As Jim Goad wrote, “If I don’t work I’ll starve. If I don’t write I’ll die.” I should be working now but I need to write.
I was in Detroit again a couple weeks ago and had a day free. Being the morbid fellow I am, I did the ruin tour. There’s no actual tour I know of, but I just went downtown and drove around.
It’s as bad as the pictures show. I didn’t see necessarily all the especially picturesque sites the professional photographers shoot, but I saw plenty. The most bizarre is the train station. The are plenty of burned out factories and mostly abandoned neighborhoods. Sometimes you see a row of nicely maintained houses, then a row of derelict houses, then a mostly cleared area with one house. Sometimes you see rough-looking houses that may or may not be occupied.
Part of the problem of Detroit is simple deindustrialization. Manufacturing seems to stay in one area for some decades, then relocate elsewhere. Upstate New York used to be a major industrial area, then most of the factories left. Industries and companies rise and fall. Transportation networks evolve- canals used to be important for moving goods around, but now we have the interstates. Populations change and age.
What is not disputable is capitalism’s unquenchable desire for cheap labor. Capitalism doesn’t need cheap labor, but it wants it, and what it wants it usually gets. The brilliant move of the left was to make immigration a civil rights issue in the 60’s. Since immigrants are by definition people who live in another country until given permission to come here, how can people applying for visas possess a civil right? And yet they do. Anyone interacting with the US government or any white American anywhere might be a victim of discrimination, and in fact in the leftist view by definition is. Civil rights is not so much a matter of protecting NAM Americans as it is punishing white Americans.
Immigration wasn’t a civil right in the 20’s, so after decades of mass immigration it was halted. Business in the North didn’t like that so the great migration of blacks to northern cities was initiated. With segregation in place, harm to whites was somewhat limited. But then harm to whites became the actual point, and whites were driven out of Detroit.
The situation is exactly analogous in California. Mexicans were brought in as cheap labor. For a long time there was not much conflict with the conservative whites who made up most of the state. Then harassing and getting rid of the conservative whites became the whole point. Compton went from blue-collar white to black to Mexican, but plenty of places have gone straight from blue-collar white to Mexican, such as Anaheim.
Being slavishly liberal doesn’t do any good- the aerospace workers of Anaheim were Republican (the constituents of “B-1 Bob” Dornan, replaced with great fanfare by Loretta Sanchez) but the whites of Detroit and Boston were liberal Democratic voters. All the same they were inconvenient, and in the way, and now they live elsewhere.