must be destroyed, he can’t expect me to approve of his plan, can he?

August 13

Ken Hechtman writes:

I mostly want to leave the “What Do Liberals Want?” thread alone. But there is one mischaracterization that bugs me. Vivek G. wrote:

So it is your belief vs. others’ belief again. Now, why are you so suspicious of others’ beliefs? If people should be FREE to migrate, why should people not be FREE to OPPOSE migration? Why should the government have no business saying they can’t do it, when the government legitimately acts as per the WILL of ITS PEOPLE? Do you want to control what other people must will? In that case, what freedom are you giving to the people? I do not mean to offend you, but I am reminded of a saying, “Beware of the person who knows what is GOOD for others, for there hides a tyrant”.

Who says you are not free to oppose migration? You do it at VFR and elsewhere every day. And you have not heard me say it should be otherwise, not on VFR or anyplace else. More to the point, I *have* said here what I think of “hate speech” laws. I take enough heat from my friends for opposing them, I’m not going to take heat here become someone imagines I’m for them.

LA replies:

I think that Mr. Hechtman does not recognize how radical his own language was. What he said was not about hate speech laws, nor did Vivek G. suggest it was; it was not about saying that people would be prosecuted for favoring border controls, nor did Vivek G. say it was. No. What Mr. Hechtman seeks is to exclude from the political universe the very possibility of a country controlling it borders. He said that it is “no business” of the government of a country to say who enters that country. Meaning that in his view one of the very powers that defines a country as a country does not exist. That is not just a particular policy or law he is proposing. It is an all-controlling meta-principle. It is, in effect, a global constitution, which he, as global legislator, would impose on humanity if he could. Once the Hechtman Global Constitution was in place, no government of any country would have any say over who enters it. And therefore in a practical sense no one would be free to argue for immigration controls, because the very right and power to control immigration would not exist. Sure, a person could stand on a box in Hyde Park and say, “I think we ought to reclaim the right to control our borders.” But his words would have zero meaning in a world that had eliminated that very right, as the Hechtman Global Constitution would do.

Further, since it is axiomatic that the highest and most authoritative beliefs in a society tend to become identical with the good in people’s minds and to be incarnated throughout all the institutions and public customs of a society, the Hechtman Global Constitution would ineluctably lead to a situation in which arguing for a nation’s power to control its borders would be simply impossible in respectable society. It would be like an American arguing for slavery. Ironically, notwithstanding his Communist roots, Mr. H. has slipped into a mode of liberal thought where he fails to recognize (or at least professes not to recognize) the realities of power, something that a true Communist would never do. In a society that makes the prohibition of a society’s right to control its borders its highest principle, people would not, as a practical matter, be free to argue for the opposite.

Ken Hechtman replies:

But I’m not the Global Legislator and never will be. I am (was) a low-level worker bee in a fringe group of the open borders movement. I was much lower level than you are in the immigration restriction movement. I did the most mundane grunt work you can imagine. I wheatpasted posters. I phoned reporters and invited them to cover our events. I lined up chairs in a church basement for a press conference. Even now, when the NDP does a direct-mail attack campaign on the Conservatives’ immigration bill, I’m not the guy who decides to do it, or who writes the content or even who does the demographic analysis to target the different versions of the piece. I just enter the returns and try to see that they get followed up. A monkey could do my job. Before this particular conversation I have never before had 5000 people paying attention to my thoughts on the subject….

[This entry has reached maximum size. See KH’s full reply and the further continuation of this thread in a new entry. ]

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 07, 2008 01:24 PM | Send

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