Does Diversity Really Unite Us? Citizenship and Immigration | Imprimis

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Historically, constitutional government has been found only in the nation-state, where the people share a common good and are dedicated to the same principles and purposes.

Source: Does Diversity Really Unite Us? Citizenship and Immigration – Imprimis

What we are up against, continued – in the words of Dr. Edward J. Erler (whose bio lends him considerable credibility on this issue):

“In the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump appealed to the importance of citizens and borders. In other words, Trump took his stand on behalf of the nation-state and citizenship against the idea of a homogeneous world-state populated by ‘universal persons.’ In appealing directly to the people, Trump succeeded in defeating both political parties, the media, political professionals, pollsters, academics, and the bureaucratic class. All these groups formed part of the bi-partisan cartel that had represented the entrenched interests of the Washington establishment for many years. Although defeated in the election, the cartel has not given up. It is fighting a desperate battle to maintain its power.

“Historically, constitutional government has been found only in the nation-state, where the people share a common good and are dedicated to the same principles and purposes. The homogeneous world-state—the European Union on a global scale—will not be a constitutional democracy; it will be the administration of ‘universal personhood’ without the inconvenience of having to rely on the consent of the governed. It will be government by unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats, much like the burgeoning administrative state that is today expanding its reach and magnifying its power in the United States. ‘Universal persons’ will not be citizens; they will be clients or subjects. Rights will be superfluous because the collective welfare of the community—determined by the bureaucrats—will have superseded the rights of individuals…

“In support of all this, we are asked to believe something incredible: that the American character is defined only by its unlimited acceptance of diversity. A defined American character—devotion to republican principles, republican virtue, the habits and manners of free citizens, self-reliance—would in that case be impermissibly exclusive, and thus impermissibly American. The homogeneous world-state recognizes only openness, devotion to diversity, and acceptance as virtues. It must therefore condemn exclusivity as its greatest vice. It is the nation-state that insists on exclusive citizenship and immigration policies that impose various kinds of restrictions.”

It will be no mystery to any reader of this blog upon which side of this divide I have pitched my tent! Furthermore, Dr. Erler asks,

“Our progressive politicians and opinion leaders proclaim their commitment to diversity almost daily, chanting the same refrain: “Diversity is our strength.” This is the gospel according to political correctness. But how does diversity strengthen us? Is it a force for unity and cohesiveness? Or is it a source of division and contention? Does it promote the common good and the friendship that rests at the heart of citizenship? Or does it promote racial and ethnic division and something resembling the tribalism that prevents most of the world from making constitutional government a success?”

Again, my answer to this question should come as no surprise to my readers.

The idea that “diversity is our strength,” the “gospel according to political correctness,” as Dr. Erler so accurately describes it, is an assertion, not a self-evident truth; it is, furthermore, an assertion which does not enjoy any overwhelming evidence in support – in fact, there is much to the contrary.

A fair-minded assessment of the last fifty years or so in this country could hardly help but conclude that our ever-increasing diversity, far from being a strength, has been, as Dr. Erler suggests, a source of social, political, and cultural chaos:

“Greater diversity means inevitably that we have less in common, and the more we encourage diversity the less we honor the common good. Any honest and clear-sighted observer should be able to see that diversity is a solvent that dissolves the unity and cohesiveness of a nation—and we should not be deceived into believing that its proponents do not understand the full impact of their advocacy!

I would assert – with, it seems fair to say, Dr. Erler – that it is homogeneity and cohesiveness that are sources of strength; that those societies which have lasted longest have been the most cohesive and homogeneous. But what does that mean?

I have argued on a number of occasions, and in a number of fora – and do so again, here – that there are a limited number of pillars, or foundation stones, that under-gird a stable society. These include a common racial and/or ethnic heritage, a common language, a common religion, a common history, a common culture, and respect for common institutions – governmental and otherwise. There are probably others, but these seem to me to be the major ones.

It is certainly not the case that a stable society is required to have each and every one of these, in full measure. Indeed, even stable societies change over time, in various ways; cultures and people are not insects preserved in amber. But it equally certainly is the case that the fewer of these characteristics or factors tending toward unity which a given society holds in common, the weaker the forces binding it together, and the greater the forces tending to its fragmentation and dissolution.

And right now, we seem to have darned few of them, and getting fewer all the time… and the few we have, are under near-constant assault from the militant Left, doggedly chipping away at the foundations. As Dr. Erler points out,

“Diversity, of course, marches under the banner of tolerance, but is a bastion of intolerance. It enforces its ideological liberalism with an iron fist that is driven by political correctness, the most ingenious (and insidious) device for suppressing freedom of speech and political dissent ever invented.”

Indeed. There is much more here worth noting – much! – so again, as I so frequently comment: read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest. I would that this essay could be read by everyone in this country, and especially by all those who care about rights, freedom, justice, and national sovereignty. Please read, and share! I conclude with a final quote:

“Immigration policies should serve the interests of the American people and of the nation—they should not be viewed as acts of charity to the world. Putting America first is a rational goal. It is the essence of sovereignty. And the sovereign nation-state is the only home of citizenship—as it is the only home of constitutional government.”

Dr. Elrer’s bio: “Edward J. Erler is professor emeritus of political science at California State University, San Bernardino. He earned his B.A. from San Jose State University and his M.A. and Ph.D. in government from the Claremont Graduate School. He has published numerous articles on constitutional topics in journals such as Interpretation, the Notre Dame Journal of Law, and the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. He was a member of the California Advisory Commission on Civil Rights from 1988-2006 and served on the California Constitutional Revision Commission in 1996. He is the author of The American Polity and co-author of The Founders on Citizenship and Immigration.


Author: The Anglophilic Anglican

I am an ordained Anglican clergyman, published writer, former op-ed columnist, and experienced outdoor and informal educator. I am also a traditionalist: religiously, philosophically, politically, and socially. I seek to do my bit to promote and restore the Good, the True, and the Beautiful, in a world which has too-often lost touch with all three, and to help re-weave the connections between God, Nature, and humankind which our techno-industrial civilization has strained and broken.

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