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 Rights will be superfluous because the collective welfare of the community—determined by the bureaucrats—will have superseded the rights of individuals…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, Continue reading “Does Diversity Really Unite Us? Citizenship and Immigration | Imprimis”

Hope Not Hate: anti-fascist authoritarianism | Free speech | spiked

Hope Not Hate: anti-fascist authoritarianism

“There has always been something paradoxical, even ironic, about so-called anti-fascist and anti-racist groups… These anti-fascist bodies are a reminder that people with unshakeable good intentions on their side are always the most dangerous.”

Source: Hope Not Hate: anti-fascist authoritarianism | Free speech | spiked

Online columnist Patrick West notes that

“There has always been something paradoxical, even ironic, about so-called anti-fascist and anti-racist groups. While ostensibly promoting peace, understanding and tolerance in the face of nasty and intolerant far-right groups, they have always seemed to contain an essence of authoritarianism and intolerance themselves – and even an undercurrent of menace…

“These anti-fascist bodies are a reminder that people with unshakeable good intentions on their side are always the most dangerous. People who believe they are fighting evil impose no boundaries upon themselves, because in their battle in the name of good, anything is permitted.”

Now, it seems, “the latest anti-fascist group, Hope Not Hate, which sounds caring and innocent enough… latest campaign has been to urge major booksellers Waterstones, WHSmith and Foyles to stop profiting from selling ‘dangerous books’ with ‘extreme hate content.'” Correctly noting that “the concept of ‘dangerous books’ is both babyish and ridiculous,” Mr. West points out, accurately, that

“It should strike us as ironic that anti-fascists are seeking to ban books in the name of promoting tolerance. What next? Burning books? But this shouldn’t surprise us. Paternal, power-crazy, anti-fascists have a long track record of self-righteous censoriousness. They’ve always feared the ill-educated, unwashed masses of people who might have had too much to think. They always mean well. And that’s what makes them so dangerous.”

Dangerous indeed! Referencing a number of recent cases of authorities in the UK tagging people for anti-PC “thought crimes,” Mr. West continues,

“Free speech means standing up for people you don’t care for, because if your enemies aren’t safe from the encroaching powers of the state, then you and you friends won’t be safe, either. You don’t have to be a libertarian fundamentalist to be worried about the state now prosecuting people for jokes.”

It has until recently been seen as self-evident, here in the U.S., that free speech is meaningless unless it also protects unpopular, even offensive speech. This consensus seems, sadly, to be fading even here, and it appears already to have gone by the wayside in the U.K. (which used to have a robust tradition of free speech, but sadly never one protected – as ours still is, however tenuously – by a written Constitution).

I am, in any case, reminded of C.S. Lewis’ famous dictum:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

Unfortunately, at the moment it seems that the tyrannical “omnipotent moral busybodies” are very much in the ascendant in today’s public square, aided and abetted by inaction on the part of those whose greatest fear is to be seen as being “intolerant.” But as the late great G.K. Chesterton observed, “Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.” Sadly, there seem to be many such men in the present age of the world.

“Tolerance is not a Christian virtue.”

Tolerance is not a Christian virtue

“We need to remember that tolerance is not a Christian virtue. Charity, justice, mercy, prudence, honesty — these are Christian virtues. And obviously, in a diverse community, tolerance is an important working principle. But it’s never an end itself. In fact, tolerating grave evil within a society is itself a form of serious evil. Likewise, democratic pluralism does not mean that Catholics should be quiet in public about serious moral issues because of some misguided sense of good manners. A healthy democracy requires vigorous moral debate to survive. Real pluralism demands that people of strong beliefs will advance their convictions in the public square — peacefully, legally and respectfully, but energetically and without embarrassment. Anything less is bad citizenship and a form of theft from the public conversation.”

– Archbishop Charles Chaput

What the Archbishop says about (Roman) Catholics applies to all other Christians, as well.