In the first installment of this series, I mentioned Daniel McCarthy’s ideology selector which rated me as a paleoconservative. According to McCarthy, a paleoconservative is someone “who wants less involvement in foreign affairs than other conservatives and opposes mass immigration.” On close examination, Patrick Buchanan’s ideas agree with McCarthy’s definition. To my way of thinking, however, McCarthy’s definition misses the mark.
The difference between one paleoconservative and another, in this case, has to do with one “day of reckoning” versus another. Buchanan sees mass immigration from the Third World as a threat to American culture, liberty and unity. In my view, the ethnic and national rivalries Buchanan warns of are more likely to unleash a world war long before America becomes mired in ethnic conflict at home. Buchanan takes a pessimistic view with regard to ethnic differences. Why does he not apply this pessimism to the international scene? If the various ethnic groups cannot live peaceably together in the United States, what makes him think they can live peaceably in the world as a whole? Well, he would admit, they cannot live peaceably. So let us consider what that means in a world where nuclear weapons are being acquired by one country after another.
If ethnic resentment is strong enough to break apart the most peaceful and prosperous nation in the world, as Buchanan fears, then these same resentments must lead to a breakup of the global order as we saw during the first two world wars. What has happened before shall happen again. Nation will rise against nation, and man’s most powerful weapons will be unleashed. Here is an irrefutable, historically grounded pessimism regarding human nature, more thorough and consistent than Buchanan’s. The idea that Americans can achieve national homogeneity while escaping the tragic consequences of global heterogeneity is remarkable indeed; for if ethnic hatred and warfare cannot be avoided within the comfortable confines of America, then nuclear-armed ethnic hatred and warfare cannot be avoided on the international level.
Contradicting this point, Buchanan and others would point to the nuclear balance of terror. It is widely believed that no country would unleash nuclear weapons because of the threat of nuclear retaliation. But deterrence itself may be circumvented. There are ways around the electronic Maginot Line of early warning, launch-on-warning and massive retaliation. It is comforting to think that “mutual assured destruction” has prevented a world war. But stop and think for a moment. The promise of retaliation might be an empty promise. In that event, deterrence is no defense at all. Instead, it is false security. Suppose nuclear bombs were detonated in New York and Washington. How would we know who set them off? Quite clearly, deterrence has already failed.
Buchanan imagines the world can continue as it has, with Third World immigration overwhelming the West. At some point in this process a line is crossed, a delicate balance is upset. Major enemies have already been taking advantage of America’s illegal alien problem. Russian nuclear assault commandos train on American soil. Russian nuclear weapons were smuggled into the United States long ago, along with biological and chemical weapons. America’s open border is a fatal weakness in the competition between great nuclear powers. It is a weakness that will be exploited long before European Americans become a powerless minority within the United States (as Buchanan fears).
The same can be said for the inevitable economic chaos caused by the approach of peak oil, or the financial crash that must lead to protectionism and intensified international rivalries. The politically correct multicultural regime already signifies a weakening of national will power. It signifies, as well, an attenuation of the instinct for national survival. If the United States suffers an economic shock in the near future, ethnic rioting in the cities will probably occur. These riots cannot destroy America, but they can weaken her. The next world war is unleashed as soon as America is sufficiently weak.
The technology to destroy cities, to depopulate continents, is not some science fiction myth. The ethnic hatred that inspired the rape of Nanking and the gas chambers of Treblinka is out there, ready to commit fresh atrocities. Only today the haters are Islamists and former KGB officers. And the main target of their hatred is America. The burning ambition of Russian and Chinese leaders has long been thwarted by American power. These people will not pass up an opportunity to eliminate America from the global equation. This is fundamental to their drive, to their purpose.
Those who think that Hitler or Stalin or Mao were aberrations have not read history, have not followed the careers of today’s aspiring mass murderers. They have not grasped the shallow opportunism of Western politicians, the narcissism and hedonism of Western peoples or the disintegration of morality and community of the past fifty years. Everything here comes together at one nexus. The complacency and assumed superiority of the West collides with the merciless ambition and subterfuge of the East.
Few as yet appreciate the fragility of today’s political and economic arrangements. The speed of social change, the multiplication of nonsensical ideologies, the rise of national and ethnic resentments, the advent of nuclear and biological weaponry, the approach of peak oil, the latter-day disintegration of community and family and individuality suggest a day of reckoning unlike any other.
Buchanan’s ethnic pessimism ought to be shifted from the domestic front to the foreign policy front. When he says, quite clearly, that a struggle for global dominance has begun between America, Russia, China, and the Islamic world, he is absolutely correct. And for that very reason the only sane policy for America is national unity and firm adherence to our Cold War allies. There can be no retreat from Europe or Asia under such circumstances, because the Russian and Chinese leaders are not benevolent. They are exactly the opposite.