"History is philosophy teaching by example." (Lord Bolingbroke)

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Too Late? Deconstructing America

A sea of humanity 500, 000 strong, floods the streets Los Angeles and many American cities, demanding "with powerful voices" their rights. They want a better life, a better education, etc., etc. The mayor of Los Angeles Villaraigosa, who swore to uphold the Constitution and to protect the U.S. from all threats, backs up these people.

They say that we are a nation of immigrants. Not true. We are a descendants of immigrants. The great majority of Americans were born and some are descendants of immigrants who have lived within these borders for hundreds or thousands of years.

During the early days of our republic, our founding fathers feared the effect of unchecked and indiscriminate immigration into the United States.

The Founders’ Views of Immigration and Assimilation
In the late 18th century, the young republic needed a larger population and encouraged immigration. At the same time, America's founders were concerned with assimilating immigrants. Thus, George Washington, in a letter to John Adams, stated that immigrants should be integrated into American life so that "by an intermixture with our people, they, or their descendants, get assimilated to our customs, measures, laws: in a word soon become one people."  In a 1790 speech to Congress on the naturalization of immigrants, James Madison stated that America should welcome the immigrant who could assimilate, but exclude the immigrant who could not readily "incorporate himself into our society." In Notes on Virginia, Thomas Jefferson wrote: 
Every species of government has its specific principles. a composition of the freest principles of the English constitution, with others derived from natural rights and natural reason. To these nothing can be more opposed than the maxims of absolute monarchies. Yet, from such, we are to expect the greatest number of emigrants. They will bring with them the principles of government they leave, imbibed in their early youth; or if able to throw them off, it will be in exchange for an unbounded licentiousness, passing, as is usual, from one extreme to another. It would be a miracle were they to stop precisely at the point of temperate liberty. These principles, with their language, they will transmit to their children. In proportion to their numbers, they will share with us the legislation. They will infuse into it their spirit, warp and bias its direction, and tender it a heterogeneous, incoherent, distracted mass.

Alexander Hamilton insisted that "the safety of a republic depends essentially on the energy of a common national sentiment; on a uniformity of principles and habits; on the exemption of citizens from foreign bias and prejudice; and on the love of country which will almost invariably be found to be closely connected with birth, education, and family." The ultimate success of the American republic, he maintained, depends upon "the preservation of a national spirit and a national character," among native born and immigrant alike.

Hamilton opposed granting citizenship immediately put to new immigrants: "To admit foreigners indiscriminately to the rights of citizens, the moment they foot in our country would be nothing less than to admit the Grecian horse into the citadel of our liberty and sovereignty."  Instead, he recommended that we gradually draw newcomers into American life, "to enable aliens to get rid of foreign and acquire American attachments; to learn the principles and imbibe the spirit of our government; and to admit of a philosophy, at least, of their feeling a real interest in our affairs."

Clearly, Washington's call for "one people," Madison's insistence that the immigrant "incorporate himself into our society," Jefferson's concern that some newcomers might not be prepared for "temperate liberty," and Hamilton's emphasis on the "safety" of our republic and the "love of country," are all more or less of one piece. They are a clarion call for "patriotic assimilation."  Given the founders' forthright insistence on patriotic assimilation, it is not surprising that the Naturalization Law of 1795 required that before becoming American citizens, aliens would have to "renounce under oath" all previous sovereign allegiances.  This "renunciation clause" remains today part of the naturalization law and part of the oath to the U. S. Constitution that all new citizens must take.

(Hattip) Michelle Malkin

Obviously their words have been forgotten.

Not forgotten, though, are the words of foreign leaders who are exhorting their citizens to move in.

In 1997, then Mexican president, Ernesto Zedillo told Mexican nationals in Chicago, "I have proudly affirmed that the Mexican nation extends beyond the territory enclosed by its borders and that Mexican migrants are an important--a very important--part of this." (Scroll down and listen to the RealAudio Sound Clip)

During the 19th century, Mexico invited immigrants from the United States to settle its territories in the north. Land was given to entrepreneurs with the understanding that attracted settlers would become loyal Mexican citizens. Mexico expected that these settlers would: learn Spanish, follow the Catholic faith, and follow all laws created by the government in Mexico City. A few thousand settlers came and some decided that they didn't want to adhere to the rules and regulations of settlement and that the laws promulgated in Mexico City were tyrannical and they fomented an armed rebellion.

Now we have a reverse of fortune for the United States. Rather than a few thousand, we have more than ten million settlers who find the rules and regulations of migration to be unworthy and the laws promulgated in Washington D.C. and the various state legislatures to be tyrannical. Will these millions remain peaceful or will they follow the example of the 19th century Texans and Texicans?

For several troubling decades, the people of the United States have been in a state of unease because of the lack of will demonstrated by the Federal Government. Next month George W. Bush goes to Mexico to "negotiate" an immigration policy. With millions of its citizens on this side of the border, it appears that Mexico is in a position of strength.

Jorge Castenada, Mexican Secretary of State in 2001, is one of the meddling Mexicans who attempts to make policy for the United States. Castenada on democratic ideals: It is "undemocratic" for California to exclude non-citizens, specifically illegal aliens, from voting."

Ironically he is supported in this view by the former US Immigration and Naturalization General Counsel, T. Tlexander Aleinikoff, who declared that

"[we] live in a post assimilationist age," adding that majority preferences simply "reflect the norms and cultures of dominant groups," (as opposed to the norms and cultures of "feminists and people of colour.") In effect what is being said is that American democracy is not authentic and that "real" democracy is yet to be created when the different "peoples" or groups within America "share power" as groups.

In other words, over the decades, people within and without various administrations and power elite groups have been deconstructing America, discounting the feelings of ordinary Americans, the majority.

What we have here is also "denationalization" and "transnationalization."

"Denationalised" citizenship 
          Another concept which is being advanced, writes Fonte, is that citizenship should be "denationalised." In the name of "inclusion," "social justice," "democratic engagement" and "human rights" some theorists argue for "transnational citizenship," "postnational citizenship" or even "global citizenship" embedded in international human rights accords and "evolving" forms of transnational arrangements. To this end, a number of books have been published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, dealing with such matters as "challenging traditional understandings of belonging and membership" in nation-states and "rethinking the meaning of citizenship." These essays by authors from countries such as France, Germany, Britain and Canada argue for new and "evolving" transnational forms of citizenship as a normative good. 
          Fonte believes that the theory of transnationalism will be the next stage of the multicultural ideology and he expects it to be for the first decade of the 21st century what multiculturalism was during the last decade of the 20th century. A kind of multiculturalism with a human face, a concept that gives the elites an empirical tool (a plausible analysis of what is) and an ideological framework (a vision of what should be). My dictionary defines plausible as being "apparently right, using specious (pleasing to the eye) arguments." Those who argue in favour of transnationalism believe that globalization requires some form of transnational "global governance" because, like our Mr Martin, they think that the nation-state and the concept of national citizenship are not suited to dealing with the global problems we may expect in the future.  
          We can expect to be bombarded with all kinds of combinations of terms preceded by the word transnational such as "t-citizenship," "t-actors," "t-organisation," "t-migrants,"and "t-jurisprudence." Academics at public policy conferences will be spouting these words, just as during the last decade they wittered on about multiculturalism and education, law, literature and citizenship. A distinguished anthropologist from the University of Chicago has opined that the USA is in transition from being a "land of immigrants" to "one node in a post-national network of diasporas." 

Enough of theory. The practical application is already in place with reality of the many millions that are just here. What are we to do with them? There is no practical way to solve the problem without creating something worse. Too late. The noises being made is legislatures of the land are nothing but "sound and fury." America is falling apart, devolving into interest groups. The commonality decreed by the founders has been put aside.. Yes, the United States exists as an address, but the concept of America has been sold out to the highest bidder. Get used to it.


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