and the Immigration Question
Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
State Department doesn't like the revival of nationalism, but those
of us who believe in national independence can only applaud. Socialism
isn't the only reason the Soviet Union collapsed; the captive nations
wanted their own traditions, institutions, and languages. They rejected
the messianic universalism of Communism, which is why they will
prove a barrier to the New World Order.
thinking about nationalism, we must distinguish between two sorts.
One, as in Croatia, is pro-freedom and anti-imperial, and therefore
good. The other, as in Serbia, is pro-imperial and anti-freedom,
and therefore evil. We see its results in blasted cities and murdered
nationalisms are nothing new in Europe, but it's been some time
since we saw healthy nationalism in America. It could not be more
timely, for we are under attack by a fifth column of multiculturalists.
Western civ courses at top universities are one long libel, and
that's only a sign of the deep anti-Western bias of the elites.
As Ludwig von Mises pointed out, "the idea of liberty is Western,"
and whatever the enemies of our civilization claim, they "look with
envy upon its achievements, want to reproduce them, and thereby
implicitly admit its superiority."
puzzles most economists because it is bound up with what Mises called
"extraeconomic" considerations: language, history, religion, manners,
and private life. But he did some of his most subtle and brilliant
writing on the subject.
classical liberal economists showed that a world of free trade and
free migration would tend toward the most suitable uses of labor
and capital. But, with almost the sole exception of Mises, they
the classical liberals were guilty of oversight, the socialists
were blind. They assumed that nationalism could be literally abolished
in the long march towards a world state.
classical liberals were concerned about emigration and governments
that treated citizens like prisoners. We should always be free to
leave with all our property. But the "right to immigrate" seems
19th-century America, our booming free market easily absorbed everyone
who wanted to work, and if someone didn't want to work, he was out
of luck. There was no welfare, no ideology of victimhood, no inferiority
complex about our heritage, and no attack on English. Immigrants
became English-speakers because they wanted to become Americans.
"What is specifically national lies in language," says Mises, and
"individuals belong only to one nation." After he emigrated to America,
Mises wrote and spoke English.
our economy is disabled, victimology is rampant, welfare is abundant,
and English is demeaned. In the New York City public schools, classes
are held in 82 languages. This tax-funded multi-lingualism
is an attack on English and therefore the American nation.
social conflict is inevitable when the dominant culture and language
are displaced by immigrants as Americans in border towns know.
Mises, who favored the free immigration ideal, said fears of majority
displacement in a mixed economy were "justified." "As long as the
state is granted the vast powers which it has today," he wrote in
1919, "the thought of having to live in a state whose government
is in the hands of members of a foreign nationality is positively
claim that group antagonisms can be cured with togetherness, but
that's utopian nonsense. Under present circumstances, as Chronicles
editor Thomas Fleming points out, open borders would only subvert
American liberty. Anyone could arrive, have his children educated
in the public schools in an alien language, be hired and promoted
through affirmative action or go on welfare, lobby for more "civil
rights," and be feted by the national media as superior to the plain
taxpayers just for showing up.
there a case, in 1992, for a slow rate of immigration and preference
for those from compatible cultures? Certainly businessmen should
be able to hire foreign contract workers, as they could before the
trade unions had their way, and we need to reexamine the idea of
is a civil convention, not a right, yet we grant it automatically
to anyone born here. Former Congressman Ron Paul, an obstetrician,
tells about the legions of pregnant women who arrive illegally from
Mexico at his Texas hospital, receive free medical care (which the
doctor and hospital must provide), and then leave with their
newborn American citizens. As my daughter's favorite magazine says,
What's Wrong With This Picture?
naturalization at the least require a long residency, good behavior,
and proficiency in English? Aristotle praises Pericles for denying
the franchise to those not of "citizen birth by both parents." That
was classical democracy; today it's a hate crime.
argued that private property would help solve the immigration question.
Certainly we should seek to make our commercial districts private
and therefore as safe and bum-free as malls, and private residential
areas could be closed to anyone not invited or hired by the owners.
policy is no easy matter in the age of the new nationalism, but
as in other areas, if we put the liberties of the American people
first, we cannot go far wrong.