Why “Open Borders” is a Dangerous Idea by George Gallatin.
A decade before he fell to esophageal cancer Christopher Hitchens gave a series of riveting speeches on George Orwell. In them Hitchens argued that Orwell was an intellectual of such tremendous consequence because he got the “three great dramas” of the 20th century right. These were: the moral unsustainability of imperialism, the rising danger of Fascism, and the soulless cruelty of Communism. Most today agree that Orwell was a singularly perceptive observer of that barbaric century.
So in the opening decades of the new century, what are the great dramas bearing down on us? The danger of climate change is surely high on most lists. The promise and peril of artificial superintelligence? Or genetic engineering? Perhaps the danger lurks most in the threats we have slowly adjusted to and may be complacent about such as nuclear and biological weapons proliferation.
From my point-of-view, mass migration is the singular challenge of the 21st century. This is because it is a meta-issue that will affect our response to every other challenge. This is due to the fact that as mass migrations change demography, they may also affect changes in host nations’ cultures and political economies. The specifics of these changes are exceedingly difficult to forecast, because they hinge on dozens of variables specific to the migrants, the host nation, and the scale and rate of the movements. While we do not yet know the vector, the titanic, high velocity migration the West is currently experiencing will cause profound changes.