James Fulford writes: This welcome discussion of Alien Nation brings back a number of memories, one of which is reading the book myself, some years before I started working for VDARE.com. Some of our readers are old enough to remember the 90s, some weren’t born until the 21st century, so it’s important to repeat these things for the new generation. Thanks to Greg Johnson and Counter-Currents for publishing this and allowing us to crosspost it. We’ve added helpful hyperlinks. Alien Nation is still available on Kindle.
“Is it really wise to allow the immigration of people who find it so difficult and painful to assimilate into the American majority?”—Peter Brimelow
In retrospect, the years of the Clinton administration were baffling. On the surface, the Democratic Party’s insane-asylum wing appeared to be ascendant. All the while, under the surface, conservative ideas moved from political success to success.
The best thing that came out of the Clinton administration was the 1994 Crime Bill. Today, Black Lives Matter and Antifa terrorists decry it. Their criticism lies in the simplicity of what it did and the extraordinary results it produced. To put it bluntly, the bill put sub-Saharans in prison for a long time. Crime plummeted; the bill ended a three-decade crime wave. For those too young to have experienced it, crime was really rampant until the mid-1990s. One could hear gunfire at all hours in every large city in the United States, and there was at least one homeless person panhandling in an intimidating manner in every supermarket parking lot.
While the Crime Bill was a work of good government, the Clinton administration also started a process which hollowed out America’s remaining industrial heartland. In the 1990s, every small town in the Midwest had a factory; by the early 2000s, those factories were closed, having been outsourced to China. Opiates also made inroads into Middle America, addicting and killing thousands.
There was also a surprising openness during the Clinton years regarding issues that white advocates care about. This was a time when Jared Taylor was being featured on CSPAN. Another person who made an appearance there was Peter Brimelow. He was interviewed by Charlie Rose about his book Alien Nation. I watched that interview and shortly thereafter went to a bookstore where the book was prominently featured. I picked it up and devoured it.
I was already aware of the problems with immigration. As a small child, I briefly lived in Miami during the Mariel boatlift and never forgot that immigration-fueled disaster. To have someone validate what I’d noticed as a child on an outlet like CSPAN was notable.
Alien Nation is the most important book to have been published in the 1990s. It shows the second of the twin disasters that originated in the Johnson administration, which continue on today. The first was “Civil Rights” and the second was the 1965 Immigration Act.
The 1965 Immigration Act
The 1965 Immigration Act is the most unnecessary and self-destructive law passed in the United States since the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Part of the reason for this lunacy was that the American political elite of the 1960s was unlike that of the generation before it. After the First World War, many of that conflict’s army captains went on to prominent careers in politics and industry while being full-blown white advocates. The generation that fought the Second World War, however, “emerged from the war passionately concerned to cleanse itself from all taints of racism or xenophobia.” This self-imposed angst led to what Brimelow calls “Hitler’s Revenge.” By cleansing themselves of “racism and xenophobia,” they created an immigration policy which led to social disruptions and wars.
There are two key points which make immigration a problem. The first is that of the nation and the nation-state. A nation is a group of people who have a shared ancestry, or who at least believe they have a shared ancestry. A nation-state is a government which rules the territory in which a nation resides. The second point is that immigration is not a natural phenomenon; it is a result of government policy.
It is the specific workings of the 1965 Immigration Act that is the problem. In the first case, the act created an environment in which it has been too easy for people to illegally immigrate. Then there is legal immigration. The Act skews immigration heavily towards the Third World. As a result, America is becoming less white.
That is partially because the Act treats every country equally, no matter how different that population is from the historic (white) American nation. There is an overall cap on immigration—mostly illusory, as immigration usually exceeds the cap—and each nation receives a portion of that cap, no matter the size of that nation’s population. Monaco, a tiny city-state, receives as many immigrant quota slots as China. Should a country split apart, such as when Pakistan and Bangladesh parted ways, what was previously Pakistan now gets double the slots. Each immigrant can then apply to be reunified with his family, which takes up places in the total cap. The first people to get in the door keep fulfilling their quota, and they push any latecomers aside. None of these quotas takes into account their useful skills or the needs of Americans.
Refugee flows are another matter. They are not included in the overall immigrant quota. Refugees are alleged to be fleeing famine, oppression, and war. They immediately qualify for welfare benefits. Some groups, such as the Cubans, have carved out a niche for themselves and are outside the general set of rules for refugees. Nearly all refugee cases are fraudulent. Refugees from Somalia routinely return to their native land, for example; they’re not afraid of anything there. Other refugees include the people who are doing the oppressing. After the Rwandan genocide, many of the killers wound up in the United States.
The straitjacket that is the 1965 Immigration Act creates all sorts of idiotic legalistic dodges to allow favored groups in. The “Diversity Lottery” brings in various groups with no connection to the American people and who have no economic skills. There are other swindles as well. In the 1980s, Senator Ted Kennedy engineered the Irish Sweepstakes to secure the places for illegal Irish immigrants.
There were critics of immigration reform in 1965, but they were few. Additionally, the law was passed in a deceptive way. Its backers insisted there would not be major demographic changes. Those in power in the 1980s and 1990s also came of age at a time when America had few immigrants. Senior senators couldn’t even see the problem out of sheer intellectual inertia.
This is unique in American history. Brimelow shows that there have been many lulls in immigration which allowed Irish, German, and Italian immigrants to fully assimilate. Many of those who arrived between the 1880s and the First World War also returned to their homelands; Italians, Greeks, and Swedes worked in the States for a time and then returned home with money and new skills. Asian immigration was controversial and was stopped almost as soon as it started. Immigration from traditional sources in Europe, mainly England, remained constant.
Immigration has a “Civil Rights” dimension which makes the problem more difficult to address politically. Since 1965, many immigrants have been non-white, and accusations of racism have become so powerful that politicians simply flee from the battlefield. This is ironic, because immigration in fact displaces sub-Saharans in the workforce. Already in the nineteenth century, the Irish displaced sub-Saharans across the North.
Immigration has also become part of a toolkit for hostile groups to use against Americans. Many immigration enthusiasts are deliberately importing foreign peoples in order to damage white communities. Minnesota, for example, has not been helped by inflows of Somali and Hmong.
Immigration has consequences
The first consequence of immigration is to increase domestic tensions within the United States. Diverse societies are no less bigoted than homogeneous ones. The German ethnonationalist Adolf Hitler spent his formative years in Vienna, a city “where Germans were a minority exposed to Slavs, Magyars and Jews from the shtetls of Galicia.” It was in Vienna where anti-Semitism became a viable electoral force.
Anti-Semitism is not a force in American politics—yet—but the trend of racial tensions continues. Ethnicity and demography is destiny in America. Brimelow writes:
Ethnic identity is always the simplest way to organize [political and electoral] support. This is particularly true when it reflects genuine cultural differences, which mean there are even more irritating points of friction to get angry about. When supreme power in the society is in strong hands, these ethnic differences often remain quiescent. The Greek and Turkish Cypriots fought relatively little when Britain ruled Cyprus, for example. The Armenians and Azerbaijanis put up with each other, more or less, when the Caucasus were under the Soviet Union. Trouble began when these imperial umpires quit. Then each ethnic group saw a chance of grabbing power for itself—or a threat that its rivals might.
Brimelow predicts that as the white voting bloc is reduced, there will be an intense incentive for enterprising politicians, including whites, to organize politically. Each election will become nothing more than a racial headcount. “Ethnic bigotry” will be the premium political card.
Looking back at the historical record, it is clear that ethnic and racial tensions often tear up nations across the world. Eritrea split off from Ethiopia in 1993. Czechoslovakia broke apart that same year. The Soviet Union splintered along ethnic lines in 1991. Lebanon hasn’t broken apart, but it is continuously at war along ethno-sectarian lines. Cyprus divided in 1974.
Other nations have not fallen apart entirely, but have considerable internal troubles. India suffered a Sikh rebellion in the 1980s. Belgium is nearly ungovernable due to tensions between the Flemish and Walloons. Canada has the Quebec question. Brazil has secessionists in the white south of the country. Even Switzerland suffered a civil war along ethnic lines in the 1840s.
Yugoslavia and polity
When this book was published, the entire world was watching a ferocious war unfolding in Yugoslavia. The reason for the bloodshed was that Yugoslavia was not a nation-state. Instead it was a polity, an artificial creation made up of several small but fierce nations with long-standing historical grievances against each other. Once the ideological glue of Communism dissolved and the infusions of economic aid from both the Free World and the Soviet Union dried up, the polity was torn to pieces. The war was so disruptive that NATO and Russia intervened and there was genuine concern that the conflict could become World War III. Islamic nations also provided supplies and aid to the Bosnian and Albanian Muslims.
Immigration flows are bipolar. On the one hand, tech companies import educated Asians as indentured servants to write code; on the other, large numbers of semiliterate workers are also coming. This is an extremely unstable situation, socially speaking.
Due to vast racial differences, assimilation is clearly hopeless, and the economic productivity of less skilled immigrants will likely not improve matters domestically. Mexico is wealthy compared to Africa, but not compared to Europe or the rest of North America. This is because human factors play a critical role in economic productivity. Germans do well wherever they settle; sub-Saharans and Hispanics—indios and mestizos, that is—do poorly. That is because the economic formula for national success is as follows:
Labor x Capital x ?????? = Economic Growth
?????? is the cultural factors which are hard to accurately measure outside simple concepts like “Germans are productive” and “sub-Saharans/mestizos” are less productive.
Immigration is unnecessary for economic growth. It does shift money from labor to capital, but only for some capitalists. For example, wealthy people have unnecessary horse farms run by Mexican laborers. These farms could be converted to something less labor-intensive and more economically valuable, but the horse farmer is subsidized by the government’s policy of immigration, which provides cheap labor.
In other words, America is transforming itself demographically for nothing.
President Clinton read Alien Nation when it first came out, and was allegedly influenced by the book. There was bipartisan support for immigration reform shortly after it was published. Some reforms were in fact made. Welfare for refugees was cut in some cases, and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 was passed. Enforcement against illegal immigration was gutted, however. One possible reason for this was that NAFTA put Mexican corn farmers out of business. The U.S. government then connived with Mexico to allow the newly unemployed farmers to work in the States.
Then there was the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building in 1996. The perpetrators were “right-wing” anti-government activists—white men who were military veterans. The lead perpetrator was highly decorated. The media went into a frenzy denouncing anything “right wing.”
The Oklahoma City bombing is a case study on why illegal violent activity is counterproductive. President Clinton was foundering politically. The FBI, America’s version of the Stasi, was facing vicious criticism for its deadly and pointless actions at Ruby Ridge and Waco. It was even possible to get race-realist metapolitcal content onto mainstream cable television programs.
But after the bombing, Clinton rebounded. The FBI became heroes, and public sympathy was overwhelmingly supportive of the ordinary, mid-grade government employees in the heartland who had been killed in the bombing along with the children who had been in the building’s daycare center. Right-wing views became like leprosy—for a time, at least. Promotion of Alien Nation dried up. One must wonder what would have happened had the Oklahoma City bombers had been Muslims instead.
We will never know. Immigration reformed stalled. The 9/11 terror attacks were, strictly speaking, acts carried out by illegal immigrants, but the Bush administration continued to support unchecked immigration flows. They even proposed plans that connected a “willing worker” (i.e., an illegal immigrant) with a “willing employer.” Bush likewise pushed for several amnesties for illegal immigrants during his dismal presidency.
Nevertheless, the mood had shifted, due in no small part to Alien Nation. In fact, the book blazed a trail for a whole series of publications on immigration restriction over the following few years. As an example of the change in mood, the political class supported Bush’s amnesty proposals, but these amnesties were defeated by grassroots opposition. One such proposal generated so many negative phone calls that the telephone switchboard in the Capitol went haywire. Senator Lindsey Graham claimed that during a second amnesty attempt the effort likewise failed due to intense grassroots resistance.
Another event also aided the restrictionists. The old guard that had supported immigration started to die out. This didn’t lead to any noticeable change at first, but restrictionist Congressmen soon started to appear. In 2016, Donald Trump, a reality TV star with no political experience, won the presidency entirely due to his focus on restricting immigration.
The liberals, especially white liberals, went nuts during Trump’s presidency. Donald Trump was the first presidential candidate to win in spite of accusations of racism, a factor Brimelow predicted with his remarks regarding a premium for “bigotry.”
Trump’s presidency was cut short in 2020 due to election fraud. His replacement, a senile Democrat named Joe Biden, has overturned as many of Trump’s immigration restrictions as possible. This has led to a border crisis. Biden’s popularity is plummeting in no small part due to this disaster. For its part, the Republican Party has moved to become the party of whites. All of this was predicted by Brimelow in Alien Nation.
One thing that was not recognized at the time the book was written was the coming shift in attitudes in the Tex-Mex region of the Southwest, especially Texas. Brimelow discussed America’s regional differences in depth in the book, but he left out the unique nation of the Southwest. In 2012, Colin Woodard called the area El Norte, consisting of the Spanish-settled region that stretches as far north as Pueblo, Colorado, as well as the U.S. southern border and Mexico’s northern states.
As long as immigration into the Southwest came from northern Mexico, there was very little pushback on immigration. Once immigration started from points further south, many Tex-Mex voters switched from the Democratic Party to the Republicans.
It is extremely ironic that the Bush administration thought loose immigration enforcement would woo Tex-Mex voters into the GOP when the opposite was true. Immigration restriction is highly popular; the pro-immigration elite is out of touch with reality.
Brimelow, who later established VDARE to propagate his ideas, concludes his book thusly:
Deep into the twenty-first century . . . American patriots will be fighting to salvage as much as possible from the shipwreck of their great republic [from mass non-white immigration]. It will be a big wreck, and there will be a lot to salvage. But the struggle must be contrasted sadly with the task of completing the “Great Society” upon which Americans were encouraged to think they were embarking in 1965. And the politicians and pundits who allowed this to happen truly deserve, and will certainly receive . . . the curses of those who come after.
Morris van de Camp [Email him] is a frequent contributor to Counter-Currents, where he writes mostly about American history.