Tuesday, November 17, 2015

We Won’t Always Have Paris

The attacks in Paris seem to represent a high water mark (to date) of the combined invasion of and attack on Europe originating in the Islamic world.  The first, and most politically fraught, question, is this:  Are the supposedly needy refugees/immigrants who are being welcomed with more or less open arms into Europe the same people who are committing the terrorist attacks?  The liberals would answer, with indignation, “No!  Of course not!” -- the point being that the refugees are trying to escape from the same people who are terrorizing their home countries and Europe.  But then we read stories about terrorists who enter Europe under the guise of refugees -- and of the possibility that a similar thing could happen here if we admit refugees from Syria.  So there’s the dilemma.  When humanism and compassion come up against self-defense, we have usually chosen self-defense first -- but those days seem to be over. 

And I’m not just talking about the massive social, economic, and political impact of hordes of (mostly undocumented) migrants.  Aside from the terrorism issue, this represents a truly historic phenomenon, comparable to many other great migrations and invasions down through the millennia.  And not the least amazing thing about it is that resistance has been nil -- comparable to our own situation with regard to immigrants coming across our southern border. 

And why has resistance been nil?  Don’t tell me it’s only about humanistic or compassionate motives; if that were true would we, and certain European powers, be bombing the same people on their home turf?  (Oh, wait, that’s called “collateral damage”, right?)  Would we be playing a major role in creating the refugee problem in the first place, by helping to prolong conflicts in places like Syria?  Would we have freed up radical Islamists in Iraq to persecute Christians and drive them out of the country?  So no, forget about humanism and compassion as prime motivators.

Economically -- well, there are arguments, mostly made in the privacy of executive suites, for allowing unlimited numbers of refugees from south of the border -- AKA cheap labor -- to come here.  The counterargument has to do with the welfare state and entitlements -- but of course those expenses are paid by the taxpayers, who have, basically, no say at all in the matter.  Of course, there has always been a suspicion of “foreign elements” on our soil -- going at least as far back as the influx of Irish refugees from the potato famine, and that was before the Civil War.  “Yes, they’re Catholic, but doggone it, we need cheap labor to build the railroads, so let ’em in, they’ll all be ’absorbed’ eventually.”   

That’s the argument on the “capitalist” side.  On the liberal side, the argument (again, discussed mostly behind closed doors) is that immigrants = voters, and liberal/Democratic voters at that, so it’s OK.  Thus, you have a united political will for once -- both establishment conservatives and liberals approve of unlimited immigration, although the capitalists won’t admit it in public.  (The liberal argument, as in Europe, is based on humanism and compassion -- qualities they seldom display in any other context.)

And as for people who fear that they’re going to lose their age-old culture -- or at least have it watered down beyond recognition -- they are given smug and patronizing assurances by those in charge.  There is nothing to worry about!  And besides, you’re just being racist.  Or intolerant, or bigoted, or reactionary, or “fascist” (still a big-ticket label in Old Europe).  Right.  Except -- there are already vast tracts of European cities and suburbs that have been given over to total occupation and domination by Moslems, who are perfectly happy pursuing their own lifestyle and living by their own rules, no matter how much those clash with the law of the land.  They have, in fact, acted as colonizers, except that they entered the scene at the bottom rather than at the top.   

And as to whether that could also happen here, well… how about so many of our “inner cities”, which have been implicitly declared no man’s lands by law enforcement (especially in reaction to the recent controversies over police-citizen relations)?  The bottom line is that it’s difficult to enforce the law in the midst of an anarchistic culture, or one that has a heritage of laws of its own.  Much easier to retreat to the suburbs where they can bug people about letting their grass grow too long.   

So the bottom line for us (in the U.S.) is, if you want the cheap labor and the voters, you have to take the criminal activity and the burden on the welfare system.  Period.  And apparently, this sounds like a perfectly fine bargain to our ruling class.  In Europe’s case, it might be about cheap labor; I doubt if it’s about votes because Europe is already the socialist paradise we aspire to be someday. 

But the question remains -- how is it that we’re defenseless?  And how is it that Europe is even more defenseless?  (I have yet to hear of trains full of undocumented immigrants leaving Juarez and crossing over to El Paso on an hourly basis.)  I feel that -- like for many other issues -- there is something deeper going on here… something instinctive, primordial… something the people affected have no idea of. 

What is it that distinguishes the current crop of immigrants/refugees from the, let’s say, “natives”?  It’s the same thing that has distinguished all invading hordes across the ages -- energy, determination, and sheer numbers.  Have you ever stopped to wonder why the flood of humanity across our southern border is a comparatively recent problem?  The border has been there, in its present configuration, since 1854.  And yes, there have always been people sneaking across.  (Remember when they were called “wetbacks”?  That‘s right up there with tacos and sombreros and Speedy Gonzales.)  And is this flood only about economics -- about the comparative standard of living of Latin America vs. the U.S.?  But that’s probably not as radically different as it used to be.  Perhaps it’s better communication -- TV, the Internet, movies -- that has inspired people to leave everything behind and seek a better life in El Norte. 

I’m sure all of these factors play a role, but I submit that a lot of it has to do with pure population pressure, and especially with the fact that -- to over-simplify a bit, certainly -- they reproduce and we don’t.  Or, we don’t reproduce at anything like the rate at which they do.  So it boils down to something almost as simple as elementary physics -- the differential energy -- therefore pressure -- levels of gases, or water pressure.  There are just too many people trying to get in, and too few trying to keep them out.  And it’s not just a matter of technology, or even “political will” (gravely lacking in this case).  It really is a kind of irresistible force.  (And our border is far from being an immovable object.)  We’ve seen it time and again in history -- invaders usually stick around.  They settle down, become more peaceful… but nothing is ever the same. 

We share, with the Europeans, a kind of pathology -- call it a cultural suicide wish.  We want to be “welcoming”, and “compassionate”, and so on -- but behind it is an unstated premise that our respective cultures have had their day… the experiment is over (the “American experiment” in our case and a kind of cozy form of socialism in Europe’s case)… and it’s time to explore new options -- to welcome fresh blood, vigor, and new cultural offerings.  And when you add to that the spectacle that we are helpless… stupefied… paralyzed… in the face of this new wave of humanity, one really not seen in either our history of that of Europe for many generations… you get the current situation. 

And as for the argument that our Western culture is robust, and enduring, and immune to takeover by mass numbers of the unwashed -- well, all I can say is that in that respect the war is already over, and the other side has won.  By which I mean, our own cultural revolution and that of Europe -- both originating in the 1960s (when else?) -- have done their work.  The long march through the institutions has been largely accomplished, with only a few lingering holdouts (think:  “talk radio” and the Tea Party for us, and the neo-nationalistic “right-wing” political parties in Europe).  Our resistance has been weakened to the point where just about anything could have taken over -- but the Islamic influx was probably not exactly what the revolutionaries had in mind.  For them, the plan was to infiltrate and weaken “traditional” society with its history, customs, religious faith, and mores, so that the home-grown radical element could take over -- and this has, in fact, happened to a great extent if you look at our politics, domestic policies, and of course that Great Satan, political correctness.  But guess what, the elements that took over our culture and that of Europe turn out to have an Achilles heel, namely that although they have great resistance to counter-revolution from within, they have little or none to invasion from without.  They softened up the battlefield only to find that there was a powerful invading army coming in right behind them, taking advantage of much of the same rhetoric and many of the same arguments that the revolutionaries used to such great effect. 

So the argument that we somehow have built-in resistance because we’ve been here longer, and we have a history, and there are more of us than there are of them (so far) -- I call this “voodoo demographics”.  It’s the notion that there is something magical in the way things are -- the status quo -- that, all by itself, will suffice… that now that the revolution is, basically, over with, we can just sit back, relax, and be frozen in place, and not have to worry about any external threats.  (In this, the revolutionaries of the 1960s have become the real conservatives of the 2010s -- things will stay the same from here on out because Utopia has finally been gained, and it is so right, and just, that nothing can prevail against it, either from within or anywhere else.)

The Islamists, of course, have a different idea -- and they are nothing if not students of history.  They were turned back from Europe, by a hair, in the 16th and 17th Centuries, and the Ottoman Empire was dealt a death blow by World War I, and ever since then the Moslem world has been on life support owing to oil and very little else.  But hey, radicalism thrives on adversity, right?  Happy people don’t start revolutions -- and they don’t uproot themselves and take off for unknown lands by the millions unless they have a pretty good idea that, in the long run, they can better their lot -- or, alternatively, restore the Caliphate which will now include the lands they were wrongfully deprived of centuries earlier.  The shame of colonialism must be avenged! -- and, by the way, the French are as guilty as anyone else when it comes to throwing their weight around the Third World. 

The U.S., of course, is a new project for the Islamists, and there is, after all, that ocean in between… but they are over here anyway.  And don’t they call us “Franks”, which harks back to the Crusades?  Aren’t we seen as an extension of Europe, and, to add to the insult, the foremost supporters of Israel -- the ultimate thorn in their side? 

So here we sit, like the latter-day Romans… gazing over the wall at the barbarian armies, but too busy eating, drinking, and being merry to take any of it seriously.  Yes, we have our history, our traditions, and our battered faith (where it survives at all), but they have a kind of energy and determination we don’t understand -- and, perhaps, haven’t understood since the time of the Crusades, when we had the upper hand (at least for a while) and they were the helpless ones.  It’s already true that Europe, as has been pointed out, is basically a museum, with very little similarity between past glories and current decadence.  I have seen the remnants of Islamic glory in Spain; how long before all that is left of Christian glory in Europe is remnants?  And on our side of the “pond”, how long before the American Experiment succumbs to similar pressures from the lowly whose only strength is that of determination and sheer numbers?  We were overcome by a different breed of radicals, but even their days now seem to be coming to an end.  In this, we can take a certain ironic comfort.       

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