As I watched scenes of the coast-to-coast mass demonstrations in favor of amnesty for illegal aliens, I couldn't help but be reminded of Senator Edward Kennedy's promises made at the time he was managing the 1965 Immigration Act through the Senate First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same.... Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset.... Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia.... In the final analysis the ethnic patterns of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think. Senator Kennedy was wrong on every count. Just three years after passage of the 1965 Immigration Act, social historian Andrew Hacker suggested that the United States had already ceased to be a nation. In his book, The End of the American Era, he wrote, "what was once a nation has become simply an agglomeration of self-concerned individuals; men and women who were once citizens are now merely residents of bounded terrain where birth happens to have placed them." On the topic of nationhood, this issue's feature section has been assembled by long-time contributor Gerda Bikales. The editors and publisher are grateful to her and her writers for their work. The remarks by Ernest Renan are compelling 'A nation is a soul, a spiritual principle. These two things which, in reality are just one, make up this soul, or spiritual principle. One exists in the past, the other in the present. One is the shared possession of a rich heritage of memories; the other is present-day consent, wanting to live together, the will to continue to cherish the entire inheritance one has received...' The article by Richard Duncan, "The Olduvai Theory Energy, Population, and Industrial Civilization," published in our Winter 2005-2006 issue, is, thanks to the internet, the most widely distributed piece we have published. As evidenced by a sampling of letters, Duncan's article has received attention around the globe. Rising oil prices are a reminder that we seem to be sliding on the downslope of Peak Oil. Years ago, David and Marcia Pimentel suggested that the sustainable population of the U.S. could not exceed 150 million. If this is so, we should not be permitting any large-scale immigration at all.
A Note from the Editor - Spring 2006
Published in The Social Contract
Volume 16, Number 3 (Spring 2006)
Issue theme: "Nation building / Nation bashing: nations change radically through mass immigration"
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