I’ll leave New Yorker and Literary Review for another time. What was the Economist telling us to think those last weeks of summer?
The August 2nd issue has a finger-wagging piece headed: “Race and religion in South-East Asia—The plural society and its enemies.”
Furnivall’s original description of the plural society is very different from the way “pluralism” has come to be understood in the West. Rather than referring approvingly to a rainbow of ethnicities choosing freely to live together, Furnivall coined the term to criticise the imposition of immigrant races on indigenous societies in the name of commerce and free trade.The nerve of the guy! But people were such racists back then.
The British and Dutch empires in the region imported great numbers of Chinese and Indians into what are now Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Burma. Many of the Indians who went to Burma, a Buddhist country, were Muslims.
With the colonial powers keeping the peace, all that diversity generated much wealth.
But as Furnivall saw it, the wealth came mostly at the expense of the indigenous Burmans in Burma, the Malays in Malaysia, the Javanese in Java and so on. Indeed, many such groups felt themselves to be elbowed aside by foreigners who came in under colonial protection … Colonial protection was the chief impediment to immigrants being attacked by resentful indigenous peoples …Once that protection was withdrawn the diversity caused, and is still causing, no end of trouble (some of which we have imported to the U.S.A. via our refugee resettlement programs).
In multiracial societies, you don’t vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion.What’s to be done? Well, these societies must embrace their pluralism, which is good, as they’d see if they’d only start thinking right.
Nearly all the evidence points to the benefits of diversity and immigration in terms of innovation and productivity.Of course it does! Why won’t they listen?
The next, August 9th, Economist caused something of a stir with its long, detailed cover story on the economics of prostitution, with charts comparing prices for different cities, races, physiques, and “specific services.”
The internet has shaken up the sex trade, allowing for more independence.
It also means more time, effort and expertise put into marketing. “You need a good website, lots of great pictures, you need to learn search-engine optimization … it’s exhausting at times,” she [Ana, a Spanish-American erotic masseuse who works in America and Britain] says. [More bang for your buck: How new technology is shaking up the oldest business, Economist, August 9, 2014.]Hasn’t it always been somewhat exhausting?
There is an immigration angle:
Large-scale migration is another reason prices are falling. Big, rich cities are magnets for immigrants of all professions, including sex workers. Nick Mai of London Metropolitan University has studied foreign sex workers in Britain. He has found that as they integrate and get used to the local cost-of-living, their rates tend to rise. But where the inward flow is unceasing, or where the market was previously very closed, immigrants can push prices down.So “unceasing” immigration lowers wages? Who knew?
Most surprising to me was the education premium:
A degree appears to raise earnings in the sex industry just as it does in the wider labour market … Graduates earned on average 31% more than non-graduates.That suggests a play on one of Dr. Johnson’s apothegms: What the ladies gain at one end they also gain at the other.
Landfall for illegal immigrants from Africa and the Middle East is the Southern European countries. Italy, for example:
The number of people arriving in Italy by sea this year may already exceed 100,000. By the end of July approximately 93,000 migrants had been rescued. The previous record for an entire year was set in 2011 when around 60,000 people reached Italian shores at the height of the Arab Spring …Greece:
Migrant arrivals by sea doubled in the first six months of this year to more than 25,000, according to Greek police, though this number only covers those they picked up. Most of the new arrivals were Syrians and Iraqis …Spain:
This week more than 1,200 illegal migrants crossed the sea from Morocco to Spain within two days …But:
Their ultimate destination is usually further north. [A surge from the sea: Illegal migration is causing strains across the continent, Economist, August 16th.]The southern Europeans are only too glad to help illegals on their way to the more prosperous welfare states.
In 2013, for example, German officials accused Italians of slipping refugees [Huh? What happened to “illegal migrants”?—JD] money so they could travel to Germany. [Europe’s huddled masses: Rich countries must take on more of the migration burden, Economist, same issue.]The magazine’s advice to the Europeans is to share the burden more fairly, via a system “whereby member states who have few asylum seekers [sic]—Poland, for example—take more.”
How this can be squared with free movement between member states—the Economist ideal, and a reality in the Schengen Zone, to which 22 of the 28 EU member nations belong—is not explained.
Nor are Economist readers told why the illegal migrants/refugees/asylum seekers—most of whom, to judge from the pictures, are healthy young men decently well dressed—should not be landed back on the shores from whence they embarked.
Settling any of these people in Europe will only encourage more to come, as enclaves and networks are established.
The supply is limitless. This same issue of the Economist has an article on the population explosion in the West African nation of Niger:
In 2012, when the worst of the recent food crises ravaged the Sahel region, almost a quarter of Niger’s population was said to be going hungry, prompting desperate relief campaigns by international donors.How many “asylum seekers” does Europe want?
This perpetual food crisis is compounded by doggedly high fertility rates. With an average of 7.6 children per woman, Niger has the world’s highest rates. [Population explosion: Runaway birth rates are a disaster, Economist, August 16th.]
Parking himself in the front-room of a house in Poynder Road, a row of modest 1930s houses, your columnist listened at length to the views of his hosts, a pair of hospitable Labour [Party] activists, and their neighbours. They were united in resentment of the immigrants, mostly west Africans and Poles, recently come to the town. “Why aren’t they all on a slow boat to China?” asked one …Perhaps not; but surely it’s worth a try.
Some of the ill will was generated by the usual autochthonous meanness—especially over the immigrants’ equal right to public housing. [My italics—JD] Yet mainly it arose from a deep and justified sense of inferiority. Immigrants are prominent commuters from Tilbury station, admitted one, “because they’re better educated than us” and, said another, “because they work damn hard”. Let UKIP cram the slow boat to the gunwales: it will not salve this insecurity. [The trials of life in Tilbury: Poor and demoralised, a Thames-side town stands for Britain’s white working class, Economist, August 16th.]
And for sheer autochthonous meanness, I must say, it’s hard to beat a professional journalist sneering at his poorer fellow citizens for believing that they have a better claim than immigrants on their nation’s stock of public housing. But that’s the Economist for you.
(Two issues later the Economist, unusually for them, published a reader’s letter pushing back against the magazine’s immigration boosterism and contempt for low-class native whites. Writing from a Tilbury address, reader David Bissenden observes that: “High levels of immigration have also had an impact in Tilbury, but as usual the media chooses simply to put anyone who questions high immigration into the bigot box and walks away … Tilbury will carry on, and weather the storm of bad publicity that the metropolitan elite rains upon it. [Letters, Economist, September 6, 2014])
The next issue of the magazine, dated August 23rd, returns to the topic of African population growth:
The number of Africans under 18 may swell by two-thirds, to reach almost a billion by 2050, even if child-mortality rates remain relatively high. The new figures assume a reduction in fertility rates over time, as prosperity increases …Not to worry, though:
Africa’s total fertility rate—the number is children a woman can expect to have in her lifetime—is 4.7. The figure in America is 2.0; in East Asia 1.7.
Africa remains a relatively empty continent. It covers a quarter of the globe’s land mass but hosts only 15% of its population. Asia, the most densely populated as well as most populous continent, has 137 people per square kilometre. Africa has 39. There should be room for more Africans. [Africa’s population: Can it survive such speedy growth?, Economist, August 23, 2014.]Fingers crossed, then.
The Economist is the authentic voice of the globalist Right: Whiggish optimism, genteel snobbery, and ill-suppressed irritation at the stubborn inability of the general populace to see what’s good for them, even when the illuminati of the economics profession have been spelling it out for them week after week.
It is the voice of our masters: of those who get their way in matters of national policy, or at least are much more likely to get their way than are the proles of Tilbury.
This is their world; we just live in it.
John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him. ) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. His most recent book, published by VDARE.com com is FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle).His writings are archived at JohnDerbyshire.com.
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