Emigration is a foreign concept to most people who incline towards the right. Consistently opposing mass immigration to one’s own land also entails a negative attitude towards emigration. Moving away from one’s family and surroundings is something that is generally associated with rebellious youth, oikophobia, or fleeing responsibilities – a rebellion against divine providence – and rightly so. We were not providentially placed in a certain place and among a certain people without good reason. The traditionalist seeks to preserve his own in recognizing the responsibility that comes with his inheritance. This natural inclination towards preserving the social and geographical context into which we were born is good. Scripture affirms that a love of and close bond with kith and kin is imperative. Scripture presents the soil and the people as intrinsically tied together (e.g. Num. 36:1-5), and it teaches us to marry within our kin and not to neglect the significance of borders (Prov. 22:28). The idea of contentment is also associated with a love of the state into which one is providentially born (I Cor. 7:20).
It is, after all, due to other people’s negligence of their duties toward their own people and places in search of “a better life” that white nations suffer such a huge demographic crisis due to mass immigration.
In the United States, of course, people living on the same coastline can be geographically separated further than people living in different countries on opposite ends of Europe. Nonetheless, contextual differences in circumstances notwithstanding, the idea of emigration, for the purpose of this article, today generally entails:
- Moving more than a couple of days’ drive away from one’s family
- Crossing one or more (national) borders
- Leaving behind a familiar cultural setting for an unfamiliar one
- Moving from where one’s native language or dialect is common to where it is uncommon
In light of these characteristics, I think all Christian ethnonationalists should agree that emigration is undesirable. Just as we should aim to restrict immigration of foreign peoples towards our home, so we should work against and discourage the emigration of our kinsmen away from our homes. But this is where we need to start breaking politically correct taboos in order to shed increased light on the moral status of the issue of emigration.
Can and should we consider all immigration and emigration in the same light? Many in Alt-Right circles have rightly observed that the legal status of immigrants, i.e. their documentation, means far less than their quality and quantity. We’d all rather have fifty German immigrants who fled Islamization living in our town than ten Somalis, regardless of why they came. We’d all (if we were honest white people) rather have fifty illegal German immigrants in our town than ten legal Somali immigrants. Of course, in healthy countries, you’d always expect the quality and legal status of immigrants to overlap, but unfortunately in the cultural Marxist West, this rarely is the case anymore.
Therefore, not all immigration is the same. The demographic, economic, and social impact of immigration differs depending on the quality, quantity, and religious, ethnolinguistic, and/or racial similarity of immigrants to the host nation. If the balance in these regards is spot on, immigration is not necessarily a bad thing. American and South African whites should be able to testify to this, as we still have records of our ancestors immigrating from the Old Continent in search of a better life.
One could argue about whether emigration was or wasn’t a wise decision for our ancestors at the time, but regardless, the reality is that we are the fruits of that migration. My intention in this piece is not to pass judgment upon previous generations, but to offer moral insights into decision-making regarding emigration today.
The main question, therefore, is as follows: given the fact that emigration is almost always undesirable, could there be exceptional circumstances in which it could be morally permissible, or even imperative? One matter on which Christians should never compromise, is the universality of morality. Moral principles can never change, and are not influenced by time and space. However, while there seems to be a strong anti-emigration sentiment in the scriptural texts quoted above, there are also biblical examples of people receiving the divine command to do exactly that: emigrate. Examples include Abraham, the Israelites living in Goshen, and Joseph and Mary’s temporary flight to Egypt.
Migration has been part of human existence since the earliest times. However, until the nineteenth century, migration was more often than not to uninhabited or scarcely inhabited places. This is not possible today, which does make the process significantly different. Today, emigration almost necessitates giving up significant elements of one’s culture for another, at least when it comes to one’s children. In this regard there is always an inevitable loss accompanying the process.
Under normal circumstances, I don’t believe emigration should be seriously considered. But what if your formerly white town, county, or state becomes majority nonwhite? What if churches in your neighbourhood are being replaced by mosques? Would emigration then become a viable option? The question to ask here is one of fight or flight. For postmillennialists, we believe the earth to be our promised land, and we are responsible to bring every inch of creation under the Lordship of Christ. Would it then be a legitimate option to surrender any area and flee?
On a biblical basis, I would argue for a via media between the ultraconservative option of permanency of residence and the liberal ideal of freedom of movement. When looking at Acts 17:26, the famous New Testament passage that offers explicit support for ethnonationalism, there seems to be presented a non-eternal conception of the overlap between nations and boundaries. Nations are providentially given times within the bounds of their habitation. Furthermore, migration itself was an integral part of the formation of the first nations (Gen. 10:5).
Protecting and fighting for land and people are both honourable and desirable, but on the other hand we are called to act with wisdom, and this also includes picking the right fights. Take South Africa, for example. The Boer people have lived here for hundreds of years and have cultivated a unique culture on this soil. This African soil is irrevocably part of who we are as a people. However, our numbers have dwindled significantly in recent decades, and we (along with Anglo-South African whites) currently compromise only 8% of the South African population. Nowhere in the country (save the town of Orania) do we comprise a majority or even significant minority of the population. 55 million nonwhites inhabit the country in which we live, compared to just over 4 million white people. We have a government that would undoubtedly oppose, with military force, any attempts at Boer self-determination in an independent homeland. Is fighting a realistic option under these circumstances? Would it be wise to militarily defend ourselves in civil war given the numerical disadvantage, in addition to the facts that our enemies control the South African military and that, should international powers like the UN become involved in the conflict, they would fight on our enemy’s side?
I propose this as a scenario in which flight should be considered a legitimate option. One could even argue that if circumstances become bad enough, it might be a normative option in light of the Sixth Commandment, which the Westminster Larger Catechism explains as entailing “all lawful endeavors to preserve the life of ourselves and others.” That being said, however, even under the most dire circumstances, there are several considerations to be taken into account when making such a lamentable decision:
- Alternative, more desirable options such as secession, civil war with realistic chances of victory, or waiting for a complete socioeconomic collapse are evidently nonviable.
- Destinations for emigration should be as close as possible to one’s heimat, in order to preserve as much continuity of life and contact with kin as possible.
- Prayer for wisdom in this regard is necessary, as this is a life-altering decision, not only for those emigrating, but also for future generations.
- Emigration should, if possible, be undertaken as clans rather than nuclear families, which could help preserve some form of cultural identity abroad if the circumstances allow. In this regard, the examples of Dutch and German towns in a country like Hungary, as well as German settlements in Brazil and Argentina, are most valuable.
- The homogeneity of the nation to which one emigrates should not be compromised. Ideally, this entails moving to a country where people are closely related to you racially and ethnoculturally. In the case of the Boer, this would mean the Netherlands or Germany. However, given the demographic crisis these nations are currently facing themselves, this might not be the wisest option today. Alternatively, Boers should consider other white nations whose long-term future looks stable and who still express a desire to survive as a people. Examples like Hungary and Poland come to mind.
- This actually entails that one should aim for countries with stricter, rather than lenient, immigration policies.
- The religiosity of the nation to which one immigrates should be taken into account. Unless one is called to be a missionary, locations where there is evident resistance to globalism on a Christian basis – either on a local or national scale – should be preferred. It serves no purpose to postpone demographic disaster for merely a generation or to move to a society where godless influences upon one’s children and grandchildren could pressure them into covenant-breaking. Thankfully, there seems to often be an overlap between the will for demographic survival and the perseverance of Christian culture.
- Finally, the glory of God should be the ultimate end of the decision. If it serves the glory of God that one goes down swinging where one has been providentially placed, then that is the route to take. Emigration should not simply be about having a better life, but primarily about the bettering of conditions for the purpose of building up Christ’s Kingdom.
I’m not attempting to encourage anyone to flee from their homeland, especially if there are still realistic chances of survival, but from Scripture and history it is clear that emigration in itself, though undesirable, is not immoral under grave circumstances when hope is lost. It is a testimony to the dire times in which we live that it has become an option for people in formerly white countries to even consider this option.