of mine on immigration, an online version of which I recently came upon by chance and to my surprise. Just think: I was able to get this piece published in a mainstream conservative magazine,
, in 1994. Not only that, but the magazine
to write something for them on the subject. True, the Internet has created all kinds of new possibilities for writers. But are we really in better shape, as far as the dissemination of important, heterodox views is concerned? Today there is no mainstream conservative magazine that would publish such an article, or any remotely like it.
Massive immigration will destroy America
by Lawrence Auster
INSIGHT ON THE NEWS,
Oct 3, 1994
The current immigration debate, although a welcome change from the politically correct silence of earlier years, is still far too narrow in its focus, dwelling on largely technical matters such as methods of border control, the welfare and health costs of immigration, or the impact of immigration on the economy or on minority employment. As important as those issues are, they distract us from a much greater and more difficult question: What is the impact of immigration on the whole society—on America as a civilization?
To deal seriously with that question in today’s climate is to provoke charges of nativism, racism and demagoguery. As immigration advocates are fond of pointing out, fears that immigration would undermine America’s national culture were raised in the early 20th century—indeed they were raised against the grandparents of many of the people now opposing immigration. Since that threatened disaster did not occur, the advocates continue, similar warnings are utterly invalid now.
This ahistorical argument ignores the profound and decisive differences between immigration at the turn of the century and today. In the early 20th century, America had a vital and confident core culture and insisted that immigrants assimilate. The immigrants were predominantly European, sharing—despite ethnic differences—a common civilizational heritage with Americans. Most importantly, the great immigrant wave was drastically reduced after two or three decades, ushering in a long period of ethnic equilibrium and social peace. None of those factors obtains today.
The current legal and illegal immigration in excess of 1 million people per year, more than 90 percent of whom are non-European, combined with the higher birthrates of immigrant groups, is rapidly turning America into a multiracial country, with no racial majority, no common culture, and a population doubling to half a billion during the coming century. Despite the fact that many immigrants are good people who want to be part of this country, and despite the fact that immigration may provide some discrete and localized benefits, the overall result of this unprecedented demographic event is the erosion—and ultimately the submergence—of every defining aspect of American civilization.
Foremost of these is our tradition of individual rights. The growing numbers of minorities with distinct ethnic and cultural identities has led to a huge increase in race conflict and race consciousness in America. Each minority group is seeking official recognition and proportional representation as a group—in election districts, in employment, in education, in every area of life—and any failure to reach this utopian “cultural equality” is seen as further proof of America’s inherent racism and of the need for ever-expanding state power to uproot the racism. While the problems of American blacks provided the original pretext for group rights, other minorities have acquired their own piece of the multicultural pie. Thus our newly multiracial society is becoming a multinational society, with the perpetual instability, conflict, suspicion and loss of freedom that characterize so many balkanized and Third World countries. Although proimmigration conservatives passionately insist that this shouldn’t happen (since they believe that America is defined solely by universal ideas), the point is that it is happening. The assimilation into a common citizenship that was possible for people of European background is not happening for vast numbers of non-Europeans.
Next to pandemic violent crime, nothing so delegitimizes the social order as the presence of millions of persons residing illegally in this country and drawing on public assistance—combined with the government’s inability or refusal to do anything about it. The more illegal aliens there are in a given city, all of whom have a powerful interest in the law’s not being enforced, the more local officials accede to and even publicly welcome their presence, as Mayor Giuliani has recently done in New York City. When Orange, Calif., was overwhelmed in the early 1990s by a large illegal alien population standing on street corners seeking work, and living crammed into houses in numbers far above zoning limits, local authorities gave up enforcing the law and began instead to accommodate the illegals, building a hiring hall for them, refusing to cooperate with the Immigration and Naturalization Service, even firing a zoning officer who tried to do her job.
The rule of law is being further eroded by the fanaticism and violence characteristic of Latin American politics. When a federal investigator in San Diego County uncovered massive welfare fraud by illegal aliens and the welfare department, he was threatened by Hispanics and attacked as a “racist” by a Hispanic supervisor. Citizens in California, Texas and Florida who have spoken out against illegal immigration have received death threats and had their automobile tires slashed as a warning. As one border-control activist in California said, “It’s war out here.”
The loss of the rule of law goes hand in hand with the loss of national sovereignty. There are parts of the country, such as New York City’s Chinatown and Washington Heights, that are already controlled more by foreign-based criminal gangs than by U.S. authorities. Crime networks from many nations, including Nigeria, Russia, Japan and Jamaica, are operating almost at will in this country. Meanwhile, many immigrant and ethnic leaders—including elected officials—openly state that because of its historic “sins” the United States has no right to control its borders.
The close proximity of widely divergent cultures, many of them lacking Western concepts of rationality, makes it difficult for people in this country to reason together or cooperate as citizens. As reported in the Los Angeles Times, juries in major criminal trials in southern California have been deadlocked because multicultural jury members did not share basic assumptions about right and wrong. Meanwhile, under the concept of “cultural defense,” some immigrants charged with murder and rape have been let off with light sentences on the basis that people from non-Western cultures should not be held to Western standards.
On a deeper level, America’s mind-blowing heterogeneity has helped undermine any common conception of human nature. Replacing the classic and Judeo-Christian allegiance to a moral truth higher than the individual, the mindless celebration of diversity has become America’s new religion.
Thus Richard Barbieri, the head of the Independent Schools Association of Massachusetts, writes: “The essence of multicultural change is to listen to the uniqueness of others and to change our uniqueness to accommodate theirs…. True diversity will involve being humble, first of all, humble before the knowledge and experience of others.” In a multicultural manifesto for the virtually all-white city of Dubuque, Iowa (pathetically titled “We Want to Change”), Dubuque’s leaders declared: “Diversity calls us into a world that focuses on the many-splendored beauty of others.” In all these calls to multicultural transformation, white Americans are never told why they must embrace the “experience,” the “knowledge,” the “beauty” of others. The diversity of others is supposed to provide some new and wonderful value—but what is that value? Well, the fact that the “others” are not like “us.” They exist, therefore we must yield to them. Multiculturalism turns out to be a kind of mysticism.
Yet even as whites worship at the shrine of otherness, Third World advocates openly boast of their hatred for Anglo society and of their intent to destroy it. The publication Border Watch reports that a Hispanic activist told a California woman, who had publicized the problem of illegal aliens receiving in-state college tuition, that “You are the one that needs to go home. This is a Latino home. You people need to go back to wherever you came from…. Get with it. People of color are going to take over sooner or later.” Third World intellectuals provide a more sophisticated version of the same message. “The great power of Latin America is its culture,” says Gabriel Garcia Marquez in an interview. “We don’t spend a dime trying to penetrate culturally, yet we’re changing the United States…. We’re changing the language, the food, the music, the way of being. We’re changing you into a Latin country.” Novelist Bharati Mukherjee—a multicultural “moderate”—speaks of Third World immigrants as “we, the new pioneers, who are thinking of America as still a frontier country.” Enlarging on her imperialistic reverie, Mukherjee told Bill Moyers, “I want to conquer, I mean, I want to love and possess this country.”
What such “possession” means in actual terms can be seen all over America. Areas dominated by immigrants from Third World cultures with low levels of skills and civility have ceased to be part of what most Americans think of as civilization. Vast stretches of Los Angeles, New York and Miami, have become Latin American or Caribbean slums, with deteriorating infrastructure, cheap wares sold on the sidewalk, cars fixed on the street, men loitering about all day in public, and high levels of noise, dirt, disease, disorder and violence. In step with this process of Third Worldization, there is an exodus of whites (and middle-class nonwhites) from immigrant-intensive states and regions. Thus, even as we are admitting more than a million immigrants and refugees into the United States every year, we are turning hundreds of thousands—and soon to be millions—of embittered and traumatized whites into refugees in their own country.
In cities with large Third World populations, the traditions of Western high culture—classical music, ballet, theater and libraries—are dying out through lack of support or face political pressures to change their entire character. Theater critic Thomas Disch writing in the Atlantic Monthly has said that a leading factor in the decline of the Broadway theater is that, as a result of New York’s exploding ethnic and racial diversity, there is no longer a common culture to support the theater. Adapting to the demographic changes, America’s powerful arts-funding organizations have given top priority to Third World folk arts, while withdrawing support from high-arts institutions such as symphony orchestras.
The erosion of English as our common language (and our link with our historic and literary roots as a nation) is not merely due to ethnic elites forcing so-called bilingualism down immigrants’ throats, as proimmigration conservatives argue. It is a direct outcome of the growing size and power of the non-English-speaking population, as could be seen last year when Hispanic-dominated Dade County, Fla., repealed an existing statute—passed by the former Anglo majority—that had made English the sole language of government. The lesson is clear: “Official English laws” by themselves are useless without restriction of immigration.
As a result of immigration, American national culture is being supplanted by Third World cultures. We are now experiencing the following phenomena in this country: a 25-foot-high statue of the Aztec god of human sacrifice is being erected in a public square in the Hispanic-majority city of San Jose, Calif.; Santeria, a cult that practices animal sacrifice, is now constitutionally protected under the First Amendment; huge festivals awash in pagan symbols celebrating “West Indian Day” and “Hispanic Day” regularly disrupt life in major cities; the passionate assertion of Latin American national symbols and myths are exalted by students and teachers in American public schools. At the same, time traditional American symbols and images are being discarded because they don’t “represent” our new, non-Western population. Historical art works, such as a statue of a 19th-century pioneer family commissioned by the state of Oregon, and classic plays, such as Peter Pan, have been purged. The Alamo is reconceptualized as a Hispanic monument. The Pearl Harbor memorial is relativized so as not to offend Japanese-Americans.
The most significant change brought by multiculturalism is the total bowdlerization and rewriting of American history from an anti-Western, antiwhite perspective. Exposed to such “reeducation” through all their formative years, young white people coming out of the schools today have no sense of themselves as heirs of a historical nation and tradition—only ignorance and a pervading mood of estrangement. “We have come a long way from schooling that made Europeans into Americans,” writer Jared Taylor has remarked. “We now make Americans into nothing at all.” In the final stage of this process of dispossession, whites will follow the example of Kevin Costner in the film Dances With Wolves and spiritually abandon America for a non-Western culture.
There are many features in the unique complex of habits and institutions we think of as the American way of life: prosperity, well-functioning private and public institutions, a stable and democratic political system, liberty under law, respect for individual dignity, a high level of philanthropy and social cooperation, the sense of fair play, and the belief in reason and common sense. Multiculturalists may sneer at these values as mere masks of “white hegemony,” but one thing is certain. These values have only flourished in white-majority societies, particularly in societies with an Anglo-Saxon cultural basis. As whites lose their numerical, political and cultural dominance, American civilization with all its constituent virtues will also come to an end. That process, already well advanced in our major cities, will only accelerate if America continues to receive a mass migration several orders of magnitude greater in scale and diversity than that which submerged the Roman empire.