Monday, April 30, 2007

Was cultural diversity good for Native Americans?

While humorous, the distinction between 'immigrant' and 'settler' is of the utmost importance in assessing the impact of cross-border migration.

The first three migration waves to hit the US consisted of immigrants eager to be part of the blossoming US, the newest Latin American settlement wave is increasingly becoming a parallel society, one that lives within the US without becoming a part of it. The half-million lawbreaking protesters who took to the streets of LA in March of '06, the numerous public schools that primarily give instructions in Spanish, and the $45 billion that leaves the US economy each year in the form of remittances (in return for a net liability that must be taken care of by the net taxpaying native) from foreign-born Hispanics to their home countries in Latin America are a few of the most conspicuous illustrations of this troubling trend.

Reflecting on the outcome of the migration from Europe to the Americas from the 16th to 19th Centuries from the perspective of Native Americans is a worthwhile mental exercise.

Of course the situations are not identical--European settlers were more advanced, more prosperous, and more innovative than the natives they replaced were. The fourth wave, by contrast, is conspicuously less prosperous, educated, and imaginative than the natives it is replacing.

But seismic changes are present in both. The contemporary Hispanic wave is bringing atavistic diseases that natives had previously never heard of or had become happily unaccustomed to dealing with. They're lowering the US' average IQ and making housing more difficult to come by. Socially, they're bringing anti-Semitism and a machismo culture that sexually objectifies young women.

In a sense, the noble savages may be right if they're the ancestors of today's tribal chieftans who stand atop tobacco-selling, slot-pulling cashcows--many of those who've been able to prove sufficient sanguinety have done quite well. That lucrative articial situation aside, many others stagger on in an alcohol-induced, entitlement-sustained stagnant haze. While the MNCs that milk the net taxpayer to utilize subsidized serf labor may come out ahead (at least in the short-run), the rest of us aren't so fortunate.


the wily marmot said...

You forgot their predilection toward obesity.

JSBolton said...

Advanced civilization with immigration control, is not legitimately compared to the wish for a multibillion acre hunting preserve for primitives.
It bespeaks a horrific nihilism, one that would annihilate all values and with apparent glee,
to smear as tribalistic, the loyalty to the citizenry and the net taxpayers thereof, which
dictates that there be restriction of immigration.
Free immigration of hostiles,
migrating in armed groups, plundering with weapons or with welfare eligibilities, has an element which enthuses over such a possibility;
should they be called the devotees of anarcho-fascism?

Fat Knowledge said...


On what do you base your statement that European settlers were more advanced, more prosperous, and more innovative than the natives they replaced were?

Have you read the book 1491 yet? I think you would enjoy it.

The author takes a look at what the America's were like before Europeans arrived, and makes the case that they were neither noble nor savage, but rather just like every other human being. He believes that the Inca and Aztec civilizations of 1491 would rival ones anywhere in the world (Europe, Asia, Africa) in terms of culture and science.

But then the Europeans arrived and the native Americans were hit with small pox which decimated their populations and culture.

Audacious Epigone said...


Gun-powder, horses, an understanding of geometry, fractional exponenets, and trigonometry, the experimental method and an understanding of magnetic poles, an understanding of how to make sulphuric acid, the dissection of animals, an abhorrence of cannibalism, an ecumenical religious/philosophical worldview, military superiority, seafaring navigational technologies, a monied economy, an exploding vernacular literary collection, to name a few.

But the Occidental explosion was in it's very seminal stages at the end of the 15th Century. In either case, the displacement of native society by the one settling the new one was not good for the natives. That's the 'truism' I'm aiming for.

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll put it on my reading list.