Migration Concepts in Depth: An Addendum to An Unchallenged Arbiter
By Chris Shaw
The major migration concepts which were defined in my recent paper An Unchallenged Arbiter have come under question. In particular, the concepts of xeno-racism, bonding and bridging capital, and the general framework of an Eriksen-defined multiculturalism have been questioned as a form of statist or academic leftism. I think it’s fair to clear up these definitions for greater clarity, and to frame them within my wider critiques of statism.
Firstly, the concept of xeno-racism has been defined by Liz Fekete as the specific exclusion of refugees, asylum seekers and other specially-defined migrants from forms of state-based welfare. When they are accessed, they are significantly diminished and can even engender forms of exclusion, as in the case of specific benefit “credit cards” which can only be used in certain places, for certain products. Of course, if these welfare programs were simply a form of national capital developed from friendly societies, healthcare cooperatives and other forms of mutual aid within communities, then there would be little problem. Those who found and fund such programs should have the final decision in terms of exclusion and inclusion when they are voluntarily funded. However, the actual development of statist welfare is anything but. For example, the early NHS was neither desired nor considered necessary as a form of healthcare that could correct previous issues. Similarly, rather than the Beveridge reforms being a ground-up consensus that developed out of friendly societies and charitable groups, they were instead an expropriation of community capital developed as an alternative to such communality. Further, the state itself not only imposes these forms of welfare (through mechanisms of theft), but also imposes strange forms of ethnic identity from the top-down. State-based multiculturalism effectively enforces a form of identity completely in ignorance of existing communities and ethnic groups. Working class communities from the east coast to the North are destroyed by mass immigration, and the cultures of these immigrants are legitimised as functions of a supposedly “civil” society. Ethnic minorities are not encouraged to integrate into existing communities, but instead construct nations within the wider nation. Any imposition of restriction that individual communities (for example those working class communities socially constructed from historical, cultural and religious bonds) want to impose on incoming immigration is impossible in the wider framework of the nation-state. Overall, xeno-racism is the specific application of ill-defined ethnic identities on incoming migrant populations which impose artificial exclusion which may not exist in a truly voluntary setting of patchwork English communities developing policies relative to their shared culture and varied economic needs. It is not a definition that attempts to paint opponents of immigration as racist, but rather to show that the state cannot truly define the dynamics of immigration with any meaningful intelligence, particularly when considering the problem of disaggregated knowledge as identified by Hayek.
Secondly, bridging and bonding capital are particular ideas that develop out of a community-based understanding of identity and culture. Where there is a huge change in ethnic makeup in particular communities, the ability for said communities to maintain cultural bonds becomes strained massively. This can be described as a breakdown in bonding capital. With this breakdown comes the inability to maintain existing community relations, thus limiting the capacity to develop bridging capital when new individuals enter a community. Such relations and dynamics have been described in much greater detail by Robert Putnam and Ed West. Within British communities, this can be seen as the increasing relevance of both white flight and the development of neighbourhoods where ethnic minorities become the majority. In Luton and Bradford, white communities and ethnic minorities turn their backs on each other, limiting both forms of capital that Putnam has identified. This serves to increase stratification and racial tension.
Finally, the concept of multiculturalism as identified by Eriksen is one defined outside the parameters of the state. This can involve a series of patchwork communities interlinked by a common identity but involving particular nuances and social differences, polycentrically confederating or maintaining separation as is their choice as individually-defined groupings. Applying this to Britain, it would most likely involve minimal influxes of immigration into areas where there still exists communal identities of English culture and sociality. London, under this definition, is realistically-speaking a lost cause, as it has fully accepted the tenets of cosmopolitanism and human rights discourse. Taking the framework Eriksen has defined, and combining it with Hoppe’s concept of natural inclusion and exclusion, there would develop ground-up national identities that excluded and included individuals through varied forms of social organisation. Such a generative framework is completely incompatible with most modern nation-states, who have completely accepted mass immigration and have no intention of reversing its consequences.
The modern left in Britain accepts immigration because it provides a fruitful voting base, and the modern Conservative Party happily accepts immigration because the major retail and agricultural monopolies (who happen to be major Conservative donors) need them as a pool of surplus labour who are easily exploitable. Relying on the modern nation-state to create an immigration framework which properly distributes resources and maintains traditional socio-economic relations is extremely naive. Instead, communities need to be constructed and defined which further these traditional ways of life and protect them from further state-led degradation. Deconstructing multiculturalism and the imposed welfare state should be foremost in the development of these communities, as without it the cultural rot, the destruction of national identity and the imposition of effective theft will simply continue.