Wednesday, September 2, 2009

American Ideology, Is the melting pot flooding?

Its funny, I was just discussing with one of my friends about this notion of America being the melting pot of civilization and such. Hence I stumbled across this article which was written by a political scientist with "conservative" right wing views on cultural relativism and multiculturalism. I have to say he makes some pretty interesting arguments. However, I can't say that I agree with his philosophy nor his approach to the way America should approach immigrants and how they should assimilate their cultures to become "American". How do you define "American" anyways? Ever filled out a census before? There are so many categories of Americans that its hysterical to say the least. Back on topic. Where I am heading with this post is that a content analysis of a particularly long couple of paragraphs is definitely in order! The nice thing is you might read this article and say yup he is 'spot on" he is right, no doubt about it! And you know what? That's OK also...
Immigrants should assimilate and NOT keep there own cultures if they are going to live in America. Right? No more Taco Bell? So he claims in his post. How can we make the argument about a true identity for what an "American" and an Americans culture is really supposed to be? We have all pretty much descended from some other continent or other. Let us not forget how young America really is compared to other countries and civilizations. Yes by birth we are Americans. But, our ancestors came from other places likely and so on and so on . Unless your a reader that is American Indian I make exception:)Are you picking up what I am putting down? OK back on topic. Our friend is worried about a revolution without a war! Here is why he says:

"The second technique of revolution proceeds by changing America’s demographic character. Aristotle points out that one cause of revolution is excessive “heterogeneity of stock,” meaning, excessive ethnic diversity. As a result of permissive immigration laws, a country may include ethnic groups whose character and customs clash with the way of life of the native majority: witness Eurabia. Immigration laws may also increase the electoral base of a party committed to redistribution of wealth. Eventually, the immigrant population may equal or exceed the original native population. The democratic principle of one adult, one vote can thus lead to radical regime change, and without violence.

This is happening in America. The title of Samuel Huntington’s recent book, Who Are We? suggests that America is losing its cultural identity. This is nothing less than a revolution. To understand this revolution, a brief description of America’s early culture is necessary.

The ethnic groups that founded America were among the most highly educated citizens of Great Britain and Europe. A dozen universities flourished before the end of eighteenth century, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Columbia. Nineteenth-century British Prime Minister William Gladstone said that America’s Founding Fathers constituted the greatest collection of statesmen in history.

Early Americans quoted not only the Bible, but also Shakespeare, Cicero, Locke, and other luminaries. I dare say that apart from the sciences, the intellectual discipline of eighteen-century American universities puts to shame what passes for higher education today. The Federalist Papers, which were newspaper articles, will be studied long after the books of countless present day political scientists are forgotten.

As is well known, America was based primarily on the Protestant ethic. Without denying serious flaws, this ethic exalted family values. It emphasized education, honest work, thrift, self-reliance, personal responsibility. This era is fading away. The bureaucratic state is intruding more and more into the family; universities are propagating moral relativism; and during the past few decades, millions of immigrants, poorly educated or of dubious character, have entered America. Unlike the immigrants of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, a large percentage of these recent immigrants are not anxious to assimilate—an attitude encouraged by the cultural relativism that permeates the anti-American liberal-left."

OK, he is making sense to someone right? But whom is the question? He is still stuck around the age of enlightenment, and the Federalist papers, and the Founding Fathers ideas of what America is supposed to be. Unfortunately it hasn't turned out to be that way has it? Is this a good or bad thing? How could we have just closed our borders and kept the original Americans that settled this country I wonder? What about you? You mean the early Immigrants were "better" then the ones we have now? They were more anxious to assimilate into "our" notion of democracy and "Americanism" (word?) Anyways, you see where I am headed I hope so anyways. Do not get me wrong this article does have its merits but overall its a very conservative article written by a very conservative political scientist who has lost touch with the notion of being flexible first brought up by President Wilson whom he mentions in the article. Did you know President Wilson was also a political scientist? Just thought I would throw that in there... He was also an idealist and he knew that in order for America to survive she had to be flexible with the rest of the world. I happen to agree. Our friend the author of this article has a low approval of Wilson.

I hope you read this and decide for yourself about whether the "melting pot has melted".


1 comment:

rubayat said...

Why does American immigration policy encourage poorly educated people around the world? following a green card lottery that turned into jackpot kind of stuff for migration to America. One reason could be, they want quantity, which means, increasing number of human species that significantly reduced quality of people who migrate to US. Other reasons could be just need poor educated people do add jobs around. Or the policy could have inherent culture of jackpot, try luck, tarot card sort of things. However, US seems to be the 'cow boy' state on the capital chase pool of modernity.