.@davidfrum aren’t gutsy people willing to take initiative and run risks for a better life just the immigrants any society needs?That reminds me of a plot device in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash lifted from Jean Raspail’s The Camp of the Saints: the Raft, a vast agglomeration of flotsam, inhabited by impoverished south and southeast Asian refugees drifting inexorably across the Pacific, headed for California. Stephenson’s description of The Raft is a pretty funny variation on the usual sentimental cant about how illegal immigrants have more gumption than us natives, and thus are just what us decadent Americans need:
— J. Bradford DeLong (@delong) April 20, 2015
When [the Raft] gets to California, it will enter a new phase of its life cycle. It will shed much of its sprawling improvised bulk as a few hundred thousand Refus cut themselves loose and paddle to shore. The only Refus who make it that far are, by definition, the ones who were agile enough to make it out to the Raft in the first place, resourceful enough to survive the agonizingly slow passage through arctic waters, and tough enough not to get killed by any of the other Refus. Nice guys, all of them. Just the kind of people you’d like to have showing up on your private beach in groups of a few thousand. [p. 272]But, hey, having your civilization, your homeland, overrun by desperadoes is a small price to pay for being Good for the Economy.