O Intermitente<br> (So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

O Intermitente
(So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

segunda-feira, junho 07, 2004

Who Are We?

Francis Fukuyama analisa o livro "Who Are We? de Samuel Huntington na Salon.

Huntington goes on to argue that globalization and immigration are threats to that traditional American identity. In his view, the American elite, from corporate executives to professors to journalists, sees itself as cosmopolitan, secular, and attached to the principle of diversity as an end in itself. That elite no longer feels emotionally attached to America and is increasingly out of touch with the vast majority of non-elite Americans who remain patriotic, morally conservative, and Christian?indeed, increasingly so as the Fourth Great Awakening unfolds at the beginning of the 21st century.


There are a number of grounds for thinking that the United States will assimilate Hispanic immigrants just as it has earlier ethnic groups. Most important is the fact that they are Christian?either Catholic or, to an increasing degree, Evangelical Protestant. When controlling for socioeconomic status, they have stronger traditional family values than their native-born counterparts. This means that culturally, today's Mexican immigrants are much less distant from mainstream "Anglos" than were, say, the southern Italian immigrants or Eastern European Jews from mainstream WASPs at the beginning of the 20th century. Their rates of second- and third-generation intermarriage are much closer to those of other European groups than for African-Americans. And, from Gen. Ricardo Sanchez on down, they are serving honorably today in the U.S. armed forces in numbers disproportionate to their place in the overall population.

The problem, as Alejandro Portes, a professor of sociology and immigration studies at Princeton, has pointed out, is not that Mexican and other Latino immigrants come with the wrong values, but rather that they are corrupted by American practices. Many young Hispanics are absorbed into the underclass culture of American inner cities, which has then re-exported gang violence back to Mexico and Central America; or else their middle-class leaders have absorbed the American post-civil rights era sense of victimization and entitlement. There is a sharp divide between elites?organizations like the National Council of La Raza, or the Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund?and the general population of Hispanic immigrants. The latter, overall, tend to be socially conservative, want to learn English and assimilate into the American mainstream, and were even supportive initially of California's Proposition 187 (denying benefits to illegal immigrants) and 227 (ending bilingualism in public education).

Who Are We? puzzlingly makes no concrete policy recommendations concerning levels of immigration, qualifications for legal admission, means of enforcing rules against illegal immigrants, and the like. It is thus very hard to know whether Huntington would support something as drastic as the 1924 cutoff of non-Western European immigration. It is hard to believe that such a policy would be politically feasible today, given the changes in technology, communications, economics, and demography that have been driving migration not just in the United States but all over the world. If it is the case that high levels of immigration are inevitable for developed societies, then what we need to do is to shift the focus from immigration per se to the issue of assimilation?something that most conservative supporters of immigration like John Miller, Tamar Jacoby, Ron Unz, and Michael Barone have long argued.

posted by Miguel Noronha 11:35 da manhã

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"A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom."

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