America in Chains: Emigration, Immigration, and Alienation

3. The Displacement of Peoples and Privileging of Aliens

Anyone who has read the Old Testament must be aware that it was the policy of Assyrians and Babylonians to uproot troublesome populations, or at least a portion thereof, and transfer them to distant places.  The primary motive was the most elementary logic of tyranny—the suppression of all dissent and opposition.  So, Jews were taken from Judaea or Israel and transferred to Babylonia, while other peoples were imported into Judaea and Israel.  

Immigrants are usually easier for a regime to manage.  They are a minority in a land whose customs are unfamiliar. If the regime is lucky, they will be incapable of making common cause with the disgruntled natives, and, while a legitimate regime might wish to suppress the rioting and street-fighting that inevitably accompanies ethnic diversity, such regimes are not the norm among the world’s empires.  In this respect, the Romans were unusual in attempting to maintain peace between Greeks and Jews, not only in Syria but also in Alexandria.

Native populations are likely to object to a flood of immigrants, but the immigrants themselves can have a hard time of it.  They run the risk of losing their own cultural identity without being fully integrated into the cultural traditions of their new home.  From an imperial regime’s point of view, this could be a very “good thing.”  We are told of forced immigrants into Jewish territory, how they were beset by crop failures and plagues until they persuaded some of the locals how to appease the local deity.

When Cyrus the Persian conquered much of the Middle East, he reversed the policy of the Assyrians and Babylonians, but it was not long before the Persians adopted the policy of their predecessors.  Herodotus tells us that the Persians, after devastating the Greek city of Eretria (on the large island of Euboea), which had joined Athens in defending the Ionians during their revolt, and killing the men, transferred the surviving population of that Euboea city to the hinterlands of the Persian Empire.  This is but one example of displacement, and the Greeks were well aware of population transfer as a means of preserving tyranny, and they were also aware, in the case of the Sicilian tyrants who uprooted populations and moved them to cities they wished to expand, that, while the short term effects might help keep a ruler in power, the long-term consequence were cities proverbial for instability and civil war. 

The technique for breaking down ethnic solidarity has remained indispensable.  The British shipped off trouble-makers to the colonies; their descendants moved the Cherokee off to Oklahoma; and in Russian history, population transfer both on the small and great scales, was a handy tool for the Czars and for the Georgian would-be Czar, Stalin both for whole ethnic groups and for dissidents.

Mass immigration into Europe and the United States is the policy of both European and American governments and of such supranational bodies as the European Union and the United Nations.  The advantages to the peoples and governments of poor nations are obvious:  The poor see a golden opportunity in the higher living standards and lavish welfare systems of developed nations, and their governments—typically corrupt dictatorial regimes—are eager to get rid of an excess population that is the cause of expense and trouble.  

What few observers have grasped, though, is the advantage for the ruling class of wealthy nations.  After all, some misguided conservatives have argued, Third World immigrants cost the American taxpayers a great deal of money, and, in addition, they are far more likely to engage in crime and depend on welfare.  Exactly.  Umberto Bossi, when he was the head of the Italian Lega Nord, scandalized the developed world when he pointed out that “la classe dirigente” welcomed waves of illegal immigrants precisely because the problems they create require the constant expansion of the state and, thus, of their own power and wealth. 

Aristotle also observes that tyrants prefer aliens as their boon companions (and thus advisors).  Aliens have no stake in a community and depend entirely on the ruler.  There are non-tyrannical reasons—or perhaps less tyrannical would be a better term—for privileging aliens.  An alien judge, such as the Italian podestà, should be less likely to take sides in a political contest and judge disputes more fairly, and, as the Vatican has known for many centuries, a defense force made up of aliens is more reliable than an army of locals, who might favor their own interests or those of their friends and relatives.  Byzantine emperors relied on the Varangian Guard, made up primarily of Scandinavian and, later, Anglo-Saxon mercenaries.  The armies of Herod the Great had large contingents of aliens, who could be relied upon to deal mercilessly with the Jews The Sicilian-German Emperor, Friedrich II, employed Arab mercenaries in his wars, and in Umbria one can see frightening frescoes that depict their savagery against Italians.   

It is not necessary to transfer an entire population:  A cultural genocide can be accomplished by decapitating the aristocratic and creative elite.  This is in fact what was done to the Jews by the Babylonians.  As we shall see in the next part, a tyrant or tyrannical elite fear most of all anyone who is distinguished for any good quality or ability, because it is competent people, loyal to their people and traditions, who constitute the greatest threat to the tyrant.  

Once upon a time, educated Americans knew that the American Constitution protected the rights of citizens and not of aliens, particularly illegal aliens.  This is at the heart of the much-hated Dred-Scott decision, which is why that decision has been denounced across the political spectrum.  Thurgood Marshall was initially ridiculed for arguing that aliens enjoyed the same legal protections as citizens, but the imbecilic Marshall’s fantasy is now taught in schools.

Of course, the privileging of aliens only constitutes a serious threat when a government is unable or, in the case of the United States and Western Europe, unwilling to defend its national borders.  The ongoing crisis caused by the mass illegal immigration of aliens has not been caused by lack of resources to seal the border or created by do-gooders unaware of the harmful consequences.  On the contrary, they have known since the late 1970s—as I and Sam Francis among others already knew—that the object was the elimination of all opposition to tyrannical government that was posed by hardworking middle class people who loved their  country and its traditions.

The use of population transfer, penal colonies, and mass immigration must be seen as part of a wider pattern of control, which relies on the principle of Julius Caesar (Divide et impera) to which I have already alluded.  In some cases the materials are ready to hand.  When the British conquered India, they were able to instrumentalize the mutual dislike of Hindus and Muslims to their own advantage.  The Dual Monarchy played a similar game in the Balkans, where they worked actively to invent new ethnicities like Macedonian, “Bosniak” and “Red Croatian”—a term applied to Montenegrins to divide them from other Serbs.  Some French Jacobins played an even more imaginative game, redefining the true French as descendants of ancient Gauls and stigmatizing the aristocrats as “Franks,” which is to say Germans. 

Other convenient divisions are supplied by wealth—the rich versus the poor; religion—Protestants vs Catholics vs Orthodox, and ideology—Whig vs Tory, Conservative vs Liberal vs Marxist.  Of course many of these distinctions are grounded in reality, but none of them inevitably fragments a people and keeps them defenseless.  They must be instrumentalized by ruling elites engaged in a struggle for power, where there is but one rule:  Any stick will do to beat a dog.

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Thomas Fleming

Thomas Fleming is president of the Fleming Foundation. He is the author of six books, including The Morality of Everyday Life and The Politics of Human Nature, as well as many articles and columns for newspapers, magazines,and learned journals. He holds a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.A. in Greek from the College of Charleston. He served as editor of Chronicles: a Magazine of American Culture from 1984 to 2015 and president of The Rockford Institute from 1997-2014. In a previous life he taught classics at several colleges and served as a school headmaster in South Carolina

5 Responses

  1. Clyde Wilson says:

    Alien advisors: How about Kissinger, Brezhinski, Albriight, many of the necons, and Biden’s whole administration.

  2. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    I was hoping someone would get the joke. Years ago, when I wrote a little fantasy about the election of Pat Buchanan, I made Srdja his secretary of state, because that was a position reserved for aliens.

  3. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Since being American by birth is a requirement of the president, I don’t see how any alien can be allowed to be in the line of succession, which goes, if I recall correctly what I learned in fifth grade, goes VP, House Speaker, President Pro tem of the Senate, and then the cabinet secretaries of State, Treasury, Attorney-General War, Defense….. I know there is a provision forbidding an unqualified cabinet secretary from succeeding but that is an anomaly designed to disguise the fact that aliens are making policy for us. Sam Francis once pointed out a Kissinger quotation where he told the Israelis that he had never in his career made any decision that was contrary to Israel’s interest. Sounds to me like high treason.

  4. Gregory Fogg says:

    All the ’48ers in the 19th century GOP administrations.

  5. Avatar photo Thomas Fleming says:

    Yes, like Carl Schurz. Before and during the War Between the States, Schurz had insisted that the war was to end feudalism in America. His wife Emma, in Watertown Wisconsin–up the Rock River from Rockford–started the first Kindergarten in the USA, one of the most pernicious accomplishments of daffy females in American history.