I have been enjoying reading Steve Sailer's articles
on his idea of citizenism at VDare. I have tried to delay any reaction because I wanted to be sure that I fully understand what he is saying, and not misconstrue it. I am still not sure what an implemented version would look like, but based on my current understanding, I thought I would join in and add my bit.
First, let me say that the basic idea behind citizenism, that the government should fundamentally look after the interests of it's citizens rather than outsiders, is beyond true and desirable; it is only sad that such common sense even has to be explicitly expressed as a new and novel idea, and it suggest how far the West is on the path towards disaster.
That said, that issue of citizenism does raise some questions. These ultimately have an effect on where I personally feel conformable with the idea. I really don't like labels, and perhaps this only goes farther to prove that, but with some conditions and constraints (primarily intended to prevent citizenism from self-contradicting) I think I might be able to tolerate the label.
In particular, there is the question of how citizenism is a function of time. Assuming static conditions and some kind of equilibrium, it is easy enough to say that a country should look after its citizens first. However given massive immigration fluxes and non-stable demographics, it begs the question of with respect to when
someone is a citizenist. In other words, why be a citizenist with respect to the current citizens which make up the country at a particular point in time? Why not be a citizenist with respect to the individuals who will be citizens in five years? Or who were five years previous?
If I become a citizenist today, but a friend becomes one in five years after millions more in mass immigration, are we both equally citizenists? How can this be, since the set of "valid citizens" which I might recognize would be only a subset of my friend's set of "valid citizens"?
That was just the setup. The almost infinitely bigger problem is not the question of being a citizenist with respect to a future date, but rather with how we recognize the legitimacy of the government's actions allowing recent mass immigration, legal or illegal. If, and to the extent which this immigration has been contrary to the best interest of the then-current citizens of the country, how can a good citizenist actually accept the legitimacy of these individuals as fellow citizens? This is the first contradiction which I see that an unbounded or unconstrained understanding of citizenism can lead to.
The second problem is even more fundamental and abstract than the first, which basically assumed that we were given a set of "citizens" and might only discount some (or many) who came recently and who were undesirable (for the citizens). However there is nothing in the definition of citizenism (that is, that the state should look after the interests of its citizens first) which really defines how we create that set of citizens. In particular, the definition assumes that we can
look after the interests of the citizens; this however can easily lead to a second contradiction. In particular, what happens when the set of citizens can be broken up in to more than one differentiable set with (significantly) different and mutually exclusive interests? I realize that there will always be some level of mutually exclusive interests in any group; however the question is one of degree and if the differences are group (rather than randomly distributed) dependant, and if they can be feasibly avoided by selection of the set of citizens (class conflict, for example, can not be avoided save at the price of a functioning economy). A good example of this mutually exclusive and conflicting interest is that of "citizens" who are immigrants, say from south of the border, who support mass immigration of co-ethnics, since as good citizenists they know that this co-ethnic immigration is good for them and their interests. Since they are citizens, remember, their support of mass immigration (for their co-ethnics) seems to meet the definition of citizenism. (Conversely, non-immigrant citizens who oppose this immigration would also be meeting the definition of citizism, but both cases show that there is not, nor can there ever be, any 'looking after the common good of all the citizens' when there is mutually exclusive interests or a lack of any "common good" to begin with.)
As I have said before, my idea of the perfect America is not one which has to be "snow white"; I have no particular problem with a certain amount of "diversity", as long as it is stable, sustainable, and not going to have an effect on the demographic or cultural nature of the country. However, these conditions do have to be met in full, not partially. That said, I think I could tolerate the idea of being called a "citizenist", given the conditions that (precisely because I support the fundamental axiom of citizenism) I view post 1965 immigration as generally illegitimate, and that the set of citizens is defined so as to exclude elements which a) belong to a different differential subset and b) execute or express a self-interest which conflicts with the preservation of America, its ideas, and its dominant NW European heritage. Thus, "citizenist, circa 1965".