28 February, 2016

Going Native

Vox day is going through an interesting blog argument with Sarah Hoyt over whether or not immigrants can truly become Americans. She holds the modern view that anyone who comes here and swears allegiance, adopts the culture, and lives as such become American. Vox disagrees. 

It's telling, is it not, how all of these foreigners and immigrants just happened to produce a new definition of American that included them, a definition that was not held by the Founding Fathers. Nor is it a coincidence that this self-serving definition was subsequently used to justify the largest invasion to have ever taken place in human history, an invasion that has severely weakened the once-mighty American nation.
My fellow Native American, John Red Eagle, and I addressed this very point in our book Cuckservative:
America is not a propositional nation, it is a distinct nation of people with their own customs, traditions, DNA, and culture, and it is a nation that has the right to defend its own existence. 

 Read the whole thing, and as always don't stop at the comments because that's where half the good arguments are. And while you're at it, go back and read Sarah's take on the issue, a take I have a lot of sympathy for due to my own background. 

And unfortunately, I think she's wrong and Vox is right, albeit for a narrow and exact definition for American (ALWAYS make sure of your terms when arguing with Vox, for Vox wears many personas but is always precise. And he is very, very smart and consistent when it comes to arguing those terms). 

Vox is arguing nationality in a narrow range because that's the range (to whit: those born to the custom from at least one generation so fully accultured that they have lost not only any cultural identity as foreigners, but have also genetically as well as memetically interbred with the host nation)  that a) concerns him in this particular time and sense of the word and b) it's the range that becomes relevant when bullets start flying. Vox, like myself, believes that item b is going to be become very relevant sooner rather than later, so this is the direction he's going. The only reason this is even remotely controversial is because, as he pointed out with Mr. Red Eagle in Cuckservative, this traditional concept of nationality has been deliberately cast aside in favor of the (in)famous "melting pot" theory, one of who's modern incarnations is what Mrs. Hoyt is arguing. 

So: to be an American, one must be born to it. Immigrants, while they may be loyal to the Stars and Stripes and even be more "American" than some (or even most) Americans, simply cannot be sufficiently assimilated because they carry the preconceptions, beliefs, and culture of their own nations no matter how deeply subsumed. 

An ancient would look at the above paragraph and say "Duh." A Gaul was not a Roman, no matter that he shaved and put on a toga. A Greek was not an Illyrian, for all that he wore trousers and rode a horse. Hell, even a Macedonian was not a Greek, though he ruled in their name and spoke the koine that his army forged! Nation implies blood in no small way, as it is an outgrowth of the tribe, the clan, and the family. 

Does this mean that immigrants can never assimilate? Of course not, that's not what's being argued. My mother is an immigrant, and so thoroughly assimilated that you'd have to know her fairly well to determine that she is not, in fact, an American. Her story and Sarah's are very similar, though she came here much younger, and she would make a similar argument: she is American and Colombian both. She would be equally wrong. My mother is a Colombian citizen of the US, still carrying Colombia in her DNA and deepest assumptions. It is this distinction that has gotten lost in the melting pot mess.

Once upon a time, that meant something and was a good signifier of a foreigner who had gone native enough to trust as a paid up member of society. Their children could be Americans, but they could not (that the founders excluded the foreign born from holding the office of the Presidency was NOT an accident. If you need more proof that the melting pot theory is wrong, that's a good place to start). However, they were a part of the culture, part of the landscape, and for the most part inherently trusted almost as much as any native born American.

Until, that is, the bullets started flying. Witness the behavior and treatment of Germans in WWI and WWII, and especially that of Japanese in WWII. Japanese, being more insular and with obvious physical differences, were easier than Germans to spot even when intermarried for a generation and were treated as not quite trustworthy to the point that they were physically segregated from the rest of the country. That their nisei, sansei, and yonsei sons and brothers fought so well reflects great credit upon them and speaks to the fact that the government was wrong, that these native born had in fact assimilated sufficiently to be called American. But I digress. The distrust of the issei (Japanese born immigrants) and even some nisei (first generation) was completely merited, as the events on the Hawaiian island of Ni'ihau showed (look it up, it's both depressing and inspiring and shows why one should really think twice before taking on a pureblood Hawaiian one-on-one). Simply put, blood will out, especially when that blood is undiluted and kept apart.

Conflict focuses mind and culture, forces us to take sides. Racial and civil conflict are by far the most focusing and leave the least room for widened definitions. When blood is called into question, the old definitions will rear their heads and American will revert to its original connotation: native born. When that happens, it will be a very rude shock to those who have bought into the propositional nation myth, and the clearer they choose to see things now the better they will be able to adapt. I don't know what future conflicts will look like, but I do know that the signs are pointing to a rather nasty realignment in which the concept of nationality and nationhood will very likely revert to their time honored meanings.

And that's the best outcome. The worst involves that same realignment, only without the concept of an American nation, which would in turn lead to a Hobbesian war of all against all. Given the choice, I much prefer a few hurt feelings now. 

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