The citizen and the legal immigrant are superior; the non-citizen and the illegal immigrant are inferior. To view the two as equals is the definition of national suicide…
As one of many Americans whose citizenship is derivative of the legal immigration and naturalization procedures of the United States of America, it is particularly distressing to witness the public backlash of the press, protesters, and political opponents against the very modest executive actions recently taken by President Donald Trump to repair the immigration system in America and restore the distinct status of citizenship to preeminence in republican life.
Aristotle, at the outset of Book III of The Politics, writes that “he who has the power to take part in the deliberative or judicial administration of any city is said by us to be a citizen of that city.” While Aristotle acknowledges that the identification of participants in citizenship differs depending on the form of a regime, the universal characteristic of citizenship, particularly in republics, is political power. This is precisely why immigration law and policy are of fundamental importance to the welfare of cities and, more broadly interpreting the Aristotelian polis, of modern states. Immigration law and policy determine who is to have power in a state.
Machiavelli, writing in The Prince, outlines two basic aims for which the state exists: preservation and acquisition. Modern political science, which began with Machiavelli and built upon Aristotle, is dedicated in its totality to these two basic propositions. Of the two, keeping one’s state, is of primary importance; acquisition is secondary. The two are related insofar as acquisition may fortify preservation by the additions it facilitates, but preservation is always necessary for future acquisition to take place. It is to be noted that while acquisition has generally been modified, since Machiavelli wrote, from martial conquest into successful commerce, preservation has not been modified as an aim of statecraft.
That an attempt to modify the concept of preservation has been made in present times is clear. This attempt exists under the general proposition of globalism, or global citizenship. It is intellectually underdeveloped, exists nowhere as a legal practice, yet underlies many of the multilateral political associations now predominant throughout the world. An excellent philosophical exposition on the subject exists in the form of the Strauss-Kojeve dialogue in the book On Tyranny. Yet the multilateral political structures that are to be found in the modern world were not established as globalist enterprises, only international ones—the crucial difference being that a global enterprise is universal to all humanity while an international body, by definition, requires and acknowledges the existence of diverse nation-states, which arise out of the natural divisions amongst humans.
Internationalism is little more than the extension of social-contract theory beyond aggregates of individuals to aggregates of nations. As the purpose of just government is to protect the natural rights of individuals, so just international institutions were made to protect the natural rights of the various nations. The elevation of an abstract humanity over the natural organelles, called nations, of the universal human family is detrimental to humanity. It goes without saying that just as governments that abuse natural rights can be altered or abolished, so international bodies that endanger rather than protect the rights of nations can likewise be altered or abolished.
Not even Woodrow Wilson, that great proponent of internationalism, ever went farther than advocating international bodies as a means by which nations can be made secure in their rights. The Wilsonian ideal is not the modern globalist ideal. The modern globalist ideal is a perversion of internationalism made to erase nations just as nationalist perversions in the twentieth century at times sought to erase the individuals who composed them. The duty of international accord is to preserve nations by preventing conflicts amongst them, not to sweep nations aside by radically altering their characters through uncontrolled illegal mass immigration. Attempts to alleviate international conflict by the abolition of nations through uncontrolled immigration and multiculturalism are a utopia. Its practical result is to intensify conflict between incompatible national cultures forced suddenly into cohabitation of the same state.
As just government derives its powers from the consent of the governed, so just international order derives its legitimacy from the consent of nations through states which represent them—not from self-appointed corporate and political elites who routinely overrule them in favor of maintaining populaces so divided and conflicted on account of mass migration that there is no longer any perceptible “people” from which just government might arise amongst the various nations. A laxity towards categories and definitions of the sort presented above has taken hold amongst the intellectual elites of Western political cultures. This laxity is in part a result of the successful application of various forms of a political humanist universalism (whether Christian or secular) to the political question of citizenship within the nation-states of the West.
Unlike Christian humanists of the past who studied political science and understood the moral dynamics of the Aristotelian tension between the good man and the excellent citizen, or the Augustinian tension between the City of Man and the City of God, many modern humanists seem unaware of fundamental political problems and view migration solely through the lenses of the immediate urgency of emotion—irrespective of serious political repercussions. Nowhere is this process more advanced than in the United States of America and Western Europe. Nation-states that retain a healthy understanding are in Eastern Europe, Asia, and Australia. With the election of President Donald Trump, America has the chance to follow Japan, Australia, and Eastern Europe towards political wisdom in immigration.
In the United States of America, no racial or religious category is precluded from citizenship per se. Anyone can endeavor to become an American. Becoming one thing implies ceasing to be another thing if it is opposed to the thing one wishes to become. Merry drinkers do not exist amongst those who abstain from alcohol. The basic criteria for a successful endeavor to become an American is inherent in the process of naturalization, whereby the aspiring immigrant must learn the majority language spoken in the country and understand the content of the American Constitution at its most rudimentary level. Given the centrality of the rule of law to American character, it should be obvious that all criminal aliens are excluded from the prospect of citizenship or permanent residency.
This peculiar process is the logical result of a republic founded to defend through law the universalism of the principle of equality as enshrined in the Declaration of Independence. The process, it must be noted, while rooted in ideals, is essentially a legal process and therefore distinguishes between citizens and non-citizens. Equality under law underlies American citizenship, and so anyone can aspire to become an American, but the American citizen is by definition unequal to the non-citizen, and the legal aspiring immigrant is unequal to the illegal immigrant. The citizen and the legal immigrant are superior; the non-citizen and the illegal immigrant are inferior. To contend otherwise means to reason that the lawful aspirations of those who want to become Americans are equal to the unlawful aspirations of those who want to illegally take advantage of America. To view the two as equals is the definition of national suicide. To contend that viewing citizens and legal aliens as superior is discrimination is true, but it is the same type of discrimination as the distinction between prison guards and prisoners: To apply the principle of equality to them would be to destroy the rule of law that protects equality and substitute for it the rule of the stronger, as criminals use violence to rule the law-abiding.
The case of the refugee is similar. A refugee is defined by law as a person having been granted the status of a refugee. Refugees are not self-appointed. The United States of America is charged by appropriate existing law with taking care of refugees and the people, though their representatives determine the definition of a refugee and the scope of care offered to a refugee. A refugee is not anyone who appears at the border or airport and claims to be one. As with all things, citizens may choose through their representatives to implement a very liberal and compassionate policy towards refugees and, certainly, a strong moral case may be made for it. However, it is the citizenry which has the sole right, through their representatives, to make refugee policy. It is not the aspiring refugee and the cameraman in conjunction with the journalist who make policy. The President of the United States has preeminence here—not the protestor and the journalist.
This is simple justice, but is nowadays considered a form of racism or bigotry by American liberal culture, which goes so far as to prefer the morally disturbing terminology of “undocumented immigrants” to the term “criminal alien,” and which likewise makes little effort to distinguish between a refugee and a dangerous alien with terrorist intent. This is suicidal sophistry. An undocumented person is someone who has left his driver’s license at home or who has been lax in procuring necessary documentation of otherwise legal status. To call a criminal immigrant “undocumented” is an affront to law, morality, and common sense. To crusade as a matter of humanity on behalf of the criminal is to demean the humanity of legal citizen and legal alien alike.
The European Union likewise tentatively aspires to a similar perverse universalism whereby the purpose of the Union—to bring together European cultures—is perverted into making of Europe a laboratory for an experiment in globalist multiculturalism. European unity as originally conceived is rooted in the equality of European nations, not men, rooted in common European history, not a universal philosophical declaration, and above all rooted in the Christian religion which gave rise to modern European humanism, and not any other. As such the criteria for European citizenship are far less universalist than the criteria for American citizenship. A citizen of the European Union is a European national—a citizen of one of the member-states of the Union.
Citizens of member-states are usually citizens on the basis of ethnic, familial, or historical criteria. The ethnicity of parents is usually the primary basis for determining citizenship in Europe, though historical ties to a national culture are also important in some states. A citizen of the European Union, while not necessarily a citizen of the nation-state they reside in, can nevertheless vote there as a citizen of the Union in local elections (with certain restrictions). The state developed in Europe as the artificial framework for preserving the nation—an organic political body that developed over time. The Union is there to preserve nations and facilitate equality of European nationals under law, but has recently taken up the task of abolishing them by radically altering their cultural composition in favor of becoming a laboratory for a wider globalist undertaking to unify the entire world under one government. Of course, Eastern Europe, much of which was itself a victim of colonialism and active attempts at liquidating organic national culture in favor of abstractions in deadly forms, has a far keener awareness of national identity and appetite for sovereign self-government than the West where citizenship is banalized.
Western European nations see European culture as a weakness. What they today consider “European values” have nothing to do with European history or European ideas and everything to do with their rejection in the form of multiculturalism. This suicidal insistence will bear fruit as Western Europe transforms itself into a Muslim caliphate while Eastern Europe remains Christian and European. Western European liberalism will not create a tolerant multicultural society, but a Muslim theocracy. This is inevitable given the combination of Western European euthanasia, abortion, and birth rates combined with mass Muslim migration to Europe and Muslim demographics. The only way to preserve Western European liberalism is to halt mass migration from illiberal cultures. Despite all the flaws one perceives in liberalism—particularly if one is conservative—it goes without saying that liberalism is a crucial and honored component of continental culture and even the most ardent critic of liberal order would wish for its preservation against Muslim theocracy.
A Muslim theocracy in Western Europe is not necessarily evil. Muslim theocracies exist on Earth, and though alien to European culture, they are not antithetical to human happiness per se. However no human being is ever a “human being per se”—we are all limited by time, place, language and habit. Muslim cultures are alien to European and American notions of happiness, which are rooted in Athens, Rome, and Jerusalem. Their politics are utterly incompatible with ours. We can be their guests as they can be ours, but contrary to globalists—who are generally only globalists because they know nothing about foreign cultures—civilizations are indeed often incompatible. Individual Muslims may indeed integrate into American or European order—but mass uncontrolled illegal migration will make integration impossible. Muslim culture will simply supplant European or American culture.
Muslims may be happy living in Muslim theocracies; Europeans and Americans will not be. The character of a regime is determined by the character of its citizens. When Muslim majorities attain political power in Western Europe, we will return to the times of Maimonides when the Jewish theologian fled a Muslim caliphate in Europe for tolerant Egypt. Muslims understand the political relation between citizenship and power. Europeans in the West do not. The superior Muslim intelligence is slowly erasing the inferior Western decadence. Europeans as a human category will euthanize and abort themselves into oblivion. They will be replaced by Muslims. It is not impossible for a Western European Muslim caliphate and an Eastern European Christian Union from Poland to Siberia to co-exist as a matter of statecraft and foreign relations. It is impossible for the two to coexist within one political organism. Modern Western European thought contests this view by positing the notion of administration as capable of encompassing universal humanity without regard to political differences.
European citizens have all too often demanded that they be subjects of administration. In administrative territories, there are no citizens who rule and non-citizens who work or visit but do not rule. There are only subjects of administration. Under this view, administration must be for all people regardless of citizenship. This view that administration must be for all people is a view held by liberals who constitute a small portion of Atlantic civilization. In practice, their policy will lead to majority Muslim rule. Some in the West have accepted this inevitability and emphasize Islamic reformism and liberalism in the hopes of averting a clash of civilizations.
Americans can by all means decide to follow the protestors, press, and politicians who oppose President Trump’s very modest efforts to execute the law in favor of citizenship and legal immigration. Americans may wish to commit suicide, to prefer the bliss of ignorance and political irresponsibility. America does not have to be a nation dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal with certain inalienable rights. It can become a multicultural conglomerate that has never heard of such a thing and eventually abolish itself in favor of being absorbed into one of several corporate-administrative zones of governance that will diligently rule a rootless humanity who have no need for political science anymore—because politics has been abolished wholesale.
Americans are free to call this progress. Yet for those of us who understand the duties of a citizen—who make a distinction between legal citizenship and criminal migrants because we are proud to have earned the distinction of citizenship legally—we will not allow our fellow Americans to deprive us of our pride in being legal immigrants and naturalized citizens by accommodating those whose first act on American soil is the violation of American law. We will and must stand with responsible citizens and President Trump to defend the rule of law and the dignity of legal immigration and naturalization. Those of us who admire republicanism must likewise defend that vital component of republican rule: democratic citizenship. We cannot allow America to go the way of Western Europe because America should be a beacon to the world, not just another poor excuse for a country.