Tens of thousands of would-be immigrants are massing at the southern border. They’re coming for the good of the West (but are unlikely to appear before a judge as they have been told to). We know why they are coming: technology, commerce, opportunity—and liberty that only democratic capitalism has been successful enough to create. Why is this so hard to admit?
The scoffed-at biblical command to “subdue” nature sounds destructive, or at best gauche in today’s parlance. But it is Western capitalism that has conquered raw nature, mineral and water, to create this advanced society of ours. Science, medicine, art, culture, not to mention housing and food production, are all examples of subduing nature for good. Fossil fuels have lifted humans from charcoal burning to technology, mass production and sustenance for more and more people. The science of the West has created cleaner energy than the charcoal stoves of the developing world—and getting cleaner—and so has bettered human life. We have even given (or had stolen by) the Chinese a kind of capitalism.
The literal shorelines of Europe and North America have also been witnessing a migrant wave for some years now and the tide is only increasing. The worse of this results in the trafficking of human beings.
If we look at news for long enough we can shake ourselves from righteous self-humiliation to recognize we live in these pretty good places. I really think we need to think deeper than agent Smith in The Matrix:
“Human beings are a virus, a cancer of this planet.”
This is something the climate change activists believe. Our path to clean energy should be linked with making commitments to foster democracy, prosperity and realistic solutions like nuclear power.
Unfortunately, the systematic denigration of Western culture and progress has created a systematic dismantling of our security apparatuses. We are told border patrol agents are abusing potential immigrants, but forget the protection they afford when combating drugs, weapons and human trafficking.
My parents came from other countries. My dad couldn’t make it in England. Far from the more American-like Britain of today, England in the 70s was still rather conservative and stuffy. My grandmother was the old school Iron Lady who was strict with us. (I still loved it there.) But their migration was legal.
We should remind ourselves that the incoming citizens are coming for good reasons. The human surge is not only happening in the U.S.; it’s in every Western nation. But when we revile culture and progress and allow unlimited immigration, while simultaneously denigrating our progress, we are sowing our own destruction. The migrants are coming, but to a country that doesn’t know itself. We vaguely know that some of the Founding Fathers held slaves, but forget the “1776 Project.”
I think Agent Smith is wrong. We only lose ourselves and wake up in a grey, spiritless world if we hate ourselves. And that leads to consequences. You can’t tear down the values of Western cultures, which give human life value, and then have anything of value left.