America in Crisis is Theme of Spirited IHR Meeting
News from the Institute for Historical Review
America's social, economic and political malaise, a spreading sense of national gloom, and prospects for the future were the issues tackled by speakers at the IHR meeting on October 2, 2010. Attendees included students, teenagers, first time visitors, and long-time friends of the Institute.
Mark Weber opened the meeting with words of welcome and messages of greeting from some who were not able to attend. He also expressed thanks to several individuals who had been especially supportive in recent months. He spoke a bit about Joseph Sobran, the brilliant columnist, author and lecturer who had died a few days earlier. Sobran, a friend of the Institute, addressed an IHR conference in 2002.
Guest speaker Paul Fromm
makes a point during his talk
Mark Weber addresses the meeting
Weber also provided a brief update on the IHR's recently launched project against internet censorship. For example, an activist in Georgia phoned a few days ago to report on his success in persuading his city's library system to unblock access to the IHR website.
IHR meetings, said Weber, bring together men and women of "exceptional commitment, concern and awareness," and "reinforce our own idealism and dedication in working for a better country, a better future and a better world." A lively question and answer session followed the main talks, with pointed comments and questions from attendees and trenchant remarks by the featured speakers.
Paul Fromm, the meeting's featured guest speaker, has addressed a number of IHR events over the years. In addition to his work as director of the Canadian Association for Free Expression (CAFE), he is currently a candidate for mayor of Mississauga (Ontario). He took a break from campaigning for a brief visit to southern California
Fromm recounted humorous anecdotes from the boisterous election campaign, in which he's been getting attention with his call for a halt to immigration. At a time when so many Canadians are out of work, he asked rhetorically, how can any rational person support more immigration?
In Canada as well as in the US, he said, the prevailing immigration policy amounts to a program of "population replacement." A "human wave" is "changing America beyond recognition," with the majority population of European origin giving way to a "Third World" population.
For years, he noted, politicians and the establishment media have insisted that Canadians should welcome ever greater social-ethnic "diversity" and immigration. But recently there's been major shift in public sentiment. "A lot of people are waking up," he said. A broad consensus against further large-scale immigration has emerged among Canadians across the political spectrum. Moreover, growing numbers of people distrust the "establishment," and regard politicians of the major political parties as either incompetent or corrupt.
As a result of all this, said Fromm, the US is entering a "pre-revolutionary situation," to borrow a phrase of Lenin. New times require new thinking, he added. Profound changes in North American society are forcing people to reconsider long-standing assumptions and beliefs.
Fromm and Weber listen as an attendee asks a question
After a short break, Mark Weber addressed the meeting. "Americans sense that something is very wrong," he said. They are "concerned about rising social-economic inequality, an erosion of national identity and purpose, increasing social polarization, and broad distrust of the US around the world." Citing recent public opinion polls, he noted that most Americans now think that life for their children will be less prosperous and secure than it has been for them.
The US has changed dramatically over the past 50-60 years, said Weber, above all demographically. Americans now see the US "rapidly becoming an unrecognizable 'third world' country." The confident, proud and comfortable America of the 1950s and 1960s is "gone -- gone forever," he said.
California has been transformed from a state with a population of overwhelming European origin to one with a majority non-white population. Over the past half century, he went on, southern California "has been transformed more radically, more fundamentally than Poland, Hungary, and other eastern European countries changed during nearly 50 years of Soviet Russian occupation and domination."
America today is "a society in denial," said Weber. The country's political, cultural and intellectual leadership -- both liberal and conservative -- denies social reality and ignores the historical record, and therefore inevitably betrays the interests of the people, pushing America along a path that means ever greater anxiety and decline. "The leadership of both major parties, along with the mainstream media, and the educational establishment, support and relentlessly promote an egalitarian-universalist ideology, an outlook of wishful thinking divorced from reality that refuses to acknowledge the most elementary truths of society, of heredity, and of history."
In the lives of nations and of individuals, said Weber, how we deal with great challenges is largely based on one's sense of identity -- our sense of who and what we are. America lacks the cultural, ethnic or religious "glue" that holds a healthy society together, above all during times of crisis. Tackling the great problems of our age is especially difficult for the USA because this country has no clear sense of itself.
"Just as the former Soviet Union eventually fell apart as an inevitable consequence of trying to organize society on the basis of an ideology and principles unrooted in historical, social and biological reality," Weber said, "so also this society will and must continue to decline as it tries to force nature and reality to conform to wishful thinking based on an unsound worldview."