Absimilation On Westminster Bridge: The Japanese Were Right. The British Were Wrong.

Absimilation On Westminster Bridge: The Japanese Were Right. The British Were Wrong. By John Derbyshire.

The Britain of fifty-odd years ago was a high-trust society. I had a girlfriend in my home town, and weekends I’d go home to see her. My normal mode of travel for those seventy miles was to hitch-hike. I’d take the subway out to Hendon Central, walk a half-mile to the on-ramp for the M1 (Britain’s first expressway, then new), and stand there with my thumb out, trying to look pleasant. Some truck driver or traveling salesman would pull over seeking some conversation on his drive, and an hour and a half later I’d be home.

It was the standard way of getting around if you had no money: not just in Britain, either, but all over Europe. In my 1964 summer vacation I hitch-hiked clear across the continent, to the Black Sea and back. …

It’s all a matter of numbers, numbers and concentrations. Don’t take in too many, and discourage clustering — especially in this age of modern communications, when immigrants can bring their native country with them.

Is such an arrangement actually possible in this world today, though, with cheap air travel and low trade barriers? It surely is: Japan, for example, is a pure Derbistan, as I just described the ideal.

That brings Japan in for a lot of scolding from the Open-Borders mob. Mass-immigration fanatic Bret Stephens was lecturing them in The Wall Street Journal the other day: “On current trend the population will fall to 97 million by the middle of the century. Barely 10 per cent of Japanese will be children. The rest of the population will divide almost evenly between working-age adults and the elderly.”

That doesn’t sound so bad. Late 20th-century Japan was very overcrowded. A population drop to 97 million would be good; 50 million would probably be better. The age distribution doesn’t much matter, with modern healthcare and productivity. Once the baby-boomers have died off and it’s these smaller age cohorts that are aging, it will matter even less.

Or if the Japanese want to get their population back in nine digits via mass immigration, it’s a democratic country and they can elect politicians who’ll take care of that. But the Japanese show no inclination to do so, for all Bret Stephens’ hectoring.

Is it too late to get Britain back to the Derbistan ideal? My guess would be that it probably is. The place—that’s what it is now: a place, not a country — the place is irrevocably wrecked.

Still, something is owed to honesty. The Brits should at least admit—some national figure, a member of the Royal Family, for example, should publicly admit—that in the matter of mass immigration, the Brits long ago made a horribly wrong decision, while the Japanese made the right one.

The Brits destroyed their country. The Japanese preserved theirs. …


For all the MSM’s glee about him being British-born, [the Westminster attacker] Masood actually illustrates a thesis I’ve been arguing for years: that it’s not the first generation of immigrants you need to worry about so much as the second and subsequent generations.

As I have argued, some assimilate, some ab-similate. Some immigrant lines become more like us while some go the opposite way, becoming more alienated—they ab-similate. Ab-similation is especially probable when there is a deep difference in race or religion, with blacks and Muslims being the most likely to ab-similate.