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Migration as social-imperial project: II
You pay an organisation to do what makes its resources go up: V
This article can be adumbrated thusly: The welfare state is meant to make parts of society that don’t work well more functional. Unfortunately, this means functional in an ethically-approved sense. It doesn't mean good.
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In my previous essay, I discussed the complexities of migration, particularly Muslim migration into developed liberal democracies. Here, I provide more detail, identifying four historical Islamic streams.
(1) Mainstream Middle Eastern Islam, which sanctifies the pastoralist synthesis (polygyny, kin-groups, raiding and enslaving of outsiders, law based on revelation). Differentiated into mainstream Sunni and Twelver Shi’a or Imāmiyya.
(2) Steppe Islam—which also sanctifies the pastoralist synthesis—but with women having higher status and steppe cultures themselves sharing a history of deliberative assemblies (kurultai). Unlike the oasis pastoralism of the Middle East, steppe pastoralism meant that men were often away, leading to armed women and female ownership of dwellings—the yurts and the gers.
(3) Minority Islam: Ismailis, Alevis, Ibadis, Ahmadis, etc. Permanent minority status meant their Islam gave up any claim to rightful dominion, much as post-diaspora Judaism developed into a very different religion from that which constantly fed revolts against Roman rule. Much of Balkan Islam falls into this category, having become substantially “culturally Christian”. Due to decades of Kemalist secularism, Turkish Islam shows similar patterns.
(4) Mercantile Islam: the Islam of the Malay world and Indian Ocean islands, which have no local pastoralists and to which Islam spread in large part because Sharia was a superior form of commercial law compared to its Eastward competitors while Islam itself was a powerful counter-identity to the Christianity of European colonisers. This form of majority Islam does not have a “democratic deficit” problem.
Most of the problems Islam generates in the modern world come from mainstream Middle Eastern Islam. The Saudis—the last polity established by pastoralists—and now the Qataris have spent millions evangelising their return-to-the-pastoralist-synthesis version of Islam.
Moreover, polygyny in oil-rich Arabian peninsular states draws in marriageable women from other Muslim countries, leaving surplus un-partnered young men at home. Un-partnered young men are a destabilising demographic prone to violence—and readily recruited as jihadis—just as their forerunners were recruited as ghazis.
While the logic of belief is not necessarily the logic of believers—religious adherents tend to be full of theological incorrectness—schemas (patterns of belief) and scripts (patterns of action) grounded in fundamental evolutionary pressures and enduring social logics can and do persevere.
Sharia is the most imperial of all legal systems. It has no pre-imperial history and, as Sovereign of the Universe’s “home” rules, applies to all regardless of their beliefs. Jihadis feel entirely justified in violently—even murderously—enforcing Sharia rules on non-Muslims.
Importing large numbers of mainstream Middle Eastern Muslims (especially young Muslim men) from a religion that has—since its origins—sanctified rape of women who do not accept its dominion regularly leads to sexual predation problems.
Moreover, Islam’s strong insider-outsider perspective encourages congregation within particular localities. These can become hostile to manifestations of outside authority or alternative views of sex and gender, including discouraging women’s use of public spaces.
It is unwise to import lots of people belonging to a religion that has fundamentally different norms and expectations; is based on a claim to universal legal and political dominion, and that has, for its entire history, sanctified rape of women who do not accept subordination to its rules. But dominant discourse in the contemporary West inhibits anything resembling an honest and open discussion of these issues.
Migrants useful for social dominance
For an elite seeking divide-favour-and-dominate social leverage, mainstream Middle Eastern Muslims make excellent migrants. They break-up working-class communities, require elevated health, welfare and security expenditure, and provide coordinating markers of commitment to elite status along with social-leverage strategies.
They are useful in generating prestige opinions and luxury beliefs. They produce intense patterns of required affirmations and, especially, not noticing. Anyone who dares articulate any of the aforementioned awkward facts is a hostile trouble-maker who can be dismissed as “Islamophobic” and stigmatised for wrongful noticing. Control of legitimacy in discourse is an effective mechanism for social leverage by the credentialed.
In the UK, for instance, the progressive-feminist establishment—folk who can go from zero to outrage in 280 characters—do not care how many (often underage) poor girls in care are raped or forced into prostitution by gangs one is absolutely not allowed to identify as Muslim, as long as establishment feminists keep their immigrant nannies. Even better, the victims often do not make effective witnesses, making the cases hard to prosecute (though successful prosecutions have—eventually—occurred).
This an egregious manifestation of progressive feminism being uninterested—or even hostile—to the interests of working-class women, including underage girls. Elite women undermine social solidarity because women are not the social solidarity sex.
Meanwhile, Yazidi victims of Muslim rapists—who used religious justifications—in Syria are something one is allowed to notice. Low social-status girls in Western societies suffering under exactly the same religious justifications, the same cultural schemas (patterns of belief) and scripts (patterns of action) that go back to the origins of Islam and the example of Muhammad…not so much.
As one may not notice they are overwhelmingly Muslim gangs, the euphemistic term Asian grooming gang is used. This occludes the participation of African Muslims and slanders Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus, and Asian Christians. None of these communities show remotely the same pattern of coordinated sexual predation.
Western academe has become largely useless, or worse than useless, at informing wider society. Academe is increasingly feminised (which has consequences), so increasingly conformist. It has no character tests and is status- and reputation-focused, so tends to select for cowardly conformism.
Religious and Middle Eastern studies also get lots of Middle Eastern Muslim oil money and—without selection for character in academe—are thereby corrupted. The lack of character tests and selection-by-approval also applies to government (and non-profit) bureaucracies. Payment to colonise social pathologies replicates the last factor.
Much of the point of mass migration is to advantage capital over labour and much of the way that advantaging is carried out is by de-legitimising complaint. If people complain about the costs of migration, they are either directly stigmatised, ignored, or dismissively derided.
If problems cannot be legitimately articulated, if complaints are siloed off, if one has elites committed to patterns of not-noticing, any expectation of responsive policy is ridiculous. Dumping immigration costs onto the resident working-class actively serves a range of elite, or elite-connected, interests. Interests that are easily rationalised and moralised via mutually-supporting self-deception.
The social-imperial state is structured to favour multiculturalism and racialisation. A unified demos is much more administratively awkward. Multiculturalism and “diversity” represent moral projects for expanding the size and authority of the state apparat—and associated non-profits—while also shielding midwit bureaucrats from the demands of competence. They can hide behind DIE.
This enables divide-favour-and-dominate games—to which all imperial structures are drawn—including the social-imperial welfare state. Hence, the administrative patterns for colonial administration can readily be—and have been—adapted for domestic multiculturalism.
In my last five essays, I’ve drawn out the following: the welfare state is meant to make those parts of society that don’t function well more functional. Unfortunately, this means functional in an ethically-approved sense, which strains accountability mechanisms. If the aim is to “do good” then there is always more good to be done.
The second is seeing social goods as things to be handed out from a central authority rather than emerging thanks to particular social strategies. The welfare state is invested in a mechanistic view of social dynamics.
If folk are to have successful middle-class lives, they need to follow successful middle-class strategies. Transferring resources to people who continue to follow non-functional life-strategies for modern technological societies is still going to lead to poor social outcomes.
The third is that the apparatus of the welfare state expands as social problems get worse. Indeed, there’s a tendency to declare social outcomes problems and to deem them “fixable” by welfare-state interventions. This means the welfare-state apparatus—and associated non-profits—can “succeed” not only through declaring things to be failures they have to fix but also by maintaining and expanding social failures. The billions spent on “helping” indigenous communities in Anglo-settler societies—with remarkably little beneficial effect—fits this pattern.
You pay an organisation to do what makes its resources go up. We pay the welfare state apparatus to preside over social failure. Remember, we Homo sapiens are excellent at moralising and rationalising our self interest, and doing so quite self-deceptively. There are entire social networks that select for mechanisms to do so collectively.
Convergence with “social justice” as status strategy
As the politics of the transformational future rely on maximising contrasts between past and present failures and an imagined future’s glories, this fits right in with the welfare state’s dysfunctional selection processes.
The politics of the transformational future glosses such selection for success-through-failure in ways that feed itself by its what you must affirm and what you can’t notice strategies. Worse, Western societies have not only an internally-colonising state apparat, but ancillary colonisation via succeed-through-failure mechanisms in the non-profit advocacy-and-service economy.
The US’s forever wars—with their absence of final victory—make more sense if one sees an unaccountable state that does not select for strategic victory but for the financial and institutional colonising of ongoing war. There is similar convergence between bureaucratic state apparat and defence contractors in military-strategic matters.
There is also a grim convergence when public health authorities—in providing dysfunctional nutrition guidelines—colonise health among armed forces personnel, thereby degrading their metabolic health.
The politics of the transformational future justify release from the constraints of accountability, from the constraints of being the citizens’ agents. The more one is a avatar of grand moral purposes, the easier it is to justify not acting as servants of the people, but as those who make them better. The grand political design substitutes for accountability: people become human clay to be moulded, not citizens to be served.
The politics of the transformational future fits with psychiatrist-philosopher Frantz Fanon’s analysis of the imperial relationship as being one where actors with (grand) purposes treat the colonised as vehicles to realise a vision. In this case, a social-imperial vision.
A colonised populace
The democratic notion that the state apparat is the citizens’ instrument—and the hope many have to use that instrument for their own purposes—is a great protector, and fosterer, of the internal colonising process. The state apparat, however, is the citizens’ instrument only to the extent that it is accountable to the citizens.
If you think of the populace of Western democracies—especially but not only the working class—as a colonised population, many things make sense. Things like treating the country’s culture and heritage in much the same way as so many imperial states treated the culture and heritage of conquered peoples: as superstitions and folkways that people of discernment knew was inferior to what the imperial elite can offer.
In many ways, those who are most colonised, who most suffer the social dysfunctions of such Theory-drunk social imperialism, are indigenous communities in the Anglo-settler societies. The refusal to confront the violence, including sexual abuse, within indigenous communities in order to maintain social justice status strategies has long since reached the level of the grotesque.
Turning folk into icons of identity, making a fetish of their marginalisation, both strips them of agency and blocks acknowledging the reality of increased dysfunction within their communities as they are colonised by “social pathology expands our income flows” welfare state and ancillary non-profits.
If one draws attention to the social dysfunction, one will be attacked by the social justice social imperialists, who are committed to their identity-politics status and social-leverage strategies, and for whom indigenous folk are not people—with normal capacities for good and ill—but icons of identity who must fulfil the roles that Theory assigns to them.
The politics of the transformational future is naturally hostile of any strong notion of citizenship, with all the agency and authority that citizenship implies. This is not merely because humans are to be remoulded to fit the transformational future—so no choice that contradicts that Grand Purpose can be legitimate—but also because a strong notion of citizenship is bound to a particular polity, to something that evolved out of a past. The devaluing of history that is inherent in the politics of the transformational future corrodes citizenship.
The alienation from liberal democracy visible in the rise of national populism is a brutal question to conservative politicians: what have you managed to conserve? Conservative trust in organisations and institutions managing themselves has been systematically misplaced. It is worse than useless to tell people to trust institutions they know neither respect nor serve them.
The reason why such faith has been systematically misplaced emerges partly from the dynamics of the self-colonising welfare state. However, even more than the state, ancillary institutions have been colonised by those who possess what I call dominion capital: human and social capital directed towards power acquisition. This is a process of colonisation via a non-electoral politics of institutional capture.
It makes people’s exercise of their ballot irrelevant.
Conserving existing heritage is increasingly de-legitimised as part of the colonising process. All this feeds into the rise of national populism and of authoritarianism. Hence the political appeal of outsize public personalities who claim they will champion those people that institutions no longer serve or respect.
Conventional political parties are dominated by Anywheres: highly educated folk comfortable with globalised networks not based in place. Yet about half the electorate are Somewheres: people whose connections and perspectives are locality-based.
Again and again, this results in voters not getting what they voted for, not being consulted on major policy shifts, nor having their concerns seriously considered. They are thereby locked out of political and policy bargaining.
Media was much better at enabling society to talk to itself when journalism had a substantial contingent of jobbing working-class lads and lasses made good, so was substantially Somewheres talking to other Somewheres. Recruiting media folk through the Anywhere-dominated universities—particularly elite universities—degrades an institution’s ability to talk to the Somewhere plurality.
In this way, elite media becomes integral to the internal colonising process.
Journalists are increasingly socialised into identifying themselves as elite, and their fellow citizens as human clay to be “moulded” by their Betters: by Theory-drunk academics and administrators who adhere to, and recruit for, social justice social imperialism.
An elite culture of not noticing and stigmatising of wrongful noticing creates both policy dysfunction and electoral alienation. It narrows or destroys feedback loops as part of its pathological relationships with information. Politics becomes more disconnected from the electorate—and even from how people vote—because the ability of Western societies to talk to themselves, required for effective accountability, is degraded.
The next essay explores the human-and-cultural capital class and its internal colonising of Western societies as a class-based phenomenon.
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