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Krikorian vs. Wattenberg, And A Curious Omission
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June 26, 2005, 04:35 PM
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Mark Krikorian gets off some good shots at Ben Wattenberg in the Spring 2005 Claremont Review of Books. But who, pray tell, does he mean when he says " As others have noted, this mass-immigration worldview echoes Bertolt Brecht`s suggestion that the East German government dissolve the people and elect a new one." Where might these others be found? Not, apparently, with the pages of the Claremont Review of Books.

Wattenberg`s solution, by contrast, is unambiguously undemocratic and coercive. He argues that pro-natalist policies like Longman`s have always proven ineffective, and that the magic solution is mass immigration. Unfortunately, his data refute his argument. The Census Bureau projects an increase in our population of about 140 million, including new immigrants, over the first half of this century, but "only" a 50 million increase if there were no immigration at all. How is it plausible to claim that America will be derailed, and the worldwide spread of human liberty jeopardized, if our population grows by an average of one million a year instead of three million?

Basically, Wattenberg is saying that since Americans have freely chosen to have smaller families, the state must import people to supply the bodies needed to fuel the global democratic revolution. As others have noted, this mass-immigration worldview echoes Bertolt Brecht`s suggestion that the East German government dissolve the people and elect a new one.Wattenberg never offers any specifics about how to "elect" this new people. What kind of actual immigration policy should we have? How many immigrants? What kind? How do we select and screen them? He offers nothing beyond the most vaporous generalities.

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In the end, neither author has sufficient faith in the American people. Wattenberg sees his countrymen as not up to the task History has set before them, and so they must be supplemented by a huge, unending flow of outsiders. Longman, on the other hand, harbors the blue-state fear that those who feel commanded by nature and nature`s God to procreate are itching secretly to establish a theocracy. [The Claremont Institute: No Child Left Behind]