Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Immigrants Should Pay to Live Here

Two thousand years ago Roman citizenship was a prized thing. St. Paul once escaped a flogging because he was born with it. The official troubling St. Paul (who had put him in chains and was horrified to learn he had done it to a Roman citizen) said he had to buy his Roman citizenship – and it cost “a large sum.”

The United States should follow the lead of Rome and make immigrants purchase their citizenship. Because currently it’s free for immigrants to live here, getting citizenship means nothing to many of them.

When we let immigrants into this country for free they’re not going to appreciate the favor we’re doing them. Often they respond not with thankfulness but instead with ingratitude – witness that one particular march a few years ago in which millions of Mexicans paraded in the U.S. while waving Mexican flags.

One way around such problems is to reduce the number of immigrants and raise their quality by making them purchase American citizenship.

It’s been noticed for ages that when benefactors do favors for “disadvantaged” people they’re often met with ingratitude. It happens because when the more fortunate do favors for the less fortunate (and “fortunate” and “unfortunate” are not objective definitions but matters of opinion), they become the shocked targets of envy and hate.

Unfortunately, many immigrants don’t admire the U.S. and instead envy and hate it, so doing them favors by letting them in without paying any price and instead giving them gifts – welfare – isn’t going to eliminate that envy. These people, many of whom want to destroy this country, have to be kept out or else removed.

One reason they’re allowed in is out of guilt because they’re supposed to be Third Worlders “exploited” by the West. They envy us, so we feel guilty about it and try to expiate that guilt by letting them migrate into this country. Instead of the expected “thank you” from them the response instead is ingratitude.

“It is astounding that countless benefactors allow themselves to be persuaded over and over that ingratitude with the resulting hatred is a rare and special case,” writes Helmet Schoeck in his magisterial book, Envy.

The feds have done an awful job containing that envy. As far as I can tell, most bureaucrats and politicians don’t have the slightest clue what is happening. Their incompetence only illustrates Friedrich Hayek’s observation that in politics (and this includes bureaucracies), the worst get on top.

A lot of immigrants today resent the United States because they think they have been abused and exploited by the West – and therefore feel sorry for themselves – and are convinced we owe them debts that can never be repaid. It’s not a stretch at all to say they immensely enjoy their resentment and hate.

Nietzsche understood that ressentiment. In A Genealogy of Morals he wrote, “…the fundamental notion of moral ‘guilt’ has its origin in the material idea of ‘debt’…whose origins [are] thoroughly saturated with blood. The act of making another suffer by way of compensation for a debt unpaid seems to have produced the highest kind of pleasure, as if it were a kind of festival and to have ended in a kind of disinterested malignity.”

The more fortunate and successful are envied, on some level feel guilty about it, think they owe a debt, and so try to do favors for the less fortunate to cancel that debt, which backfires and often creates violence. You need look no further than the French Revolution, in which the envious mutilated and murdered (in that order) the upper classes.

We can fix the problem by making immigrants buy their American citizenship. If they want to move here they should have to pay us to obtain U.S. citizenship.

Immigrants should be required to have certain valuable skills to get into the U.S., pay a hefty fee to move here, learn the language and culture, and give up their own. That automatically reduces the pool of unqualified immigrants and makes sure only the most valuable get in.

If every country was to sell its citizenship, supply-and-demand would rapidly establish which countries were really worth emigrating into. Ideally, this is predicated on each country being free-market (and I cannot stress this enough) with no welfare for immigrants.

There is an additional benefit to making immigrants pay for their citizenship. Some American companies – and shame on them for their treason – are replacing highly-paid American workers with cheaper foreign workers, say, replacing American software developers with those from India.

Now, if those Indians (or their companies) had to pay $500,000 for those Indians to become citizens (or even work in America), the economics of importing those workers would change in an instant.

Multiculturalism – letting immigrant groups maintain separate identities and not assimilating – is cultural suicide. There has never been a case in the past in which it worked. It doesn’t work in the U.S. currently, and it’s not going to work, ever.

Kierkegaard regarded envy and stupidity as the two greatest forces in society. He looks to be right to me. I have found operating on his two observations makes it a lot easier to understand just how asinine government policy is in dealing with ethnic groups – or, as I call them, tribes.

Make American citizenship a prized, valuable thing again, and the immigrants chosen to live here will admire us and be thankful for it. These days, because of our open borders, the envious and hate-filled flooding into this country hold it in contempt and spurn American citizenship as worthless.

1 comment:

PunkyMD said...

Bob, I agree 100%.