Immigration and Social Disintegration
By: Thomas E. Brewton
Wariness about the influence of immigration on society is neither racist nor paranoid.
The message of this posting is not that immigration is bad, but that immigration without assimilation – linguistically and culturally – is disastrous.
Multi-cultural and PC education, along with the welfare state, could hardly have been designed more effectively (borrowing Walter Lippmann’s phrase) to dissolve American society in the acids of modernity and immigration. If these remain in power and if immigration continues at the pace of recent years, the United States will become a disunited crowd of people at each other’s throats and easy prey for Islamic jihad or any other foreign enemy.
Some arguments for uncontrolled immigration are based on abstractions about economic equality of “the workers” and “constitutional rights” to the benefits of our over-extended welfare, health care, and educational systems.
More fundamental, however, than the abstract French “Rights of Man” is national cohesion and survival.
To say that we’re a nation of immigrants is not an argument to support uncontrolled illegal immigration. And it assuredly is not an argument for allowing Hispanics to impose their language and culture upon the United States.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid denounced making English our official language, calling the legislation racist. In addition to political intemperance, his characterization was a matter of historically demonstrable imprudence.
The longest-lasting and greatest of history’s civilizations was the Roman Empire, which endured for more than a thousand years. Until the junking of history by liberal-progressive educators in the 20th century, our statesmen were well informed about Roman history and viewed it as a model to be studied and emulated.
Cicero, one of Rome’s great statesmen, in his dialog the “Commonwealth,” noted that major influxes of foreign populations can be disastrous to a republic:
“But maritime cities are likewise naturally exposed to corrupt
influences, and revolutions of manners. Their civilization is more or less adulterated by new languages and customs, and they import not only foreign merchandise, but foreign fashions, to such a degree that nothing can continue unalloyed in the national institutions….. And this is one evident reason of the calamities and revolutions of Greece, because she became infected with the vices which belong to maritime cities, which I just now briefly enumerated.”
In the “Republic” Cicero observed:
“The commonwealth, then, is the people’s affair; and the people is not every group of men, associated in any manner, but is the coming together of a considerable number of men who are united by a common agreement about law and rights and by the desire to participate in mutual advantages..”
The United States is daily becoming less a commonwealth united by common language, culture, and agreement about law and rights than a bus station where Mexican illegals remain for a while to collect pay checks and welfare benefits before heading back home.
Handled correctly, however, as our own history proves, legal immigration can as easily be a blessing as a curse. Edward Gibbon in “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” (1776 – 1788), noted:
“The narrow policy of preserving, without foreign mixture, the pure blood of the ancient citizens, had checked the fortune and hastened the ruin of Athens and Sparta. The aspiring genius of Rome sacrificed vanity to ambition, and deemed it more prudent, as well as honourable, to adopt virtue and merit for her own wheresoever they were found, among slaves or strangers, enemies or barbarians.”
This policy worked, however, only when the encompassed populations were assimilated into the Roman culture.
Gibbon continues, “Their partial distinctions were obliterated, and they insensibly coalesced into one great nation, united by language, manners, and civil institutions…. So sensible were the Romans of the influence of language over national manners, that it was their most serious care to extend, with the progress of their arms, the use of the Latin tongue…. Domestic peace and union were the natural consequences of the moderate and comprehensive policy embraced by the Romans.”
Fast-forward to the United States of the early 1830s described by Alexis de Tocqueville in “Democracy in America.” Tocqueville wrote:
“Other inhabitants of America have the same physical conditions of prosperity as the Anglo-Americans, but without their laws and customs; and these people are miserable. The laws and customs of the Anglo-Americans are therefore that special and predominant cause of their greatness which is the object of my inquiry.”
“…. American laws are therefore good, and to them must be attributed a large portion of the success that attends the government of democracy in America; but I do not believe them to be the principal cause of that success…. there is still reason to believe that their effect is inferior to that produced by the customs of the people…. Mexico, which is not less fortunately situated than the Anglo-American Union, has adopted these same laws,but is unable to accustom itself to the government of democracy.”
“….But in what portion of the globe shall we find more fertile plains, mightier rivers, or more unexplored and inexhaustible riches than in South America? Yet South Americans have been unable to maintain democratic institutions.”
“…. The customs of the Americans of the United States are, then, the peculiar cause which renders that people the only one of the American nations that is able to support democratic government…. Too much importance is attributed to legislation, too little to customs……The importance of customs is a common truth to which study and experience incessantly direct our attention. It may be regarded as a central point in the range of observation, and the common termination of all my inquiries.”
On a preceding page, in a footnote, Tocqueville explained, “I remind the reader of the general significance which I give to the word ‘customs’: namely, the moral and intellectual characteristics of the men of society.”
With regard to the moral aspect of ‘customs,’ he wrote:
“In the United States religion exercises but little influence upon the laws and upon the details of public opinion; but it directs the customs of the community, and, by regulating domestic life, it regulates the state.”
Note that Mexico is, and always has been, under dictatorial government of one variety or another. Nominally a federal republic since 1917, Mexico has been under the thumb of PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) socialist bosses with the exception of the current president. But no matter who is in control, Mexico remains a socialistic, collectivized, and therefore impoverished nation in which political rule and corruption have seldom been parted.
Thus Mexicans, legal and illegal, come into the United States with a different language and as alien a set of ideas about the rule of law and social customs as they might had they arrived from another planet. Confronting this challenge, we thumb our noses at the historical lessons from past civilizations. We willingly abandon the language and the laws and customs that produced the success of the United States and conform our language, laws, and customs to those of the invaders.
Without a reversion to the “melting pot” paradigm of public education as it existed into the 1920s (and as late as the 50s in some parts of the nation), there can be no hope of averting a calamitous amplification of the cultural civil war started by our liberal-socialists in the mid-1920s. If we continue on that path, the United States is doomed.
Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. His weblog is THE VIEW FROM 1776 (www.thomasbrewton.com)
Thomas E. Brewton is a staff writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets.