Seth Barrett Tillman: “A Dialogue on Migration”

This is very good.

Left-of-Center Candidate: I understand. We will work to ensure that your wages are not compressed.
Audience Member: You are not listening. That’s not what I said; I don’t like the direction the nation’s immigration policies have taken our country. You have supported the Government’s policies—at the very least, you have not opposed them. I don’t like where we are now as a result—not that the other opposition parties would do anything different.
Left-of-Center Candidate: No, that’s not right. My job is not to ensure your personal vision of the good society. I live in the real world—in the European Union—which (in effect) determines our national immigration policy—in conjunction with international law and our treaty commitments. My job is to act within that context in protecting your objectively rooted economic interests…

Sound familiar? The immigration policies of the Democratic and establishment Republican parties appear to include:

1. Open borders.
2. A preference for the interests of an international coalition that includes American elites over those of Americans overall, and for the interests of refugees and illegal immigrants over those of poor and working-class Americans.
3. Hostility to Americans who oppose current US immigration policies and want their government to promote the interests of Americans exclusively.

In the real world that Seth’s hypothetical candidate invokes, many US and European pols should lose their jobs for disregarding the voters’ wishes on this issue.

(See also Seth’s earlier American Spectator piece: East Wall and the Plantations: Ireland and Its New Migrants)

UPDATE: See this 2016 post by Seth.

22 thoughts on “Seth Barrett Tillman: “A Dialogue on Migration””

  1. We now have an essentially foreign ruling class. Some of them are American born but because of the accumulation of wealth, often not by creating or building things but by the manipulation of money, they consider themselves “citizens of the world.” The old lower middle class that made things and won World War II, has been hollowed out. Foreign countries, often China, have cheaper labor costs and manufacturing has moved there to cut costs. Transportation has gotten cheaper and the near slavery wages made the difference. As China has raised the wages of its own population, manufacturing has shifted to other third world locations. Interestingly, most of those places are in Asia. Africa is still too poorly governed to play a significant role. As long as we do not get into a war, it will probably continue but we could no longer win World War II. I wonder if we can even replace the military hardware we are giving to Ukraine.

  2. Moke K: “Foreign countries, often China, have cheaper labor costs and manufacturing has moved there to cut costs.”

    Labor costs are part of the story of Our Betters de-industrialization of the US — but probably only a small part.

    The major cost differences relate to avoiding excessive regulatory & legal costs in the US — Our Betters have to make jobs for all those Upper Middle Class bureaucrats & lawyers, and help create vast wealth for ambulance-chasing Democrat lawyers. And there is the related impossibly long time to get anything new built in the US because of frivolous law suits — more revenues for our ruling class of lawyers and their bought-and-paid for politicians.

    Americans now buy automobiles from Germany — not a low-wage economy; and airplanes from France — not a low-wage economy; and ships from South Korea — hardly a nearly slave wage economy.

    Of course, Our Betters like to spread the meme that the US cannot compete because we US proles earn too much. It is a convenient lie for them — Don’t Fall For It!

  3. Mike K, not Moke K. My apologies — should check my typing when I am hot under the collar.

  4. Isn’t what Tillman trying to get at is the place of the citizen, and indeed that of nationhood, within contemporary Irish society? A key component of the Left’s grand project is to dissolve the concept of national citizenship into various identarian parts and then subsume those atomized parts within a supranational entity? The supranational component is especially prominent in Europe with the European Commission serving as anti-democratic, almost Hegelian structure that is both distrustful of national identity an that of citizens itself.

    So what are the options for Tillman’s audience member? There is no viable party of government willing to meet his issues in any meaningful way; all the major parties seem to shy away from thinking of Ireland for the Irish (contrast that with the out child of the EU, Hungary). None of the parties seem willing to meet the needs of the East Wall demonstrators. Political scientists like to use market analogies with the positions of parties, i.e. the parties will offer policies to meet voter demand, but that’s clearly not the case. The Europeans have expended a lot of energy, long before even Brexit, in making any sort of nationalism toxic. In fact Macron’s whole reason for political viability is not what he is but rather what he is not, that is Le Pen.

    That’s what makes Trump such a gamer changer. To go back to the market analogy, looking at polling numbers means very little; the Left focuses on organization and information warfare (e.g. labeling and isolating opponents) to make a polling deficit on any given issue almost irrelevant, Trump on the other hand saw an opportunity to create a new political landscape, in many ways reviving the Tea Party, by turning what had been inchoate opinions that could have easily have dissipate into the foundation of a new identity. Love or hate his behavior but could any other politician put up with the abuse and vicious attacks from all parts of the Establishment? Any other politician willing to go toe-to-toe on a daily basis and brawl? The European Establishment has already either cowed or isolated any continental version of Trump so the pressure in Ireland, as elsewhere in Europe, will continue to build until it explodes.

    Compact just re-published Michael Anton’s piece from last year on the existential struggle between Trump and the Establishment ( This really is a death ride between the two and the Mar-a-Lago raid has lit a fuse that very well may have catastrophic consequences for the 2024 election, in fact I think it’s inevitable. .

  5. these were the same parties that were complicit in the lockdowns as dave cullen noted during the pandemic, yes the factions in the Dail, are quite of a mindset,

  6. Gavin, I was referring more to how this started. Trump showed how cutting regulations could get the economy going again, even now. Germany has nearly priced itself out of the competition. Now, with energy prices out of control, it is worse. The EPA is probably the most evil agency for destroying the economy.

  7. Mike K suggests “The EPA is probably the most evil agency for destroying the economy.”

    The Department of Education is certainly still in the running for the top spot. About three-quarters of the students in US public schools fail to read proficiently at the grade level expected of them. What kind of economy is going to flourish with a labor pool of semi-literate, incompetent, applicants with worthless credentials?

  8. this is why they have ‘fortified’ the election, to prevent this from happening again, despite the halderman report, (which had been embargoed until after the Dominion verdict,

  9. Isn’t what Tillman trying to get at is the place of the citizen, and indeed that of nationhood, within contemporary Irish society?

    Yes, in contemporary Irish society, US society, UK society, French society, German society, Israeli society, et al.

    In all of those countries the Left’s position is that any expression of national self-interest in politics is racism and that classical liberalism is fascism. In all of those countries the Left uses captured institutions to attack politicians who are explicitly nationalist and classically liberal, and to try to convince the voters who agree with those politicians that they are on the losing side and are liable to be punished for holding such opinions.

  10. hence they persecuted berlusconi for 20 years, till they forced him out of the premiership,
    they seem to be doing the same to netanyahu for the last couple of years same for orange man,

    meloni seems to have made some headwinds in italy, but you never can tell what those prosecutors will come up with,

  11. There are, authorities guess, about 8 billion people in the world. Of that, maybe 2 billion live in reasonable prosperity, and freedom. Do the math.

  12. Here is a pretty good explanation of the opposition to Trump.

    Love him or hate him, during Trump’s presidency, the economy was strong, markets were up, inflation was under control, gas prices were low, illegal border crossings were down, crime was lower, trade deals were renegotiated, ISIS was defeated, NATO allies were stepping up, and China was stepping back (a little). Deny all that if you want to. The point here is that something like 100 million Americans believe it, strongly, and are bewildered and angered by elite hatred for the man they think delivered it.

    I think this is pertinent to the topic here.

  13. I saw an article over the weekend that pointed out that Tunisia is about to join the failed state club. The government finds the conditions attached to another IMF bailout too insulting to contemplate. Translation, it would be too hard to steal the money. Because only a fairly narrow piece of the Mediterranean separates them Europe, the EU has offered a sweetener of around a billion which might be easier to steal, so there’s hope of averting another “humanitarian” crisis.

    About 700 “migrants” or maybe “refugees” drowned because they didn’t want to be stuck on an island in the Aegean if they let the Greek Coast Guard rescue them, they were heading for Italy. Now they aren’t.

    The various governments of the Global South have discovered that the people they have been stealing from and impoverishing for so long are now a weapon to squeeze more money out of the putatively solvent countries.

  14. they want to provoke another Arab spring, like the rise in food staples and liberally directed social media did the last time,

  15. It’s funny (not “ha ha” funny, just sad) that so many Western elites want to replace their democracies and end “the tyranny of the middle class.” But this whole Marxism thing is a western conceit. Marx never imagined that other players on the world stage might want to have a say, notably Islam and a chauvinist China. I assert that Western Marxism is intellectually incapable if dealing with these two threats. At best, they will try accommodation, but these threats are hungry, if not ravenous. If the West does not re-awaken, it will simply keep drawing New lines in the sand as both of these threats continue to nibble away.

  16. Mike K…”Some of them are American born but because of the accumulation of wealth, often not by creating or building things but by the manipulation of money, they consider themselves “citizens of the world.”

    I think the “not by creating or building things” part of this is overstated. Jeff Bezos certainly built things, both in the creation of a merchandizing platform as significant as the creations of the department-store moguls and the chain mass merchandizers. Steve Jobs created a lot, and Tim Cook has also been a builder, though not on the same level. Elon Musk has created a whole lot of things…true, he’s not American-born, but neither was Andrew Carnegie.

  17. “My job is not to ensure your personal vision of the good society. ”

    I admire the gumption of any progressive with the nerve to say that in response to anything.

  18. Agree with David. It’s difficult for entrepreneurs to build things without a modern finance industry to channel investment capital and credit to them.

  19. Here are a few equations to ponder:

    Illusions + confusions = delusions.

    The Schemers will always, in all ways, exploit the Dreamers.

    The Dreamers = their illusions

    Realities = the confusions.

    The Schemers = exploiting the Dreamers illusions into delusions, which = the Dreamers becoming the Useful Idiots.

    The original Twilight Zone episode, The Monsters Are Coming To Maple Street, comes to mind.

    The Schemers are few, the Dreamers many, many to be exploited into the madness of delusions.

    Reality = the Designed Creation, as it is.

    When the Dreamer’s exploited delusions meet their empty bellies, well, doubling down on their exploitable delusions just doesn’t satisfy………

  20. I will grant you the class/labor emphasis but add another racial theme.

    Compton, California seems to be a good model. Compton was ~100% Black with ~100 homicides per year. The state, or county, encouraged Hispanic settlement. The Hispanic population, and their gangs, targeted the Black gang-bangers, their families, and their friends. Currently, Compton is ~70% Hispanic with next to no violent crime. That means profit for the property owners and graft for the politicians.

    Compton was a ghetto surrounded by other ghettos. Who cares if the gang-bangers relocate? Most cities are not that way. You are going to love your new neighbors, who will be the refugees from the ghetto. Enjoy your patio while you can. Clearly, the “Illegals” are the army who are intended to clean out the urban ghettos. The Progressives have abandoned the “pro-Trump Deplorables” in favor of the Illegals who will drive the burden of the ghettos into the surround. The RINOS are looking for cheap labor. The Progressives want to empty the burdensome ghettos. The currently desolate cities will once again have a productive, crime-free population. If the functional suburbs resist, it will just be another example of racism.

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