Lax immigration policy has enriched the United Kingdom with millions of immigrants from Asia and Africa over the last half-century, to almost universal acclaim across the acceptable spectrum of elite political opinion. In the process, diversity has become, like it has in the US, the prime spiritual point of a new secular religion.
Ed West, who recently referenced our old friend Moldbug, wrote a book on the topic, concludes that many of the negative consequences have been overlooked.
I started reading Moldbug for the first time this week. we’re through the rabbit hole now, people
— Ed West (@edwest) January 21, 2015
In the introduction, he writes:
While Christianity was in steep decline, many of its values had seamlessly evolved into the new secular moral order.
Central to those values was the idea that racism was not only wrong, but the very worst evil… Racism was not just illogical and unscientific, it was a sin, and the gravest sin; while diversity, the love of foreigners, the highest virtue. Racism was to us what sexual impropriety was to the Victorians, the wrong around which we defined our moral worth; this would make rational discussion of issues involving immigration and its after effects very difficult.
Through the course of the book, West often references Enoch Powell, his ‘Rivers of Blood‘ speech from 1968, and the subsequent hounding of Powell from polite society.
England, like other countries which have embraced multiculturalism and mass immigration, faces the prospect of seeing its native population become a minority without seeing an armed invasion. West notes that, even though the original immigration policy was focused on economic benefits, the small number of initial immigrants brought in their family members. The shift in the character of the country has been stunning (p. 29):
In 1951 only 3 per cent of the population had been born outside the UK, and this included half a million Irish — Britain was still, despite the turbulence of a conflict that had shaken the world, much the same. In 1949 only a further 39 Jamaicans came over.
In Britain, similar to the US, almost the entire professorial class is left-wing, and aims to pull the entire culture leftwards to it. Although tabloid newspapers in the country appear to be superficially right-wing, they have almost no political influence. Further, churches in the UK are almost universally pro-diversity, even when many of the immigrants are Islamic (p. 65):
The moralisation of diversity is reflected in the fact that almost across the board churches in the West are pro-immigration, even though their congregations are not (in the US self-described Christians are more hostile to immigration than non-believers). In a sense secular universalism has grown on and replaced Christianity, which is also universalist and stresses sacrifice for the sake of humanity, although in Christianity altruism is voluntary, and comes with heavenly rewards…
The increase in diversity has also put stress on the welfare state in the country, as people tend to oppose welfare policies more when they believe that the transfer payments go to people who are fundamentally unlike them. This is one of the reasons why popular propaganda often seeks to display minority groups as having similar values and lifestyles to that of the shrinking majority — because otherwise, that majority will tend to become hostile to redistribution.
West defines the titular ‘diversity illusion’ (p.99):
The diversity illusion rests on the premise that humans will abandon nations, ethnic groups, or religious communities for wider loyalties, yet greater diversity probably has the opposite effect. In-groups and out-groups of race and tribe are contextual, and affected by demography. A lone Asian boy in a school of whites, or a lone Protestant in a school of Catholics, will not form an out-group, nor even will a small sprinking of minorities; he’ll be an exotic curiosity.
The increase in diversity heightens ethnic and religious consciousness, because the experience of more and more people becomes that of friction between mutually unintelligible groups. Various governments have also deluded themselves into believing that they can change the fundamental characteristics of various ethnic groups — believing that middle classes can be commanded into being by a clever policy tweak or two.
The author also tackles the comedy of ‘British values’ and ‘European values,’ which tends to stand for ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusiveness’ rather than what those terms actually once used to mean. Promotion of these values tends to instead encourage what’s called Islamic radicalism (p.155):
[When referring to British values] they were primarily talking of the right to contraception, abortion, and gay marriage, yet all of these are novelties, and to millions of Britons they are questionable ones. In contrast conservatives who admire Islam’s strong family values, modesty, and respect for the elderly compare it with British society’s increasing consumerism, sexualisation and child abandonment….
If a culture is defined by its decadence, is integration a triumph or a failure? When Muslim girls catch chlamydia at school and Muslim boys are being treated for cirrhosis of the liver in their 20s, will we celebrate the victory of Britishness?
It would be easy to mistake the term ‘British values’ for enthusiasm for sodomy, gender re-assignment surgery, and drug addiction, rather than the values espoused by the King James Bible and Shakespeare.
The diversity policy, in part, defends itself with what amount to new laws against blasphemy — these laws are euphemized by the term ‘hate speech.’
Over the course of the book, West also discusses how the Labour party and the broader left abandoned the white working class in favor of a coalition of minorities and grievance groups. Peter Hitchens has also written much on this topic.
The key argument that West makes which will be of interest to you is on page 220:
For forty years conservatives lost the arguments over immigration, despite overwhelming public support. They lost because they lost the intellectual justification for group solidarity and restricted altruism against post-war radical universalism, to the extent that normal human feelings were redefined as forms of mental illness. But Islam allowed conservatives to make arguments using language that liberals would permit.
One novel observation, at least to me, was that the internet also facilitates ethnic fragmentation among immigrant groups. For example, communities from Turkey can immigrate to the UK and behave almost exactly as if they were in Turkey, because they can beam down the entire Turkish media experience from the internet. They can socialize entirely within other groups of Turks and otherwise have almost no contact with the surrounding society.
In this way, immigrants behave like ‘reverse colonists,’ or rather, just like regular colonists, but without formal authorization. This has had devastating impacts on the security of the country, not to mention to the pride and happiness of its inhabitants.
Britons have found that their native country has turned into a typical Islamic slave-raiding territory, much like Slavic and Mediterranean countries were until Europe found its strength in the late pre-modern period.
This book will probably not be edgy enough for some of you — for example, it looks at mores were before the war, what they were after the war, but does not go into detail about the inflection point and what caused it. But this is one of its virtues, also, because it makes the book easy to recommend to moderates on both the left and the right, such as your likely family members and co-workers.
If you’re curious about some of the reasons why Britain is such a disaster zone, this text goes a long way towards explaining it and why the arguments underlying the diversity myth are faulty, without resorting to language which might set off the alarm bells in the mind of a normal Westerner who has been acculturated into the moral system which holds diversity to be the highest good.
Capitalism, mass media, state education and the other features of modernity can dissolve identities very well. The worry should not be the failure of “diversity” policies resulting in ethnic conflict. It should be the success of these policies, transforming everyone into Last Man hipster yuppie worker drones.
Not seeing the Moldbug reference at that Spectator link. I see Chris B and somebody else pointing there, but not West.
Thanks. You’re correct. I was thinking of his recent piece in the Catholic Herald, which does have a link to Unqualified Reservations. I’ve updated the link (http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/commentandblogs/2015/02/05/labour-in-power-catholic-schools-have-reasons-to-be-concerned/)
Neoreactive (@Neoreact1ve) says
I’ve wondered for some time if the real reason leftist governments are running up such massive debts, so large it will take generations of citizen’s taxes to repay, is because the smart leftists know that:
(a) It won’t be them paying it back,
(b) It won’t be their children paying it back (because they don’t have any children), and
(c) it’s increasingly looking like the children saddled with the debt will be low IQ brown people
So either way the left don’t care, and oddly this makes sense (in a perverse way).
But then again, maybe I’m imagining too much leftist malice here, and violating Hanlom’s adage “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”.
The debts won’t be repaid at face value.
You can just interpret almost everything that comes out of any American think tank as an extended obfuscation operation intended to muddle public and institutional understanding of the dire situation of US public finances.
Ask Stanley Druckenmiller how bad he thinks the problem is.