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.