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Willie, Nay. Apu, Aye

Not the future of Scotland, says Parag Khanna (Source)

Here’s a piece from The Herald, a Scottish newspaper, in which Parag Khanna, one of the world’s top experts on migration, says that Scotland’s future is Asian. Excerpts:

Europe should view mass migration not just as a benefit but a lifeline, Khanna believes. The West’s entire discussion around migration is cock-eyed, he feels. We have low birth rates, ageing populations, not enough workers – especially to care for our growing elderly populations – and plenty of space. “Europe should be competing in a cut-throat manner to recruit as many smart Asians as possible.”

Instead, Europe has seen the rise of anti-immigrant nationalist and populist politics. “You cannot simultaneously hold that labour shortages are becoming more acute and also hold that populism remains an immutable force because the truth is that the more painful the demographic and therefore fiscal circumstances become, the more likely it is that populism will have to bend to economic realities,” Khanna says.

“We tend to default towards this view that national identity and anti-immigration postures are the persistent norm and everything will have to hold and wait until a Great Enlightenment transpires. That’s not at all the case. If that were true Germany wouldn’t be the mass-migration country it is today.”

Around one million migrants arrive in Germany each year, and 13.7 million people are first-generation migrants. Recent elections saw Germany swing to the left with an SPD-Green-Liberal coalition, and the collapse of the hard-right anti-migrant AfD. That proves, says Khanna, that “populism is more bark than bite”.

In fact, says Khanna, “populism is complete bull****”. Italy, he points out, “has more migrants than when Matteo Salvini [the right-wing anti-migrant populist leader] was at the peak of his powers”. Khanna notes that after Brexit, demographics and worker shortages now mean “it’s factually easier to migrate to Britain as a young Asian than it was five years ago – and right under Trump’s nose, America became more diverse, more mixed race. We should really view populism for the political blip it is”.


Western democracies need to change their policies for “pragmatic, rational and self-interested” reasons. If the West continues to adopt anti-immigrant policies, despite the economic and demographic pressures, migrants will still come anyway, only in an uncontrolled, dangerous manner, as we’ve seen in the English channel. Economics and demographics mean eventually “Britain is going to wind up reverting to pro-immigration norms”. Canada, with its liberal policies, “says more about the future of the West than Hungary does”.

The media has skewed the conversation on migration, Khanna believes: concentrating more on bogeymen like Hungary’s authoritarian populist Viktor Orban than Canada’s liberal Justin Trudeau.

Focusing on Orban flies in the face “of the nature of reality”. Says Khanna: “Canada absorbs more people in a few years than the entire population of Hungary; Orban is on his way out, and nobody wants to go to Hungary anyway. We put all this attention on a peripheral loser rather than the greatest mass-migration story of the 21st century: Canada. Shame on us for that. We do ourselves a great disservice.”

This is key:

In Singapore, where “there’s practically one Filipino care-giver for every old person”, neglect of the elderly would be scandalous. “Old people are treated with the kind of dignity [the West] can only dream about.” Clearly, though, Singapore is far from a free, democratic society.

With demographic destiny staring the West in face, Europeans, says Khanna, “should actually be the most pro-immigrant people in the world. You should want your parents to have a Filipino nurse in Dresden so you can in good conscience go and be a millennial living in Berlin”.

Read it all.

St. Theresa of Calcutta once said, about abortion: “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

We could say: It is a poverty to decide that a culture and civilization must die so that you may in good conscience go and be a millennial living in Berlin.”

The reader who sent me that interview from Scotland said that it’s like The Camp of the Saints, except the immigrant invasion is portrayed as a good thing. He’s right about that. You’ll recall that The Camp of the Saints is that dystopian French novel from 1973 depicting a mass invasion of France by Third World migrants, who are welcomed by the French establishment, and resisted with violence by a handful of French normies. It is routinely denounced as racist — and in fact, it is racist. Back in 2015, I read the book, and said that it is, in fact, racist, repugnantly so. Yet it also tells some important truths. Excerpt from that post:

The Camp of the Saints is a bad book, both aesthetically and morally. I was ambivalent about its moral status in the early parts of the book. I thought Raspail expressed himself more crudely than I would have done, but his cultural diagnosis struck me as having more merit than I anticipated, given the book’s notorious reputation. In the novel, a million-man armada of the wretched of the earth decide to sail to Europe from India, more or less daring the West to stop their migration. Most of the narrative focuses on how France prepares itself for the invasion.

Raspail, a traditionalist Catholic and far-rightist, draws in broad strokes a portrait of a France that has given up. All the country’s institutions and leaders across the board decide that it is the moral duty of all Frenchmen to welcome the armada with open arms. Raspail is at his satirical best mocking the sentimental liberal humanitarianism of the political, media, and clerical classes, all of whom look to the armada as a form of salvation, of redemption for the West’s sins. As I wrote here the other day, the scenario reminds me of the exhausted civilization in Cavafy’s poem “Waiting For the Barbarians.” A couple of years ago, Cavafy translator Daniel Mendelsohn wrote in The New Yorker about the poem and the poet’s political vision (Mendelsohn’s translation of the poem is in the article). Excerpt:

Cultural exhaustion, political inertia, the perverse yearning for some violent crisis that might break the deadlock and reinvigorate the state: these themes, so familiar to us right now, were favorites of Cavafy. He was, after all, a citizen of Alexandria, a city that had been an emblem of cultural supremacy—founded by Alexander the Great, seat of the Ptolemies, the literary and intellectual center of the Mediterranean for centuries—and which had devolved to irrelevancy by the time he was born, in 1863. When you’ve seen that much history spool by, that much glory and that much decline, you have very few expectations of history—which is to say, of human nature and political will.


The cardinal sins in Cavafy’s vision of history and politics are complacency, smugness, and a solipsistic inability to see the big picture. What he did admire, extravagantly, were political figures who do the right thing even though they know they have little chance of prevailing: the great “losers” of history, admirable in their fruitless commitment to ethical behavior—or merely sensible enough to know when the game is up.

Raspail blames France’s elites for this too, with reference to the problem of multiculturalism and migration. He even waylays the fictional pope, “Benedict XVI” (remember, the book was written in 1973), a Latin American (Brazilian) who sells all the treasures of the Vatican to give to the Third World poor, and who exhorts Europe to thrown open its doors to the migrant horde.

The reader who sent me the Herald piece puts his finger on a fundamental — and fundamentally dishonest and manipulative — aspect of contemporary dialogue with the Left, and with globalist elites (some of whom are right-wing liberals): that they hold the truth of a claim to be dependent on who is making it, and why. If you are Jean Raspail talking about how Third World migrants are going to overwhelm a European country and fundamentally transform it by replacing the native population, and you believe this is a bad thing, then you are a bigot who deserves to be silence and exiled for making up alarmist, racist myths. If, however, you are Parag Khanna talking about the same thing, but you construe it as a good thing, then you are a hero and a prophet who foresees the glorious future.

It’s a version of the Law of Merited Impossibility: It will never happen, and when it does, you bigots will deserve it. 

UPDATE: Reader Jonah R.:

The grungy lower-middle-class suburb I grew up in was an amalgam of various non-Protestant European-derived white folks (Poles, Italians, Czechs, etc.) and a large African American population. It was a fun mix. By 1980, some of us had families that went back two, three, even four generations. Some of the black families went back even longer than that. Over the course of the 20th century, we had a sense of place.

Then came massive immigration. I’m 52 years old. I go back to where I grew up—I can’t really call it “home”—and everything has been utterly changed by Asian and Hispanic immigrants. The area is unrecognizable. White people have been replaced, and so have many of the black people. I don’t begrudge the newcomers their desire for a better life or their obvious industriousness, but…most traces that “my” people and “my” culture were ever there is gone. It’s depressing and unnecessarily divisive, and it sends a bad message to younger Americans of any race or ethnicity: Why have kids, plan for the future, and try to leave anything for posterity when there’s inevitably no sense of a shared culture worth perpetuating, not a trace of anything that will outlive us and resonate in the world, just lots of people having economic transactions with each other who will be replaced by other people who have economic transactions with each other?


about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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