Immigration in context of a more threatening world

Bruno Macaes in the National Review puts immigration into the context of new fears, unknown to Americans in the past, of about foreign influence over our jobs, our politics and our futures:

Immigration now takes place in the real world. And it all started in those months leading from Brexit to the Trump election.

The truth is that for many in the United Kingdom and the U.S., there is no longer a functioning liberal order. While the elites see a well-functioning international system of markets, trade, and the free movement of people, those at the bottom can find only the work of blind forces and competing states in an increasingly chaotic world.

Factories are being closed because of competition from China and elsewhere, and the message communicated to workers is that their country is no longer able to compete. Growing numbers of immigrants have a measurable impact on neighborhoods and the provision of public services, predominantly affecting the poor.

What has been taking place in the U.S. since the 2016 elections would look strikingly familiar to Turks or Egyptians. Some episode or other of foreign involvement in the democratic process is reported. That is bad enough as far as it goes, but it gets worse. Once the fatal virus of suspicion enters the political bloodstream, it will never leave.

Trump did not bring this situation with him. He is in fact the product of a new world where voters in the U.S. feel increasingly vulnerable to influences from the outside — influences which can no longer be managed or controlled as they were in the past.

One could speculate endlessly about the root causes of the new situation, but the truth is notably straightforward. Technology — once the preserve of the West — is now universal. [In the 19th C], the Muslim and Chinese worlds were faced with a new kind of civilization, carrying all the secrets of modern science, which at first must have looked like supernatural powers. The encounter between European and Asian empires in the mod­ern age had a very specific meaning to those involved: the superiority of European technology.

We have now entered a new age, one perfectly summarized by saying that Western machines are every day meeting Asian machines.

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