21.5.16

LIBERALISM & IMMIGRATION: A CRITICISM OF RICHARD V. REEVES

In a Brooking's Institute article entitled "In defense of immigrants: Here's why America needs them now more than ever," author Richard V. Reeves (a British-American) champions an almost opposite vision than that advocated by this website and the Alt Right/Identitarian movement. [1] In his first section, Reeves authors one of the worst paragraphs I have recently read:
"Americanism is a unique and powerful cocktail, blending radical egalitarianism (born equal) with fierce individualism (it's up to you): equal parts Thomas Paine and Horatio Alger. Egalitarian individualism is in America's DNA. In his original draft of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that "men are created equal and independent," a sentiment that remained even though the last two words were ultimately cut. It was a declaration not only of national independence but also of a nation of independents."
Reeves' vision of the ideal society is the triumph and independence of atomized individuals over identity groups. Reeves wants total social flexibility instead of stable place and meaning. His worldview is completely liberal.

The Identitarian position is exactly the opposite. Identitarians are individuals only after and because they are members of church, ethnic, family, and state identity groups. The Identitarian instinct is towards our fellow men and women rather than in pursuit of our own advancement. Identitarians take seriously the Christian concept of loving others before ourselves.

Reeves, on the other hand, wants people to pursue their selfish ambition to increase their social class at the expense of their inborn community and social status: "At the very heart of the American idea is the notion that, unlike in other places, we can start from nothing and through hard work have everything. That nothing we can imagine is beyond our reach. That we will pull up stakes, go anywhere, do anything to make our dreams come true." Reeves would have individuals abandon their family and friends ("pull up stakes") and move forward to achieve their "dreams" (another term for ambitions).

Reeves' logic results in his advocacy for more immigration into America; presumably, from the Third World. While immigration is sometimes necessary to provide a better life for one's family, it represents an abandonment of one's ancestral identity. An Arab, African, or Asian who immigrates to America is cutting off his children's connection to thousands of years of identity. Sometimes this may be necessary, but it is not ideal. Reeves champions it as ideal, and celebrates placelessness because it creates atomized individuals fighting to acquire their own desires.

Reeves ideology is only sustainable if one believes a fabricated version of reality. Individualism can only be a positive good if everyone is equal; but, everyone is obviously not equal. The destruction of community and place damages individuals who cannot adapt to a purely competitive market. Not everyone is able to leave father and mother and cleave unto mammon to achieve their dreams. Rightly, most people are not that ambitious. Many normal people want to spend their lives in peace and community. Instead of respecting this wholesome tendency, Reeves and his ilk are determined to force people into the market place by destroying peace and community with measures, like mass immigration, that erase high social capital communities and increase instability and placelessness.

Reeves's solution for the inequality produced by the destabilization of American communities through the destruction of ethnic, religious, and family ties is massive wealth redistribution. It is interesting to note that wealth inequality was at its lowest during the first few decades of our history under the United States Government; when the ties of traditional life were strongest.

Reeves complains that an impoverished Canadian is twice as likely as a similar American to make the trip from lower to upper class. He partially blames this on "racism" without acknowledging that the presence of low IQ ethnic minorities in the United States exacerbates hardening American class inequality. The more unintelligent ethnic minorities migrate to the United States the more massive the underclass will become. Even Reeves can acknowledge that part of his progressive Whig history worldview is incorrect:
"Half a century after the passing of the Civil Rights Act, the arc of history is no longer bending toward justice. A few years ago, it was reasonable to hope that changing attitudes, increasing education, and a growing economy would surely, if slowly, bring black America and white America closer together. No longer. America is stuck."
Astonishingly, Reeves' prescribes "another wave of immigration" to fix America's problems. Just as Americans are nominating Trump to expel the invaders from their homeland, Brookings, Reeves, and other policy "thought leaders" are hoping to swamp them with more chaos, crime, and instability. It is no mystery why American's do not trust their leaders.


NOTES

[1] Reeves, Richard V. "In defense of immigrants: Here's why America needs them now more than ever." Brooking's Institute. May 17, 2016. Accessed May 22, 2016. http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2016/05/17-in-defense-of-immigrants-reeves.