Tuesday, May 16, 2006

American Jews stuck in a fiction-absolute?

The immigration reform movement, having undergone rigorous intellectual development, still lacks an eloquent, alacritous, high-profile public mouthpiece. The leading voices in the House and Senate, Tancredo and Sessions, both come across kindly but are not articulate or telegenic enough to steal the debate and imprint themselves in the American psyche (JD Hayworth comes closest). Even with sustained public opposition to more immigration (legal and illegal), a sovereignty champion impervious to being pigeon-holed as a "nativist" from a "small but vocal" extremist group isn't forthcoming.

Being business-school educated, I have to predict that one is going to emerge soon, perhaps in the '06 election cycle if the House continues to stand firm. The market demands it. The person need not be a pol, but his profile will have to expand beyond that of an activist, and certainly it would be beneficial in the realm of public opinion if the leader had strong personal claim to understanding immigration.

Where are the Jews? The quintessential immigrant group, notoriously well-spoken, and... frustratingly open-bordered. From this Gentile's perspective, the Jewish proclivity for open borders is an illustration of Tom Wolfe's fiction-absolute in action (hear him interviewed here):
The human beast's belief in his own fiction-absolute accounts for one of the most puzzling and in many cases irrational phenomena of our time. I first noticed it when I read a book by Samuel Lubell called The Future of American Politics. Lubell was a political scientist and sociologist who had been as surprised as everybody else by the outcome of the 1948 presidential election. That was the election in which the Democratic incumbent, Harry Truman, was a president whose approval rating had fallen as low as 23 percent. Every survey, every poll, every pundit's prediction foresaw him buried by the Republican nominee, Thomas E. Dewey.

Instead, Truman triumphed in one of the most startling upsets in American political history. Lubell was determined to find out why, and so he set out across the country. When he reached a small Midwestern town that had been founded before the turn of the 19th century by Germans, he was puzzled to learn that the town had gone solidly for Dewey despite the fact that by every rational turn of logic, every economic motivation, Truman would have been a more logical choice.

By and by Lubell discovered that the town was still predominantly German. Nobody had ever gotten over the fact that in 1917, a Democrat, President Woodrow Wilson, had declared war on Germany. That had set off a wave of anti-German feeling, anti-German prejudice, and, in the eyes of the people of this town, besmirched their honor as people of German descent. And now, two World Wars later, their minds were fixed on the year 1917, because like all other human beasts, they tended to champion in an irrational way their own set of values, their own fiction absolute.

Historically, immigration restriction and nationalism have been bad for Jews. From Chrysostom's homilies to Augustine's wandering example to Luther's corrupting hostiles to the world's resisting of refugees in WWII to the hostility the state of Israeli--Jewish nationalization and sovereignty--breeds, such ideas haven't been particularly propitious.

But today a nationalistic, sovereign US is good for American Jews. According to the ADL, 44% of first generation Hispanics hold "hardcore anti-Semitic beliefs", compared to just 12% of whites. The growth of Islam among the black underclass will continue as unskilled immigration continues to harm black's prospects. As immigration keeps squeezing the middle class and augmenting the wealth gap, affluent Jews (along with their natural allies--indistinguishable wealthy whites) will become increasingly salient targets for robin hood policies. White Protestants are a bulwark of American support for Israel. Proportionally shrinking them will correspondingly shift US public opinion against Israel.

Yet Jewish media types are overwhelmingly in favor of self-immolation by immigration (John Podhoretz, Tamar Jacoby, Al Franken, Bill Kristol, just to name a few). And those on the restrictionist side hide the fact that they are Jewish. Talkshow host Michael Savage, for example, is perhaps the most wide-reaching paleoconservative voice today (coining the phrase "Borders, Language, Culture"), but who knew he was Jewish? He plays himself off as a theist with Christian tendencies.

The danger for nationalistic American Jews lies in Jewish success. Struggling groups are expected and encouraged to coalesce into ethnic/racial blocs that compensate for individual disadvantages. Powerful groups are not--when they do, they become irrational racists, suggested even to be ethnic cleansers (see Spielberg's portrayal of the tough Israeli hitman in Munich as a South African (apartheid!), blonde-hair blue-eyed (Arayan!) Jew). Calling Al Sharpton a racist is to attack a black leader and thereby commit an act of racism. To attack David Duke, however, is to attack racism.

The way for Jews to circumvent this seemingly inexorable charge of racism is to adopt an ostensibly non-racial/ethnic nationalism. The citizenism tent has room for Americans across the cultural and economic spectrum who are hurt by unskilled immigration (the depression of wages, economic and educational disparity, communication barriers, increased crime, unaffordable housing, strain on the welfare system, pollution, ad infinitum effects almost everyone in one way or another).



JSBolton said...

When Jewish spokesmen hark back to the hard circumstances of 100 years ago, in ten storey walk-up tenements, or those of the Hitler era; they do not glamorize or impart prestige to the image of their own.
I suspect that this an IQ-related socialization issue; where young Jews seeking more intellectual careers, place disproportionately high value on professors' opinions of them.
Left-domination of government schools assures that those who seek this approval more than others, will be pushed left on almost any issue.
The immigration fiction-dissolute, where being a poor immigrant, to the left, itself imparts superior moral or revolutionary worth, could be operating here.
An ingrained anti-nationalism will tend to be reinforced; even when immigration restriction has become evidently all to the interest of a diasporic high-IQ minority.

JSBolton said...

Historians such as S. Wilentz recently,refer to the immigration restriction of the 1920's as 'notorious' etc. Specifically they mention the quotas as being against S&E Europeans, and as disadvantageous to Jews trying to flee Hitler.
Actually, though, the quotas gave most extraordinary advantage to Jews of the '33-'39 period, which is the relevant one. The German quota was the largest; Jews in the world were only around 1% of the total, but they got dozens of times their pro rata share of the US immigration visas.
Clearly, we are looking at ethnically manipulated propaganda; all to the advantage of a left that desires ethnic and racial conflict, as the key to power.

crush41 said...

More reason to increase educational efficieny and efficacy by allowing sharp kids more options to pursue opportunities in accordance with their abilities.

Lots of Jews do not benefit from the importation of overt hostiles. I suspect there is, similar to other groups, some disconnect between Jewish elites and the Jewish middle class.