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"Assuredly, every small-family nation will try to raise such a dam, and
every big-family nation will try to break it down. The outlook for peace
and disarmament is, therefore, far from bright. One needs but compare the
population-pressures in France, Germany, Russia, and Japan to realize
that, even to-day, the real enemy of the dove of peace is not the eagle of
pride or the vulture of greed, but the stork!

"The great point of doubt in birth restriction is the ability of the
Western nations to retain control of the vast African, Australasian, and
South American areas they have staked out as preserves to be peopled at
their leisure with the diminishing overflow of their population. If
underbreeding should leave them without the military strength that alone
can defend their far-flung frontiers in the southern hemisphere, those
huge underdeveloped regions will assuredly be filled with the children of
the brown and the yellow races."[160]

Thus, white men, of whatever country and however far removed from personal
contact with colored competitors, must realize that the question of
colored immigration vitally concerns every white man, woman, and child;
because nowhere - _absolutely nowhere_ - can white labor compete on equal
terms with colored immigrant labor. The grim truth is that there are
enough hard-working colored men to swamp the whole white world.

No palliatives will serve to mitigate the ultimate issue, for if the white
race should to-day surrender enough of its frontiers to ease the existing
colored population-pressure, so quickly would these surrendered regions be
swamped, and so rapidly would the fast-breeding colored races fill the
homeland gaps, that in a very short time the diminished white world would
be faced with an even louder colored clamor for admittance - backed by an
increased power to enforce the colored will.

The profoundly destructive effects of colored competition upon white
standards of labor and living has long been admitted by all candid
students of the problem. So warm a champion of Asiatics as Mr. Hyndman
acknowledges that "the white workers cannot hold their own permanently
against Chinese competition in the labor market. The lower standard of
life, the greater persistence, the superior education of the Chinese will
beat them, and will continue to beat them."[161]

Wherever the white man has been exposed to colored competition,
particularly Asiatic competition, the story is the same. Says the
Australian Professor Pearson: "No one in California or Australia, where
the effects of Chinese competition have been studied, has, I believe, the
smallest doubt that Chinese laborers, if allowed to come in freely, could
starve all the white men in either country out of it, or force them to
submit to harder work and a much lower standard of wages."[162]

And a South African, writing of the effects of Hindu immigration into
Natal, remarks in similar vein: "The condition of South Africa - especially
of Natal - is a warning to other lands to bar Asiatic immigrants.... Both
economically and socially the presence of a large Oriental population is
bad. The Asiatics either force out the white workers, or compel the latter
to live down to the Asiatic level. There must be a marked deterioration
amongst the white working classes, which renders useless a great deal of
the effort made in educational work. The white population is educated and
trained according to the best ideas of the highest form of Western
civilization - and has to compete for a livelihood against Asiatics! In
South Africa this competition is driving out the white working class,
because the average European cannot live down to the Asiatic level - and if
it is essential that the European must do so, for the sake of his own
happiness, do not educate him up to better things. If cheapness is the
only consideration, if low wages are to come before everything else, then
it is not only waste of money, but absolute cruelty, to inspire in the
white working classes tastes and aspirations which it is impossible for
them to realize. To meet Asiatic competition squarely, it would be
necessary to train the white children to be Asiatics. Even the
pro-Orientals would hardly advocate this."[163]

The lines just quoted squarely counter the "survival of the fittest" plea
so often made by Asiatic propagandists for colored immigration. The
argument runs that, since the Oriental laborer is able to underbid the
white laborer, the Oriental is the "fittest" and should therefore be
allowed to supplant the white man in the interests of human progress. This
is of course merely clever use of the well-known fallacy which confuses
the terms "fittest" and "best." The idea that, because a certain human
type "fits" in certain ways a particular environment (often an unhealthy,
man-made social environment), it should be allowed to drive out another
type endowed with much richer potentialities for the highest forms of
human evolution, is a sophistry as absurd as it is dangerous.

Professor Ross puts the matter very aptly when he remarks concerning
Chinese immigration: "The competition of white laborer and yellow is not
so simple a test of human worth as some may imagine. Under good conditions
the white man can best the yellow man in turning off work. But under bad
conditions the yellow man can best the white man, because he can better
endure spoiled food, poor clothing, foul air, noise, heat, dirt,
discomfort, and microbes. Reilly can _outdo_ Ah-San, but Ah-San can
_underlive_ Reilly. Ah-San cannot take away Reilly's job as being a better
workman; but because he can live and do some work at a wage on which
Reilly cannot keep himself fit to work at all, three or four Ah-Sans can
take Reilly's job from him. And they will do it, too, unless they are
barred out of the market where Reilly is selling his labor. Reilly's
endeavor to exclude Ah-San from his labor market is not the case of a man
dreading to pit himself on equal terms against a better man. Indeed, it is
not quite so simple and selfish and narrow-minded as all that. It is a
case of a man fitted to get the most out of good conditions refusing to
yield his place to a weaker man able to withstand bad conditions."[164]

All this is no disparagement of the Asiatic. He is perfectly justified in
trying to win broader opportunities in white lands. But we whites are
equally justified in keeping these opportunities for ourselves and our
children. The hard facts are that there is not enough for both; that when
the enormous outward thrust of colored population-pressure bursts into a
white land _it cannot let live_, but automatically crushes the white man
out - first the white laborer, then the white merchant, lastly the white
aristocrat; until every vestige of white has gone from that land forever.

This inexorable process is thus described by an Australian: "The colored
races become agencies of economic disturbance and social degradation. They
sap and destroy the upward tendencies of the poorer whites. The latter,
instead of always having something better to look at and strive after,
have a lower standard of living, health, and cleanliness set before them,
and the results are disastrous. They sink to the lower level of the
Asiatics, and the degrading tendency proceeds upward by saturation,
affecting several grades of society.... There is an insidious, yet
irresistible, process of social degradation. The colored race does not
intentionally, or even consciously, lower the European; it simply happens
so, by virtue of a natural law which neither race can control. As debased
coinage will drive out good currency, so a lowered standard of living will
inexorably spread until its effects are universally felt."[165]

It all comes down to a question of self-preservation. And, despite what
sentimentalists may say, self-preservation _is_ the first law of nature.
To love one's cultural, idealistic, and racial heritage; to swear to pass
that heritage unimpaired to one's children; to fight, and, if need be, to
die in its defense: all this is eternally right and proper, and no amount
of casuistry or sentimentality can alter that unalterable truth. An
Englishman put the thing in a nutshell when he wrote: "Asiatic immigration
is not a question of sentiment, but of sheer existence. The whole problem
is summed up in Lafcadio Hearn's pregnant phrase: 'The East can
_underlive_ the West.'"[166]

Rigorous exclusion of colored immigrants is thus vitally necessary for the
white peoples. Unfortunately, this exclusion policy will not be easily
maintained. Colored population-pressure is insistent and increasing, while
the matter is still further complicated by the fact that, while no white
_community_ can gain by colored immigration, white
_individuals_ - employers of labor - may be great gainers and hence often
tend to put private interest above racial duty. Barring a handful of
sincere but misguided cosmopolitan enthusiasts, it is unscrupulous
business interests which are behind every white proposal to relax the
exclusion laws protecting white areas.

In fairness to these business interests, however, let us realize their
great temptations. To the average employer, especially in the newer areas
of white settlement where white labor is scarce and dictatorial, what
could be more enticing than the vision of a boundless supply of cheap and
eager colored labor?

Consider this Californian appraisement of the Chinese coolie: "The Chinese
coolie is the ideal industrial machine, the perfect human ox. He will
transform less food into more work, with less administrative friction,
than any other creature. Even now, when the scarcity of Chinese labor and
the consequent rise in wages have eliminated the question of cheapness,
the Chinese have still the advantage over all other servile labor in
convenience and efficiency. They are patient, docile, industrious, and
above all 'honest' in the business sense that they keep their contracts.
Also, they cost nothing but money. Any other sort of labor costs human
effort and worry, in addition to the money. But Chinese labor can be
bought like any other commodity, at so much a dozen or a hundred. The
Chinese contractor delivers the agreed number of men, at the agreed time
and place, for the agreed price, and if any one should drop out he finds
another in his place. The men board and lodge themselves, and when the
work is done they disappear from the employer's ken until again needed.
The entire transaction consists in paying the Chinese contractor an agreed
number of dollars for an agreed result. This elimination of the human
element reduces the labor problem to something the employer can
understand. The Chinese labor-machine, from his standpoint, is
perfect."[167]

What is true of the Chinese is true to a somewhat lesser extent of all
"coolie" labor. Hence, once introduced into a white country, it becomes
immensely popular - among employers. How it was working out in South
Africa, before the exclusion acts there, is clearly explained in the
following lines: "The experience of South Africa is that when once Asiatic
labor is admitted, the tendency is for it to grow. One manufacturer
secures it and is able to cut prices to such an extent that the other
manufacturers are forced either to employ Asiatics also or to reduce white
wages to the Asiatic level. Oriental labor is something which does not
stand still. The taste for it grows. A party springs up financially
interested in increasing it. In Natal to-day the suggestion that Indian
labor should no longer be imported is met by an outcry from the planters,
the farmers, and landowners, and a certain number of manufacturers, that
industries and agriculture will be ruined. So the coolie ships continue to
arrive at Durban, and Natal becomes more and more a land of black and
brown people and less a land of white people. Instead of becoming a Canada
or New Zealand, it is becoming a Trinidad or Cuba. Instead of white
settlers, there are brown settlers.... The working-class white population
has to go, as it is going in Natal. The country becomes a country of white
landlords and supervisors controlling a horde of Asiatics. It does not
produce a nation or a free people. It becomes what in the old days of
English colonization was called a 'plantation.'"[168]

All this gives a clearer idea of the difficulties involved in a successful
guarding of the gates. But it also confirms the conviction that the gates
must be strictly guarded. If anything further were needed to reinforce
that conviction it should be the present state of those white outposts
where the gates have been left ajar.

Hawaii is a good example. This mid-Pacific archipelago was brought under
white control by masterful American Nordics, who established Anglo-Saxon
institutions and taught the natives the rudiments of Anglo-Saxon
civilization. The native Hawaiians, like the other Polynesian races, could
not stand the pressure of white civilization, and withered away. But the
white oligarchy which controlled the islands determined to turn their
marvellous fertility to immediate profit. Labor was imported from the ends
of the earth, the sole test being working ability without regard to race
or color. There followed a great influx of Asiatic labor - at first Chinese
until annexation to the United States brought Hawaii under our Chinese
exclusion laws; later on Filipinos, Koreans, and, above all, Japanese.

The results are highly instructive. These Asiatics arrived as agricultural
laborers to work on the plantations. But they did not stay there. Saving
their wages, they pushed vigorously into all the middle walks of life. The
Hawaiian fisherman and the American artisan or shopkeeper were alike
ousted by ruthless undercutting. To-day the American mechanic, the
American storekeeper, the American farmer, even the American contractor,
is a rare bird indeed, while Japanese corporations are buying up the
finest plantations and growing the finest pineapples and sugar. Fully half
the population of the islands is Japanese, while the Americans are being
literally encysted as a small and dwindling aristocracy. In 1917 the
births of the two races were: American, 295; Japanese, 5,000! Comment is
superfluous.

Clear round the globe, the island of Mauritius, the half-way house between
Asia and Africa, tells the same tale. Originally settled by Europeans,
mostly French, Mauritius imported negroes from Africa to work its rich
soil. This at once made impossible the existence of a white laboring
class, though the upper, middle, and artisan classes remained unaffected
by the economically backward blacks. A hundred years ago one-third of the
population were whites. But after the abolition of slavery the negroes
quit work, and Asiatics were imported to take their place. The upshot was
that the whites were presently swamped beneath the Asiatic tide - here
mostly Hindus. To-day the Hindus alone form more than two-thirds of the
whole population, the whites numbering less than one-tenth. Indeed, the
very outward aspect of the island is changing. The old French landmarks
are going, and the fabled land of "Paul and Virginia" is becoming a bit of
Hindustan, with a Chinese fringe. Even Port Louis, the capital town, has
mostly passed from white to Indian or Chinese hands.

Now what do these two world-sundered cases mean? They mean, as an English
writer justly remarks, "that under the British flag Mauritius has become
an outpost of Asia, just as Hawaii is another such and under the Stars and
Stripes."[169] And, of course, there is Natal, already mentioned, which,
at the moment when the recent South African Exclusion Act stayed the
Hindu tide, had not only been partially transformed into an Asiatic land,
but was fast becoming a centre of Asiatic radiation all over South Africa.

With such grim warnings before their eyes, it is not strange that the
lusty young Anglo-Saxon communities bordering the Pacific - Australia, New
Zealand, British Columbia, and our own "coast" - have one and all set their
faces like flint against the Oriental and have emblazoned across their
portals the legend: "All White." Nothing is more striking than the
instinctive and instantaneous solidarity which binds together Australians
and Afrikanders, Californians and Canadians, into a "sacred union" at the
mere whisper of Asiatic immigration.

Everywhere the slogan is the same. "The 'White Australia' idea," cries an
antipodean writer, "is not a political theory. It is a gospel. It counts
for more than religion; for more than flag, because the flag waves over
all kinds of races; for more than the empire, for the empire is mostly
black, or brown or yellow; is largely heathen, largely polygamous, partly
cannibal. In fact, the White Australia doctrine is based on the necessity
for choosing between national existence and national suicide."[170] "White
Australia!" writes another Australian in similar vein. "Australians of all
classes and political affiliations regard the policy much as Americans
regard the Constitution. It is their most articulate article of faith.
The reason is not far to seek.... Australian civilization is little more
than a partial fringe round the continental coastline of 12,210 miles. The
coast and its hinterlands are settled and developed, although not
completely for the entire circumference; in the centre of the country lie
the apparently illimitable wastes of the Never-Never Land, occupied
entirely by scrub, snakes, sand, and blackfellows. The almost manless
regions of the island-continent are a terrible menace. It is impossible to
police at all adequately such an enormous area. And the peoples of Asia,
beating at the bars that confine them, rousing at last from their age-long
slumber, are chafing at the restraints imposed upon their free entry into
and settlement of such uninhabited, undeveloped lands."[171]

So the Australians, 5,000,000 whites in a far-off continent as large as
the United States, defy clamoring Asia and swear to keep Australia a white
man's land. Says Professor Pearson: "We are guarding the last part of the
world in which the higher races can increase and live freely, for the
higher civilization. We are denying the yellow race nothing but what it
can find in the home of its birth, or in countries like the Indian
Archipelago, where the white man can never live except as an exotic."[172]

So Australia has raised drastic immigration barriers conceived on the
lines laid down by Sir Henry Parkes many years ago: "It is our duty to
preserve the type of the British nation, and we ought not for any
consideration whatever to admit any element that would detract from, or in
any appreciable degree lower, that admirable type of nationality. We
should not encourage or admit amongst us any class of persons whatever
whom we are not prepared to advance to all our franchises, to all our
privileges as citizens, and all our social rights, including the right of
marriage. I maintain that no class of persons should be admitted here who
cannot come amongst us, take up all our rights, perform on a ground of
equality all our duties, and share in our august and lofty work of
founding a free nation."[173]

From Canada rises an equally uncompromising determination. Listen to Mr.
Vrooman, a high official of British Columbia: "Our province is becoming
Orientalized, and one of our most important questions is whether it is to
remain a British province or become an Oriental colony - for we have three
races demanding seats in our drawing-room, as well as places at our
board - the Japanese, Chinese, and East Indian."[174] And a well-known
Canadian writer, Miss Laut, thus defines the issue: "If the resident Hindu
had a vote - and as a British subject, why not? - and if he could break down
the immigration exclusion act, he could outvote the native-born Canadian
in ten years. In Canada are 5,500,000 native-born, 2,000,000 aliens. In
India are hundreds of millions breaking the dikes of their own natural
barriers and ready to flood any open land. Take down the barriers on the
Pacific coast, and there would be 10,000,000 Hindus in Canada in ten
years."[175]

Our Pacific coast takes precisely the same attitude. Says Chester H.
Rowell, a California writer: "There is no right way to solve a race
problem except to stop it before it begins.... The Pacific coast is the
frontier of the white man's world, the culmination of the westward
migration which is the white man's whole history. It will remain the
frontier so long as we regard it as such; no longer. Unless it is
maintained there, there is no other line at which it can be maintained
without more effort than American government and American civilization are
able to sustain. The multitudes of Asia are awake, after their long sleep,
as the multitudes of Europe were when our present flood of immigration
began. We know what could happen, on the Asiatic side, by what did happen
and is happening on the European side. On that side we have survived....
But against Asiatic immigration we could not survive. The numbers who
would come would be greater than we could encyst, and the races who would
come are those which we could never absorb. The permanence not merely of
American civilization, but of the white race on this continent, depends on
our not doing on the Pacific side what we have done on the Atlantic
coast."[176]

Says another Californian, Justice Burnett: "The Pacific States comprise an
empire of vast potentialities and capable of supporting a population of
many millions. Those now living there propose that it shall continue to be
a home for them and their children, and that they shall not be overwhelmed
and driven eastward by an ever-increasing yellow and brown flood."[177]

All "economic" arguments are summarily put aside. "They say," writes
another Californian, "that our fruit-orchards, mines, and seed-farms
cannot be worked without them (Oriental laborers). It were better that
they never be developed than that our white laborers be degraded and
driven from the soil. The same arguments were used a century and more ago
to justify the importation of African labor.... As it is now, no
self-respecting white laborer will work beside the Mongolian upon any
terms. The proposition, whether we shall have white or yellow labor on the
Pacific coast, must soon be settled, for we cannot have both. If the
Mongolian is permitted to occupy the land, the white laborer from east of
the Rockies will not come here - he will shun California as he would a
pestilence. And who can blame him?"[178]

The middle as well as the working class is imperilled by any large number
of Orientals, for "The presence of the Japanese trader means that the
white man must either go out of business or abandon his standard of
comfort and sink to the level of the Asiatic, who will sleep under his
counter and subsist upon food that would mean starvation to his white
rival."[179]

Indeed, Californian assertions that Oriental immigration menaces, not
merely the coast, but the whole continent, seem well taken. This view was
officially indorsed by Mr. Caminetti, Commissioner-General of Immigration,
who testified before a Congressional committee some years ago: "Asiatic
immigration is a menace to the whole country, and particularly to the
Pacific coast. The danger is general. No part of the United States is
immune. The Chinese are now spread over the entire country, and the
Japanese want to encroach. The Chinese have become so acclimated that they
can prosper in any part of our country.... I would have a law to register
the Asiatic laborers who come into the country. It is impossible to
protect ourselves from persons who come in surreptitiously."[180]

Fortunately, the majority of thinking Americans are to-day convinced that
Oriental immigration must not be tolerated. Most of our leading men have
so expressed themselves. For example, Woodrow Wilson, during his first
presidential campaign, declared on May 3, 1912: "In the matter of Chinese
and Japanese coolie immigration, I stand for the national policy of
exclusion. The whole question is one of assimilation of diverse races. We
cannot make a homogeneous population of a people who do not blend with the
Caucasian race. Their lower standard of living as laborers will crowd out
the white agriculturist and is in other fields a most serious industrial
menace. The success of free democratic institutions demands of our people
education, intelligence, and patriotism, and the State should protect them
against unjust and impossible competition. Remunerative labor is the basis
of contentment. Democracy rests on the equality of the citizen. Oriental


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Online LibraryLothrop StoddardThe Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy → online text (page 18 of 22)