Sunday, May 22, 2016

Good Walls Make Good Neighbors

Multiculturalists consider themselves to be cosmopolitan. By that fancy locution they are saying that all peoples are basically the same and that all cultures are equally valid and worthwhile. If cultures compete or if civilizations clash that can only be based on a misunderstanding, or better, on endemic bigotry.

The sentiment flies so obviously in the face of reality and human experience that only a true believing ideologue could accept it. And yet, the ideologues embrace it because they do not believe in reality or experience. They believe in their grandiose idea… that all boundaries between peoples should be abolished and that everyone should be free to travel everywhere whenever he or she wants.

Surely, the man who went to Berlin and declared himself to be a “citizen of the world” deserves much of the blame for the current state of affairs. Why would anyone have believed that Barack Obama would defend America’s national interest, to say nothing of its sovereignty, when he identified as a citizen of the world.

You recognize the rationalization. If people in the underdeveloped world are poor, they should have the right to partake of the riches of the developed world, unfettered by border controls or citizenship requirements. After all, the logic of multiculturalism says that the rich got rich by exploiting the poor. Allowing the poor, from wherever, to inhabit a richer country is a righteous move toward social justice.

Following the logic of that argument, national identity becomes meaningless, patriotism becomes trivial and your successes are not really yours. Whatever you have was not earned. You are profiting from your oppression of other people and must share whatever you have with whomever arrives on your doorstep.

The theory echoes the famous words: from each according to his ability; to each according to his needs. By this formula, you will never be motivated to work hard or to develop your abilities. If the profits of your labor are going to be distributed to people who have neither the talent nor the industry to earn very much themselves, you will certainly not be motivated to work at all. It’s the anti-work ethic.

In a cosmopolitan world people are only connected because they share the same DNA. Since they only belong to the human species, nothing they do will remove them from said species. If the need to belong to a group is one of the primary bases for morality, the new cosmopolitanism points us toward amorality.

If you can no longer identify yourself by your membership in a group and by your loyalty to that group, you will be reduced to identifying yourself by your beliefs and convictions, by the state of your mind or the state of your soul. You will not be judged as a good American or even as a loyal subject of the queen; you will be judged by how much your soul has been purified of bigotry against people of different races, religions, ethnic groups or genders.

Beyond all of the highfalutin theorizing, the Obama administration has promoted its own brand of trendy cosmopolitanism by opening the nation’s borders. We have seen the pictures of illegal immigrants rushing through our nation’s porous southern border. We have seen classrooms disrupted as they are filled with resettled refugees who do not speak the language and who have never had a real education.

And we have seen a vision of the future in the madness of Frau Merkel… for allowing her country to be invaded by refugees who detest Western civilization and who want to undermine it from within.

Now that Donald Trump has seized the issue by promising to build a wall and forcing Mexico to pay for it, Democrats have been trying to fight back. Uri Friedman explains in The Atlantic:

In recent days, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have criticized Donald Trump as hopelessly old-fashioned. During a rally in New Jersey on Friday, the former U.S. president argued that his wife has a better understanding of today’s interconnected world than her Republican opponent in the 2016 election. The proof was Trump’s plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to prevent illegal immigration and terrorism.

“The last terrorist incident we had in America was in San Bernardino,” California, Clinton told the crowd. “Those people were converted [to radical Islam] over social media. … You can build a wall across our border with Canada as well. Create giant sea walls along the Atlantic and the Pacific. … We can send the whole U.S. Navy to the Gulf Coast and keep anybody from getting in there. We could use every airplane the U.S. Air Force has got in the air to stop planes from landing. You still couldn’t keep out the social media.”

On Sunday, also in New Jersey, the current U.S. president got in on the action. “The world is more interconnected than ever before, and it’s becoming more connected every day,” Obama said. “Building walls won’t change that. … [I]f the past two decades have taught us anything, it’s that the biggest challenges we face cannot be solved in isolation.”

When they start trotting out social media you know they have a problem. And yet, the damage done by the Obama open borders policy is not going to be undone very quickly. And the damage done to Europe by Frau Merkel and company will not be undone for decades, if that.

Obviously enough, the proponents of open borders do not really need to make an argument. They need merely to flood the zone with refugees and then offer them work permits and even citizenship.

On this score Trump will get the better of the argument because he owns the concrete symbol. It’s far easier to understand a wall than it is to understand comprehensive immigration reform.

One suspects that a Trump presidency will not persuade Mexico to pay for the wall. Most people do not care because they understand Trump to be saying that it is not their fault that conditions have deteriorated to the point where only a wall will stop the invasion.

When it comes to responsibility, those who put a citizen of the world in the White House certainly do bear a considerable responsibility.

The issue, obviously enough, has nothing to do with compassion or with empathy. It has to do with identity, not merely belonging to a nation, but feeling a sense of pride in one’s nation. Moreover, in the grand culture war against Western Civilization, the rising tide of refugees will, if it reaches a tipping point, corrupt and undermine the civilization itself.

For this reason, Joshua Cooper Ramo has written a book explaining that more and more nations are building walls. More and more nations are protecting their territories from unwanted intruders. Apparently, they understood the old adage by Ben Franklin:

Love your neighbor; yet don’t pull down your hedge.

Or the better known version quoted by Robert Frost:

Good fences make good neighbors.

Some people are not going to like it, but defending your sovereign territory is akin to defending the female population. One reason that the world was so horrified by events in Cologne on New Year’s Eve was that the Merkel policy had made German women vulnerable to harassment and abuse and molestation. Thanks to Merkel German women are now far less free to go out on their own or to live as they wish. Just don't call it liberation.

In roughly the same way the women who live in the Feminist Paradise of Sweden have been subjected to the Western world’s highest incidence of rape. None of which, incidentally, is being committed by Swedish men.

These nations are so drunk with their ideology that they cannot even see the problem. They are now attempting to solve it by offering re-education lessons for refugee men. As a signal of feebleminded acquiescence, you cannot do very much better.

According to Ramo, as the world becomes more cosmopolitan, its peoples are building more and more walls:

Of the 51 fortified boundaries built between countries since the end of World War II, around half were constructed between 2000 and 2014. Hassner and Wittenberg found that such boundaries—structures like the existing U.S.-Mexico border fence, theIsrael-West Bank barrier, and the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border fence—tend to be constructed by wealthy countries seeking to keep out the citizens of poorer countries, and that many of these fortifications have been built between states in the Muslim world.

“The walls, fences, and trenches of the modern world seem to be getting longer, more ambitious, and better defended with each passing year,” Ramo writes. “The creation of gates is … the corollary of connection.”

Recently, many of those fences have been appearing in Europe, as countries there struggle to process an influx of migrants and refugees. (The chart above doesn’t account for all of these new barriers, a number of which have been constructed since 2014.) The Economist observed in January that, as a result of the refugee crisis and the conflict in Ukraine, “Europe will soon have more physical barriers on its national borders than it did during the Cold War.” New border controls and barriers, including Austria’s proposed fence along the border with Italy, are threatening the viability of the European Union’s passport-free Schengen zone

Do these walls work? Sometimes they do and sometimes they do not. Ramo suggests that other policy initiatives should accompany the wall-building. About that one must agree. Yet, one notes, as an example, that when Israel walled off the Palestinian West Bank, terrorist attacks from that area stopped.

Walls are real. They symbolize pride in country, loyalty to country and a refusal to allow others to live off what we have built. One suspects that the Republican argument in favor of walls is going to play better than the Democratic love of cosmopolitanism. Unfortunately, more and more of those who have entered the nation illegally will find ways to vote and to exercise political power… the question is whether it is too late to reverse the tide.


AesopFan said...

"The issue, obviously enough, has nothing to do with compassion or with empathy. It has to do with identity, not merely belonging to a nation, but feeling a sense of pride in one’s nation. Moreover, in the grand culture war against Western Civilization, the rising tide of refugees will, if it reaches a tipping point, corrupt and undermine the civilization itself."

This is where the hammer hits the nail, and what the Left so assiduously refuses to acknowledge (if any of them even recognize the problem).
If you destroy Western Civilization -- and unfettered immigration without assimilation or education (of the pre-precious-snowflake variety) will have exactly that affect -- then there will no longer be any rich place to which the poor can flee.
Venezuela didn't even need immigration to destroy itself.

Sam L. said...

Where is Ares O. to tell you and us just how wrong you are?

sestamibi said...

This is the single issue on which the election will be decided. However, there are sufficient numbers of inhabitants of what we still call the "United States of America" that hate this country that I would not want to bet on the outcome. This country was over when B. Hussein Obama was elected. Hillary will complete the process by empathizing with our enemies.

Better get a gun.

priss rules said...

"Good Walls Make Good Neighbors"

And good balls make good kids

Ares Olympus said...

Hey Sam L,

I think walls and fences are great, although I don't think you should boast your neighbor is going pay for it. Only a madman says things like that. Even Israel didn't demand the Palestinians pay for the walls, although crazily they did use their scarce resources to dig tunnels under the wall anyway.

I'm sure everyone knows the line "Good Walls Make Good Neighbors" comes from Robert Frosts poem, Mending Wall, and it wasn't a wall that kept people out, but a wall that delegates property lines so everyone knew what they were responsible for maintaining. And don't forget the line "something there is that doesn’t love a wall" so nature itself, or the freeze-thaw cycle at least, has a way of breaking our artificial boundaries.

And about Berlin, I recall it was Reagan who went to Berlin in 1987 and said this, and the wall did go down soon after.!
General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

I forget the details of history, but know the wall was built after World War II when Nazi Germany was defeated by two temporary allies, but the wall wasn't build right away. And if the wall was across Berlin, it wasn't across the whole landscape, right? It would be interesting to learn more about that.

But if we go to the start of the "good walls make good neighbors", we can consider walls are not meant to keep out people but to make sure people know who's land is whos, and when you're on my side of the wall, you're my guest, and you're under my authority, and that's a more important distinction than simply keeping people out.

But immigration can look scary, if you become a citizen of MY country and MY culture, and try to change it to accommodate yours culture that, I may wonder about the future, and perhaps my descendants will live in a world that looks completely unlike what I grew up in.

I don't know how to relieve those fears, and I have my own, but at least Ronald Reagan's speech offers some hope. Tribalism is in our genes, and Civilization is still a young an unnatural thing in a 3+ million year genetic inheritance, something that exists by the force of will of culture and religion that can see we're all God's children, all children of Noah, and Adam, or at least 3 religions can claim that. So we are siblings, and we may fight, but we can find better ways, even if temporary walls are also necessary.
We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace.

BrianE said...

I don't think Trump was proposing that Mexico directly pay for the wall. It is estimated that $25 billion is sent back to Mexico annually from illegals working in the US-- most of that through Western Union or Walmart.
I think he was proposing a surcharge on that money, a tax if you will. 10% would net $2.5 billion annually, which would make a nice start on the wall.
About 1/4 of the Mexican border is already fenced, thanks to the Secure Border Fence Act of 2006. I think the wall is really a metaphor for securing our border, whether it be increased border guards or high tech surveillance, but more important is a willingness by Washington to just enforce the laws already on the books.
I think you would find most Americans support legal immigration, but any country has the right to decide who enters the country and from where. I certainly do.

A_Nonny_Mouse said...

Stuart said "... more and more of those who have entered the nation illegally will find ways to vote and to exercise political power ..."

And, Heaven help us, many states -including Colorado, where I live- are KNOWINGLY, WILLINGLY, DELIBERATELY aiding and abetting illegal aliens by providing them with Driver's Licenses.

Isn't there something about the term "accessory-after-the-fact" that should cause the Attorneys-General of such states to pause and consider the ramifications of providing "perverse incentives" to lawbreakers??? Or are they all convinced that the Current Official One-World Whim relieves them of any duty to uphold their oaths of office?

This country has lost its collective mind. And, furthermore, we are no longer a nation which believes in Rule-of-Law ... or even in the lessons of history.
That-right-there spells DOOM.