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Screen Shot 2014-11-05 at 5.12.29 PMTo observe the decades-long paralysis of America’s political elite in controlling her borders calls to mind the insight of James Burnham in 1964 — “Liberalism is the ideology of Western suicide.”

What the ex-Trotskyite turned Cold Warrior meant was that by faithfully following the tenets of liberalism, the West would embrace suicidal policies that would bring about the death of her civilization.

The crisis on our Southern border, where the left, and not only the left, is wailing that we cannot turn away desperate people fleeing wicked regimes and remain true to our liberal values, is a case in point.

To assert that we cannot take all these people in, that we must send them back and seal out border for our survival, is to be called a variety of names — racist, xenophobe, nativist — all of which translate into “illiberal.”

But as we continue our descent to Third World status, perhaps we should explore more deeply the “diversity” that has of late come to be regarded as America’s most treasured attribute.

In 1960, we were not nearly so diverse. Nine in 10 Americans professed a Christian faith. Nine in 10 Americans traced their ancestry back to Europe. E Pluribus Unum. We were one nation and one people.

Since then, we have become the Brazil of North America, a multiracial, multilingual, multiethnic, multicultural “universal nation” unlike any that has existed in the history of the West.

And if we look abroad at those Western nations traveling along this perilous path with us, we can see clearly now our future

Before the 1960s, Europe never knew mass immigration. And after the terrible ethnic cleansing of Germans after World War II, most of Europe’s nations were ethnically homogeneous.

Several were not. Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, the USSR. At the end of the Cold War, with freedom, all three came apart. Where we had three nations, suddenly we had 24 and such sub-nations as South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Transnistria.

Now Scots are seeking to break away from England, Catalans from Spain, Corsicans from France, Venetians from Italy and Flemish from Belgium, though these peoples have lived together for centuries.

Crimeans have gone back to Russia, while Chechens and other peoples of the Caucasus are fighting to break free of Russia.

The roots of these secessionist movements may be traced to economics, ethnicity, history, religion, language, culture and borders.

Then there are the rising millions of Muslims in Europe who are not assimilating, as Catholic Irish and Catholic Germans did in a Protestant USA, but are replicating within the West the countries and cultures whence they came.

They are separating themselves, by ethnicity, culture and faith, from the Western societies into which they have migrated.
Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Dominicans, Somalis and Arabs in America also build replicas of the countries and cultures whence they came. Thus, we take on the aspect of an empire. And empires fall apart.

The melting pot, rejected by our elites as an instrument of nativist bigots, is history.

Libya, Syria and Iraq are coming apart, as did Sudan and Ethiopia. The Kurds seek to carve a nation out of Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. A Sunni-Shia sectarian war impends.

Christians are being persecuted, martyred and expelled from Islamic nations. In Myanmar, Muslims are brutalized by Buddhists. In Western China, ethnic Uighurs resort to terrorism in a war of secession to establish a new East Turkestan.

Disintegration, separatism and secessionism, for racial, religious, and cultural causes, are a phenomenon common now to Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Are we somehow immune?

The world is boiling with racial, tribal, cultural and moral conflict. People carry in their hearts the seeds of these conflicts. The notion that they will come here and be converted into Ozzie-and-Harriet Americans may be a bit utopian.

America is becoming a microcosm of a world on fire.

Why are we doing this? Why are we inviting the world into the USA? Was there some grievous flaw in the America of Ike and JFK that must be expunged? Some sin for which we must do penance?

What is coming is predictable, and has been predicted.

By 2042, Americans of European ancestry will be a minority in a country built by Europeans. “Anglos” are now a minority in California, New Mexico and Texas. Hispanics will soon be the majority in all four border states with Mexico.

And should Hispanics decide not to give their electoral votes to any presidential candidate who does not promise to erase the border with Latin America, that would mean the end of the United States as we know it.

Americans are already deep in a culture war over morality — marijuana, abortion, same-sex marriage. We are already racially polarized over affirmative action and income inequality.

And when we have ceased to be an English-speaking, Christian country and become instead an Asian-Hispanic-African-American-white nation, with large Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, agnostic and atheist minorities, and no defined borders, or common faith and culture, what holds us together?

And when did we vote for this future?

Books on the topic of this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore. Republished with gracious permission of Pat Buchanan.

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7 replies to this post
  1. Pat is always articulate and I have no doubt that some of his concerns are founded. However, it would be most effective if he used his experience and platform to articulate to younger Americans how this isn’t “history as usual”. The reflexive response to Pat’s concerns over balkanization would go something like this:

    “Didn’t it take Italians over half a century to assimilate? At one time Italians were associated with inner-city debauch and old-country ethics. In so much that we even distinguish them differently from Americans of Scottish heritage for example, aren’t Italians now a reliably patriotic group?”

  2. I am finding Pat Buchanan to be becoming increasingly tiresome. I’m not sure that he’s a conservative at all, but rather simply a rabble-rouser and a fear-monger. Perhaps it has never occurred to Buchanan that the fact that millions of people want to immigrate to this country is actually a high compliment to America. How many people, after all, want to immigrate to North Korea?

  3. The problem exists and as of now is worse in Europe. It’s one thing to have various groups within a nation but the lack of a shared outlook and value exacerbates the situation. The multi-culturists and relativists seem to have carried the day, as well of course as a certain type of politician. The West is fading and there’s not much on the horizon to comfort one.

  4. As a brazilian, I must say that calling Brazil “multilingual” and “multiethnic” is very misleading. Although some here (specially in the left) love to call Brazil “multilingual” and call this land a country where “over 100 languages are spoken”, over 99% of all brazilians speak portuguese, and even amongts natives portuguese is either the main or a primary language. Very few groups (some indians and one or two villages in the south that were created by german immigrants and talk an old german dialect) speak any other language at home, and not a single one of these languages is spoken by almost anyone. Matter fact, the second most spoken language in Brazil is English, followed by Spanish (and learning one of these two languages is mandatory for highschoolers, although most people who “learn” one of these languages in school don’t actually learn it).

    Besides that, even though Brazil is surely multiracial, ethnic identity here is way less important than in the US. You will rarely if ever see anyone saying they’re “spanish-brazilian” or “italian-brazilian” or “irish” or “portuguese” or whatever. At most, it is common to hear “I’m descendend from italians”. It is not common or widespread for, say, italian-brazilians to know italian, or even to know anything about Italy besides the typical pizza-and-mafia steriotypes – the exception to this are some nippo-brazilians, that do conserve something of a japanese identity, even though the vast majority of them know only portuguese, and there is no big difference in their religious affiliation, when compared with people from other ethnicities.
    This may be because the brazilian government, in the XIXth century, encouraged not only european immigration, but interracial marriage. It was a policy of national “whitening” (they believed that miscigenation would eventually make the brazilian population whiter, with time) through immigration. Assimilation was also encouraged.

    Brazil is also in no way a “multicultural” country, in the way that people in Europe and the US like to use the term. Although there are variations in cultural patterns from region to region and city to city, brazilian culture in general (and religious affiliation as well) doesn’t change much from people of one region to another, or one color to another. I myself don’t consider most cultural differences between regions to be significant, and the core “brazilian identity” is the same in the whole country (people like the same sports, they watch the same TV shows and networks, speak the same language, have the same statistical distribution of religious affiliation -i.e, about 60% catholic, 20% evangelical, 7% none- and same basic ideas). Brazil is actually quite a centralized state, even though we’re supposedly a federation. Over 60% of all taxes go to the federal government, and state governments authority is pretty much executive only (building this and that, primary and escondary education, state police forces, etc), and most significant legislative changes (age of majority, penalty for crimes, legalization or criminalization of this or that substance, minimum wage, labor regulations, etc) are under the authority of the federal parts of government (chamber of deputies, senate, supreme court, presidency, etc).

    There are also not in any way nearly as many local and smalltown TV and radio networks, newspapers and etc as in the US.

    Besides that, genetic studies usually find that the proper way to talk about Brazil is as a “miscegenated” country, since it’s hard to find anyone in here with a genetic inheritance more than 80% homogeneous (i.e. most self-styled whites are only about 60% to 80% europeans, genetically, and the same is true of blacks and “pardos” (something like ‘brown’, or mixed-race; almost 50% of brazilians self-describe that way).

    In sum: Brazil is linguistically homogeneous and genetically (or racially, whatever) mixed (or miscegenated), our ethnic origins are many (several african and indian tribes + old and recent immigration), but since most migrants to Brazil were single men (and usually not entire families) and intermarriage between different groups common, ethnicity is not usually an important part of brazilian identity, and balkanization or ethnic ghettoes are pretty rare (besides that, most people that immigrated to Brazil where christians, the vast majority of them catholics; even most people from Lebanon that came here were christians), and conversion and assimilation happened, so that even the descendants of asians usually identify as christians (although, if I remember correctly, irreligion is more common between them than between the general population), so that there is not much religious heterogeneity in Brazil (at least not in the ‘religious-tradition’ sense; protestants are denominationally diverse). However, so-called “community leaders” or “black leaders” here have been for some years trying to create more problems between people of different colors here, using the same tactics as US Democrats.

  5. whata beutiful introduction to a country we need more relaist based commentators to inform the conservative imagination

  6. @igormtr nail it, brazilians are more unified around government sweets and free things than americans.

    But Pat is doing the right comparison, when Obama took office I saw a third world populist promising free stuff, he is a third world president and his place is here, not there. And Brazil is the perfect fit.

    In brazil is like we have only democrats competing for public office, we have a two party system as well, PSDB are the scandinavian socialists, and PT the radical branch with ties to farc and cuba via foro de são paulo who regulates our diplomacy, these two are competing with each other for more than 50 years, and communists, socialists, opportunists take the rest of the executive pie, we are detroit city if it was a country. And our constitution was made from leftists, so all is there, free healthcare, free education, fight to reduce economic inequalities, fight poverty (through more free stuff)… and so on, when one senator saw the part of the american declaration that says “pursuit of happiness” he thought to imitate the founders and create a right to happiness, third world at his best.

    We want to do things the brazilian way to avoid american imperialism (we will even side with ahmadinejad and hamas if their allies our envy for american progress), and copy every new progressive idea born of american universities, from net neutrality to free abortion etc.. and more issues that isn’t ours. We are the future of america if democrats have their way. Our economy is make believe to attract investors, and mirrors our old immigration policy as we attracted immigrants so they can take the place of our newly freed slave force, we need money, because our populists had enslave us in debt to banks for many generations, if we are in debt they still can tax us more and more, socialism is the government for the bureaucreats, not for the people.

    America still have a demographic problem because people from other countries sees it as a country to spoil. I see this over and over again, people from here go there, see all is cheaper and how free markets works amazingly and when they come back what they blame we are doing wrong? Margins of Profit! Not government protectionism. You can’t change the third world mentality with goodies, you need a strong and religious morality that teaches that free stuff is in many ways, robbery throught law and a puritan work ethic.American is exporting progressivism to the world and importing it back, it is no wonder that american media is a machine to converting people to islamic extremism.

  7. There’s always been something a little weird to me about Buchanan’s consistent upset that a group that’s majority Catholic, and even speaks a European language, is growing in the US. How does an American Catholic end up as such a nativist?

    He’s also ignoring that in the late nineteenth century many of the Europeans coming in were not “Anglos” as in English or even British-Isles descended. A good deal of them were Catholics speaking a Romance language, as mentioned the Italians, just as many of the Hispanics are. There were also Slavs. Additionally there were non-Christians including Jews and some of the Chinese were Buddhist. Alaska has been multi-ethnic since statehood, it’s not especially liberal or in the midst of Civil War.

    I’ve liked this site so far so I’m a little disappointed to see him at it.

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