Joe Biden and the Ultimate Source of Our Strength: “an unrelenting stream of immigration, nonstop, nonstop”

In 2015, Joe Biden said the United States benefits from a “constant” and “unrelenting” stream of immigration. Relegating those of European origin to minority status is “a source of our strength.” Biden said, “It started all the way back in the late 1700s. There has been a constant, unrelenting stream of immigration, not in little trickles but in large numbers.” The former Senator from MBNA used the hackneyed characterization of America as a “nation of immigrants.” “It is the ultimate source of our strength,” he said; “it is the ultimate source of who we are, what we become.”

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Biden’s remarks on this occasion reflect the profound racialism embedded in his thinking: “Folks like me who are Caucasian, of European descent, for the first time in 2017 we’ll be in an absolute minority in the United States of America, absolute minority.” “Fewer than fifty percent of the people in America from then and on will be white European stock,” he continued. “That’s not a bad thing, that’s a source of our strength.” As historian Victor Davis Hanson is fond of noting, it has never been a question of the relative proportions of racial groups in the United States; the United States is among the most successful multiracial nations in world history. “America is a multiracial society due to immigration, intermarriage and assimilation, Hanson wrote in 2015. “Perhaps it is time to cut out the bumper sticker self-labeling and instead accept that in our ethnically mixed-up nation, race has become an incidental construct rather than essential to our careers and personas.” For Hanson, questions about national strength concern, among other things, cultural integrity (see also Amy Wax). British intellectual Kenan Malik has made a similar point on the left end of the political spectrum. Biden is conflating race and culture.

In truth, and the facts in this area are incontrovertable, the period of greatest economic and social development in United States history occurred during the period of the greatest restrictions on immigration, 1924-1965. It was the period of maximum union density (covering around one-third of private sector workers), the greatest integration of ethnicities into the American story, and the greatest successes of the black struggle for civil rights. On the eve of opening the country to mass immigration in the mid-1960s, a large minority of private sector workers enjoyed the high wages and workplace protections associated with belong to a labor union, which buoyed the material interests of the majority of workers by bringing wage gains in line with productivity gains, while discrimination based on race and sex were abolished (at least discrimination against non-white minority and women).

In contrast, before and after the period of restrictions, mass immigration is associated with greater economic instability, separation of wages and compensation from productivity gains, community and social disorganization, and ethnic and racial division. It is in the period after the Hart-Celler Act of 1965 that identity politics comes to dominate the US cultural and political scenes, revising American history and reconfiguring racecraft to place upon the conscience of America the original sin of white privilege. Cloaked in the rhetoric of anti-racism, immigration superexploited vulnerable foreigners while draining the wealth of native working class population into pockets of the corporate elite. In the United States, prior to the Trump Administration, a half a trillion dollars of value was annually transferred from the native working class to the capitalist class thanks to the exploitation of immigrant labor. Couple the in-migration of foreign labor with the out-migration of capital to foreign countries (the off-shoring of production) and you have the explanation for why the American working class is in the situation it is in—and why the elected Donald Trump (twice). Globalism has been especially devastating to the black working class.

Biden promises to return to the pre-Trump situation. Worse, as Adam Shaw reported for Fox News, “Among his proposed policies are significantly raising the refugee cap, expanding the number of temporary visas, creating a ‘pathway to citizenship’ for illegal immigrants, and eliminating the limits on employment-based visas by country.” This is essentially an open borders agenda, which is a key component in the managed decline of the American republic in the service of the power elite of transnational capitalism. Biden has no equal when it comes to globalist ambition. He has built a career out of undermining the American worker. That’s why the establishment is insisting on a Biden presidency, rigging an election to make it happen. It’s what the street actions of Antifa and BLM are about.

Anti-racism has been a core strategy of cowing opposition to managed decline. The ruling class, progressive elites, and cultural managers use the smears of nativism, racism, and xenophobia, while elevating multiculturalism or cultural pluralism to a sacred value, to push mass immigration for the benefit of the corporate class. Progressives elevate racial division and segregation over assimilation and integration. They are Balkanizing American society. Biden’s habit of always speaking in the rhetoric of racialization is an honest conveyance of the interests of the ruling class.

I agree with Hanson and Malik that this is not about whether “Caucasians” are a majority or a minority. It about pursuing a rational strategy of immigration and demanding that those who chose to migrate to the West assimilate to our democratic-republic traditions. The racialization rhetoric of Biden is propaganda painting the United States as founded as a white republic. To be sure, diminishing whiteness is in itself a good thing. Indeed, the time to stop thinking in racial terms altogether ended with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But the United States was not founded as a white republic. It was founded as a democratic republic governed by the rule of law and aspiring to manifest in the concrete the abstract equality of the individual. Mass immigration and multiculturalism are about marginalizing the working classes of western societies and undermining Enlightenment values of humanism, liberalism, and secularism to establish a global neofeudalist order in which citizens are to become serfs.

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Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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