The Grumpy Libertarian is not known for being shy about pointing out the evils of stereotyping. So with that in mind, read and understand that historical facts can be presented without prejudice by those who are objective. I’m going to lay out some realities and parallels that may seem to encourage stereotyping; not my intention. They may seem, too, to be deliberately pc in places. Again, not my intention, because offending often involves waking people up to what is real and what is happening.
In Ukraine, the already accomplished Russian subversion and seizure of the Crimea and the ongoing unsettling of and probable near-future invasion of eastern Ukraine have been aided by historical maneuvers and trends. We are just seeing the culmination of those.
In the Crimean Peninsula, Stalin deported, imprisoned, or outright killed millions of the Tatars who had lived there. He deliberately moved in ethnic Russa, Russians, to change the demographics of the region.
Later, through other Russian “administrations,” but still under the overall Soviet empire, that demographic shift was furthered by the huge naval base, Sevastopol, and the dependents and stay-behinds of the Russian naval and support personnel attached to it. The continuing ethnic change-over of the Crimea was encouraged by Russian-dominated governmental policy, and it is now obvious that the “empire of the proletariat” was actually an empire of Russian imperialism, disguised as unity.
Donets’k, in the east of Ukraine, is a center of coal and steel production, a sprawling urban concentration of facilities and skilled workers. Its ethnic shift was accomplished largely by soviet labor imports, and was facilitated by the area being on Russia’s border.
Russia’s oligarchy continued, even after the Soviet Union’s collapse, to have vast political and economic influence throughout Ukraine. The thieving, now-deposed and Russian-sheltered president, Yanukovych, laments his mistake of asking his Russian masters for troops to fend off a well-deserved ouster. But he did call for them, they did move in, and the Crimea is almost certainly a permanent Russian possession now. Putin saw a move to Western Europe, had the means (and obviously a lot of intelligence in place) to gut Ukraine of its Black Sea port, of its steel and coal infrastructures, and he did and is doing so. The Ukrainian mainland province just north of the Crimea is an important source of fresh water for Crimean use. It too has a sizable Russian-speaking population, and my grumpy guess is it too will be absorbed into Putin’s resurging empire.
Because those places and what is happening in them are in popular view, it may be useful to point out that similar preludes to takeover are going on elsewhere in the world. Historically, they have occurred frequently.
China seized upon Tibet, and lost no time in flooding the place with ethnic Han Chinese, to wrest away any possibility of the original population successfully freeing themselves. The Chi-Coms did the same thing in Mongolia. Neither of those places have any real prospect of freedom, ever again. Like Russia, where the apparatchiks of the former empire and their allies have become the new oligarchy, China’s communist party has become its new ruling class, controlling a quasi-capitalism that is always majority-owned by the party. (Read The Party.) Like Russia, there is a historical reality of mass slaughters, of ruthless enslavements, of disregard for human life and living. (Read No tears for Mao.) And like Russia, the long view is of resurgence of empire. Look at the South China Sea. Look at Taiwan.
Britain imported crown-loyal Protestants to ethnically modify Ireland. While the British Empire shed a river of blood on its own, it hadn’t the long term ruthlessness to maintain rule over all of Ireland or India. And as they have retreated to a pc nanny state culture, they are in the process of losing Scotland. Empires do recede . . . sometimes. But Ireland suffers from that piece of tyrannical manipulation still.
The Middle Eastern countries that could have absorbed displaced Palestinians in the fifties instead froze them into “refugee camps” that exist today. This is an ethnic time bomb, as the contained population of those camps continues to grow, as their perceived grievances are cultivated. (Read Patai’s The Arab Mind.) Israel confronts the reality that their neighbors are using ethnic flood tactics in a delayed maneuver. Millions of Palestinians are a burden on world charity and a looming time bomb for Israel.
Some ethnic (and cultural) shifts accompany empery. Others follow it. Some occur from economic reasons. Ireland provided many an immigrant to the United States fleeing sheer poverty at home. The same from Italy. Ellis Island saw millions pass through. Those legally emigrating populations absorbed, integrated, became American.
Now, there is another wave of immigration, driven by poverty in their almost-failed-state home countries. It is largely Mexican, but with significant numbers of people from desperate economies south of Mexico. I make no moral judgment of the folk who make up that wave; the vast majority of them are simply trying to better their lives and those of their families. Many of them almost literally went through hell to get here. (Read The Devil’s Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea.) I know there are still illegal immigrants coming from Ireland, from Italy, from China . . . but in this article I am discussing the majority consideration.
Because they are largely illegal immigrants, the majority of participants in this movement have made no commitment to our country, and the sheer danger of total breakdown of our educational and medical infrastructure is growing. They are mostly from economically poor demographics, have little education, lack language skills, and harbor ailments unaddressed or inadequately addressed in their homes. Because of religious conditioning or simple ignorance, they are reproducing differentially. (Which is making up a horrid facet of the situation, “anchor babies” and the differing citizenship statuses of family members.) Now I know that this list of disabilities was true of Irish and Italian immigrants too, but hand tools and manual labor are no longer at the core of our economy.
We had a similar situation during Reagan’s governorship. He made the error of granting amnesty, based on length of residence, yielding to a merciful impulse to let families stay together, to let people who had established residence and employment stay and become Americans. That error resulted in decades during which the legal and forgery industries flourished, fueled by the flood of newcomers trying to get in after the doors legally shut. It revealed that amnesty actively promulgates vastly increased illegal immigration. Hope of a further amnesty has been a major fuel for unsanctioned ingress ever since.
So we have several problems, with the looming populations of worldwide poverties and repressions creating a pressure of potential immigrants that is literally in the hundreds of millions. If we perform another amnesty, we get this huge group of people, already here, on the road to citizenship, but we open floodgates to the world. As long as we have tax-funded social supports in place and as long as poor humans want to come here, this pressure and potential for collapse will exist.
And now to my most serious points: California alone has at least twelve million illegals in residence. That is about as many of our low-end employment pool as are unemployed. Those illegals are fleeing true poverty and often are exploited for wages and conditions that American workers, with access to labor law enforcement, will not endure. Because they are illegal, they are subject to criminal exploitation as well, by the cartels and by the Latino gangs who run a prison/street subculture that is murderous, to put it mildly. They come from places where the police are enemies, and so there is damned little cooperation with, trust of, or reaching out to, law enforcement. As long as they are illegal, that will not change. If they are made legal as in Reagan’s amnesty, then we may as well write off any hope for our infrastructure, because it will inevitably be overwhelmed.
I see the creeping legalization of drivers’ licenses for illegals, of access to schools for their kids, of “refuge” cities, as being like the drunk who can’t go a day without booze. It is easy to yield to the merciful impulse. It is deadly to do so. Already there are immense tracts in California that have been ethnically and culturally changed. So what? I grew up hearing Spanish as often as English, learned to speak it myself, my Dad’s first wife was a Dominguez, I've a half-Latino brother. I cook my beans with chili peppers. The Mexican government has enough problems just now with cartels and rebellious populations and police corruption. It is unlikely to stage a takeover of Southern California a la Putin and the Crimea.
That said, there is a wide movement, racist (La Raza means The Race) and Mexican-nationalist (The Aztlan movement and others) brewing in the socialist element of the Chicano population which has been here for a long time. For them, that pool of illegal residents is cannon fodder. And Mexico is a corrupt oligarchy that could change fast.
Additionally, in our state the most powerful political players are the public unions, the Democratic Party they support, and they are all salivating at the prospect of a fast citizenship track for illegals, as they figure to get most of them. Socialism appeals best to the poor and uneducated. With fast track encitizening (yes, I just invented that word) we will never free ourselves from Brown, from the Yees and Calderons who infest our government.
What do I think we should do? Well, we can’t literally shove all the illegals we can catch back over our southern border as fast as we can catch them. We haven’t the uniformed personnel, the transport, a lot of them would be aliens in Mexico too, and some have kids or brothers and sisters who are legal American citizens. Many kids have been in our schools their entire lives, and except for their legal status, are already Americans in all but name.
We can strengthen border surveillance and illegal interdiction. Yes, that includes some more fencing. We can make getting caught infiltrating painfully miserable and unprofitable, with chain gang time. With DNA sampling, fingerprinting, etc. repeat offenses can cost years of unpaid work. We can make it not only illegal to hire illegals, but economically and legally dangerous to do so. That would contribute to voluntary relocation in many cases. We can offer humane and dignified transport to illegals who come forward seeking help to get home. We can establish a negative flow, as it were. And we can deport more vigorously those we do catch in any level of criminal activity. Of course all of that has been suggested elsewhere. We. Need.To. Do. It. All.
When we have those measures in place, we can do something like offering slow citizenship tracks to long-established, otherwise law-abiding illegals. But only then. And probably there should be some seasonal labor access. I worked with the Braceros when I was a teenager, in the orchards, and that arrangement was just fine for everyone until Cesar Chavez and his desire to control all Ca. Ag labor and enact a closed shop. I blame him for a lot of the current problem, and grumpily want to point out that he was a Brown supporter, and they were mutually enabling. I am old enough to remember Chavez using tax funds to build microwave towers at his union halls instead of the clinics the funds were intended for, and Brown and he trading campaigners. I still cannot understand why both men escaped jail.
California needs to wake up.