By BENJAMIN SCHWARZ
Over the last 18 years, Great Britain—more precisely, England, a distinction we’ll get to soon—has been in the grip of the most profound social transformation since the Industrial Revolution. Neither the upheavals attendant on the world wars nor the dislocations triggered by economic depressions nor the changes wrought by the attenuated breakdown of a social order rooted in a feudal past have so fundamentally altered England’s civilization as will the impact of mass immigration.
When in 1941 George Orwell—social conservative, Little Englander, intellectual cosmopolitan—hopefully envisioned an English socialist revolution, he assured his readers (and himself) that such a mere political event, like all such past convulsions, would prove no more than a surface disturbance. Yes, England’s class system would dissolve; yes, the nation’s economy and social relations would change radically as authority and privilege was wrested from the figurative “irresponsible uncles and bed-ridden aunts” who held the levers of power—England, after all, was “a family with the wrong members in control”—and yes, accents might even alter. England, however, would “still be England, an everlasting animal stretching into the future and the past, and, like all living things, having the power to change out of recognition and yet remain the same.”
But the mass immigration that Britain has experienced since 1997—the year Tony Blair’s New Labour government radically revised the immigration laws in a deliberate effort to transform Britain into a multicultural society—has had an effect wholly different from that of all previous political and social disruptions. Mass immigration hasn’t merely embellished, changed, or even assaulted the enduring, resilient national culture that Orwell adumbrated. Rather, by its very nature—by its inherent logic, and by the ideology, aspirations, and world-historical forces from which it springs and to which it gives expression—it perforce obliterates that culture.
Read more: www.theamericanconservative.com