What is best in life? Obviously, it is to crush your enemies. See them driven before you and hear the lamentations of their women. Alternatively, according to John Derbyshire, “The greatest joy for a man is to defeat his enemies, to drive them before him, to take from them all they possess, to see those they love in tears, to ride their horses, and to hold their wives and daughters in his arms.”
I’m kidding, sort of, but figuring out what is the point, the goal of life, is not an unimportant topic. Libertarians tell us the point of life is to be ground up into dog food because that’s efficient. Liberals tell us the point of life is the struggle. A meaningful life is one spent struggling against the natural order. Buckley Conservatives no longer contemplate this question as it could offend the Left.
One reason our politics are a dumpster fire in the West is no one bothers to ask, “to what end?” Read the stories about the Muslim invasion of Europe, for example, and you never see anyone asking the current non-Muslim rulers why they are doing these things. What’s the point? How does this benefit Europeans? There’s never a reason given. It’s as if there is no point. They are just killing time until something else comes along.
The void of pointlessness has been filled by the cult of economics, who claim the point of man’s existence is to make really cool looking pivot tables. Make Excel happy and utopia arrives. The debate here over trade was tinged with that vibe. Trade with Mexico is good because Walmart has cheap crap. This assumes that life in America was a hellhole in 1985, because we had less cheap crap. Does anyone’s plan for their life include “get more cheap crap” under the list of life goals?
It’s why arguments for or against trade and immigration based on math miss the point. These are not math problems. There’s no uniformly right answer. The math can help inform opinion, but ultimately social policy is about how people choose to live. The point of life for the Amish is going to be different than for Scots-Irish woodsmen in West Virginia. You see that here in this story about a small Nebraska town.
Half-ton pickup trucks crowd the curb outside the One Horse Saloon, a neon Coors Light sign in the window and rib-eye steaks on the menu, but otherwise Nickerson, Nebraska, is nearly silent on a spring evening, with only rumbling freight trains interrupting bird songs.
Regional economic development officials thought it was the perfect spot for a chicken processing plant that would liven up the 400-person town with 1,100 jobs, more than it had ever seen. When plans leaked out, though, there was no celebration, only furious opposition that culminated in residents packing the fire hall to complain the roads couldn’t handle the truck traffic, the stench from the plant would be unbearable and immigrants and out-of-towners would flood the area, overwhelming schools and changing the town’s character.
“Everyone was against it,” said Jackie Ladd, who has lived there for more than 30 years. “How many jobs would it mean for people here? Not many.”
The village board unanimously voted against the proposed $300 million plant, and two weeks later, the company said they’d take their plant — and money — elsewhere.
Deep-rooted, rural agricultural communities around the U.S. are seeking economic investments to keep from shedding residents, but those very places face trade-offs that increasing numbers of those who oppose meat processing plants say threaten to burden their way of life and bring in outsiders.
“Maybe it’s just an issue of the times in which we live in which so many people want certain things but they don’t want the inconveniences that go with them,” said Chris Young, executive director of the American Association of Meat Processors.
The default assumption here and everywhere in the mass media is that the point of life is economic growth. It’s as if there can be only two modes. One is pedal to the metal, sacrifice everything for economic growth, even if that means erasing the entire culture. The other mode is North Korea style isolationism and backwardness, where people are paranoid of outsiders and refuse to embrace modernity.
Of course, the real issue here is “who? whom?”
Nickerson fought against Georgia-based Lincoln Premium Poultry, which wanted to process 1.6 million chickens a week for warehouse chain Costco. It was a similar story in Turlock, California, which turned down a hog-processing plant last fall, and Port Arthur, Texas, where residents last week stopped a meat processing plant. There also were complaints this month about a huge hog processing plant planned in Mason City, Iowa, but the project has moved ahead.
The Nickerson plant would have helped area farmers, who mostly grow corn and soybeans, start up poultry operations and buy locally grown grain for feed, said Willow Holliback, who lives 40 miles away and heads an agriculture group that backed the proposal.
“When farmers are doing well, the towns are doing well,” she said.
The question of who would work the tough jobs was at the forefront of the debate, though many were adamant they aren’t anti-immigrant. Opposition leader Randy Ruppert even announced: “This is not about race. This is not about religion.”
Thanks to 50 years of Buckley Conservatism, standing up for you own is assumed to be a hate crime so everyone is conditioned to volunteer that they are not a racist or Christian. I look forward to the day when a white Christian can once again be proud of civilization.
But both were raised at the raucous April 4 meeting where the local board rejected the plant. One speaker said he’d toured a chicken processing plant elsewhere and felt nervous because most of the workers were minorities.
More overtly, John Wiegert, from nearby Fremont where two meat processors employ many immigrants, questioned whether Nickerson’s plant would attract legal immigrants from Somalia— more than 1,000 of whom have moved to other Nebraska cities for similar jobs, along with people from Mexico, Central America and Southeast Asia.
“Being a Christian, I don’t want Somalis in here,” Wiegert, who has led efforts to deny rental housing to immigrants in the country illegally, told the crowd. “They’re of Muslim descent. I’m worried about the type of people this is going to attract.”
Others pointed out that, given Nebraska’s unemployment rate is among the nation’s lowest near 3 percent, few local residents would accept the entry-level jobs. While the projected wage of $13 to $17 an hour was above the region’s current median wage for production workers, opponents argued meat processors generally have high turnover.
This really is the crux of the matter. The “American” company building these plants is about as American as the People’s Liberation Army of China. The owners of that company have no allegiance to America or Americans. The proof of that is their overwhelming desire to import Somalis as workers in their plants. To them, Nebraska may as well be a dead planet they can mine for its resources. America means nothing to them.
That’s the core of the new way we have to view the world. There’s us and them. The overclass gathering for their festival in Vegas should understand that the rest of us owe them nothing. They are on their own. It would be nice if the overclass was thankful and patriotic, dedicated to protecting the society that made their life possible. That’s not the case. They are just a collection of buccaneers with no loyalty to anyone. We have to return the favor.