New Book

 

 

$21.95 hardcover · 224 pages
9978-1594037641-January 2015

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY AT

www.amazon.com
www.amazon.ca
www.amazon.co.uk

The theme of The Great Divide is that the populations of the democratic world, from Boston to Berlin, Vancouver to Venice, are becoming increasingly divided from within, due to a growing ideological incompatibility between modern liberalism and conservatism. This is partly due to a complex mutation in the concept of liberal democracy itself, and the resulting divide is now so wide that those holding to either philosophy on a whole range of topics: on democracy, on reason, on abortion, on human nature, on homosexuality and gay marriage, on freedom, on the role of courts … and much more, can barely speak with each other without outrage (the favorite emotional response from all sides). Clearly, civil conversation at the surface has been failing -- and that could mean democracy is failing.

This book is an effort to deepen the conversation. It is written for the non-specialist, and aims to reveal the less obvious underlying ideological forces and misconceptions that cause the conflict and outrage at the surface -- not with any expectation the clash of values will evaporate, but rather that a deeper understanding will generate a more intelligent and civil conversation.

As an aid to understanding, the book contains a handful of Tables directly comparing modern liberal and conservative views across a range of fundamental moral and political “issues” so that curious readers can answer the book’s main question: “Where Do You Stand?” An interesting result in testing this exercise has been the number of people who find they “think” one way, but “live” another.    

 

Good Reading
Essays (37)
Thursday
Mar162017

How To Fix the Multiculturalism/Immigration Problem

 

Stop Funding “multiculturalism”  

      Ethnic groups lobbying for money from the State are like any other lobby group. They use the money to circumvent the political process. The government must stop funding all of them—left, right, business, radical, ethnic, all of them. Let them fight for what they want through their democratically-elected representatives, or through privately-funded groups. Canada’s government should reconstitute, publicize, and require schools to inculcate, the key ideas and symbols of Canada’s deep culture before they are totally forgotten.

 

Require Instruction in Canada’s Deep Culture.  

      Immigrants to Canada should be instructed in the core heritage and culture of this nation, which is Judeo-Christian, Graeco-Roman, and Anglo-European. And they should be expected to assimilate to that culture. This does not mean losing their own, which they are free to promote and protect, using their own private resources, if they so desire. But it does mean their own culture is secondary. In our own national interest we should impress upon all immigrants and refugees: "CANADA FIRST; COUNTRY OF ORIGIN SECOND!"

End the Contradictions and Unrest of Multicultural Policy

      The government must recognize that its “multicultural” policy is self-contradictory and that it is currently funding long-term social unrest by rewarding the development of cultural differences within Canada. We can all enjoy diversity within unity, But unity cannot be derived from diversity. Just as deep cultural differences lead to strife between nations, they lead, and have led, to strife between the “nations-within-Canada.

 

Immigration Policy

The People Must Set their Own Immigration Agenda. Government must consult the people through a democratic referendum on immigration to find out what they want their country to become. That should set the government’s immigration agenda. During the period of the referendum discussion—say two years—all immigration should be halted: visitors’ permits only. If the country belongs to Canadians, then let them decide on their own future.

 

Stimulate Home-Grown Population

        If there is concern over zero growth, Canada (like all other countries) should aggressively examine ways to stimulate natural growth in the family before resorting to costly and culturally-dislocating immigration.

 

Make Immigrants Sign a Vow of Citizenship

     All immigrants should be required to sign a Vow of Citizenship that among many other things would include a statement to the effect that in the case of a conflict or war with their country of origin, they would unhesitatingly defend and fight for Canada if required. This is expected of all citizens born here, and it ought to be explicitly required of all immigrants. 

 

End Dual Citizenship

         Dual Citizenship should be banned. If you want the rights and freedoms of Canadian citizenship, you must surrender those of all other nationalities. No cherry-picking. You cannot defend or fight for Canada if in terms of patriotism you live in a divided house. Split national loyalties and “citizens of convenience” are not wanted in Canada.   

 

Conclusion

        A government that imposes a multicultural policy and non-traditional immigration on any nation in a calculated attempt to neutralize its deep culture is guilty of subverting the ethos of the nation. Such programs are a veneer disguising cynical vote-grabbing. They have had the effect of transforming Canada, in the space of two decades, into a nation that is eradicating its own historical deep culture. Unless we learn the lessons of history, this can end, at best, in long-term erosion of our civilizational greatness, and at worst in intra-ethnic strife and militancy on our own soil.

Wednesday
Mar152017

What Kind of Islam Is It?

 "[Jihadists] say that they are committed to the destruction of the entire secular world because they believe this is a necessary first step to create an Islamic utopia on earth."

~ Professor Mary Habeck, School of Advanced International Studies, The Johns Hopkins University, from Knowing the Enemy: Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror[1] 

    

            An Environics poll of February 2007 gave this result: about 80% of Canada’s Muslims said they were satisfied with their new life in Canada, and 73% of them thought the 9/11 terrorist attacks were completely unjustified. But more sinister responses in the poll were buried. Namely, the fact that an alarming 12% of Canadian Muslims questioned in this poll thought the planned attacks for which “the Toronto 18” were arrested, were justified  (Licia Corbella, Calgary Sun, February 18, 2007).[2] In other words, by extrapolation, we may have anywhere from 50,000 to 85,000 Canadian Muslims who believe that blowing up our Parliament buildings (presumably with all MPs inside) and beheading the Canadian prime minister, is a great idea. They have lots of European company. Immediately after the 9/11 attack there was much Muslim dancing and cheering in Belgium and England. In Holland Contrast magazine found that 50 percent of Dutch Muslims were “in complete sympathy” with the attacks.[3] On the second “anniversary” of the 9/11 attack, radical British Muslims put up posters honouring the terrorists as “the Magnificent 19.” Who are these people? Why was there no public outcry?

 

Why Are We the Enemy?

          The brand of Islam we ought to fear most, the one that is at the root of modern Islamic terrorism, is called Wahhabism. It is at the root of modern jihadism (a term that originally referred to personal spiritual struggle, but which for radicals now also means struggle against all non-believers: us). Wahhabism is the spiritual foundation of Al Qaeda.  

          Its main radical theorists, ancient and modern, have been three. Ibn Taymiyah (1263-1328), who told his followers, “prescribed to you is fighting;” Abdullah Azzam (1941-1989), who advocated “Jihad and the rifle alone. No negotiations, no conferences, and no dialogue;” and Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), the most cited, and most influential, who declared “It is the duty of Islam to annihilate all other systems.” Like Azzam, Qutb advocated global domination by Islam. All these theorist are united in the singular view that the decline of Islam is not due to the internal weaknesses of the faith, but “is the deliberate policy of an external religious enemy whom jihadis can –and do – blame for all the evils suffered by Muslims around the world.”[4] Hence, the term “blame culture.”

          Wahhabi Muslims (same for the West’s Reformation Christians) have been encouraged “to think for themselves,” and to reject the accumulated wisdom of Islam handed down by their clerics, and to favour instead a jihadist interpretation of Islamic teachings (the hadith) and of the Qur’an, and to disregard those parts that preach tolerance and peace, and ignore the peaceful Islamic mystics.[5] Their underlying conviction is that true human liberation comes from serving God alone, and that all man-made institutions rooted in beliefs such as democratic sovereignty and materialism are false beliefs that entrap and enslave us. Men must be slaves to God, but never to each other, or to false beliefs. For this reason, “jihadis today have made a critique of democracy the centerpiece of their ideology.”[6] Democracy is false because it teaches that we can arrive at truth by voting, whereas only God knows the truth. So we must strive to know and obey only God’s will. Democratic voting enslaves us to false human truth by majority rule and through a secularizing process of spiritual disarmament. Hence, all secular regimes must be either converted, or ended.  “Islamism,” a term created by the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1920s, describes the belief that Islam is “the complete, obligatory, and virtually non-negotiable guide to human existence,”[7] the foundation for which is Shari’a law. For radical Islamists, this means ending even Islamic regimes that are not truly Islamic: estimates are that 100,000 moderate Muslims have been slain by militant Islamists aiming for control of Algeria. It is a pattern repeated in many Muslim nations oppressed by their own radicals. Less than purely Islamic regimes are considered despicable “jahiliyya” – places of darkness and ignorance. They complain of modern Christians and Jews that once they secularized, they banished religion from public life and in so doing “destroyed the only source of ethics and morality, and therefore have no aim in life except to seek benefit and enjoyment.”[8]  So for true believers, the United States and the West (yes, Canada too) are regimes of darkness, modern jahiliyya. To see this belief in action in Canada, go to the website of The Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought, which has an important office in Toronto, and which “publicly supports armed struggle against the unbelievers.”[9] Follow the threads. Although Wahhabist radical thinking has not found deep support in the world’s wider Muslim movements, it nevertheless exists as a powerful force devoted to the use of terrorism both within and against the West to achieve its utopia. After 9/11, Swiss police raided the Lugano, Switzerland home of a key Muslim Brotherhood organizer, Youseff Nada, and found a 14-page manifesto entitled “The Project,” written in Arabic in 1982 by Wahhabi luminaries. It outlines a twelve-point strategy to “establish an Islamic government on earth.”    

 

 


[1] Mary Habeck, Knowing the Enemy: Jihadist Ideology and the War on Terror (New Haven, Conn,: Yale University Press, 2006), p. 7

[2] As reported in Daniel Stoffman, “Truths and Myths About Immigration,” in Immigration Policy and the Terrorist Threat (Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, 2008), p.14. The papers in this volume were gathered from a conference on Terrorism held in Toronto, June 2007.

[3] Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe (New York: Doubleday, 2009), p.256.

[4] Habeck, Knowing the Enemy, p.12. Habeck explains that all Jihadists share five understandings: Islam is the one true faith that will dominate the world; Muslim rulers must govern by the Shari’a alone; that their Holy Books contain the whole truth for living a righteous life; that there can be no separation between religion and life; and … that all true Muslims are in a State of conflict with unbelievers (p.17). 

[5] On this note, a man I assume was my forbear, William Henry Temple Gairdner (1873-1928) a former British Anglican Canon of Cairo (referred to by his followers as “Temple Gairdner of Cairo” – which is also the title of the moving biography of his life by his secretary, Constance Padwick), published a then very successful book The Reproach of Islam (London: Church Missionary Society, 1909). That book sold over 20,000 copies, and was devoted to describing the contrast between Christianity and Islam. Gairdner’s main thesis was that Christianity had failed to do its job, and so Islam arose to fill the spiritual vacuum. He was also the founder of a very long-lived journal, “Occident and Orient,” which attempted to bring the two worlds together.

[6] Habeck, Knowing the Enemy, p.72.

[7] Andrew McCarthy, “Islam and the Left,” in The New Criterion, January, 2010, p.18.

[8] Habeck, Knowing the Enemy, p. 72

[9] Habeck, Knowing the Enemy, note 31, p.193.

Tuesday
Mar142017

Islam in the West: Some Demographic Facts

 

            In the space of a mere half century, as the West has divided against itself in this fashion, it has imploded demographically even as the Islamic world has exploded. Western women (except for Americans) have been reproducing at a Total Fertility Rate (TFR) far below the Population Replacement Rate of 2.1 children per women since the 1970s.  Canadian women have averaged around 1.5 children each. But Islamic women everywhere are still averaging 3.4 children each (though their fertility seems decline rapidly once they are westernized).  At 1.8, a country will be at 80% of its current size in a century; at 1.3 it will be at one quarter. Canada has close to a half million Muslim females. Demography is the future, and we are witnessing what the French call “la revanche des berceaux” – the revenge of the cradles. French Canadians were aware that the long-term demographic victory over their British masters had to begin between the sheets (a program since defeated by abortion and the pill). In exactly this way, the victory for Islam, as Muslims say, “will be won in the wombs of our women.” The West is in the throes of fornicating to death within a regime of contraceptive (and abortive) sterility, while Islam is breeding new life. 

       In mid twentieth-century there were almost no Muslims in Western Europe. By the end of the century there were about 16 million – of which, 5 million in France, 4 in Germany, 2 in Britain.  Canada’s 1981 Census listed 98,000 Muslims in Canada – a third the number of Jews. By 2006 we had 783,700 (over 2.2% of Canadians), and Statistics Canada released estimates in March of 2010, that at current immigration rates, Canada will have 2,870,000 Muslims by 2031 – seven times the expected size of the Jewish community.  America currently has about 2 million Muslims (excluding Black Muslims). But this type of immigration, as Christopher Caldwell puts it, “is not enhancing or validating European culture ; it is supplanting it.” [1] This supplanting is taking place in racial ghettos all over Europe. And in Canadian cities, too. The City of Vaughan already has one dedicated Muslim housing development – “Peace Village” - with Islamic schools, mosque, shopping and bank.[2] Accordingly, sociologists remark that many new immigrant groups have no more than a material and pragmatic connection to their new country; they are internal colonists who express only “neighbourhood nationalism.”  Some immigrant-overwhelmed nations (really, their cities), at a loss for solutions to this ghetto-ization are beginning to use the weak argument that this is normal “integration.”  The Mayor of Gothenburg Sweden says: “I don’t care if you respect our culture; you just have to obey the law.” But, as Caldwell observes, this was to demand nothing at all from newcomers, for their notions of excellence and virtue had nothing whatsoever to do with European notions.

           Result? Only half of British Muslims see Britain as “my country” (they identify most strongly with Muslims elsewhere); only five percent of Germany’s Turkish immigrants say they want to be buried in Germany. Meanwhile, an estimated 50,000 Italian have converted to Islam, and Germany has perhaps 4,000 converts a year. And … 37 percent of British Muslims favour executing all Muslims who convert to Christianity. Integration? … 90 percent of Europe’s Muslims choose spouses from their home countries. As Caldwell puts it, their marriages alone “are evidence of a collective choice against assimilation.” Some 53 percent of Turkish women would not consider marrying a German “under any circumstances” – and … Germans felt the same.  In Britain, only one percent of Pakistanis have white partners. Observers say today’s immigrants want “a Third World life at a European standard of living.” 

          How are Western secular liberals fighting back? With “compulsory liberation:” Holland requires new immigrants to watch a video of Dutch life that includes homosexuals embracing, and bare-breasted women on Dutch beaches. All of which is a bizarre turn of events because (Caldwell again):  what today’s secular European’s call “Islamic values” are clearly “a set of values that Dante and Erasmus would recognize as their own” Whereas the “core principles” of the modern secular West, whether of the European Union or Canada, they would not recognize.  Islam is filling a spiritual vacuum we have created ourselves.

 


[1] For this, and many of the other facts, insights, and quotes of this segment I am indebted to Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe (New York: Doubleday, 2009).

[2] Here is a paragraph describing Peace Village, “Canada's first Islamic subdivision, where all 260 homes belong to members the Ahmadiyya sect, which flooded to Canada in the 1980s after persecution in Pakistan. It looks ordinary, with basketball nets and minivans in the driveways, until you notice the street signs: Mahmood Crescent, Ahmadiyya Avenue and Noor-Ud-Din Court.” You can google “Peace Village” in Vaughan, Ontario, to read more.

Saturday
Mar112017

The West Against Itself: Our "Civil War of Values"

The Spiritual Logic

            The secular Westerner looks at the universe and says: “Because there is no God, the universe must have created itself by purely physical means, so there is no ultimate truth, no Why.”

            But the Westerner of faith (and the Muslim) says: “As nothing can come from nothing, the universe cannot have created itself, because for anything to create itself, it would have to precede itself in existence – which is clearly a logical impossibility. Hence, the universe must have had a beginning and an eternal or uncreated creator. So absolute truth must exist somewhere, and therefore I must humble myself before this truth and strive to know it in whatever way I can.”

           Anyone can follow the logic embedded in this spiritual conclusion without necessarily belonging to an organized religion. As a purely logical conclusion it has served as the foundation of the Judeo-Christian world for two millennia, and of the Islamic worldview for 1,400 years. I was going to say the modern democratic world has rejected it. But that would be wrong. It has never been rejected, because it cannot be refuted. Rather, it has simply been ignored by preference for the weaker self-serving promises of personal liberation promised by secular individualism. It was precisely this choice to abandon our original spiritual logic that divided the West against itself. As a result, within every Western nation today we can see at least a three-way split of the population. To understand the relationship between these cohorts is to understand why and how Islam, both moderate and radical, fits into the picture.

 

Cohort 1 – Our Secular Liberal Population

          This is the largest segment in each Western democracy. Modern liberals are almost uniformly progressive, Statist, materialistic and secular, rarely religious (or if so, only nominally). They believe in the separation of church and State, support egalitarian policies and affirmative action, support moral relativism and “toleration” (are “non-judgmental”), and consider religious morality old-fashioned, Victorian, oppressive (though many will say they are good with “spiritual” values). They support homosexual rights, abortion rights, and much of radical feminism as a badge of their open-mindedness, and have flexible notions of families (plural), are easy on divorce, soft on crime, okay with pornography. These people live mostly in the big cities of the West, make good money in the free market system, with which they have few complaints. They are people of low fertility (way below replacement level), and at least in urban settings are often high livers, do plenty of partying, enjoy alcohol, sample recreational drugs, and so on. They find the attitudes expressed by people in Cohort 2 to be ignorant, bigoted, and behind the times. Theirs is the prevailing secular orthodoxy of the modern State. When Muslims, and our own faith communities say the West is decadent, they are talking about Cohort 1.

 

Cohort 2 – Our Faith Population

          This cohort comprises all people of faith who accept the spiritual logic, above, and work that out each in their own way in their own faith communities, or simply as individuals. They tend to oppose just about everything Cohort 1 supports, though there is some overlap (such as churches that support gay rights, etc). They tend toward tradition in all family, moral, and sexual matters. They drink less, smoke less, do less drugs, divorce less, and have a lot more kids than Cohort 1 people. They also tend to live in outlying suburbs, small towns, and rural areas, with one exception: The immigrant faith population that shares most of these values tends to live in the big cities where they can be with others of their cultural or ethnic kind and keep the faith traditions of their country of origin alive.

            The moderate Muslim population fits in here, too. They are “against the West” only in the sense that they are against all the values – especially the anti-family policies and the moral relativism - promoted and practiced both by Cohort 1, and 3 (below). They consider the values of Cohort 1 immoral and unnatural, and the values of our own radicals in Cohort 3 they consider fascist (whether left or right), or at best utopian, but without moral roots in any set of permanent principles or natural law. 

             I have direct experience with this moral cleavage myself. In the middle of the night, in summer of 2008 I received a phone call from a Muslim woman in Iran informing me that her pro-family women’s rights group had translated my book The War Against the Family into Farsi (Persian). That book was a full-on assault against the anti-family program in the Western world. She was in complete sympathy. I am no Muslim. But I applauded her Cohort 2 pro-family and pro-children values.  I still do. Every sociological or psychological study ever done on this cohort tells us these people as a cohort have stronger and bigger families, less divorce, happier children, suffer less illnesses and neuroses, far less alcoholism and tobacco diseases, almost none are in poverty or on welfare, they have very respectable educational and occupational levels, and on it goes.

 

Cohort 3 – Our Radical Leftist Population

             Let us dismiss as disturbing, but to be watched, the small number of right-wing radicals, skinheads, and the like. That done, we can say that the far larger Cohort 3 consists mostly of well-to-do educated radicals, many of an alienated, extremist anti-Western nature who are uniformly leftist in their politics, if not openly Marxist, socialist, or anarchist. They are also libertarian (anti-authoritarian) in their morals. They can be found employed by the thousands in the universities and media outlets of the West, as well as many government bureaucracies (as the Trump administration is discovering!), where they exercise a powerful influence on the broader public, and in our schools, on the young. They oppose the values held by both Cohorts 1 and 2. The first, because they see them as complacent well-fed, undiscerning materialists (okay, capitalist pigs); the second, because they hold to wht radicals consider a holier-than-thou oppressive religious morality (fundamentalist rednecks).

            Although they are against capitalist society as a whole and prefer an egalitarian socialist utopia, they live very well themselves. The vast majority of radicals in this cohort have higher pay, drive better cars, and live in more expensive neighbourhoods than the populations they seek to radicalize. They are equivalent to what the writer Milovan Djilas, halfway thru the last century, described as "The New Class" of the Communist nations. In their anger at the West, even though they do not share Islamist theology, they are often sympathetic with radical Islamist attacks on the West. Radical Islamists want to destroy the West because it is run by unholy infidels, but our home-grown radicals want to destroy the West in order to build a secular-socialist Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. They are secularized radicals who happen to have a lot in common with … Muslim hatred of the West. That is why the late Osama Bin Laden said: “The interests of Muslims [he meant his kind of radical Islamists] and the interests of the socialists [these Cohort 3 folks I am describing] coincide in the war against the crusaders.”  For him, “crusaders” was his description of all those the cozy liberals in Cohort 1 who have brought the world today’s brand of unholy secular capitalist democracy (phew!)]. This analysis tells us that smack dab in the middle of all Western nations today we have two powerful cohorts that are partly or wholly in sympathy with the Muslim (if not always the Islamist) revolt against the West.

           First, we have radicals of our own making who want to bring Western society down through revolution or anarchy. Here are some of the heartless things they said just after the mass-murder of their own fellow citizens by Islamists on 9/11.[1] Keep in mind that in most nations throughout history, these people would have been prosecuted and jailed for sedition for saying such things in public.       

           Second, we have a very large faith population which, although without such revolutionary motives is in strong passive sympathy with the Muslim disapproval of sexual licence, homosexuality, gay-rights parades, abortion rights, pornography, social saturation with drugs and alcohol, violence in film, TV and advertising, anti-family legislation, court rulings against religion by secularizing judges, and more. By the same token, most Muslims (unlike Islamists) everywhere express strong support for devout Christians (as distinct from nominal ones), because of this sharing of the same moral views

           To summarize: A weakened western civilization has become so divided against itself that we now fail even to recognize, much less defend our own deep culture. More often than not we attack it ourselves. This has exposed us to radical Islamists who have no such doubts about their own foundations, and who are prepared to use terrorism to defeat and replace Western culture.

 


[1] From Jamie Glazov, “From the Left With Hate,” National Post, April 21, 2009, being an excerpt from his book United in Hate: The Left’s Romance With Tyranny and Terror, WND Books, 2009. 

Thursday
Mar092017

Islam, & Terrorism Against the West

 

 "Virtually all of the most notorious international terrorist organizations are known to maintain a network presence in Canada."

~ Canadian Security Intelligence Service, 2003. 

“”Osama Bin Laden has publicly identified Canada as a country he believes his followers should attack … He ranked Canada fifth out of seven countries, and every other country on that list has already been attacked.”

~ Robert Wright, National Security Advisor to the Canadian Prime Minister, in a security Speech, October, 2004.

“[Islamic] leaders have always thought globally, viewing their struggles as part of a broader War against the West.”

~ Clifford May, President, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and former New York Times foreign Correspondent (October 31, 2009).

“We have to establish Islam in Canada. I wanna see Islam in every single corner of the city; I would like to see niqabis and hijabis [women wearing face masks and head coverings] everywhere in the city. I want to see “brothers” [Muslim men] in beards everywhere in the city. Because when they see more of us, they will have more respect for us. They will say, ‘Look, they are everywhere … we cannot go against them.’”

~ Said Rageah, Muslim Cleric, Toronto, 2009

 

         Picture a map with two colours, red for Islam, blue for Christendom. If we ran maps of the past 1,400 years at high speed, we would see these two colours advancing and retreating across the entire Mediterranean basin, parts of middle Europe as far north as Vienna, all of North Africa, the Middle East – not to mention the vast regions north of, and including chunks of India, and to the Far East, south to Indonesia. We would notice immediately that there is never any white space between the two colours. To freeze this map at any point in history since the sixth century would show the labile boundaries between these two theological kingdoms. Anyone visiting the beautiful Alhambra in Grenada, that stunning aesthetic and horticultural tribute to Islamic culture and thought will sense the beauty and confidence that once was there. In such places - throughout Spain and in other Southern European countries - we find plentiful physical evidence of the map: mosques built over churches; then churches built over mosques, or inversely; a veritable warfare of art and theology, ideas and stones. I will come back to this war momentarily. But first, let’s look at the slow transformation of the West’s own spiritual and ideological foundations that began during the sixteenth century Protestant Reformation, and that has made us vulnerable to attack from within and without.

 

We Began by Attacking Our Own Foundations

           As mentioned above, the modern democratic spirit that mutated into radical individualism was born a child of the Reformation. It did not take long, however, due to the influence of materialistic science and the dreadful experience of two world wars to abandon this spiritual origin altogether, turning in the end against all public belief in spiritual transcendence (the idea that there might be is a spiritual reality that transcends the physical world). This was a fateful turning, as we shall see shortly, that has weakened us considerably, simply because when a materialistic people for whom the universe has lost all higher meaning is faced with a people infused with such spiritual confidence they will blow themselves up as martyrs for God, they stand a good chance of losing.

          At any rate, under our new secular paradigm, the communal concept of democracy that began in the faith communities of the West as Vox Populi, Vox Dei (“the voice of the people is the voice of God”), also began mutating. From the idea that majorities with a common belief system could – and would - arrive at a common truth by voting, we mutated to a people who believe that democratic rights are most properly expressed by individuals, often as “democratic rights” asserted (via courts) against the larger community itself. Secular scientists were breaking down the physical world into constituent parts in a hunt for the ultimate material truth of the universe; secular philosophers were promoting radical – and very relative – moral individualism. Quantum particles; moral particles. One man, one vote. Atomistic Man. Soon, morality too, would be considered a matter of pure individual truth, rather than a truth held in common. These two forms of individuation, one physical, the other political and moral have produced the disunited, atomized, secular and materialistic regimes of the West, wherein even the suggestion that morality is a public good to be held in common is now considered offensive.

            Raw materialism, however, has always been empty with respect to the ultimate questions. It tells us a great deal about the What, but nothing about the Why of existence. Moral relativism is an advance-surrender of any possibility of locating a single Why. However, all humans seem to have a spiritual hunger, so the quest for the Why doesn’t go away. In the West, even as we mistook the What for the Why and summarily dropped God from the entire question, the hard-wiring of the quest remained. By then the unspoken logic was: If there really is no spiritual Kingdom of Heaven, well, then let’s damn well create a secular one. So in the twentieth century the Western world went to war against itself, twice. The aging, spiritually-weakened liberal democracies, living off the rapidly-depleting moral surplus of the Judeo-Christian belief system, found themselves waging war against secular totalitarian systems that had become, of all things … political religions! They were attempting to engineer never-before-seen societies of human perfection on earth, in the name of … Man. Across the blasted face of Europe, in a truly fateful historical apocalypse, the old spiritual armies, fighting to defend and preserve the residue of their worn-out religious tradition – individual rights, the sacredness of human life, equality, rule of law, and so on – managed to win once again for what may have been the last time. After the atomic bomb, the young found it hard to believe there was much worth fighting for.

            What was left? Only demands for equality, moral relativism, and its necessary corollary - a mindless “tolerance” of all individual truths. This is now the reductive and unshakeable foundation of the Western political and secular orthodoxy. In its name the Western world embarked on vast and self-contradictory egalitarian program of legal discrimination demanding wall-to-wall equality in social and economic outcomes. All would be good if all were made good by law. At last, we would have our Earthly Kingdom. To achieve this all traditional forms of life rooted in spiritual belief in a fixed natural moral law and in the realities of natural human biology were deemed exclusionist and discriminatory. The new orthodoxy teaches that religions discriminate (against all secular norms); that the heterosexual (or “heteronormative”) family discriminates against individuals due to its economic, tax, and legal privileges; that traditional sexual morality is oppressive; and so on. It soon became apparent that once aimed at society in this way, democratic equality had become a universal solvent because the practical result for all post-Christian regimes has been ever-more aggressive attacks on all social, sexual, and economic privileges and laws intended precisely to protect and ensure the success of our traditional regimes. So wherever enforced, equality rights have produced the atomization and decay of traditional forms of life and morality, and of the common life once based upon them.

          This process has produced bizarre ideological consequences – or clashes – within all Western societies, to the extent that all those still attempting to live according to our once-spiritual norms (or the moral surplus of them), principles that were the foundation of the Western world for millennia, began to realize they were being drawn in to a radical “civil war of values” within their own countries. Samuel Huntington’s insightful study The Clash of Civilizations told only half the story. He argued persuasively that many civilizations of the world – such as Islam and Christianity - rest on clashing ideologies that will not, and cannot be melded.

          But the deeper story of the Western democracies is that there is a more serious clash within each of them. For once having repudiated natural law and human nature, and replaced these foundational premises with a simplistic egalitarian dictate, they proceeded to eviscerate marriage with laws granting individuals unilateral no-fault divorce rights (to hell with the contractual rights of the observant spouse); laws granting individual women abortion rights (to hell with the rights of the fathers, and of the unborn children); laws granting individuals gay-marriage rights and benefits (to hell with civilization’s procreative objective); and then … they begin fining and jailing citizens for resisting this regime-change (to hell with free speech and open debate). This new orthodoxy was to bring about our utopia.   

Wednesday
Mar082017

Is "the Economy" a Good Reason for Immigration?

More on the immigration question from The Trouble With Canada ...Still! (2010)

          Many argue that because we have an aging society, a changing ratio of retirees to workers, and falling fertility rates, we need lots of immigrants or the economy will eventually go into a tailspin. This argument seems plausible - at first- because without sufficient bodies who will buy the food, rent the offices and retail spaces, buy the diapers, and so on? The prospect of a rapidly falling population is scary, and the looming demographic winter seems real. Canada’s own Annual Report on Immigration notes that immigration will be “a key source of workforce growth in the future.” But bad thinking has produced what looks like a false assumption.

           Canada’s first serious study of this question was carried out in 1985 by The Macdonald Royal Commission on “The Economic Union and Development Prospects for Canada.” Its conclusion was that “immigration did not contribute to economic growth, but in fact caused a decline in per capita income and real wages in Canada.”[1]

          In July of 2009, the C.D. Howe Institute warned: “for Canadians to expect more, younger immigrants to counteract the effects of low past fertility on workforce growth and aging would be a serious mistake.”[2] The Institute’s sophisticated projections told us that “only improbably huge increases” in “net” immigration rates (after subtracting all those who return home) of “more than 2.5 times” recent rates (600-700,000 new immigrants per year) have any chance to “offset” the consequences of lower past fertility.

           Even when “age filters” favouring much younger immigrants were plugged into the projections, they showed the need for a future Canadian population ranging between 60 and 200 million people before the current aging and falling fertility factors were neutralized. Projections relying on immigration flows to improve the economy tended “to produce explosive population growth, with ludicrous terminal numbers….” In the year 2050 Canada would need 7 million immigrants.

           The conclusion of that study was that better and faster results could be achieved by raising the age of retirement from 65 to 70, boosting natural fertility rates from the current 1.5 children per women to 2.1, and increasing productivity (real output per worker) by 1 per cent. The authors also cited a major 2004 study of the European situation by the RAND corporation. It concluded that “immigration could do little to mitigate the challenges created by low fertility in the European Union” because, as in the numerous Canadian studies cited, “the momentum of the resident population largely overwhelms immigration’s influence.” More sobering: the United Nations Population Division has concluded that for Europe to rebalance its own demographic mixture to avoid eventual collapse it would require over 700 million immigrants by 2050 - more than the present population of the whole of Europe! [3]

          In his survey of Canadian immigration research, Martin Collacott has pointed out that “the government’s own research” indicates that immigration plays a minor role in boosting the economy. “Overall economic performance of newcomers ... has fallen below that of earlier immigrants and people born in Canada. A major reason for this is the priority given to family-class immigrants,” none of whom is required to bring any marketable skills to Canada, nor to speak either official language.[4] Underlining the problem of immigrant illiteracy, Frank McKenna of the TD Bank Financial Group said that the immigrant illiteracy issue is “sort of like boiling a frog, it's not … something that would alarm people, because it's not all that evident; we just gradually become poorer as a nation as a result of this loss of potential.”[5] Adding to the complexity is the fact that immigrants to Canada increasingly are coming from areas such as Asia where English and French are not native tongues (up to 40% of Canada’s new immigrants speak neither English nor French). The concern is that the economic wellbeing of newcomers has been deteriorating over the past twenty-five years, with unemployment and poverty levels significantly higher among immigrants than among Canadian-born citizens.

           In sum, too many immigrants arrive with no skills, no common language with which to engage with their host country, and immediately demand free social, medical, dental, and unemployment benefits. This phenomenon is all but international now and is causing some panic in many established welfare States because, as European analyst Martin Paldam found, “the traditions of protection of the weak cause adverse selection of immigrants, so that most are unskilled.” However, welfare States, he warns, only survive if they stand on an implicit compact: we all give, in order, if necessary, to receive. People will accept high levels of taxation if they believe recipients of welfare are like themselves: if they “have made the same effort to be self-supporting and will not take advantage.” However, “if values become extremely diverse in a diversified population, then it becomes difficult to sustain the legitimacy of a risk-pooling welfare State.”[6] In plainer words, if you set your country up to attract freeloaders – they will come.

          George Borjas of Harvard University (himself an immigrant) and perhaps the world’s most acknowledged authority on this question, echoes the findings of other major studies done since the mid-1980s by mainstream economists in Canada, the USA, Australia, and the UK: the only significant economic impact of immigration is to reduce the wages of native workers.[7] 

           In 2007 a Statistics Canada study, “Chronic Low Income, and Low Income Dynamics Among Recent Immigrants” revealed that notwithstanding the emphasis on education in the “skilled worker” category of immigrants, “their earnings in relation to native Canadians were significantly lower and continue to deteriorate.”[8] Professor Alan Green of Queen’s University has stated categorically that “the current political posture of using immigrants to solve economic problems is no longer valid.”[9] 

          To conclude: a recent study by economist Herbert Grubel of Simon Fraser University revealed that the 2.5 million immigrants who came to Canada between 1990 and 2002 received $18.3 billion more in government services and benefits in the year 2002 alone than they paid in taxes for that year! Grubel stated that this amount was more than the federal government contributed to health care in 2000-2001, and more than twice what it spent on defence.

          And finally – let us bash the “Bigger is Better” myth. A bigger economy is not necessarily a stronger one. China, for example, has a huge economy because it has more than a billion people. But in per capita earnings it is around 100th in the world - whereas Canada is in the top ten. As long as a strong economy of any size continues to produce sufficient numbers of babies to maintain viable age-to-dependency ratios (ratio of born to dying, and workers to retirees), a country will remain stable. Small but strong stable economies such as those of Switzerland, Finland, the Netherlands, Austria, Singapore, and Hong Kong, do not have to be big. Neither does Canada.

 


[1] From an article by James Bissett, former Ambassador and Executive Director of the Canadian Immigration Service,  “The Current State of Canadian Immigration Policy,” p.6, 2008

[2] Robin Banerjee and William B.P. Robson, “Faster, Younger, Richer?: The Fond Hope and Sobering Reality of Immigration’s Impact on Canada’s Demographic and Economic Future,” C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, no. 291, July, 2009.

[3] See Christopher Caldwell, Reflection on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West (New York: Doubleday, 2009), p.47.

[4] Martin Collacott, “Canada’s Immigration Policy: The Need for Major Reform,” in Public Policy Sources, The Fraser Institute, No. 64, 2003. 

[5]He is referring to the story of how if you drop a frog into a pan of boiling water, it will immediately leap out. But if you start with cold water and gradually raise the temperature, the frog will sit until it dies (National Post, Sept. 28, 2009).

[6] Martin Paldam, cited in Herbert Grubel, “Immigration and the Welfare State in Canada: Growing Conflicts, Constructive Solutions” Public Policy Sources No. 84 (Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, September 2005), p.24ff.

[7] See George Borjas, Heaven’s Gate: Immigration Policy and the American Economy (Princeton University Press, paperback, 2001).

[8]  James Bissett, “The Current State of Canadian Immigration Policy,” p.7, 2008. From Statistics Canada Catalogue No. 11F009MIE – 2007198.

[9] Cited in Herbert Grubel, ed., The Effects of Mass Immigration on Canadian Living Standards and Society (Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, 2009), p. 9.

Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 44 Next 6 Entries »