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Melting Pot or Civil War, a Scathing Review

[1]2,449 words

Reihan Salam
Melting Pot or Civil War? A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders
New York: Sentinel, 2018

Conservatism without race realism is a hideous thing. We started getting unwelcome glimpses of this horror show during the 2016 elections when a fair number of supposedly reliable conservatives decided they preferred the arch-liberal Hillary Clinton to the solidly-conservative Donald Trump. The fact that many of them still do two years down the line proves that this ugliness is no mask. Whether he realizes it or not, National Review executive editor Reihan Salam has applied some more torque to the twisted wreck of conservatism with his perfectly useless volume Melting Pot or Civil War? A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders.

If you were put off by the von Däniken question mark in the book’s title, bully for you. It’s a sham. Salam is not weighing the melting pot versus a potential civil war as viable options in his discourse. No, he’s all for the melting pot, only with less taco sauce and more curry and a slightly thinner broth, at least for now. And by making his case “against open borders” in a nigh-literal sense he trivializes his efforts until they become almost comically meaningless (like the Tick’s hilariously-insipid rallying cry, “Evil is bad! And Good Isn’t!”). Salam might as well have made the case against suicide. Yes, open borders are bad. We all know this. Only, he assumes we don’t, and then does all the legwork to prove that while completely open borders won’t work, slightly less open borders will work like a charm.

Let’s condense Salam’s 184-page argument into a few sentences since that’s basically all they’re worth. America needs to drastically restrict the flow of low-skill immigrants while maintaining or increasing the flow of high-skill immigrants. This would better enable the assimilation of immigrants into the American mainstream and be a “fiscal boon,” besides. We also need to provide immediate amnesty for all illegal immigrants who are already here because Salam buys into the moralistic idea that America be “decent and generous” to its immigrants. Then, we must promise (pinky-swear) to completely close our borders to all future immigrants . . . except, of course, to people like Reihan Salam.

I don’t know . . . this self-serving stratagem seems an awful lot like a husband offering his wife sex as a gift on Mother’s Day.

I’m not being entirely facetious here since race-mixing in Salam’s newly-walled-off post-racial America is what this son of Bangladeshi immigrants is banking on to make the rice noodles stick to the wall. From the Introduction:

Over time, nations united by a common destiny tend to evolve into nations united by a common descent. Inherited ethnic and cultural distinctions fade, and new hybrid ethnicities and cultures emerge. Not too long ago, we Americans referred to this process as “the melting pot.” We need it back, badly.

And from Chapter One in which he champions the opinions of liberal writer Michael Lind:

And, as Lind suggests, the false belief that America’s racial and cultural boundaries are fixed is making matters worse. If non-Hispanic whites are an impermeable, un-changing group, it stands to reason that those who belong to that group would be alarmed by the fact that they will soon lose their majority status to a collection of hostile ethnic others. In an ethnically divided society, to be outnumbered is to be afraid. But if the boundaries between groups are fluid, and if distinctions between whites and nonwhites can be expected to fade away over time, as they would in a melting pot society, such concerns would be greatly reduced.

Since Salam spills gallons of ink extolling how nonwhite immigration enriches nonwhite immigrants and precious little mulling over its negative impacts on the native white population, it becomes predictable like popcorn popping that he fails to mention one crucial by-product of his scheme: making white America less white. He cannot claim success unless this happens. Further, by not explicitly mentioning this necessary part of his argument and exploring its ramifications, he fails to specify when the brakes should be applied in this process. How much race-mixing will be enough race-mixing? When will we be able to end all immigration? At what point will whites be allowed to keep their identities—even like an endangered species at the zoo? He doesn’t say, thereby implying that the race-mixing brakes should never be applied at all.

Let’s say there are currently two billion nonwhite people who are willing and able to immigrate to America. Let’s also say that their average IQ is 85—and that’s being generous considering the low average IQs [2] of many Asian population hubs such as India (82), Iran (84), Iraq (87), Pakistan (84), Philippines (86), Indonesia (87), the author’s own Bangladesh (82), as well the sub-80 averages found all over Sub-Saharan Africa. Finally, let’s assume the following:

This means that around 97.5% of the two billion have an IQ of under 115. This leaves 50 million nonwhite immigrants from around the world with IQs of 115 or more (2.5% of 2 billion). There are only around 200 million whites [5] in America. For Salam’s plan to reach fruition, this 50 million—plus the millions of nonwhites that are already in America, plus all the illegals he hopes to enfranchise, plus all the high-skilled nonwhites he wishes to import in perpetuity—will have to genetically mix with the 200 million American whites to produce his “new hybrid ethnicities.”

Does he or anyone else expect for there to be any white people left after a couple hundred years of this? I don’t. This is why I accuse Reihan Salam of promoting the demographic genocide of white people. Don’t believe me? Here is a direct quote from the alleged genocide enthusiast himself:

Shortly before I was born, my family visited Washington, DC, in the middle of a snowstorm. My poor mother, dodging snowbanks while pregnant, also had two little girls in tow. At one point, my mother tells me, she was confronted by an angry woman, who scolded her for having such a large family: “Don’t you know there’s a population crisis?” she asked. My mother replied that she fully intended to have a large family so that she and her offspring would displace America’s native inhabitants, just as European settlers seized the lands of the American Indians. I’m not entirely sure the conversation went exactly as my mother describes it. But it does sound like the kind of thing she’d say in a fit of pique. That is one of the many reasons she is my hero.

In light of this, how can anyone blame right wing nationalists for wanting to deport people like Mrs. Salam and her children? Seems like self-defense to me.

Put simply, Salam seems to think that the solution to the immigration crisis currently facing the West is to breed white people out of existence while nonwhites keep breeding like rabbits in their ever-expanding portion of the world. And then he has the gall to promote his scheme using moral arguments.

To further refute such fraudulent logic would be trivial to anyone on the Dissident Right. However, there are instructive elements of Melting Pot or Civil War. One is that Salam shows what happens when a so-called conservative buys into the racial egalitarianism of the Left but not its concomitant economic egalitarianism. He has to do a lot of twisting and straining, sort of like resorting to epicycles to explain odd planetary movement in a geocentric system rather than simply shifting to a heliocentric one. Constantly throughout his book Salam refers to “disadvantaged minorities” as being the result of inequality between different groups of people, presumably whites versus nonwhites. This inequality is a problem for Salam. But why would a supposed conservative (assuming editors at National Review still call themselves that) balk at inequality when a conservative should accept that inequality “is established unchangeably by the Author of nature” according to John Adams and is the source of civilization? Here’s what conservative icon Russell Kirk has to say about it in The Conservative Mind [6]:

Throughout history, progress of every sort, cultural and economic, has been produced by the desire of men for inequality. Without the possibility of inequality, a people continue on the dreary level of bare subsistence, like Irish peasants; granted inequality, the small minority of men of ability tum barbarism into civilization. Equality benefits no one. It frustrates men of talent; and it reduces the poor to a poverty still more abject. In a densely-populated civilized state, it means near—starvation for the poor. For inequality produces the wealth of civilized communities . . .

And this inequality extends not only within a race but across the races as well. Yet Salam would preferably take up the Marxist endeavor of equalizing everything, sort of the like the nefarious world government in Ward Kendall’s dystopian novel Hold Back This Day [7]. Thus, by not holding these “disadvantaged” groups accountable for their own limitations (by, say, pointing to their low IQs and innate lack of impulse control), he doesn’t see any reason for excluding them from civilized society. He doesn’t look at the quality of the populations he wishes to absorb through amnesty, only the moral imperative. He ignores the crime and corruption that many of these blacks and browns bring to the table as well as their shameful free-riding tendencies and seems to assume that they can behave just like whites if the circumstances are right. At one point he even avers that African and Latin American influences have “enriched” America’s melting-pot culture, a ridiculous claim given how blacks and Mexicans fight for turf and compete for jobs in this country not to mention commit disproportionate amounts of crime and vote like socialists.

Further, Salam continually calls for the United States to “create economic opportunities for the billions who aren’t fortunate enough to be the citizens of a rich market democracy.” It’s as if, as a non-white himself, he can only view the white West as one big sugar daddy. It serves first and foremost to benefit his kind, thereby alleviating his kind of the need to improve their lives in their own parts of the world. By imputing a moral obligation upon whites to “bettering the lives of people around the world” without imposing the same responsibilities on nonwhites to better the lives of whites, he is, in effect, promoting the oppression of white people. And he disguises such grotesque intentions in circular ribbons of meretricious morality.

Salam offers several solutions to the problems that could arise as a result of his prospective vision, most of which speak to his malformed worldview. One is that native-born Americans should consider retiring in Mexico. This, apparently, will help the economy of Mexico, thereby reducing the need for Mexicans to immigrate to the United States. It would also reduce the US government’s burden to care for these people. Of course, Salam does not go into why anyone from a civilized country would want to immigrate to country with the twentieth highest murder rate [8] in the world and which comes in 135th place out 180 in transparency.org’s Corruption Perceptions Index [9]. Such a folly would be compounded in one’s old age when people are more vulnerable and less able to travel to see loved ones.

Another solution is for the more advanced nations to promote the formation of charter cities and industrial zones for would-be immigrants. These places would presumably exist outside of Europe and the United States and would give non-whites a place to go if they needed to go anywhere. Of course, this would require the wealthy white and east-Asian nations to foot the bill. Salam doesn’t explain why the billions of dollars in aid that we have already given third world nations hasn’t lifted them out of poverty and doesn’t convincingly explain why building charter cities would be any different. If places like Jordan or Bangladesh haven’t attained first world status by now, they aren’t going to, regardless of how much aid the first world throws at them.

There are several ways to interpret Melting Pot or Civil War. The most generous would be to assume that Reihan Salam means well and honestly believes that mixing high-skilled foreigners with illegal immigrants and the existing American populations is the best way to make a melting pot. But to believe this and not foresee how damaging this would be to the white population would be naïve to the point of stupid. Further, he believes that after providing amnesty to millions of illegals we would have the will to firmly close our borders to all but high-skilled immigrants. This isn’t naïve. This is just plain stupid. Salam doesn’t realize that people by their very nature are tribal. This means that fast-breeding, newly-amnestied blacks and browns—including expat Bangladeshis like himself—will use their political capital to open those borders back up again for more blacks and browns. That’s how interracial democracies work. According to his plans, the borders will eventually crack and crumble from the inside; maybe not as quickly as they would under the open-borders Left, but that would be cold comfort to white people who are getting crowded out of the nations that they themselves had founded. This, I would say, is the book’s exoteric interpretation.

An esoteric interpretation would be treating this work as if it were a missive to the aforementioned open-borders Left. People in this group will easily be able to see what I pointed out in the previous paragraph and realize that although Salam’s plan will take longer than opening the borders today would, it will eventually get us there and will provoke less resistance from the gullible Right. Why risk everything in a civil war today when you can hoodwink the Right out of its homelands over the course of several generations? Maybe Salam thought of this and maybe he didn’t. But that’s not important. What is important is whether people on the open-borders Left have thought of this. And they certainly will have thanks to Melting Pot or Civil War.

Finally, the eso-eso­-teric interpretation which describes Salam’s work as something far more sinister: a threat to the Right, especially the White Right. Reihan Salam gussies it up with good intentions and a few unconvincing stabs at research, but here’s what he’s really saying to white people:

“I am the tip of the spear that is going to impale you. Please take my advice and allow me to make the blade thinner and sharper. That way when we finally kill you, you will hardly feel a thing.”