Economist and Immigration:
I am in a lather over immigration again after reading some stuff in the ECONOMIST (ECONOMIST vol. 401 no. 8861 November 9, 2013 page 12, 38 and section following page 50)  Usually when that is true I write the interested party and offer my reaction.  However this morning I am feeling a bit discouraged so I’ll just drop it here at my lonely outpost so anybody who wanders by can give it a look see.   Ordinarily I tell myself politics is not my field; I just react when there is extreme abuse.

The most obvious, and I think least dangerous, abuse is when those in power subvert the public needs to produce personal gain.  The four richest counties in the US are within the Washington beltway, so I guess it happens. 

The second abuse is when those in power lead us into war.  Since the Korean War I cannot think of one conflict of which I could approve, and we’ve gone into a lot of them. 

The third, and now very dangerous, is when those in power subvert the will of the people.  There is a stone in the Louvre on which is carved the Code of Hammurabi.  It is a set of decrees by a king of that name setting out the laws by which people were to live and be judged.  It dates from about 1772 BC.  Of course it was a tremendous step forward for civil society.  The king undertook to rule by principles and laws rather than by whim and those laws could be known by anybody.  Nonetheless they were the king’s laws.  The people were not to be consulted.  It was still rule of nightmare although perhaps a less intense nightmare than many before and since.  In contrast the nobles of England got together at a place call Runnymede and demanded that their king sign the Magna Charta.  It hardly established the rules by which the nobles wished to live and be judged.  It did not set up a representational democracy, but this was rule of law.  It wasn’t the first such set of rules.  The Salic Franks were an alliance in Europe long before and they established a set of laws they wished to live by and the Ancient Greeks and Romans had established republics long before.  Rule of law is not new.  There is no excuse for anything else.  It is the people who must have power.  Anything else is nightmare. 

And yet in the “Forget the Huddled Masses” piece on page 38 the columnist says, “Framing immigration as a question of civil rights is not working.  Many Americans think it outrageous to overlook the fact that newcomers arrived illegally.  Their outrage may reflect a too-ridged view of the law.”  Yep, that’s what it says.  That’s blasphemy.  A trial for treason has not commenced, but it should.  There is absolutely nothing short of avoiding extermination that could be valuable enough to be worth the exchange the rule of law for the rule of nightmare.  Laws can be changed.  We pay people good money to set them up to our will.  And we hire border guards, as does every country on earth, to make laws of immigration stick.  The column goes on quite lamely to quote somebody who points out that the border guards are rather sympathetic with the people they arrest and turn back.  Of course they are.  These are nice folks.  I’ve met some of them.  They would be a treasure for any country.  But they are not worth throwing away our laws. 

The fourth and most dangerous thing for governments to do is to induce people to move around.  Porous borders are not the worst of it.  They are simply the easiest to fix. As I am always saying if you churn up the gene pool your population will die out.  Even the rule of nightmare beats extermination.  So when you let people move into your country you are offering them two choices.  Assimilate and die out or maintain a tight enclave and be at war with everybody around you forever.  The first fate is that of the rich countries.  The second fate is that of Syria.  Permitting immigration is not doing the immigrants a favor. 

I must credit the columnist with one thing.  He acknowledges that there is a financial value to being allowed to migrate into a peaceful country. 

The first article, “Little England or Great Britain?” goes right to bat for immigration.  If immigration ceases and Scotland leaves the United Kingdom then the reduced Britain will lose international clout.  Oh dear.  I’m so worried.  International clout is so important to the average citizen.  Of course if you want to keep Scotland, eliminating immigration would be a jolly good idea.  What do you think the Scots are worried about?  They don’t want it.  If you can’t establish a defensible line at the Channel, drop back to Hadrian’s wall.  Extinction is a Bad Thing.  The article praises the influx of talent and within an inch and a half across the printed page says that Britain has poor, scary neighborhoods.  Evdently the writer thinks there are things foreigners can do that Brits themselves cannot.  What kind of a r***st is he?  Do whatever it takes to turn those neighborhoods into the environment in which those foreigners learned their skills.  It can’t be that hard.  Mostly they come from places you’d not move to. 

The insert, “Looking for a Future” after page 50 pretty much lays out choices between a poor, inward looking England and a rich, swaggering Great Britain.  There is one thing that is certain about the future: it’s coming.  Anything else is dubious.  It has been said, and recently has been pretty true, that if you want to see what the future will be like look at the very rich.  One day we shall all be like them while they will be off dabbling in the next culture. 

In Roman Britain there were baths and central heating.  Everybody has them now.  But it was a long wait.  Central heating was not common in much of the 20th century and heated floors, a Roman luxury, is rare even now.  The future could be rich and it could be poor.  With enough money you can stifle things like race riots.  If you are poor you cannot.  The most basic prudence demands you prepare for either eventuality.  Given the fertility of the rich world I see a rather dismal future, but maybe I’m wrong on that one.  Well if wealth comes, so be it.  We’ll manage.  And the way to wealth is a stable population, one in which the richer people have more children.  That’s easy to set up.  Just let them know the relationship between kinship and fertility.  Don’t expect them to be very receptive, of course.  I don’t find them that way.  But unless we understand that demographics depends on a single otherwise unknown law of nature – that you simply must keep your gene pool small enough – then stability will always be impossible in the long run. 

All right.  I’m feeling better now.  Maybe I’ll just print this us and biff a copy off to the magazine.  I do think quite well of them of course. 

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