Posted on March 9, 2020

A Market or a Nation?

Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, March 9, 2020

In my cynical moments, I’ve said America isn’t a country, just a continent-wide shopping mall. Some powerful people seem to believe this too. Unlike me, they think it’s a good thing.

After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush should have immediately cracked down on immigration, especially visa overstays. Instead, he told families to go to Disney World. Before 2001, Islam was peripheral. Today, it is powerful, because Muslim immigration has greatly increased since 2001. Many Americans enlisted to defend the American way of life after September 11, but it seems they ended up defending GDP.

The most important issue in America today is immigration. Antifa, non-white radicals, leftist professors, and journalists are not the main problems. The real villains are the Chamber of Commerce and corporate America, which promote amnesty, guest workers, and more immigration. “Over the long term,” argued Noam Chomsky, “you can expect capitalism to be anti-racist — because it’s anti-human. . . . [I]dentifications based on race interfere with the basic ideal that people should be available just as consumers and producers, interchangeable cogs . . . .”

It’s debatable whether capitalism is “anti-human” or whether “capitalism” is capable of “wanting” anything. Communist or anarchist movements don’t seem “pro-human,” considering their bloody history. However, many corporate leaders and “conservatives” seem determined to prove Noam Chomsky right. They act as though they want people to be interchangeable cogs. Mark Zuckerberg’s lobbying group recently said that foreign graduates of American universities should be allowed to “begin the green card process immediately.”

Department of Homeland Security Acting Head Chad Wolf just approved 35,000 more foreign workers. In 2019, most Republicans supported a bill to increase green cards. The Trump White House was, until recently, quietly pushing another mass amnesty for illegal immigrants. Thus, we have Donald Trump’s Republican Party, which The Guardian solemnly informs us is ruled by “white supremacy,” calling for more non-white immigration to boost the economy. Probable Democratic nominee Joe Biden has called for “constant, unrelenting” immigration, even if it means whites become a minority, because it’s better from a “purely economic point of view.”

It’s doubtful whether mass immigration benefits the economy. Some specific people certainly benefit from lower wages — some of them benefit greatly — but workers are hurt. Immigration increases national output by some amount. However, that doesn’t mean “the nation” is benefiting — that output per capita is increasing, or that “the economy” on the whole is healthier.

Cheap labor can hold back progress because it lowers the incentive to develop labor-saving technology. “Unrelenting” immigration also creates a permanent underclass. This underclass must be supported by an expensive and inefficient welfare state, which the underclass naturally votes to expand. The “free market’s” greatest defenders enable their own dispossession through higher taxes.

Some paleolibertarians and paleoconservatives recognized that racial inequality meant that this class struggle would become a racial struggle. The non-white underclass would use state power to redistribute wealth on racial grounds. Once you think seriously about liberty and limited government, you must confront the racial question, which is why I and so many others went through “The Insidious Libertarian-to-Alt-Right Pipeline.” It’s not surprising Conservatism Inc. would prefer that we not think about these things.

I hoped that President Donald Trump’s 2016 victory would force the movement to debate these questions. Instead, while Conservatism Inc. leaders praise President Trump personally, they ignore the grievances that put him in office, especially immigration, outsourcing, and globalization. President Trump himself has disappointed us on many of these issues, but every other presidential candidate in 2016 would have been worse, with Ted Cruz a possible exception.

Speaking of Senator Cruz, he is “self-quarantining” after exposure to a CPAC attendee with the coronavirus. The White House has tightened visitor rules to protect President Trump and his staff. This is sensible, but confusing for the President’s supporters. He claimed earlier that the administration has a “perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan,” and suggested the coronavirus was the Democrats’ “new hoax,” now that the Russian conspiracy theory has fallen apart.

In fairness, President Trump was not saying that the virus itself was a hoax, but that the media and Democrats are trying to create hysteria. Also, if President Trump had addressed the nation when the epidemic began, many journalists and Democrats would probably be calling him alarmist or even racist, especially if he announced tougher travel and immigration restrictions. Al Jazeera just said European populists are using the virus “as a political tool” to close borders. I wish President Trump were the authoritarian some journalists think he is, and that he had closed our borders.

Instead, President Trump seems worried about the stock market. This is especially annoying because he’s a notorious germophobe. In The Art of the Deal, he recommended Americans adopt the Japanese custom of bowing, but he’s still shaking hands. In late February, President Trump said the stock market was “starting to look very good.” Top economic adviser Larry Kudlow recently told Americans to keep going to work and not to buy masks.

Yesterday, the President retweeted a picture of himself playing the violin — literally fiddling. Today, the Dow lost over 2,000 points, but President Trump downplayed the crisis and accused the “Fake News Media and their partner, the Democrat Party” of inflaming the situation “far beyond what the facts would warrant.” He suggested falling oil prices are “good for the consumer.” Comparing the coronavirus to the flu, he tweeted “life & the economy go on.” (Well, not for everyone.)

A trader reacts on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday. (Credit Image: © Wang Ying/Xinhua via ZUMA Wire)

It’s revealing that President Trump linked “life” to the “economy.” While many people want to blame the President personally, the Federal Reserve’s plans to increase cash offers to banks, and the Democrats’ proposals for expanding sick leave and unemployment insurance, show that almost everyone has the same priority: keep people spending. If people stay indoors, they don’t spend money. President Trump and his team will probably unveil new stimulus programs soon. This is the same thing President Barack Obama did during the Great Recession. Thrift, savings, and caution, which many of us would consider virtues, are dangerous to America’s economy. The nation must keep spending, lest “the economy” collapse. That means it is our patriotic duty to go shopping.

The economy is not the nation — something many conservatives have forgotten. Perhaps this is an opportunity for real conservatives to re-examine government’s purpose. It cannot be to encourage reckless spending, import millions more consumers, and encourage total freedom of movement. Disease — mankind’s oldest enemy — is making this impossible. Though leftists like to use the word “sustainable,” a really sustainable system would encourage local control, self-sufficiency, and limits to growth. Such a system could not co-exist with mass immigration. However much leftists hate to admit it, this is the system we need and what nature may force us to adopt.

I am not blaming President Trump for all this. He’s not the only one cheerleading globalization and consumerism. It’s almost the entire political class, including the leaders of both parties. Though historians and journalists romanticize Ellis Island, the turn-of-the-century immigration inspection station aggressively screened migrants for diseases. A responsible government knew that migrants could be carriers. Today, unknown millions camp on American soil. Neither party is serious about screening them, and the federal government catches and releases migrants exposed to diseases such as tuberculosis and leprosy, once thought eradicated from the developed world.

Quarantines and other containment methods assume we can stop potentially infected people from traveling. No one knows what diseases illegal infiltrators are carrying. Without real border control, no one knows.

A real national government calls on people to do their duty in an emergency. Ours tells us to go shopping. On a national and racial level, this leads to death. Thanks to the coronavirus, Americans may learn I’m not just using a metaphor.

Journalists and Democrats have been unfairly criticizing President Trump. Almost every other president would be trying to calm the public in the same way. That’s the problem. This is systemic, not personal. President Trump has been trying to buoy the stock market with self-assured blather. It won’t work. Now that that has failed, perhaps he can become the true national leader we hope he can be. His job is not to defend the market. His job is to defend us.