Nation,” a question that in the last yearrnor so has been pondered by the professionalrnpundits of the mainstream Americanrnright as well. As immigration hasrnbecome a major political issue in highimpactrnstates like California and Florida,rneven mainstream conservatives haverntumbled to the issue’s importance andrnhave started holding their typicallyrnbloodless and inconsequential conferencesrnon the same question.rnDr. Nelson is rather more adept at answeringrnthe question than most of thernrightish eggheads who are usually permittedrnto discuss it, however. He surveysrnthe distinguishing features of nationalityrnas several writers since John Jav havernarticulated them and lists the minimalrncharacteristics of a nation on which theyrnagree. These features are a common ancestry,rna contiguous territory, a commonrnlanguage, a common religion, commonrnmanners and customs, common politicalrninstitutions or beliefs, and what may berncalled a common historic experience,rnmanifested in such events as participationrnin war and expressed in belief in arncommon destiny or myth of history.rnBy most of these standards, Dr. Nelsonrnconcludes, the United States is ceasingrnto be a nation, although throughoutrnits history it has been one, and it is Dr.rnNelson’s argument that “the fragmentingrnor dissipation of American nationalrnunity, which is revealed in this survey ofrnnational characteristics, is traceable to arnprior weakening of the unity of the originalrnethnic core. This is the vital antecedentrnto nationhood and its abidingrnsustenance, in all of its cultural, legal,rnand historical manifestations.” Moreover,rnthe “ethnic core” is not “a mysteriousrnthing-in-itself, like the folk-spirit ofrnthe Romanticists” but is “definable as arnkind of natural phenomenon.” Dr. Nelsonrnhere cites recent sociobiologicalrnstudies that argue for the foundation ofrnethnocentrism in evolutionary biologyrnand then applies them to contemporaryrnethnic and national conflicts in EasternrnEurope and Latin America. He explicitlyrndistinguishes both “nation” and “ethnicrncore” from “race,” since “a race precedesrna nation and precedes even thernformation of the ethnic core which ‘generates’rna nation. A race can appear in historyrnin the guise of numerous ethnicrngroups and nations. There is no one nationrnwhich in itself constitutes a race.”rnWhat Dr. Nelson is pointing to herernare the ethnic foundations of nationality,rnand he is marshaling some very strongrnevidence to support this claim. ThernUnited States is and has been a nationrninsofar as its central ethnic core was andrnremained intact; once that core began tornwither, dwindle, and experience challenges,rnnumerical and cultural, fromrnother ethnic groups that have retainedrnmore group consciousness, the nationrnthat grew up around the Anglo-Europeanrnethnic core itself began to shrivel.rnThe major implication of Dr. Nelson’srnethnological concept of nationality isrnthat nations are not merely artificial constructs,rnas metaphors of “melting pots,”rn”mosaics,” and “experiments” wouldrnsuggest, but are themselves natural phenomenarnor something like them, subjectrnto laws of cause and effect and thernLIBERAL ARTSrnFAMILY ^].UESrnI’lioenix ijoiiee arrt-slcd u l’5-t:ar-oltl hoy for having se witli 3 12-ear-old girl in hisrnroom al lujiTif. The boy, his parents, and tlic girl’s motlicr all went to jail, reportedrnthe .rixiiiia lliipuhlic last sprin;^. wliile the girl (who suspcetcd tliat she was pregnant)rnended uj) in a fo^tt:^ liomc. Christopiier Kubio, 1′). told police that he niel the tjirl h-itrntall when siic was walking ti> her sixth-grade classes at a iicighbovluKjd elcnsciitaryrnschool. Rubio and his pretecii girlfriend were living together in the home of his parents,rnboth -lO-vear-old eiti/ens of Mexico. The parents “didn’t .«ec anything wrongrnwith the whole .sitiuition,” .said detective Al Maeiver. “C^hristophcrs mom said herrn(jnK problem was lring to gel the little girl to get up early and make her son’s lunebrnand iron a shirt for him before he went to work.”rnlimitations that nature imposes, and thernmain implication of this concept is thatrnthose who control a nation politicallyrncannot do whatever they please withoutrnrisking destruction of the nation. Forrnone thing, they cannot permit the immigrationrnof millions of people from otherrncultures and ethnic groups and expectrnthe original nation to survive, and Dr.rnNelson’s conclusions about the survivalrnof the United States are as bleak as hisrnanalysis would suggest.rnNot only does mass immigration intornthe United States promise the continuingrnde-Americanization of the nationrnand its eventual physical Balkanization,rnbut there is little prospect of seriouslyrncontrolling immigration because of thernnature of the national political dialoguernon the issue. Dr. Nelson sees this dialoguernas dominated by neoconservativesrnand New Leftists, both of whom for differentrnreasons favor continuing largescalernimmigration, refuse to countenancernany control or limitation of it, andrndenounce anyone who does oppose itrnwith a variety of epithets that range fromrnthe relatively kind “xenophobe” to outrightrncomparisons with Adolf Hitler. Dr.rnNelson sees as fundamental to neoconservativernsupport for immigration an unexaminedrnand unwarranted faith in unlimitedrneconomic growth.rnHe is correct that the utopianism ofrnneoconservatism and libertarianism is tornblame for their adherents’ continuingrnsupport of immigration, but he seems torndistinguish too sharply their beliefs fromrnthose of liberals and the left, which hernthinks are driven by a desire for more diversityrnin the American population. Therndemand for “diversity” is also presentrnamong neoconservatives, who always arguernthat their nemesis, multiculturalism,rnis merely the work of alienatedrnMarxist elites and their agents and notrnthe result of ethnic and racial conflictrnthat is the direct legacy of diversity. Inrndirect contradiction of their zest for “diversity,”rntheir constant refrain is that immigrantsrnhave assimilated, are assimilating,rnand will continue to assimilate, evenrnthough their concept of assimilation isrnbanal and, as Dr. Nelson points out, inrnsome parts of the country immigrantsrnarc now beginning to outnumber thosernto whose norms they are supposed tornconform. What is happening there is inrnfact “reverse assimilation,” the adoptionrnby natives of the cultures of the immigrants.rnWattenberg, Simon, Jack Kemp,rnand the rest of the neoconservative cadrern10/CHRONiCLESrnrnrn