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Wednesday, June 14, 2023

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With regard to the question of open and closed borders, I believe that it cannot be addressed without a close consideration of the state of civil society in the host nation. In other words, if the founding propositions, principles, and values of the host nation are no longer hegemonic among its people, as currently in the United States, since all of these have been severely undermined by the long-term and continuing assault of the Left, then an EXTREMELY restrictive immigration policy is a requirement of national survival. In other moments of our history, political and ideological differences and disputes were lively and even bitter and occasionally violent, but rival political parties and civic groups, as the population at large, including most of the newcomers, accepted and affirmed these founding notions. So, for instance, from 1880 to say 1920, the rapidly industrializing United States welcomed many millions of immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, along with the traditional arrivals from England, Ireland, and Germany, and many of the former group had little or no experience with democratic or classical liberal political institutions or tenets; however, most managed to integrate into the larger society, since they arrived in a nation with a largely intact foundational consensus. Rapid economic growth and the rising standard of living facilitated their amalgamation into the nation, but even then, the path to full integration was not broad, and ethnic nationalism remained a potent, if controllable and declining feature of immigrant life. One only has to consider the protracted process of integrating the Irish and later the Italians into the larger society.

Today, this is not the case. The ideological limits on the old political disputes of the past have been destroyed by the Left, so immigrants from non-European nations who come to these shores now, have far less opportunity or incentive to learn and affirm our traditions and practices, since these are distorted, mocked, and condemned in our schools, the media, and by the Democratic Party. Immigrants are encouraged to remain apart, as one more of the “tribes” that constitute the Leftist coalition of power. I am not saying that none of these immigrants will make the ideological transition, but that it has become much harder for them to do so. The splitting up of the nation into racial non-European ethnic groups is the road to power of the Left, which has thus greatly increased the tension between civic and ethnic nationalism. Thus, I believe that all immigration, except that vital to the national interest or that necessitated by real political, ethnic, or religious oppression, should be shut down for the foreseeable future. Anything less will only strengthen the downward arc of the nation.

I agree with your comments, Vito, but your focus is different from mine. I am concerned to refute the slanderous charge of our leftist enemies that conservative positions are extreme. This is projection on their part.

You are taking up the further question that I allude to in my sentences, "Among conservatives there are debates as to how latitudinarian immigration policy ought to be. But that is a further question."

We are so far gone now that these further questions may be merely academic and retrospective. Obviously, immigration without assimilation is a recipe for disaster. I have been saying that online for 20 years. Obviously, Balkanization and tribalism are bad. So I don't disagree with your >> an EXTREMELY restrictive immigration policy is a requirement of national survival.<<

This why I have said scores of times over the years that Sharia-supporting Muslims must not be allowed to immigrate. I mean legally. And this for the simple reason that those principles are antithetical to American principles. But try to get that across to so-called liberals and leftists!

The reason why the Republic is almost certainly doomed is because of the vast cadre of useful idiots who go along unwittingly with the hard-core leftists who are the truly evil ones. The UIs are not so much evil as they are some combination of stupid, lazy, ignorant, swamped by the challenges of everyday life, too old to give a shit, mindlessly immersed in the petty-assed particulars of private life such as card games, idle talk, spectator sports, drinking and dancing, and worse: trash novels, pornography, etc.

Tell me if you agree with my 'useful idiots' point.

My diatribe will continue later. Time for dinner.

A Centrist (I am a Centrist) will say: "Go ahead and drive an electric automobile if you wish." A Leftist will say, "You Must drive an electric automobile." (California has outlawed the sale of gasoline & diesel automobiles in the state, after 2035: An "Outpostfacto" law.) And then, the Leftist will accuse Gasoline Drivers of killing the planet and oppressing people of color with their incorrect autos. It is all madness, of course. And being mad as they are, I don't think the leftists are uncomfortable at all. They think they are paragons of virtue.

Sorry if I veered a bit off course, Bill

I agree with you about the useful idiots. The Left depends on and cultivates the existence of this enormous stratum of the population. Now when I hear the standard Republican refrains of “the American people,” as if the term refers to a moral and informed citizenry, ready to defend liberty and freedom, I have to laugh, since it is largely referring to the millions of IUs. The “silent majority” of yesterday is long gone. I don’t want to sound elitist about this sort of thing, but it is impossible to look at the acquiescence or indifference of the UIs to the Dems destruction of the border without losing all hope. Any fool should be able to see that the Prepubic, or what is left of it, cannot survive if it permits millions of aliens to simply enter its national borders.

Vito,

The 4th of July is approaching and I suspect that you. like me, won't be talking part in any of the usual celebrations. It has become utterly sickening to hear the now-meaningless claptrap about "Land of the Free, Home of the Brave."

I was asked why I don't go to church. My answer was that I take religion too seriously to go to church. Similarly, I love my country too much to take part in phony 4th of July events.

Along with no longer flying the flag, something I did for several years after my return from France, I also stopped celebrating the 4th of July, for I realized that these actions were (1) simply nostalgic, some imprecise and regretful memory and longing for the America of my earlier years; and (2) public indications that I somehow approved of the current political regime and its policies, which I obviously do not.

As to the church attendance, it is something possible for me only because of the anomaly of the TLM close by, offered by an old and thoroughly orthodox Catholic priest; both will soon disappear, and then I expect to find myself in your situation, for I too take religion very seriously.

I am currently finishing Yves Chiron’s biography of Paul VI, which is now available in an English translation, and reading it, along with his biography of Annibale Bugnini, allowed me to see the striking correspondences between the thinking, strategy, and tactics, all at base elitist and authoritarian, of the Left in secular society and those of the “progressives” in the Church. No tradition, no matter how ancient and how much revered, falls outside the utopian illusions of these two factions of “enlightened” modernity. They leave nothing but ruins in their wakes.

It is a pleasure to agree with you, Vito. Another reason to not fly the flag is its recent desecration by proximity to the 'pride' flag. And this at the White House!

There is also the ambiguity of flag display. What does it stand for? The country or its gov't? "I love my country, but I fear its government." A classically American sentiment.

I am going to get a 48 star flag and fly that as a protest against the insanity of the current scene. Under the 48 star flag, all the men were men, and all the women were women.

The "pride flag" business is another example of the pattern. The extreme anti-LGBTQ position would make homosexual activity a crime. The moderate position is to tolerate it, which is where most conservatives stand. The Left demands active approval - nay, celebration; they'd probably make it mandatory, if they thought it possible.

Indeed the basic principle of the Left on sexual morality could be summarized as "the right to experience orgasm is absolute, and everyone should do so as early and often as possible." That this is an incredibly extreme position should go without saying; no sane man ever thought that any specific pleasure should be indulged in without limits or regard for consequences. But even the mildest suggestion to discipline sexual appetites makes a Leftist hysterical.

Joe,

Except that Alaska was and is a place for manly men, and the women there, I understand, are damned glad of it. I've never been to Alaska. But I spent the summer of '85 in Hawaii, a place where the effete and epicene are more likely to be encountered.

Michael B,

I agree entirely and I couldn't have said it any better myself.

One of the linguistic deformations so beloved of the contemporary left (and often repeated by idiotic or lazy journalists) is to alter the meaning of ‘tolerate’ to ‘actively affirm or promote’ (usually by invoking it’s antonym). Thus those who tolerate practicing homosexuals (as we ought to! - and as surely most Western people do) but do not morally approve of their behaviour are branded ‘intolerant’ for not *affirming* or indeed *applauding* homosexuals. But by definition one does not tolerate what one agrees with. To tolerate (moderate) Islam do I have to convert to Islam?

Likewise the accusation that toleration by classical liberals/conservatives of repulsive people or political groupings is evidence of sympathy with those views. If I tolerate the presence of (very small numbers) of Stalinist Communists or Neo-Nazis in the UK as long as they obey the law it is not because I agree with them. Why on earth would my toleration here shift to affirmation of these awful people? And clearly tolerating them doesn’t mean I can’t publicly or privately criticise the views and actions of these people!

That said, I must admit that my toleration of the woke left has reached straining point!

Hector,

I must be out of touch. Are journalists actually misusing 'tolerate' in the way you describe? Can you give me some examples? This calls for a separate rant.

Of course I do not need to explain to you what it means and what it doesn't.

Toleration is the touchstone of classical liberalism. It is very high value. Without it, how do we keep from tearing each other apart figuratively -- and literally?

Bill,

Perhaps this is more prevalent in the UK than the US? Your nation's classically liberal founding principles perhaps better insulate you from this sort of perversion of 'tolerance'.

I wrote that comment in some haste, so let me add a couple of clarifying points: firstly, my use of 'often' above was inadvisedly hyperbolic and this is something heard more often in conversation than in the media; secondly,
that the deformation is most frequently seen in the form of 'intolerant/intolerance'. Thus those who do not approve of certain liberal pieties or dissent from politically correct views are labelled 'intolerant' - was Trump not sometimes unfairly branded 'intolerant' in the States in this sense? What I'm describing here is usually relatively subtle, not overt.

One recent example of this was in relation to Katie Forbes, an SNP candidate for First Minister of Scotland - she was considered by many in her own party and within the Independence movement as unfit for this office because, as a church-going member of a small and highly socially and theologically conservative Presbyterian church colloquially known as the 'Wee Frees' (let's not get into the intricacies of Scottish protestant theology here!) she is personally opposed to 'gay marriage'. Despite her assurances that she did not have any intention of repealing the legislation and accepted the will of the majority on this issue, she was labelled by many as 'intolerant', e.g.:

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/mhairi-black-accuses-kate-forbes-29305731

I am rather busy for the next few days so I don't have time to dredge through twitter or Guardian articles for lots of examples, but here is one I found after a very quick google:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/15/religious-intolerance-is-bigger-cause-of-prejudice-than-race-says-report

Nothing described in the article is necessarily evidence of intolerance, but the headline and framing of the article imply that these prejudices are evidence of 'intolerance' - as though to tolerate Islam one must be happy for one's daughter or sister to marry a Muslim (which I believe is usually considered to require conversion to Islam in Islamic law), and so on.

It is not merely a political virtue but it is a personal virtue - prudent toleration is one of the marks of a civilised man!

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