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Culture War Roundup for the week of July 17, 2023

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There's been a ton of bashing of immigrants and the idea of assimilation here recently. Lots of doom, not a lot of hope or true attempts at understanding. I'd like to briefly outline a positive case for immigration and assimilation, looking at three major groups throughout history.

First we have Rome. Famously Rome is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, empires an lights of civilization in the Western world. In many ways the Pax Romana and the heights the Romans achieved paved the way for the modern Western order. The United States' governmental system is in large part explicitly modeled on the Roman system.. How did Rome achieve so much success? Many scholars believe it was their ability to assimilate new peoples into their culture, and make them productive members of society. There's even a word for it: Romanization. (Or if you prefer, the less politically correct 'civilizing of barbarians.')

Going from their example, we have the many great and powerful Islamic empires. Now before everyone spouts off about how intolerent Muslims are, I agree. For many historic reasons Islamic states nowadays are the opposite of an immigrant loving place that's open to assimilation. Ironically, some scholars claim that:

How can the current state of political violence in Muslim countries be reconciled with the often-invoked tolerance of the past multicultural and multireligious Muslim Empires? One way to address this conundrum is to distinguish between toleration and tolerance. The former refers to the modern institutionalised protection of religious, ethnic, and gender differences through the rule of law, while the latter implies organic mechanisms specific to communities to accommodate differences.

From this perspective, Muslim Empires were tolerant, while modern-day Muslim states lack toleration. The past tolerance expressed itself in the regulation of the local religious diversity under the purview of the Islamic judges (qadis).

There's a lot of definitional games here, but Muslim empires were certainly notable for assimilated other 'People of the Book', i.e. Christians and Jews, which even their contemporary Christian states thought was insane. Many Muslim empires were much stronger than European nations at times, especially during the so-called Dark Ages.

Finally, we have America. I won't rehash this too much, as I think it's practically inarguable that America is a nation founded on the principle of immigration, religious freedom, and has levered it's ability to assimilate masses of immigrants to become the greatest nation in the history of the world.


The point of all these examples is to say that yes, immigration is difficult. And yes, modern Western nations may not be in a perfect spot to assimilate immigrants, there are many flaws with social programs and how immigration works currently. I'll concede all those points.

However, I think the reason immigration and assimilation is so attractive to so many intellectuals lies in the potential! If your culture can figure out a way to bridge gaps between different cultures, ethnicities, and groups, if you can truly make disparate peoples unite under one flag, one cause, one set of ideals, you can rule the world. The tail benefits of successful immigration policies are massive.

It's a major mistake to sneer at modern issues with immigration and say it's a doomed project when so much of our culture exists because of cultural plurality.

Would you rather be an average Brazilian or an average American?

Because that seems to most likely outcome for the United States to me. Not hell on earth, just a very unequal and somewhat corrupt country where anyone with money barricades themselves behind fences and guards. Perhaps add in a touch of third world ethnic spoils politics.

Looking at modern large and diverse countries like Brazil, India or South Africa seems more relevant than comparing America to premodern empires.

From an HBD perspective are there not too many white people in the US for it to become Brazil? Like even if we take the current intermarriage rates would the average(Non-black) IQ of the country not be higher?

Cue hand-wringing about the Great Replacement.

Critics say you don’t need intermarriage if there’s enough immigration and enough of a birth rate difference.

Wikipedia says Brazil was at 47% in 2010. The US could easily get there in ten years.

Of course, America will probably end up with an Afro-Mestizo underclass with high birth rates and a Eurasian overclass with low birth rates, but long term, the outcome looks extremely similar to what Brazil is today.

That is not what demographic trends, or foreseeable changes to demographic trends, point to. Notably Hispanics and African Americans do not like each other very much, certainly not enough to interbreed at notable rates. Different Hispanic groups also get snooty about not liking each other and prefer to intermarry with whites over different kinds of Hispanics. These white are almost entirely red tribe, which incidentally has the highest stable TFR in the country while the African American birthrate is at euro levels. It’s true that Asians and blue tribe whites have low even by developed world standards fertility, but the US is going to have a large and relatively wealthy white population for the foreseeable future.

I've lived in the southwest and as far as I can tell the 90s - early 2000s scaremongering about how mestizos would turn the US into a gang-war ridden nightmare and possibly embark on mass murder of whites has simply failed to materialize. There are counties on the US-Mexican border where hispanics are already a huge majority and they aren't much like Brazil. Brownsville, Texas, the most hispanic city in America, has a homicide rate on par with some of the lily whitest states in New England and the midwest.

Brownsville, Texas, the most hispanic city in America, has a homicide rate on par with some of the lily whitest states in New England and the midwest.

That's true. In fact, most of the Hispanic areas of Texas and New Mexico have low murder rates by U.S. standards.

Yest, on the other side of the border, the murder rates are incredibly high.

My guess is that state capacity is the difference. Texas is capable of prosecuting murderers and imprisoning them until they are no longer a threat. Mexico is not.

Unfortunately, the current attitude towards crime in many U.S. cities is less than encouraging. If we dropped 10,000 Central Americans men (age 18-25) off in downtown Seattle tomorrow, I can only imagine what would happen to our crime rate.

Unfortunately, the current attitude towards crime in many U.S. cities is less than encouraging.

And Texas notably does not share this attitude towards crime, nor does it allow its cities to engage in that kind of wishful thinking.

I've lived in the southwest and as far as I can tell the 90s - early 2000s scaremongering about how mestizos would turn the US into a gang-war ridden nightmare and possibly embark on mass murder of whites has simply failed to materialize.

Would you be willing to change your mind if presented with evidence of increased cartel presence and criminal activity in the southern border regions?

Sure, the cartels operate along the border. They mostly keep the murder in Mexico, though.

This is an incredibly facile analysis that just handwaves various periods of history as "tolerant" or "intolerant"; most notable Muslim empires had policies regarding non-Muslim subjects, or non-core ethnic groups, that would be considered crimes against humanity today. If you squint hard enough, the Ottoman policy of creating a personal militia for the Sultan by levying, enslaving and castrating the sons of their Christian subjects might seem like tolerance of religious diversity, but this requires motivated squinting. Muslim imperial history is full of incidents of a core ethnic group being overthrown by a non-core ethnic group despite the "one big happy ummah" facade - the Mamluks were Turkic and Caucasian slaves who overthrew their Ayyubid Arab masters, Muhammad Ali Pasha was an Albanian who was sent to govern Egypt by the Ottomans and then decided to take it for himself. Most imperial history is full of such incidents, Muslim or not.

However, I think the reason immigration and assimilation is so attractive to so many intellectuals lies in the potential! If your culture can figure out a way to bridge gaps between different cultures, ethnicities, and groups, if you can truly make disparate peoples unite under one flag, one cause, one set of ideals, you can rule the world.

Sure. What happens if you can't figure it out? Then you're just stuck with a patchwork of mutually alien peoples with crisscrossing resentments and conflicting goals.

If I perform a chemistry experiment that fails, I can clean out my tubes and beakers and try again. How do I clean out my country if this experiment fails?

Rome did not have affirmative action, minimum wage, much of a welfare state, or an ideology of anti-racism (they were racist regarding tribal origin and stereotyping was common). As such we can’t compare the effects of immigration on Rome versus the effects of immigration on America. The middle class American subsidizes the education, policing, and healthcare of poor immigrants. It’s not like Rome where they tell the poor masses “figure it out” and the best rise to the top while the poor drown. Americans pay for all of it. And unlike in Rome, you can’t truly only hire people from your own tribe in order to protect your assets from a % change in population. The addition of a mediocre immigrant to America makes every American’s life more mediocre, because this is how the system of subsidizing and equalizing works here. In Rome, a mediocre immigrant would just be on the street dying. In 19th century America, too, you had this “libertarian” free for all.

Japan’s government is even more homogenous than its citizens. The ruling party has been out of power for only five years in the last seventy.

https://www.eastasiaforum.org/2018/01/19/explaining-one-party-dominance-in-japanese-politics/

Nobody can name more than a couple of politicians and nobody discusses politics because it’s too boring.

And it works. The government just gets on with things. Occasionally you get corruption or scandals, the offender gets punished and everyone just shrugs and says that that’s the kind of thing politicians do sometimes and it can’t be helped.

Homogeneity is underrated.

One party rule (or more generally, a consistent leadership regime) works really well when they’re builders and works out poorly for the people when they’re looters. The trick is identifying people in those groups.

The even harder trick is keeping the looters out once you've established the party. Once it is established that the party is where all the loot is, one hardly even need consult with Willie Sutton.

If your culture can figure out a way to bridge gaps between different cultures, ethnicities, and groups, if you can truly make disparate peoples unite under one flag, one cause, one set of ideals, you can rule the world.

Sure. Not everyone wants to rule the world, though. The Swiss seem to have prioritized not ruling the world, and it worked really well for them. Why not be like the Swiss?

It's a major mistake to sneer at modern issues with immigration and say it's a doomed project when so much of our culture exists because of cultural plurality.

Like what, specifically?

It may be true that parts of our culture exist because of cultural plurality, but it's definately true that other parts only exist because of cultural homogeneity, and that in fact those parts fall into cacophonous incoherence the instant that homogeneity goes away. You know, little things like free speech, free assembly, freedom of religion, our traditions of civil society generally, our systems of Justice, the principles of democracy itself... minor stuff really, compared to raw GDP and the welfare of the soulless, sociopathic distributed intelligence we call megacorporations, but one might be forgiven for holding a certain fond nostalgia for these minor relics of a bygone era.

People sneer because the multiculturalist message has been proven a lie over and over again for decades, and all the charity has been burned away. Neither you nor any other advocate of multiculturalism is willing to face the basic reality that your previous collective efforts have broken our societies in ways that cannot easily be fixed, and rather than apologize for this and sit quietly in the corner while we try to mitigate the damage, you just keep swinging the hammer. We point to disastrous result after disastrous result, and the response is an eye-roll and a "oh, you're bringing that up again, move on already".

Finally, we have America. I won't rehash this too much, as I think it's practically inarguable that America is a nation founded on the principle of immigration, religious freedom, and has levered it's ability to assimilate masses of immigrants to become the greatest nation in the history of the world.

Religious freedom is not a conceptual primitive, and the thing we apply the term to bears no resemblance to the naïve interpretation of the phrase. A more accurate title would be "freedom for religions we collectively don't consider too weird or awful", and it is only common assumptions born of cultural homogeneity that allow us to ignore the problematic edge cases enough to mistake it for a fully-generalizable value. "Freedom of religion" is a consequence of cultural homogeneity and peaceful conditions, not a creator of them.

America suffered considerable negative effects from previous waves of immigration, and repeatedly banned all immigration for lengthy periods of time on its road to the cultural successes you trumpet. Its ability to assimilate masses of immigrants pretty clearly no longer exists, given that its own people can't stand each other or find enough common ground for mutual long-term cooperation.

The problem is assimilation is not widely popular, particularly not among those who are pushing for more immigration. Instead, the demand is for the host country and culture to accommodate the immigrants, to yield where there is conflict. Including dropping principles like religious freedom (don't be drawing Mohammed, it's unnecessarily antagonistic). That changes everything.

That’s just hatred of white Christians, though, not a general demand to accommodate immigrants. These people are usually also very concerned about enclaves of Dutch Calvinist immigrants and don’t care much whether the Muslims in question are local converts(of which there are plenty in America) or immigrants/descendants of same.

The point of all these examples is to say that yes, immigration is difficult. And yes, modern Western nations may not be in a perfect spot to assimilate immigrants, there are many flaws with social programs and how immigration works currently. I'll concede all those points.

However, I think the reason immigration and assimilation is so attractive to so many intellectuals lies in the potential!

Except that the potential hasn’t materialised and the problems have turned up right on cue.

Mass immigration is a exponentially accelerating total rewrite of society, irreversible without literal genocide, and it was carried out against the explicit wishes of the electorate over and over again. In the UK the government literally lied for the last fifteen years and said they were going to bring down the numbers even as they raised them.

I get it. I was pro-immigration too, once. If you really care about making immigration work, treat it the same as any other piece of engineering. Shut down the runaway reaction, wait until all of the pieces have stopped moving, and then control it.

I can't speak for everybody, but from my perspective you're missing the point.

I'm not sneering at immigrants, not even ones who don't want to assimilate (possibly because I am one). We're all trying to make the best of the cards we're dealt.

I'm not sneering at assimilation. I love the idea, and even though I couldn't hack it myself, I think it's something everyone should strive for, and maybe that hosts should make an effort to make it smoother as well.

What I am sneering at is the idea that assimilation happens automatically. You just send a couple million people with a completely different culture somewhere, and they'll be absorbed by the blob, right? If not them, then surely their kids.

I am sneering at the idea that belonging to a nation is about nothing more than holding a passport, and that a country is little more that an administrative-economic zone. With that attitude, what does it even mean to assimilate?

I am sneering at the idea of migration being an unmitigated good for everyone involved. Even in the best case scenario an emigrant is leaving something behind. The idea of plugging your own country's holes, be it skilled labor shortages or low birthrates, with people from other parts of the world strikes me as incredibly callous.

Finally, I'm sneering at the "hello fellow natives, have you considered that having children is bad?" -> "hello fellow natives, we are going through a population crisis, have you considered opening borders?" routine that our lizardmen elites are pulling.

I think this actually hits on something important. Most of the people who no longer care about assimilation or natives or the language do tend to be, for want of a better term, meta-nationalists. They are theoretically loyal to their idea of what America is, but that idea doesn’t include the idea that Americans have a culture or a people or anything else beyond an administrative zone, a passport and a flag.

I think Islam's success and spread was partly a result of religiously enshrining a tax code. As a merchant back in those times there was a huge amount of uncertainty. Unless you had been somewhere before you had no idea if they were open to trade. A leader or regime might fall, and suddenly a formerly safe port becomes a port where they confiscate everything you own. The locals rarely cared about how foreigners were treated.

Along comes Islam with a religiously enshrined tax code and religiously enshrined rules about how fellow Muslims are to be treated. Being a Muslim in the ancient world was like being an American, you had God-given rights, and if any ruler violated those god-given rights they'd had have hell to pay. And thus all of the Muslim world became a trade zone with itself.

Other empires had accomplished huge internal trade zones, and the Europeans would later achieve the creation of their own massive trade zones (enforced through naval supremacy). But the Islamic trade zone was a huge accomplishment at the time, and united almost the entirety of the Old World equatorial area in a multi-generationally stable trade regime.

This doesn't have as much to say about Immigration. I generally think more open immigration is a good thing. It does say a lot about the long term benefits of open trade.

On Rome, I think an interesting note here is that Rome's mythological origin is that of a mongrel combination of nationalities - refugees and ruffians from all over Italy were offered sanctuary by Romulus, and he welded them into a nation through heroic effort, including at one point just kidnapping wives for them.

Moreover, Livy directly attributes Rome's future greatness to this mixture of ethnicities:

His next care was to secure an addition to the population that the size of the City might not be a source of weakness. It had been the ancient policy of the founders of cities to get together a multitude of people of obscure and low origin and then to spread the fiction that they were the children of the soil. In accordance with this policy, Romulus opened a place of refuge on the spot where, as you go down from the Capitol, you find an enclosed space between two groves. A promiscuous crowd of freemen and slaves, eager for change, fled thither from the neighbouring states. This was the first accession of strength to the nascent greatness of the city.

While Livy might have attributed it thus, this doesn't really reflect the reality on the ground.

The obvious criticism is that Romulus is almost certainly a myth. The legend of the founding of Rome as well as early events like the Rape of the Sabine women might have shreds of truth but are largely made up.

By the time that we have historical records, Romans were very reluctant to grant citizenship to others. When Drusus proposed enfranchising Rome's Latin allies in 91 BC, he was accused to trying to make those new citizens his clients. Drusus was assassinated shortly thereafter, leading to the Social War of Rome against its Italian allies which lasted 4 years and saw 50,000 military deaths on each side. Only then were some wealthy citizens among the erstwhile "Allies" granted Roman citizenship although there was much consternation on how they would affect voting.

It would take another 300 years before all free inhabitants of the Roman Empire were made citizens. This happened in 212 AD under the reign of the notorious tyrant Caracalla who did so only to increase tax revenues.

At this point, of course, Rome was already in decline. The next 250 years would see Rome have increasing reliance on outsiders to fill its military ranks until those outsiders finally did away with the Western Roman empire entirely.

I for one am extremely skeptical of any "diversity is our strength" arguments about ancient Rome.

I'm not making an argument about Rome's actual founding - we don't know what happened in 753 with any reliability, and archaeological evidence suggests the city already existed at that point anyway. I think Livy is most interesting as a window into what Livy thought and how he conceived of Rome's greatness, rather than historical causation. Livy's narration of the history of Rome tells us about Livy's values and about what could be safely expressed in elite Roman society in his day.

I bring it up, then, mainly as a single point against the equally-imaginary idea of some sort of ethnically pure Rome free of outside influence. As far as I'm aware, the Romans themselves knew that their city was not the result of a pure bloodline stretching back into the distant past, but rather was a hybrid of many influences.

This doesn't seem like an argument that diversity is our strength - if nothing else, if we all adapted Livian or Romulan policies for a modern nation, we'd do a lot of very un-progressive things. But the hybrid character of Rome does seem evident to me.

The obvious criticism is that Romulus is almost certainly a myth.

They've found post-holes of about the right age in the spot where late-Republican Romans claimed Romulus' hut was preserved.

In kind of the same way China went through its Doubting Antiquity phase in the early 20th century, it's fashionable to assume myths and mythical history are just made up in the West, but it may be we go through something like the Chinese did where, whoops, turns out the Shang really did exist and here's the archeological evidence with writing and who knows when the Xia turn up in the archeological record but we shouldn't be surprised if they do.

Learned Hand?

Badass American judge and philosopher.

I’d vote for this ticket.

Hand not making it to the supreme court was a pretty big injustice in my book. That dude deserved it far more than some of the people who did manage to get appointed at the time.

I feel it too. That sense of pride.

If nothing else, my time on this board has really brought out my inner civic nationalist.

It seems odd to me to talk about immigration in America without talking about, you know, immigration in America. "A nation of immigrants" is a cliche but America's current population pretty much all arrived in the past 400 years from other places. And in that time it went from being a handful of starving colonies to the most powerful nation in world history (as well as one of the richest). At times the Italians, Irish, and other Catholic nationalities were considered to be a mean, mongrel group who could never be trusted. Now a white nativist probably couldn't tell them apart from any other American. The Chinese were also once believed to be uncivilized barbarians; now they along with other Asian-Americans are literally too successful to avoid being discriminated against by college admissions. (Yes, recent immigrants are not a contiguous group with most of the ones who migrated in the 1800s to work in California--but neither genetics nor culture is going to change that much in 150 years. Modern immigrants are richer, but almost all the European immigrants were poor too. If they had been allowed to, the Chinese immigrants of the 1800s could have assimilated trivially easily).

All through these times recent immigrants and their families often provided large amounts of cheap labor, settled new frontiers, and gradually improved their lot--the American dream. When they arrived, they often formed immigrant enclaves, but gradually assimilated over a few generations--other commenters seem to sneer at this possibility, but as far as I can tell it's literally exactly what has been happening for many years. The first generation that moves as adults is mostly the old culture, their kids are a mix, and the grandkids are just like other Americans. Sometimes it happens faster than this, but even if it does take this long it doesn't seem to matter.

In light of all of this history, most of the fears proposed by modern anti-immigration activists seem to ring hollow.

Are we still apply the sorts of social and governmental pressure to new immigrants that was applied to Irish and Italians? White nativists unable to distinguish between may have never seen them in their native habitats.

Once you're sufficiently familiar with the peoples of Europe in their native lands it's easier to distinguish among them.

What pressure are you referring to? And what do you mean by "native" here? Rich old money families descended from Mayflower passengers aside, my point is that the great-grandchildren of Italian immigrants from the late 1800s are not pretty much completely indistinguishable from the grandchildren of Polish immigrants in the 1920s or from the great great grandchildren of a German immigrant from 1850 or from the 5x great grandchildren of English immigrants from the 1700s.

Social pressure to speak English, be more "american", anglicize, their name, be productive, follow the existing mores, etc.

Government pressure to detect, infiltrate and disrupt their criminal networks, ensure the state is not losing revenue to tax fraud, welfare fraud, etc. Inspection prior to admission for signs of contagious disease, poor physique, feeblemindedness or insanity, criminal records or signs of low moral character.

Absent intermarriage or other dilution of their ethnic heritage, why wouldn't you be able to distinguish Italians, Poles and Germans? It's something that many people in Europe are able to do routinely with better than chance outcomes.

Native in the place of origin sense.

When they arrived, they often formed immigrant enclaves, but gradually assimilated over a few generations--other commenters seem to sneer at this possibility, but as far as I can tell it's literally exactly what has been happening for many years.

The difference is that then, nobody was proclaiming diversity is our strength. No, they were actively proclaiming for assimilation and suppression of foreign cultures and foreign tongues, if not explicitly foreign people. You're also discounting a huge difference in scope. There were never as many Italians or Irish then as there are Mexicans and assorted CA hispanics now. There has never been as much immigration as there has been in the last 60 years. Things have changed, and those changes have destroyed the mechanism for the assimilation that you take for granted. Hence the sneering. That machine's broken, it's not going to be rebuilt, and anyone who wants to do so is pilloried.

In an ideal world, the spanish language speaking hispanics would meet the same fate as the german language speaking germanics from the 20th century: complete replacement of their language and wholesale assimilation into the dominant culture. This won't happen, because that goose is cooked.

No, they were actively proclaiming for assimilation and suppression of foreign cultures and foreign tongues, if not explicitly foreign people.

Some people certainly wanted this, but did it actually happen? Or rather, did it actually happen any faster than it does now, or would have happened anyway? German was actually a very popular language in the US, with German newspapers in many towns, until the world wars. Lots of other diaspora communities persisted as well, like Celtish in the Carolina lowlands. My impression is actually that a lot of nativists did the opposite, and wanted the immigrants to remain separate in their own enclaves indefinitely--"No Irish need apply" doesn't seem like it encourages assimilation.

There were never as many Italians or Irish then as there are Mexicans and assorted CA hispanics now.

Do you have data to support this claim? Raw immigration numbers peaked in 1990, with the second peak being 1900-1920:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_immigration_to_the_United_States#/media/File:Immigration_to_the_United_States_over_time.svg

Adjusting for population, it's clear that we're in a pretty low spot historically (excepting the Depression and WW2)--adjusted for the 4.3x population difference, even the low point in 1900 is equivalent to well over 800,000 today. In fact, even going purely by raw numbers, "the last 60 years" is largely not that high!

Things have changed, and those changes have destroyed the mechanism for the assimilation that you take for granted. Hence the sneering. That machine's broken, it's not going to be rebuilt, and anyone who wants to do so is pilloried.

I don't see much in the way of evidence for any these things. I think people who say this don't sufficiently grapple with the history of assimilation, which I only know a little bit about, but I know enough to know that it's complicated.

This won't happen, because that goose is cooked.

Well, this is a testable prediction, at least. I think it's rather early to conclude it won't happen, when large-scale hispanic immigration is, what, 30 or 40 years old? German language newspapers existed as far back as the Revolution and was quite popular throughout the 1800s, only really declining because of WW1. Do you think that, say, the grandchildren of early hispanic immigrants (so, the children of people born in the US) don't speak substantially more English than their grandparents?

German was actually a very popular language in the US, with German newspapers in many towns, until the world wars.

Yes, at which point their language and culture were brutally suppressed, and they were forcibly assimilated into the WASP culture of whiteness.

I think it's rather early to conclude it won't happen, when large-scale hispanic immigration is, what, 30 or 40 years old?

That's today. Reagan signed the amnesty in 1986. It's been 37 years. No need to wait, just look around you.

Do you think that, say, the grandchildren of early hispanic immigrants (so, the children of people born in the US) don't speak substantially more English than their grandparents?

I think they still think of themselves as hyphenated Americans, and still carry with them a dagger with which to plunge into the back of the nation that welcomes them. I think that, absent a war that inflames the prejudice and patriotism necessary, they will never assimilate the way the Germans did. I think that they are still foreigners, despite their citizenship or place of residence.

Yes, at which point their language and culture were brutally suppressed, and they were forcibly assimilated into the WASP culture of whiteness.

But what problems did this actually cause prior to 1914?

No need to wait, just look around you.

Ok, what am I looking at? Is it that the children of those immigrants from the 80s and earlier have started using American names and speaking English? Is it that these 3rd generation immigrants are more likely to describe themselves as American (also more data on language)? What? Or do you not actually have a justification for anything you've written, and are expecting me to just agree because something seems obvious to you?

still carry with them a dagger with which to plunge into the back of the nation that welcomes them

That's a completely wild sort of accusation to make. Do you have any evidence for such a strong claim?

That's a completely wild sort of accusation to make. Do you have any evidence for such a strong claim?

It's not a wild accusation in needd of a source, it's a reference to a speech by the President of these United States, where he said:

any man who carries a hyphen about with him carries a dagger that he is ready to plunge into the vitals of this Republic whenever he gets ready.

I don't need to cite sources for my own opinions, or to explain my own perspectives. I am not an encyclopedia, nor am I authoring a research paper. You are free to accept or reject them.

But what problems did this actually cause prior to 1914?

Skyrocketing crime rates in east coast and midwest cities driven by the rise of the Italian-American mafia, the creation of Tammany Hall-style corrupt machine politics across much of the country, and an anarchist movement that resulted in one presidential assasination and a series of deadly bomb attacks.

Is it that the children of those immigrants from the 80s and earlier have started using American names and speaking English? Is it that these 3rd generation immigrants are more likely to describe themselves as American (also more data on language)?

They don't vote for the major political parties in the same proportions that others do. And that's a really huge thing.

Neither do children of natives. There's no new source of Republicans at all.

You mean aside from the old-fashioned one. Married with kids remains one of (if not the) most reliable proxies for conservative political leaning in the US.

More comments

Raw immigration numbers peaked in 1990

That is not true. Ignoring the outlier year of 1991 (possibly a result of the Reagan amnesty?), the trend line of legal immigration is up and to the right from 1930 all the way until 2016.

This says nothing of illegal immigration, nor what the situation looks like now in 2023. Trump did (by jawboning) manage to reduce immigration.

Neverthless, foreign-born as a percent of the overall population keeps going up and will soon eclipse the all-time record set in the early 1900s.

https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2020/08/20/key-findings-about-u-s-immigrants/

So we might set a new record soon, but it's only recently (last 10 years) gotten close to the level that was maintained pretty consistently from 1870 to 1920 (although this is also affected by the native reproduction rate--I think "we have more immigrants" may be less useful than "existing residents are having fewer kids"). So it's still not really accurate to say "There were never as many Italians or Irish then as there are Mexicans and assorted CA hispanics now." If this trend continues it might be true at some point in the future.

It's also noteworthy that the previous wave of mass immigration (1900–1920) lasted only twenty years and then was followed by a near total stop of immigration that lasted until the late 1960s.

It was during that period of pause that all the Italians, Irish, Poles, Jews, etc... were homogenized into the melting pot.

The current run of mass immigration has been running unchecked since the 1990s and assimilation is not happening like before. It's bizarre that people point to the immigration situation of more than a century ago as if has any relevance today. We don't need strained historical analogies. We can just look at what's happening right now with our demographics in 2023.

There were never as many Italians or Irish then as there are Mexicans and assorted CA hispanics now.

I'm a restrictionist that wants to see a period of slow-down and assimilation, but the current foreign-born population is comparable to latter half of the 19th century. Much like that time, I think we're due to take a couple generations to assimilate everyone into a fully American identity, but the numbers are not any more overwhelming than the previous great waves.

In light of all of this history, most of the fears proposed by modern anti-immigration activists seem to ring hollow.

So the federal government is still <5% of GDP and there are no racial quotas? Wow. What a relief to the 1890 nativists.

I won't rehash this too much, as I think it's practically inarguable that America is a nation founded on the principle of immigration, religious freedom, and has levered it's ability to assimilate masses of immigrants to become the greatest nation in the history of the world.

Not immigrants, pioneers and colonists. There's a difference, one that has been deliberately conflated because colonialism is bad and immigration is good these days, but the defining feature of America isn't immigration, it's pioneering exploration and settling of the frontier.

Unfortunately we ran out of frontier more than a century ago.

Waves of immigration to major cities continued apace throughout the 19th century as well. New York City, Chicago, Boston, Philly, and other large American cities relied heavily on immigrant labor and the new immigrants formed large ethnic enclaves in those cities. Irish, Italians, Poles, Germans, Jews - these people and their experiences building our major cities are certainly important parts of the formative story of the United States and many of them weren't headed for the frontier.

Sure, but those ethnic enclaves were also the people who powered the corrupt political machines of those cities. Which eventually engendered corruption on the federal level in the form of FDR and his successors.

It is true they are a part of the current American story...but it isn't necessarily a good part.

Yeah, like I said in my other post on the topic, I'm in favor of something fairly close to a total pause to provide for a period of assimilation. A generation or two of stabilization would do wonders for cultural cohesion, in my view.

The problem isn't that immigrants don't assimilate, the problem is that they do. Fruit pickers keep their native culture, their kids assimilate into the underclass. Indian Brahmins keep their native culture, their kids fit in effortlessly in the PMC. When we talk about "immigration", we are really talking about a variety of different groups assimilating at different speeds into different cultures.

"Immigration" is thus a motte and bailey. The motte is people who want to contribute, from Elon Musk to the seasonal agricultural workers. The bailey is welfare state clients.

Immigration of engineers isn't controversial, and never has been. Immigration of people without much skill and work ethic is very controversial.

American welfare state apparatchiks have managed to define "immigration" in the public debate as either everybody or nobody. Given that choice, "nobody" is a pretty good choice. In the Canadian discourse, "immigration" is "migrants screened for skills, health, and criminal propensity", and thus immigration is popular.

Immigration of engineers isn't controversial, and never has been.

Unless the imported engineers depress wages for native engineers and reduces investment in native engineering development capacity.

If those imported engineers are capable of producing the same output for lower wages, then the privileged whites whom they displace have simply been competed out of the market.

Is the United States a country or a geographically defined economic zone?

That's the 64,000 dollar question isn't it.

Blue tribe views it as a the former and red tribe views it as the latter and there in lies a solid two-thirds or so of conflict underpinning the culture war. This is also the reason that anything that's unapologetically "Pro-America" gets coded as "red."

You are, of course, completely correct. Now tell the couple dozen million or so people who are ride-or-die with Donald Trump that they better git gud because foreign working class people are better than they and we might get somewhere interesting.

If those imported engineers are capable of producing the same output for lower wages, then the privileged whites whom they displace have simply been competed out of the market.

Foreign governments mismanage their country. Engineers, because their country is mismanaged and creates bad living conditions at home, find that even poor living conditions in America are acceptable. They then immigrate to America and compete based on being willing to take a low salary and live in poor living conditions.

The end result is that the living conditions of American engineers go down because of the foreign government's actions, at several steps removed. I don't get to vote for the foreign government, so the only way to prevent this problem is to keep the engineers from immigrating.

If someone comes from a country where engineers can't afford air conditioning, I don't want him coming here and accepting salaries that make it so that nobody in the industry here can afford air conditioning.

Immigration of engineers isn't controversial, and never has been

This isn't true. Even here I've gotten disagreement on that, and in politics generally republicans resist it because foreign culture, support our people before foreigners, etc. I don't think dems have any direct disagreement with it, but as you say they care much more about letting poor POCs come.

I'd strongly support 'anyone of any color who scores >125 on an IQ test* OR demonstrates gets a visa instantly and citizenship after they stay for X years, anyone who scores >140 gets citizenship and $100k after they stay here for two years, and said test scores are made available to all potential employers'. (And yes, IQ isn't everything, but there's a tradeoff - and >125 I'm pretty certain the benefits outweigh the negatives)

*people would try to game / train for the test but you can deal with that

People here might resist immigration of engineers, but only because they tend to be engineers. The AMA is against immigration of doctors for the same reason.

Your immigration proposal is fine, but doesn't address the meat of the issue: the Blue Tribe has managed to hold skilled immigrants hostage in return for importing more welfare state clients and creating more welfare state sinecures.

First we have Rome

I almost mentally checked out, like I do when Rome is mentioned when discussing this. It's really more just reiterating old mythmaking rather than anything else: Westerners say they're like Romans so feel compelled to draw policy conclusions from Rome.

We have almost nothing to learn from a predominantly agrarian society whose main expense was the military in a time with much weaker state capacity and connection between various residents in a pre-nationalist age on assimilation.

There are so many differences I don't even want to start (not least that there is a difference between conquering a people that live in a cultural region you share and giving them broad latitude and importing a disembedded class that keeps a connection with the conservative and reactionary elements of its culture)

We absolutely don't and don't want to live in the world of Rome. We're going to live in it even less as automation continues.

From this perspective, Muslim Empires were tolerant, while modern-day Muslim states lack toleration.

Meh, I also dislike this "Muslims did tolerance, it's just the modern ones that're bad".

They were tolerant by medieval standards, before the concept of the modern state, the nation-state and the idea of universal citizenship. What of it?

Dhimmi were still second class citizens. Or rather: Muslims were the real citizens and others paid to be residents. And faced significant limitations on them that arguably explained their eventual "assimilation" (something very difficult against Abrahamic faiths): some places would need approval to rebuild churches (guess how this can be abused). Muslims could marry up to 4 Christian women and hold an infinite amount of them as sex slaves. Christians could not marry Muslim women or take them as slaves. All kids were Muslim by default btw.

In that light, the "impressive" task of assimilating Christians seems less impressive. It has Great Replacement vibes more than anything.

You yourself note that this is a word game: nobody would consider this tolerant by modern standards. Imagine if Europeans tried to implement a system where Muslims could never be citizens until they converted and had to pay a poll tax? It might be better than what happened to the Moriscos but that's no standard.

As for modern Muslims being more intolerant: well, arguably modern Christians were also more intolerant (they certainly nearly wrecked their entire continent) before they burned it out of their system and decided on secularism.

Why? Increased state capacity + the washing away of old arrangements - in this case the modern nation + democracy means you have to treat all those People of the Book better which...well.... States now have way more ability to fuck around in local conditions so they do. When people actually get power in a democracy, they don't want to share it with minorities they distrust so they don't (more likely they just don't have a democracy at all, in these places)

If the fruits of modernity - greater connection, greater responsiveness, greater government capacity, greater importance of thoughts as opposed to muscle power - all cause problems for assimilation (or make the lack of assimilation* more important) old Islamic empires are an actual anti-model: we know it wouldn't work so why bother?

* It may simply have always been low except from the 10,000ft view.

I think it’s highly debatable that America was founded on a notion of “religious freedom” especially as you state it. Sure they all agreed no fighting over the old Christian sect wars but they wouldn’t have been fine with mass immigration of Islamic followers from the ME if they built a giant fleet to come over here. The country was very much founded in Christian principals. It’s not like African Americans today are various native African religions. They were taught Christianity and baptized by their masters.

I think there's a fundamental difference in temperment between the kinds of people who support immigration and the kinds of people who oppose it. The former encompasses those who are excited by the idea of meeting new people from far off lands, trying new kinds of food, and uniting all of humanity in a shared civilizational project. The latter encompasses those who just want to be left alone, to live and die in the land of their ancestors, and to promulgate the traditions that were passed down to them without change being forced on them from the outside.

The issue (for us Americans at least) is that the United States by its nature is hostile to the latter sort of mindset. An offhand remark in this post by Bret Devereaux gets to the heart of the matter, to wit: "In a way, one may feel pity for the born-American who emotively longs for the comfort of the nation because it is something they cannot have, but then there ought to be a country for the people who would rather not be in a nation and here it is." Many of us here, including me, long for a nation. I don't want to rule the world, I don't care for American exceptionalism, I don’t care about having the most Nobel Prizes or the most innovative companies or being at the forefront of technology, I just want a home inhabited by my own people, though I've already accepted that I will never have one (being not only American but mixed-race as well).

The difference in temperaments you cite is not the only factor, nor not even necessarily the most salient.

The main assimilation I personally require for me to feel that an immigrant is now truly an American is that he follows the laws of this country. No assaults unprovoked, no working primarily for the interests of another government openly or secretly our enemy, no theft or casual trespass on others’ property. And the laws on immigration are to be included. If the first thing he does on our soil is break a law allowing him to be here, I want him gone.

To me, that's not assimilation, but just being a guest with good manners. Assimilation would be abandoning one's own native language, religion, and cultural practices, marrying a native so that your descendants would look like the majority of wherever you have chosen to live, and severing all but the most superficial emotional ties with your ancestral home.

The issue (for us Americans at least) is that the United States by its nature is hostile to the latter sort of mindset.

Not at all. In fact, the people who think this sentiment, generally know less about and are less invested in the American founding, and are less invested in America itself. The are, instead, ignorant of the founding ("and our posterity" being in our founding documents), and have little investment in America. If London, or Paris, or Bern, or Tokyo provides them a better opportunity they will take it. These people mostly stay in America and excise out sized influence in American discourse compared to their population and economic value. The real value is in the stayers who work or sell or whatever much more. And have been doing that for the better part of 3 centuries. Those people aren't hostile to the mindset you are calling out, instead they lightly embrace it (because they are constantly told it is bad to follow their instinct to strongly embrace it) or are neutral (same).

America was once a country of a people. That was intentionally unmade. There was a backlash. People melded into a different, but new, people. This new people was again intentionally unmade in an ongoing project.

If your culture can figure out a way to bridge gaps between different cultures, ethnicities, and groups, if you can truly make disparate peoples unite under one flag, one cause, one set of ideals, you can rule the world.

How much of America's perceived success on immigrant assimilation is simply driven by two massive oceans flanking it on both sides? This acts as a great natural filter to weed out the third world riffraff. So the people from e.g. Pakistan that you get tend to be the richest and often the most liberal elements. Ditto goes for almost all other countries. Unsurprisingly, they do well both economically and culturally.

The great exception is of course Central- and South America, which due to the land bridge means that you get a much less skilled immigrant profile. But those people are already heavily Westernised, so there's none of the cultural baggage that low-skilled moslem immigrants bring to Europe.

In other words, I am skeptical about the role of culture in the receiving countries. I think we're really dealing with accidental geography that works to some countries' advantage and to others' disadvantage.

The other side of the Roman success was the absolutely brutal enforcement. People who didn’t want to be all Kumbaya with Rome were dealt with harshly. Slavery was commonplace, and it was a tool for assimilation— Rome took over, a good portion of your population would be sent to slave markets all over Rome. Among those who remained, you either go along, or get brutally tortured to death.

And I think it’s quite honestly how multiethnic empires work. By nature as long as there are divisions, and especially as people become more invested in their identity apart from the overarching identity, you end up either having to force people into compliance or creating a spoils system that attempts to even things out.

Well what happened to the Roman Empire? Did it get ransacked by hordes of Goths, Huns, Franks, Vandals, Visigoths when its people/political leaders became too soft to lead their own armies?

What happened to the Islamic Empires? They ate eachother until the Ottomans remained, then the Ottomans were consumed by nationalism (the Young Turks , the Arabs, the sorry story of Armenia).

What happened to the British Empire? It was the largest in population and land area, ruled territories across the world, mobilized very diverse peoples. Yet it disintegrated within living memory because its non-British constituents didn't want to be part of it. Only the settler colonies had real affinity and made sacrifices for it. Britain, Canada, Australia, South Africa actually made an effort in the world wars. India would've fought on either side, they didn't care for the empire they lived in. Of the 40,000 Indian POWs after the disastrous Singapore campaign, 30,000 joined the Japanese Indian National Army.

The INA's members were viewed as Axis collaborators and traitors by British soldiers and Indian PoWs who did not join the army,[21] but after the war they were seen as patriots by many Indians.[21] Although they were widely commemorated by the Indian National Congress in the immediate aftermath of Indian independence, some of the members of the INA were denied freedom fighter status by the Government of India.

Ruling over multiple nations is a source of instability. Nations all want their own states and always have. The history of multiethnic empire is like a horror movie, watching and waiting for nationalism to rip it apart. And, per horror movie conventions, there is a lot of blood.

And what is happening to the American Empire? I agree that immigration can be a source of economic strength. If you look at the names of people writing AI papers, a great number seem to be Chinese or Indian. Yet what is it doing to the cohesion of the USA? Why is it that the US can't even fill the ranks of its army anymore? Could it be that immigration and the diminishing status of the founding, British-derived American population is sapping American strength? Who wants to die for the North American Economic Zone? What is going to happen when the US faces a serious crisis?

“A man does not have himself killed for a half pence a day or for a petty distinction. You must speak to the soul in order to electrify him.” Napoleon

I'm not totally against immigration but it should be done slowly and carefully. You can put Scotland and Wales and England together to get Britain (but even that is not easy, as a quick glance at a history book will reveal). Mass immigration is a historic anomaly and dangerous. You trade legible gains like brainpower and economic growth for illegible loss in communal trust (all those papers showing how diversity lowers cohesion), a loss of the spirit needed to make sacrifices for the country.

Whites have no understanding of malnutrition, poverty, hostile climates, lack of access to healthcare, lack of social safety nets, nor lack of generational wealth.

That's because whites abolished those constraints. Whites made the bulk of global wealth and the intellectual property (artificial fertilizers, vaccines, medicine) that sustains the 3rd world. In 1950 the population of Europe was double that of Africa. Today it is half and shrinking.

new victimhood narratives

Whites exported all this intellectual property (often at subsidized rates for poor countries in the case of medicine). Whites provided trillions of dollars in economic aid and opened markets to 3rd world countries, opened borders to accept immigration, accepted the loss of our own local industries due to cheap competition...

Whites could've just stolen the Middle East oil - we chose to pay for it. Whites could've rained down incendiaries and atom bombs upon anti-colonialists - instead we chose to incinerate those states who had an actually oppressive vision for the 3rd world - Germany, Italy and Japan.

I don't begrudge poor countries from playing the game, yet accusing us of a victimhood narrative is a complete reversal of the facts. In the case of Rotherham, whites covered up the rampant sexual abuse of their own children by 3rd world immigrants lest it seem 'racist', suppressing reports for years. There is a huge diversity apparatus across the Anglosphere that deliberately sabotages my (white) employment prospects in favour of non-whites.

Accepting as true the progressive axiom (as I take it) that equitable outcomes - as in uniform distribution of resources, wealth, and otherwise, across all racial demographics - must be achieved, I have no problem with systematically disadvantaging whites in order to effect a rebalancing of resources across said demographics.

I don't know but I'm guessing that both of our socio-economic positions are well above the global average, given we speak very good English and post on this forum. Do you truly see it as good for a large chunk of your wealth and income to be transferred to others? I certainly don't. I believe in property rights, the legitimacy of nations and meritocracy. I don't want my wealth or income redistributed. I want to live in a nation-state where the nation's collective interests are defended, since this is the most harmonious and stable kind of governance. And I want meritocracy within that nation-state for efficiency.

I fully suspect that you don't actually believe in 'equitable outcomes', you're just prepared to use the idea for as long as you think it's advantageous. You seem to dislike the other aspects of progressive dogma, yet embrace this part.

my position is that having abolished such constraints within their own societies, whites have been insulated from the very constraints that they have abolished and have now been disconnected from the material realities that they have, in generations past, laboured to reduce.

I agree here, there is certainly an element of weakness and passivity that you see in a late Roman Empire or a decadent Caliphate soon to be razed by some Central Asians. Precisely because of this weakness I am uneasy about creating the conditions for new and exciting ethnic conflicts. You say 'the West's problems are due to becoming lazy, feckless soyboys', I say that the West should be very careful about immigration and diversity. There's no serious contradiction here.

literal genocide (and not just in the sense of "people used the incorrect pronouns" on Twitter) and street executions are taking place overseas in literal warzones

Street executions and ethnic cleansing is not isolated to the 3rd world thanks to the work of progressives, as they admit themselves: https://twitter.com/GodCloseMyEyes/status/1414619671056297984#m

Forget bitching about pronouns or latinx (which I never even mentioned), this stuff is serious. Enormous amounts of wealth is being taken and redistributed. The people being victimized here are white, whether that's in terms of job opportunities transferred by diversity commissars, jobs transferred out of the West by excessive trade liberalization, actual people murdered or raped by hateful and ungrateful 'Syrian refugees' or other non-whites. Now you might say 'that's your own fault', I dispute that - our leaders whose incompetence and malice exceeds historical comparison are to blame. Who voted for mass immigration, a huge diversity apparatus or nonsensical wars in the Middle East?

No, the answer here is that the average western white has simply gone soft. Accustomed to a lifetime of obscene wealth and decadence, the white has become completely blind and ignorant to the grim, flesh-and-blood realities of living in the third world, which suffers from orders of magnitude less wealth and access to resources than the west. Whites have no understanding of malnutrition, poverty, hostile climates, lack of access to healthcare, lack of social safety nets, nor lack of generational wealth.

How is this not exactly the same thing that some of our local white supremacists say about the Jews, except with a few word substitutions?

I categorically reject white supremacy and antisemitism.

To deny that western whites live in materially more wealthy and comfortable circumstances than the third world is, plainly, ignorant.

I'm pretty sure that Western Jews live in materially more wealthy and comfortable circumstances than the third world. So I don't see how that's responsive.

(And if your answer is "Jews do, but not because of their religion", the answer is of course "whites do, but not because of their race".)

For that matter, Western Jews live in materially more wealthy and comfortable circumstances than white supremacists.

You're responding to half of my post and ignoring the other half. I'm sure that if you live in the third world, Western whites are doing better than you. I'm also sure that if you live in the third world, Western Jews are doing better than you. How are these different? Are you claiming that Western Jews aren't doing better because of their religion, but Western whites are doing better because of their race?

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while it has been all but extinguished by the deluge of wealth that the west continues to enjoy at the expense of exactly those hard-working immigrants and ethnic minorities overseas.

I always find narratives like this fascinating, how precisely is this at the expense of those overseas?

I think a lot of people commenting here are very confused about the idea of what "assimilation" into American culture means, how arduous it actually is, and how strict Americans are in requiring it. Most correctly identify that American culture is exactly the universal culture described here. However, they completely miss that assimilating into universal culture can be quite difficult; it's very much not anything-goes-and-you're-racist-if-you-disagree!

The key point is the section on Noahide laws later in the article. While it does allow anything that doesn't conflict with them, universal culture has some very strong Noahide laws. Some are meta-laws that are necessary for melting-pot-type things like universal culture to even function: a tolerance or even celebration of diversity that doesn't otherwise conflict with these laws (this last bit is important!), not caring about/judging what other adults do too much if it doesn't directly affect you, extreme openness to new ideas and ways of doing things, comfort with change and a weaker attachment to the superficial aesthetics that you may have grown up with, etc. However, there are a few that aren't meta-laws: particular to the US, a very strong commitment to freedom of expression, greater comfort with deserved inequality in the upper tails, and a rejection of any kind of hereditary hierarchies in favor of meritocracy ("people's fates should be decided by their choices instead of the circumstances of their birth", "content of your character instead of the color of your skin", "all men are created equal", etc).

These are very demanding cultural commitments to live by! They are definitely enough to form a strong, uniting national identity. Immigrant groups can fail to assimilate into them very easily---most recently mentioned here, recall the example of the city in Michigan with a lot of recent Muslim immigrants that passes anti-gay laws that were intolerant by this standard. Most Americans, even very progressive ones, will agree that this failure of assimilation was a bad thing (though they won't literally use the word "assimilation" because many on the left have weird complexes about certain words that can make discussion very confusing). However, the rarity of these stories shows that the US even still does successfully assimilate most immigrants.

Summarizing for emphasis, assimilation into these Noahide laws is very strongly desired by almost all Americans, is actually a serious requirement, and does happen for most immigrants.

I think a large part of the confusion is that a lot of ostensibly American posters on this sub do not themselves abide by these Noahide laws (if I am allowed to be a little glib, the tolerance of diversity and rejection of hereditary hierarchies seem to be particular sticking points). These posters should realize that yes, immigrants are assimilating to the culture of the country in which they live, just not assimilating into their culture. From the inside, this will of course feel like like assimilation isn't happening or isn't required.

How do you distinguish this model from one where a minority culture imports sympathetic clients until it establishes itself as the new majority, then tells the previous majority to get fucked?

What happens if the previous majority, now reduced to minority status, views this process as illegitimate, thus invalidating the previous arrangements that made peaceful coexistence possible, and then takes steps to enforce their decision?

Your model is nice as far as it goes, but the whole thing is built on the presumption of the successor ideology's innate correctness and legitimacy. Remove that assumption, and the pleasant portrait curdles.

These are very demanding cultural commitments to live by! They are definitely enough to form a strong, uniting national identity.

Are they? Can you point to a place where these cultural commitments form a strong, uniting national identity, as opposed to being organizing principles against an outgroup, antipathy for which provides the main unifying power? In short, is it the strength of the principles that unites, or the hatred for those who fail to share them?

Your model is nice as far as it goes, but the whole thing is built on the presumption of the successor ideology's innate correctness and legitimacy. Remove that assumption, and the pleasant portrait curdles.

I didn't say anything in the previous post about this being a pleasant portrait, though maybe this is moot since you're correct in assuming that I think so. For the current technological environment, the culture that I described is correct and legitimate because it's the one that best motivates and mobilizes human talent into solving the scientific and mathematical problems necessary for prosperity---see details here. In a different technological environment, this can change I and will happily accept that.

How do you distinguish this model from one where a minority culture imports sympathetic clients until it establishes itself as the new majority, then tells the previous majority to get fucked?

I am not trying to. By the above, I think this is the culture that made the US the successful and powerful country it is today. Therefore, if what you say is correct, good for the new majority that they found a way to drag the old majority kicking and screaming into prosperity!

Are they? Can you point to a place where these cultural commitments form a strong, uniting national identity

There was a great 4th of July post on this forum poetically describing exactly how these cultural commitments can form a positive, uniting national identity. I've heard similar sentiments very frequently from friends and family (that are US citizens).

Further developments on the ayy lmao front

You may recall a few weeks ago, former intelligence officer David Grusch came out with claims that the US has several alien spacecraft in its possession, and has been studying and reverse-engineering them for decades. While claims like this have floated around for decades, including from former government employees, Grusch was different because of his undeniable credentials, and because he is going through 'proper' whistleblower channels.

This was the latest act in a drama that goes back to 2017 (well, 1947, but let's not get ahead of ourselves), when Leslie Kean and Ralph Blumenthal published a piece in the New York Times disclosing the existence of a pentagon program dedicated to studying UFOs, known as AATIP (or AAWSAP, depending on when and where) led by a man called Lue Elizondo. This sparked an apparent sea change in government, and UFOs and aliens, formerly dismissed out of hand, began to be taken more seriously.

Everyone from Obama to former CIA director John Brennan started dropping hints that hey maybe aliens might possibly could be here. Some apparently very sober Navy pilots came forward and shared their apparently inexplicable experiences on 60 minutes. Lue Elizondo did the talk-show circuit.

'UFOs' were rebranded 'UAPs' since over the past few decades, 'UFO' had become synonymous with 'flying saucer.' Congress held its first UFO hearings in over fifty years. A new office, AARO, was founded to investigate and classify UAP sightings..

Well, now the latest development. Chuck Schumer has sponsored a congressional amendment with bipartisan support mandating that, if it exists, any alien biological or technological material, or any evidence of non-human intelligence (and yes the bill uses those terms) held by any private or illegal government entity be turned over to congress.

I've been pretty skeptical about this whole thing. NY Post journalist Steven Greenstreet provides an alternative narrative, where this is the result of a small but fanatical, well-financed, and well-motivated group of UFO/paranormal fanatics that has been pushing all of this stuff for years in and outside of government, without any real proof to back any of it up. He has provided evidence that AATIP started out not as a 'UFO program' but as a pet project of senator Harry Reid, who in conjunction with Robert Bigelow, another big-time paranormal fan, wanted first and foremost to conduct a study of Skinwalker Ranch, which they believe(d) to be a hot-bed of supernatural activity, including werewolves and (as Greenstreet never tires of pointing out) "dinobeavers." While the media has focused on the apparently more grounded, sober claims of mysterious craft in the sky demonstrating apparent technological superiority to any known human craft, a lot of people don't realize just how closely aliens and UFOs are tied up with werewolves, bigfoot, demons, ghosts, remote viewing, and every other kind of woo.

That said, now that Chuck Schumer is sponsoring legislation that boils down to "show me the aliens!" it's getting harder for me to believe that this is all down to a small band of committed UFO nuts taking everybody (themselves included) for a ride. I'm still skeptical, and I still don't think this is going to end with a flying saucer being wheeled in front of congress. But it seems increasingly undeniable that something is going on here. The lazy counter is "it's a psyop" but one has to ask, "a psyop to what end?" To increase government funding for the military? I don't think the military needs to put on a dog and pony show like this to squeeze some extra dollars out of congress. To "distract us"? This stuff tends to not be front-page news, actually. I don't think a lot of people have even heard about this new amendment. To fake an alien invasion and use it as a springboard for a one-world government? I kinda doubt it. To scare Russia and China? That would be the most plausible version of the "psyop" hypothesis I think, but it still doesn't ring true for me.

Another possibility is this: it is known that the government has, for ulterior motives, psyopped people into believing in UFOs and ultimately driven them insane.. It's entirely possible that this is all 'sincere' insofar as, within the tangled web that is the US federal government, there are SAPs staffed at least in part by people who believe they're studying or have studied alien spacecraft or alien bodies, even though they aren't, because they've been lied to or misled by their colleagues and superiors.

IMO at this point, that's the most likely explanation.

Or maybe it really is aliens.

As to the culture war angle, interestingly, with the exception of Kristen Gillibrand, who is not the leftiest of dems, most of the representatives and senators who have been vocal and active in pushing for UAP transparency have been republicans like Marco Rubio, Tim Burchett, Mike Gallagher, and Anna Paulina Luna. If some government official does come out and say, "yes, okay, fine we have a flying saucer in the basement" it is interesting to think that aliens might become a new culture war battlefield, with aliens-are-real being right coded and aliens-are-fake being left coded. But seeing how in-flux political alignments were in the early months of COVID, who knows?

a study of Skinwalker Ranch, which they believe(d) to be a hot-bed of supernatural activity, including werewolves and (as Greenstreet never tires of pointing out) "dinobeavers."

And skinwalkers, presumably?

I think that goes in the 'werewolf' category.

Werewolf suggests involuntary transformation into a defined form. Navajo yee naldlooshii are evil witches who can assume multiple different forms and possess animals and other people. Update your monster manuals appropriately.

Not necessarily. While there are old stories about people being involuntarily transformed into animals, the classic European werewolf (the kind they used to burn at the stake) was an evil sorcerer who made a pact with the devil for the ability to turn himself into a wolf at will, actually quite similar to a Navajo skinwalker. The cursed soul who transforms against his will at the full moon and is not in control of his actions while in lupine form is mostly a product of early twentieth century Hollywood.

The l/rougarou(x) of new world French folklore is much older than that and classically thought to lack self control, although his vulnerability to witchcraft was due to a character flaw of some sort.

I always heard being rougarou was a punishment for breaking lent, either because it made you vulnerable to voodoo or directly as a penance. Either way pretty similar.

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According to an old Navajo coworker I had, Skinwalker Ranch doesn't make any sense because according to Navajo lore skinwalkers only have power within some specific geographic boundaries (bounded by some specific mountain ranges I think, I don't recall the exact details).

I look forwards to schizoposting on this topic. I have some good material about an ancient nuclear war on mars to share when the government claims it destroyed or lost track of a flying saucer. If only Bigfoot fanatics could have a similar long March through institutions and the Two could start fighting.

Bigfoots/Yeti are clearly the giants of the Bible, and the Smithsonian has a giant-finding operation which covers up their North American archaeological evidence. It was the Bigfoots of Michigan who provided king Solomon with his copper, in trade for gold, and it’s that gold which the Smithsonian is after. The Mormons were supposed to reveal them as the rightful rulers of America, which is why Mormons have been so vigorously persecuted.

That implies that angels are very hairy and apelike if the nephilim are giant ape-people. So ancient women had sex with angelic apes?

But then I suppose that's not much worse than ancient women being impregnated by four-headed bull angels or on-fire radioactive angels or concentric stone rings covered in eyes.

I was thinking more about Goliath and the other sons of Anak. Imagine young David facing a classic Bigfoot, but with his body hair ceremonially braided, covered in armor a regular man couldn’t hope to pick up, let alone wear.

If I were to make a Noah movie, I’d have the pre-flood giants be 8-ft-tall superheroes, with most of the usual powers except flight.

FWIW, copies of Samuel from the Dead Sea Scrolls, as well as the Septuagint (ancient Greek translation of yhe OT) have Golaith's height 2 cubits shorter than the Masoretic Text (which most older translations of the Old Testament are based on). So at least according to those, Goliath was about 6' 9".

Smithsonian, you’ve done it again! Dr. Jones should never have given them the Dial of Destiny.

Technically speaking, angels assume whatever physical form they want because they don’t have bodies.

They don’t ever since Christianity got Greek philosophy’d, but the authors of the Hebrew Bible itself seemed to have believed angels, gods, and even Yahweh himself were actual physical beings that more or less functioned like humans, but bigger and stronger.

Wow. I missed the word “fanatics” and was definitely read for Bigfoot’s Long March.

No, that’s erotica on Amazon.

I want it to be aliens, but, that’s all the more reason to be thoroughly skeptical.

Even if there are aliens, what is this legislation supposed to accomplish? Surely any such UFO program, if it exists, is operating at a higher level of secrecy than anything else on this planet. The government agencies involved would be quite literally above the law. Why would we expect them to comply? They could simply ignore the law, or continue to deny that any alien tech has actually been recovered.

Possibility: There’s a government/military agency somewhere who’s been eating up $X billion a year to “study UFOs” (i.e. a BS excuse for standard waste and grift). This is Congress’s way of saying “put up or shut up, if you have something then you have to show us, otherwise we’re cutting off the money”. It’s not motivated by any actual evidence that UFOs exist, it’s just motivated by the need to better account for where all this money is going.

Another possibility is this: it is known that the government has, for ulterior motives, psyopped people into believing in UFOs and ultimately driven them insane..

@DaseindustriesLtd 's 'psyop overcapacity' thesis, which is a less extreme version of this, remains the most likely scenario. It's not for a one-world government, it's to keep the Pentagon or the wider intelligence community's capability for domestic propaganda sharp without running into any political disputes or 'culture war' topics. They know the 'Voice of America' content is amateur hour compared to what China or possibly even Russia are producing for domestic consumption, there needs to be some kind of feedback mechanism so that people who've spent 50 years working on this stuff know whether it works. UFOs and similar stuff let them test what works, what doesn't, what people like, what memes succeed etc.

Or maybe it really is aliens.

It is extremely unlikely that the US alone has all the world's supply of UFOs and/or that the US has agreed with every other government that had UFOs land in its territory never to reveal anything to the public. Even if such a thing had happened, that nothing ever leaked from the archives of the USSR or any non-Western or non-US country that these UFOs presumably also landed in seems equally unlikely.

The whole logic of (alien) UFOs existing but being kept secret doesn't make sense. They're secret because the USG is worried about what other countries might do with UFO technology...but that doesn't explain why other countries wouldn't also have UFOs. It doesn't explain why every major world government would secretly - and only on this one issues, seemingly - cooperate to hide this from everyone else. It doesn't explain why so much of the world's alleged UFO activity happens in the US, which makes up just 6% of the earth's landmass. ('Only the US can shoot them down' doesn't make sense, because the allegations iirc are of largely intact, ie. landed UFOs.) It doesn't explain why, if other countries do know about UFOs, they wouldn't just make the information public, since at the point when China/Russia/etc all know, there's no longer any military or technological reason not to inform the public.

As to the culture war angle, interestingly, with the exception of Kristen Gillibrand, who is not the leftiest of dems, most of the representatives and senators who have been vocal and active in pushing for UAP transparency have been republicans like Marco Rubio, Tim Burchett, Mike Gallagher, and Anna Paulina Luna.

Didn't you just say Chuck Schumer is sponsoring legislation that would force the USG to inform congress about aliens? I doubt 535 people are keeping their mouths shut on this issue. (Apparently, it would actually allow the senate to appoint a panel to declassify UFO reports).

I think the NY Post article is the best bet. A lot of senior congressmen, military/pentagon and intelligence officers are literally UFO nerds because they grew up during the Cold War in the peak UFO-mania period. Now they have power they're obsessed with combing through intelligence archives trying to find the secret black box ultra-classified program run independently of any other agency that's storing the alien spaceships in the Nevada desert, and they're getting ever more desperate.

Didn't you just say Chuck Schumer is sponsoring legislation that would force the USG to inform congress about aliens?

Yeah but that's new. As far as I know this is Schumer's first foray into the alien issue. The other representatives I mentioned have been crusading for years.

Everything else you say makes sense though.

content is amateur hour compared to what China or possibly even Russia are producing for domestic consumption

Western propaganda and hybrid war capabilities are an entire epoch ahead. The West exploits egalitarian instincts and youthful naivety & rebellion by promising liberation from irrational traditions and cultural strictures. It's extremely effective because elites in the West truly believe in the liberal BS they're peddling.

The Chinese and Russians are merely lying in an organised manner to advance narrow political interests.

The West is subsuming everything into their own system based on curating giant ecosystems of NGOs, activists to launder the influence of interests of powerful entities.

(e.g. the eco-activism pushing denuclearisation was subsidized by green energy and natural gas companies, with the activists being mostly naive to why they're being donated to)

If ‘deep state propaganda’ is so good, why couldn’t they prevent Trump winning in 2016? I don’t think they’re as confident as you think.

Trump specifically addressed things that have been sidelined from politics: immigration by relentless pressure.

I'd also argue that Americans who have been under this regime the longest are probably more resistant to it now. Trump promised change, they believed their own polls and failed to 'fortify' the elections.

Also, America doesn't have that much need to wage hybrid war on itself.

Just as you can't get a good fire going on in a desert, the full potency of liberation meme Americans bring only ever manifests in traditional societies, where there is social capital to burn and something to rail against. In America the activists are forced to rail against 'white supremacy' and 'toxic masculinity', meanwhile somewhere with a functioning, non-atomised societies they have real targets, not phantasms.

Don't get me wrong, they're trying but it seems half-hearted and there's been a lot of time for the population to develop some sort of resistance.

The whole logic of (alien) UFOs existing but being kept secret doesn't make sense.

Because it's a proto-religious movement, it doesn't have to make a lot of sense in worldly terms. It doesn't seem like it because it uses all these science-y terms, but every religion started with concepts plausible to the populace; how else would anyone believe? Regardless, things seen in the sky having an importance on worldly affairs is not a new religious concept.

Of course, not everyone involved is motivated for this reason, but I think that's the most comprehensive, logical explanation for its start, functioning, and persistence. UFOs are a fantastically adaptive tool for a myriad of central religious questions, as proven by their influx in new religious movements. Even outside that, it's very difficult to escape all the talk about the governments hiding these awesome technologies, obviously piloted by enlightened beings- but just you wait, the truth will come to light; and not see the parallel with the good-evil duality mytheme that still persists in the west.

The reason why government is interested is because it's a useful tool for distracting attention from new military technologies.

In the Art Bell world, the two alien species who tend to be mentioned are the Greys and the Lizardpeople.

Just on a culture war front, I’m more inclined to distrust the Greys because of all the anti-Lizardpeople propaganda; in SF, bad aliens are lizard-coded and good aliens are smooth-skinned, big-eyed, small-nosed. I remember being startled by the similarity between Lilo & Stitch’s Grand Councilwoman and the Star Wars cloners, the people of Kamino, when both movies came out close to each other. They were the first “tall Greys” I’d seen in media, as opposed to Stargate SG-1’s Asgard take on the short Greys.

There's a subreddit just for the classic grey alien heads, but I forgot what the name was.

Those are both the very model of a scientist salarian.

Why would Schumer's move be evidence in support of the ayys? Perhaps he's as tired of this nonsense as any old dinobeaver, and tries to call the UFO people's bluff – by showing that there is no legitimate claim of their quest being suppressed – and exhaust the excuses faster. (I won't claim this comports well with my earlier hypothesis that @2rafa has kindly mentioned; if anyone, Chuck would've been in on the joke).

It's needless to say that even if they passed such a law it'd be just ignored by the relevant very secret organisations on the basis of national security.

If I hadn’t read too much Hanson over the years I would likely be a true believer in the alien stuff. The issue is it just seems unlikely that “Aliens can visit us” but “we don’t see visual evidence of Aliens colonizing the galaxy”. This has raised my belief that “Aliens have visited us” from almost 0% to .001%.

I think it’s likely Aliens are somewhere out there but I don’t believe they have visited us.

The next level esoteric take in this, advocated by a number of high profile UFOlogists actually (Jacques Vallee, J. Allen Hynek, and some of the people behind this current disclosure push) is that they aren’t aliens in the sense of intergalactic visitors but rather the same entities that have been with us since the beginning, whether we have called them gods, devils, fae. They aren’t from another planet but from, for lack of a better term, ‘fairyland.’

But at that point, don't they stop being a viable explanation for UFOs?

What if Dyson Spheres are low-tech compared to the ultimate horizons of what's possible? Advanced countries leave forests to grow because we don't need firewood for fuel, it's too crappy to worry about. I think we should be looking for alien life in the remaining 95% of the universe's 'dark' matter/energy, the stuff that we can't understand. It's not sufficient to look through a mere 5% and say 'no aliens here, so no aliens anywhere'. That's like looking for gold in riverbeds only, not finding it and going home.

What if advanced civilizations become indolent and ultimately self-extinguishing? What if dark forest? Etc, etc.

If you haven't read 95% of a book, you're not in a position to describe the characters. We don't understand 95% of the universe so “we don’t see visual evidence of Aliens colonizing the galaxy” is not sufficient.

If I have a book and 5% of the pages I look at are blank, I'll have the strong expectation that the rest of the pages are blank too. And for the same reason - why would the author leave any pages blank? Energy is energy. If you're bothering to colonize any measurable amount of the universe, you'll colonize the rest too. Any species that ever stopped expanding would stop expanding long before it became globally visible.

If we developed Dyson Spheres, we'd stop burning coal or uranium. That energy is more expensive and complex than stellar fusion, doesn't scale so well. Energy isn't just energy, there's energy and there's Energy. The next stage above that is to not mess about with Dyson Spheres and extract energy from some other source - presumably this would be the stuff that makes up the remaining 95% of the universe.