The people at the Liberty Film Festival recently previewed in Hollywood the documentary movie, ‘Border’, which looks at the illegal alien problem in the U.S.
Let’s set aside the politicization of this issue. Apparently a majority of viewers of this movie, leftists and conservatives alike, have been shocked to learn what is happening in the border states. The gradual escalation is notable: in numbers, the severity of impact on the local economy, the property damage and vandalism occurring on a majority of border ranches, the financial drain placed on social services (hospitals, schools, etc) in border states, and much else is well-covered in the film, by all accounts.
In the long run, however, the greater impact on Americans will be in those less tangible areas – i.e. beliefs, attitudes, national aspirations and hopes for the future, pride in a shared past, and the choice to ‘be’ American.
Perhaps it is just the era we live in, but it’s unmistakable that the leadership of groups protesting on behalf of ‘illegal aliens’ no longer subscribe to the same set of assumptions as most Americans do on such concerns as national sovereignty, democracy, and capitalism.
The foundation of their beliefs is political Marxism. Let us remember that this ideology holds that the prevailing function of society and its institutions is ‘exploitation’, a function that presumes a separation of Americans into victims and exploiters (oppressors).
This must be understood because this still forms, unbelievably, the bedrock, foundational belief in much of the world outside the English-speaking world, and is clearly the creed of the international left.
According to this world view, national sovereignty as a value acquires legitimacy only if the state in question can be defined as a ‘victim-state’. Then its rights are paramount. An oppressor-state, by definition, has zero rights as its very existence is devoted to the exploitation and imperialist subjugation of its victims. Once Americans confer on this world-view any legitimacy whatsoever, then you’ve surrendered, period. Our primary concern should always be, as human beings, to uncover the truth, and not allow ideology to hijack the debate.
So I would urge you to question this assumption. Are illegal aliens victims from a victim-state, a state historically oppressed by the U.S., and thus entitled to whatever they can ‘take back’ in America?
This world-view certainly changes your beliefs about the future. According to this view the ethic of hard work should only be rewarded if you are one of the entitled, designated victims. It’s consistent to predict that illegal aliens will go from complaints over oppressive American institutions, to making demands for exceptional treatment, to further demands that their victim status gives them a greater legitimacy and thus an entitlement to a larger ‘share’ of America’s product.
Attitudes to government and other institutions will be revised. The U.S. government’s clear unwillingness to enforce its own laws in this area will be perceived as an admission of the laws’ unfairness. Demands will logically follow for their repeal, followed by further demands that any future legislation affecting
‘undocumented Americans’ should be submitted to public committees for consultation and criticism.
As the credibility of federal and state law-making bodies is eroded, our societal belief in the legitimacy of the government itself will decline.
The American economy will adapt to such new beliefs. Capitalism, based as it is on the rule of law, the freedom of movement of capital and people, and a legal contract’s inviolability, will evolve in a manner consistent with the political illusion of victims and their oppressors. This is already happening in Europe. It makes for a fascinating study.
I grant that most of the intangible outcomes of this experiment in collapsing the borders cannot be predicted. Frankly, though, by allowing Marxist ideologues to control the debate, we really have no right to expect a positive outcome. Illegal immigration does not benefit America, as a coherent, rules-based, democratic society with a capitalist economy.
Legal immigration, and the conscientious application of existing laws to enforce the border, do benefit America because both practices respect America’s current political reality and its collective beliefs.
An analogy to the individual might be illustrative. Imagine an individual who decides not to protect the boundaries, the ‘borders’, of his personality. What would be the result? Predators gather, and he still insists he has no right of self-protection. Neighbors, instead of praising him, are amused at his foolishness and credulity. Would anyone be likely to help him? The stages of his deterioration are well-documented in the psychological literature.
Why should it be any different for a society?