In Defence of National Sovereignty
by Darrel Williams
On the 9th of November 2018, a Somalian immigrant named Shire Ali drove a car filled with gas cylinders onto a footpath in the Melbourne CBD. He then proceeded to set fire to the car and attack members of the public with a knife while shouting “Allah Akbar” (Henriques-Gomes 2018). This happened without open borders, imagine how easy it would be for potential terrorists to carry out attacks like this without knowing who was moving in and out of the country? Shire Ali was already known to the authorities, though he “was not being actively monitored” at present (ibid) In 2015 his “passport cancelled in because he wanted to fight for Islamic State in Syria.” Currently his brother is in prison for planning a terrorist attack on New Year’s Eve last year at Federation Square.
The intention of this essay is to point out not just obvious fact that the idea of a world without borders is fanciful and illogical, but also that we are currently experiencing grievous issues at present as a result of decaying national sovereignty. These issue stem from incompatible cultural ideals – from which animosity, violence continues to erupt out into the public sphere. I believe the tension at this point in history, in 2018, contains a lot of the psychical elements present between the start of World War 1 and the period of confusion and despair as the world pieced itself together after World War 2.
1 – Social Cohesion
There can be no peace nor social cohesion within country in which there is no accepted consensus on what we ought to do and ought not to do. If we were to place a varying array of cultural groups together, who all hold diametrically opposing values in regard to the age of consent; punishment for someone who abandons their faith; what day you are not allowed to work; what hat you are meant to wear – feathers are going to be ruffled.
Picture a small town with a population of ten thousand: A handful of people may be able to live in harmony and ignore their incompatible idiosyncrasies. Though it is still a small community they will most likely avoid physical conflict. However, as the population increases – particularly when one group begins to attain majority – fractures become much larger and visible. There is well known correlation between population growth and a rise in crime; the more people there is in one area, the less chance you will be suspected.
“Large cities are said to be characterised by anonymity. In a world of strangers’ men lose their feelings of responsibility for their fellow man. The anonymity of the city permits the criminal to commit his offence with little fear of being recognised.” (Braithwaite 1975).
Even if the large population was of a single, homogeneous culture it would be unrealistic to expect that there was no crime or that it would be a perfect utopia. Clearly ways of life that differ in agreement on everything from dietary requirements to what constitutes acceptable sexual behaviour or criminal sentences (such as leaving a religion) will be unable to attain any form of congruity.
Social cohesion is like any other form of cohesion, it requires compatibility. If I try to weld two different types of metal, which are also of two vastly different thicknesses, while using an arc welder on a setting not suitable to these metals: the bond will not work. You may refer to this as a false comparison – but it isn’t in any way, shape or form. A will-to-power can be used to overcome anything that life throws at a Being. Take Stephen Hawking for example, that man fought to stay alive long passed the expectations of any medical expert. There is nothing more powerful, nor virulent than an Idea. If those two pieces of metal cannot form a solid cohesion how can we expect two – or more – incompatible notions to coexist peacefully? I feel the term ‘the clash of civilizations’ does not fit, what we are experiencing is not a clash. Violent protests are growing in size and frequency, terrorist attacks are more frequent, people of varying ideologies are engaged in cyber-warfare (doxing – the releasing of private individuals addresses, workplaces, private information, location, etc) (McNealy 2018). This is not a case of a ‘rising of right-wing fascism’, the violence and terror is stemming from ideologies across the board. If two people have nothing in common, they will hardly be friends or lovers, we cannot expect a dozen large groups to be able to remain insouciant like the two individuals, large groups have more likelihood of consistently encountering each other.
2 – Malthusian Theory
In 1798 Thomas Malthus proposed a theory that overpopulation was going to lead to poverty and famine through sparse natural resources and drastic decreases in salaries due to and endless supply of human resources at the advantage of what Marx later coined the ‘bourgeoisie’ (Malthus 1798). This highly controversial theory does have relevance to our current time. Though Alain de Benoist’s essay ‘Immigration, the Reserve Army of Capital’ (Benoist 2015, 116-123) makes no direct reference to Malthus, there are hints of the idea throughout.
One study referred to in Benoist’s essay that was conducted in 2010, ‘The Cost of Immigration Policy’ (ibid. 121), calculated the amount of tax spent on immigration at 79.4 billion euros per year in France. Benoist’s quotes the author, Jean-Paul Gourévitch, “Gourévitch specifies that ‘the studies conducted across the Channel and the Atlantic show that immigration does not have a globally positive effect on public finances’” as the state is paying more on immigrants than what is put back into the state. Western countries are, in reality, drawing a deficit from immigration. Corporations are benefiting, not tax-payers. The success of corporations is being conflated with success of the country as a whole, the public are being informed of the financial benefits of immigration, but what they are really being shown are winnings of corporations who are hiring cheaper labour then exporting the profits overseas (Benoist 2017).
Two passages in this essay by Alain de Benoist that cannot go without mention.
“In 1973 … President Pompidou recognised that he had opened the floodgates of immigration at the demand of … big bosses such as Francis Bouyess, [who desired and benefited from cheap labour and were] deprived of class consciousness [and traditional social struggles]. These big bosses, he emphasised, ‘always want more’” (ibid. 116).
“One who criticises capitalism while approving of immigration, of which the working class is the first victim, would be better to remain silent. One who criticises immigration while remaining silent regarding capitalism should do the same.” (ibid. 123).
3 – Social Cohesion
In a world of open borders there can be no security, no way to monitor – or prevent – people coming and going. ‘Open borders’ requires complete and utter consistency; any form of restrictions will change the definition. Open mean open!
To place any form of security checks/measures would immediately cease the existence ‘open borders’ – it would defeat the entire purpose of having open borders. The notion of ‘open borders’ requires the subject to be able to move from X to Y unhindered, much in the same way someone can drive from Victoria into South Australia without passing through a border check. Any preventative measures that interfere with the open access of one country to another will be a removal of the ‘open’ in ‘open borders’.
“The mood in which we usually exist depends on the mood in which we maintain our environment.” (Nietzsche 1982, p. 151). Maintaining a peaceful environment requires stability, a happy community requires a bond between the members of that community – a Nomos if you will. Maintaining a healthy environment also requires agreement on what we ought to do and ought not to do, this cannot possibly be achieved without stability. People who are coming and going are less likely to take care of where they have come and gone, they feel no real responsibility or ties to that area.
The word “nationalism” has been tarred with negative connotations, connotations of which have nought to do with the notion of nationalism itself. There is nothing inherently wrong with the idea of a population sharing the same set of ethics and morals, of conduct and communication. Immigration is a good thing, but too much of a good thing brings negative consequences. What reason could someone have for moving to another country other than a desire to immerse themselves in the way of life that they live? If it is not a desire to live as that country lives, to take part in their traditions, customs and language, then their desire to move there is not done with the best of intentions – this is hardly a controversial notion.
Some may argue that those who are displaced from an area of conflict have no choice but to move to somewhere they consider safe. This is a fair point, but consistency needs to be maintained. The country they relocate to is populated by innocent civilians who are not collectively responsible for what is occurring in their home country – there is no justifiable reason for a country to change to fit new inhabitants. They should be met with warmth and care, but also be aware that there is an existing way of life which may be hard for them to adapt to – our responsibility should be to assist them in adapting to the existing norms, competing ideas leads to conflict, some may not like this proposal, but emotion has no bearing on truth-value. Life is hard.
Braithwaite, J 1975, ‘Population Growth & Crime’, Australia & New Zealand Journal of Criminology, March 1975, pp. 57-61. https://www.anu.edu.au/fellows/jbraithwaite/_documents/Articles/1975_Population%20Growth%20and%20Crime.pdf
de Benoist, A 2015, On the Brink of the Abyss: The Imminent Bankruptcy of the Financial System, Arktos Media Ltd, UK.
Faye, G 2017, The Colonisation of Europe, Arktos Media Ltd, UK. (La Colonisation de l’Europe, L’Æncre, 2000).
Gomes, L. H 2018, ‘Melbourne Bourke Street attack: police say assailant had links to Islamic State – latest updates’, Guardian, 10 November, Viewed 10 November 2018, https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2018/nov/10/melbourne-bourke-street-attack-police-say-assailant-had-links-to-islamic-state-latest-updates.
Malthus, T 1798, An Essay on the Principle of Population, Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, Viewed 11 November 2018, http://www.esp.org/books/malthus/population/malthus.pdf
McNealy, J 2018, ‘What is doxing (sic), and why is it scary?’, The Conversation, May 16, Viewed 10 November 2018, https://theconversation.com/what-is-doxxing-and-why-is-it-so-scary-95848.
Nietzsche F 1982, Daybreak: Thoughts and Prejudices of Morality, Cambridge University Press, GB.