'Paleoconservatives' Decry Immigration
NEW ORLEANS -- They came from near and far, gathering inside the ritzy St. Louis Hotel for their 14th annual meeting.
There was Srdja Trifkovic, who says he is a "Byzantine man," not a Renaissance man, and who thinks that total economic collapse would be a good thing for white people. Former bank CEO David Hartman came to say that Social Security and Medicare should be halted so that whites will have more children to take care of them in their old age.
Sam Francis was there, too, comparing non-white immigrants to "foreign colonizers, like space aliens."
And then there was Peter Brimelow. Some might have expected the well-heeled financial commentator, book author and influential nativist intellectual to feel somewhat out of his element at this gathering of the very far right.
But these were very much Brimelow's people.
They call themselves paleoconservatives — but a more accurate term, and one that is actually used by many of those who attended the New Orleans meeting of the Rockford Institute's John Randolph Club, might be racial nationalists.
The club used to include libertarians and others with a variety of political views but, as chronicled in an important article by James Lubinskas, that has changed. The club has shrunk, become more politically isolated, and focused in on issues related to race.
Peter Brimelow exemplifies that change. In 1995, he published the bestselling Alien Nation, a book that argued that America is historically white-dominated and should stay that way — but that was also written in a genial style and was careful to treat black Americans as part of the polity.
By 1997, he was warning that by 2008 the GOP would no longer be able to compete in presidential elections because the racial makeup of the electorate would be changed by non-white immigration.
Today, the former senior editor at Forbes magazine edits an anti-immigration Web page that carries an array of frankly white supremacist and anti-Semitic essays.
The Role of Race
Brimelow's political evolution might have been predicted. Although his Alien Nation was well reviewed in many places, it included strong veins of racism and xenophobia.
He described the role of race as "elemental, absolute, fundamental." He said that white Americans should demand that U.S. immigration quotas be changed to allow in mostly whites. He argued that spending tax dollars on anything related to multiculturalism was "subversive." He called foreign immigrants "weird aliens with dubious habits."
He worried repeatedly that his son, with his "blue eyes" and "blond hair," would grow up in an America in which whites had lost the majority.
At one point, he wrote that if one enters an Immigration and Naturalization Service waiting room, just like entering the New York subways, "you find yourself in an underworld that is not just teeming but also almost entirely colored."
In his review, he said that racism is "undetectable" in opinion polls and "does not seem" to affect blacks' economic status. He said tax money spent to help blacks and the poor "has done little good and much ill." And he said that "policemen of all races are, if anything, more lenient with criminals of a different race."
In 1999, Brimelow started the Center for American Unity, where he remains president today. The center's most important project was a Web page called VDARE, named after Virginia Dare, the first English child born in the New World in 1587.
Brimelow has written that he once planned to bestow Dare's name on "the heroine of a projected fictional concluding chapter in Alien Nation, about the flight of the last white family in Los Angeles." He was, he said, "dissuaded."