Resistance is futile
Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 17 years ago, in 2006, on the World Wide Web.
Here’s the latest communiqué from 14th of 32, sometimes known as
Representative Ron Paul:
Freedom is irrelevant. Assimilation is inevitable.
The recent immigration protests in Los Angeles have brought the issue to the forefront, provoking strong reactions from millions of Americans. The protesters' cause of open borders is not well served when they drape themselves in Mexican flags and chant slogans in Spanish. If anything, their protests underscore the Balkanization of America caused by widespread illegal immigration. How much longer can we maintain huge unassimilated subgroups within America, filled with millions of people who don't speak English or participate fully in American life?
Clearly, therefore, we need to keep shooting immigrants, mercilessly and unrelentingly:
We must reject amnesty for illegal immigrants in any form. We cannot continue to reward lawbreakers and expect things to get better. If we reward millions who came here illegally, surely millions more will follow suit. Ten years from now we will be in the same position, with a whole new generation of lawbreakers seeking amnesty. … We need to allocate far more resources, both in terms of money and manpower, to securing our borders and coastlines here at home. This is the most critical task before us, both in terms of immigration problems and the threat of foreign terrorists. Unless and until we secure our borders, illegal immigration and the problems associated with it will only increase.
And also to ensure that everybody (except, of course, for Americans) has to go through years of paperwork and long waits to earn precious American citizenship. Just, you know, to be fair:
Amnesty also insults legal immigrants, who face years of paperwork and long waits to earn precious American citizenship.
It’s a good thing that there are principled libertarian lawmakers like Ron Paul to stand up against the right of landowners to invite Mexicans onto their property without a permission slip from the government, and to demand that laws for discriminating against workers or tenants on the basis of nationality be respected.
I mean, Jesus, if we don’t keep shooting immigrants who won’t
assimilate, we might actually end up with more than one language commonly spoken in this country. ¡Que desastre! You don’t want to end up like Switzerland, do you?
Damn, and just when I thought the guy was pretty near flawless…
John T. Kennedy /#
These folks use the words “illegal” and “lawbreaker” as if they had moral content.
Weren’t Ron Pauls’s heroes lawbreakers?
You cannot base a moral argument against someone on the fact that they broke a law.
I suppose now’s about the time we need to stop all those pesky libertarian-types from flooding into New Hampshire (Free State Project) by securing her borders and start shooting Texans and New Yorkers and Nebraskans who try to enter. Who cares if all they’re trying to do is live freer?
Kevin Carson /#
The assimilation idea is bullshit, anyway. At the time this country was founded, huge areas even of the 13 original colonies were inhabited by non-English speakers: the French in northern Maine, the Dutch in the Hudson valley, the Germans in western Pennsylvania. Probably a larger portion of the total population was non-English speaking then than now.
The idea of a homogenous nation, all speaking the officially standardized dialect of the national tongue within a set of lines on a map, is an artifact of the modern absolute state. It’s so messy to have Greeks in Anatolia, Wends in Germany, Provencals in France, and so on. Or Americans who don’t speak homogenized Midwest-Californish, or Brits who don’t speak BBC Standard. Really embarassing from the standpoint of fatherland-worship.
Rad Geek /#
Quite right. Assimilationists like to claim that what they’re really concerned with is how far people are willing to understand and responsibly participate in the political process, respect the laws, etc., but (whatever the merits or demerits of that may be) what they actually fixate on in practice are a bunch of ethno-linguistic trappings (language, holidays, theo-nationalist flag rituals, etc.) that clearly mark out members of different ethnicities, but are completely irrelevant to the assimilationists’ stated political goals. Sometimes you’ll get a specious argument to the effect that people couldn’t possibly participate in the political process if they don’t all speak the same language. You know, like how they do in Switzerland or Belgium.
Of course, one thing we need to do here is separate out a couple questions. First, the ethical question about assimilation needs to be separated from the political question (since even if immigrants ought to in some respect or another, the government hasn’t got any right to force them to). And the ethical question needs to be broken down into a bunch of questions about specific cases. Should immigrants be expected to adopt the norm that you can’t kill female relatives who the family? Yes, of course. Should they be expected to learn English? No, not really, although many will themselves decide that it would be useful enough to justify the trouble. Should they be expected to vote, or write their legislators, or read the newspaper, or celebrate Flag Day? Jesus, who cares?
About the only things that it’s reasonable to expect people toto are (1) demands of morality that you have independent reasons to expect them to conform to (thus having nothing essentially to do with or immigrant status), and (2) reasonable demands of local etiquette (which it only makes sense to expect them to conform to in certain contexts, and which it’s not worth making that big a fuss about, anyway). The idea that ethno-linguistic homogenization is a compelling ethical interest, let alone a compelling state interest, is, as you say, a bunch of collectivist rot.
Lady Aster /#
I have a question: if according to these conservatives and paleos assimilation is a prerequisite for citizenship, what in the Goddess’ name would they like to do with those American nationals who consciously or unconsciously de-assimilate the language, holidays, and/or theo-nationalist flag rituals of the dominant culture?
Wasn’t this the meaning of the old anti-counterculture motto “America: love it or leave it?” Doesn’t persecuting immigrants for not conforming suggest a good reason for persecuting natives for not conforming? Doesn’t the attitude of conservatives to today’s cultural left as ‘un-American’ suggest a poorly hidden desire to do just that? Isn’t this what policies such as the drug war are really all about?
Discussed at radgeek.com /#