Widening the Circle

By John Tanton
Volume 8, Number 2 (Winter 1997-1998)
Issue theme: "Australia's identity crisis"

Starting with the Fall 1997 issue of our magazine we have been soliciting a guest editor for many of our issues. For that number we were delighted to have the assistance of Larry Harrison, who pulled together the section on Ethics and Migration. For this current issue, we asked Joseph W. Smith and Mark Uhlmann to help us compile materials on immigration to Australia, highlighting aspects of the debate in their country that have relevance for other immigrant-receiving nations around the world. Dr. Smith is a researcher at the University of Adelaide and Uhlmann is a journalist in Canberra, the Australian capital. The hope, of course, is that we can learn something applicable to our situation here in North America, while still producing a journal that would be useful for our colleagues in Australia- where 1,000 extra copies are being prepared for distribution.

There is an astonishing correlation of issues and concerns between North America and our colleagues on the other side of the equator. Uhlmann and Smith open with a comment on the crisis in Australian identity, and Mark O'Connor writes of the P.C. phenomenon that has taken root there as well. Katharine Betts essays on the perennial topic of population policy, particularly appropriate in the bicentennial year of the famous essay on population by Thomas Malthus. (The actual anniversary date is June 7.)

Lest anyone doubt the relevance of the demographic factor, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir follows up with a threat to use the Third World's population as the ultimate weapon, and inundate the West with people. To understand the Australian's concern about population swamping, keep in mind that, to the north, India alone increases its population by about 18 million a year - roughly equal to the total Australian population, which is the product of over 200 years of European settlement. Other Australian neighbors include China and Indonesia, respectively the first and fourth most populous countries on the globe. Abe Wheelwright sees Australia as a "client state," calling to mind Sen. Eugene McCarthy's book on the United States entitled Colony to the World. Uhlmann draws parallels to other nations, and physician Rod Spencer questions the government's numbers on how many immigrants are coming in, both legally and illegally. We then hear about reverse racism from the dean of Australian historians, Geoffrey Blainey, and from our Australian correspondent Denis McCormack on the "Asianization" of his country. The guest-edited section closes with a report on a good will trip to several Asian capitals on which McCormack accompanied Graeme Campbell, a member of the Australian House of Representatives.

In the center section of this issue there is a bridging article on Chinese migration to the U.S., and an excellent piece by Charlie Reese on some of the erroneous ideas that the "elites" are using in managing our society. There are articles on the Religious Persecution bill now before Congress, on the changing French national consciousness, and the cultural divide in California. Jim Walsh gives us another case study from his immigration fraud notebook.

How to characterize the book review section? There are three synoptic reviews covering ten related books, and two individual reviews - all very provocative material on tomes you will want to know about and can get a taste of in this abbreviated form.

Looking ahead, the Spring 1998 feature section edited by John Vinson will be on the subject of "Europhobia" and David Simcox will assemble materials on secure personal identification for the Winter 1998-99 edition. Meanwhile, the Summer issue will be devoted to the bicentennial of the Malthus essay.

We think you'll want to read this current issue just about in its entirety!

John H. Tanton

Editor and Publisher

About the author

John Tanton is Editor and Publisher of The Social Contract and founder of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His personal website is www.JohnTanton.org.