The Burden of the Past
Earth, Wind, Water and Fire: Resource Exploitation in the Twentieth Century
J. R. McNeill
Ecological Displacement and Transnational Environmental Justice
Confronting Environmental Racism in the Twenty-First Century
Robert D. Bullard
How Much Should a Person Consume?
'If We Are Not Getting into Trouble, We Are Not Being Effective'
INTERVIEW: George Monbiot
The Perils of Panglossism
Climate Change: The Need for Action
Preserving the Forests: The Promise of Community Control
Roger D. Stone and Claudia D’Andrea
Justifying Sustainable Development: A Continuing Ethical Search
Holmes Rolston III
Ecofeminism, Lifeboat Ethics and Illegal Immigration
The Animal Invitation: Extending Human Rights to Other Apes
Paul Waldau and Sarah Whitman
REVIEW ESSAY: Ten Pinches of Salt: A Reply to Bjorn Lomborg
Debunking the Myth of a Lost Eden
A Social Contract for the Future
Hussein A. Amery
Volume 4 ● Number 1 ● Winter 2002—The Fragile Biosphere
Ecofeminism, Lifeboat Ethics and Illegal Immigration
The basic tenet of ecological feminism is that there is a crucial link between the domination of women (and certain men) and the domination of nature within Western patriarchal societies, and that understanding one requires understanding the other. Karen Warren has argued that both the domination of women and certain men in Western patriarchies, and the domination of nature in such patriarchies, rely on “the logic of domination”.1 This logic uses suspect premises about “significant differences” between entities and morally justifies domination and subordination based upon such differences. Analysis of value dualisms plays a prominent role in ecological feminist critiques of Western patriarchal cultures. A value dualism is a disjunctive pair in which the disjuncts are seen as oppositional and exclusive, and which places higher value on one disjunct than the other. Many ecological feminists argue that a reason/nature dualism underlies the conceptual framework of Western patriarchal cultures. This dualism is thought to form the basis for a series of related dualisms in which whatever is associated with reason is viewed as fundamentally different from and superior to whatever is associated with nature.
Examples of such dualised pairs include not only human/nature, reason/nature, masculine/feminine, but also mental/manual and civilised/primitive. These pairs function to legitimate a number of oppressions including sex, race and class oppression, which can all be seen in terms of the central dualism underlying the system, that of reason/nature.
It is crucial to an accurate understanding of the ecofeminist critique of value dualisms to realise that not all differences are dualisms, and that deconstructing value dualisms does not mean denying all differences between dualised pairs. The problem with value dualisms lies in the construction of dualised pairs as absolutely different in morally relevant ways, which leads to the justification of moral hierarchies.
The construction of dualised identities involves five features, according to Val Plumwood.2 These are (1) backgrounding, (2) radical exclusion, (3) incorporation, (4) instrumentalism, and (5) homogenisation. Each of these features functions to validate the relationship of denied dependency that is at the core of dualistic relationships.
Backgrounding involves an oppressor’s attempt to use the oppressed, which creates a dependency on the oppressed, while simultaneously denying that dependency. This often occurs as a denial of the importance of the oppressed’s contribution by devaluing the forms of life associated with the oppressed group. A good example is the devaluation of the so-called private realm of the family or household that has been traditionally associated with women. The contribution of the oppressed is backgrounded, devalued, excluded from the focus of attention.
Radical exclusion involves not merely recognising some differences between dualised pairs, but seeing them as radically different. The number and importance of differences is maximised. Shared characteristics which cannot be denied are viewed as inessential. Consequently, any continuity between the pair is either denied or seen as unimportant. This helps in constructing the idea that oppressed and oppressor have radically different and separate “natures”, thus justifying oppression and making it appear natural or inevitable.
Incorporation involves constructing the identity of the devalued side of the dualised pair as lacking morally relevant features associated with the other side. Since qualities that don’t fit into the scheme are ignored, the other is assimilated or incorporated into the oppressor’s sense of self. It no longer has to be dealt with as an independent entity, important in its own right.
This leads to the next feature, instrumentalism. Those groups deemed morally inferior are constructed as having no morally important independent interests. They are valuable, therefore, only instrumentally, in so far as they can be of use in promoting the interests of the morally relevant groups.
Finally, homogenisation involves denying the differences between those on the underside of dualised pairs. Thus, all women, or all slaves, are seen as merely other.
In a well-known article, Garret Hardin argues that rich nations should refuse all help to poor nations.3 He not only opposes providing any type of aid, he also favours banning immigration that moves people to food instead of food to people. In his famous lifeboat analogy, Hardin argues that each rich nation is like a lifeboat floating in a sea of the poor. Two-thirds of the nations in the world are poor, while only one-third is rich. Of course, the poor wish to get into the boats, but there are simply too many of them. They also reproduce at more than double the rate of those in rich nations. Hence, even if a small percentage of them were allowed into the boats, their high fertility rates would result in unsustainable population growth, swamping the boats. According to Hardin’s statistics, if those from poor nations are allowed in the boat, they can be expected to double their population every thirty-five years, while those in wealthy nations are doubling every eighty-seven years.
Claims that the poor do not “deserve” their misery are irrelevant, as are the concerns of theoretical justice:
Since the needs of all in the water are the same, and since they can all be seen as “our brothers,” we could take them all into our boat, making a total of 150 in a boat designed for 60. The boat swamps, everyone drowns. Complete justice, complete catastrophe. (Ibid., p. 393)
Although this sounds harsh, severe conditions force us to take a practical approach. This is a finite planet with finite resources. Too many people result in disaster.
When a disaster such as famine hits overpopulated poor nations, they need to learn from it. If they cannot hold their population sizes down, or manage to save for such disasters, they will be the victims of population control “the crude way”. Each country should be “solely responsible for its own well-being”, budgeting for scarcity and monitoring population. “Yet the great majority of governments in the world today do not follow such a policy. They lack either the wisdom or the competence, or both” (p. 396).
Not only should rich nations refuse to give food aid, they should refuse all kinds of aid to poor nations, including technological and other forms of assistance. Programmes such as the development of “miracle rice” and “miracle wheat”, intended to increase harvests and boost resistance to crop damage, are also bad ideas. They ignore the fundamentals of human ecology and encourage overpopulation, which Hardin likens to cancer. Too many people will be a drain on important environmental resources and threaten efforts to preserve the natural environment. What about clean beaches, natural areas and tranquillity? These important values are threatened by the existence of too many people.
Hardin’s final plea for non-intervention concerns immigration. Once again he argues that this is a practical matter and not a question of theoretical justice. The argument from justice goes something along the lines of, “This is a nation of immigrants. Who are we suddenly to slam the doors? It isn’t fair.” Hardin’s response is again the supposedly practical one:
We are all the descendants of thieves, and the world’s resources are inequitably distributed ... We cannot safely divide the wealth equitably among all peoples so long as people reproduce at different rates. To do this would guarantee that our grandchildren, and everyone else’s grandchildren, would only have a ruined world to inhabit. To be generous with one’s own possessions is quite different from being generous with those of posterity. (P. 398)
Considerations of justice must give way to practical considerations. It may not be fair, but our survival and the survival of key natural resources depend upon it.
I call Hardin’s argument “isolationist” for two reasons. The first is most obvious. He believes that the rich nations should isolate themselves, preventing foreigners from moving in. The other reason is that his argument rests on the idea that it is possible for a country to “be completely responsible” for running itself, as if it exists in economic and resource isolation from others. Both kinds of isolationism are clearly troubling from an ecological feminist perspective. Hardin’s logic depends on thinking in terms of an us/them dualistic construction of “rich” and “poor” countries. Although he does not actually say this, the clear assumption is that the “slovenly” and “unwise” leaders he refers to in poor countries are “primitive”. They need to learn to operate in a “civilised” manner, saving food for disasters and controlling population as rich countries do. Hardin does not differentiate between various rich and poor countries, and how they may have arrived at their present situations. The “us” and “them” construction is an excellent example of Plumwood’s above-mentioned five features of dualistic thinking at work. My discussion will focus on two blatant instances, (1) the backgrounding and radical exclusion evident in Hardin’s analogy of nations as separate “boats”, and (2) his invocation of an extreme nature/reason dualism in discussing population and fertility rates.
The assumption that each country is responsible for its own fate, and can be held accountable for its situation, is a clear example of backgrounding: an oppressor uses and thus becomes dependent on the oppressed, while simultaneously denying such dependency, often by denying any contribution made by the oppressed to the oppressor. Hardin’s argument assumes that rich nations do not interact with and depend upon poor nations, disregarding any economic interactions between them which serve to benefit the rich at the expense of the poor. Radical exclusion is clear in that the governments of rich nations are represented as “intelligent” and caring about citizens while governments of poor nations are depicted as uncaring. This ignores the many people who are hungry and homeless in various rich nations, such as the United States. It also indicates incorporation, as governments of poor nations are seen as immoral in contrast to rich governments, which are seen as morally good. This allows for extreme instrumentalism. The rich countries’ use of poor ones vanishes totally from the discourse, and is not considered in Hardin’s diagnosis of problems.
Hardin’s discussion of fertility rates and population issues is equally disturbing. He assumes that population rates will remain the same despite changes in people’s economic wellbeing and/or geographical location. High fertility rates impose serious risk of death in developing countries. In most developing countries, maternal mortality is the largest single cause of death in women in their reproductive years. In some areas of sub-Saharan Africa, the maternal mortality rate is as high as one in fifty. In societies where women have seven or more children during their reproductive years the chance that a woman will not survive her reproductive years is about one in six. According to Partha Dasgupta, “Producing children therefore involves playing a kind of Russian Roulette.”4
The research of Dasgupta and others indicates that improving options for women is crucial in lowering fertility rates, and that high fertility rates, environmental degradation and poverty are interrelated in complex ways. Poverty encourages high fertility, which in turn encourages environmental degradation, which makes crucial resources more difficult to obtain, thereby encouraging individual households to have more children to help with chores such as obtaining water. What Hardin characterises as “unwise” decisions to have large households takes place in a complex matrix that makes such decisions “reasonable” in the face of poor options. Moreover, given that most Third World nations are highly patriarchal, women may not be the ones making the decisions at all. Dasgupta’s research shows that increased economic opportunities for women drive fertility rates downwards. And immigrant fertility rates generally converge with those of the native population.5 Hardin’s projections about population growth are therefore greatly flawed.
Hardin’s essentialist depiction of those living in poor nations as unreasonable, in contrast to reasonable people living in rich ones, uses a primitive/civilised dualism that is highly problematic. Ecological feminists have argued that the primitive/civilised dualism emerges from a more basic one within the dominant Western tradition, that of reason/nature, in which whatever is associated with reason is seen as superior to whatever is associated with nature, and in which the primitive is associated with the natural. Hardin’s assumption that high fertility rates are unreasonable and cannot be expected to change indicates that he sees them as somehow natural.
The dualistic assumptions about rich versus poor nations are clearly problematic and have been criticised. One interesting question from an ecological feminist point of view is why they remain popular. A possible answer may be that they invoke dualisms so entrenched in the dominant Western tradition that these dualisms are difficult to refute, even given their obvious flawed assumptions and disregard for empirical evidence.
Hardin’s type of approach has certainly remained influential. For example, Nicholas Capaldi says that the work of Peter Brimelow, which echoes Hardin’s quite closely, is “at the center of the current immigration debate and has sparked a national discussion”.6 On the question of whether it is moral for a nation of immigrants to “slam the door” on others wishing to enter, Brimelow says it “is like arguing that a person already on the lifeboat should refrain from pointing out that taking on one more will cause it to capsize”.7 In addition, Brimelow wrongly assumes that fertility rates are somehow fixed and cannot be expected to change in the presence of better options.
Brimelow’s argument centres on an idea called “the wedge”, which is based on projections developed by the respected demographer Leon Bouvier. According to this argument, if all immigration had been terminated in 1970, the US population in 2050 would be 244 million, less than the current total. If immigration continues at its present level, Brimelow predicts a total of 383 million in 2050, of which 36 per cent will consist of post-1970 immigrants and their descendants. The “wedge” consists of the additional 139 million Americans descended from post-1970 immigrants.
Like Hardin, Brimelow worries about the effect of too many people on the natural environment:
Something clearly has to give if the population of California grows from 20 million in 1970 to 60 million in 2020, which is Leon Bouvier’s upper limit projection ... The fragile desert of the Southwest may not be utterly destroyed. But it must be transformed. California will cease to be the Golden State and become the Golden Subdivision. (Ibid., p. 56)
Another echo of Hardin can be heard in Brimelow’s discussion of “the problem of cultural absorption”. Hardin is less direct on this point, but the general fear seems to be the same. Hardin finds alarming his own idea that cultural attitudes, particularly towards reproduction, are fixed. People will come to America and overpopulate it. Hardin’s discussion also implies a fear of losing “American values”, hence his proclamation that we must save America for “our” grandchildren.
Brimelow is more direct in stating his concern over the loss of American values, although he is no more explicit in stating exactly what they are. Whatever they are, being “white” seems to have a great deal to do with it. Brimelow fears the decline in the number of whites in the United States, noting that in 1960, 88.6 per cent of Americans were white, while in 1990 the number fell to 75.6 per cent. He projects that by 2020 the number could fall to 61 per cent. “Among children under 15, minorities could be approaching the point of becoming the majority” (p. 35).
According to Brimelow, it is not only the numbers of immigrants that are causing problems but also their places of origin. Prior to the 1965 US Immigration Act, quotas ensured that the majority of immigrants were Europeans. The 1965 act put an end to quotas and prioritised family reunification. The result has been more immigrants from Third World countries, where people lack American values. Brimelow quotes John Jay’s definition of “Americans” with approval:
Americans are one united people, a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in manners and customs. (P. 42)
And Brimelow agrees with Calvin Coolidge’s comment in support of pre-1965 quotas favouring European immigrants that “America must be kept American”. Brimelow maintains that “everyone knew what he meant”. Brimelow believes the continuing influx of Third World immigrants will oblige Americans to “abandon the bonds of common ethnicity and trust to ideology to hold together their state”, an ideology he fears the new immigrants lack. He concludes:
The current wave of immigration, and America’s shifting ethnic balance, is simply the result of public policy. A change in public policy opened the Third World floodgates in 1965. A further change in public policy could shut them. Public policy could even restore the status quo ante 1965, which would slowly shift the ethnic balance back. (P. 36)
The main points of Brimelow’s argument, written over twenty years later, are thus essentially the same as Hardin’s. Both authors make use of similar dualistic assumptions and ignore important empirical evidence that contradicts their conclusions.
After 11 September
Post–11 September discussions once again echo Hardin. The New Republic reported that among the crowd gathered near the site of the devastated World Trade Center, just hours after the attack, people were hurling curses at Arabs and foreigners. One man yelled, “Don’t let any more of these foreign Arabs come into this country no more! They hate us!”8 Discussing what he calls the “last large contingent of Arab immigrants”, New Republic editor-in-chief Martin Peretz warns, “Ours is not a country with which they identify or whose values they share.”9 In addition, recent discourse continues to glorify American values. Answering the question why “terrorists hate us”, the New Republic declares: “Anybody who hates modernity hates America. Anybody who hates freedom hates America. Anybody who hates privacy hates America. Anybody who hates human rights hates America.”10 And we had better keep them out.
A mainstay of arguments such as Hardin’s and Brimelow’s is that practical considerations require restricting legal immigration and eliminating illegal immigration altogether. The argument has a distinctly consequentialist ring to it. Survival requires that we “get tough”, keeping foreigners out in order to save American values and the environment. The post–11 September versions imply that the immediate safety of Americans depends upon immediate action.
Ecological feminists value practicality and applicability. Spinning complex ethical theories that have no practical relevance is not what ecological feminism is about. Hence, if it were true that “slamming the door” was a practical ethical solution to problems in America, such a position might have at least something to recommend it from an ecological feminist perspective. However, I shall argue that this approach is not only immoral, but impractical. Considerations of practicality, justice and environmental preservation fit together in ways different from those suggested by Hardin, Brimelow and their followers. This can be seen by deconstructing the radical exclusion that formulates the “immigration problem” as something that can be dealt with in isolation from other global political and moral problems. I illustrate my points with reference to the recent wave of illegal Chinese immigration to New York City’s Chinatown.
Recent attempts to keep illegal Chinese immigrants out of the United States appear to be failing. This is because of a combination of factors, including the sophistication of high-powered international smuggling rings, corruption of officials, the willingness of many Chinese people to endure economic and physical hardships, and finally, the appeal of cheap labour to American businesses. In testimony before Congress in 1994, James Woolsey Jr., director of the Central Intelligence Agency, reported that some one hundred thousand Chinese are being smuggled into the United States each year.11 Chinese transit operations seems to be present in every major airport and harbour around the world. According to a China public security estimate, at any given time there are half a million Chinese nationals in smuggling waystations worldwide: fifty thousand in Moscow, fifteen thousand in Ho Chi Minh City, twenty-five thousand in Bangkok, twenty-five thousand in Africa, ten thousand in Brazil and thousands in other countries, including the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Bulgaria.12
Fuzhou, a major seaport of five million people, is the capital of Fujian Province on China’s southeast coast. Almost 90 per cent of recent immigrants departing from Fuzhou for the United States come from three rural counties outside of Fuzhou city.13 Most of China’s economic growth is concentrated in the southern coastal areas near Hong Kong and Taiwan. Cities such as Fuzhou are flooded with “out-of-province” people waiting on street corners, bus stops and train stations for jobs as day labourers. China’s internal labour migration is encouraged by factory owners. Out-of-province people are considered to be less demanding workers. Locals cannot compete with the more desperate out-of-province people, who are willing to work extremely long hours for very little money. In an interview with Peter Kwong, a woman reported on her life as a hired maid helping with the housework and caring for the family’s sick mother. This fifty-year-old lady came from a village six hours away from Fuzhou city by train. She did all of the cooking, washing and shopping. She ate the leftovers, bathed in water used by everyone else before her, and at the end of the day slept under the mother-in-law’s bed at the hospital in case she was needed. Her total salary came to $10 per month.
As this story illustrates, moving to the city to find work is difficult and extremely unattractive. Staying in the province and trying to make a go of it is equally difficult. Those living within the province, and who are able to, prefer to seek better lives through emigration. According to a Chinese farmer who makes only $20 a year, “no matter how much it costs to get there, or how hard the work is, America is still better than this.”14
Poor conditions at home cause illegal immigrants to be willing to undergo horrendous conditions in order to be smuggled out of the country. In the past, smugglers simply provided assistance in crossing the border. Now, packages include passage out of China, transit to locations as required and transport to the final destination. Some packages even include guaranteed employment at the other end. The common smuggling fee today from China to the United States is $30,000. Former US president Bill Clinton instituted a number of measures in 1993 to deal with the problem. The National Security Council was ordered to co-ordinate the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the CIA and other law enforcement agencies to make illegal immigration more difficult. The Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 suspended the right to fair trial and appeal previously granted to all immigrants, including illegals. A 1996 Immigration Bill funded stiffer border controls, increased the number of investigators of alien-smuggling, imposed harsher sentences for smuggling and extended wiretap authority. Finally, the Welfare Reform Bill of 1996 effectively cut off all benefits to illegals.
At the 1996 G7 meeting, one of the top issues on the agenda was the formation of policy to combat human smuggling. But smuggling continues to be very big business. According to Jonas Widgren of the International Center for Migration Policy Development, smuggling rings make up to US$9.5 billion per year, more than many drug cartels. Demand is such that the human-smuggling business has attracted some of the most sophisticated operators in international organised crime. Those previously involved in transborder trafficking of heroin, stolen Mercedes cars, Stinger missiles and counterfeit currencies have now turned to smuggling illegal immigrants. Despite efforts to curb human smuggling, the problem continues.
The Immigrant’s Lot
A look at what people are willing to endure in order to try for better lives raises moral questions Hardin refuses to deal with. Conditions on smuggling ships are extreme. When the US Coast Guard boarded disguised trawler No. 8 off Hawaii in June 1996, they found 120 naked, caged men packed into a twenty-by-thirty-foot compartment nailed shut without ventilation. Some of the worst abuses take place in “safe houses” where newly arrived illegals are held prisoner until those in the United States sponsoring them pay for passage. To encourage rapid payment, illegals are sometimes forced to speak to relatives on the telephone while they are being tortured. Police estimate that there are over three hundred safe houses in New York City, located in basement cellars, and that almost all illegals are forced to spend some time in one.
The immigrants are forced to eat, sleep, and urinate in the same place as more than a dozen inmates, all of whom are confined to one room. They are starved, deprived of fresh air and sunlight, and beaten regularly. At times they are ordered to inflict pain on each other. Many are shackled and handcuffed to metal bed frames. Males are told they could be killed; the females are threatened with work in a whorehouse.15
Desperation causes people not only to undergo the misery of illegal immigration, but also to work and live in terrible conditions once in the United States. Two typical occupations for illegals are garment work and restaurant jobs. Sweatshop conditions prevail in both. In restaurants, it is common for waiters to work ten to twelve hours a day, six or seven days a week. They receive no overtime, sick days, or holidays. They normally receive well below the legal minimum wage for tipped employees, which is $2.90 an hour plus full tips. Some restaurants pay as little as sixty cents an hour, and in some of the biggest and most popular restaurants waiters receive no wages at all—their income consists solely of tips. In addition, most waiters must give about one-third of their tips to management. They receive no health or accident insurance and if they fail to come to work they must find and pay a replacement. Conditions in even the most popular and well-known restaurants, supported by many people who go to Chinatown for an exotic eating experience, are deplorable.
Conditions are also abysmal in Chinatown’s other main industry, garment manufacturing. Wages can be as low as $2.85 an hour. Many workers receive no hourly wage, but are paid a piece rate of ten cents a piece instead. At this rate, working a twelve-hour day, one can earn less than $10 a day. It is not unusual for children to work alongside their mothers for less money, a gross violation of child labour laws. A typical working week can be as long as 110 or even 117 hours (the total number of hours in a week is 168). Some seamstresses are known to avoid drinking anything during the day so they don’t have to stop work to visit the bathroom. Some work until two in the morning, sleep in the factory, and begin again at sunrise.
Sweatshops are dirty and unsafe. John Antush reports conditions in one typical garment factory:
Dirt, tissue paper, rags, cigarette butts, and other refuse were scattered about the floor. Frayed electrical wires snaked around the room, underfoot. Fans clogged with grey webs of fabric dust blew dry air in circles. Fire exits and windows were boarded up, blocked by boxes, or locked with iron cages or barred gates.16
Common injuries include sore arms, headaches, dizzy spells, heart palpations and bronchial asthma caused by exposure to chemicals used in treating fabrics. Button-sewing is perhaps the most dangerous job. A worker is required to move the fabric around fast enough to allow the needle to go through all the buttonholes. Tired workers often injure their fingers and snapped-off needle fragments can injure eyes.
Employers often withhold wages, claiming that they are short of money. Many workers say it is impossible to find employment in a factory that does not engage in this practice. In extreme cases pay cheques are held back for six months or more. Places that withhold for only three weeks are considered real finds. In addition, it is not unusual for workers to come to work only to find that the factory has closed, owing them weeks, sometimes months, of unpaid wages.17
Living conditions are no better. Families commonly inhabit cockroach-infested, run-down, three-bedroom railroad flats with three generations living together. Some single people rent beds in barrack-like buildings where windowless one-room apartments may contain as many as nineteen people. Some actually rent out their bunks for a portion of the day in order to save money.18
Morality and Self-Interest
Slamming doors while doing absolutely nothing to help suffering people in other countries is both immoral and impractical. One problem is that with regard to environmental issues, there are no doors. An obvious fact clearly missed by Hardin is that we depend upon the natural resources of poor countries for the environmental health of the planet; nothing is likely to change that. The isolationist approach won’t work from an environmental point of view. Equally important is the fact that people will not respect national boundaries if life is unbearable where they are and they have the means to escape. Attempts at exclusion will fail—they are failing. The only “practical” solution is to change the choice matrix in which decisions to immigrate are made. If one considers the conditions described above, it is obvious that desperation motivates many choices to enter countries illegally. According to Hardin, issues of human survival and environmental protection require a separation of ethics from practical considerations. Fortunately, Hardin is wrong. Practically speaking, if we want to protect environmental resources we will have to work to provide for people choices that are bearable and environmentally sustainable. To try to shut the doors and look away is not only unethical, but also highly impractical.
One dualism that has received a considerable amount of ecological feminist attention is the altruism/egoism divide. The isolationist approach critiqued in this essay clearly makes use of it. However, I suggest that practicality and morality point us in the same rather than in opposite directions. Programmes aimed at improving the lives of the poor, and in particular of women and female children, who often bear the brunt of poor conditions, will be a crucial part of preserving natural environments and discouraging illegal immigration.
The arguments discussed above employ dualistic thinking that has been heavily criticised by ecological feminists. In fact, they remain popular because they employ such dualisms. The post–11 September versions of such arguments are highly disturbing. Us/them and civilised/primitive dualisms abound. People living in Chinatown have been some of the hardest hit by the consequences of the World Trade Center attack. Abundant glorification of American values makes gross injustices taking place within US borders invisible. Progress will require abandoning the problematic dualistic thinking critiqued by ecological feminism. People in rich nations will have to be concerned with what is happening in poor ones. This concern will have to be manifested in ways other than suddenly deciding to drop food and bombs simultaneously, and it must not be evinced only after “we” feel threatened.
2. Val Plumwood, Feminism and the Mastery of Nature (London and New York: Routledge, 1993).
3. Garrett Hardin’s article “Lifeboat Ethics” first appeared in Psychology Today in 1974. It was reprinted in The Environmental Ethics and Policy Book, ed. Donald Vandeveer and Christine Pierce (Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1998), pp. 393–9.
4. Partha S. Dasgupta, “Population, Poverty and the Local Government”, in The Environmental Ethics and Policy Book, ed. Vandeveer and Pierce, pp. 405–9.
5. See Tamara K. Hareven and John Modell, “Family Patterns”, in the Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups, ed. Stephan Thernstrom, Ann Orlov and Oscar Handlin (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, Belknap Press, 1980), pp. 345, 348–9.
6. Nicholas Capaldi, ed., Immigration: Debating the Issues (Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books, 1997), p. 29.
7. Peter Brimelow, “Time to Rethink Immigration?”, in Immigration: Debating the Issues, ed. Capaldi, p. 44.
8. Paul Berman, “Brooklyn Dispatch: Under the Bridge”, New Republic, 24 September 2001, pp. 1–4 [www.thenewrepublic.com/092401/berman092401.html].
9. Martin Peretz, “When America-Haters Become Americans. Entry Level”, New Republic, 15 October 2001, pp. 1–7 [www.thenewrepublic.com/101501/peretz101501.html].
10. Editors, “It Happened Here”, New Republic, 24 September 2001, pp. 1–6 [www.thenewrepublic.com/092401/editorial092401.html].
11. Paul J. Smith, “Illegal Chinese Immigrants Everywhere and No Letup in Sight”, International Herald Tribune, 28 June 1996.
12. Marlowe Hood, “The Taiwan Connection”, Los Angeles Times, 9 October 1994.
13. The following account of illegal emigration from China to the United States is based on Peter Kwong, The Forbidden Workers: Illegal Chinese Immigrants and American Labor (New York: New Press, 1997).
14. Ibid., p. 67.
15. Ibid., p. 82.
16. John C. Antush, “Field Notes” (master’s thesis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1998), p. 27.
17. Ibid., p. 30.
18. Peter Kwong, The New Chinatown (New York: Hill and Wang, 1987), p. 39.