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If President Bush achieved nothing else in his Inaugural Address last week, he at least provided fodder for media pundits to chew on for a solid week or more.

This is an unusual accomplishment, even for inaugural addresses, most of which are endured and then ignored by those whose job it is to listen to them and talk and write about them.

It was predictable that Republicans would like the speech, but what was notable about responses to it was what the neo-conservatives had to say. “Say” is perhaps not quite the word.

Their reaction was less one of verbal articulation than the kind of gushing one hears in tidal waves and mud slides. The neo-cons liked the speech. They should have, since they essentially wrote it.

The neo-conservative influence on the inaugural address is obvious from its text. The president’s unqualified endorsement of pop utopianism, the Wilsonian principle that “it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world” is exactly what neo-cons have been peddling for decades.

It reflects their breezy assumption that “democracy” and “liberty” are virtual synonyms (an idea largely foreign to both classical political theory and the Founding Fathers, who thought they had established a republic that mixed forms of government, not a pure democracy). It accepts without question the assumption that “freedom” as the West understands it is a universal value for the whole world and can be institutionalized only in Western political forms.

And from those flawed premises, it draws the non sequitur that American foreign policy should therefore export freedom (meaning “democracy”) everywhere. The premises, the flawed logic, and the reckless conclusion are all neo-conservative commonplaces.

But the speech not only reflects neo-conservative ideology; it was in large part the work of neo-conservative hands. The Washington Postnoted that neo-cons like Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard and “a leading neoconservative thinker,” advised the president and his speechwriters on the address.[Speech Not a Sign of Policy Shift, Officials Say, Washington Post, Jan 21, 2005]

So were neo-conservatives Victor Davis Hanson and Charles Krauthammer, and so was Israeli politician (and neo-conservative) Nathan Sharansky, whom the president invited to the White House in November to talk about his own book on exporting democracy.

Predictably, the neo-cons not only helped write the speech but managed the gushing about it afterwards. “It was a rare inaugural speech that will go down as a historic speech, I believe,” Mr. Kristol swooned to the Post. “His importance as a world leader will turn out to be far larger than the sort of tactical issues that are widely debated and for which he is sometimes reviled,” neo-conservative kingpin Richard Perle solemnly pronounced a few days later. “Put this in a historic perspective: He’s already created profound change. All around the Middle East, they’re talking about the issue of democracy. They’re talking about his agenda. It’s an extraordinary thing.”

The neo-con domination of the inaugural address of course reflects their own continuing domination of the administration itself, now entrenched even more powerfully than in Mr. Bush’s first term. Just as the first term brought us war in Iraq, so the second we can expect to bring us wars—well—just about wherever the neo-cons want to wage them. By the logic of Mr. Bush’s speech, that could be almost anywhere that doesn’t conform to what he and they want.

As yet another neo-con gusher, Jonah Goldberg, affirmed, Mr. Bush’s foreign policy is “truly revolutionary.” In that description he concurs with liberal Robert Kagan of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, who writes that the president’s “goals are now the antithesis of conservatism. They are revolutionary.”

That’s OK, you see, because “the United States is a revolutionary power,” and Mr. Bush has now “found his way back to the universalist principles that have usually shaped American foreign policy, regardless of the nature of the threat.”

What is interesting here is not the flawed analysis of what has “usually shaped” our foreign policy but the convergence of neo-conservatism and liberalism. It’s interesting because for a generation it has been the constant theme of Old Right criticism of neo-conservatism that it is largely just liberal wine in a new bottle.

Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson were liberals, and all remain neo-conservative heroes. Their foreign policies, and the words with which they defended and explained them, were barely distinguishable from what Mr. Bush wrapped himself and the nation in last week. The president perhaps accomplished something else in his address: He confirmed once and for all that the neo-conservatism to which he has delivered his administration and the country is fundamentally indistinguishable from the liberalism many conservatives imagine he has renounced and defeated.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Neocons 

The most recent installment of Politically Correct mind control comes from Harvard University itself, the world capital of Political Correctness and at least a major metropolis of mind control.

It concerns no less a victim than the president of Harvard himself, Lawrence Summers, a veteran of the Clinton administration, who recently uttered some remarks about women that made the mind controllers sick at their stomachs.

A tip of the hat to President Summers.

What exactly he said is not clear since there seems to be no transcript or record of it, but in general he unbosomed the heresy that maybe human beings (in this case, women) are not merely blank slates on which social engineers can scribble whatever fictions they please.

As the New York Times described what he is supposed to have said (and does not deny saying):

“Dr. Summers cited research showing that more high school boys than girls tend to score at very high and very low levels on standardized math tests, and that it was important to consider the possibility that such differences may stem from biological differences between the sexes.”[Harvard Chief Defends His Talk on Women , By Sam Dillon, January 18, 2005]

He was discussing the general reason why there are so many more male scientists than female ones, and one such reason was possible biologically based sex differences.

On the scale of Political Incorrectness, this is not much more than a misdemeanor.

But it’s Harvard, you see, and up there they’re just not used to hearing opinions they don’t like.

To date, Mr. Summers has had to apologize at least three times.

“I felt I was going to be sick,” trembled one female scientist in the audience, M.I.T. biology professor Nancy Hopkins, who listened to part of the speech. As the Washington Post noted, “she walked out in what she described as a physical sense of disgust.” [Harvard Chief’s Comments on Women Assailed, by Michael Dobbs, January 14, 2005]

“My heart was pounding and my breath was shallow,” she panted to the Post. “I was extremely upset.”

Dr. Hopkins’ breath is perhaps not the only thing about her that’s shallow.

But she wasn’t the only one, and for the last week or so, Mr. Summers has enjoyed all the vitriol that modern totalitarianism can pour upon him.

To be sure, he has had his defenders, including several women scientists, who have suggested that there really may be the kind of innate biological differences between the sexes that he postulated.

But, as in tyranny’s more prosperous days under Stalin and Mao Tse Tung, truth is no defense. Even after his third apology, one Thought Patroller, the female head of the Harvard chemistry department, sniffed that it just didn’t go far enough. Of course it never does.

“The problem is that you can’t take it back,” she sighed.

What is remarkable about the hate fest directed at Mr. Summers is not that he was necessarily right (though there’s strong evidence that innate differences between the sexes account for differing mathematical aptitudes as well as many other differences) nor even that a distinguished academic official has to grovel in multiple apologies for his innocuous comments.

What is remarkable is why those who objected to what he said did so at all.

They got sick at their stomachs because they can’t stand the idea that innate or “biologically” grounded differences account for anything.

What Mr. Summers said contradicted the blank slate model of humanity that has been enthroned in academic dogma for nearly a century.

And one reason denying that human beings are blank slates is such a dreadful sin and makes some people physically sick is that it ultimately threatens their careers, their whole world-view, and indeed their power.

The blank slate ideology, increasingly discarded by scientists, asserts that there are no constants in human nature, that in fact there is no such thing as human nature at all, and it implies that whoever or whatever controls the “environment”—the social or cultural environment in which a child grows up—controls the man (or woman) that eventually emerges.

It’s an idea that underlies both communism and much of modern liberalism.

What Mr. Summers’ remarks imply is that you can’t reconstruct human beings, that there’s something natural—meaning genes—in human nature that survives even totalitarian manipulation and social engineering.

So far from making people sick at their stomachs, the possibility that human beings possess a nature beyond the capacity of political power to twist as it wants ought to make us rejoice.

But if that’s true, then the ideologies rooted in the blank slate dogma are in serious trouble, and so are those whose careers are based on such ideologies.

That very thought is enough to make some people sick, and it’s also enough, if you challenge the dogma, to cause a few problems for your own career—even when you’re the president of Harvard.

• Category: Science • Tags: Feminism, Larry Summers 

Mr. Barone’s advice was no criticism, since he fairly gushed with toasty sounds about the similarities between Wilson’s beliefs and Mr. Bush’s “vision of an America spreading freedom and democracy to new corners of the world.”

And in fact Mr. Barone was correct. Wilson is exactly who Mr. Bush sounded like in his speech yesterday.

Woodrow Wilson of course was the president who not only launched America into World War I to “make the world safe for democracy”but also helped forge the disastrous Treaty of Versailles, which helped spawn the chaos that led to Nazism in Germany and World War II.

Among Wilson’s other dubious accomplishments were the creation of the Federal Reserve System, a massive expansion of federal regulations, the federal income tax and the rise of what he called “presidential government” to “get around” the “obstructions” of “congressional government.” Why anyone purporting to represent conservatism of any kind would invoke Wilson as a positive icon is beyond comprehension.

Wilson also resembles Mr. Bush in that he campaigned in the 1916 election on the slogan, “He kept us out of war.” Then, a few months later, he helped bring us into war. Like Wilson, Mr. Bush is rapidly acquiring a reputation for violating the commitments of his last presidential campaign. That, perhaps, is his most notable contribution to American political history so far.

While not exactly a violation of a campaign promise, Mr. Bush’s renewed enthusiasm for amnesty for illegal aliens can fairly count as a betrayal. Though he proposed the amnesty early last year, before the campaign really started, he dropped it after a less than rousing response from Congress. He may have mentioned it once or twice during the campaign, but he has never described it as the amnesty it actually is.

Only after the election did Secretary of State Colin Powell, while on a visit to Mexico, say the plan would be revived .

“In light of the campaign and other things that were going on, we weren’t able to engage the Congress on it,” Mr. Powell said . “But now that the election is behind us and the president is looking to his second term, the president intends to engage Congress on it.”

In other words, we couldn’t tell voters what we were going to do because we would have lost. Now that we don’t have to pay attention to them any more, we can speak plainly. Ever since the election Mr. Bush has repeatedly promised to push his plan through Congress.

Plain Speaking Event Number Two is the proposed constitutional amendment banning homosexual marriage. Personally, I am not in favor of it and have written against it in the past, but many conservatives, especially those who supported the president, are, and one major reason they did support him is because he said he was in favor of it too. Now he’s not.

Interviewed in the Washington Post last week, Mr. Bush said he is advised by Republican senators that the amendment can’t possibly pass. Actually, it didn’t pass last year when it came up in Congress, but the religious right and its allies want to push it again.

As the Washington Post noted this week, social conservatives are already grousing about the president’s apparent lack of interest in pushing it . “Clearly there is concern,” said a spokesman for the Family Research Council.

Add to concern about the amendment the president’s appointment of an “abortion rights supporter,” Kenneth Mehlman, as head of the Republican National Committee, and Mr. Bush may start having problems with a large part of his political base. [Bush Upsets Some Supporters, By Jim VandeHei and Michael A. Fletcher, January 19, 2005]

Plain Speaking Event Number Three, assuming we don’t count the appointment of Alberto Gonzales as attorney general and his positions on abortion and immigration, is Mr. Gonzales’ most recent statement before the Senate Judiciary Committee that he “he will support reinstating the federal ban on assault weapons, which Congress allowed to expire in September.”

Since voting blocs like gun owners were at least as vital to Mr. Bush’s re-election as the religious right and since the expiration occurred because the president didn’t oppose it, this too can fairly be counted as a betrayal of the president’s conservative base.

Is it surprising that Mr. Bush, even before he was inaugurated for a second term, started betraying the conservative positions he took during the campaign and the conservative image he and his handlers so carefully cultivated? No, it’s not. Some of us knew, even before he became president at all, that he is a phony-con.

Those who elected and re-elected him have yet to learn that, but in the next few years, they will—again—have ample opportunity to do so.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Conservative Movement 

Like the fog in Carl Sandburg’s insipid poem, Martin Luther King Day this year seems to have crept up on the nation on little cat feet. We have heard few of the usual neo-conservative slobberings over how they wish they could have marched with King in Selma, nor even many of the usual lamentations of King’s now-decrepit comrades that nobody sufficiently appreciates their accomplishments.

Those noises may yet come, but the real reason we have not heard them so far may be that the festivities arrived a bit early this year, in the arrest of 79-year-old former Klansman Edgar Ray Killen for the 1964 murders of three civil rights workers in Mississippi.

The murders of course were notorious at the time and are immortalized by Hollywood in the 1988 anti-white film “Mississippi Burning,” which manages to smear every white man and woman in the state (and by implication everywhere else) by virtually stating that whites are by nature genocidal.

It’s therefore not too surprising that the media reaction to Mr. Killen’s arrest has been one of almost universal gloating. To bust a 79-year-old white Southerner for racial murders is almost as much fun as deporting 80-year-old concentration camp guards to communist countries to stand trial for war crimes, and that amusement has worn thin in recent years. Concentration camp guards have the habit of dying natural deaths eventually, but there’s an endless supply of white Southerners to put on trial closer to home.

But Mr. Killen wasn’t the only unusual suspect to win the interest of the national press last week. The New York Times, after a large story about his arrest and the murders and a long interview with the surviving relatives of the victims, also found space to tell us all about another killer of the same era—one who long ago was tried and convicted and today even acknowledges his guilt. For some reason, he doesn’t elicit quite the same reaction from the Times as Mr. Killen.

The case is that of Wilbert Rideau, who as a 19-year-old black man in 1961 robbed a bank in Lake Charles, Louisiana, kidnapped three white bank employees, and shot all of them near a bayou at the edge of town.

Two survived to tell the tale; the third, a woman, survived only briefly. Rideau polished her off by stabbing her in the heart and slitting her throat.

Like its report about Mr. Killen, the Times story about the Rideau case is full of woe—but not that of Rideau’s white victims. Its sympathies are all for the killer himself.

“All-white, all-male juries” convicted Rideau of murder and sentenced him to death, and they did so three times. Appeals courts threw out the verdicts on the grounds of “misconduct by the government.” We never hear too much about what that means, because the Times reporter, Adam Liptak, is too busy singing about Rideau’s achievements ever since. [With Little Evidence, 4th Trial Opens in ’61 Killing, By Adam Liptak, January 11, 2005]

Prosecutors in Louisiana “are trying once again to obtain a conviction that will stick,” he writes, and that may be hard, in part because Rideau has been so “transformed.” (As it turned out it was too hard. A mixed race jury this week found him guilty of mere manslaughter, allowing him to go free after serving more than the maximum sentence for that crime.) “He has, from prison, become an acclaimed journalist and documentary filmmaker,” but, well, it’s Louisiana, you see, and we know what that means.

“The community’s rage lives on in this racially divided oil and gambling town near the Texas border,” and no doubt it’s all those white people, the kind Mississippi Burning warned us about, who keep nice fellows like Rideau in prison. “It’s ferocious, the way we hold on to this episode,” grumbled the Rev. J. L. Franklin, a black pastor who is monitoring the case.

Right, you’d think after 43 years, people would forget a white person being kidnapped, driven to the edge of town, shot and having her throat cut. But it’s those white folks, so full of hate and ignorance, just like over in Mississippi, where they’re probably mad about the prosecution of Mr. Killen after only 41 years.

“Little evidence endures” in the Rideau case, Mr. Liptak informs us, which only adds to the problems of yet another trial. It’s not very clear how much evidence endures in the Killen case either, but that wasn’t quite the point the Times wanted to make, was it?

The Times’ transparent double standard, its lip-smacking glee over the arrest of the white man in Mississippi and its weepy apologies for the black killer in Louisiana, tell us what the real point is.

What Mr. Killen is supposed to have done was not only murder but also an act of political and racial resistance, and that sort of thing has to be stomped on, regardless of how little evidence remains after 41 years.

As for a forgotten white woman in Louisiana who had her throat cut—who cares?

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Blacks, Race/Crime 

“No issue, not one, threatens to do more damage to the Republican coalition than immigration,” gasps neoconservative David Frum in National Review’s Dec. 31 cover story. [Full article here].

Mr. Frum, the original “patriotic conservative” who tried to smear the entire anti-war right as “unpatriotic” back in 2003, has now defected from the ranks of the Open Border lobby, at least in a way.

Should those who were never part of that lobby welcome him?

Not especially. He still doesn’t quite get what the real problem with mass immigration is—in part because he’s not that much of a patriot himself.

Mr. Frum’s article pants that the Republican Party will actually be harmed by the mass immigration it has refused to control for the last two decades and that it’s high time the GOP did something about it.

Indeed, that seems to be the major thrust of his case against immigration—it’s bad for the Republicans.

That there are other reasons for being for tighter immigration control or even for a complete moratorium he only obliquely suggests.

There are some national security problems with letting millions of aliens ramble across your borders, and there are some economic problems with permitting “entry by an ever-expanding number of low-skilled workers, threatening the livelihoods of low-skilled Americans.”

But nowhere does our Patriot mention the major problem immigration causes—the creation of a massive subculture of unassimilated Third World aliens inside the country.

For Mr. Frum, the immigration problem is mainly political, and partisan politics at that. “GOP You Are Warned,” the article’s title rumbles.

Of course Mr. Frum is right about that, but it’s interesting that this is hardly the first time National Review has issued such a warning. Back in 1997, Peter Brimelow, then an NR senior editor, and Ed Rubenstein wrote an article warning the Republicans of the same thing—but for rather different reasons.

The Brimelow-Rubenstein article argued that immigration would hurt Republicans because immigrants would vote for the Democrats (and they do). Mr. Frum is arguing that Republican failure to deal with the immigration crisis could alienate the party’s base (and it will).

“There’s no issue where the beliefs and interests of the party rank-and-file diverge more radically from the beliefs and interests of the party’s leaders,” he writes. “Immigration for Republicans in 2005 is what crime was for Democrats in 1965 or abortion in 1975: a vulnerable point at which a strong-minded opponent could drive a wedge that would shatter the GOP.”

But what he misses is just why the “party rank-and-file” is so upset about immigration.

It’s upset for precisely the cultural and national reasons I noted and which Mr. Frum rather manages to miss. National security and economics are significant parts of the case against immigration, but mainly Americans don’t like their nation being colonized by an alien, Third World mass that speaks a different language, imports different values and is often loyal to a different country.

The problem, as Mr., Frum sees it, is that sooner or later the Democrats will seize the immigration issue if Republicans don’t deal with it—as I argued also in a recent column, quoting none other than Hillary Clinton’s dim views of illegal immigration.

Mr. Frum quotes the same remarks, but if Hillary can’t walk off with the GOP base, he suggests, there may well be other Democrats who could use the immigration issue to do just that.

He thinks the way the party should deal with the issue is to “develop and practice a new way of speaking about immigration, one that makes clear that enforcement of the immigration laws is not anti-immigrant or anti-Mexican: It is anti-bad employer,because employers hire illegals at the expense of Americans and legal immigrants.

Of course, the Open Borders people have an easy and perfectly logical answer to that: Legalize it all.

If the only problem with illegal immigration is that it’s illegal, if you’re not willing to say mass immigration by itself is a problem, then why should we have any laws against it at all?

The famous Wall Street Journal position—“there shall be open borders”—is the logical conclusion.

Mr. Frum’s only response to this, apparently, would be that there’s the security problem, but that’s flaccid enough.

His real problem is that he—like most of the rest of the neo-conservatives—will not affirm the reality and significance of the nation, the national identity.

Security, economy and party interests are all well and good, but the fundamental issue in the immigration debate is who we are and what sort of nation we want to be.

Mr. Frum, like a lot of his neo-con buddies, for all their ballyhoo about “patriotism,” doesn’t seem to offer a very clear answer.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Immigration 

Despite what the Republican leadership would like us to think, all is not harmony and light between the Republicans in Congress and the Republican in the White House.

Emerging unpleasantness on the issues of Social Security and looming Supreme Court appointments are part of the problem, but a split on immigration reform looms larger still.

Last week the Washington Post detailed how

“President Bush’s plan to liberalize the nation’s immigration laws to allow millions of undocumented workers [libspeak for “illegal aliens”] the opportunity for legal status appears to be on a collision course with newly aroused sentiment among House Republicans pushing for a crackdown on illegal immigration.” [Bush Immigration Plan Meets GOP Opposition, By Michael A. Fletcher, January 2, 2005]

This is hardly news, since the collision actually already occurred last year, when congressional (including Republican) reception of the president’s amnesty plan for illegals was so tepid we heard nothing more about it until after the election.

What’s new now is that the ill-conceived plan is back and, as the Postnotes, the course is set for another collision.

Indeed, last year there was yet another collision over the issue when many House Republicans wanted immigration control measures in the intelligence reform bill the White House was badgering them to pass. Eventually, the bill did pass, but minus the immigration stuff, because the president swore he’d support separate legislation for it this year.

The reason for all these collisions of course is that the immigration issue, after decades of slumber, is now beginning to rouse itself, and even politicians have to notice that, sooner or later.

That makes many observers think Congress or the White House or both together will soon start “cracking down” on immigration.

Maybe, but don’t bet your green card on it.

Most of the specific measures the so-called “immigration control”members of Congress are talking about are in fact little more than eyewash—not bad in themselves but far from being enough to stop the massive invasion of the United States by aliens of profoundly different national and cultural identities.

They may, however, be enough to convince voters that their congressmen are doing something to stop it, and that’s what the congressmen will be interested in accomplishing.

Thus, the Post mentions several specific measures the immigration control guys want to pass—completion of a fence along the Mexican border to keep illegal aliens out; a law to set up tougher state standards for driver’s licenses for illegal aliens; and making it harder for immigrants to claim asylum. The plain truth is that most of this stuff is low-cal salad dressing.

There is every reason to have more effective border security, and in various places along the border, fences are fine—if they are watched by competent border guards, if they are maintained, and if those who try to cross them are sent back.

The point is that building fences won’t solve the immigration problem unless the nation—meaning in this context the Congress and the White House—has the will to solve it.

The same is true of driver’s licenses (illegal immigrants shouldn’t be getting licenses period, and no state should be granting them).

The very fact that we are now solemnly talking about “tougher standards” for licenses for illegals makes it clear we are not serious about the problem.

The danger is not only that congressmen will demand these and similar measures as their contributions to stopping the immigration invasion and will then exploit such measures to delude voters into thinking something serious has been done, but also that the same legislators will then support Mr. Bush’s amnesty package as the price of the “reforms” they’ve so valiantly hammered through Congress.

The net intended effect of such measures would be to put the immigration issue back to sleep. But that’s not the effect they may actually have.

The immigration issue is awakening for the simple reason that Americans in areas far removed from the Mexican border are now for the first time beginning to see their local communities transformed by the realities of mass immigration from the Third World—crime, disease,poverty, overcrowding, welfare, the wreckage of schools, and the obvious cultural disintegration that uncontrolled immigration brings.

Congress and the White House can collude to serve up whatever eyewash they can concoct to make voters now clearly alerted to and worried about immigration forget and ignore what’s happening.

But my bet is that the invasion has now gone too far and the awareness of it is now too deep for that tactic to work.

Sooner or later those in Congress and the White House are going to have to confront the immigration crisis seriously—which means a moratorium and probably troops on the border—or else find themselves facing political opponents in future elections who will be serious.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Immigration 

If it’s a tsunami you’re afraid of, what happened in the Indian Ocean last month is probably not what you should be worrying about.

The tsunami Americans need to fear is the man-made wave of globalization that has helped gut the American work force by exporting its jobs overseas in part through the cute little trick known as “offshoring.” We know the threat is big because last month even Business Week started paying attention to it.

In its Dec. 6 issue Business Week sported a sizeable article titled Shaking up trade theory by Adam Bernstein. The article is newsworthy because, for probably the first time ever, an establishment business magazine raised some serious questions about the free trade dogmas that underlie globalization and much of the economic theory and policy of the last several decades.

For a pillar of the business establishment like Business Week to do so is a bit like Scientific American raising questions about the law of gravity.

What worries a good many of the economists cited in the article is that the basic assumption of free trade theory—the doctrine of comparative advantage, as it’s called—doesn’t add up. Under the doctrine,

“most economists have concluded that countries gain more than they lose when they trade with each other and specialize in what they do best. Today, however, advances in telecommunications such as broadband and the Internet have led to a new type of trade that doesn’t fit neatly into the theory. Now that brainpower can zip around the world at low cost, a global labor market for skilled workers seems to be emerging for the first time—and has the potential to upset traditional notions of national specialization.”

The article cites no less an icon of the economic high priesthood than Nobel Prize winner Paul Samuelson, who recently raised his own questions about the benefits of free trade in the Journal of Economic Perspectives. Mr. Samuelson’s questions had some negative answers.

As Business Week summarizes his argument:

“The fact that programming, engineering, and other high-skilled jobs are jumping to places such as China and India seems to conflict head-on with the 200-year-old doctrine of comparative advantage. With these countries now graduating more college students than the U.S. every year, economists are increasingly uncertain about just where the U.S. has an advantage anymore—or whether the standard framework for understanding globalization still applies in the face of so-called white-collar offshoring.”

Not all economists agree, and the article offers a nutshell of the debate that’s beginning to ripple through the academic and business communities. But what’s news is that there’s a debate at all.

For nearly two centuries the doctrine of comparative advantage,formulated by economic theorist David Ricardo in the early nineteenth century, has held much the same status as the Virgin Birth. Now even the high priests are starting to doubt.

One reason they’re doubting is that while it’s long been known that free trade scuttled blue-collar workers out of their jobs, nowadays it’s starting to carve into white-collar workers. That means—eventually—the kind of people who write about trade policy—like Mr. Bernstein and his friends.

“Until now,” Mr. Bernstein writes, “the pain of globalization has been borne by less than a quarter of the workforce, mostly lower-skilled workers, whose wage cuts outweighed the cheaper-priced goods globalization brings.”

But someone else is sharing the pain—namely, the very class that thought free trade was such a hot bargain.

Mr. Bernstein cites a study from Forrester Research in Cambridge, Mass., as offering “the most detailed projections so far” of how bad the white collar hit might be.

The Forrester study sees “the pace of U.S. job flows abroad averaging 300,000 a year through 2015, probably a conservative estimate.”

“Already, some 14 million white-collar jobs involve work that can be shipped electronically and thus in theory could be moved offshore,” yet another study has found. “White-collar workers have a right to be scared,” says Harvard University’s labor economist Lawrence F. Katz.

So did blue collar workers, but nobody cared much about them.

It’s hardly surprising that nobody paid much attention to the real costs of free trade and globalization until they started eating the very people who promoted them and gained from them. That sort of thing is common enough throughout history.

It remains to be seen if the wreckage of the white collar class—the business, political and intellectual elite of the country—turns out to be quite as devastating as some of the pessimists are predicting.

If it weren’t for the problem that the wreck of those elites would probably wreck the country along with them, we just might all be better off if the devastation turned out to be real.

• Category: Economics • Tags: Trade 

Last summer a flurry of press reports disclosed the FBI’s investigation of a man named Larry Franklin who works in the Defense Department under neo-conservative policy chief Douglas Feith. The supposed reason for the investigation was espionage for Israel. The neo-con buddies of Mr. Feith and Israel sounded off about the anti-Semitism that was obviously driving the witchhunt, and the reports soon faded from the press.

Now they’re back, at least partly, but the focus of the probe no longer seems to be Mr. Franklin. The focus is AIPAC—the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the principal arm of what is generally (but not too loudly) called the “Israeli lobby.” On Dec. 1, the FBI raided the Washington offices of AIPAC and subpoenaed four of its top officials.

This time almost no one paid any attention except the Jewish Timesand the Forward, which have carried some very good accounts of what’s going on. What is going on is important for several reasons, in addition to the usual interest in spy stories. Not the least of what’s interesting is that Israel and its friends are supposed to be allies of the United States, not spies on it.

Defenders of Israel will say (as they said back when Jonathan Pollard was nabbed for espionage for Israel in the 1980s) that friendly countries spy on their friends all the time. Well, maybe they do, but I’ve never heard of it in recent decades.

I have never heard that the United States spied on Great Britain or France or Germany since the end of World War II or those countries on us, nor has there ever been any espionage case in this or other countries involving Americans spying on them or their spying on us. With the Pollard case, you can’t say that about Israel.

As for AIPAC, the original interest in the case was that Mr. Franklin was supposed to have met with AIPAC officials and an Israeli intelligence agent and handed over classified documents. What that might mean is that Mr. Franklin was not acting for himself but for his boss, Mr. Feith, or Mr. Feith’s boss, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, both of whom are known to be very pro-Israeli. And what that might mean is that the whole neo-conservative cadre in the Pentagon is and has been all along an Israeli espionage operation.

So far nobody has suggested that openly, and AIPAC itself insists it’s innocent. After the Dec. 1 raid, it released a public statement that read in part, “Neither AIPAC nor any member of our staff has broken any law. We are fully cooperating with the governmental authorities. We believe any court of law or grand jury will conclude that AIPAC employees have always acted legally, properly and appropriately.”

That’s swell, but AIPAC can’t possibly say such a thing truthfully. How can its leaders know that no “member of our staff” has broken the law? The very issuance of a statement impossible to substantiate is suspicious.

More recently, the Forward reported that Mr. Franklin may have been acting as a provocateur for the FBI in a sting operation, that the target was never (or is no longer) Mr. Franklin but AIPAC itself—as “an unregistered agent of a foreign power,” namely Israel.

AIPAC, it’s hardly a secret, zealously and faithfully defends Israel, but it does so ostensibly as the representative of American supporters of Israel, not as the agent of Israel itself. If in fact it is taking orders from the Israeli government, it has a problem. To act as an agent of a foreign power without registering as such with the government just happens to be a very serious federal felony in this country. Many foreign agents avoid such legal problems by registering. AIPAC doesn’t.

As the Forward commented last week,

“registering as a foreign agent would require AIPAC to provide significantly more detailed information about its aims and activities to the government—thereby robbing the group of a key weapon, the ability to operate behind the scenes.”

But, also according to the Forward account, Mr. Franklin, as part of the FBI’s sting operation,

“was involved in initiating contact with some neoconservative defense experts, several of them Jewish, who supported Ahmad Chalabi, president of the Iraqi National Congress. Chalabi had deep ties to Bush administration officials.” [See here or here]

There’s a grand jury investigation of AIPAC going on right now, yet despite what has been a long-term investigation by the federal government, President Bush addressed an AIPAC meeting last May, and Condoleeza Rice addressed an AIPAC affiliate in Florida in October. That might suggest there’s no fire behind the FBI’s smoke.

Then again, it might also mean this administration is simply determined to smother the fire before its flames burn up some of its key officials.

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Israel, Israel Lobby 

In Europe, if not in the United States, some people are beginning to grasp that just maybe they made a mistake when they decided to welcome millions of immigrants over the last several decades.

The most recent European to get it is former West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who has been making noises about the damage he and his colleagues have inflicted on their own societies.

Interviewed in a Hamburg newspaper last month, Mr. Schmidt confessed, “The concept of multiculturalism is difficult to make fit with a democratic society” and that importing thousands of Turkish gastarbeiter, or foreign guest workers, into Germany over the last several decades was a bit of a boo-boo.

As the London Daily Telegraph reported the story, Mr. Schmidt, Social Democratic chancellor of West Germany from 1974 to 1982,

“…said that the problems resulting from the influx of mostly Turkish Gastarbeiter, or guest workers, had been neglected in Germany and the rest of Europe. They could be overcome only by authoritarian governments, he added, naming Singapore as an example.” [Turkish workers a mistake, claims Schmidt, by Hannah Cleaver, November 25, 2004]

He’s hardly the first to see this, although admittedly, at the age of 85, he’s just a wee bit behind the curve.

As long ago as 1990, I wrote, in an article in Chronicles magazine,

“The late Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the dominions of the Habsburgs and the Romanoffs, among others, all presided over a kind of rainbow coalition of nations and peoples, who for the most part managed to live happily because their secret compulsions to spill each other’s blood was restrained by the overwhelming power of the despots and dynasties who ruled them.

“Political freedom relies on a shared political culture as much as on the oppositions and balances that social differentiation creates, and when the common culture disintegrates under the impact of mass migrations, only institutionalized force can hold the regime together.” [July, 1990, PDF]

That’s a bit of a mouthful, but I gather it’s what Mr. Schmidt was driving at. To have freedom on a stable political basis, you have to have a homogeneous culture and society, composed of people who share the same values and beliefs.

If they don’t share them, you can hold them together only by force.

That lesson is becoming clear in Europe, where the brutal murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh last month by an Islamic fanatic shows what happens when you destroy homogeneity by importing fragments of alien and hostile cultures.

Much the same lesson ought to be clear in this country, not only from the 9/11 atrocities themselves but from the recent slaughter of six white deer hunters in Wisconsin by a disgruntled Asian immigrant.

“Society cannot exist,” wrote the great eighteenth century conservative Edmund Burke, “unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more of it there must be without.”

Restraints come from within when a population shares cultural and moral values; when they don’t, external force has to provide the restraints.

Only a week or so after the murder of Mr. Van Gogh in Holland, the neighboring country of Belgium outlawed its main opposition party, the Vlaamsblok, for being a “racist organization.”

The Vlaamsblok, which two opinion polls found was the most popular political party in Flanders the month before, was notable mainly for its strong opposition to immigration. That’s what made it “racist” and that’s why it had to go.

This month Great Britain simply arrested two of its leading opponents of immigration, Nick Griffin of the British National Party and the party’s founder John Tyndall, on charges of “inciting racial hatred.” Each, it seems, had made (in private meetings secretly taped by undercover informants) derogatory (or perhaps merely critical) remarks about Islam.

The arrests are transparent efforts by the British overclass to muzzle rising political challengers, but they’re also part of the drift toward authoritarianism that mass immigration provokes.

We see the drift in this country, with the Patriot Act and its spawn at airports and in random searches of law-abiding citizens—all because our own overclass will not enforce standing laws against illegal immigration and does nothing to halt the transformation of American society by millions of aliens.

Unwilling to control immigration and the cultural disintegration it causes, the authorities instead control the law-abiding.

This is precisely the bizarre system of misrule I have elsewhere described as “anarcho-tyranny”—we refuse to control real criminals(that’s the anarchy) so we control the innocent (that’s the tyranny).

What is now becoming obvious in Europe, even to decrepit socialists like Helmut Schmidt, ought to be no less obvious to our own decrepit rulers here.

It’s already obvious to those they rule.

All they need is a leader with the guts and brains to say it out loud.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: European Right, Multiculturalism 

It’s beginning to dawn, even on American politicians, that you cannot have something like 34 million immigrants in the country and not expect immigration to become a major political issue.

The latest politician in whose brain this insight has blossomed is the junior senator from New York and very possibly the next president of the United States: Mrs. William J. Clinton, popularly known as Hillary.”

The Washington Times reports that “Hillary goes conservative on immigration,” [by Charles Hurt, December 13, 2004] which means, in case you’re the kind of “conservative” who thinks mass immigration is a good thing, that she is opposed to immigration.

Or at least that is what the noises she is making about the issue would suggest.

Mrs. Clinton, widely suspected of being the next Democratic presidential nominee in a year when the incumbent Republican leaves office, has a pretty good chance of being the next president, and it’s interesting she’s making the noises on immigration she is.

In 2002, Mrs. Clinton won the New York Senate race with some 85 percent of the state’s Hispanic vote.

That by itself would suggest that Hispanics are a major constituency for her, at least in the state and probably nationally, and that she really doesn’t want to alienate them by being against more immigration.

Then again, maybe Mrs. Clinton is just a little smarter than a good many of the Republicans who adhere to the Open Borders lobby propaganda lines that

(a) all Hispanics are necessarily for immigration and

(b) being against immigration or some of it will lose you the Hispanic vote.

In short, Mrs. Clinton, unlike some Republicans, might actually have looked at this year’s election returns.

Maybe so, but even if she’s thinking about making immigration control a major part of her future political strategy, she seems to have a ways to go before she figures out how to do it. Consider, for example, some of what she’s been saying, as the Times reports it.

Almost everything Mrs. Clinton has said about the issue centers on illegal immigration. That’s fine as far as it goes, but most experts and political leaders who are serious about the issue understand that illegal immigration is only part of the problem. The even more massive legal immigration causes the same problems as the illegal kind.

In a recent interview on WABC radio, the Times reports Mrs. Clinton as saying, “I am, you know, adamantly against illegal immigrants.”

Yes, but you see, no knowledgeable person who’s really against illegal immigration would say he’s “against illegal immigrants.” It’s immigration, not the immigrants, that’s objectionable. Being “anti-immigrant” is in fact a canard the Open Borders lobby uses to claim that supporters of immigration control just dislike the immigrants themselves.

In the same interview, she also said,

“Clearly, we have to make some tough decisions as a country, and one of them ought to be coming up with a much better entry-and-exit system so that if we’re going to let people in for the work that otherwise would not be done, let’s have a system that keeps track of them.”

Yes, well, that’s more or less what President Bush claims he’s proposing in his “guest worker” program that is really an amnesty for illegals. The problem with the kind of guest worker or “entry and exit” programs they’re proposing is that they’re all entry and no exit. Once the immigrants come in, no one will be able to make them go back.

Mrs. Clinton may or may not be serious about her new noises against immigration. Personally I hope she is and that she learns more about it and thinks it through a bit more than she seems to have done.

But what’s really significant about her immigration control posturing is that it’s happening at all.

“She’s not a dumb woman,” a spokesman for immigration control champion Tom Tancredo told the Times. “She’s got a great liberal base, and she realizes there’s no better way to draw in more conservative voters. She has really come out to the forefront on that.”

After years of trying to explain to the leadership of the Republican Party that mass immigration is not only a danger to our national security and identity, conservatives may now be on the eve of finding that the person who has really paid attention is someone whom most conservatives loathe.

In fact, that outcome was probably inevitable.

As libertarians and neo-cons badgered the Republicans into ignoring the immigration issue totally, it was probably only a matter of time before someone not at all a conservative perceived what the immigration issue could gain him (or her).

If Mrs. Clinton lights her path toward the White House with the issue of immigration control in a serious way, the Open Borders Republicans may find they merely dug their own political graves.

• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Hillary Clinton, Immigration 
Sam Francis
About Sam Francis

Dr. Samuel T. Francis (1947-2005) was a leading paleoconservative columnist and intellectual theorist, serving as an adviser to the presidential campaigns of Patrick Buchanan and as an editorial writer, columnist, and editor at The Washington Times. He received the Distinguished Writing Award for Editorial Writing of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) in both 1989 and 1990, while being a finalist for the National Journalism Award (Walker Stone Prize) for Editorial Writing of the Scripps Howard Foundation those same years. His undergraduate education was at Johns Hopkins and he later earned his Ph.D. in modern history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

His books include The Soviet Strategy of Terror(1981, rev.1985), Power and History: The Political Thought of James Burnham (1984); Beautiful Losers: Essays on the Failure of American Conservatism (1993); Revolution from the Middle: Essays and Articles from Chronicles, 1989–1996 (1997); and Thinkers of Our Time: James Burnham (1999). His published articles or reviews appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, National Review, The Spectator (London), The New American, The Occidental Quarterly, and Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, of which he was political editor and for which he wrote a monthly column, “Principalities and Powers.”