Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Understanding the Mix: Immigrants, Immigrant Voting, Catholics and the Power of the State

At the post, Anti-Immigrant Trump Administration Kills Report That Says Immigrants Contributed Net $63 Billion Over Last 10 Years to Government Coffers, David Ranallo writes:
Has Mr. Wenzel addressed the arguments of 1) ~50% of immigrants being on the dole over multiple generations, 2) 80%+ of Central/South American immigrants vote Dem or for bigger govt programs and 3) immigrant parents have way more children than natives? I'd like to hear how a good PPS-er would address these issues in today's political environment aka what should individuals do.
I have answered all these questions in scattered posts both here at EPJ and at Target Liberty but it does make sense to put a summary together in one post so here goes.

Q1: ~50% of immigrants being on the dole over multiple generations

A1: First of all, it is quite the pre-crime thinking to project out what future generations will do!

Do you want to do such pre-crime forecasting in all sectors for everyone?

But second, it is ass-backwards libertarianism to be against immigration because some immigrants may go on the dole. Banning immigrants who want to work and stay off the dole is anti-liberty that is just a fact. The solution is not to do the ass-backward thing and ban them all but to put up a welfare wall which prevents immigrants from living on the dole.

Q2.  80%+ of Central/South American immigrants vote Dem or for bigger govt programs.

A2. As I have pointed out before, even without new immigrant votes, the country is turning extremely in the direction of central power advocacy. However, immigrants, who are predominantly Catholic,  are probably a lot easier to flip toward liberty than busybodies from other religions.

Murray Rothbard fingered the then politically influential pietists during the Progressive Era as the real troublemakers and expanders of the state at that time who used political muscle against the then arriving Catholics:
 Evangelical pietism particularly appealed to, and therefore took root among, the “Yankees,” i.e., that cultural group that originated in (especially rural) New England and emigrated widely to populate northern and western New York, northern Ohio, northern Indiana, and northern Illinois. The Yankees were natural “cultural imperialists,” people who were wont to impose their values and morality on other groups; as such, they took quite naturally to imposing their form of pietism through whatever means were available, including the use of the coercive power of the state.

In contrast to evangelical pietists were, in addition to small groups of old-fashioned Calvinists, two great Christian groups, the Catholics and the Lutherans (or at least, the high-church variety of Lutheran), who were “liturgicals” (or “ritualists”) rather than pietists. The liturgicals saw the road to salvation in joining the particular church, obeying its rituals, and making use of its sacraments; the individual was not alone with only his emotions and the state to protect him. There was no particular need, then, for the state to take on the functions of the church. Furthermore, the liturgicals had a much more relaxed and rational view of what sin really was; for instance, excessive drinking might be sinful, but liquor per se surely was not.

The evangelical pietists, from the 1830s on, were the northern Protestants of British descent, as well as the Lutherans from Scandinavia and a minority of pietist German synods; the liturgicals were the Roman Catholics and the high-church Lutherans, largely German.

Very rapidly, the political parties reflected a virtually one-to-one correlation of this ethnoreligious division: the Whig, and later the Republican Party consisting chiefly of the pietists, and the Democratic Party encompassing almost all the liturgicals. And for almost a century, on a state and local level, the Whig/Republican pietists tried desperately and determinedly to stamp out liquor and all Sunday activities except church (of course, drinking liquor on Sunday was a heinous double sin). As to the Catholic Church, the pietists tried to restrict or abolish immigration, since people coming from Germany and Ireland, liturgicals, were outnumbering people from Britain and Scandinavia. Failing that and despairing of doing anything about adult Catholics poisoned by agents of the Vatican, the evangelical pietists decided to concentrate on saving Catholic and Lutheran youth by trying to eliminate the parochial schools, through which both religious groups transmitted their precious religious and social values to the young. The object, as many pietists put it, was to “Christianize the Catholics,” to force Catholic and Lutheran children into public schools, which could then be used as an instrument of pietist Protestantization. Since the Yankees had early taken to the idea of imposing communal civic virtue and obedience through the public schools, they were particularly receptive to this new reason for aggrandizing public education.

To all of these continuing aggressions by what they termed “those fanatics,” the liturgicals fought back with equal fervor. Particularly bewildered were the Germans who, Lutheran and Catholic alike, were accustomed to the entire family happily attending beer gardens together on Sundays after church and who now found the “fanatic” pietists trying desperately to outlaw this pleasurable and seemingly innocent activity. The pietist Protestant attacks on private and parochial schools fatally threatened the preservation and maintenance of the liturgicals’ cultural and religious values; and since large numbers of the Catholics and Lutherans were immigrants, parochial schools also served to maintain group affinities in a new and often hostile world — especially the world of Anglo-Saxon pietism. In the case of the Germans, it also meant, for several decades, preserving parochial teaching in the beloved German language, as against fierce pressures for Anglicization.

In the last three decades of the nineteenth century, as Catholic immigration grew and the Democratic Party moved slowly but surely toward a majority status, the Republican, and — more broadly — pietist pressures became more intense. The purpose of the public school, to the pietists, was “to unify and make homogeneous the society.” There was no twentieth century concern for separating religion and the public school system. To the contrary, in most northern jurisdictions only pietist-Protestant church members were allowed to be teachers in the public schools. Daily reading of the Protestant Bible, daily Protestant prayers and Protestant hymns were common in the public schools, and school textbooks were rife with anti-Catholic propaganda. Thus, New York City school textbooks spoke broadly of “the deceitful Catholics,” and pounded into their children, Catholic and Protestant alike, the message that “Catholics are necessarily, morally, intellectually, infallibly, a stupid race.”...

Throughout the nineteenth century, “nativist” attacks on “foreigners” and the foreign-born were really attacks on liturgical immigrants. Immigrants from Britain or Scandinavia, pietists all, were “good Americans” as soon as they got off the boat. It was the diverse culture of the other immigrants that had to be homogenized and molded into that of pietist America... 
(RW note: Sound familar?) 
Since the cities of the North, in the late nineteenth century, were becoming increasingly filled with Catholic immigrants, pietist attacks on sinful cities and on immigrants both became aspects of the anti-liturgical struggle for a homogeneous Anglo-Saxon pietist culture. The Irish were particular butts of pietist scorn; a New York City textbook bitterly warned that continued immigration could make America “the common sewer of Ireland,” filled with drunken and depraved Irishmen.

The growing influx of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe toward the end of the nineteenth century seemed to pose even greater problems for the pietist progressives, but they did not shrink from the task. As Ellwood P. Cubberley of Stanford University, the nation’s outstanding progressive historian of education, declared, southern and eastern Europeans have
served to dilute tremendously our national stock, and to corrupt our civil life. ... Everywhere these people tend to settle in groups or settlements, and to set up here their national manners, customs, and observances. Our task is to break up these groups or settlements, to assimilate and amalgamate these people as a part of our American race and to implant in their children ... the Anglo-Saxon conception of righteousness, law and order, and popular government ... (RW note: Sound familar2?) 
As I say, at present the echo chamber of the masses is filled with central planning notions, from the Evangelical corners, the Catholic corners, the Jewish corners etc, to think that new immigrants are the great socialist threat is to fail to understand the bigger problem of across the board central planning thinking and a lack of understanding of progressive history, which teaches that Catholics do not have a history of being busybodies.

There is no liberty movement to speak of at present in the United States or the world. But Catholic immigrants from Mexico or South America are the least of the problems. Indeed, with Catholics having less of a desire to use the state to advance religious views, they become a very strong target for being flipped toward liberty.

Even the atheist Ayn Rand thought that the organizing abilities of religion in Catholic Poland could be used as a powerful tool against the Soviet Union.

Q3.  immigrant parents have way more children than natives?

A3. So what? It means they are family oriented. Also, see A1 and A2.



  1. Republicans: “Immigrants are murderers and rapists who are destroying our culture.”

    Republicans: “Why won’t immigrants vote for us? They must be statists.”

  2. Good answers as I'm an AnCap/PPS-er who's confused as anyone as to what to do.

    Net net, we need a welfare wall (definitely!) but no immigration bans (never said ban), what do we do before a welfare wall goes up? Limit on immigration? Work visas only? Or do nothing and hope we can persuade folks?

    Here's a study on generational welfare use continuing through multiple generations -

    Here's Cato Analysis about immigrants using LESS WELFARE than natives -

    Seems like we have our work cut out here to persuade EVERYONE. I'll just continue to create voluntary systems in the world as examples and in preparation for the time when statist systems collapse, e.g. my company

    1. David:

      I think you're on the right track. Only we don't have to convince everyone. It's possible to convince a smaller group, and work towards state nullification, then secession, etc.

      If you object to the initiation of violence, as I do, then it's important to keep your eye on the right ball. The taking of your income without your consent to give it to someone else amounts to robbery, which is a violent act. The crossing of a border onto state-controlled property is not a violent act. Thus we should be fighting the welfare system, not immigrants crossing the border.

  3. Thanks for this very interesting post.

    Let's not forget that when he was in Congress, George HW Bush attacked the pope after the pope issued an encyclical reaffirming the Catholic teaching against artificial birth cobtrol, and in response Bush demanded worldwide population control. (At the hand of the state of course.)

    Bush was also an admirer of abortionist Margaret sanger, who admitted to Mike Wallace that Catholics were her primary opposition.

    From Webster Tarpley's great book
    A chapter titled 'RUBBERS GOES TO CONGRESS'

    Here is an excerpt. it's a short chapter and well worth the read:

    "This was a direct challenge to the cultural paradigm transformation which Bush and other exponents of the oligarchical world outlook were promoting. Not for the first time nor for the last time, Bush issued a direct attack on the Holy See. Just days after Humanae Vitae was issued, Bush declared: "I have decided to give my vigorous support for population control in both the United States and the world." He also lashed out at the Pope. "For those of us who who feel so strongly on this issue, the recent enyclical was most discouraging."