Family, and Politics

Family, and Politics

I wasn't going to disrupt a post in gratitude with petty worldly concerns, but it's now the day after, and those who have gathered are going on with the rest of their lives, and so I turn my focus to other things.

One thing seen in the lead-up to the holiday was a Saturday Night Live skit with Will Farrell I got in my inbox from family who for some reason still think SNL is funny. Yes, every once in a blue moon on odd leap years, they can be self aware (look up the liberal bubble skit from after the 2016 election), but despite a saccharine plea at the end that we all have something in common and should get along, this wasn't one of them.

The setup was an indian (feather, not dot) family having a dinner when the daughter brings home an english colonist to join the festivities. Cue "funny" jokes about how father should stop listening to the fox, and dad replying the fox knows whats up, and why does his daughter believe a peacock? Plus lines about taking land, jobs, etc.

If you're thinking that it's an SNL sketch version of the "insightful" comment (or cartoon, I've seen at least one) based on the premise that if the indians hadn't allowed immigrants the Americas, the US wouldn't be here, you'd be exactly right.

...And if you wanted a more blatant example of missing the entire point of what we mean when we talk about immigration of populations resulting in physical and cultural "displacement", not just "they're taking our jerbs", you would be hard pressed to find it.

As an aside - ever notice that when it comes to the rich, money, jobs, etc. were stolen from the little people in a finite pie, but when it comes to jobs, imigrants, health care, handouts, etc., they act as if resources are infininite?

One of the reasons, leaving aside the mostly materialistic worldview that doesn't value the intangible yet provably existent*, that those of the left dismiss concerns about immigrants is the old line about how "every wave of immigrants was hated by those that came before them but then integrated." I got to hear that from family earlier this week and while I keep out of political discussions on family occasions, jumped in on this one because it was a matter of history.

First, to whatever extent that may be true, it's only been true in the last century or two, and on the timescale of societies and empires, we haven't yet had a chance to live out the final results of that. That discussion went into the weeds in part because the central point, that there were a number of examples where the imigrants or refugees didn't assimilate, and ended up taking up arms against those who took them in, was ignored. The asumption required to make that narrative of "they'll integrate" true is that the people coming in want to integrate, and the society they join is cohesive enough in purpose to make them do so in the face of the tyranny of the cohesive minority.

Since it was the holidays with family, I didn't want to spend a ton of time trying to explain that concept from Taleb's Skin in the Game, much less how it bears on the movement of populations and immigration throughout history and aligns with "proximity + diversity = war", I dropped it, but I should have known from the start it would be pointless, other than to not let such a flawed assumption stand unchallenged. Because that "every wave of immigrants was hated" comment was made in reply to testimony of how the issue previous immigrants had with their new snackbar-greeting neighbors was the fact that not only were they not trying to immigrate but they were proud of that fact, emphatically refused to do so, and lording it over those who already resided there.

That "but they'll get accepted in a couple generations" happened, to the degree it happened, in large part because the ones who were accepted made an effort, displayed skin in the game, to make themselves over and integrate with the culture, rather than standing apart.

About Last Redoubt

Ex nuke mechanic, jack of all trades.