Category Archives: meanspiritedness

Europe’s cock-eyed immigration policy

It sentimentally assumes, writes Dalrymple,

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.

The policy is also 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.

Asset inflation as the principal source of wealth corrodes character

Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 00.05.06It not only undermines the traditional bourgeois virtues, writes Dalrymple. It

makes them ridiculous and even reverses them. Prudence becomes imprudence, thrift becomes improvidence, sobriety becomes meanspiritedness, modesty becomes lack of ambition, self-control becomes betrayal of the inner self, patience becomes lack of foresight, steadiness becomes inflexibility: all that was wisdom becomes foolishness. And circumstances force almost everyone to join in the dance….[It] is not an economic problem only, or even mainly, but one that afflicts the human soul.

(2009)