Immigration is the key political battle of our time

Summary: Immigration is the center ring in the political battles of western nations. It shows otherwise hidden dynamics. Most importantly, that both Left and Right are working against the rest of us. The winner might become the dominant force for the next several generations.

Political polarization in America

James Howard Kunstler nails it in yesterday’s column: “Conflict Escalation.” (bio here; Wikipedia). He provides an introduction to the perilous state of the Republic.

“I’m in the peculiar position of not being a partisan of President Trump, and yet being a publicly avowed enemy – if there’s any doubt – of the Resistance, especially these days its institutional branch known as the Democratic Party. What a ragtag and bobtail of mendacious cowards it has become.

“The truth, I believe, is that the party wants to bring as many Mexicans and Central Americans as possible across the border, by any means necessary, to fortify its future voter base. And so they are acting to insure that it happens. Of course, this might also be viewed as a suicidal course of action for the party, since it puts them in opposition to the rule-of-law as a general principle, which is a pretty sketchy basis for any claim to govern.

“That being the case, the outcome for the Democratic Party may be its own demise as a legitimate political bloc. It’s one thing to ignore the economically foundering, traditional working-class constituency of actual US citizens who are having a tougher time every year making a living; it’s another thing to bring in a several-millionfold population of non-citizens to replace them.

“The trouble is that the entities waiting to replace both the useless, careless, feckless Democrats and Republicans are chaos and violence, not reconstituted parties with coherent political programs. …”

Like Kunstler, I am a dropout from both major parties. But I believe he understates the complexity of our disintegrating politics.

“What a ragtag and bobtail of mendacious cowards it has become.”

That aptly describes both parties. They have been captured by larger social groups, whose use them like a carpenter uses a tool to reshape America. Officials in both parties understand this. Many, perhaps most, do not like being used. But that is the system, and they must play their assigned roles.

The Democratic Party

“I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further.”
— Darth Vader, “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980).

The forces of the Left use the Democrats to reshape American society, testing their ideology with us as lab rats — as they did to the people of Russia and China. Laboratories in the social science departments of universities have brewed noxious a noxious stew of ideologies. Identity politics, changing Americans concept of their self, fragmenting our society into competing factions (as the Founders feared would happen). Radical racial politics – making racism respectable again (“my” race is good, yours is evil). Radical experimentation with gender, child raising, and the family structure (see my posts about this).

They are like monkeys in the control room, confidently spinning dials and pushing buttons. They have ideology, and so see no need for testing or experimentation.

The Republican Party

“It’s all about power and the unassailable might of money.”
— E. P. Arnold Royalton, the great 21st century industrialist and philanthropist.

The Republican Party has been captured by the 1%. They use it to mold America into a plutocracy. They have no principles. Wars are good or bad as needed to gain power. They tell us that fiscal deficits are evil and fiscal stimulus does not work. But Reagan, Bush Jr., and now Trump cut the taxes of the rich, sending the Federal deficit skyrocketing — providing fiscal stimulus whose results they claim as the result of their genius.

They increasingly cream off America’s productivity, so that income and wealth inequality increase. Defunding the schools, so that social mobility falls from its already low levels. Destroying Obamacare, so that medical costs crush the lower middle class. Crushing centers of opposition, such as the unions. They want America back like it was before the New Deal, to restore the Gilded Age.

Henry F. Potter

What do they get by doing so? Let’s ask a famous capitalist what he thinks of the New Deal programs.

“What did that get us?  A discontented, lazy rabble instead of a thrifty working class. And all because a few starry-eyed dreamers like Peter Bailey stir them up and fill their heads with a lot of impossible ideas.”

–- Henry F. Potter, leading banker and first citizen of Potterville.

This is the vision of many American corporations.  Their politics for generations has been focused on doing so — and they’re winning. They have crushed private sector unions, creating an insecure low-wage workforce — so that wages no longer rise from improved productivity, even at full employment. They ruthlessly control workers to maximize profits. Like Amazon, the future of American workers. Bezos is the Henry Ford of our time, reorganizing work to boost efficiency and profits.

  1. Gawker’s series of well-researched muckraking articles about Amazon
  2. I Was a Warehouse Wage Slave: My brief, backbreaking, rage-inducing, low-paying, dildo-packing time inside the online-shipping machine“ by Mac McClelland in Mother Jones.
  3. Worse than Wal-Mart: Amazon’s sick brutality and secret history of ruthlessly intimidating workers“ by Simon Head in Salon — “You might find your Prime membership morally indefensible after reading these stories about worker mistreatment”
  4. I Delivered Packages for Amazon and It Was a Nightmare” by Alana Semuls at The Atlantic.

The Central role of immigration

Massive immigration has a central role in the plans of both Left and Right, and since the 1970s they have deployed their lackeys in the Dems and GOP to slowly open the borders. It is the center ring in our political wars.

Kunstler describes one motive for the Left to open the borders: gaining votes.

  1. Migration from the south into America: new people, new foods, new political systems.
  2. Immigration as a reverse election: our leaders get a new people.

But massive migration gives the Left other benefits. A society can absorb only so many people with foreign cultures before it radically changes. The Left viscerally hates our culture, and sees disrupting it as a gain. They have dreams of installing their ideologies in the wreckage. That is quite foolish, since migrants are poor but proud. They have their own cultures, most of which despise the ideas of the Left (especially about gender roles). Historians will write with astonishment about the Left bringing in so many people who oppose their ideals about homosexuality and feminism.

The Right wants open borders for the same reason they did in 1870 – 1930: to lower wages. After both the Civil War and WWII workers had achieved a strong position in society. Massive immigration crushed them both times. Workers responded immediately in the late 19th century, beginning a multi-decade attempt to close the borders. They slowly succeeded, as a series of bills limited immigration – until FDR closed the border (and expelled millions back to Mexico). This is lost history, which our rulers do not want Americans to know. See the details here.

A massive propaganda barrage builds support for open borders. This is mostly lies (details here), as seen in the lies stoking hysteria about the migrant children in concentration camps. My favorite is the fancy dancing of the tame economists how deny the law of supply and demand. But a generation of data shows that it still works: more supply of labor lowers its price (i.e., wages).

The debate about immigration might determine if we will rule ourselves as a free people, or be pawns fought over by elites on the Left and Right. If the latter, we can look forward to the cage match when both sides fight to the finish. Today’s battles — such as those about immigration and our mad foreign wars, about our new Cold War — are bipartisan. Both sides against us. But only one can win.

Let’s work so that we are the winners.

“The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave.”
— Ronald Reagan’s speech following the explosion of the Challenger, 28 January 1986.

For More Information

Ideas! For shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.

If you found this post of use, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Also see these posts about immigrants, about fake news, and especially these…

  1. Essential reading about hidden history: The history of immigration and America, lost amidst the more useful myths.
  2. Migration from the south into America: new people, new foods, new political systems.
  3. Immigration as a reverse election: our leaders get a new people.
  4. Look at immigration policy to see our government respond to its masters.
  5. The numbers about immigration that fuel Trump’s campaign.
  6. Immigration to the US surges. It’s good news for Trump.
  7. Trump wants to defend our borders. Democrats protest.
  8. The lies about immigration keeping the borders open.

To better understand immigration

As so often the case, we can see these political dynamics more clear in other societies. We can learn much from the immigration crisis in Europe. It is our future.

Reflections on the Revolution In Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West by Christopher Caldwell (2009). See this post about it: About Europe’s historic experiment with open borders.

The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam by Douglass Murray (2017). See these posts with excerpts from the book: Martin van Creveld’s reaction to Europe’s rape epidemic. Warning of the “Strange Death of Europe”, and Strange perspectives on the challenges facing Europe.

Reflections on the Revolution In Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West
Available at Amazon.
Strange Death of Europe
Available at Amazon.

27 thoughts on “Immigration is the key political battle of our time

    1. Ivan,

      Open borders is a core part of Leftist ideology. They are not going to do so, unless Dem voters decisively turn against it. After generations of propaganda barrage — mostly lies — they are in fact big supporters of massive immigration.

    2. I agree that the Dems want mass migration as they represent their core voter base. Same with leftist parties all over the world. Now the nationalist parties are riding a wave of popular support. Have a close look at the upcoming Swedish election.

      Trump knows he is onto a winner with his tough stance and the Dems are continuing with their Hilary pro migrant-arsed political agenda. They look like fools. Obama has to be admired for his toughish stance on illegal economic migration.

    3. Ivan,

      Trump’s job approval stats dropped several points in response to the first week of the latest migrant hysteria.

    4. His base are unaffected. Ok, so he made a mistake and then signed the EO. Did you read that CNN opinion article I posted? The guy is spot on in his analysis

  1. Fabius, thanks your continued attention to this issue. Again, you’re on the money!

    Like Kunstler and you, I’m now NPA. I’m fed up and disgusted by the R & D Parties. It’s all your fault.

    Thanks again.

  2. A couple of comments:
    1) The Democrats have also been captured by the 1%, they just display the stigmata in different ways. You’re focusing on the symptoms, not the disease, which is a belief that personal economic power repeals all natural laws and allows them to play God without consequences.

    2) The mad rush of a sizeable percentage of the 1% to regain the Gilded Age will earn them the same result. An increasingly unstable brew of toxic economic policies that will eventually create an extraordinary collapse. Last time Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt saved them from themselves. We cannot foresee what will happen this time but the safety valve of the federal government has been thoroughly disabled.

    1. Pluto,

      (1) “The Democrats have also been captured by the 1%”

      I am uncertain about that. Clearly powerful institutional forces support the Left, including elements of the 1%. The decisive inflection points were their embrace of Wall Street in Bill Clinton’s years and their embrace of the Deep State after 9/11 and again (and more deeply) during the Obama years.

      I’m uncertain how this all works. After all, these things occur in the shadows.

      (2) “The mad rush of a sizeable percentage of the 1% to regain the Gilded Age will earn them the same result.”

      The most common prediction in the comments here is that the past will repeat. It’s usually stated with extreme confidence. Yet it so seldom does, because people do learn from the past. If it did, we would see many more successful predictions of events. Unlike what we actually see, which is very few successful predictions.

    2. Pluto — follow-up:

      “not the disease, which is a belief that personal economic power repeals all natural laws and allows them to play God without consequences.”

      That’s a commonplace belief by powerful elites across time and space. They are usually correct. But not always.

    3. FM: “The most common prediction in the comments here is that the past will repeat.”

      I strongly agree that the details will be vastly different between the first and second Gilded Ages ending. For starters, the first Gilded Age would never have included the idea that the wealthy could use their leverage in government to gain trillions of dollars in tax cuts without cutting the size of government. They just didn’t think that way back then.

      But the root cause will be the same, a relatively small group of extraordinarily wealthy greedy people revamping the economy into indentured servitude for the bottom 70% of the citizens of the country when we should be entering a new age of general prosperity. There are only three general paths out:

      1. Rebellion – The most common belief is that the people won’t stand for this any more and overthrow the wealth and, by implication, the government. Not likely this time. By controlling the government the wealthy have the military, the police, and a frighteningly effective centralized information gathering “national security” directorate. The wealthy learned a lot from the bomb-throwing anarchists of the 1920’s.

      2. Collapse – The wealthy believe they have successfully figured out how to prevent future economic downturns (at least for themselves) with the success of the 2008 financial crisis (public losses and private profits) and the 2018 tax cuts. But they haven’t discovered a Brave New economic World, they’ve just distorted the original financial landscape until it is no longer recognizable. It will take some time (perhaps many decades) for us to see the full effects of what they’ve done but this is very likely to end very badly. You just can’t distort things this much and expect no consequences. The universe doesn’t work that way.

      3. Something unexpected – Something like a natural disaster, an unexpectedly dynamic new political force, or a new scientific discovery. Trump thinks he falls into this category but he’s more of the same only with more profanity and less wisdom. The effects of the unexpected, by definition, can’t be predicted but do not have to be positive, only system-destroying. For example, a 10+ earthquake on the Richter scale in California would probably do the trick. But I will say that the wealthy are doing a decent job of suppressing the odds of the unexpected as well.

      I’ve ruled out rebellion and you can’t predict the truly unexpected which is why I am leaning towards collapse but I cannot begin to predict when it will occur.

    4. Pluto,

      You might be correct. My objection was to the certainty with which you expressed your prediction.

      As for this list, there is a fourth path. It is quite likely. That is, that our elites create a stable plutocratic society.

      Captain Kirk made speeches about humanity’s love of freedom and refusal to be slaves. These thrilled me as a teenager. Unfortunately, learning a bit of history taught me that people make great slaves, or serfs, or peons. Class based systems are quite stable if intelligently run. With the experience gained over the centuries, I’ll bet that some kind of aristocracy could be built today.

      The key requirement is the raw material: a people unwilling to bear the burdens of self-government. With that, the rest is easy.

      The 1% have done an excellent job of long-term planning and execution, as I have described on this website. They have recruited and used brilliant people as sources of ideas and to lead their forces. I suggest considering them to be intelligent and worthy foes, not the clowns you describe. That is, whose rule must end in rebellion or collapse.

    5. FM: “there is a fourth path. It is quite likely. That is, that our elites create a stable plutocratic society.”

      That is definitely an option but the question is the length of time they can hold it together. I tend to think very long-term these days and tend to dismiss their chances in the long-run.

      For example, capitalism had a good long run, being heavily used for a couple of millennia before being formally recognized in 1776 in the “Wealth of Nations” and then surviving another 200+ years (not counting the first Gilded Age). We are currently in a “post-capitalist” stage where consumers have relatively few choices and status quo favors the producer. I am waiting to see if something will happen to push us back to capitalism (like TR’s Trust-Busting period) or if it will intensify.

      By contrast, Communism (Marxist-Leninism being the most long-lived variant so far), was first conceived in 1848, put into effect in 1920, and had nearly completely collapsed by 1995.

      What would be dominant features of a stable plutocratic society? For starters, since wealth is the entry to leadership, the rulers would want to make entry to the leadership class difficult. This would imply very low social mobility near the top. It would also imply that the means to achieving new wealth (inventions or political change) would need to be suppressed. So far events seem to be supporting the plutocrats. But for long-term effect, the keys are patience and self-discipline.

      As FM has noted, the social changes since 1980 are amazing and the plutocrats are now in the pursuit stage. In a battle, the pursuit of a broken enemy is usually where the most harm is done to both side’s long-term goals. The cost to the loser is self-evident, more than half of all casualties occur during this time (usually more than 75%). The loss of power and prestige is crippling. In the best case, such as the Prussians after Jena, a long period of reform is necessary. In the worst (and usual) case, the society fails to exist as a separate entity and assumes the characteristics of the winning power over the next few generations.

      But the potential cost to the victors can also be dangerously high. Being spread out for the chase invites defeat in detail. Subordinates get ideas of being their own leaders. Key subordinates can die in random events while plundering the defeated. Worst of all, the leaders can get victory disease and start attempting the impossible (Napoleon fell victim to this in several different ways).

      Our current set of would-be plutocrats is not (to the best of my knowledge) a formal organization with an official hierarchy and an agreed upon set of plans. It is a group of extremely powerful, extremely ambitious individuals who’s largest goal is shared (collecting more power and wealth for themselves at the expense of the bottom 99.99%) and who have been continuously throwing relatively small (by their standards) amounts of resources toward their goal for the last 50 years. Their biggest advantages have been that they have very persistent, continuously rewarding success and evaluating failure for seeds of opportunity, and they haven’t had any major opposition since the fall of Communism. (Communism forced Western governments to be more self-policing to avoid looking like the autocratic Communist societies).

      Now one of their lesser (and more delusional) members occupies the White House and their servants control Congress and many of the state legislatures. They are slowly packing the courts with their preferred judges. Another 10 years and they will have won complete victory. So what comes next?

      I don’t think they’ve thought that far. Everything they’ve done so far has been in pursuit of giving the individuals in their informal alliance more money and power and I think that will continue do so for a maximum of another 20 years. The key problem they face is that other than a lust for power and individual freedom, they do not have a lot in common and they prize individual freedom over everything else, including survival. I expect them to start fighting among themselves because they don’t have anything better to do and will destroy themselves (and perhaps us) by 2050.

      But only time will tell. I’ve been wrong many times before and could easily be wrong this time as well.

    6. Pluto,

      “I tend to think very long-term these days and tend to dismiss their chances in the long-run.”

      One of the big reasons long-term forecasts are almost always wrong: they assume people don’t learn – and that past mistakes will be repeated. In fact, they do learn. The 1% have shown a high degree of sophistication in planning, organization, and use of tech. Dismissing that is, imo, foolish.

      “For example, capitalism had a good long run, being heavily used for a couple of millennia”

      If you define it that broadly, capitalism is probably an omnipresent system for all systems larger than isolated tribes (eg, polar). But you are conflating trading and free markets with capitalism. The latter requires sophisticated systems for accumulation, intergenerational transmission, and deployment of capital. On a large scale, that is a historically rare phenomenon until modern times.

      “We are currently in a “post-capitalist” stage where consumers have relatively few choices and status quo favors the producer.”

      Wow. That’s not remotely true. The opposite is true. Perhaps you are confusing “consumers” with “workers” — people as buyers of goods & services vs. people as sellers of their labor. The reconstruction of cartels and shift of govt into the hands of the 1% has shifted the balance of power from workers to large employers.

    7. FM: “One of the big reasons long-term forecasts are almost always wrong: they assume people don’t learn – and that past mistakes will be repeated.”

      You’re right of course. The odds of my being right in the details of any of my predictions is essentially zero. My goal is to be in the general vicinity of the right direction about 25% of the time and that is optimistic but it keeps me occupied and entertained.

      FM: “Wow. That’s not remotely true. The opposite is true. Perhaps you are confusing “consumers” with “workers” — people as buyers of goods & services vs. people as sellers of their labor.”

      FM, I can see why you say that but it isn’t really true. Name me one major industry that has more independent medium to large competitors now than in 1995. The only two industries I can find are automobiles and alcohol. All industries have undergone massive consolidation since 1995 and only automobiles and alcohol have seen major new companies (always foreign in the case of autos) stepping up to the US marketplace.

      In a capitalist society, major companies seek to expand profits through competition; which can include buy-outs, but mostly comes from innovation, and hiring workers that can think creatively.

      In a post-capitalist society, major companies seek to expand profits by buying out small competitors, merging with large competitors, reducing innovation (which is amazingly expensive), raising prices (sometimes through unofficial agreements), and lowering costs (again, sometimes through unofficial agreements).

  3. The Dems are the party of Silicon Valley and financiers and other corporate light-workers along with the Feds who want a new (American) British Empire. The GOP seems to be the party of Big Ag, construction, and other businesses with smaller market caps who make statements about family values but live like libertines. The GOP leadership like Paul Ryan are a good representative of these people.

    I’ll try to find a link to a survey of the values of Silicon Valley tech executives and it largely lines up with Dem platforms. They want a good business environment + socialism because they feel guilty about the inequality they create. Also, they desire new forms of marriage and new genders. Or one universal gender (gender as a choice).

    1. PRCD,

      I agree. But imo more interesting are the overlaps between the Dems and GOP. The areas of bipartisanship that political gurus say is so desirable. Our permanent war, the surveillance state, the massive regulatory apparatus (ever increasing in power and reach), the power of Wall Street, and the unrestrained tech sector.

      There are differences in the businesses in each coalition, but that’s one of emphasis. Eg, the Dems don’t strongly oppose big ag or construction. They just don’t loyally serve them as does the GOP.

  4. This sounds right. Most of history is about exactly the same process of the local elites trying to hedge against local workers by importing foreign workers (“foreign workers” includes machines), this has gone on in every nation throughout written history and probably before. Half the people who are replaced by foreign labor turn on the foreign workers who are imported and half on the elites who did the importing.
    Since the elite are willing to work with the first half of the people and are obviously against the second half the first half, the rightists, have all the advantage and the second half, the leftists, have none of the advantage.
    Both the left and the right are avenues to power for the elite, ether narrative can be used to betray the majority to the benefit of the entitled minority. All established political roads lead to Tyranny. the political systems vary, tyranny stays the same, its like obesity, anyone can get there.
    The left desperately tries to insinuate that only the right leads to tyrannical outcomes, this show has its team cheer leaders and audience. In turn the right desperately tries to claim that only the left leads to tyrannical outcomes, they have their pundits and fans. Since any political system at all can lead to tyranny its as if both the left and right are saying nothing at all, its just blather for blathers sake ads long as your blathering most people think your saying something eve if its nothing but noises like ducks quacking which was suggested as an ideal speaking style in the novel 1984.

    1. William,

      That’s a great summary, with some interesting insights!

      “local elites trying to hedge against local workers by importing foreign workers”

      I hadn’t thoughts about that! Now that you mention it, I see historical examples. Such as the Pharaoh importing Semite slaves and Southern plantation owners in colonial and early Republican America responded to the worker shortage by importing slaves.

  5. After Obama’s and Congress’s disgusting behavior in the Global Financial Crisis, needlessly transferring trillions of dollars from working people to the wealthy through the banking system, I don’t see how you can even timidly suggest that the Democrats are less committed to the 1% than the Republicans. Thomas Frank’s new book is title (approximately) “On the Road to Oblivion” and reflects his disgust with the Dem’s. I believe O was literally a Manchurian candidate, groomed by the CIA. If Anthony Weiner was the “tip of the iceberg” and further revelations of Pedo-Gate come out, the Dem’s will have committed a rather complete suicide.

    Haven’t been a member of a party in 30+ years. The Dems lost me halfway through Carter.

    cheers

    1. Benign,

      “I don’t see how you can even timidly suggest that the Democrats are less committed to the 1% than the Republicans.”

      Because the policies of the 1% are far more directly focused on creating big benefits to the 1%: crushing unions, shifting taxes from the 1% to everyone else, dismantling regulations about worker safety and pollution, etc.

      Beware the easy false equivalence. It’s usually wrong. The differences are not total — people seldom wear black or white hats — but are still important.

  6. Soros or Dr. Evil needs to cross the River Styx. He already looks dead in body but that evil mind of his is still ticking. Unfortunately he has a Mini-Me. He funds so much of this immigration crap and other left wing causes. He’s a destroyer of worlds and I’ll be happy when he’s gone.

    Larry, you’re Austin Powers baby. Take care of this guy and save human kind. I’m too busy watching game three of the CWS to do it myself. Go Beavs!

    I apologize for being a sarcastic a-hole but immigration or actually illegal immigration shouldn’t be dividing us. That moron Cortez comparing immigration in the U.S. to South African apartheid was disgusting. Poppin smoke.

  7. A brief word on the stable plutocracy question. If experts, for any given definition of the word, had been asked to predict how long the Bolsheviks were going to hang on in 1918, how many of them would have said the Bolshies would have been in exile, in prison, or in shallow graves in six months? Russians in 1918 might have decided that the Revolution wasn’t long term sustainable, but that wasn’t going to do you a lot of good if you ended up in the Gulag before the Long Term finally arrived. and your country was going to be pretty much of a wreck when it did.

    In the long run, we’re all dead, but in the here and now there are things worth working for, and worth working to prevent. I have no idea how long a stable plutocracy might last, but it might be an uncomfortably long time, and its time on Earth, if you aren’t one of the plutocrats, might be very unpleasant indeed.

    1. The Man,

      (1) “how many of them would have said the Bolshies would have been in exile, in prison, or in shallow graves in six months?”

      I’m unsure of your point here. I’m saying that we cannot reliably predict the future. Among other reasons, because people learn over time. So the easy assumption that plutocracies (or, more broadly, autocratic systems) fail is false.

      (2) “In the long run, we’re all dead, but in the here and now there are things worth working for, and worth working to prevent.”

      The great theme of the FM website is that too many Americans, perhaps most, do not agree with you — and that changing their minds ASAP is our primary political task.

  8. My point was that whether or not we like a particular form of government has nothing, really, to do with how long it might be able to hang on. we can say that a hypothetical stable plutocracy isn’t going to be sustainable over the long term, but some governments have long outlasted confident predictions of their demise. There may well have been people who thought that the United States probably wouldn’t be around for a long time. Maybe a government is of a new type that hasn’t been seen before, maybe it’s fairly selective about whose general welfare it promotes, and maybe it’s circumstances right now don’t seem especially favorable. But it may be still be around a lot longer than some people expect. (Luck can play a role in this, too.)

    In short, I think your “stable plutocracy” is, unfortunately, possible. I don’t know if it’s going to happen, but I think it could.

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