A specter is haunting the West — the specter of immigration. All the powers of the old establishment have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this specter: Liberal and Conservative, democrat and aristocrat, college radicals and billionaires.
Where is the party in opposition that has not been decried as fascistic by its opponents in power? Where is the opposition that has not hurled back the branding reproach of racism, against the more advanced opposition parties, as well as against its reactionary adversaries?
Obviously, I’m having some fun here by reworking the opening lines of the Communist Manifesto to fit our current age. I’m fond of pointing out that Marx was not wrong about everything and he made some useful observations. In the 19th century, he noticed that the real fight was between the rising new ideology against the old ideologies tied to the previous economic era. The Industrial Revolution was reshuffling the deck.
It’s also important to note that he got most everything wrong about how the world would look after the revolution. He was also stunningly wrong about human nature and the human condition. The followers of Marx murdered 100 million people trying to prove Marx right with regards to the nature of man and the making of the egalitarian society. I’m throwing that out there so my new readers don’t think I’m a Marxist.
Anyway, the thing about the rise of international communism in the 19th century is it scrambled the normal feedback loop between the public and the rulers. All of a sudden there were conversations about how to best organize society that did not include the people currently in charge. What was most frightening to the people in charge was that in the ranks of the ruling classes were people secretly enamored with communism and sympathetic to the arguments.
That whole vibe keeps coming to mind reading the increasingly unhinged rants from “conservative” writers with regards to Trump and immigration. A couple of days ago Brit Hume was humping this article on Twitter. Hume is sort of the neo-con emeritus these days so he has a lot of stroke with the rank and file chattering skulls. Today National Review’s Kevin Williamson has a rewrite of that article up under his own name.
In both cases you have allegedly conservative writers calling immigration reformers racists and fascists. Not long ago, these writers were excoriating Progressives for using such language against George Bush and the neo-cons. That’s quite a transformation and a revelatory one. The question presented by the issue of immigration to the people in charge is “which side are you one?” We are seeing the answer in the response to the rise of immigration parties.
That’s what has me thinking about old Uncle Karl. Communism in Europe was an existential challenge to the ruling elites because it challenged the spiritual framework holding the old guard in place. That’s what made it so dangerous and why the people in charge reacted so violently to anything that smacked of communism. The Reds were a virus that had to be wiped out completely.
It’s a similar problem with immigration today. The people in charge have drawn long and hard from the well of egalitarianism. They believe it with the intensity of the fanatic. Therefore they lack the intellectual toolkit to address the concerns of the people seeing their towns and neighborhoods overrun by foreigners. The people of Dresden, for example, are demanding answers to a question the rulers of Dresden cannot answer.
I think most people understand why Progressives demand open borders. It’s not just the practical matter of cheap votes. There’s a spiritual element. The Left is always looking for grace on the cheap. Inviting the world and putting them on welfare lets Progressives pretend they are doing the Lord’s work without actually having to sacrifice anything. The peasants are packed into your neighborhood, not theirs.
Professional conservatives have a similar thing going on with immigration. Conservatives have always struggled to answer the charge of racism from the Left. They have always struggled to square the founding myths of America with the founding realities. Immigration is how they could square that circle. By championing the little brown guys, they think they are washing off the stink of racism.
It’s why the reality of Hispanic voting patterns have never left a mark on the thinking of modern conservatives. It’s also why they keep yapping about how they must win over these “natural conservatives,” even though all the data says otherwise. They are sure they are on the side of angels. They have the right answer to the Great Question. Facts will come around soon enough.
Now all of a sudden, the bad thinkers are drawing massive crowds and mocking the complaints of the anointed. If you were a good thinker, sure you were just about to crest the last hill before the promised land, the horror of coming upon Trump hosting 30,000 people at an anti-immigration rally is something like Moses descending Sinai to see the Golden Calf. There can be no intellectual response, only an emotional one.