JOHN DERBYSHIRE: Defy The Open Borders Crazies—Whatever Their Motivation!
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[Adapted from the latest Radio Derb, now available exclusively on]

Our summer conference at the Berkeley Springs Castle opens three weeks from today, June 16th. We are all excited about it, anticipating three days of debate, fellowship, and fun.

Also defiance. I noted back in January the lawfare we’re engaged in with New York State Attorney General Letitia James, a dogged and ruthless Social Justice Warrior. The other day our boss here, Peter Brimelow, described in much greater detail what we are going through.

It makes for painful reading, not just for those of us writing and podcasting here at, but—surely!—for anyone who cares about the liberty of American citizens and the degradation, the cynical politicization, of our justice system.

It’s a bitter fight; and, as Peter explains, one that’s taking a toll on us. There’s the time we have to spend complying with A.G. James’ preposterous subpoena demands, the money we have to spend on legal fees, and the opportunity cost for projects we’ve had to abandon or postpone.

We stand defiant, though, bloody but unbowed. The Berkeley Springs Castle is a symbol of our defiance, and next month’s conference is an expression of it. Onward and upward! Excelsior!

Steve Sailer, who’s been an inspiration to the Dissident Right for nigh on a quarter of a century now, will be making one of his extremely rare public appearances.

I shall be speaking myself, speech title something like: ”Are We Doomed? Reflections on Our Cultural Revolution.” I shall take as the starting point my 2009 book We Are Doomed, returning to some of the topics I covered there—including of course immigration—to see which direction things have moved in this past fourteen years.

This long after publication the publisher will no longer supply me with author copies at discount, and I have none left in my stock. You can still buy the paperback online, though. If you do, and bring it with you, I’ll be happy to sign it for you.

Just email Lydia Brimelow at for conference details.

I mentioned immigration just then. That reminds me to say something about a topic which doesn’t get discussed half as much as, in my opinion, it should.

The topic: What is driving the Open Borders movement?

There are several candidate explanations.

  1. Humanitarianism: Those tired, those poor, those huddled masses! How can we not do all in our power to help them, poor souls?
  2. Honest economic boosterism: More workers means more economic activity—a bigger economy! We’ll all be richer!
  3. DIS-honest economic boosterism: “Whether we’ll all be richer or not, I neither know nor care. I shall be richer, that’s the main point. The rest of you can go hang.”
  4. Politics: We are the party of the huddled masses. The more of them there are, the more voters we’ll have, ergo the more power.
  5. Social: The New Feudalism: The Ruling Class and its aspirants envisage a society in which they rule over a population of disadvantaged serfs. Legacy non-elite white populations seem not to want to play the serf role, so let’s replace them.
  6. Social: The Cold Civil War: The Ruling Class and its aspirants nurse a visceral loathing for non-elite whites and enjoy insulting and abusing them. To altogether Replace them would be the final joyful triumph.
  7. Demographic: We’re not making enough babies! Our Total Fertility Rate is way below replacement! We’ll turn into a country top-heavy with geezers with entitlements we can’t fund! Let’s import lots of lusty youngsters from poor countries to redress the demographic balance.

Each of these candidate explanations can easily be countered. We’ve done plenty of that here at I’ve done some of it myself.

The Humanitarian case, which is the one most favored and steadily broadcast by regime media, crashes up against Lifeboat Ethics.

The demographic argument falls flat on its face when you notice that immigrant fertility quickly drops to the native level. Since 2019 immigrant fertility (legal and illegal together) has been below the replacement level of 2.1 children per woman. So the demographic argument is for a Ponzi scheme.

Likewise with the others. You can browse and other immigration-restrictionist websites like NumbersUSA, the Center for Immigration Studies, and the Federation for Immigration Reform for informed refutations of happy-sounding immigration boosterism.

Contemplating the issue myself, I have taken my cue from Napoleon, who famously wrote that ”The moral is to the physical as three to one” [Letter to Joseph Bonaparte,  August 27, 1808].

Boney was writing about war, but I think the same applies in politics. Great movements in politics are driven by moral fervor, not by economic or social considerations. The Open Borders people are conducting a campaign of passionate, unrestrained virtue-signaling. We who oppose them are, they believe, evil.

That’s the position I’ve always ended up at… until the other day I read Neil Munro’s piece at [White House Official: Biden’s Migration Is an Economic Strategy, May 26, 2023].

Munro’s reporting on a presentation to the American Enterprise Institute given May 15th by Katie Tobin, below, the Biden administration’s Senior Director for Transborder Security on the National Security Council.

Ms. Tobin went full bore on what I have called ”Honest economic boosterism” with just a dash of moralizing.

Sample quotes:

  • ”As our economy grows, we need workers that we just don’t have enough of. So it is in our interest to bring people in and to stay competitive globally…”
  • ”The Biden-Harris administration appreciates both the moral responsibility and the strategic opportunity that migration presents—it’s at the heart of our domestic and our foreign policy agendas.”

Munro trashes some of her arguments himself and pulls in Mark Krikorian from the Center for Immigration Studies to trash the rest.

It’s not difficult; any of us here at VDARE can do it while mentally factorizing a twenty-digit number.

But don’t these immigration enthusiasts know these counterarguments?

Or do they know them but do not care as the economic argument is good cover for what they’re really aiming for: the New Feudalism, or victory in the Cold Civil War against their own citizens.

I don’t know. But my inclination is to believe the worst.

John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.

For years he’s been podcasting at Radio Derb, now available at for no charge. His writings are archived at

Readers who wish to donate (tax deductible) funds specifically earmarked for John Derbyshire’s writings at can do so here.

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