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Deal with root causes!

The Senate immigration bill has been fended off and seems likely to die. It remains the case, however, that very few people in positions of public influence or responsibility want to enforce restraints on immigration, and in a country as large and complex as the United States it’s hard to force something to happen if those responsible don’t want it to happen.

It follows, unless something basic changes, that nothing effective will be done to reduce current levels of legal and illegal immigration, which will therefore continue or expand. Eventually something will have to be done to regularize the position of an ever larger and well-established resident population of formally illegal aliens. The same sort of legislation or something worse will therefore keep coming back, often with better timing and packaging and backed by ever more vigorous propaganda and moral bullying, until something similar passes.

So what needs to be done? A great many things, but one obvious point is that the ideal of “inclusiveness” needs to be done away with. The reasons for doing so include but go far beyond its effect on discussions of immigration policy. At bottom, the problem with inclusiveness is that it makes it impossible for informal small-scale social arrangements to function and achieve stability. Such arrangements depend on common cultural standards and understandings. Inclusiveness programmatically disrupts and destroys such things, and therefore deprives the people of the ability to run their own lives effectively. It puts all social governance in the hands of experts, bureaucrats, and moneyed interests. That’s not a good thing. Man is a cultural being, and the inclusivist demand for abolition of all stable substantive cultural connections makes “inclusiveness” the quintessence of modernist inhumanity, however warm and fuzzy its packaging.

The destruction of inclusiveness as a ideal is, of course, easier said than done. It is now presented, along with related concepts such as “tolerance,” as the supreme principle of social and personal morality and even mental health. All recognized social authorities support it vigorously and unequivocally, in part because equal opportunity laws in effect require them to do so and in part because inclusiveness requires unlimited rule by large formal institutions and so is a good thing from the standpoint of the powerful. Nobody knows how to oppose it except by private jokes and mutterings. Serious public opposition would discredit an opponent as ignorant, evil, lower-class, provincial and psychologically disturbed.

So what needs most to be done is the conceptual work that makes reasoned and public-spirited opposition possible. In a sense that work isn’t so difficult, since (as mentioned) man is a cultural animal, and inclusiveness abolishes culture and is therefore at odds with the nature of man. An inclusivist environment therefore provides its critics with a target-rich environment. Still, it takes a certain amount of effort even to note that an emperor has no clothes, so with that in mind here are some anti-inclusivist discussions and resources I’ve put together from time to time:

  • “Freedom, Discrimination and Culture”. So what’s wrong with Civil Rights? Answer — by destroying legitimate particularity they destroy culture and therefore the possibility of a tolerable way of life.
  • Anti-Inclusiveness FAQ. More on why Civil Rights is a bad idea. Includes lots of links to further resources.
  • “Anti-racism”. An analysis of antiracism, its nature and social, cultural and philosophical origins. A similar analysis can be applied to inclusivist ideas generally.
  • “Vindicating Stereotypes and Discrimination”. An essay on the function of stereotyping that concludes that it is always and necessarily with us, that the current campaign opposes only certain forms of stereotyping, basically those that relate to institutions other than market and bureaucracy, and that we’d be better off dealing with the issues more rationally in the light of what sort of social relations best suit human life.
  • Antifeminist Page. Short essay and links.
  • My weblog has lots of entries on the topic as well.
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Comments

First Jim, please expand on some things so I can understand you better. Second, I want to propose an alternative view to your view that unless something basic changes, that nothing effective will be done to reduce current levels of legal and illegal immigration.

Develop, for dimmer minds, your idea that informal, small-scale social arrangements cannot function under the law of inclusiveness. Perhaps a brief true story or two could let us see how inclusiveness laws actually work. I am sure you have images in mind.

Also, please give examples that illustrate how inclusiveness puts ALL social governance in the hands of experts, bureaucrats, and moneyed interests.

I propose that an esoteric basic change need not occur before current levels of immigration can be reduced. All that needs to be done is to elect a president that is committed to border control. No additional legislation is needed. Unless Congress passes a law tying the president’s hands and overrides a presidential veto, Congress can do nothing to stop the president from enforcing existing laws. Fred Thompson just might be such a president. Surely sanctuary-city-kiddy-killer Rudy is going nowhere fast. Morevover, the president can declare martial law if things get ugly—“buh bye” Supreme Court.

Informal, small-scale social arrangements depend on customary social standards and disciplines to function reliably. Such things aren’t written in the sky visible to all but differ by time and place and so are a matter of particular culture. Inclusiveness says all cultures must have the same standing, which means that none can be authoritative. To make one of them authoritative would denigrate all the others, contrary to inclusiveness. But if none can be authoritative then their standards and disciplines won’t be available to support informal, small-scale social arrangements, which will therefore become unreliable and nonfunctional.

Example: what is marriage and family life? What do husband and wife owe each other? How about children and parents? The specifics aren’t the same in China, Congo, and Mid-America. Inclusiveness tells us that Chinese, Congolese and Mid-American standards must all have equal status. That is as much as to say that there can be no public standards for marriage and family life, except I suppose that everyone must be allowed to do his own thing. But then marriage and family life will simply not exist as institutions. They will be purely private and unpredictable arrangements that can’t be counted on for any serious purpose.

The only institutions that benefit from the social support of rules recognized as publicly valid will be those that can claim to be a-cultural: markets (based on contract and thus arbitrary individual will) and scientific expertise and rational bureaucracy (both of which claim to be based on a kind of rationality still considered neutral and universal). Since those will be the only institutions that can be taken seriously and relied on they will be the sole means of social governance.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.

Rem tene, verba sequentur.