Saturday 26 October 2019

The American disease. Part six (migration)

In which country in the world is it best to be a woman? There are a few candidates, but the United States would be high on the list. Someone might argue that it’s best for a woman to live in New Zealand or Japan or Denmark. But a case could also be made for Britain or Canada. Each of these kinds of places has plusses and minuses.

A baby girl born in the United States has more opportunity than almost any baby girl born anywhere else. A woman in the United States has more rights, more freedom and a better standard of living than almost anyone else anywhere.  Men and women in the vast majority of Africa, Asia and South and Central America frequently prefer to live in the United States than their own countries. The reverse is not the case. How many American women choose to emigrate to Bolivia, Kazakhstan or Chad? Yet far from celebrating their good fortune vast numbers of American women appear to want to spend their lives complaining not only about America, but also about their fellow Americans, those who happened to be born male.

To complain about someone because of a quality they were born with, such as their skin colour is rightly considered to be racist, but to complain about someone because they are born a man is by some strange logic not considered to be sexist. Rather it is considered by many American women to be the opposite of sexism. Only men can be sexist, women are born with an immunity from this most American of diseases.

One of the problems with America is its size. Americans do not need to travel abroad because they are fortunate enough to have been born in a country where there is enough to see to last a life time. They don’t need to learn other languages because they are fortunate enough to have grown up speaking a language everyone else does. America has periodically isolated itself from the conflicts of the rest of the world. It has stood on the side lines when wars begin only to come to the rescue of the circle of covered wagons just in time. America can be prosperous by trading only with itself. Yet America exports itself and its values and expects everywhere to be like itself. American problems and conflicts whether to do with race, sex, homosexuality, or transgender rapidly are expected to be the world’s problems, even in places which are radically different from America and with different population makeups, traditions and religions.

Most of the world is not remotely like America. Most countries are made up of people or peoples who have lived there with little change for thousands of years. America too prior to Columbus was made up of a single indigenous group that had arrived there from Asia many thousands of years ago. This group had divided itself territorially and had fought amongst itself, but it was largely homogenous.

It was mass immigration that brought about the present United States. The original inhabitants of the United States, who are in fact no more native than anyone else, they just migrated somewhat earlier, were destroyed by prejudice, war and disease. North America was settled by the Spanish, the French, the British, the African and the Asian and then by the whole world. It is an almost uniquely heterogenous society.  

While the first few centuries of United States history have been dominated by white people, this has masked how the United States has been changing into a country where white people are becoming a minority.

Just as the history of South Africa for white people was dominated by the story of their colonisation, their conflicts and their rule, so American history is dominated by white presidents, white conflicts whether with the British or with the North and the South and white achievements. But how can a culture created by white people be reconciled with white people being in the minority? Just as black South Africans may reflect that the Boer War and voortrekkers had nothing to do with them, so non-white Americans may reflect that Washington chopping down an apple tree, Chickamauga and Belleau Wood has nothing to with them. The melting pot has held the United States together and the common idea that “we are all Americans”, but if division between races continues and people begin to think of themselves primarily as where they originally came from or by the colour of their skin, then what actually is holding the United States together? Wealth? What is to stop nationalism once more questioning whether the United States is one nation indivisible? This is the biggest danger of identity politics.

American history is dominated by mass migration. But until very recently in history everyone was expected to think of themselves first and foremost as an American. Mass migration has worked remarkably well for the United States. It has become in many respects the greatest country in the world. The most free, the most democratic, but it is in danger of becoming the most divided. Mass migration combined with identity politics is explosive. Moreover, the Left in America demand not merely that America should continue to have mass migration, they demand that everyone else has it too and that everyone else has America’s identity politics. So not merely is the Left in America importing something explosive, they are exporting it too.

Until 1945 Europe was almost exclusively homogenous. The percentage of British people, French people and German people who could not trace their ancestry back a thousand years to the exact same country where they themselves were born was tiny. This is not unusual. The same situation obtains in most of Africa and much of Asia. Japan, Korea and the Congo are almost completely full of people whose families have lived there for centuries.

The Left both in the United States and Western Europe has set about changing this situation. Much of Western Europe embraced American mass migration, but we also began to embrace American identity politics. While some European countries were able to develop their own melting pot many migrants refused to be melted and were encouraged by the idea of multiculturalism not to do so. The combination of mass migration, no melting pot and multiculturism with identity politics is such that finding common ground, common humanity is becoming ever harder, not merely in America but in Western Europe and Australia and New Zealand. Carried on long enough what will hold any of these places together?

Meanwhile certain countries look on at the experiment that the West is conducting and choose not to get involved. Eastern European countries are almost exclusively homogenous. Nearly everyone living in Poland is a Pole. Nearly everyone living in a Japan is Japanese. These places do not think of nationality as we do. Here anyone can be British, it doesn’t matter where your parents come from or even the language you speak. You can become British. You can’t become Polish and you can’t become Japanese. You might be able to get a Polish passport, you might under very rare circumstances even be able to get a Japanese passport, but Poles won’t think of you as Polish unless your parents were Poles and you have a long line of Polish ancestors stretching back to when Poland began. The same goes for many Arab countries. Arab migrants cannot become Kuwaiti or Saudi let alone people from the Philippines.

Western Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are expected by the Left to accept anyone from everywhere give them citizenship and accept them as exactly the same as people who have been living in these countries for centuries, but it is all one-way traffic. We rightly look to our shared humanity, but at the same time undermine what we share by emphasising difference in nationality and race. The real divide in the world is between those few countries who will accept anyone. These countries are called racist. The other countries will accept almost no-one. These countries are called non-racist.

But while people can be divided by race and by nationality, while we can live separately in the United States or Saudi Arabia, what we cannot do is live separately from men or from women. The division created by feminism is perhaps the most dangerous of all.