Throughout the Western world, immigration (whether legal or illegal, and often approximating invasion more than true migration) is perhaps the single biggest issue facing both the people and the politicians. The Western world is finding itself facing an unprecedented mass influx of entrants from other, non-western parts of the world. While the history of the West has certainly involved mass movements of people at various times, these have always been understood to constitute either invasions or colonisations. The idea of millions of outsiders moving into a culture and it being considered “immigration” is a vastly new (and dangerous) concept in the West.
Nevertheless, there are many in our society who seem to be perfectly fine with the idea of mass immigration radically altering the cultural, religious, and genetic bases of Western societies. Indeed, the acceptability, or lack thereof, of mass immigration is one of the major points of division between so-called civic nationalists on one side and ethnonationalists (speaking generally) and especially white nationalists on the other. Civic nationalists, who are often really just straight up open borders supporters, believe that membership in a new society can be established as easily as simply taking an oath and signing some paperwork. “You can be a polygamist totem worshiper who believes albinos should be harvested for the magical elixirs in their livers and still be a good American,” and all that.
The common assumption, at least among the coastal élites, is that openness to immigration is correlated with democratic sensibilities in particular, drawing from a more generalised standard of egalitarianism. Because these élites rarely interact in any meaningful way with the immigrants who comprise the “mass” in mass immigration, they tend to assume the fungibility of the “lower classes.” This is why the political arm of the Cathedral sees immigrants as a source of political capital – one voter is as good as another, and if a new set of voters can be imported who will vote the way the Cathedral wants versus recalcitrant natives who insist upon voting for their own interests, then all the better. It wouldn’t be the first time in recent history that this has happened. The corporate arm of the Cathedral sees immigrants in much the same way – as replacement labourers for natives who are too expensive and have a fractious insistence upon earning a fair wage.
However, increasing democratisation and equality have not noticeably served to make either the masses or their “ethno-elites” more favourably disposed to mass immigration. Indeed, the opposite is widely occurring, as can be seen daily around us.
This perceived irony can be explained using social permeability theories developed by the Norwegian social anthropologist Fredrik Barth, especially those aspects drawn from his studies of interethnic interactions and the social acceptance of ethnically foreign individuals between the Pathans and Baluchis along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Barth’s fundamental approach to the interactions between neighbouring ethnic groups was the observation that ethnic groupings are not isolates. They do not exist with closed, impermeable boundaries. Different groups are not autochthonous, remaining perpetually impermeable to neighbouring tribes. Instead, the common occurrence is that interactions will occur, leading to cultural (and genetic) exchange.
In many cases, circumstances will work to make one linguistic or cultural group more “fit” for the common environment, resulting in its language and culture becoming dominant, gradually attracting members of other cultures to it, assimilating them into its cultural and linguistic milieu. It is believed by many Indo-Europeanists, such as J.P. Mallory for example, that this is what occurred during the Indo-European takeover of the Balkans – the previous “Old European” cultures (e.g. the Cuceteni-Tripolyi grouping) were in some cases invaded and in some cases infiltrated by small groups of Indo-Europeans whose pastoralist culture was more suited to the drier conditions coming into existence in the region at that time. The more hierarchical Indo-Europeans provided ways for native Cucuteni-Tripolyis to integrate into their pastoralist society, while the more egalitarian native cultures could not draw the intruders into their own agriculturalist society. Gradually, Indo-Europeans replaced them in both language and culture, and assimilated them genetically.
As much as many in the dissident Right may wish to reject such notions, they nevertheless are true to a certain extent. Ethnogenesis, ethnofusion, ethnopartition, and even ethnocide are all historical forces that have played roles in inter-group interactions for thousands of years of human society.
But back to Barth’s observations in Afghanistan. Barth studied the Pathans and the Baluchis, two tribally-organised groups. What he found was that over the long-term course of interaction between these two groups, the Baluchis were steadily gaining a linguistic and cultural dominance over the Pathans. Essentially, individual Pathans on the margins of their society were finding places within the Baluchi organisation, were being added, Baluchis were essentially absorbing into their own population a steady flow of Pathans – and the opposite was not taking place. As a result, Baluchi language and culture were coming to predominate between the two groups. This was counterintuitive – the Pathan tribes were generally stronger, richer, better armed, more populous, and enjoyed the prestige of a greater military reputation. Yet, they were losing people and ground to the Baluchis, their language being slowly replaced in an increasing number of areas.
Barth argued that the reason was because of the differences in social organisation between the two sets of tribes. Pathans were more egalitarian – a band of brothers, a company of warriors, but with less in the way of authoritative leadership, and also less room for marginal, less warlike or less skillful members to find roles and places to exist within the cultural structure. The Baluchis, on the other hand, were more hierarchical, with a much deeper set of vertical relationships that provided much greater opportunities for individuals seeking to join Baluchi society to find places within the patron-client system. It didn’t matter that you weren’t really that great of a warrior, you could still find a place to serve as some chieftain’s client, and thus prove your social worth in other ways.
As a result, socially marginal Pathans could find “sponsors” in Baluchi society and be integrated into the hierarchical structure without causing undue displacement or competition with native Baluchis. This is similar, in many ways, to how knights and clerks during the Middle Ages could travel and find service with foreign sovereigns, or how the Romans were able to integrate foreign notables into their imperial system of service. In both cases we see hierarchical patron-client systems which were able to absorb and convert outsiders.
On the other hand, marginal Baluchis attempting to move in the opposite direction were entering an egalitarian structure where most members shared a piece of the power pie. With little vertical hierarchy to provide support, intrusions by outsiders merely served to dilute individual power further, and thus created resentment and rejection.
This is essentially what we see going on today with mass immigration into egalitarian and democratic western countries. Immigrants enter into direct competition with the natives, both politically and economically, diluting both the access to the power pie held by native voters and to the economic wage pie earned by native workers (as well as drawing off of native wealth directly through welfare, etc., in many instances). Obviously this is good for the globalist, transnational, ethnically unconcerned élites, but is bad for the natives and for their native ethno-elites, who find themselves undercut in their own societies.
This contrasts with earlier and more successful assimilations of mass immigrant movements in the USA and other Anglospheric nations. These assimilation efforts succeeded better because those earlier movements saw greater attempts at integrating immigrants into patronage systems which reinforced existing hierarchical social structures. Everyone knew their place, and the descendants of immigrants could rise in rank as they “proved their worth,” so to speak, becoming fully acculturated members of their adopted society. These are all things that are notably absent from current western approaches to immigration.
It also helped that the three primary countries in question (USA, Canada, and Australia) during the earlier periods of mass immigration were frontier-type societies that could better tolerate egalitarian and democratic impulses because there was plenty of room for growth and expansion, and thus greater margins for error.
Hence, we find today’s situation to be one in which millions of marginal Latinos, Africans, and Muslims are being inserted into egalitarian societies which have no place for them and which have no real mechanism for ever providing such a place for them. Societies with well-grounded hierarchical authority structures could perhaps attempt to digest some of them. Modern western societies which pretend against all reason that “everyone is the same” and attempt to act on that principle will completely fail to do so.
So what can western nations do to develop more credible and functional immigration schemes? That they should do so, rather than trying to isolate themselves as impermeable, autarkic entities, can easily be argued. When done right, immigration can be a boon to a society. It’s all about controlling the quality and quantity of immigrants to meet your nation’s desired specifications.
First, western nations must get serious about eliminating mass immigration in toto and get serious about selectivity. Mass immigration merely feeds (and then breaks) egalitarian democracy, yet simply cannot be dealt with via patron-client mechanisms for building loyalty because it provides too many clients, not enough patrons.
Second, walk back democracy and equality, and reinstitute more rational forms of social hierarchy and restrictions upon the distribution of power. Immigrants should not be coming to their host societies so they can vote or displace natives economically, but so they can expand and add to them in valuable and real ways through service. We should note that following this advice would be beneficial in multiple areas, not just immigration.
Lastly, we should encourage the restructuring of patron-client relationships (via businesses, aristocrats, ethno-elites, etc.) that will selectively choose immigrants as beneficiaries. Instead of H1-B economic mercenaries sending American technology back to China and India, we need those who will submit to patron-client relationships (tailored to circumstances as they exist on the ground) and who will then begin the process of loyalty building and genuine (rather than superficial or merely civic) assimilation and integration.
The lesson of history is that egalitarianism generally tends to fail above the level of the village or the clan, making societies less competitive and more prone to subversion by potentially unfriendly foreign elements. This lesson certainly applies to the multifarious structures that can fall under the broad rubric of “immigration.” Successful societies are not impermeable, but control their permeability by channeling entry into themselves through vertically-oriented hierarchical patron-client relationships that inculcate loyalty and acculturation rather than merely civic “paper” citizenship.