VDare.com vs. the “Goldberg” Review

The nature of the Internet provides a near friction-free (and cost-free) means of distributing information. Words and ideas are almost pure information, hence their natural applicability to this medium, and the current mushrooming growth of various Me-zines, We-zines, and Idea-zines.

In the long run, this development may have considerable political implications. For example, marginalized political or intellectual movements can use this amazingly cheap means of communication for organizing and disseminating their ideas. Notably in need of such an organizing tool are the more thoughtful elements of the anti-immigration movement, whose views are largely shut out of our mainstream media, ranging from the liberal New York Times to the conservative Wall Street Journal.

To fill this void, a group of such individuals, led by Peter Brimelow, a Senior Editor at Forbes whose influential 1995 book Alien Nation established him as the intellectual leader of the anti- immigrationist movement, created the VDare.com website, named after Virginia Dare, the first English child born in North America. Since 1999, that site has provided a home for daily columns by anti-immigrationist writers and columnists, including some who frequently display a “white nationalist” tinge, whom neither the New York Times (nor even the Washington Times!) would remotely consider “fit to print.”

Although my own views are if anything even more pro-immigrant than those of the Great Gray Lady of New York City, I find contrary opinions often interesting and sometimes challenging, and have become a regular reader of VDare, recently submitting my first letter-to-the-editor, provided below, which the site unfortunately chose not to publish.

One advantage of such a website is learning of intellectual developments and controversies that have otherwise failed to receive any coverage in the regular media. For example, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Stephen Steinlight, a former official of the strongly pro-immigration American Jewish Committee recanted his views and, under the auspices of the anti-immigration Center for Immigration Studies, published a long denunciation of current immigration policy. Steinlight argued that immigration had become detrimental to the long-term interests of American Jews, and hence should be curtailed. Since many leading anti- immigrationists had long regarded America’s powerful Jewish community as one of their central political opponents, this conversion was considered quite a coup, and led the Center to organize a forum for Steinlight in New York City on that subject.

This apparently raucous and poorly attended event revealed striking ideological divergences. It seems that Steinlight opened his presentation with a strong denunciation of both Pat Buchanan and Peter Brimelow, which produced a considerable uproar since most of the attendees were hard-core Buchananites. Furthermore, Steinlight asserted that America was not “founded on a WASP basis,” a view equally antithetical to his new-found allies. The only account of this potentially important meeting appeared on VDare.com, and is provided below, an account subsequently confirmed to me in a personal communication from Tamar Jacoby, the sole mainstream journalist present, who agreed that the meeting quickly degenerated into a “food-fight between the Far Right and the Farther Right.”

Although America’s leading conservative magazine, William Buckley’s National Review, is itself based in New York City, no one from that publication attended. VDare has become intensively critical of National Review in recent years, regarding that publication as having been taken over by hated neo- conservatives, and frequently disparages it as the “Goldberg” Review for that reason. VDare particularly resented a cover story by Indian-born NR Senior Editor Ramesh Ponnuru critical of Pat Buchanan and his followers. VDare has also argued that American Renaissance leader Jared Taylor, one of America’s most prominent “white nationalist” intellectuals, had effectively unmasked William Buckley’s headlong retreat over the decades on the majority of important racial issues: http://www.vdare.com/pb/pb_buckley.htm

Although National Review has a large staff and budget and VDare.com is seemingly just a volunteer operation run on a shoestring, the Internet has provided these two publications with a semblance of equality in their bitter ideological dispute. Without the Internet, potentially important intellectual trends, movements, and conflicts would remain invisible to all but a tiny handful. I would encourage those interested in monitoring and evaluating highly controversial perspectives on race, ethnicity, and immigration to become regular visitors to VDare.com.

Certainly the site already attracts readers of a very wide diversity of views. The most recently published letter came from an otherwise strong supporter, who, as an Odin worshipper, angrily took issue with disparaging references to members of his pagan faith: http://www.vdare.com/letters/tl_121101.htm


“Stealing American Jobs?”
Ron Unz, VDare.com (Unpublished Letter)
Saturday, December 15, 2001

Dear Sirs,

As a long-time (though pro-immigrationist) reader of Vdare.com, I found your 12/14/01 column by Joe Guzzardi quite plausible and realistic, though I think it more supports my own perspective on the immigration issue than yours. http://www.vdare.com/guzzardi/afl_cio.htm

Guzzardi discusses the story of his student Miguel, a Mexican illegal immigrant, whose dedication both in the classroom and at work recently won him a good construction job paying $22/hour with full benefits. Guzzardi correctly notes out that many of the 800,000 Americans who recently lost their own jobs would be very happy to earn $22/hour.

But that’s the whole point: $22/hour with full benefits is a good, solid starting wage for a working class job that doesn’t require higher education, and certainly doesn’t seem to indicate any “race to the bottom” in working-class wages produced by competition from hordes of illegals. If an unemployed American would like such a job, what on earth prevents him from moving to Lodi and taking it? Since Miguel only recently learned English and doesn’t have legal work papers, I’d suspect that any English-speaking American citizen who was comparably hard-working and skilled would have been hired instead. Perhaps Vdare’s position is that either all working-class jobs should start at $40/hour or that they should be reserved for Americans with poor skills and work ethic.

I also note that like most immigrants Miguel was very eager to learn English in order to advance. I suspect that if he were asked, he’d describe “bilingual education” for Hispanic children as being “loco,” just like nearly every other Mexican immigrant I’ve encountered.


Ron Unz, Chairman
English for the Children


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