Although the summer of 1994 produced no entertainments to rival the fun of last year’s Jurassic Park, let alone the previous summer’s Los Angeles riots, it did yield up the brief but amusing manhunt for O.J. Simpson and the edifying spectacle of the wanted killer of his ex-wife and her pretty young companion cruising up and down the Los Angeles freeway while fleets of squad cars, helicopters, and innumerable sympathizers and admirers sang him to his cell. It was my hope during the nationally televised parade that O.J. would end up being smashed by Rodney King driving at more than 100 miles an hour as the LAPD tagged helplessly along behind each of them, but these things never turn out the way I want, and maybe it’s just as well.

Yet even more edifying for the nation’s youth than the O.J. melodrama was last summer’s arrival of global soccer, or, as the rest of the world insists on calling it, “football,” in the form of the “World Cup” matches of June and July. Soccer, of course, along with global free trade, the metric system, hot wok shops, signs in Korean script outside Presbyterian churches, and mass immigration, is one further installment in the ongoing and ever-accelerating de-Americanization of America, and despite the fact that the most prominent American athletes today seem to be characters who beat their ex-wives to death as O.J. is alleged to have done, rape teenage girls like Mike Tyson, contract lethal venereal diseases like Magic Johnson, or conspire to win Olympic gold medals by having their rival’s legs crushed with iron bars like Tonya Harding, the sports they play at least have a long history in the United States and in some sense can be said to be an important part of our national popular culture.

But hardly any American thinks much about soccer, watches it or wants to watch it, or plays it after he leaves high school or college. Since soccer attracts fanatical followings in almost all regions of the world outside the United States, its popularization in this country would represent a significant modification of the American character, and neglect of soccer or resistance to its adoption could certainly be construed as a form of xenophobia, if not an actual “hate crime.” The massive amount of money spent on its promotion last summer surely was intended to make of soccer a kind of athletic therapy for warped nativists who insist that baseball and real football (O.J.’s kind) were good enough for true Americans like Washington and Nixon and therefore are good enough for them. But the emerging global regime cuts both ways, and if it demands that Saudi Arabians eat cheeseburgers and Chinese peasants ogle Madonna, it also means that Americans must modify their narrow-minded ethnocentrism and open their ears to what Bolivian President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada on the first day of the World Cup matches called the “universal language” of soccer.

Whatever the real meaning of soccer, the de-Americanization of America is a principal theme of Dr. Brent A. Nelson’s America Balkanized, a monograph just published by the American Immigration Control Foundation of Monterey, Virginia, though Dr. Nelson deals more with the ethnic fragmentation and cultural decomposition of the United States caused by massive immigration and birthrates than with the digestion of the nation in the belly of the New World beast. Dr. Nelson, a Ph.D. in English literature, manages to pack an amazing amount of learning into his monograph’s 148 pages and presents an astonishing range of scholarship, reaching from recent sociological and historical studies of the nature of immigration into this country and others to a consideration of the sociobiological implications of allowing different human “subspecies” to occupy the same territory.

A good deal of the book is devoted to considering the prospect of the emergence of ethnic separatism in the United States as a result of the settlement of foreign ethnic and racial fragments within our borders, particularly within what Dr. Nelson, following Joel Garreau, calls “MexAmerica,” the Southwestern portion of the United States that is increasingly being shaved off from North American civilization and grafted onto the Latin culture of the south. This process of “counter-assimilation,” as Dr. Nelson calls it, is mainly due to the demographic and cultural drift of the region, but it is also deliberately promoted by Hispanic activists and their political leaders. Thus, writes Dr. Nelson:

Property owners in San Diego’s McGonigle Canyon, confronted with illegal entrants squatting on their land, experienced difficulty in getting city authorities to enforce the laws against trespassing. California’s Assembly passed a resolution urging the federal government to delay building a ditch along the U.S.-Mexican border because the proposed ditch had aroused protests in Mexico when the governor opened the state’s new trade office there. A “Buy American-Buy Texan Bill” passed in the Texas legislature only after Mexico was defined in the bill as American. Also approved was a bill to allow Mexican nationals to pay in-state tuition when they attend five Texas state universities in the border area.

Dr. Nelson also cites articles from Excelsior, Mexico’s leading newspaper, explicitly advocating that Mexico “recover its own”—i.e., take back the Southwestern territory lost to the United States in the Mexican War—and an Excelsior poll of 1986 in which 59 percent of Mexicans said they regard the United States as an “enemy country.” The Mexican government itself promotes the irredentist ideology that underlies this attitude. Almost anyone who has traveled or lived in “MexAmerica” and who has more eyes in his head than Wall Street Journal editorial writers knows that the region is ceasing to be part of America in any but a purely legal sense, and when the cultural and ethnic transition is complete, the legal transition cannot be far distant.

But the Southwest is not the only part of the United States being de-Americanized by the lethal brew of mass immigration, high immigrant fertility coupled with low native (white) birthrates, and a compulsively suicidal bent among American political leaders on both the right and the left. One of Dr. Nelson’s chapters deals with the problem “What Is a Nation,” a question that in the last year or so has been pondered by the professional pundits of the mainstream American right as well. As immigration has become a major political issue in high-impact states like California and Florida, even mainstream conservatives have tumbled to the issue’s importance and have started holding their typically bloodless and inconsequential conferences on the same question.

Dr. Nelson is rather more adept at answering the question than most of the rightish eggheads who are usually permitted to discuss it, however. He surveys the distinguishing features of nationality as several writers since John Jay have articulated them and lists the minimal characteristics of a nation on which they agree. These features are a common ancestry, a contiguous territory, a common language, a common religion, common manners and customs, common political institutions or beliefs, and what may be called a common historic experience, manifested in such events as participation in war and expressed in belief in a common destiny or myth of history.

By most of these standards, Dr. Nelson concludes, the United States is ceasing to be a nation, although throughout its history it has been one, and it is Dr. Nelson’s argument that “the fragmenting or dissipation of American national unity, which is revealed in this survey of national characteristics, is traceable to a prior weakening of the unity of the original ethnic core. This is the vital antecedent to nationhood and its abiding sustenance, in all of its cultural, legal, and historical manifestations.” Moreover, the “ethnic core” is not “a mysterious thing-in-itself, like the folk-spirit of the Romanticists” but is “definable as a kind of natural phenomenon.” Dr. Nelson here cites recent sociobiological studies that argue for the foundation of ethnocentrism in evolutionary biology and then applies them to contemporary ethnic and national conflicts in Eastern Europe and Latin America. He explicitly distinguishes both “nation” and “ethnic core” from “race,” since “a race precedes a nation and precedes even the formation of the ethnic core which ‘generates’ a nation. A race can appear in history in the guise of numerous ethnic groups and nations. There is no one nation which in itself constitutes a race.”

What Dr. Nelson is pointing to here are the ethnic foundations of nationality, and he is marshaling some very strong evidence to support this claim. The United States is and has been a nation insofar as its central ethnic core was and remained intact; once that core began to wither, dwindle, and experience challenges, numerical and cultural, from other ethnic groups that have retained more group consciousness, the nation that grew up around the Anglo-European ethnic core itself began to shrivel. The major implication of Dr. Nelson’s ethnological concept of nationality is that nations are not merely artificial constructs, as metaphors of “melting pots,” “mosaics,” and “experiments” would suggest, but are themselves natural phenomena or something like them, subject to laws of cause and effect and the limitations that nature imposes, and the main implication of this concept is that those who control a nation politically cannot do whatever they please without risking destruction of the nation. For one thing, they cannot permit the immigration of millions of people from other cultures and ethnic groups and expect the original nation to survive, and Dr. Nelson’s conclusions about the survival of the United States are as bleak as his analysis would suggest.

Not only does mass immigration into the United States promise the continuing de-Americanization of the nation and its eventual physical Balkanization, but there is little prospect of seriously controlling immigration because of the nature of the national political dialogue on the issue. Dr. Nelson sees this dialogue as dominated by neoconservatives and New Leftists, both of whom for different reasons favor continuing largescale immigration, refuse to countenance any control or limitation of it, and denounce anyone who does oppose it with a variety of epithets that range from the relatively kind “xenophobe” to outright comparisons with Adolf Hitler. Dr. Nelson sees as fundamental to neoconservative support for immigration an unexamined and unwarranted faith in unlimited economic growth.

He is correct that the utopianism of neoconservatism and libertarianism is to blame for their adherents’ continuing support of immigration, but he seems to distinguish too sharply their beliefs from those of liberals and the left, which he thinks are driven by a desire for more diversity in the American population. The demand for “diversity” is also present among neoconservatives, who always argue that their nemesis, multiculturalism, is merely the work of alienated Marxist elites and their agents and not the result of ethnic and racial conflict that is the direct legacy of diversity. In direct contradiction of their zest for “diversity,” their constant refrain is that immigrants have assimilated, are assimilating, and will continue to assimilate, even though their concept of assimilation is banal and, as Dr. Nelson points out, in some parts of the country immigrants are now beginning to outnumber those to whose norms they are supposed to conform. What is happening there is in fact “reverse assimilation,” the adoption by natives of the cultures of the immigrants. Wattenberg, Simon, Jack Kemp, and the rest of the neoconservative cadre are always boosting the very same diversification of the American people and culture that the left finds so charming, and they do so essentially because their most influential spokesmen never really broke with the ideological left at all.

In the absence of at least a real debate about immigration in place of the happy chatter and name-calling that neoconservatives prefer, there is not going to be any political or legal control of immigration. Even now, when political figures like California’s Governor Pete Wilson have broached immigration as an issue, most politicians are trying to appear to do something about it while sedulously avoiding doing anything serious—exactly what they are doing on crime as well. As a result, Dr. Nelson argues, the Balkanization of the United States is virtually unavoidable. He foresees an “overall drift . . . towards the extinction of European civilization in large areas of America, first at a slow but steady rate, but then at a rate steadily accelerating.” The political dynamic by which the process will occur is clear enough, as American democracy will soon

have to be supplemented with new concessions and adjustments to keep the elites of other groups more or less acquiescent. Affirmative action, “set-asides” for minority-owned businesses, and affirmative gerrymandering will be pursued as relentlessly as ever and, perhaps, supplemented with systems of weighted voting and multiple voting so that minorities may win greater representation in elective offices. Legislation against “hate crimes” may be supplemented by legislation against “hate speech.” . . . The political subjugation of European Americans will become a reality in certain limited areas of the country, mostly in the Southwest and the Southeast. In these areas, European Americans will no longer be able to elect officials above the local level and will be forced to cast their votes for those non-Europeans whom they believe to be most sensitive to their concerns.

The result of the Balkanization of the United States will be “a melange of peoples, an America without Americans, which will be governable only through the adoption of the separatist mechanisms developed in Canada, Switzerland, and Belgium,” though whether even these mechanisms will be possible is open to doubt as the ethnic-demographic composition of the country begins to shift to a non-European majority by the middle of the next century. Bv then, those descendants of “Old Stock” Americans who have not fled to Europe will all be playing or watching soccer matches and screaming their passion for the game like a bunch of Bolivians, and some of them may even remember the good old days when their forefathers still had their own country and had only to worry about characters like O.J. Simpson and Rodney King.