I was going to segment this into several posts, but the subject is too integrated, and far too important, to treat that way. What subject is that, you ask? Bide just a moment and you’ll see at once.
First, a repost of a piece that first appeared at the old Palace of Reason on June 10, 2003:
With A Breadbasket
And A Great Big Gun
Courtesy of the invaluable Samizdata Weblog, your Curmudgeon has learned of the rising cries from Liberia for an American intervention in their nightmare.
"There's no food anywhere," said Fanny, a Liberian refugee who had trudged for two days to reach the stadium. "People are dying. The Americans must come. We want peace."
It appears that not the entire world regards the United States as a rapacious hegemon against whom the rest of humanity must unite in self-defense. But nevertheless, the story is very sad. We won't be going to Liberia any time soon. Just as many peoples have misjudged our intentions, others have an exaggerated idea of our capacity to spread peace on Earth and good will toward men.
American armed power could put an end to the current Liberian civil war. But no army and no policing agency could force sufficient political maturity on the Liberians to prevent the next civil war...the one that would break out when our forces departed. For peace and plenty are not primary characteristics of a society; they are resultants that arise from a near-universal acceptance of the concept of rights.
Judging solely from history, no nation in sub-Saharan Africa has achieved the preconditions for a just, peaceful, and prosperous social order.
But the Liberians, and many other Africans, and many other dispossessed, brutally oppressed peoples the world around look to America and say: "There it is! Everything we want, everything we need, everything we've yearned for all these years! Why can they have it, but not we?"
So mired are they in their tribalistic, superstitious, zero-sum mindset that they can't comprehend the answer. Therein lies the greatest tragedy.
P. J. O'Rourke's characterization from Holidays In Hell remains the best capsule of the Third World's vision of us. They are teenaged boys: overflowing with energy, fundamentally undisciplined, prisoners of drives not yet brought under control. We are a beautiful older woman: lush, alluring, worldly wise, deeply sensual. We are everything they yearn for and dream they might one day have...if only they could grow up.
The growing up part is not optional.
Despite our appearance of political fractiousness, it's really only a tiny minority of our people who dissent from the fundamentals that make American society as dynamic, and giddily exuberant as it is. Nearly all Americans believe in the same core concepts: individual rights, private property, the free market, and the supremacy of law over connections, causes, or opinions. We build prisons to house the rest.
But take just one of those pillars away, and our house would fall. Whenever we've undermined any of them, regardless of the reason, we've quickly reaped the whirlwind. (Yes, yes, in some cases we're still unlearning our mistakes. That will always be so.)
Barbara Tuchman, among others, has speculated on our enormous political good fortune. In her book The March Of Folly, she marveled at the genius of the Founders, at their availability for the job of crafting a nation out of ideas no one had ever tried before, and wondered what would have become of the nascent American republic without them.
Your Curmudgeon yields to no one in his regard for the solons of the Revolutionary and Constitutional periods. Yet, he has become convinced that, had bolts of lightning removed all of them from the world before their great works were begun, others would have stepped forward in their place and done a creditable job. Though Washington, Madison, Jefferson and the rest were the titans of their day, behind them stood still others with just as much understanding of the ideas of liberty and justice. They were emigrants from Europe, or the descendants of such emigrants, who had come here seeking freedom and opportunity. They knew what it would require to transform freedom in the New World's virgin vistas into prosperity and security. They had learned it the hard way.
America is what it is because it is a made society, founded on clearly understood principles by a pioneer people. The societies of Africa are legacy societies, weighed down by the tribal traditions, superstitions and animosities of thousands of years, unleavened by the Enlightenment from which our core concepts sprang. Until Africa renounces its past, there will be no room in which to build a new future.
But Africa will not renounce its past. It hasn't yet outgrown its belief in magic. Combatants in the Liberian nightmare are eating their slain enemies' vital organs, in accord with the ancient voodoo belief that this will add the strength of the vanquished to their own. So Liberians look across the Atlantic and cry, "Help us, Lady Liberty! Feed us! We are poor and terrified, you are rich and strong! Bring your breadbasket and your gun and deliver us from the darkness!"
We tried that in Somalia, and failed miserably. We're trying it today in Iraq, where the prospects appear somewhat better but are still not guaranteed, due to the pernicious effects of militant Islam.
"A slave cannot be freed, save he free himself," wrote Robert A. Heinlein. He was speaking of the slave's attainment of the mental prerequisites for freedom: the insistence on his rights and responsibilities as an individual, which imply the identical rights and responsibilities of all others. Slavery and political tyranny are indistinguishable; each generates the other. Until the enslaving tribal darkness of the African mind lifts to admit the concepts of liberty and justice, no light can be shone on Africa, even by the United States.
So the beautiful older woman watches Africa from her side of the Atlantic, and weeps.
The above piece was widely praised when it first appeared. I was rather pleased with it, myself; I felt I’d captured and articulated an important aspect of the American difference: what came to be called American exceptionalism. Though not a “feel-good” essay, it nevertheless raised the spirits of its American readers, while also expressing the sort of perspective that Kim du Toit further elaborated in his essay Let Africa Sink.
There are reasons why the United States, as large, wealthy, and mighty as it is, cannot save other nations from their miseries. Those miseries are the logical consequence of the erroneous intellectual and emotional baggage toted by the denizens of other lands. Any aid we send to such places, whether or not it’s accompanied by our armed forces, will be dissipated without lasting effects, as surely as the morning dew will vanish under the caress of the sun. The most dramatic examples, such as Somalia, have been very bloody, yet these are not the most instructive.
Some Americans, though as yet not a sufficient number, have absorbed these truths. That’s why there’s been a retreat from reflexive interventionism among private citizens. But the implication that hasn’t yet been widely enough acknowledged is that just as we can’t go there and solve their problems for them, we’ll become hosts to those problems to the extent that we allow them to come here.
Have a gander at a few recent news stories:
- Tension on Streets of Crewe ‘Like Civil War’ After Migrant Kids Attack UK Schoolchildren
- 10-Year-Old Boy Brutally Raped By Iraqi Migrant at Pool in Vienna
- Cologne Police: Roving Packs Sexually Assaulted Dozens on New Year's Eve
- 15 year old Arminas from Lithuania stabbed to death by "refugee" Ahmad from Syria, after defending harassed pupils
- 300 victims groomed and assaulted by Oxfordshire gangs
- Refugees Go Clubbing In Russia, Harass Girls, Wake Up In Hospital The Next Morning
There are many more like this, from virtually every country in Europe. They tell a single tale: the unwillingness of Muslim “guest workers” and “refugees” to assimilate to First World norms. Indeed, the imams the First World has allowed to accompany them have all but uniformly told those savages that they have a perfect right to do as they’ve done. (Remember “uncovered meat?”) Consider in the light of these phenomena, which can be found in quantity wherever Islam has been permitted to infiltrate a First World nation, the demands that we leave immediately when our relief work in Indonesia after the “Christmas Tsunami” was finished.
This story from Russia represents what good men can and must do when such savages act out:
A group of 51 refugees were brutally assaulted outside a night club in Murmansk, Russia, after they groped and molested women at a night club Saturday.
The refugees had previously been ordered to leave Norway for “bad behavior” and tried their luck in Russia. What they didn’t realize when they went out clubbing in Murmansk is that Russians have less tolerance when it comes to sexual assault on local women than other European countries....
The refugees tried to flee but were quickly captured by the Russians. They then took them out to the street and gave them a beating they will remember. Police arrived to break up the fight but locals report that they threw a few punches at the refugees before arresting 33 of them. Eighteen refugees were in such bad condition they had to be taken to the hospital.
That is as it should be. Given the current lunacy infesting First World political elites, that is as it must be. But it’s the exception rather than the rule – and it wouldn’t be necessary at all except for the political lunacy that admits savages passionately attached to a savage creed to enter nations founded on the ethical principles of the Christian Enlightenment.
A wide-angle view would go beyond Islam to encompass all those peoples and nations that seek to export their savagery to our shores.
Concerning the abovementioned savages, emphatically including but not limited to Muslims:
- We cannot fix them.
- We cannot fix their countries
- And we cannot allow them to come here.
If those three things aren’t obvious, given the events of the past four decades, I can’t imagine what it would take to make them obvious. To the extent that we’ve already behaved as if any of them were untrue, we have suffered greatly without significantly alleviating anyone else’s suffering. Yes, yes: Saddam Hussein and his sons were evil sons of bitches, with their gilded palaces, their rape rooms, their children’s prisons, their interminable wars, and their campaigns of annihilation against Iraq’s Kurds and “swamp Arabs.” Their removal from existence struck me at the time as a net gain to Iraq and to Mankind generally. I was wrong; I failed to foresee what would follow. It’s small consolation that millions of other men of good will were just as wrong.
Good intentions are no substitute for high-quality information and clarity of vision and thought. In particular, good intentions exercised without thought of the consequences can bring disasters that greatly exceed the miseries they strive to address. We’re learning this lesson upon our own hides...yet as painful as the lesson has been to date, far too many of us continue to resist it. Have a gander at an example:
The easiest way for us to screen candidates for admission to the United States is if they present themselves to immigration enforcement for screening. Why do so many circumvent our laws to enter? Because their circumstances demand that they can’t wait. Fix the legal immigration system first, and you will necessarily reduce the number of people who will try to enter illegally. Border security is important, but a line-in-the-sand of “close the border first” is exactly the position progressives want us to have. They’ll defeat it in the court of public opinion, every time. Outflank them. Change the rules of the game.
And what of caring for immigrants or refugees? Stop conceding that government will wind up caring for them. Back in the summer of 2014, many “conservatives” went out of their way to excoriate people (including other “conservatives”) who voluntarily provided aid to illegal immigrant children as supporting “amnesty” or “open borders”. No, what they were doing was supporting humanity, on their own, without government.
This Allan Bourdius is either an idiot or a villain, and quite possibly both. A nation without enforced borders is a nation that will not endure. A nation that admits persons who are determined not to assimilate is a nation bent upon suicide. A nation that excuses lawbreaking with such mealy-mouthed pieties as “What choice did they have?” is a nation that has neither laws nor self-respect.
The evidence is incontrovertible: we cannot fix them over there, and we cannot fix them once they’re here. There is no imaginable rationale under which Americans – our liberty, our property, and in many cases our lives – must be put at the mercy of persons who are hostile to our laws, our culture, and our national identity and have demonstrated all that in practice.
I’ll close with a few words about the title of this piece.
The world is in crisis. Evil men plunder, oppress, rape and kill in ever-increasing numbers. Most of the world is at their mercy. Many of those subject to their depredations want most earnestly to flee to somewhere safe. At this time, “somewhere safe” is America, Europe, or Australia. Yet owing to the demise of the assumption of assimilation, when they get here they merely reproduce the patterns they strove to flee. Therefore, we cannot have them, as I trust the above has made clear.
Yet the immigrant hordes swell ever larger. First World borders are stressed as never before. America has it bad; Europe has it still worse, owing to poor decisions made under the rationale of “one Europe.” Though the immigrants mostly arrive unarmed, nevertheless the majority of them violate the law in doing so. Successive waves of migrants grow ever more unabashed about it. Then they form exclaves in which the writ of civilized, First World law does not run.
This is invasion.
This is a world at war.
There can be only one outcome.
Have a nice day, Gentle Reader.