Britain’s cock-eyed immigration policy

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 23.28.51Sentimentality combined with mean-mindedness

Britain’s policy is sentimental, for it assumes

that the purpose of immigration is to provide succour for the persecuted rather than opportunity for the enterprising, and that we can truly do good only when we act against our interests, or when it costs us something tangible to do so. Not surprisingly, the demand for persecuted people produces a supply, since to claim persecution brings advantages, however small. That there is no infallible way to distinguish the genuine cases from the fraudulent ones causes the liberal sentimentalist no anxiety: he wants to feel generous, not to be generous.

It is mean-minded, with its

dismal, pessimistic view that wealth is static, not dynamic (a view very widespread in Britain), and that immigrants can only consume wealth, not create it. The mean-mindedness also partakes of the racist view that immigration is a cultural threat, because culture is passed on through the blood rather than through the mind. As extreme French nationalists have put it, no Jew can ever truly understand Racine, because his ancestors came from Poland or Russia rather than from Gaul.

(2001)

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