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THE CULTURE OF XENOPHILIA AND ITS ORIGINS How Love of the Stranger is Killing Us

The argument that self-destructive hospitality to third world immigrants issues from a self-loathing for Western civilization is commonplace. In his Closing of the American Mind Alan Bloom described how European nihilism became rooted in American colleges giving birth to cultural relativism and a contempt for western values that is now manifest in multiculturalism and mass immigration from “non-traditional” quarters. Canon has been re-cast to reflect Western guilt--- everywhere courses are designed to induce shame rather than pride in our forefathers so that we may become self-flagellating penitents willing to regard high immigration from aggrieved cultures as redress for our past crimes.

But surely there is another half to the equation. That Anglo-European suicide emerges not out of hatred turned inward but love turned outward---a perverse love for strangers that exceeds or replaces the love that is due to one’s own. Novelist Jean Raspail’s description of pro-immigrationists bears closer scrutiny, with equal emphasis placed on the last segment of his quotation. They are, he said, “righteous in their loathing of anything and everything that smacks of present day Western society, and boundless in their love of what might destroy it.”

That kind of love can be found by a selective interpretation of scriptures, and in a political movement born in the nineteenth century that shook the twentieth and still permeates thought today. The open-borders mentality rife in Britain, North America and Australia is largely the unhappy confluence of two philosophical traditions, Judeo-Christianity and socialism.

The parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37) is one of the most famous and influential of the New Testament. In showing that a Samaritan could recognize a stricken Jew not as a member of a hostile culture but rather as a human being needing assistance, Christ established that a “neighbour” is anyone who needs our help. And both Matthew 22:39 and Leviticus 19:18 instruct us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. And who is the “neighbour” we are to love? According to Christian ethicist Dana Wilbanks, it is often the stranger. “In fact, right at the centre of Christian faithfulness is the challenge and the opportunity to love the stranger as ourselves, to love the stranger as God loves the stranger, to love the stranger as one with whom Jesus explicitly identifies.”

Kathleen Tomlin, the Director for the (Catholic) Office for Social Justice asked, “How do you love your neighbour, and also describe them as illegal?” She argued that the common good can’t be defined by national borders and that a sense of solidarity is required to understand the predicament of immigrants. Curiously, she didn’t speak of any solidarity with resident American workers whose jobs are displaced by immigrants. According to Harvard economist Dr. George Borgias American-born workers lose $152 billion annually from the job displacement and wage depression caused by immigration. Couldn’t they, one might ask, use some of the boundless Christian love earmarked for aliens who knowingly break the law upon entry but whose plight makes better news copy than the plight of the hard-working low-income American whose job he they threaten?

Tomlin’s attitude was better captured by someone on an Internet forum out of London, Ontario who contested my Hardian arguments for population stabilization and zero-net immigration for Canada. “Closing borders is morally the same as refusing help to a dying person. It is quite literally putting the concerns of oneself and one’s ‘nation’ above the concerns of others based on the human concept of country. Remember here, that terms like country, nation, race and the like are just words that we have made up. People are people and we are all part of the human race…Choosing to ignore a cry for help makes me a barbarian and a heartless worm. Morality should be, and needs to be, based on Love…I do not have the right not to love everyone equally, ever.” ( Feb.5/07)

Historically American Jews have taken an even more strident stand for large immigration intakes, particularly from outside traditional Northern European sources, for both reasons both strategic and theological. Strategically it was thought that safety lay in diversity, that is, a culturally homogeneous society dominated by Anglo-Saxons would pose more of a threat than one fragmented by immigration from a variety of countries. In fact a multicultural state that sanctioned ethnocentrism by constituent subcultures would allow them to flourish as a separatist force and employ a “divide and conquer” strategy on the rest by entering into clever coalitions with other minorities.

More favourable to immigration to America than any other religious or ethnic group, Jews have taken a leadership role in changing the Northern European tilt of US immigration. The American Jewish Committee boasts that “from its founding the AJC has been a strong voice in support of immigration, participating actively in many of the major immigration debates of our time, opposing reductions in the flows of immigrants…” For the Jewish lobby then, mass immigration is a wrecking ball that they can swing to shatter the ethnic homogeneity of Anglo-European America, and from the rubble of cultural balkanization emerge a power-broker. What is interesting is that while the Jewish prescription for Anglo-European America is more cultural pluralism and disintegration, its prescription for Israel continues to be for a racist, apartheid state theocratic state guided by Judaism with a Jewish-only immigration policy!

The theological underpinnings for their agenda of burying Nordic Christian America under a demographic avalanche are found of course in the Old Testament. As Jews were once “strangers in the land of Egypt’, strangers are to be valued and welcomed. “You shall love the foreigner as you love yourself, for you were once aliens in Egypt” (Leviticus 19:33-34) Hospitality to strangers, without any distinction made between legal and illegal strangers, is a consistent Biblical theme. “When a foreigner resides with you he shall be to you as the citizen among you.” (Leviticus 19:33-34) “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers.” (Hebrews 13:2) Rabbi Morris Allen of Mendola Hts., Minnesota incarnates these injunctions by complaining that classifying immigrant workers as “guests” would send out the message that they weren’t “family”. Such is love for the outsider in this logical continuum that a stranger not only becomes a neighbour , then a guest, but a member of immediate family. In this moral universe everyone residing in the country or hoping to, by hook or by crook, is deserving of equal consideration. Just get your foot in the door and you get a full Club membership.
Does this formidable scriptural litany constitute the last word on the Judeo-Christian position toward immigration policy? Or can it be informed by an alternative interpretation? Since our obligations to our “neighbour”, who is said to be equated with “the stranger”, seems to be the linchpin of Christian rationale for out-of-control immigration, let’s examine the meaning of “neighbour”, as in “love thy neighbour as thy self” (Leviticus 19:18) The term surely doesn’t suggest universality since not everyone is my neighbour and not everyone is near me. Given that Judaism is a tribal religion,“neigbhour” must refer to fellow Jews. It is a an injunction to practice national solidarity as evidenced by an examination of the entire verse. “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one ‘Your People’, but love your neighbour as yourself. I can take the lead.” “Your People” does not obviously mean all of humanity. “Neighbour” cannot be linked to “stranger”.

Returning to the parable of the Good Samaritan, cursory research would dispute the interpretation that many Christians give to scriptural commands to love strangers. The notion that someone in Darfur is as much my “neighbour” as someone in Winnipeg, Manitoba or the man down the street who lost his family in a house fire is not illustrated by Luke 10. For a Samaritan who was intensely disliked by Israelites was not, in our sense, a foreigner. John 4:7-22 clearly defines Samaritans as a religious group, albeit corrupt, ritually impure and sexually permissive. None the less they believed in One God, One Prophet (Moses), The Torah, and in the Day of Judgment. They were not a regional or ethnic group. They were not black. They did not speak Chinese or Swahili. In fact they spoke a dialect of western Aramaic largely peculiar to Palestine, much like the Jews. The common ancestry of both Jews and Samaritans have been established by modern genetic studies.

Therefore to use the Good Samaritan as an example of a foreigner, of the “stranger” whom we must love unreservedly and take him in, is a poor example. He was not a foreigner, and he was not really a stranger. He was the neighbour who we don’t like but whom Christ said to care about as much as ourselves. (Matthew 22:39)

But should we care about him as much as we do our own family? In a burning building full of children, do we bypass our own children to rescue other children first? 1st Timothy 5:8 trumps Luke and Matthew. “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”

In other words, you take care of your family first. You love your own first. Then your neighbour. Then your community. Then your nation. Then humanity. And in deference to Paul Watson, apportion some of your love to the animal kingdom, whose habitat is being destroyed by the mass immigration policies favoured by anthropocentric Jews and Christians.

There is a hierarchy of affection. Only God applies Love evenly, for only God can. Man has never, and can never, in Burke’s words, “love mankind all in one piece”. Love of family, love of country, love of those like ourselves is what comes natural, it is what we are, and social psychology and socio-biology is continuing to re-enforce Burkean insight and the wisdom of 1Timothy 5:8.

In the last century and a half another bold challenge was mounted to re-order our natural affinities. Christian universalism and the rootless cosmopolitanism that was world Jewry found a rival in Marxism. In 1848 Karl Marx told the workers of the world to unite. Incredibly that call is still heard today, albeit among sometimes obscure factions. The Socialist Party of Tampa Bay declared in its 2007 platform, “working people have no country, but rather an international bond based on class.” A canvass of similar groups across Anglo-America would not necessarily reveal such blatant indifference to national interests, but nevertheless take up open immigration and refugee positions and support blanket amnesty for illegal aliens.

Socialist writer Tom Lewis explains “Socialists are internationalists. Whereas nationalists believe that the world is divided primarily into different nationalities, socialists consider class to be the primary divide. For socialists, class struggle---not national identity—is the motor of history. And capitalism creates an international working class that must fight back against an international capitalist class.”

What is critical to the understanding of the Marxist attitude to nationalism is that it takes an entirely pragmatic approach. Marx drew a distinction between good and bad nationalism. “The nationalism of the workers belonging to an oppressor nation binds them to their rulers and only does harm to themselves, while the nationalism of an oppressed nation can lead them to fight back against these rulers.” Thus Marx favoured Irish nationalism, but not English. He opposed the national movements of the Southern Slavs, but supported the Indian rebellion against the British. Lenin warned that “workers who place political unity with their ‘own’ bourgeoisie above the complete unity of the proletariat of all the nations, are acting against their own interests.” To do so, to fall victim to nationalist affections, was to evidence “false consciousness”, an inability to recognize those interests, interpreted of course by party cadres.

Australian political scientist Frank Salter had this to say about the socialist attitude to nationalism. “The Left, as it has evolved over the course of the previous century, looks down on the ordinary people with their inarticulate parochialisms as if they were members of another species…since they care nothing for the preservation of national communities. Ethnies are considered irrelevant to the welfare of people in general. It would be understandable to Martians to be so detached from particular loyalties. But it is disturbing to humans doing so, especially humans who identify with the Left.”

Such is the European Left’s identification with the Other at the expense of the resident national that, in the name of anti-racism, it was possible for left-wing novelist Umberto Eco to declare his hope that Europe would be swamped by Africans and third world emigrants just so to “demoralize” racists. And such is the identification of the AFL-CIO with 13 million illegal immigrants as potential recruits that it supports amnesty and essentially a corporate welfare program that reduces wages for the lowest of American workers. A scheme which advocates call “liberalism” but American workers call an invasion. The Canadian Labour Congress (Edgar Bergen) and its social-democratic parliamentary arm, the NDP (Charlie McCarthy), sing the same tune. Crocodile tears are shed for “undocumented” workers who allegedly make great contributions to the economy, according to their hire-a-left-wing-think-tank. But Statistics Canada’s conclusions are the same as those of Dr. Borgias are for American workers. The British Trade Union Congress tried to put one over on the public with a September 2007 report cooked up by the left-wing Institute for Public Policy Research that maintained that amnesty for illegal immigrants would net the Treasury 1 billion pounds annually. More careful analysis revealed that amnesty would cost British taxpayers up to 1.8 billion pounds a year.

This Marxist legacy of international solidarity to the disavowal of national loyalties persists to the present sometimes in unalloyed form but more often as one strand in a synthesis of muddled xenophilia with Christian and environmental thought. The latter mutation is expressed in the Canadian argument that since global warming is a global problem requiring global cooperation, to obtain this cooperation we must not send out unfriendly messages of “fear” by closing our borders, but drop them instead. Presumably a radically downward adjustment in consumption habits and greener technology will compensate for all the extra millions who would swarm in. Instead of “workers of the world unite” the Greens offer us a new rallying cry: “More and more people, consuming less and less.”

But just as Christian thought is not monolithic, neither is social democratic thought. Arguably the most famous and independent socialist intellectual of the English speaking world, George Orwell, once remarked that “in all countries, the poor are more national than the rich.” Bukharin was wrong. For the working class, national identity was just as important as class identity. And now finally, after their constituents have been battered by one of the greatest migratory waves in history, that saw the United States for example import the equivalent of three New Jerseys in the 1990s alone (25 million people), maverick social-democratic and socialist leaders in the tradition of Victor Berger, or Jack London or Canada’s J. S. Woodsworth are staking out a claim for national, as opposed to international, solidarity.

The Democratic Socialist Senator of Vermont, Bernie Sanders, has begun to make some noise about the disaster that is the illegal immigration invasion in the United States. His voting record in reducing chain migration, fighting amnesty and unnecessary visas rates B-, B- and A+ respectively from Americans for Better Immigration. Former Social Democratic Chancellor Helmut Schmidt now admits that immigration under his administration was excessive and damaging to Germany. In a book published in 1982 he confessed that “with idealistic intentions, born out of our experiences with the Third Reich, we brought in far too many foreigners.” Dutch Socialist leader Jan Marijnissen is strongly opposed to the practice of importing East European workers to undermine the position of Dutch workers. East Europeans are hired as “independent contractors” to circumvent labour law. Marijnissen wrote “It is unacceptable that employers pay foreign workers 3 euros per hour and have them live in chicken coops as if they were in competition in the 19th century of Dickens. The unfair competition and displacement of Dutch workers and small business is intolerable. Therefore we shouldn’t open the borders further, but set limits instead.”

Former Labor Premier of New South Wales, Bob Carr, also argued for the acknowledgement of limits. Along with fellow Labor MP Barry Cohen he has joined Australia’s leading environmentalists Dr. Tim Flannery and Dr. Ian Lowe in exposing the myth of Australia as being a big empty land begging to filled up with people. “Our rivers, our soils, our vegetation, won’t allow that to happen without enormous cost to us and those who follow us.” He calls for severe immigration cut-backs and a population policy.

As impending economic and environmental upheavals threaten to multiply the some 30 million global migrants currently in transit, immigration and the ecological, economic and cultural stress it will place on the countries of destination re-iterate the questions raised earlier. To whom are we morally obligated? Whom can we be reasonably expected to love? To be brutally candid and blunt, those who are similar to ourselves.

Biologist Richard Dawkins has maintained that humans were predisposed to make clear demarcations between “in-group” and “out-group” from the beginning, and social psychologists concur that this discriminating perception is inherent. The need to associate with others like ourselves is an immutable feature of human nature and so ethnic identity refuses to die. It is interesting that despite so much multicultural propaganda, a British poll found that 31% of the population still confessed to being racially prejudiced, while another study showed that most Britons harboured feelings of suspicion toward outsiders. Frank Salter in his On Genetic Interests has made a strong case for a genetic basis for this kind of ethnic, national and racial favouritism.

Irenaus Eibi-Eibesfeldt and Pierre van den Berghe have shown that the more ethnically diverse populations are, the more resistant they are to redistributive policies. A Harvard Institute study in 2000 confirmed this conclusion when it found that U. S. states that were more ethnically fragmented than average spent less on social services. Harvard political scientist Robert Putnam explained why. “The more people are brought into contact with those of another race or ethnicity, the more they stick to their own, and the less they trust others. Across local areas in the United States, Australia, Sweden, Canada and Britain, greater ethnic diversity is associated with lower social trust and, at least in some areas, lower investment in public goods.”

It must be concluded that if this indeed is our nature, then two thousand years of Christianity and seventy years of communism with its attempt to create “the new man” should have taught us that it is futile to construct policy that runs counter to it. We are what we are. We are not made to love all of humanity, at least not in equal measure. We are made to love family and those we recognize as an extension of family. Those who share common history, values, genes or locality. For most of us, the choice to defend our own citizens rather than the outsiders who would undercut them is determined by our natural predispositions. It is a wonder to us that our leaders, politicians and human rights advocates are apparently not made of the same stuff. For them, immigration policy is purely a foreign aid project. Their love is trained outward, on distant shores, while the love from the nations that nurtured them goes unrequited and betrayed.

Tim Murray
Quadra Island, BC
Sept. 21/07