June 2, 2007

Jewish intellectuals changing their minds on immigration

One encouraging sign is seeing highly ethnocentric Jewish intellectuals such as Charles Krauthammer, Paul Krugman, and Stanley Kurtz losing their traditional etnic nostalgic commitment to open borders over the last year or so. There have long been Jewish writers who have been immigration skeptics, such as the late Theodore White (of "Making of the President") and, more recently, Mickey Kaus and Robert Samuelson, but they've tended to be the less ethnocentric, more citizenist. So, something new may be happening.


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why do you call Krugman ethnocentric? I've never noticed any particular ethnocentrism from him, besides the usual Ellis Island ancestor worship. He also married outside his faith.

c23

jody said...

as long as jewish politicians are open border fanatics, it's irrelevant what the average jewish citizen wants, as i've pointed out. just as it seems to now be irrelevant what any citizen wants. politicians do as they please today.

tommy said...

I'm glad to see more and more Jews are having seconds thoughts about this bill. May the number of Jewish skeptics of Third World immigration multiply.

And speaking of second thoughts: Arnold Kling, over at EconLog, had this to say:

I don't know what the consequences of the law will be, but I suspect that, even though I am a big fan of bringing in more immigrants, I would not like the bill if I read it.

I fear for Dr. Kling's health. He must be sick...very, very sick.

Anonymous said...

Since when is Paul Krugman highly ethnocentric? He's married to a light-skinned African American lady, was against the Iraq war, and very rarely writes on Israeli or Jewish issues.

Luke said...

Like beginning to see that their best long-term friend and ally is Middle America, at least I hope.

Anonymous said...

This is a map of where Jews live in the U.S.:

http://www.valpo.edu/geomet/pics/geo200/religion/jewish.gif

What does that remind you of? It's also a map of where property prices have exploded in the U.S. since 2000, with overcrowding from immigration, and hundreds of thousands of Americans fleeing to the central part of the country.

It's tempered the Jewish enthusiasm for immigration.

RKU said...

Yes, I'd agree with the other commenters that the individuals on the list fall into completely different categories...

Unless I'm seriously mistaken, Krugman is simply a mainstream liberal, finally coming to grips with the unavoidable conflict between his (liberal) support for immigrant well-being and his (equally liberal) concern for the economic plight of ordinary American workers. A tendency to avoid recognizing unpleasant dilemmas is hardly the worst sin in the world. This conflict is exactly the same reason that America's big labor unions are so sharply divided on the Bush-Kennedy Amnesty Bill, and why Latino icon Cesar Chavez spent decades as America's foremost opponent of illegal immigration.

By contrast, Krauthammer and (I think) Steyn are fanatically ethnocentric Jews, who are simply doing whatever it takes to maintain their "political viability" as powerful media-manipulators of ordinary American conservatives in the service of extremely ethnocentric goals.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps some of the Jewish intelligentsia has FINALLY discovered that bringing down white America via third world immigration is not in the interests of Jews, for two reasons:

1) Unlike white, Christian America, the new immigrants have ZERO interest in a foreign policy that will protect Israel from its many enemies. If immigration displaces white Americans politically, our foreign policy will change either in an isolationist direction or become anti-Israel, thus resulting in the destruction of Israel (Somebody tell Bibi Netanyahu to have a chat with his coethnics in the ADL about how displacing white America is NOT helpful to the future survival of the Jews.)

2) As the JFK arrests show, a good percentage of the third world is Muslim, and importing the Allah FUBAR crowd is certainly not in the interests of Jews.

The above should have been obvious to anyone, since oh, 1965, but apparently those Ashkenazi high IQ genes Charles Murray is alway raving about makes too many Jews immune to common sense in terms of social policy.

Old Right

Ron Guhname said...

Steve, is it people beginning to think like citizenists or "those damn Muslim immigrants are bad for Jews"?

Anonymous said...

Steve --

The reason Jewish Intellectuals oppose open borders is that last part. Intellectuals. Even nostalgia and fears of once again America's doors being shut to Jews fleeing a holocaust can't over-ride the reasoning behind the need to control the borders.

Reason overrides emotion.

D said...

Agreed on Krugman.

"Ethnocentric" doesn't seem to apply.

Svigor said...

Like beginning to see that their best long-term friend and ally is Middle America, at least I hope.

I dunno about that. Steve's one of that crowd that seems to think it knows better than the jews what's good for the jews. There are a lot of these folks in the American "far right." What does jewry stand to gain from reciprocating Euro-American friendship? Nothing, as far as I can tell, since Euro America is one of those hell-or-high-water friends who asks nothing in return, and is incapable of standing up for himself. There is apparently nothing jewry can do to piss EA off, as long as its behavior falls under plausible deniability, so why bother behaving like a real friend at this juncture?

Jewry has always walked a fine line, and will probably continue to do so for a long time. On one hand it has to maintain enough crypsis for plausible deniability; on the other it has to to stay ethnocentric enough to cohere. It's always been willing to sustain heavy risk in return for continued identity. This is pretty much written into the group definition.

I'd love for jewry to wake up tomorrow and start behaving like an ethnocentric, but European, group. That it is not in fact European would make little difference to me.

But, I'm not holding my breath. Imagine an America composed of only EAs and jews; suddenly jewishness becomes very salient, in a variety of ways (nepotism, overrepresentation, success, resistance to assimilation, phenotype, etc.). I don't think any amount of hard thinking will change this scenario as jewish nightmare. I don't think any amount of soul-searching will lead jews to "well, that's quite enough diversity for us to feel comfortable." It doesn't seem like the sort of impetus with an off switch. If there is one, it's probably far past any satisfactory threshold. There are jews (a small minority, to be sure) who have the "double chromosome" so bad they work for diversity in Israel.

Running the risk of repeating myself (a necessary thing dealing with philo-Semites): I'd throw a party if the leopard changed its spots, but I'll leave planning the seating arrangements until after the fact.

Anonymous said...

Jews are almost always wrong on immigration based largely upon the experiences of their families in the Thirties. People such as Michael Medved, so smart on most issues, are infuriatingly stupid on the Mexican illegal problem.

Anonymous said...

Two articles of interest, both by By Stephen Steinlight of the Center for Immigration Studies:
The Jewish Stake in America's Changing Demography:
Reconsidering a Misguided Immigration Policy
and
High Noon to Midnight: Why Current Immigration Policy
Dooms American Jewry

Dennis Dale said...

Krugman has also been pretty consistent, skeptical of open borders as long as I've been aware of him.
The couple of times I've read him on the subject he performed the requisite genuflection toward Ellis Island, and then made the sensible liberal/left argument that would be common if not for the racial/anti-nationalist reflex action that provides us all with the gruesome spectacle of diehard liberals poaching the CATO institute for their arguments, or, a personal favorite, The Nation magazine saying that enforcement doesn't "make economic sense."

Steve Sailer said...

Economist Paul Krugman has progressed so far toward rationality on immigration that many don't recall his old ethnic nostalgia driven stance.

For an example of Paul Krugman's old smug anti-rationality on immigration, here's one of his NYT columns "My Beautiful Mansionette" from 2001. It's a follow-up to an earlier column complaining about suburban sprawl:

"You see, a few columns back I wrote a piece about urban sprawl and its attendant traffic congestion, which is becoming a very serious issue — a lot more important to the lives of most people than the dollar or two per day they might eventually get from George W. Bush's tax cut. And a surprising number of the letters I received in response insisted, vehemently, that the real culprit behind urban sprawl was population growth, and that therefore it was all because of immigration.

"A quick search of the Internet reveals that my correspondents are not isolated individuals; they are part of a still small but growing movement. On casual observation I would say that the anti-immigration movement today is where the anti-globalization movement was a couple of years before Seattle: not yet large enough to be a political force to be reckoned with, but quite possibly on its way to achieving critical mass. And complaints about the alleged linkage between immigration and urban sprawl is a popular theme.

"Like so much of what the anti- globalization activists say, these complaints are mostly but not entirely off base. The grain of truth in the argument is that other things being the same, a growing population means more houses, more cars and hence more sprawl. But population growth is only a secondary contributing factor to a disastrous pattern of land use driven by skewed incentives that encourage people to spread out in a low-density sprawl that in turn forces them to spend more and more of their time in cars. What's really impressive to me is the way that medium-size metropolitan areas, like Atlanta or Houston, have managed to mismanage their development so completely that they have worse traffic congestion than metropolitan New York, which has five times their population. (I know, I know, I sound like the kind of person Dick Cheney loves to hate. But as it happens I do own an S.U.V.)

"So why the vehemence?

"Psychoanalyzing a political movement guarantees a fresh wave of hate mail, but my best guess is that the passion of my correspondents is ultimately fueled by cultural unease. The changes one sees in central New Jersey are the same as what one sees everywhere in this country: farms and traditional towns submerged by a rising tide of malls, highways and McMansions. And since some of the faces behind the wheel or the fake Palladian window are brown, it's all too natural to blame them for the trend.

"Obviously I don't feel the same way; I am one of those people who feel that immigration is a good thing — most of all for the immigrants, but good for America too. To some extent this position rests on mundane economic arguments. Foreign-born talent has been crucial in this country's technology boom, and plays a large role in many less glamorous industries too. (For some reason all the gas stations around here seem to be run by Sikhs.) And one can make a good case that demography — the perils of a low birth rate — is a key factor in the economic malaise of Japan and some European countries; America's openness to immigration is one of the things protecting us from that fate.

"And I have my own cultural prejudices. Isn't the immigrant experience part of what this country is all about? Without immigrant families climbing the social ladder, what would become of the American dream?

"But never mind the rational arguments.

"Over the horizon new and possibly quite nasty political storms are brewing. If you think people get angry and irrational when arguing about taxes, wait till you see them argue about immigration."

Steve Sailer said...

In contrast, here's Paul Krugman's 3/27/2006 NYT column "North of the Border," which is an admirable mea culpa on his part for all the hatred he has spewed at immigration restrictionists over the years. Krugman wrote:

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," wrote Emma Lazarus, in a poem that still puts a lump in my throat. I'm proud of America's immigrant history, and grateful that the door was open when my grandparents fled Russia.

"In other words, I'm instinctively, emotionally pro-immigration. But a review of serious, nonpartisan research reveals some uncomfortable facts about the economics of modern immigration, and immigration from Mexico in particular. If people like me are going to respond effectively to anti-immigrant demagogues, we have to acknowledge those facts.

"First, the net benefits to the U.S. economy from immigration, aside from the large gains to the immigrants themselves, are small.... Second, while immigration may have raised overall income slightly, many of the worst-off native-born Americans are hurt by immigration — especially immigration from Mexico."

Mark said...

"the real culprit behind urban sprawl was population growth, and that therefore it was all because of immigration."

The distance people choose to live apart from each other is inversely related to how much they understand or like each other. Will people take a 120 minute daily commute over living in a "diverse" neighborhood - the kind you used to live in when you were in Chicago?

Besides that, immigration yields more crime, which is yet another incentive to sprawl.

The first question I ask of any environmentalist is: Do you support cutting immigration and enforcing our borders? If you don't, then you're not serious about the environment.

Fred said...

RKU:

"By contrast, Krauthammer and (I think) Steyn are fanatically ethnocentric Jews, who are simply doing whatever it takes to maintain their "political viability" as powerful media-manipulators of ordinary American conservatives in the service of extremely ethnocentric goals."

Mark Steyn isn't Jewish. Krauthammer is actually more rational than non-Jewish neocons like Fred Barnes on immigration.

Dennis Dale said...

Well, I guess I'd give the guy all the more credit for doing what most pundits seem incapable of: recognizing and accommodating new information and/or allowing further contemplation to overcome a faulty position.

I do like the attempted guilt-by-comparison with Seattle's anti-WTO protestors of the first column; at the time the country was still in a state of mild shock at the out-of-nowhere appearance of downright European leftism.

Krugman's earlier column sure got one thing right: the public concern he was noting back then is now coming to a head.

Does anyone remember the mini-hysteria that erupted early in Schwarzenegger's governorship when he had the audacity to suggest that the first thing to do about illegal immigration is to "secure the borders." I think this was the precise wording that got him into so much trouble. Imagine.

How far we've come in opening up the debate; this must weigh on the addled minds of Kennedy, McCain, et al. It's not just the natural effect of 2008's election seizing up "reform" efforts; who knows where public sentiment will be by that time. If they have to wait that long the Amnestitas may find their position that much more lonesome.

That they have a good shot at forcing legislation through, and are so willing to take the political heat now (it is fun watching Mad Man McCain twist, though) says an awful lot for the influence of the lobbys and other motivations behind "reform."

Mark said...

From today's Krauthammer column:

I suspect this provision is a kind of apology for one of the few very good ideas in the bill — taking skill, education and English proficiency into account rather just family ties, and thus cutting back on a chain migration system in which the Yemeni laborer can bring over an entire clan while the engineers and teachers desperate to get here languish in the old country.

Yemeni laborers? Now I'm sure there are some Yemeni immigrants in this country - possibly even whole clans of them - but I don't recall ever meeting any. And to what religion do most Yemenis belong?

Maybe the Krauthammer transformation on the topic is ethnocentric, after all.

But, either way, I'll take it. Besides, I think the views of everyone - not just "the Jews" - on immigration is pretty much about "Is it good for me and mine?"

And, except for those greedy businessmen looking for slave labor, who have reserved for them a special place in the hottest parts of Hell, I can't really blame anyone.

Mark said...

Oh, and re: the Krauthammer column, I would add that one of his reasons for opposing the bill is that it would eliminate the "fast track" for guys named Einstein. No mention of guys named, say, Werner von Braun.

rob said...

You're dead right about environmentalists, Mark {6/02/6:52pm}.All the ones I know are white, and they fret about the plight of every species and subspecies except the one they belong to.

tommy said...

Mark Steyn isn't Jewish. Krauthammer is actually more rational than non-Jewish neocons like Fred Barnes on immigration.

I believe Steyn is half-Jewish.

Mark said...

First, the net benefits to the U.S. economy from immigration, aside from the large gains to the immigrants themselves, are small....

The Wall Street Journal had an interview with President Bush, which was published on Friday (go to opinionjournal.com to read it.)

It says something about our Dear Leader that, to sound intelligent on anything, he has to be interviewed by a sympathetic reporter and have the interview published in a paper sympathetic to his views. Even then Bush comes off as bashing his opponents as ignorant nativists.

But the really important point he made is this: these illegal immigrants contribute a net of $10 billion to the economy annually.

Now think about that. Our nation's GNP is now over $12 trillion. Yet even the most sympathetic supporter of illegal immigration can only claim that they contribute an amount that is less than 0.08% of the overall total!

There are whole cities, whole regions even, of this country that have been turned upside down and inside out thanks to illegal immigration; over 60% of Americans now think dealing with illegal immigration is "very important"; and yet the best that it's most avid supporters can claim is that it's for less than 0.08% of economic output.

Mark said...

You're dead right about environmentalists, Mark {6/02/6:52pm}.All the ones I know are white, and they fret about the plight of every species and subspecies except the one they belong to. - Rob

Their biggest obsessions these days are global warming and sprawl. If global warming is indeed real (it is), and is indeed caused by human activity (it might be), then sprawl leads to more global warming.

Therefore one of their concerns should be: what causes sprawl? Lots of people want big backyards. That can't be controlled without restrictive government limits. The biggest variables that we can control are population growth, crime and distrust of neighbors - all three of which are major consequences of large-scale immigration.

But liberals today - even the enviros - are more obsessed with race than anything else. That's why they won't restrict immigration.

Anonymous said...

Ethnocentric or not, Krugman is a snob.

"Psychoanalyzing a political movement guarantees a fresh wave of hate mail, but my best guess is that the passion of my correspondents is ultimately fueled by cultural unease."

"Cultural unease" is just another term for racism. If you resent the social ills visited on your community because of uncontrolled, unplanned growth due to mass illegal immigration, you are pathologically unable to adapt to change.

I also notice Krugman's opponents are anti-immigration rather than anti-illegal immigration, as if those of us who oppose amnesty for 10 million plus illegals & who believe border control is essential to controlling crime want to close the country to new immigrants period.

He does admit to "cultural biases" about immigration at the end of his article but I believe a multicult elitism is at the heart of his resistance to controls on immigration.

dougjnn said...

If more Jews do start to bolt from the hitherto almost completely solid Jewish intellectual stance, whether by pundit or editorialist, politician or blogger, and whether by liberal or neo-con, that any effective restrictions on immigration are zenophobic and ignorant at best and more likely actually covertly racist, it will be very, VERY important for the course of the debate and actually the pending bill. It has the potential to de-demonize the anti-illegal and aniti flooding immigration position almost overnight. The influence of Jews in the media of all types should not be underestimated. It’s if not actually absolutely controlling at too many places, nonetheless immense. Often the percentages of Jews in leading newsrooms whether TV or print is a quarter or more.

Yes, part of the reason for this stance is indeed nostalgia for their relatively recent immigrant forbearers past, coupled with their history of guilt tripping this country’s former WASP establishment for allowing the immigration restrictionist legislation of 1924 to continue to block too many of their fellow Jews from immigrating from Germany and Poland and elsewhere on the continent to the US during the 1930s.

Part too though I think has been part of a liberal vision but also an especially Jewish desire to further dilute the political and social power of the religious and populist right in this country – so as to cut off any possibility of brown shirts coming to power here.

The rise of anti-Semitism among yes Islamic immigrants in France and elsewhere in Europe, the fear of allowing too many Muslims into the US, and the relative lack of anti-Semitism among the religious right in recent years and indeed often the strong support for Israel there, has I thing slowly been having some effect.

As well, in some places, such as specifically especially LA, the negative impact of effectively uncontrolled illegal immigration on middle income Americans especially is just too negative to ignore.

Having said all this, I for one haven't yet seem much movement among the leading Jewish punditry on immigration. If it's no longer an almost completely solid front, it's still pretty close to one. Perhaps not quite so vehemently or morally scathing, though, as before.

dougjnn said...

Actually I believe Mark Steyn said he is 1/4 Jewish, although one of his parents did I think consider themselves Jewish. Or something like that.

He also goes to church regularly.

Having said all this, his voice and sensibility do SEEM pretty Jewish.

He's an original, is I guess what I make of him.

Mr. Jones said...

Svigor, spot on. Start your own blog.

dougjnn said...

Krugman said:
First, the net benefits to the U.S. economy from immigration, aside from the large gains to the immigrants themselves, are small....

This is a disingenuous and tendentious statement, as is Krugman’s want.

It’s absurd to lump all immigration together. Approximately no one wants to cut off all immigration to the US. There is little debate that we should continue to let in the brightest and mostly highly or uniquely skilled from around the world. These often come in through studying in our universities first, undergrad or grad, but not always.

These are the immigrants who most often are huge net benefits to our economy and overall well being. So too are some others.

But on average, illegal immigrants, particularly illegal Mexican and Central American immigrants, who don’t become illegal after overstaying student or tourist visas (=usually middle or upper class back home) but rather by streaming across a poorly defended southern border, because they are, generally, yes relatively ambitious but also usually among the lowest classes of Mexico and Central America, ill skilled, ill educated and not so intelligent, are net negative, rather than positive, contributors to the American economy. If their children did strikingly better, well then maybe this could be overlooked. But their children, on average, do NOT. Calling it “racist” to say so, is a large part of what’s currently wrong with American, and yes also Western European public sphere thought processes these days. It’s simply a fact.

So, net, net, mass poor and unskilled (unintelligent) immigration from Mexico and Central America should be greatly curbed. High skilled and high intelligenc immigration from anywhere should be encouraged.

The one really good thing in the currently pending immigration bill is moving to a skills point system, and curbing extended family chain immigration. It’s absurd to phase this in over ten years however. How about say one or two years?

Anonymous said...

Approximately no one wants to cut off all immigration to the US.

Oh I don't know; I would like to see it reduced very significantly. Because if you acknowledge the demographic heritage of the US as a majority white nation, and decide you want to preserve it (does that make me a 'white supremacist'), i.e. that it is worth preserving, then looking at the numbers, including differential birthrates, there may be no other way.

Mark said...

Part too though I think has been part of a liberal vision but also an especially Jewish desire to further dilute the political and social power of the religious and populist right in this country – so as to cut off any possibility of brown shirts coming to power here.

When's the last time brown shirts came to power in any Anglo-Saxon country? I can't think of such a time, ever; not even a time when they just came close.

For the explanation of Jewish sympathy towards immigration, I think you have to look past just their ancestors' transit to America, and past Nazi Germany. Jews have been a wandering people for a long damn time - close to 2000 years. Many of them would view potential restrictions on their immigration as a prison sentence. The irony is that that sort of Jewish political posturing is one of the reasons they've been repeatedly driven from one country to another. It's silly, naive and dangerous not to understand that anti-Semitism is partly a result of Jewish behavior.

If looking after "us" starts to conflict with other people's own interests, don't expect those other people not to start looking after themselves, too.

Svigor said...

Mr. Jones, try majorityrights.com.

The irony is that that sort of Jewish political posturing is one of the reasons they've been repeatedly driven from one country to another. It's silly, naive and dangerous not to understand that anti-Semitism is partly a result of Jewish behavior.

Another Monday morning quarterback. A great part of jewry's strength is self-deception; if it starts honest soul-searching it stands to lose a hell of a lot of power (jews are intelligent people and need to tell themselves a lot of specious lies to be able to maneuver the way they do). Your tacit advice is semi-suicidal for jews, i.e., it's got your best interests at heart, not theirs.

If looking after "us" starts to conflict with other people's own interests, don't expect those other people not to start looking after themselves, too.

Indeed, that's my point above, and my point in general; it's time to stop threatening to stand up for ourselves, and start doing it.

Anonymous said...

"When's the last time brown shirts came to power in any Anglo-Saxon country?"

When was the last time they had come to power in Germany, before the 30's? People forget how advanced and sophisticated a nation Germany was; German Jews were highly integrated into the country and considered themselves to be proud Germans first. There were Jewish police chiefs, mayors, business executives, physicians, etc.

When all those German Jews were being persecuted by the Nazis, the door to America was kept shut by paleo/populists. Not surprising Jews might still be wary of this segment of the right.

Mark said...

When was the last time they had come to power in Germany, before the 30's? People forget how advanced and sophisticated a nation Germany was

My point is that the Anglosphere has never, ever demonstrated the sort of rabid anti-Semitism often seen on the Continet - even in "sophisticated" Germany.

When all those German Jews were being persecuted by the Nazis, the door to America was kept shut by paleo/populists. Not surprising Jews might still be wary of this segment of the right.

So, what, we're obligated to bring in every last damn person from every last damn corner of the world who feels "threatened" or "persecuted?" How quickly do you want our population to hit 1 billion - by next week?

With 230 nations in the world, why is that our obligation? Or are we only supposed to look after Jews?

Why were our doors closed in the 1930s? Because for over 40 years, from 1880 to 1924, a bunch of greedy businessmen and irresponsible politicians had torn them off their hinges, and it took decades to rebuild them piece by tiny piece, that's why.

Anonymous said...

Mark,

Bigotry against Jews was quite common among the WASP elite in America in the 19th and early 20th Century, even though Jews had overwhelmingly proven themselves to be productive citizens who made great contributions to American life. Antisemitism only began to appear gauche when the extent of the Nazi genocide became known after World War II.

It's sort of like this: imagine you and I are standing on the street talking about blacks, calling think racial epithets, saying how we hate them, we wish there weren't any in America, etc. Then we happen to see a group of men lynch a black man. They tie him to a tree, and one by one cut his fingers off as he screams; they cut off his penis, cut out his tongue. Then, finally, they hang him until death.

After witnessing that, we might feel a little chastened about are previous feelings about blacks. We might not necessarily like them any more than we did before, but -- having seen the ultimate expression of hatred of blacks -- expressing those thoughts now seems tawdry, unseemly.

That was essentially the reaction of the WASP elite to antisemitism after WWII. Today in America, antisemitism is mainly the province of the prols, radical lefties, and black radicals.

Now, did the U.S. have an obligation to take in Jews fleeing Nazi Germany in the 30's? Of course not. But since previous Jewish immigrants had proven their worth to America, the decision to bar the doors to more Jewish immigrants when they faced death was motivated at least partly by bigotry. That's how some American Jews saw it, and that motivated them to join with Irish-Americans and other fellow citizens to liberalize American immigration laws in the 1960's. Jewish participation in the immigration changes of the 1960's was motivated by their experience in the 1930's.

green mamba said...

All this talk of Jews as if they are vehemently pro-open borders practically to a man - and always acting as a block, controlling things with a single will - is just stupid. It doesn't ring true to my experience. Most of the Jews I know do not fit this description at all. Yes, they are probably more liberal on immigration than the average person on the whole, but they are also more inclined to distinguish among immigrants, between immigrants that enhance a place and those that harm it. In other words, they have a pretty meritocratic mindset.

Just one little example: Several years ago, when I first started reading weblogs, I encountered an acerbic, aggressively pro-Zionist blogger named Ira Sharkansky (his blog still exists, though I haven't read it in years: http://www.usefulwork.com/shark/). I remember reading an item of his sharply criticizing a pro-amnesty article. He referred to illegal immigrants as "immigration criminals". So here's a guy who fits the neocon bogeyman image to a tee for many of the commenters here, calling bullshit on illegal-immigration supporters back in 2002, long before immigration was a hot topic.

As I said, it's just one little example. But it's not untypical.

Mark said...

Bigotry against Jews was quite common among the WASP elite in America in the 19th and early 20th Century, even though Jews had overwhelmingly proven themselves to be productive citizens who made great contributions to American life.

What kind of bigotry? Pogroms? Nope. Lynchings? Negative.

So some Jews couldn't get into Harvard. My grandpa was a smart guy, but they wouldn't have let him into Harvard, either. He was ethnically WASP, but he still didn't have the proper "breeding."

If you are going to equate ethnocentrism with bigotry, then Jews are as guilty of it as anyone. Jews have a phrase "goyische kopf" - it means thinking like a goy. It is not a compliment.

But since previous Jewish immigrants had proven their worth to America, the decision to bar the doors to more Jewish immigrants when they faced death was motivated at least partly by bigotry.

No, it was not. That Jews would be subjected to genocide was not known or understood. No one knew that Hitler would do that. And are you suggesting that an America of about 110 million people had an obligation to accept 8 million Jewish refugees into its borders?

Like I said, you cannot obligate America to take in any threatened (or allegedly threatened) population in the world. The numbers would be staggering.

And don't you dare; don't you even think about accusing my ancestors of having any responsibility for what Hitler did to the Jews; or for the fact that we didn't "rescue" them. 400,000 Americans died in that war.

And, by the way: how many non-Jews does Israel allow to immigrate every year?

Mark said...

From Jonah Goldberg, in NRO's "Corner":

I've been getting a lot of email from people saying that conservatives are embracing socialistic five year plans and economic planning because they want to regulate the importation of labor. Aren't we supposed to be free traders? They ask.

There are any number of interesting and complicated economic questions involved. But it seems to me the basic answer is really pretty simple. People aren't widgets. There's a fairly large body of writing on this point — starting with the Bible, I suppose — that makes it pretty clear we shouldn't look at human beings as if they are inanimate objects or commodities. I seem to recall we even had a war involving that second point. Economically speaking, human beings have externalities widgets don't. If given citizenship they vote. They use social services. They need to sleep somewhere. They have autonomy, consciences, souls and all sorts of other things widgets do not. Widgets do not demand changes in textbooks, medical services or anything of the sort. People do.

Nation-states have a right to determine who gets to visit their soil and who gets to stay here. If this bothers people who think the world is solely about economic efficiencies, well then, that's just one more of the externalities they'll have to complain about.

Of course, to be fair, many of these folks don't dispute this. They simply say that of course the nation state has the right to be protectionist, it just shouldn't be. Okay, but the problem stays the same. I am a free trader and believer in open borders for widgets, but not necessarily for widget makers. Why? Because I think the benefits of free trade for products is well-established. The benefits of "free trade" in humans are far more controversial, for the simple reason human beings aren't widgets.

He might also have added that one benefit of free trade is that you don't have to bring the widget makers hee - instead you can buy widgets from overseas. So if having lots of widget makers (or widget making ability) in your country isn't beneficial, why bring them?

Goldberg isn't a total enforcement enthusiast. His immigration policy and mine would differ by at least a million people a year. But clearly he's not the fanatical open borders neocon that some people like to accuse him of being.

Svigor said...

All this talk of Jews as if they are vehemently pro-open borders practically to a man - and always acting as a block, controlling things with a single will - is just stupid. It doesn't ring true to my experience. Most of the Jews I know do not fit this description at all.

And non-monolithic jewry translates into monolithically open-borders organized jewry.

Your argument is like a black arguing the NAACP doesn't play the race card because not all black "civilians" play the race card.

It's a bit silly. Besides, jewry is monolithically "is it good for the jews?" And that's a problem, because jews have distinct, often contradictory interests vis-a-vis Euro Americans.

Mark said...

It's a bit silly. Besides, jewry is monolithically "is it good for the jews?" And that's a problem, because jews have distinct, often contradictory interests vis-a-vis Euro Americans. - svigor

I don't care that they're asking "is it good for the Jews?"

It's a smart question to ask. The question is, why aren't we (non-Jewish whites) asking the same question?

Your opinion on immigration policy is going to be based on your best (or perceived best) interest. That's the way everyone else is looking at it - except for so many whites.

Svigor said...

I don't care that they're asking "is it good for the Jews?"

It's a smart question to ask. The question is, why aren't we (non-Jewish whites) asking the same question?


One has a habit of leading to the other. The two questions are joined at the hip in other ways, too.

tommy said...

Green Mamba,

All this talk of Jews as if they are vehemently pro-open borders practically to a man - and always acting as a block, controlling things with a single will - is just stupid. It doesn't ring true to my experience. Most of the Jews I know do not fit this description at all. Yes, they are probably more liberal on immigration than the average person on the whole, but they are also more inclined to distinguish among immigrants, between immigrants that enhance a place and those that harm it. In other words, they have a pretty meritocratic mindset.

I would agree. But the Jewish lobby is and always has been staunchly pro-immigration. I don't know how to reconcile the disconnect between the Jew on the street who is a bit more liberal, but not otherwise greatly concerned with the immigration issue, and Jewish organizations, who make it a high priority. Regardless, there is no ambivalence toward, and much enthusiasm for, immigration from B'nai Brith and company.

Mark said...

That was essentially the reaction of the WASP elite to antisemitism after WWII. Today in America, antisemitism is mainly the province of the prols, radical lefties, and black radicals.

There's an old saying: Hard cases make bad law.


One has a habit of leading to the other. The two questions are joined at the hip in other ways, too. - svigor

Not sure exactly what you mean by that.

But what bothers me is expressed in Eugene Volokh's piece over at opinionjournal. Volokh claims that some anti-semitism is good for Jews because it preserves their identity as a people.

Which raises a question: When Jews think about "we," to what extent do they include only other Jews, and to what extent do they include, well, me? And why are they allowed to have a "we" that excludes me, but why am I expected to consider they are part of my we?

I am pretty much willing to include in my "we" anyone who doesn't exclude me from their "we." But don't blame me if I exclude from my "we" anyone who excludes me from their "we."

Got that? I didn't think so.

In other words, a group of people cannot exhibit ethnocentrism for their own part, but then expect - even demand - that other people not do so. The other people would be fools to accept that arrangement. But then there are a lot of fools in the world.

Anonymous said...

"And are you suggesting that an America of about 110 million people had an obligation to accept 8 million Jewish refugees into its borders?"

I explicitly wrote that America did not have such an obligation:

"Now, did the U.S. have an obligation to take in Jews fleeing Nazi Germany in the 30's? Of course not."

American Jews also had no obligation to support restrictionist policies against non-whites when the immigration bill came up in 1965.

Anonymous said...

Mark,

How is this statement:

"There's an old saying: Hard cases make bad law."

A cogent response to this one:

"That was essentially the reaction of the WASP elite to antisemitism after WWII. Today in America, antisemitism is mainly the province of the prols, radical lefties, and black radicals."

Svigor said...

Me: One has a habit of leading to the other. The two questions are joined at the hip in other ways, too.

Mark: Not sure exactly what you mean by that.

(I respond to posts by parsing them sequentially; after reading the rest of your post it seems you know pretty much what I mean, but I'll leave the following for clarification anyway)

I mean that Jews have a hell of a lot to do with making the question grounds for social expulsion in Euro Americans.

As for other ways, the big one is that observing Jewish ethnocentrism (dual morality in particular) is a recipe for Euro American ethnocentrism. One might call this the "MacDonald Effect." (writing his book about Jews turned MacDonald into a European ethnocentrist).

josh said...

Any chance they might change their traditional ethnic nostalgiac commitment to Israel??

Svigor said...

If you are going to equate ethnocentrism with bigotry, then Jews are as guilty of it as anyone. Jews have a phrase "goyische kopf" - it means thinking like a goy. It is not a compliment.

(I'm trying again to respond to this, in a way that accords with Steve's sensibilities.)

No, the evidence suggests that Jews are far more ethnocentric than European Americans. Here's some info from Yggdrasil's site:

Just how distrustful Jews are has been calculated in a survey conducted by the National Opinion Research Center for Dr. Melvin Kohn of the National Institute of Mental Health. In this survey, Jews almost leaped off the chart in terms of their intrinsic distrust of others. That survey, reported by the center's Andrew Greeley in his book That Most Distrustful Nation, attempted to assess various white ethnic groups' comparable levels of distrust. The scale went from Plus 4--most trusting--to Minus 4--least trusting:

Irish Catholic 2.506
Scand. Protestant 1.583
Slavic Catholic 1.481
German Protestant 0.767
German Catholic 0.757
Italian Catholic 0.502
WASP 0.242
Jewish - 3.106

These figures might also suggest that the disparity in general outlook between Jews and non-Jews carries over into political behavior, since voting statistics of Jews compared with non-Jews show the same variant. It has been proven, too, that as other members of society advance up the educational, economic, and professional ladders, their votes become increasingly "conservative," for preserving the status quo. But as Jews move up the same ladders - and they have hurried up them faster than other groups - [149] their votes become increasingly progressive, more amenable to change.

Anonymous said...

Steve,

Am I violating your rules by pointing out that American Jews had no obligation to support restrictionist immigration policies in the 1960's, just as America had no obligation to let in Jews in the '30's? I don't see why.

tommy said...

I explicitly wrote that America did not have such an obligation:

"Now, did the U.S. have an obligation to take in Jews fleeing Nazi Germany in the 30's? Of course not."

American Jews also had no obligation to support restrictionist policies against non-whites when the immigration bill came up in 1965.


Yeah, because American Jews are Jews first and Americans second, right? So what should compel them to put the best interests of the United States first after their non-American co-religionists were denied free entry like every other group of foreigners regardless of merits or circumstances?

But don't question Jewish patriotism, please.

Mark said...

Anonymous troll,

Hard cases make bad law means that you don't devise general rules based on the worst potential - though highly improbable - outcome.

Americans and Europeans saw what Hitler and Tojo had done to "inferior" races and blanched. They saw similar behaviors in themselves - Jim Crow, "racist" immigration laws, etc.

The result of seeing one extreme - genocide - moved Americans And Europeans to the other extreme - the complete abolition of any rational understanding of race and culture. The extrem is seldom a good place to be.

Nevermind that it wasn't Brits and Americans who had committed Hitler's crimes. Nevermind that they had actually opposed Hitler and defeated him. Nevermind that Jim Crow and national origins laws for immigration were in no way like genocide. Suddenly, any American who departed from the "their is no race" nonsense was accused, often by leftists with other motives, of being racist.

That's what you call hard cases making bad law. That's what you refer to as throwing the baby out with the bath water. I'm sure lots of other cliches apply.

Svigor said...

Americans and Europeans saw what Hitler and Tojo had done to "inferior" races and blanched. They saw similar behaviors in themselves - Jim Crow, "racist" immigration laws, etc.

I'm always taken aback by this kind of characterization from someone who generally doesn't seem to respect the modern west's sacred cows.

Left out a step there, didn't you? Sounds like western man looked at the issue, scratched his chin, furrowed his brow, did some heavy thinkin', and after all this deep logic came to the conclusion all on his own. Why didn't the gulags swing him gack the other way? In fact, since the gulags happened first (and continued after, and racked up a far bigger body count), why didn't the excesses of the Axis just bring him back to the middle?

Because you left out the role of the history's biggest PR firm.

Indoctrination, not sight.