Steve Sailer is fond of characterizing the Democrats as the “party of fringes” as they make their primary appeal to minority groups. When they run short of minorities, they create them by finding a way to slice off some portion of the majority, declaring it an oppressed minority. The result is we have one party that is the default for the white majority and another party that is for blacks, Hispanics, immigrants, depressed single women and sexual deviants. It’s the circus acts attacking the audience members.
This is an amusing way of putting it, but it misses a larger phenomenon that is a consequence of democracy. That is, democracies must always seek to expand the electorate. This is an easily observed pattern. In the 19th century, as the West began to experiment with limited democracy, the franchise was sharply limited. The vote was limited to men, usually over the age of 25, and limited to property holders. In the early years of political liberalism, less than 10% of the adult population could vote.
The franchise slowly expanded, even in places where monarchy was still the form of government. The German Empire had universal male suffrage by 1871. Italy expanded the franchise to all men over 30 by 1912 and then lowered the age to 21 in 1918. The British followed a similar pattern. Universal male suffrage became the norm and then it was the call for female suffrage. Unsurprisingly, women voting got going first in Germany, the birth place of every bad idea in human history, and then spread around the West.
In the United States, the presence of a large black population, as well as a sizable indigenous population, added another wrinkle to the process. The urban immigrant population of the early 20th was another group exuded from voting. Eventually, these groups were handed a ballot. Immigrants became a powerful political force, pushing aside the heritage population in major cities. Of course, blacks have become a key part of the Democratic constituency, once granted full voting rights in the 60’s.
The history of liberal democracy since the late 18th century has been a steady expansion of the voting base. At each turn, various arguments have been put forth in support of expanding the franchise, but the one thing that has always been true is there is never a move to narrow it. After every reform effort, every crisis and every war, the arguments are always in favor of expansion of the franchise. Today, the debate is over handing a ballot to children, the retarded and foreigners. San Francisco has now granted the vote to illegals.
As much as some people wish to believe that open borders is motivated by greed, the real reason is something more systemic. An official open borders policy for labor is actually bad for employers looking to game the rules. That’s the whole point of hiring non-citizens over citizens. The non-citizen, especially the illegal, is less likely to fight back at exploitative employers. Open the borders and it becomes possible to organize those migrants. They become a part of the normalized labor force available to everyone.
The real motivation behind open borders is systemic. In a democracy, all fights within the ruling class take place within the bounds of democracy. One side, let’s call them the reformers, wants to change things. The other side, presumably benefiting from the rules, resists these changes. Selling the status quo to existing beneficiaries is easy, because over time, democracy creates a prevailing consensus. This leaves the reformers at a disadvantage. They simply cannot make the math work to democratically enact reform.
The solution is to expand the voter base. Political reformers of the 19th century, looking to reform the legal and economic arrangements, could appeal to disenfranchised men, offering them access in exchange for a vote, if they could get he vote. Social reformers of the 19th and 20 century could appeal to the female vote, if they could get women the franchise. The last 50 years in America has been about creating a new class of voters, expanding the franchise by expanding race consciousness among non-white voters.
The fight over open borders today is actually a battle to expand the franchise by those seeking to push through a post-national agenda. Since the Cold War, the White House has been held by two Progressives and a neocon, which is just a hyper-violent variant of Progressivism. Despite a near total dominance of politics, the political center has not moved that much since the end of the Cold War. The consensus has the advantage of numbers, so the solution is to import millions of new voters to support the radicals.
The expansion of the electorate is a consequence of democracy. In the age of kings, the ruling class was narrow, closed and well defined. The interests of the king are the interest of the property classes. Disputes are narrow, as the ruling class is hierarchical, with the king having the final word. The ruling class of a monarchy or principality has a motivation to keep the numbers within the ruling elite small. Expansion of their class must necessarily dilute their power within the ruling class. No one wants to add new princes to the mix.
In a democracy, no one owns the state, so factionalism is the the inevitable result of disputes over the proceeds of government. By the logic of democracy, the fights between the factions are adjudicated by the public through elections. Eventually, a consensus forms and the major factions find an equilibrium. The minor factions and the losers of previous fights, have no other recourse than to undermine the consensus and alter the make up the voting public, hoping for a better result in the next elections.
It is axiomatic that democracy must be short-term oriented. This is not due to greedy voter, as much as the nature of democracy. The people holding office are temporary office holders with not investment in their position. Therefore, their goal is to squeeze every drop from their position as quickly as possible, Hillary Clinton is the ideal politicians in a democracy, because she wants to auction off every asset of the office she holds, as quickly as possible. This shortsightedness makes expanding the franchise attractive.
When seen in the light of democracy’s inevitable expansion of the franchise, open borders makes perfect sense as the next logical step in Western democracy. It is why the open borders advocates are endlessly chanting about “our democracy” requiring the free flow of people. Democracy becomes a gaping maw, into which everything that defines a people is thrown, in order to keep democracy growing. What starts as a system for the people to chart their own path becomes a system that eliminates the very concept of a people.