Quote Of The Day: Alien Nation—Immigration Policy "Truly Democratic"
March 22, 2007, 08:42 PM
A+
|
a-
Print Friendly and PDF
Time Magazine has put a lot of its articles online free, which makes it a useful historical reference. I was able to find a link to the story Peter Brimelow is quoting from in Alien Nation, and the writer, John Elson, hits all the usual notes:

Today, U.S. government policy is literally dissolving the people and electing a new one ....You can be for this or you can be against it. But the fact is undeniable.

"Still," Time magazine wrote in its Fall 1993 "Special Issue on Multiculturalism," "for the first time in its history, the U.S. has an immigration policy that, for better or worse, is truly democratic."[Sometimes the Door Slams Shut Thursday, Dec. 02, 1993 By John Elson]

As an immigrant, albeit one who came here rather earlier than yesterday and is now an American citizen, I find myself asking with fascination: what can this possibly mean? American immigration policy has always been democratic, of course, in the sense that it has been made through democratic procedures. Right now, as a matter of fact, it`s unusually undemocratic, in the sense that Americans have told pollsters long and loudly that they don`t want any more immigration; but the politicians ignore them.

I suspect that Time magazine ...must feel vaguely that "democracy" has something to do with everyone in the world being treated equally. (Which is not how current U.S. immigration policy actually treats them, but that`s a detail.) Their notion of democracy, in other words, has degenerated to the point where it is assumed to require invalidating the right to an independent existence of the very demos, people, community, that is supposed to be taking decisions on its own behalf. Democracy becomes self-liquidating, like the famous bird allegedly discovered by World War II aviators that flew around in ever-decreasing circles until it finally, remarkably, disappeared.

Personally, I doubt it will prove possible to run the United States, or any other society, on this principle. [Peter Brimelow, Preface to Alien Nation, Page xviii, 1995]