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Sailer in Chronicles: "Benjamin Franklin's American Dream"
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From Chronicles:

Benjamin Franklin’s American Dream
Steve Sailer – DECEMBER 12, 2014

Today’s preferred way to think about immigration and the nation-state is exemplified in the title of a 1964 pamphlet that the Anti-Defamation League published posthumously under the name of John F. Kennedy: A Nation of Immigrants. The next year, the martyred President’s brother Teddy had his name put on the 1965 immigration act of such large and unforeseen consequence.

The pages of JFK’s little book are seldom read anymore, but its mantra of a title has proved wildly successful at sacralizing mass immigration as some kind of hereditary national onus. “My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. . . . That’s the tradition we must uphold. That’s the legacy we must leave for those who are yet to come,” orated President Barack Obama as justification for his November 2014 demand that, when it comes to immigration, America must have a government of men and not of laws.

While the Preamble states that the Constitution is ordained so that “We the People of the United States” can “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” the concept of posterity has vanished from respectable immigration discourse. The Obama amnesty invokes a civil right to be here that illegal aliens inherit, but not from their ancestors: Like insanity, amnesty is hereditary; you get it from your children. After all, we live in an age of globalism and minoritarianism: The 300 million American citizens are the majority, while the 7 billion foreigners are the minority.

This slogan of a Nation of Immigrants has not proved terribly productive intellectually, fostering not unsentimental scholarship but schmaltzy ancestor worship. For example, when it was revealed in the press last year that Dr. Jason Richwine had earned his Harvard Ph.D. by quantitatively analyzing the achievements of Hispanics over multiple generations, finding that today’s illegal-alien “Dreamers” and their children were unlikely to live up to the fond hopes so casually invested in them, he was immediately shoved out of his job at a conservative think tank.

In sharp contrast to this dead end for scholarship, Benjamin Franklin’s arguments in favor of immigration restrictions were influential on the central avenue of Anglo-American thought in the human sciences.

Franklin’s 1751 pamphlet Observations Concerning the Increase of Mankind offered a workable strategy for America’s future. These 24 numbered paragraphs were the cogent cornerstone of Franklin’s audacious scientific-strategic theory for the peopling of America, an interlocking series of arguments about how the world would work. Sociologist Dennis Hodgson observes that, in Observations, “Policy did not flow from theory[;] theory flowed from policy.” But the policy Franklin advocated was so fruitful over the next two centuries that the theory deserves respect.

Hodgson explains Ben Franklin’s American Dream:

Living in the mid-eighteenth century, [Franklin] had a vision of a middle-class society that was necessarily one in which the majority owned and worked their own lands. . . . His dream was of a prosperous and middle-class America, peopled largely by the English, that spanned a continent and confidently assumed a preeminent place among nations.

In 1964, four decades after mass immigration had been shut down, the country looked rather like Franklin’s vision. But the mechanisms Franklin had identified as crucial to American happiness have been increasingly forgotten during the ensuing Nation of Immigrants nostalgiafest.

This Founding Father’s insights on population and immigration are so out of fashion as to make his entire perspective almost incomprehensible to mainstream minds. For example, in his bestselling 2003 biography Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, the intelligent establishmentarian Walter Isaacson (the authorized biographer of Steve Jobs) issues a few baffled apologies for this epoch-making essay, then quickly moves on to more congenial matters.

Read my whole article there.

 
    []
  1. Hepp says:

    Is space limited by natural constraints or government regulation? I once heard Thomas Sowell say you could fit the entire population of the world into the state of Texas. Not in apartments either, you could give everyone a decent house. Housing isn’t so much cheaper in Texas than California because Texas is less dense, it’s because of zoning and environmental policy.

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  2. iSteveFan says:

    The next year, the martyred President’s brother Teddy had his name put on the 1965 immigration act of such large and unforeseen consequence.

    Yeah, that’s why its called the Hart-Celler Act.

    Has there ever been a more disastrous policy in history for which the authors receive almost zero percent of the responsibility and blame?

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  3. Anon says:

    As per your article, if the world’s population booms, land fill up, and jobs disappear, I foresee a new age of conquest on the horizon, namely mass killings to take away other countries’ land. In a couple of decades, Hitler may look pretty feeble to those living in the future. The mass immigration the US and Europe have been experiencing since the 1980s is only the first wave of the overspill from other countries. It’ll get worse because their populations are increasing while their prospects are not.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    That was Hitler's argument for invading Russia:

    http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2005/03/hitlers_argumen.html
  4. D. K. says:

    ERRATA: Whatever his other faults– and they were legion, both personally and politically– the late-Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s name is nowhere to be seen on the infamous 1965 immigration bill. His colleague (and also, if I recall correctly, co-religionist) Senator Hart was the Senate sponsor whose name is on the act. The House sponsor whose name is on the act is Representative Cellar of New York– who spent nearly all of his extremely long tenure in the House trying to reopen the floodgates of mass immigration to America, after they were notoriously slammed shut, forty years earlier, when he was a young Congressman. ‘Teddy’ Kennedy, on October 3, 1965, the fateful Sunday when L.B.J. signed the bill into law, in the shadow of Lady Liberty herself, in New York Harbor, was the junior Senator from Massachusetts, with less than half a term under his still-trim belt. His actual role had been merely to serve as the bill’s floor manager, during its time in the Senate. In that role, he made an infamous claim that has been requoted countless times– and rightly so!– but he was neither the author of, nor the force behind, the 1965 act that has, perhaps more than anything else, virtually destroyed this nation in under half a century. If anyone deserves such fierce and particular infamy for his own role in the 1965 act, it is the little-remembered New York Congressman whose name is on the bill, and whose life’s work as a public servant it actually represented remarkably well.

    As for America today, such as it is, the estimated resident population is nearing 320,000,000. The number of actual Americans, however, is nowhere near the 300,000,000 that your article cites, let alone the resident population that the Census Bureau estimates. There are scores of millions of legal immigrants who, even if they have resided here long enough to apply for citizenship, have not bothered to do so. That includes the vast majority of those legalized by the 1986 amnesty signed by President Ronald Reagan. Needless to say, whether they are eleven millions, twenty millions, or however many more, the millions of illegal aliens resident in the United States, at any given moment in time, are not citizens of this country, and thus are not Americans– irrespective of the Constitutionality of President Obama’s breathtakingly dubious executive actions and orders, of recent years!

    ****

    On my father’s side, my own roots in America go back to the 1630s, when one of my Dutch forebears settled in the colony of New Amsterdam, in what is now New York City. On my mother’s side, both of my maternal grandparents were born in Slovakia– when it was merely a geographic expression, rather than a nation-state, as it has been, independently, for barely twenty years, now. I would not be here, in other words, had it not been for the so-called Great Wave of immigration, from about 1890, when my grandmother was brought here as a baby, to about 1925, several years after my grandfather had arrived, as an adolescent. Nonetheless, I do not share the general consensus on the Great Wave. With no disrespect to those who often risked all to come here, back then, including my own maternal grandparents, that Great Wave destroyed a pre-existing (mostly) White Anglo-Saxon Protestant America that should have been preserved as long as humanly possible; and, it was that earlier destruction which set the stage for the collective suicide note that was signed into federal law by the psychopathic President Lyndon Baines Johnson, one week before my own ninth birthday, nearly half a century ago, now.

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  5. syonredux says:

    Top-notch stuff, Steve. Franklin’s favoring of his own race (the English) over all others is often dismissed by his admirers, who prefer to see it as a kind of momentary weakness or aberration. The multiculti brigade, in contrast, love to use his pro-English quotes as a way to paint him as an ignorant, racist xenophobe, a precursor to the David Dukes of the world.

    Of course, Franklin’s pro-English stance was not the product of feverish racial paranoia.Nor, for that matter, was it a kind of philosophical after thought.It was simply the expression of a common human sentiment. He preferred to see his kindred prosper.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    The relationship between the decline of the labor to land and capital ratio and the industrial revolution doesn’t seem to get much interest or attention, even though it seems pretty interesting. The mainstream neoliberal economic growth explanations, as well as the HBD/Gregory Clark explanations, aren’t completely satisfactory and always involve some hand waiving in parts to explain the industrial revolution.

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    "The mainstream neoliberal economic growth explanations, as well as the HBD/Gregory Clark explanations, aren’t completely satisfactory ... to explain the industrial revolution". The explanation is the same as the explanation for classical Athens, to wit: Bloody Hell, look at that!
  7. syonredux says:

    Franklin can be a hard figure for 21st-century Americans to appreciate because we like victims and comeback kids, but he always won.

    I’ve taught Franklin’s Autobiography for a while now, and I’ve noticed that my students, while finding it a good read, have a hard time taking Franklin in. Reared on documents of racialized suffering and hardship (The Autobiography of Malcolm X, The Diary of Anne Frank,The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, etc), they don’t seem to know how to react to a man who succeeded in practically every endeavor that he put his mind to: electricity, literature (the Autobiography is a key work in the history of the genre), diplomacy, business (having earned his pile, Franklin basically retired at the age of 40), etc.

    Ours is an age that valorizes victimhood. Hence, our revered saints are failures.

    Franklin, neither a victim nor a failure, is more alien to our mores than a visitor from Mars.

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    "Franklin, neither a victim nor a failure ..."; but on the matter of electricity, apparently a bit of a fraud.
  8. Like insanity, amnesty is hereditary; you get it from your children.

    –Steve, I’m not always your most uncritical fan, but as a nose-holder on questions of literary style, that turn of phrase is incised enough to carve on a monument. Your biggest fanboys cannot do it enough praise.

    Nietzsche said that some of Wagner’s masterpieces were only a measure long: an underhanded compliment, to be sure. But if you never write your Siegfried, that line above, nonetheless, is a masterpiece: compact, sonorous, thrillingly wicked in wit; and, as an added refinement, merely, sadly, true.

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  9. countenance says: • Website

    I once thought that Franklin had a personal animus against Germans, but over time, (this article being extra confirmation), I learned that it wasn’t personal; he didn’t like Germans being imported to become political fodder for absentee landlords back in the mother country.

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  10. OT: http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2014/12/16/massive-layoffs-hit-new-york-times/

    Perhaps some significant names at the NYT are being let go. Can anyone find out exactly who? I wonder if flogging the UVA hoax was part of the price for keeping one’s job?

    I listed I think a dozen by-line names yesterday attached to promoting the UVA hoax. Some of the journalists were in their forties, even fifties. I just can not believe all of them deceived.

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  11. Whiskey says: • Website

    Succeed in everything important or almost everything would seem to include the Marvel Cinematic Universe Tony Stark played by Robert Downey Jr., Thor, Captain America, Die Hard’s John McClain, John Wayne, Justin Timberlake, etc. so the failure/struggle stuff is mostly female/minority oriented. True our culture is innately White male hostile, wanting victims not winners, but outside the mass female consumerism base, White guys and Asian guys love winners. Example: a Hong Kong Democracy Activist student using a Captain America shield in his protest a few months ago.

    Marvel/Disney’s billions in profit is basically how awesome Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark is in winning.

    Steve — have you seen the recent run of the more talented Nolan Brother, Jonathon?

    He had an interesting line uttered (in flashback) by the season’s main villain. Going back to 1973 and the height of the Cold War, the villain, then a patriotic much younger agent, is tasked to kill a Soviet KGB agent posing as a musician. He’s told firmly by his boss to kill the agent rather than flip him (which is the course the villain wants to pursue). Trying to kill the KGB man, the villain fails, as the KGB agent knew his face ahead of time. Seriously wounding the KGB agent, the villain tortures him as how he knew — and finds his superior is a KGB mole who ordered his handler’s killing to prevent discovery. Shocked he lets the man live and kills his superior, telling him as he shoots him that “invisible lines” denoting countries don’t matter — that one day countries won’t exist.

    The flashback sequence is not there for padding, its to explain the motivation for the villain — someone who wants an AI to control all of humanity to prevent “artificial” conflict by countries and such.

    Nolan’s putting those lines in the villain’s mouth is interesting. Its a pretty conservative statement about the importance of limits and inherently, countries being that limit. Thus far and no further.

    BUT I think Nolan and other semi-conservatives in Hollywood understand the Cold War impetus towards Open Borders / One World.

    When for forty three years (1948-1991) the world faced nuclear annihilation by rival superpowers, for most intellectuals the idea of nations, countries, etc. culminating two world wars with an extinction third is understandable. The mental model most people grew up with save Gen Y and onwards was that the human race would kill itself over borders and separateness, and unity and global humanity was the only answer.

    Utterly and completely wrong of course but its easy to see how Universal Christianity offered in the face of Cold War nuclear annihilation on the big side and ugly, no-win and no capacity to win twilight struggles that were degrading and debased on the small side (think John Le Carre) created this universal, no border mindset among intellectuals and creative people.

    And this is why Franklin is so hard to grasp — his era of warfare was not global humanity extinction, nor was it an ugly twilight/shadow struggle that could never be won but must not be lost. His entire worldview was and is alien to everyone older than Gen Y coming of age post Cold War.

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  12. War for Blair Mountain [AKA "Bill Blizzard and his Men"] says:

    Like I always say:Blame JFK for at least three things:1)bringing the Human Species to within 60 seconds of permanent Extinction during the Cuban Missile crisis when JFK ordered terrorist attacks on the Cuban Civilian Population(Like The Kenyan Foriegner is doing in 2014 against the Conservative Orthodox Christian Ukranian- Russian Population)….3)The 1965 Immigration Reform Act…The reprobate Teddy’s monument to JFK)…3)The Cuban colonization of South Florida.

    I prefer a much larger population of the gentle manatee and the Majestic Megafauna Florida Panther than being “blessed” by the Cuban Foriegners…such as the slave owning and ecocidal sugar cane plantation owning Fanjul Family….and the larger hyper-exponentially growing Latin American-Central American Democratic Party Voting Block.

    We live in very dangerous times:1962=2014…..

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  13. Have you seen this segregation simulator?

    http://ncase.me/polygons/

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    • Replies: @BurplesonAFB
    I've achieved racial harmony!
    http://i.imgur.com/FR92z6v.png
  14. Rob McX says:

    Wow, you’re nudging your way slowly into MSM, Steve. Will I see you in NYT before I die?

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    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    Is Chronicles closer to the mainstream than Taki? I have no idea. With Richwine posting on the corner I really hope National Review decides to publish Steve again (if he would be willing naturally).
    , @BubbaJoe
    If Steve were invited to write for the NYT, what would the subject be?
  15. I think deep down if you polled the Founding Fathers they’d be pretty disappointed that Franklin came or be the prototypical American. I know I kind of am.

    Even though I generally am more sympathetic to free markets and global trade than most posters here, Franklins ever hustling, buy high sell low ethos seems to be at the heart of what Steve is always highlighting with that passage from Alice in Wonderland about running real fast to stay in place. Not in his case obviously, but I have a real hard time imagining him being for powerful trade unions or paleo-friendly economic policies in this day an age. Moreover, I can’t imagine he’d be nearly as skeptical of American hegemony as most paleos. That was after all the point happy, busy Americans means a prosperous powerful nation that would get its way in the world.

    I guess the Purtian and pre-revolutionary Southerner (weird mix admittedly) in me kind of looks at Franklin as the paladin of the forces that would destroy both my ancestors backgrounds. Scoffing libertinism and hyper-charged mercantilist ethos hasn’t been kind to the kind of societies I admire. Ben Franklin would be a hit at Davos.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Ben Franklin would be a hit at Davos.
     
    Seeing as how Franklin would be quite opposed to mass immigration to the USA, probably not

    Moreover, I can’t imagine he’d be nearly as skeptical of American hegemony as most paleos.
     
    Depends on how one defines "hegemony." Franklin would certainly be quite keen on seeing the USA as the world's most powerful nation. On the other hand, Franklin was never fond of crusades and would have seen things like our current intervention in the Middle East as the height of lunacy.

    Not in his case obviously, but I have a real hard time imagining him being for powerful trade unions or paleo-friendly economic policies in this day an age.
     
    MMMM, seeing as how high rates of immigration are the chief enemy of labor unions, wouldn't Franklin's low immigration policies have a pro-union effect?

    As for "paleo-friendly" economics policies, well, I can't imagine a patriot like Franklin wanting to see American industries gutted.

    Franklins ever hustling,
     
    You do know that Franklin more or less retired at the age of 40 and devoted himself to scientific (electrical experimentation, mapping the Gulf Stream, demography, the mechanics of heat loss, etc) and philanthropic pursuits , yes?

    I think deep down if you polled the Founding Fathers they’d be pretty disappointed that Franklin came or be the prototypical American.
     
    Franklin was already the prototypical American in their lifetimes, the man whose name was known even in far-off Russia.
  16. Anonymous says:

    The tribal favoritism works both ways. The English invited a German, the Prince Elector of Hanover and grandfather of Frederick the Great in Prussia, to become their King George I in 1717. His son George II and great-grandson George III also held Hanover in personal union while they sat on the British throne.

    So Germans didn’t wind up in the American colonies through some mysterious accident. They saw that one of their guys had sovereignty over these settlements, even if he lived in England.

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    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    This is definitely true of the Pennsylvania Germans, but a portion of Germans were settled in America with the help of Queen Anne before King George I came to the throne. There's basically two sets of Germans King George Germans and then the small religious sect Germans. Pennsylvania was mostly the first kind.
    , @syonredux
    The House of Hanover's German origins were frequently commented on in the 18th Century Anglosphere, and a lot of the commentary was quite negative. A good many people did not like the idea of someone of alien race sitting on the throne.
    , @Anonymous
    George I's mother, Electress Sophia of Hanover, was a granddaughter of James I of England. It wasn't as if the British picked some random German prince.
  17. @Anonymous
    The tribal favoritism works both ways. The English invited a German, the Prince Elector of Hanover and grandfather of Frederick the Great in Prussia, to become their King George I in 1717. His son George II and great-grandson George III also held Hanover in personal union while they sat on the British throne.

    So Germans didn't wind up in the American colonies through some mysterious accident. They saw that one of their guys had sovereignty over these settlements, even if he lived in England.

    This is definitely true of the Pennsylvania Germans, but a portion of Germans were settled in America with the help of Queen Anne before King George I came to the throne. There’s basically two sets of Germans King George Germans and then the small religious sect Germans. Pennsylvania was mostly the first kind.

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  18. @Rob McX
    Wow, you're nudging your way slowly into MSM, Steve. Will I see you in NYT before I die?

    Is Chronicles closer to the mainstream than Taki? I have no idea. With Richwine posting on the corner I really hope National Review decides to publish Steve again (if he would be willing naturally).

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  19. Good article. Until I clicked it I thought it was in Chronicle, the mainstream centre-left journal of US Higher Education – now that would have been something! :)

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  20. syonredux says:
    @Sam Haysom
    I think deep down if you polled the Founding Fathers they'd be pretty disappointed that Franklin came or be the prototypical American. I know I kind of am.

    Even though I generally am more sympathetic to free markets and global trade than most posters here, Franklins ever hustling, buy high sell low ethos seems to be at the heart of what Steve is always highlighting with that passage from Alice in Wonderland about running real fast to stay in place. Not in his case obviously, but I have a real hard time imagining him being for powerful trade unions or paleo-friendly economic policies in this day an age. Moreover, I can't imagine he'd be nearly as skeptical of American hegemony as most paleos. That was after all the point happy, busy Americans means a prosperous powerful nation that would get its way in the world.

    I guess the Purtian and pre-revolutionary Southerner (weird mix admittedly) in me kind of looks at Franklin as the paladin of the forces that would destroy both my ancestors backgrounds. Scoffing libertinism and hyper-charged mercantilist ethos hasn't been kind to the kind of societies I admire. Ben Franklin would be a hit at Davos.

    Ben Franklin would be a hit at Davos.

    Seeing as how Franklin would be quite opposed to mass immigration to the USA, probably not

    Moreover, I can’t imagine he’d be nearly as skeptical of American hegemony as most paleos.

    Depends on how one defines “hegemony.” Franklin would certainly be quite keen on seeing the USA as the world’s most powerful nation. On the other hand, Franklin was never fond of crusades and would have seen things like our current intervention in the Middle East as the height of lunacy.

    Not in his case obviously, but I have a real hard time imagining him being for powerful trade unions or paleo-friendly economic policies in this day an age.

    MMMM, seeing as how high rates of immigration are the chief enemy of labor unions, wouldn’t Franklin’s low immigration policies have a pro-union effect?

    As for “paleo-friendly” economics policies, well, I can’t imagine a patriot like Franklin wanting to see American industries gutted.

    Franklins ever hustling,

    You do know that Franklin more or less retired at the age of 40 and devoted himself to scientific (electrical experimentation, mapping the Gulf Stream, demography, the mechanics of heat loss, etc) and philanthropic pursuits , yes?

    I think deep down if you polled the Founding Fathers they’d be pretty disappointed that Franklin came or be the prototypical American.

    Franklin was already the prototypical American in their lifetimes, the man whose name was known even in far-off Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    High immigration is by no means the chief enemy of unionization. American unionism had its biggest growths during periods of high immigration. In fact a big reason for the 1920s immigration restrictions was the boon immigration was providing to the labor movement. Unionization has quite a few enemies immigration is one-high fertility rates which Franklin in principle if not practice extolled can accomplish the same thing. The reserve army of the unemployed doesn't have to be be imported it can be homegrown. The whole point is Franklin was very much of the National Greatness, more people plus more land equals success school. He just thought that a large population was better produced through reproduction not immigration. With stagnant birth rates like those we have today Franklin wouldn't have an alternative and his views on immigration would be right in line with the Davos set.

    Franklin was hawkish on control check points for raw materials and transportation his entire life. Maybe he wouldn't have supported democrization in the Middle East but the idea that he would have had the US not get involved in the Middle East is hard to take seriously. He understood that you can't let your self get boxed out from markets (see his imperialist focus on New Orleans) and like it or not oil is rhe life blood of the modern economy. Pax Americana would have been embraced by Franklin.

    He was well known in Europe because of his diplomatic service there and beaver hat. He was hardly the prototypical American during his lifetime however because the term would have been nonsense.

    The fact that he retired from commercial pursuits at forty contest my point how exactly? Jefferson and Washington for all intents and purposes never devoted a day or commerce in their lives. Jefferson didn't make an ethos more, bigger, better- Franklin did. That was my point. I didn't say he was greedy.
  21. Harold says:

    This is good stuff Steve. These days all the best historically informed essays and analysis seem to be written by bloggers not beholden to today’s pieties: Yourself, Pseudoerasmus, Nick Szabo, etc.

    schmaltzy ancestor worship

    Tsk, tsk, Steve. Is this some sort of dog-whistle?

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  22. syonredux says:
    @Anonymous
    The tribal favoritism works both ways. The English invited a German, the Prince Elector of Hanover and grandfather of Frederick the Great in Prussia, to become their King George I in 1717. His son George II and great-grandson George III also held Hanover in personal union while they sat on the British throne.

    So Germans didn't wind up in the American colonies through some mysterious accident. They saw that one of their guys had sovereignty over these settlements, even if he lived in England.

    The House of Hanover’s German origins were frequently commented on in the 18th Century Anglosphere, and a lot of the commentary was quite negative. A good many people did not like the idea of someone of alien race sitting on the throne.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dearieme
    "The House of Hanover’s German origins": yeah, after a part-Welsh dynasty, a Scots dynasty, a Dutch interlude, then Germans: awful, innit? Furriners, bah! But religion, and the fear of the restarting of religious war or persecution, was deemed to be a bigger deal.

    Anyway, the rulers of England from 1066 until sometime in the 14th century were French: rule by people who spoke English, and spent most of their time in England, was a novelty. Even then they imposed endless cruelty on the French peasantry in pursuing their claims to the French throne. And before all that there was Cnut/Canute - them bloody Danes, eh?
  23. @syonredux

    Ben Franklin would be a hit at Davos.
     
    Seeing as how Franklin would be quite opposed to mass immigration to the USA, probably not

    Moreover, I can’t imagine he’d be nearly as skeptical of American hegemony as most paleos.
     
    Depends on how one defines "hegemony." Franklin would certainly be quite keen on seeing the USA as the world's most powerful nation. On the other hand, Franklin was never fond of crusades and would have seen things like our current intervention in the Middle East as the height of lunacy.

    Not in his case obviously, but I have a real hard time imagining him being for powerful trade unions or paleo-friendly economic policies in this day an age.
     
    MMMM, seeing as how high rates of immigration are the chief enemy of labor unions, wouldn't Franklin's low immigration policies have a pro-union effect?

    As for "paleo-friendly" economics policies, well, I can't imagine a patriot like Franklin wanting to see American industries gutted.

    Franklins ever hustling,
     
    You do know that Franklin more or less retired at the age of 40 and devoted himself to scientific (electrical experimentation, mapping the Gulf Stream, demography, the mechanics of heat loss, etc) and philanthropic pursuits , yes?

    I think deep down if you polled the Founding Fathers they’d be pretty disappointed that Franklin came or be the prototypical American.
     
    Franklin was already the prototypical American in their lifetimes, the man whose name was known even in far-off Russia.

    High immigration is by no means the chief enemy of unionization. American unionism had its biggest growths during periods of high immigration. In fact a big reason for the 1920s immigration restrictions was the boon immigration was providing to the labor movement. Unionization has quite a few enemies immigration is one-high fertility rates which Franklin in principle if not practice extolled can accomplish the same thing. The reserve army of the unemployed doesn’t have to be be imported it can be homegrown. The whole point is Franklin was very much of the National Greatness, more people plus more land equals success school. He just thought that a large population was better produced through reproduction not immigration. With stagnant birth rates like those we have today Franklin wouldn’t have an alternative and his views on immigration would be right in line with the Davos set.

    Franklin was hawkish on control check points for raw materials and transportation his entire life. Maybe he wouldn’t have supported democrization in the Middle East but the idea that he would have had the US not get involved in the Middle East is hard to take seriously. He understood that you can’t let your self get boxed out from markets (see his imperialist focus on New Orleans) and like it or not oil is rhe life blood of the modern economy. Pax Americana would have been embraced by Franklin.

    He was well known in Europe because of his diplomatic service there and beaver hat. He was hardly the prototypical American during his lifetime however because the term would have been nonsense.

    The fact that he retired from commercial pursuits at forty contest my point how exactly? Jefferson and Washington for all intents and purposes never devoted a day or commerce in their lives. Jefferson didn’t make an ethos more, bigger, better- Franklin did. That was my point. I didn’t say he was greedy.

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    • Replies: @rod1963
    Sam

    "High immigration is by no means the chief enemy of unionization."

    In a mature economy with a large native population it is a disaster for the workers in terms of wages and benefits.

    "The whole point is Franklin was very much of the National Greatness, more people plus more land equals success school. "

    You're confused, he wrote when the country was largely unexplored wilderness not a fully settled and industrialized high tech state with a population of 300 million.

    "With stagnant birth rates like those we have today Franklin wouldn’t have an alternative and his views on immigration would be right in line with the Davos set. "

    How does importing tens of million of illiterate low IQ Hispanic peasants fix anything except provide the service industry with a endless supply of disposable workers who also need welfare to survive in our system?

    Maybe you're not aware the country has millions of hard working and educated men and women who are underemployed or not employed at all thanks to you and your globalist ilk sending their jobs to Asia and importing foreign workers to replace American workers at home.

    Sorry this argument is a failure.

    "The fact that he retired from commercial pursuits at forty contest my point how exactly? "

    He was a man of letters who dedicated his life to things beyond the vulgar quick buck artists of the Davos set who see nothing wrong with exploiting the s**t out of third worlders and their lands so as to engorge their already bloated bank accounts.
    , @syonredux

    High immigration is by no means the chief enemy of unionization. American unionism had its biggest growths during periods of high immigration. In fact a big reason for the 1920s immigration restrictions was the boon immigration was providing to the labor movement.
     
    On the other hand, labor leaders like Gompers were quite keen on restricting immigration.So was Chavez before he turned into a La Raza activist.And America's unions enjoyed their apogee of power during the immigration hiatus from 1924-'65.

    The whole point is Franklin was very much of the National Greatness, more people plus more land equals success school.
     
    Be more correct to say that he was of the school that more land allows for more people by making reproduction easier and more affordable

    He just thought that a large population was better produced through reproduction not immigration. With stagnant birth rates like those we have today Franklin wouldn’t have an alternative and his views on immigration would be right in line with the Davos set.
     
    MMMM, no they wouldn't, dear fellow. Franklin didn't believe in having lots of people. He believed in having lots of people of the right race (English).Hence, if the Anglo-Saxons had a stagnant birthrate, he would not advocate bringing in foreigners, as that would not help the English race.Indeed, it would only dilute English power.So, no, Franklin would not get along with the Davos set.

    He understood that you can’t let your self get boxed out from markets (see his imperialist focus on New Orleans) and like it or not oil is rhe life blood of the modern economy.
     
    Which simply means that one needs to have good relations with unpleasant Middle Eastern types, dear fellow.Franklin would have seen no need for sending in troops to get what we can readily buy.

    He was well known in Europe because of his diplomatic service there and beaver hat.
     
    Uh, no. Franklin was made the American envoy to France because he was already world-famous. His work with electricity was known all over the world. Have you read any biographies of Franklin?

    He was hardly the prototypical American during his lifetime however because the term would have been nonsense.
     
    Uh, no, it would not have. The term "American" was commonly used during Franklin's lifetime to refer to the inhabitants of England's mainland North American colonies, and Franklin was commonly perceived as embodying the traits of the American nation.

    The fact that he retired from commercial pursuits at forty contest my point how exactly?
     
    By demonstrating that Franklin was not devoted to commercial activity, dear fellow.

    Jefferson and Washington for all intents and purposes never devoted a day or commerce in their lives.
     
    That's only if one defines running large plantations as non-commercial activities....

    Jefferson didn’t make an ethos more, bigger, better-
     
    MMMM, well Jefferson did purchase the Louisiana Territory, which made the USA quite a bit bigger.....

    Franklin did. That was my point. I didn’t say he was greedy.
     
    Franklin's ethos involved making sure that that the Anglo-Saxon race was powerful, dear fellow.
    , @map
    Well, there has never been a home-grown "reserve labor force of the unemployed" because the English mating and courtship practices did not result in breeding to Malthusian limits.
  24. Anonymous says:
    @Anonymous
    The tribal favoritism works both ways. The English invited a German, the Prince Elector of Hanover and grandfather of Frederick the Great in Prussia, to become their King George I in 1717. His son George II and great-grandson George III also held Hanover in personal union while they sat on the British throne.

    So Germans didn't wind up in the American colonies through some mysterious accident. They saw that one of their guys had sovereignty over these settlements, even if he lived in England.

    George I’s mother, Electress Sophia of Hanover, was a granddaughter of James I of England. It wasn’t as if the British picked some random German prince.

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  25. MC says:

    Wouldn’t a ballsier country have really, truly tried to settle Alaska by now? Development is limited by the lack of a road system, but we used to be good at building that sort of thing…

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  26. dearieme says:
    @Anonymous
    The relationship between the decline of the labor to land and capital ratio and the industrial revolution doesn't seem to get much interest or attention, even though it seems pretty interesting. The mainstream neoliberal economic growth explanations, as well as the HBD/Gregory Clark explanations, aren't completely satisfactory and always involve some hand waiving in parts to explain the industrial revolution.

    “The mainstream neoliberal economic growth explanations, as well as the HBD/Gregory Clark explanations, aren’t completely satisfactory … to explain the industrial revolution”. The explanation is the same as the explanation for classical Athens, to wit: Bloody Hell, look at that!

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  27. george says:

    “Benjamin Franklin’s arguments in favor of immigration restrictions were influential ”

    I thought that with the exception of Chinese no serious immigration restriction occured until the Immigration act of 1924 (repealed in 1965).

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    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    That's what I don't understand. Restricting immigration was a dead letter for most of the centuries really following this essay. It seems to me his real influence was laying a blue print for Mannifest Destiny and the idea that bulk whether in land or population equalled power and influence on the international stage. In doing so Franklin laid the ground work for the National Greatness conservatism people seem to loathe here. take out the parts about immigration what in the essay would David Brooks not lap up with glee. Franklin's priority was a brisk population growth that he felt it could be achieved through issue not immigration is basically immaterial to the larger question: would America be a big or small nation population wise. Franklin was on the side of big.

    What might be worth considering is whether Franklin's view did feed into the issue of slavery and influence slave holders to grudgingly accept restrictions on the importation of slaves in light of the fact that America's natural conditions allowed for a unique level of fertility among the slave population.
  28. Jefferson says:

    “Is space limited by natural constraints or government regulation? I once heard Thomas Sowell say you could fit the entire population of the world into the state of Texas. Not in apartments either, you could give everyone a decent house. Housing isn’t so much cheaper in Texas than California because Texas is less dense, it’s because of zoning and environmental policy.”

    Most of Texas is landlocked with no beautiful views of the ocean. Landlocked states in general tend to have cheaper housing than coastal states.

    In the state of California, the further you get away from the ocean the cheaper housing gets. If you want to find cheap housing in California than move to the Inland Empire or the Sacramento metropolitan area.

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  29. dearieme says:
    @syonredux
    The House of Hanover's German origins were frequently commented on in the 18th Century Anglosphere, and a lot of the commentary was quite negative. A good many people did not like the idea of someone of alien race sitting on the throne.

    “The House of Hanover’s German origins”: yeah, after a part-Welsh dynasty, a Scots dynasty, a Dutch interlude, then Germans: awful, innit? Furriners, bah! But religion, and the fear of the restarting of religious war or persecution, was deemed to be a bigger deal.

    Anyway, the rulers of England from 1066 until sometime in the 14th century were French: rule by people who spoke English, and spent most of their time in England, was a novelty. Even then they imposed endless cruelty on the French peasantry in pursuing their claims to the French throne. And before all that there was Cnut/Canute – them bloody Danes, eh?

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    yeah, after a part-Welsh dynasty, a Scots dynasty, a Dutch interlude, then Germans: awful, innit? Furriners, bah! But religion, and the fear of the restarting of religious war or persecution, was deemed to be a bigger deal.

     

    No ever said that hatred of foreigners was always rational, dear fellow.Indeed, Daniel Defoe wrote a satire on xenophobic English reactions to William of Orange, "The True-Born Englishman"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True-Born_Englishman

    But some people kept on complaining about German princes on an English throne. Byron, for example, loved to bring up the House of Hanover's German origins, and always in a negative light.

    Anyway, the rulers of England from 1066 until sometime in the 14th century were French: rule by people who spoke English, and spent most of their time in England, was a novelty.
     
    Yes, the "Patriot" element was fond of dilating on the "Norman Yoke"

    but on the matter of electricity, apparently a bit of a fraud.
     
    Dear fellow, surely we are not going to go into the tedious arguments over when he performed the famous kite experiment?
  30. dearieme says:
    @syonredux

    Franklin can be a hard figure for 21st-century Americans to appreciate because we like victims and comeback kids, but he always won.
     
    I've taught Franklin's Autobiography for a while now, and I've noticed that my students, while finding it a good read, have a hard time taking Franklin in. Reared on documents of racialized suffering and hardship (The Autobiography of Malcolm X, The Diary of Anne Frank,The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, etc), they don't seem to know how to react to a man who succeeded in practically every endeavor that he put his mind to: electricity, literature (the Autobiography is a key work in the history of the genre), diplomacy, business (having earned his pile, Franklin basically retired at the age of 40), etc.

    Ours is an age that valorizes victimhood. Hence, our revered saints are failures.

    Franklin, neither a victim nor a failure, is more alien to our mores than a visitor from Mars.

    “Franklin, neither a victim nor a failure …”; but on the matter of electricity, apparently a bit of a fraud.

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  31. Jefferson says:

    If you are a Heterosexual man like Donald Trump than the American dream is money, power, and women. If you are a Homosexual man like Tim Cook than the American dream is money, power, and men.

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  32. BubbaJoe says:
    @Rob McX
    Wow, you're nudging your way slowly into MSM, Steve. Will I see you in NYT before I die?

    If Steve were invited to write for the NYT, what would the subject be?

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  33. Off topic but has anyone looked into this? Is this Michael Brown assaulting & robing an old man?

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  34. Anonymous says:
    @Anon
    As per your article, if the world's population booms, land fill up, and jobs disappear, I foresee a new age of conquest on the horizon, namely mass killings to take away other countries' land. In a couple of decades, Hitler may look pretty feeble to those living in the future. The mass immigration the US and Europe have been experiencing since the 1980s is only the first wave of the overspill from other countries. It'll get worse because their populations are increasing while their prospects are not.

    That was Hitler’s argument for invading Russia:

    http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2005/03/hitlers_argumen.html

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  35. Corvinus says:

    “I foresee a new age of conquest on the horizon, namely mass killings to take away other countries’ land. In a couple of decades, Hitler may look pretty feeble to those living in the future.”

    
You’ve been playing the game of Risk way too long. May I suggest a break?

    “that Great Wave destroyed a pre-existing (mostly) White Anglo-Saxon Protestant America that should have been preserved as long as humanly possible.”

    You do realize the ethnic groups that came to America in its infancy practiced a wide range of religions and had originally married within their group. They had declared “intermingling” to be “unseemly”. Yet, as more immigrants came to our country, they began to marry outside their ethnic group, as well as outside the race–which is their liberty to engage in such action–resulting in AMERICANS.

    “Franklin’s favoring of his own race (the English) over all others is often dismissed by his admirers.”

    The English are NOT a race. They are an ethnic group.

    The Founders’ policy welcomed as equal citizens people from many nations and religions. Indeed, there was legitimate concern that immigrants might come in numbers too large to assimilate to the American way of life. Although the Founders expected most immigrants to come from Europe, their principles made it possible for people of every race and continent to become, in Lincoln’s phrase, “blood of the blood, and flesh of the flesh” of the Founding Fathers who came before them.

    “A good many people did not like the idea of someone of alien race sitting on the throne.”

    
Your anti-whiteness is showing.

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  36. @Sailer

    Do you come up with these sorts of ideas on your own or is there some sort of running conversation with various sources, friends, readers, etc? Do people mail suggestions or little blurbs of info that set you loose on a theme?

    The idea of juxtaposing the Sacrosanct words of JFK and the whole Nation of Immigrants with a possible trump card of Benjamin Franklin was brilliant, as was your arithmetic of happiness as a function of land for farming and then the idea of real estate and homes as the modern equivalent.

    I left a long comment on CH about the idea of “Dwelling” and how it relates to the drop in marriages. I believe that a great amount of loss of male jobs is due to the decline in construction that is a function of the decline in family formation. It is a vicious cycle, no jobs-no marriages, no marriages-no construction, no construction-no jobs.

    I connected the changes in building, residential development, etc that occurred in Texas was made possible by an influx of millions of cheap laborers, driving out the artisan builder that had been prevalent before 1980. A chart in the CH post showed the flattening of male income relative to real GDP beginning in 1975. And these “industrial” built large developments began to dominate the Texas real estate market.

    It would be interesting to push the idea that immigration is killing marriage of Americans as you said. It drives up real estate, and the “Dwelling” is locus of the marriage.

    My point was that as Heidegger had said of “Dwelling”, the quality of the “Dwelling” (consider all meanings of the word, but primarily “a place to be”) is a function of the quality of the “building”. I stated that this industrial “building” lead to lower quality “dwelling” (in all forms of the word) and hence made “dwelling” as a function of marriage less of an attraction, primarily to women.

    By improving the quality of the “dwelling” via the quality of the “building” then marriage and all that entails is more desirable to women. And when women decide to marry, then the pump gets primed for the male jobs of construction, and of the manufacturing of things pursuant to construction, to finance, insurance, heck, the whole shooting match.

    I had tied it to immigration, because where I live there are no Mexican immigrants so the building is more done by artisan white contractors by hand. And there is this sense of “sparing” of the land, of building efficiently, Yankee craftsmanship, all creating a town that appears far far far more attractive than the income of its residents would suggest. And all of this adds greatly to the quality of life for all that live here.

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  37. rod1963 says:
    @Sam Haysom
    High immigration is by no means the chief enemy of unionization. American unionism had its biggest growths during periods of high immigration. In fact a big reason for the 1920s immigration restrictions was the boon immigration was providing to the labor movement. Unionization has quite a few enemies immigration is one-high fertility rates which Franklin in principle if not practice extolled can accomplish the same thing. The reserve army of the unemployed doesn't have to be be imported it can be homegrown. The whole point is Franklin was very much of the National Greatness, more people plus more land equals success school. He just thought that a large population was better produced through reproduction not immigration. With stagnant birth rates like those we have today Franklin wouldn't have an alternative and his views on immigration would be right in line with the Davos set.

    Franklin was hawkish on control check points for raw materials and transportation his entire life. Maybe he wouldn't have supported democrization in the Middle East but the idea that he would have had the US not get involved in the Middle East is hard to take seriously. He understood that you can't let your self get boxed out from markets (see his imperialist focus on New Orleans) and like it or not oil is rhe life blood of the modern economy. Pax Americana would have been embraced by Franklin.

    He was well known in Europe because of his diplomatic service there and beaver hat. He was hardly the prototypical American during his lifetime however because the term would have been nonsense.

    The fact that he retired from commercial pursuits at forty contest my point how exactly? Jefferson and Washington for all intents and purposes never devoted a day or commerce in their lives. Jefferson didn't make an ethos more, bigger, better- Franklin did. That was my point. I didn't say he was greedy.

    Sam

    “High immigration is by no means the chief enemy of unionization.”

    In a mature economy with a large native population it is a disaster for the workers in terms of wages and benefits.

    “The whole point is Franklin was very much of the National Greatness, more people plus more land equals success school. ”

    You’re confused, he wrote when the country was largely unexplored wilderness not a fully settled and industrialized high tech state with a population of 300 million.

    “With stagnant birth rates like those we have today Franklin wouldn’t have an alternative and his views on immigration would be right in line with the Davos set. ”

    How does importing tens of million of illiterate low IQ Hispanic peasants fix anything except provide the service industry with a endless supply of disposable workers who also need welfare to survive in our system?

    Maybe you’re not aware the country has millions of hard working and educated men and women who are underemployed or not employed at all thanks to you and your globalist ilk sending their jobs to Asia and importing foreign workers to replace American workers at home.

    Sorry this argument is a failure.

    “The fact that he retired from commercial pursuits at forty contest my point how exactly? ”

    He was a man of letters who dedicated his life to things beyond the vulgar quick buck artists of the Davos set who see nothing wrong with exploiting the s**t out of third worlders and their lands so as to engorge their already bloated bank accounts.

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    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    No the failure is entirely in your comprehension and understanding of Franklin. At no point in any post did I state my opinion of anything or anyone but Franklin. Again what I did was tease out the implications of Franklins theory. This requires you to understand that regardless of the conditions at the time Franklin envisioned the USA as a continent spanning clossus multiplying population wise based on the the fertile agricultural basin of the Mid-West. To reiterate Franklin, not me wanted a burgeoning population to buttress American power. As awkward as it might be I can't see any way David Brooks a la 1789 would have penned an article any different than Franklin's thesis. Yes Franklin opposed immigration at the time only because like it says in essay-the US didn't need immigration because the continent promised opportunities for a rapidly increasing population based only on a birth surge. The unspoken implication of thar argument is that should that robust fertility disappear new methods will be required. Repeat Franklin not me wanted the quickly increasing population to grow the US into a world power not me. Put in different terms Franklin was like Cold War hawks who worried about the missile gap 0nly his worry was the population gap. For Franklin (not me) population equaled power. I've honestly never seen someone get so confused with an argument that they put the position I am arguing against into my mouth.
  38. syonredux says:
    @Sam Haysom
    High immigration is by no means the chief enemy of unionization. American unionism had its biggest growths during periods of high immigration. In fact a big reason for the 1920s immigration restrictions was the boon immigration was providing to the labor movement. Unionization has quite a few enemies immigration is one-high fertility rates which Franklin in principle if not practice extolled can accomplish the same thing. The reserve army of the unemployed doesn't have to be be imported it can be homegrown. The whole point is Franklin was very much of the National Greatness, more people plus more land equals success school. He just thought that a large population was better produced through reproduction not immigration. With stagnant birth rates like those we have today Franklin wouldn't have an alternative and his views on immigration would be right in line with the Davos set.

    Franklin was hawkish on control check points for raw materials and transportation his entire life. Maybe he wouldn't have supported democrization in the Middle East but the idea that he would have had the US not get involved in the Middle East is hard to take seriously. He understood that you can't let your self get boxed out from markets (see his imperialist focus on New Orleans) and like it or not oil is rhe life blood of the modern economy. Pax Americana would have been embraced by Franklin.

    He was well known in Europe because of his diplomatic service there and beaver hat. He was hardly the prototypical American during his lifetime however because the term would have been nonsense.

    The fact that he retired from commercial pursuits at forty contest my point how exactly? Jefferson and Washington for all intents and purposes never devoted a day or commerce in their lives. Jefferson didn't make an ethos more, bigger, better- Franklin did. That was my point. I didn't say he was greedy.

    High immigration is by no means the chief enemy of unionization. American unionism had its biggest growths during periods of high immigration. In fact a big reason for the 1920s immigration restrictions was the boon immigration was providing to the labor movement.

    On the other hand, labor leaders like Gompers were quite keen on restricting immigration.So was Chavez before he turned into a La Raza activist.And America’s unions enjoyed their apogee of power during the immigration hiatus from 1924-’65.

    The whole point is Franklin was very much of the National Greatness, more people plus more land equals success school.

    Be more correct to say that he was of the school that more land allows for more people by making reproduction easier and more affordable

    He just thought that a large population was better produced through reproduction not immigration. With stagnant birth rates like those we have today Franklin wouldn’t have an alternative and his views on immigration would be right in line with the Davos set.

    MMMM, no they wouldn’t, dear fellow. Franklin didn’t believe in having lots of people. He believed in having lots of people of the right race (English).Hence, if the Anglo-Saxons had a stagnant birthrate, he would not advocate bringing in foreigners, as that would not help the English race.Indeed, it would only dilute English power.So, no, Franklin would not get along with the Davos set.

    He understood that you can’t let your self get boxed out from markets (see his imperialist focus on New Orleans) and like it or not oil is rhe life blood of the modern economy.

    Which simply means that one needs to have good relations with unpleasant Middle Eastern types, dear fellow.Franklin would have seen no need for sending in troops to get what we can readily buy.

    He was well known in Europe because of his diplomatic service there and beaver hat.

    Uh, no. Franklin was made the American envoy to France because he was already world-famous. His work with electricity was known all over the world. Have you read any biographies of Franklin?

    He was hardly the prototypical American during his lifetime however because the term would have been nonsense.

    Uh, no, it would not have. The term “American” was commonly used during Franklin’s lifetime to refer to the inhabitants of England’s mainland North American colonies, and Franklin was commonly perceived as embodying the traits of the American nation.

    The fact that he retired from commercial pursuits at forty contest my point how exactly?

    By demonstrating that Franklin was not devoted to commercial activity, dear fellow.

    Jefferson and Washington for all intents and purposes never devoted a day or commerce in their lives.

    That’s only if one defines running large plantations as non-commercial activities….

    Jefferson didn’t make an ethos more, bigger, better-

    MMMM, well Jefferson did purchase the Louisiana Territory, which made the USA quite a bit bigger…..

    Franklin did. That was my point. I didn’t say he was greedy.

    Franklin’s ethos involved making sure that that the Anglo-Saxon race was powerful, dear fellow.

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  39. syonredux says:
    @dearieme
    "The House of Hanover’s German origins": yeah, after a part-Welsh dynasty, a Scots dynasty, a Dutch interlude, then Germans: awful, innit? Furriners, bah! But religion, and the fear of the restarting of religious war or persecution, was deemed to be a bigger deal.

    Anyway, the rulers of England from 1066 until sometime in the 14th century were French: rule by people who spoke English, and spent most of their time in England, was a novelty. Even then they imposed endless cruelty on the French peasantry in pursuing their claims to the French throne. And before all that there was Cnut/Canute - them bloody Danes, eh?

    yeah, after a part-Welsh dynasty, a Scots dynasty, a Dutch interlude, then Germans: awful, innit? Furriners, bah! But religion, and the fear of the restarting of religious war or persecution, was deemed to be a bigger deal.

    No ever said that hatred of foreigners was always rational, dear fellow.Indeed, Daniel Defoe wrote a satire on xenophobic English reactions to William of Orange, “The True-Born Englishman”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True-Born_Englishman

    But some people kept on complaining about German princes on an English throne. Byron, for example, loved to bring up the House of Hanover’s German origins, and always in a negative light.

    Anyway, the rulers of England from 1066 until sometime in the 14th century were French: rule by people who spoke English, and spent most of their time in England, was a novelty.

    Yes, the “Patriot” element was fond of dilating on the “Norman Yoke”

    but on the matter of electricity, apparently a bit of a fraud.

    Dear fellow, surely we are not going to go into the tedious arguments over when he performed the famous kite experiment?

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    • Replies: @dearieme
    'Yes, the “Patriot” element was fond of dilating on the “Norman Yoke”': they were too dim even to get it right. It was an Angevin yoke. As for Byron, what can you say? One of the nastiest people of his time.

    "But some people kept on complaining about German princes on an English throne." Silly them; it was the British throne.

    "surely we are not going to go into the tedious arguments over when he performed the famous kite experiment?" No point; the case for the prosecution is too strong.

  40. iSteveFan says:

    With stagnant birth rates like those we have today Franklin wouldn’t have an alternative and his views on immigration would be right in line with the Davos set.

    Sam, if the USA had a population of 450 million, and if birth rates were ‘stagnant’, would you be in favor of more immigration? What about at 500 million, 600, 700? Is there a limit to the size of the population you desire? Even China pulled the plug thirty years ago with their one-child policy.

    I never met Franklin, but given his intelligence on many matters, I doubt Ben would have been in favor of forever expanding the US population.

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    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    No I am for low immigration rates. Again Franklin was the one who wanted a bountiful population. My point was only to emphasize for someone who wants a large population to promote national power and greatness, there are not many options if the birth rate plummets. I'm not saying you should know my politics or anything as I'm not a regular poster, but I do post enough to dispel any notion that I am a neo-con or national greatness conservative.
  41. Great essay Steve.

    A good point about Malthus having bad timing, I suspect that his predictions may be more true in the next 20 years though.

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  42. Ed says:

    To defend Hart and Celler, their immigration legislation has to be seen in the context of the unprecedented period of population growth the world human population was experiencing. World population in 1964 was 3.5 billion, as opposed to 7.3 billion and just beginning to slow down at present. In other words, since the immigration act was passed nearly 4 billion people have been added worldwide, of which the US has graciously taken in about a 100 million to ease pressure on countries such as Mexico.

    The worldwide population growth quite frankly has driven immigration into the US more than Hart-Celler. If you have an alternative universe where immigration legislation is unchanged, but the same 4 billion people are added to the world population, the US government would have found some way to look the other way to take in more Mexicans, Central Americans, Filipinos etc and prevent revolutions in those countries. Keep Hart-Celler but keep worldwide population the same, and you would have gotten fairly low immigration, not much greater than between 1923-64, though definitely more non-white in composition in those years.

    Of course it depends if your objection to post-1964 immigration has more to do with the numbers or the ethnic composition. If the latter, Hart and Celler are your villains, but if its the former, people like William Gaud and Norman Borlaug are to blame.

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    • Replies: @ABN
    The whole point of the green revolution is that it allowed more people to live better. If global population levels before the green revolution did not represent a moral crisis or geopolitical threat, there's no reason to believe that the population increase facilitated by the green revolution would represent such.

    If a country goes from having x people with y per capita income to 2x people with 1.1y per capita income, that's an unambiguously good thing for those countries, not an argument for allowing more immigration from them.
  43. ABN says:

    The importation of foreigners into a country that has as many inhabitants as the present employments and provisions for subsistence will bear will be in the end no increase of people; . . . Nor is it necessary to bring in foreigners to fill up any occasional vacancy in a country; for such vacancy . . . will soon be filled by natural generation.

    The converse of Franklin’s statement is also very relevant: The export of a country’s citizens does not, in the end, mean fewer citizens in that country.

    Mexico has been sending millions of poor Mexicans to the US for decades, but the number of poor people in Mexico has not been reduced (not by this process, at any rate). Why? Because exporting its surplus population has allowed Mexico to prevent fertility rates from falling further and faster than they have. It seems very plausible to me that a Mexico without the outlet of mass emigration would have moved toward replacement fertility sooner than it has.

    Bottom line, taking in poor foreigners does not reduce the aggregate amount of hardship in the world. The long-run population level and standard of living of (say) Mexico are determined by land, resources, culture, and quality of public institutions. We have no control over those things; we only control the extent to which we allow ourselves to be colonized.

    The same goes, a fortiori, for sub-Saharan Africa. If countries like Niger couldn’t send their kids to Europe, they probably wouldn’t have quite so many kids per woman. (Or, if they did, more would die from disease, war, hunger, etc. The population would equilibrate either way. That may be grim to contemplate, but the alternative to letting that happen is accepting that there exists some kind of moral right to colonize other countries on the part of any population willing to hold a gun to the heads of their irresponsibly-conceived progeny. It’s a bit reminiscent of that scene from Blazing Saddles where the black sheriff threatens to lynch himself.)

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  44. Allen says:

    Since we are mentioning one of our greatest Americans, this comments section wouldn’t be complete without a reference to the well-known short documentaries about Benjamin Franklin.

    If the reader hasn’t seen it, he/she should:

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  45. iSteveFan says:

    If you have an alternative universe where immigration legislation is unchanged, but the same 4 billion people are added to the world population, the US government would have found some way to look the other way to take in more Mexicans, Central Americans, Filipinos etc and prevent revolutions in those countries.

    Why would the US government be concerned about revolutions in those nations? We don’t seem to be worried about the chaos we helped unleash in Iraq, Syria, Libya and other places. A real revolution in Mexico, one in which the whites’ grip on power and resources was reduced, would probably be the best thing for Mexico. Heck, though I am anti-intervention, I would probably go along with a regime-change-democracy-spreading operation in Mexico. It’d make more sense than doing the same halfway around the world.

    Keep Hart-Celler but keep worldwide population the same, and you would have gotten fairly low immigration, not much greater than between 1923-64, though definitely more non-white in composition in those years.

    In addition to opening up the nation to non-Europeans, the annual limits were raised too. I don’t know if Hart-Celler specifically allowed a million plus immigrants, or if that came from the follow-on bills.

    I know during the time of the 1924 Act, immigration was limited to about 150 to 200K per year. Today that number is at least a million, and has been for a couple of decades. Now I hear McCrazy talking about making it 4 million. Maybe Hart-Celler did not set those high limits, but the spirit of Hart-Celler probably contributed to this immigration on steroids attitude we’ve had since.

    Even if the world did not have a third world baby boom due to the green revolution, there were still enough third worlders to fill up 1 million annual slots. Had that limit been kept at 200K per year, the damage done would not have been as significant.

    Of course it depends if your objection to post-1964 immigration has more to do with the numbers or the ethnic composition. If the latter, Hart and Celler are your villains, but if its the former, people like William Gaud and Norman Borlaug are to blame.

    Count me in the community of those who believe America should be a European nation. So changing the demographic makeup of this nation is a showstopper for me.

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  46. ABN says:

    By the way, Obama’s statement is really extraordinary, and not just because of the shameless invocation of the “nation of immigrants” nonsense (an inherently contemptuous and hostile rhetorical device if there ever was one).

    “My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. . . . That’s the tradition we must uphold. That’s the legacy we must leave for those who are yet to come,”

    In the context of immigration, “those who are yet to come” refers not merely to foreigners, but to the hypothetical US-citizen children of foreigners. I.e., not only is Obama referring to people who don’t presently exist, he is referring to people whose future existence is largely contingent on American immigration policy!

    In other words, Obama isn’t just saying, “Let’s let that poor foreign guy into our country.” Obama is suggesting that we have a civic obligation to the children that the foreign guy does not have–and would not have–in the absence of American immigration policy actively creating the circumstances for those children’s future existence.

    So “those who are yet to come” refers to nothing more or less than the demographic rearguard of foreign occupation. To me (or to anyone who thinks in basic statistical and biological terms about population issues) there could not be any purer distillation of the anti-American worldview of the ruling class. This is treason, not against the state but by the state.

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  47. ABN says:
    @Ed
    To defend Hart and Celler, their immigration legislation has to be seen in the context of the unprecedented period of population growth the world human population was experiencing. World population in 1964 was 3.5 billion, as opposed to 7.3 billion and just beginning to slow down at present. In other words, since the immigration act was passed nearly 4 billion people have been added worldwide, of which the US has graciously taken in about a 100 million to ease pressure on countries such as Mexico.

    The worldwide population growth quite frankly has driven immigration into the US more than Hart-Celler. If you have an alternative universe where immigration legislation is unchanged, but the same 4 billion people are added to the world population, the US government would have found some way to look the other way to take in more Mexicans, Central Americans, Filipinos etc and prevent revolutions in those countries. Keep Hart-Celler but keep worldwide population the same, and you would have gotten fairly low immigration, not much greater than between 1923-64, though definitely more non-white in composition in those years.

    Of course it depends if your objection to post-1964 immigration has more to do with the numbers or the ethnic composition. If the latter, Hart and Celler are your villains, but if its the former, people like William Gaud and Norman Borlaug are to blame.

    The whole point of the green revolution is that it allowed more people to live better. If global population levels before the green revolution did not represent a moral crisis or geopolitical threat, there’s no reason to believe that the population increase facilitated by the green revolution would represent such.

    If a country goes from having x people with y per capita income to 2x people with 1.1y per capita income, that’s an unambiguously good thing for those countries, not an argument for allowing more immigration from them.

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  48. Jeff W. says:

    In 1862, in his second annual message to Congress, Lincoln argued that the pursuit of national greatness required Union victory. The U.S. was destined to become as populous as Europe as long as secession did not derail progress.

    Some Franklin-like themes are found in this message.

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=29503

    Excerpt:

    These figures show that our country may be as populous as Europe now is at some point between 1920 and 1930–say about 1925–our territory, at 73 1/3 persons to the square mile, being of capacity to contain 217,186,000.

    And we will reach this, too, if we do not ourselves relinquish the chance by the folly and evils of disunion or by long and exhausting war springing from the only great element of national discord among us. While it can not be foreseen exactly how much one huge example of secession, breeding lesser ones indefinitely, would retard population, civilization, and prosperity, no one can doubt that the extent of it would be very great and injurious.

    The whole thing is worth reading. It is an impressive piece of work.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Yes, Franklin's work on population was well known through the 19th Century. It's pretty amazing that it is almost unknown today.
  49. @iSteveFan

    If you have an alternative universe where immigration legislation is unchanged, but the same 4 billion people are added to the world population, the US government would have found some way to look the other way to take in more Mexicans, Central Americans, Filipinos etc and prevent revolutions in those countries.
     
    Why would the US government be concerned about revolutions in those nations? We don't seem to be worried about the chaos we helped unleash in Iraq, Syria, Libya and other places. A real revolution in Mexico, one in which the whites' grip on power and resources was reduced, would probably be the best thing for Mexico. Heck, though I am anti-intervention, I would probably go along with a regime-change-democracy-spreading operation in Mexico. It'd make more sense than doing the same halfway around the world.

    Keep Hart-Celler but keep worldwide population the same, and you would have gotten fairly low immigration, not much greater than between 1923-64, though definitely more non-white in composition in those years.
     
    In addition to opening up the nation to non-Europeans, the annual limits were raised too. I don't know if Hart-Celler specifically allowed a million plus immigrants, or if that came from the follow-on bills.

    I know during the time of the 1924 Act, immigration was limited to about 150 to 200K per year. Today that number is at least a million, and has been for a couple of decades. Now I hear McCrazy talking about making it 4 million. Maybe Hart-Celler did not set those high limits, but the spirit of Hart-Celler probably contributed to this immigration on steroids attitude we've had since.

    Even if the world did not have a third world baby boom due to the green revolution, there were still enough third worlders to fill up 1 million annual slots. Had that limit been kept at 200K per year, the damage done would not have been as significant.

    Of course it depends if your objection to post-1964 immigration has more to do with the numbers or the ethnic composition. If the latter, Hart and Celler are your villains, but if its the former, people like William Gaud and Norman Borlaug are to blame.
     
    Count me in the community of those who believe America should be a European nation. So changing the demographic makeup of this nation is a showstopper for me.

    A real revolution in Mexico…

    Been there, done that.

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  50. @Jeff W.
    In 1862, in his second annual message to Congress, Lincoln argued that the pursuit of national greatness required Union victory. The U.S. was destined to become as populous as Europe as long as secession did not derail progress.

    Some Franklin-like themes are found in this message.

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=29503

    Excerpt:

    These figures show that our country may be as populous as Europe now is at some point between 1920 and 1930--say about 1925--our territory, at 73 1/3 persons to the square mile, being of capacity to contain 217,186,000.

    And we will reach this, too, if we do not ourselves relinquish the chance by the folly and evils of disunion or by long and exhausting war springing from the only great element of national discord among us. While it can not be foreseen exactly how much one huge example of secession, breeding lesser ones indefinitely, would retard population, civilization, and prosperity, no one can doubt that the extent of it would be very great and injurious.
     
    The whole thing is worth reading. It is an impressive piece of work.

    Yes, Franklin’s work on population was well known through the 19th Century. It’s pretty amazing that it is almost unknown today.

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    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    Yes, Franklin’s work on population was well known through the 19th Century. It’s pretty amazing that it is almost unknown today.

     

    Has his nth-great-grandson, economist Mark Skousen, weighed in on this? Or any other descendants?
  51. @iSteveFan

    With stagnant birth rates like those we have today Franklin wouldn’t have an alternative and his views on immigration would be right in line with the Davos set.
     
    Sam, if the USA had a population of 450 million, and if birth rates were 'stagnant', would you be in favor of more immigration? What about at 500 million, 600, 700? Is there a limit to the size of the population you desire? Even China pulled the plug thirty years ago with their one-child policy.

    I never met Franklin, but given his intelligence on many matters, I doubt Ben would have been in favor of forever expanding the US population.

    No I am for low immigration rates. Again Franklin was the one who wanted a bountiful population. My point was only to emphasize for someone who wants a large population to promote national power and greatness, there are not many options if the birth rate plummets. I’m not saying you should know my politics or anything as I’m not a regular poster, but I do post enough to dispel any notion that I am a neo-con or national greatness conservative.

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  52. @rod1963
    Sam

    "High immigration is by no means the chief enemy of unionization."

    In a mature economy with a large native population it is a disaster for the workers in terms of wages and benefits.

    "The whole point is Franklin was very much of the National Greatness, more people plus more land equals success school. "

    You're confused, he wrote when the country was largely unexplored wilderness not a fully settled and industrialized high tech state with a population of 300 million.

    "With stagnant birth rates like those we have today Franklin wouldn’t have an alternative and his views on immigration would be right in line with the Davos set. "

    How does importing tens of million of illiterate low IQ Hispanic peasants fix anything except provide the service industry with a endless supply of disposable workers who also need welfare to survive in our system?

    Maybe you're not aware the country has millions of hard working and educated men and women who are underemployed or not employed at all thanks to you and your globalist ilk sending their jobs to Asia and importing foreign workers to replace American workers at home.

    Sorry this argument is a failure.

    "The fact that he retired from commercial pursuits at forty contest my point how exactly? "

    He was a man of letters who dedicated his life to things beyond the vulgar quick buck artists of the Davos set who see nothing wrong with exploiting the s**t out of third worlders and their lands so as to engorge their already bloated bank accounts.

    No the failure is entirely in your comprehension and understanding of Franklin. At no point in any post did I state my opinion of anything or anyone but Franklin. Again what I did was tease out the implications of Franklins theory. This requires you to understand that regardless of the conditions at the time Franklin envisioned the USA as a continent spanning clossus multiplying population wise based on the the fertile agricultural basin of the Mid-West. To reiterate Franklin, not me wanted a burgeoning population to buttress American power. As awkward as it might be I can’t see any way David Brooks a la 1789 would have penned an article any different than Franklin’s thesis. Yes Franklin opposed immigration at the time only because like it says in essay-the US didn’t need immigration because the continent promised opportunities for a rapidly increasing population based only on a birth surge. The unspoken implication of thar argument is that should that robust fertility disappear new methods will be required. Repeat Franklin not me wanted the quickly increasing population to grow the US into a world power not me. Put in different terms Franklin was like Cold War hawks who worried about the missile gap 0nly his worry was the population gap. For Franklin (not me) population equaled power. I’ve honestly never seen someone get so confused with an argument that they put the position I am arguing against into my mouth.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Because otherwise I just don’t understand how the parts about immigration, rather than the parts about America’s potential as a continental power, were at all influential.

     

    Actually, dear fellow, as Steve's article points out, the essay's greatest impact was in the realm of evolutionary theory, not politics.

    It seems like the essay’s influence wasn’t immigration related.
     
    Yes, dear fellow; it's greatest impact was, shall we say, science related (Malthus, Darwin, etc).

    Franklin envisioned the USA as a continent spanning clossus multiplying population wise based on the the fertile agricultural basin of the Mid-West.
     
    No, Franklin in in 1751 (the essay wasn't published until 1755) was envisioning the British Empire as a global hegemon, with North America providing it with her main power base:

    Thus there are suppos'd to be now upwards of One Million English Souls in North-America, (tho' 'tis thought scarce 80,000 have been brought over Sea,) and yet perhaps there is not one the fewer in Britain, but rather many more, on Account of the Employment the Colonies afford to Manufacturers at Home. This Million doubling, suppose but once in 25 Years, will, in another Century, be more than the People of England, and the greatest Number of Englishmen will be on this Side the Water. What an Accession of Power to the British Empire by Sea as well as Land! What Increase of Trade and Navigation! What Numbers of Ships and Seamen! We have been here but little more than 100 years, and yet the Force of our Privateers in the late War, united, was greater, both in Men and Guns, than that of the whole British Navy in Queen Elizabeth's Time. How important an Affair then to Britain is the present Treaty for settling the Bounds between her Colonies and the French, and how careful should she be to secure Room enough, since on the Room depends so much the Increase of her People.
     
    Here Franklin is acting as a prophet for the British Empire, but one unlike the India-centered Second Empire of the 19th century.That Empire was based on rule of the non-English. here Franklin is predicting an Empire based on the demographic expansion of the Anglo-Saxon race.

    The unspoken implication of thar argument is that should that robust fertility disappear new methods will be required.
     
    Unspoken because it was non-existent, dear fellow. Franklin did not see people as a uniform commodity.No, he saw the differences that divide populations (the English from the Germans, etc), and he wanted his race (the English) to prosper.

    Repeat Franklin not me wanted the quickly increasing population to grow the US into a world power not me.
     
    He wanted the natural increase of Englishman to enlarge British power, dear fellow.

    Put in different terms Franklin was like Cold War hawks who worried about the missile gap 0nly his worry was the population gap. For Franklin (not me) population equaled power.
     
    Well, yes, dear fellow. He wanted a larger share of the Earth's population to be English.

    Again Franklin was the one who wanted a bountiful population.
     
    Of Englishmen, dear fellow

    My point was only to emphasize for someone who wants a large population to promote national power and greatness, there are not many options if the birth rate plummets.
     
    And the importation of foreigners is not an option that Franklin would have entertained. To him, that would have been racial suicide:

    why should the Palatine Boors be suffered to swarm into our Settlements and, by herding together, establish their Language and Manners, to the Exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs any more than they can acquire our Complexion?
     
  53. @Half Canadian
    Have you seen this segregation simulator?

    http://ncase.me/polygons/

    I’ve achieved racial harmony!

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  54. @george
    "Benjamin Franklin’s arguments in favor of immigration restrictions were influential "

    I thought that with the exception of Chinese no serious immigration restriction occured until the Immigration act of 1924 (repealed in 1965).

    That’s what I don’t understand. Restricting immigration was a dead letter for most of the centuries really following this essay. It seems to me his real influence was laying a blue print for Mannifest Destiny and the idea that bulk whether in land or population equalled power and influence on the international stage. In doing so Franklin laid the ground work for the National Greatness conservatism people seem to loathe here. take out the parts about immigration what in the essay would David Brooks not lap up with glee. Franklin’s priority was a brisk population growth that he felt it could be achieved through issue not immigration is basically immaterial to the larger question: would America be a big or small nation population wise. Franklin was on the side of big.

    What might be worth considering is whether Franklin’s view did feed into the issue of slavery and influence slave holders to grudgingly accept restrictions on the importation of slaves in light of the fact that America’s natural conditions allowed for a unique level of fertility among the slave population.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    That’s what I don’t understand. Restricting immigration was a dead letter for most of the centuries really following this essay.
     
    On that score, we can heap a good share of the blame onto the Jefferson-Jackson tradition. They both saw foreigners as their natural constituencies.

    It seems to me his real influence was laying a blue print for Mannifest Destiny
     
    Dear fellow, expansion was taken as a given in American history. It only became a divisive issue after the Free vs Slave state divide became increasingly salient.

    and the idea that bulk whether in land or population equalled power and influence on the international stage. In doing so Franklin laid the ground work for the National Greatness conservatism people seem to loathe here.
     
    And Washington's Ohio campaign and Jefferson's purchase of Louisiana did not?

    take out the parts about immigration what in the essay would David Brooks not lap up with glee.
     
    MMMM, probably not pro-Israel enough for Brooks.....

    Franklin’s priority was a brisk population growth that he felt it could be achieved through issue not immigration is basically immaterial to the larger question: would America be a big or small nation population wise.
     
    The point of Franklin's essay was that America had the proper physical conditions to allow for "brisk" growth of the Anglo-Saxon race, dear fellow.

    Franklin was on the side of big.
     
    So was Washington.So was Jefferson.So was Hamilton.So was, etc, etc
  55. What might be worth considering is whether Franklin’s view did feed into the issue of slavery and influence slave holders to grudgingly accept restrictions on the importation of slaves in light of the fact that America’s natural conditions allowed for a unique level of fertility among the slave population. Because otherwise I just don’t understand how the parts about immigration, rather than the parts about America’s potential as a continental power, were at all influential.

    Franklin’s influential insight was that you could feed a continent with the Ohio Valley if you controlled New Orleans. That would be the dominate blue print of American foreign policy for almost a century. On the other hand America remained basically a open borders nation for more than a hundred years after the essay. It seems like the essay’s influence wasn’t immigration related.

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  56. Corvinus says:

    “He believed in having lots of people of the right race (English).Hence, if the Anglo-Saxons had a stagnant birthrate, he would not advocate bringing in foreigners, as that would not help the English race.”

    Syon, English is NOT a race. They are an ethnic group. You are being purposely deceitful.

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    • Replies: @Harold
    From the New Oxford American Dictionary

    race 2 |rās|
    noun
    • a group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc.; an ethnic group: we Scots were a bloodthirsty race then.
    , @dearieme
    "Syon, English is NOT a race. They are an ethnic group. You are being purposely deceitful."

    I suppose in terms of the great American obsession, the Negro Question, that would be fair. But in terms of usage of the English tongue it's rubbish. "Race" varies in use from broad brush - the Human Race - down to the scale of the Bavarian Race and perhaps even further. In between you have had the Aryan Race, the Nordic Race, the German Race et cetera. I don't know how it works in other languages - for instance, a Northern Italian once dismissed Sicilians and such to me as "Arabs", rather than as some putative "South Italian Race". But in English the custom is clear - clearly vague and variable, but clear.
  57. Jeff W. says:

    Lincoln, like Franklin, was a fan of Big Ten country:

    The great interior region bounded east by the Alleghanies, north by the British dominions, west by the Rocky Mountains, and south by the line along which the culture of corn and cotton meets, and which includes part of Virginia, part of Tennessee, all of Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, and the Territories of Dakota, Nebraska, and part of Colorado, already has above 10,000,000 people, and will have 50,000,000 within fifty years if not prevented by any political folly or mistake. It contains more than one-third of the country owned by the United States–certainly more than 1,000,000 square miles. Once half as populous as Massachusetts already is, it would have more than 75,000,000 people. A glance at the map shows that, territorially speaking, it is the great body of the Republic. The other parts are but marginal borders to it.

    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=29503

    Old Abe was right, “The other parts are but marginal borders to it.”

    As a Midwesterner and a parent, this is what I have taught my children about East Coast people: “They live all crowded together on a narrow coastal plain, and they have no work skills, which is why they have to make their living by stealing.”

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  58. iSteveFan says:

    To reiterate Franklin, not me wanted a burgeoning population to buttress American power. As awkward as it might be I can’t see any way David Brooks a la 1789 would have penned an article any different than Franklin’s thesis. Yes Franklin opposed immigration at the time only because like it says in essay-the US didn’t need immigration because the continent promised opportunities for a rapidly increasing population based only on a birth surge. The unspoken implication of thar argument is that should that robust fertility disappear new methods will be required. Repeat Franklin not me wanted the quickly increasing population to grow the US into a world power not me.

    Sam, I am saying that declining birthrates are not necessarily bad if your nation if fully populated. I don’t think Franklin would have favored continued above replacement level birth rates if the US had reached the extent of its borders, given his concern over the relationship of land and labor. I imagine Franklin would be more worried about free trade hollowing out US manufacturing than he would be about a nation of over 300 million, with the largest military on the planet, having below replacement level birth rates.

    In fact most of what Steve writes about Franklin suggests he would see the low birthrates as a sign that something was amiss in the US, and would probably attempt to entice or make it desirable for his people to have affordable families. I doubt Ben would use immigration, especially that of non-Europeans, as his go-to choice to shore up population numbers, which I doubt he’d be too worried about in the first place.

    After all, the great nations today in regards to their military and economic power generally seem to be the ones with below replacement level birth rates, while all the nations with well-above replacement level birth rates seem to be hellholes. This notion of forever increasing populations needs to be put to rest.

    PS. At least Ben would not be whining or apologizing about the US ‘taking’ territory from Mexico. I’d imagine Ben might have wanted more even Mexican territory and would probably consider it a national priority to preserve those gains and defend our border.

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    • Replies: @Yojimbo/Zatoichi
    "After all, the great nations today in regards to their military and economic power generally seem to be the ones with below replacement level birth rates, while all the nations with well-above replacement level birth rates seem to be hellholes. This notion of forever increasing populations needs to be put to rest."

    Yup. Fully agreed. Just look at Japan. First world economy, democratic government, and roughly 98% ethnically Japanese. Granted, some seem to think that about 1-2 million Koreans out of a nation of ca.120 million in total population is a significant minority but it really isn't. It's salt in the stew: perhaps enough to notice a different flavor from time to time and nothing much more than that.

    If Japan can contentedly keep their own nation for themselves and not invite the wrong sort (e.g. everyone else) across their island's borders then we should mark this prominent example well and do the same for our own.

    Amazing. Keeping America for native born Americans (e.g. at least a century of heritage on both family sides) is now considered to be near treason, bigotry, and hate speech in one's own land.

  59. Now Steve, this is one of the best articles you’ve written in 2014. Certainly ranks up there with Ferguson and Sterling coverage, as well as the most recent reporting on Rolling Stone UVA etc.

    Unlike those subjects, this one will endure and with consequences beyond the superhighway’s horizon.

    “Perhaps it’s time to go back to Franklin’s original peaceful conception of 1751: Instead of invading the world, let’s just stop inviting the world.”

    I will maintain here and now that most of the things in this article would not be out of favor with such luminaries as recent US naturalized citizen John Derbyshire or with American Renaissance Jared Taylor. Back when you two exchanged views on immigration it’s a shame that no one considered expanding on Benjamin Franklin’s views by adding them to the discussion.

    Perhaps in his own way, Dr. Richwine has started the conversation on intelligent, accurate data regarding immigration. Let us hope that others will soon bravely follow, come what may, even at the risk of public censure. If more and more voices are added to the conversation, slowly but surely, the right sort of Americans will listen to the call: “America: It’s not the worlds backyard and neither is it meant to be its dumping ground.”

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  60. iSteveFan says:

    Yes, Franklin’s work on population was well known through the 19th Century. It’s pretty amazing that it is almost unknown today.

    Ignorance is bliss.

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  61. @iSteveFan
    To reiterate Franklin, not me wanted a burgeoning population to buttress American power. As awkward as it might be I can’t see any way David Brooks a la 1789 would have penned an article any different than Franklin’s thesis. Yes Franklin opposed immigration at the time only because like it says in essay-the US didn’t need immigration because the continent promised opportunities for a rapidly increasing population based only on a birth surge. The unspoken implication of thar argument is that should that robust fertility disappear new methods will be required. Repeat Franklin not me wanted the quickly increasing population to grow the US into a world power not me.

    Sam, I am saying that declining birthrates are not necessarily bad if your nation if fully populated. I don't think Franklin would have favored continued above replacement level birth rates if the US had reached the extent of its borders, given his concern over the relationship of land and labor. I imagine Franklin would be more worried about free trade hollowing out US manufacturing than he would be about a nation of over 300 million, with the largest military on the planet, having below replacement level birth rates.

    In fact most of what Steve writes about Franklin suggests he would see the low birthrates as a sign that something was amiss in the US, and would probably attempt to entice or make it desirable for his people to have affordable families. I doubt Ben would use immigration, especially that of non-Europeans, as his go-to choice to shore up population numbers, which I doubt he'd be too worried about in the first place.

    After all, the great nations today in regards to their military and economic power generally seem to be the ones with below replacement level birth rates, while all the nations with well-above replacement level birth rates seem to be hellholes. This notion of forever increasing populations needs to be put to rest.

    PS. At least Ben would not be whining or apologizing about the US 'taking' territory from Mexico. I'd imagine Ben might have wanted more even Mexican territory and would probably consider it a national priority to preserve those gains and defend our border.

    “After all, the great nations today in regards to their military and economic power generally seem to be the ones with below replacement level birth rates, while all the nations with well-above replacement level birth rates seem to be hellholes. This notion of forever increasing populations needs to be put to rest.”

    Yup. Fully agreed. Just look at Japan. First world economy, democratic government, and roughly 98% ethnically Japanese. Granted, some seem to think that about 1-2 million Koreans out of a nation of ca.120 million in total population is a significant minority but it really isn’t. It’s salt in the stew: perhaps enough to notice a different flavor from time to time and nothing much more than that.

    If Japan can contentedly keep their own nation for themselves and not invite the wrong sort (e.g. everyone else) across their island’s borders then we should mark this prominent example well and do the same for our own.

    Amazing. Keeping America for native born Americans (e.g. at least a century of heritage on both family sides) is now considered to be near treason, bigotry, and hate speech in one’s own land.

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  62. Harold says:
    @Corvinus
    "He believed in having lots of people of the right race (English).Hence, if the Anglo-Saxons had a stagnant birthrate, he would not advocate bringing in foreigners, as that would not help the English race."

    Syon, English is NOT a race. They are an ethnic group. You are being purposely deceitful.

    From the New Oxford American Dictionary

    race 2 |rās|
    noun
    • a group of people sharing the same culture, history, language, etc.; an ethnic group: we Scots were a bloodthirsty race then.

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  63. Anonymous says:

    Good article.
    Steve at his best, saying the obvious – but not so obvious to ‘our leaders’ – combined with a good bit of potted history and explanation for why we are where we are.

    The persistent theme with Steve and steveism is that Steve states what is mind numbingly simple and obvious to anyone who has got a brain and tries to describe the bigger picture ie the same basic, fundamental historic forces and movements more or less describe the broad thrust of ‘life the universe and everything’ as we know it in the struggle for existence on this planet.
    Obvious to the humblest 18th century peasant. Obvious to the working class Englishman of today. Obvious to such great minds as Franklin, Malthus and Darwin, but unfortunately, obscure as mud to the ‘clever’ people who rule us – and the damn fools at The Economist magazine, whom the leaders are dumb enough to take seriously.

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  64. map says:
    @Sam Haysom
    High immigration is by no means the chief enemy of unionization. American unionism had its biggest growths during periods of high immigration. In fact a big reason for the 1920s immigration restrictions was the boon immigration was providing to the labor movement. Unionization has quite a few enemies immigration is one-high fertility rates which Franklin in principle if not practice extolled can accomplish the same thing. The reserve army of the unemployed doesn't have to be be imported it can be homegrown. The whole point is Franklin was very much of the National Greatness, more people plus more land equals success school. He just thought that a large population was better produced through reproduction not immigration. With stagnant birth rates like those we have today Franklin wouldn't have an alternative and his views on immigration would be right in line with the Davos set.

    Franklin was hawkish on control check points for raw materials and transportation his entire life. Maybe he wouldn't have supported democrization in the Middle East but the idea that he would have had the US not get involved in the Middle East is hard to take seriously. He understood that you can't let your self get boxed out from markets (see his imperialist focus on New Orleans) and like it or not oil is rhe life blood of the modern economy. Pax Americana would have been embraced by Franklin.

    He was well known in Europe because of his diplomatic service there and beaver hat. He was hardly the prototypical American during his lifetime however because the term would have been nonsense.

    The fact that he retired from commercial pursuits at forty contest my point how exactly? Jefferson and Washington for all intents and purposes never devoted a day or commerce in their lives. Jefferson didn't make an ethos more, bigger, better- Franklin did. That was my point. I didn't say he was greedy.

    Well, there has never been a home-grown “reserve labor force of the unemployed” because the English mating and courtship practices did not result in breeding to Malthusian limits.

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  65. dearieme says:
    @syonredux

    yeah, after a part-Welsh dynasty, a Scots dynasty, a Dutch interlude, then Germans: awful, innit? Furriners, bah! But religion, and the fear of the restarting of religious war or persecution, was deemed to be a bigger deal.

     

    No ever said that hatred of foreigners was always rational, dear fellow.Indeed, Daniel Defoe wrote a satire on xenophobic English reactions to William of Orange, "The True-Born Englishman"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_True-Born_Englishman

    But some people kept on complaining about German princes on an English throne. Byron, for example, loved to bring up the House of Hanover's German origins, and always in a negative light.

    Anyway, the rulers of England from 1066 until sometime in the 14th century were French: rule by people who spoke English, and spent most of their time in England, was a novelty.
     
    Yes, the "Patriot" element was fond of dilating on the "Norman Yoke"

    but on the matter of electricity, apparently a bit of a fraud.
     
    Dear fellow, surely we are not going to go into the tedious arguments over when he performed the famous kite experiment?

    ‘Yes, the “Patriot” element was fond of dilating on the “Norman Yoke”’: they were too dim even to get it right. It was an Angevin yoke. As for Byron, what can you say? One of the nastiest people of his time.

    “But some people kept on complaining about German princes on an English throne.” Silly them; it was the British throne.

    “surely we are not going to go into the tedious arguments over when he performed the famous kite experiment?” No point; the case for the prosecution is too strong.

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  66. dearieme says:
    @Corvinus
    "He believed in having lots of people of the right race (English).Hence, if the Anglo-Saxons had a stagnant birthrate, he would not advocate bringing in foreigners, as that would not help the English race."

    Syon, English is NOT a race. They are an ethnic group. You are being purposely deceitful.

    “Syon, English is NOT a race. They are an ethnic group. You are being purposely deceitful.”

    I suppose in terms of the great American obsession, the Negro Question, that would be fair. But in terms of usage of the English tongue it’s rubbish. “Race” varies in use from broad brush – the Human Race – down to the scale of the Bavarian Race and perhaps even further. In between you have had the Aryan Race, the Nordic Race, the German Race et cetera. I don’t know how it works in other languages – for instance, a Northern Italian once dismissed Sicilians and such to me as “Arabs”, rather than as some putative “South Italian Race”. But in English the custom is clear – clearly vague and variable, but clear.

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  67. Anonymous says:

    “Like insanity, amnesty is hereditary; you get it from your children”

    Sailerism of the year.

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  68. syonredux says:
    @Sam Haysom
    That's what I don't understand. Restricting immigration was a dead letter for most of the centuries really following this essay. It seems to me his real influence was laying a blue print for Mannifest Destiny and the idea that bulk whether in land or population equalled power and influence on the international stage. In doing so Franklin laid the ground work for the National Greatness conservatism people seem to loathe here. take out the parts about immigration what in the essay would David Brooks not lap up with glee. Franklin's priority was a brisk population growth that he felt it could be achieved through issue not immigration is basically immaterial to the larger question: would America be a big or small nation population wise. Franklin was on the side of big.

    What might be worth considering is whether Franklin's view did feed into the issue of slavery and influence slave holders to grudgingly accept restrictions on the importation of slaves in light of the fact that America's natural conditions allowed for a unique level of fertility among the slave population.

    That’s what I don’t understand. Restricting immigration was a dead letter for most of the centuries really following this essay.

    On that score, we can heap a good share of the blame onto the Jefferson-Jackson tradition. They both saw foreigners as their natural constituencies.

    It seems to me his real influence was laying a blue print for Mannifest Destiny

    Dear fellow, expansion was taken as a given in American history. It only became a divisive issue after the Free vs Slave state divide became increasingly salient.

    and the idea that bulk whether in land or population equalled power and influence on the international stage. In doing so Franklin laid the ground work for the National Greatness conservatism people seem to loathe here.

    And Washington’s Ohio campaign and Jefferson’s purchase of Louisiana did not?

    take out the parts about immigration what in the essay would David Brooks not lap up with glee.

    MMMM, probably not pro-Israel enough for Brooks…..

    Franklin’s priority was a brisk population growth that he felt it could be achieved through issue not immigration is basically immaterial to the larger question: would America be a big or small nation population wise.

    The point of Franklin’s essay was that America had the proper physical conditions to allow for “brisk” growth of the Anglo-Saxon race, dear fellow.

    Franklin was on the side of big.

    So was Washington.So was Jefferson.So was Hamilton.So was, etc, etc

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  69. syonredux says:
    @Sam Haysom
    No the failure is entirely in your comprehension and understanding of Franklin. At no point in any post did I state my opinion of anything or anyone but Franklin. Again what I did was tease out the implications of Franklins theory. This requires you to understand that regardless of the conditions at the time Franklin envisioned the USA as a continent spanning clossus multiplying population wise based on the the fertile agricultural basin of the Mid-West. To reiterate Franklin, not me wanted a burgeoning population to buttress American power. As awkward as it might be I can't see any way David Brooks a la 1789 would have penned an article any different than Franklin's thesis. Yes Franklin opposed immigration at the time only because like it says in essay-the US didn't need immigration because the continent promised opportunities for a rapidly increasing population based only on a birth surge. The unspoken implication of thar argument is that should that robust fertility disappear new methods will be required. Repeat Franklin not me wanted the quickly increasing population to grow the US into a world power not me. Put in different terms Franklin was like Cold War hawks who worried about the missile gap 0nly his worry was the population gap. For Franklin (not me) population equaled power. I've honestly never seen someone get so confused with an argument that they put the position I am arguing against into my mouth.

    Because otherwise I just don’t understand how the parts about immigration, rather than the parts about America’s potential as a continental power, were at all influential.

    Actually, dear fellow, as Steve’s article points out, the essay’s greatest impact was in the realm of evolutionary theory, not politics.

    It seems like the essay’s influence wasn’t immigration related.

    Yes, dear fellow; it’s greatest impact was, shall we say, science related (Malthus, Darwin, etc).

    Franklin envisioned the USA as a continent spanning clossus multiplying population wise based on the the fertile agricultural basin of the Mid-West.

    No, Franklin in in 1751 (the essay wasn’t published until 1755) was envisioning the British Empire as a global hegemon, with North America providing it with her main power base:

    Thus there are suppos’d to be now upwards of One Million English Souls in North-America, (tho’ ’tis thought scarce 80,000 have been brought over Sea,) and yet perhaps there is not one the fewer in Britain, but rather many more, on Account of the Employment the Colonies afford to Manufacturers at Home. This Million doubling, suppose but once in 25 Years, will, in another Century, be more than the People of England, and the greatest Number of Englishmen will be on this Side the Water. What an Accession of Power to the British Empire by Sea as well as Land! What Increase of Trade and Navigation! What Numbers of Ships and Seamen! We have been here but little more than 100 years, and yet the Force of our Privateers in the late War, united, was greater, both in Men and Guns, than that of the whole British Navy in Queen Elizabeth’s Time. How important an Affair then to Britain is the present Treaty for settling the Bounds between her Colonies and the French, and how careful should she be to secure Room enough, since on the Room depends so much the Increase of her People.

    Here Franklin is acting as a prophet for the British Empire, but one unlike the India-centered Second Empire of the 19th century.That Empire was based on rule of the non-English. here Franklin is predicting an Empire based on the demographic expansion of the Anglo-Saxon race.

    The unspoken implication of thar argument is that should that robust fertility disappear new methods will be required.

    Unspoken because it was non-existent, dear fellow. Franklin did not see people as a uniform commodity.No, he saw the differences that divide populations (the English from the Germans, etc), and he wanted his race (the English) to prosper.

    Repeat Franklin not me wanted the quickly increasing population to grow the US into a world power not me.

    He wanted the natural increase of Englishman to enlarge British power, dear fellow.

    Put in different terms Franklin was like Cold War hawks who worried about the missile gap 0nly his worry was the population gap. For Franklin (not me) population equaled power.

    Well, yes, dear fellow. He wanted a larger share of the Earth’s population to be English.

    Again Franklin was the one who wanted a bountiful population.

    Of Englishmen, dear fellow

    My point was only to emphasize for someone who wants a large population to promote national power and greatness, there are not many options if the birth rate plummets.

    And the importation of foreigners is not an option that Franklin would have entertained. To him, that would have been racial suicide:

    why should the Palatine Boors be suffered to swarm into our Settlements and, by herding together, establish their Language and Manners, to the Exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs any more than they can acquire our Complexion?

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  70. I don’t think it works to elide through the settlement of the American West as an uncharacteristic anomaly briefly interrupting the true American Dream. Ben Franklin is an American icon, but so are cowboys and sodbusters.

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  71. Svigor says:

    True our culture is innately White male hostile

    I love that “innately” shit you’re always dumping. Good work. I bet you feel like you just lost ten pounds.

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  72. Svigor says:

    My point was only to emphasize for someone who wants a large population to promote national power and greatness, there are not many options if the birth rate plummets.

    Oh, it’s you again. I’d rather see my nation’s power and greatness plummet, along with the numbers of my kinfolk, than see it destroyed by alien immigration; I’d rather it remain a nation. I’d rather be poor than see my kind die out.

    Is that plain enough for you?

    Go sell your snake oil to the Mexicans (who are seeing their country depopulated to “solve” the “depopulation problem”* in mine), the Japanese, the Chinese (who have instituted a 1 child policy, yet all the “homo economicus” like you say they’re the rising power), the Israelis.

    *a made-up problem.

    You’re a liar and a charlatan, trading in misery. A genocidaire.

    A nation can survive periods of poverty, low birth rates, etc. It cannot survive your malicious/reckless “advice.”

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    • Replies: @dcite
    That's true. It would not "survive." It would be an entirely different entity. I look at places around my metropolis, and can't believe even the most foggy swpls can't see that.
  73. Anon says:

    “Teddy had his name put on the 1965 immigration act.”

    Ted Kennedy had 44 years to correct his 1965 misleading of the American people: “Our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. … Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset”

    For those 44 years, he was one of the most powerful figures in the country, but he continued pushing for even more amnesties and affirmative action.

    I’m not seeing how he was a helpless victim.

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    • Replies: @dcite
    He had to obey, like all politicians in high places. He was a target. That said, he didn't seem to be the type that would have objected on principle in any case.
  74. @Steve Sailer
    Yes, Franklin's work on population was well known through the 19th Century. It's pretty amazing that it is almost unknown today.

    Yes, Franklin’s work on population was well known through the 19th Century. It’s pretty amazing that it is almost unknown today.

    Has his nth-great-grandson, economist Mark Skousen, weighed in on this? Or any other descendants?

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  75. Jefferson says:

    “Yup. Fully agreed. Just look at Japan. First world economy, democratic government, and roughly 98% ethnically Japanese. Granted, some seem to think that about 1-2 million Koreans out of a nation of ca.120 million in total population is a significant minority but it really isn’t. It’s salt in the stew: perhaps enough to notice a different flavor from time to time and nothing much more than that.”

    Koreans are the racial cousins of the Japanese, they are nowhere near racial opposites. Complaining about 2 million Koreans living in Japan is like complaining about 2 million Swedes living in Norway.

    Now if there were 2 million Kenyans living in Japan, than that would be reason for concern for the Japanese people.

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  76. dcite says:
    @Anon

    "Teddy had his name put on the 1965 immigration act."
     
    Ted Kennedy had 44 years to correct his 1965 misleading of the American people: "Our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. ... Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset"

    For those 44 years, he was one of the most powerful figures in the country, but he continued pushing for even more amnesties and affirmative action.

    I'm not seeing how he was a helpless victim.

    He had to obey, like all politicians in high places. He was a target. That said, he didn’t seem to be the type that would have objected on principle in any case.

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  77. dcite says:
    @Svigor

    My point was only to emphasize for someone who wants a large population to promote national power and greatness, there are not many options if the birth rate plummets.
     
    Oh, it's you again. I'd rather see my nation's power and greatness plummet, along with the numbers of my kinfolk, than see it destroyed by alien immigration; I'd rather it remain a nation. I'd rather be poor than see my kind die out.

    Is that plain enough for you?

    Go sell your snake oil to the Mexicans (who are seeing their country depopulated to "solve" the "depopulation problem"* in mine), the Japanese, the Chinese (who have instituted a 1 child policy, yet all the "homo economicus" like you say they're the rising power), the Israelis.

    *a made-up problem.

    You're a liar and a charlatan, trading in misery. A genocidaire.

    A nation can survive periods of poverty, low birth rates, etc. It cannot survive your malicious/reckless "advice."

    That’s true. It would not “survive.” It would be an entirely different entity. I look at places around my metropolis, and can’t believe even the most foggy swpls can’t see that.

    Read More

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