Immigration, identity, knowledge part 2

Warning: as with “Get past your identity and look at the data,” “The stink of poly-ticks is high in this post, which has little to do with actual game, so you may want to skip it.” You’ve been warned. You should read “Ms. Slav story updates: Enter new girl Peaches” instead.

There are few fields with larger gaps between the “Twitter world” and the “knowlede world” than immigration. Most people who live in the latter don’t do Twitter as “Twitter natives” do. Among historians, anti-immigration sentiment is almost entirely absent. Why? For one thing, the data show that “Immigrants are doing a great job of becoming Americans.” Plus, historians know that the arguments against immigrants have always stayed the same and have always been wrong. Like Henry Cabot Lodge’s famous speech 1896 speech, “The Problem of Immigration”:

other races of totally different race origin, with whom the English-speaking people have never hitherto been assimilated or brought in contact, have suddenly begun to immigrate to the United States in large numbers. Russians, Hungarians, Poles, Bohemians, Italians, Greeks, and even Asiatics, whose immigration to America was almost unknown 20 years ago, have during the last 20 years poured in in steadily increasing numbers, until now they nearly equal the immigration of those races kindred by whom the United States has hitherto been built up and the American people formed.

In other words, we gotta kick out those foreigners who are different than us. Today, of course, their descendents are making the same anti-immigration arguments that are common on Twitter. Lodge also says:

It is not necessary to enter into a discussion of the economic side of the general policy of restricting immigration. In this direction the argument is unanswerable. If we have any regard for the welfare, the wages, or the standard life of American workingmen, we should take immediate steps to restrict foreign immigration. There is no danger, at present to all events, to our workingmen from the coming of skilled mechanics or trained and educated men with a settled occupation or pursuit, for immigration of this class will never seek to lower the American standard of life and wages

It is necessary; immigration improves American lives and immigrants don’t compete for the jobs Americans do. Funny stories like, “Farmers Finding Few Americans Willing To Do Jobs Immigrants Do” are common. I have friends in the restaurant biz. Try hiring native-born Americans to be dishwashers. The places in the United States with the highest immigration rates also have the strongest economies.

No one arguing against immigration is highly knowledgable about history, or the way their arguments have been used for the last one to two hundred years, and they’ve been wrong the whole time. And anti-immigrant rhetoric is rarely if ever supported by (real) research in peer-reviewed journals. For example, The welfare impact of global migration in OECD countries finds that immigration improves GDP and “recent migration flows have been beneficial for 69% of the non-migrant OECD population, and for 83% of non-migrant citizens of the 22 richest OECD countries.”

We are seeing immigrants create new jobs. Immigration does not create crime and if anything immigrants have lower crime rates, on average, than native-born persons. So why do these memes persist? It seems that humans like to sort ourselves into tribes and it’s fun to create out-groups, and immigrants make handy out groups. Normal people don’t go trolling through the literature and instead form their views on single-hit sensationalist stories and the like. Most people also don’t think about history or their own families’s histories, which, in the United States, always includes immigration somewhere (unless a person is Native American).

The United States is not an ethno-state. It is a set of ideas and ideals. It is also a machine for taking in disparate people and turning their children into Americans (some of whom will in turn adopt anti-immigrant rhetoric). We should be happy this process works and works well. We should also be attentive to the kind of evidence cited by anti-immigrant types. Yes, there are sensationalistic stories about individual bad acts. Just as there are… sensationalistic stories about individual bad acts by people born in the United States. But the anti-immigrant rhetoric is almost totally absent among historians and economists. We should be thinking about why that is. Yes, it’s possible that there’s a giant conspiracy theory. Or, more likely, knowing history makes people chill out about the supposed foreign invasion.

In good news, American support for immigration is at all-time high. I doubt this is because of a newfound love for and knowledge of history, but it is nice.

Overall, Western Civilization is a hardy weed and normal people around the world want TV, convenient food, and hot sex.

I don’t expect to change hearts and minds because almost no one thinks statistically or attempts to systematically review what data exist.

Author: The Red Quest

How can we live and be in society?

15 thoughts on “Immigration, identity, knowledge part 2”

  1. RQ… You consistently treat “immigrants” as if all sources of immigration are equal.

    Is that so? Are the cultures of all countries equal? And therefore, the people from those cultures equal??

    I grew up in 80% Latin parts of Southern California. And I will argue that it was NOT 1st generation Latins that caused much trouble. It was specifically their kids that made up the gang culture that I grew up in… Which was specifically horrifying. The motivations of the original immigrants did not carry over to their kids.

    Tucker Carlson did two excellent interviews recently (Rubin/Shapiro). He says “class struggle” is caused not by absolute levels of resources, but by relative levels — aka envy causes class struggle. I believe that.

    So unless immigrants have “the stuff” to make it into/beyond middle class… You are importing class structure (and poverty, and benefit seekers, and crime).

    So… Unless you can convince me that all incoming cultures/persons are the same, I cannot support immigration (without MERIT) . And we KNOW all cultures are not the same (take the Chinese vs the Mexicans, stats on those countries of origin are clear, and more nuanced than considering immigrants to be homogenous, which they are not).

    So I am a culture bigot. That is true.

    But you CAN get me to support immigration… as long as it is strictly MERIT based. Now, even cranky me can have no objections. If you important the highly meritous, you improve the country (as opposed to creating crime/dependants/ghettos).

    Metaphor: Are “girls good,” RQ? You are a wise man. I assume you would say, “Well, that depends. Not all girls are the same.”

    And just as you would show decernment in girls you let into your life… I would hope you would advocate that countries demonstrates that same level of wisdom with their borders. It is exactly the same.

    Import quality… Or you reduce the quality of the your country.


    And we are back to “right wing” thinking. LEFTies think all people are the same (against evidence… They believe in the “blank slate”). RIGHT leaning types can see with their own eyes that is not true.


    1. This is a great point, Nash. Have been thinking this way myself for a long time. But let’s abstract this one step further – what is the moral imperative from a utilitarian perspective?

      Even if it decreases your personal utility to deal with the problems that lower-class immigrants may create, what about their utility and the greater utility of society?

      This article summarizes more of what my views have aligned with lately:

      To be discussed next time we are in person!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hey, man. I like your POV here, as it shows you have a big heart. It’s noble. I like that. You’re a good man. And so is RQ.

        I read the first part of your LINK. I stopped here:

        > the biggest proportional gains are likely to go to some very poor people (perhaps the world’s poorest, or those one rung above the lowest rungs of poverty)

        I had already taken the position that the “Utilitarian” POV seemed very abstract indeed. It’s “ant-colony-think”… And I am not an ant.

        This is why Obamacare was so unpopular with the middle class. The poor got free health care. And the middle class got higher premiums… They had to pay for that “free stiff.” And they suuffered… For no fault of their own. I used to be pro-Universal Health Care. I am not anymore. I see why the middle class hated it. I think they were right.

        I make an argument for MERIT.. as I am high-achieving. That is my bias. I see it, and I admit it.

        I prefer the broader “Darwinism” POV to the Utilitarian POV. Efficiency is a good thing. Not just for me, but for those that benefit from my efficency. Rewarding low-achievers is outside the laws of Nature (even for ants).

        I’d go further and say Libertarians are pro immigration, but anti tax and anti social services. That is closer to a position I could support (but not close enough). Utilitarians (Socialists?) want to give away my stuff. No thanks. If I want to give away my stuff, I’ll do it myself… And I’ll make careful decisions (as it’s my stuff).

        Combine social services with non-MERIT based immigration, and YES you will kill the “golden goose.” I would leave that Nation, because I can, and I’d be better off in a Nation that respects property rights (borders + low taxation). And almost all the top producers would as well. And then you’re left with the average and the needy… And your once prosperous country is now a giant, inefficent homeless shelter.

        Have you ever seen a nice homeless shelter? No one has. Harboring low achievers leads to low quality. Low quality sucks.

        Back to the RIGHT… Right wingers seem to have an instinct for “protecting their own.” JBP says that the “right” are low in “openness.” You set up walls, work hard, protect your own, proper, and REINVEST your wins in the future. This = prosperity for your tribe.

        Even if I was not a high achiever, I would want a spot in that kind of tribe. If a low-achieving tribe wants you, are you sure you want to join? It is no coincidence that immigration flows unidirectionally for the most part. From low-quality cultures to high-quality cultures.

        It’s not “fair”… But it’s 100% Natural. Winners spiral up, and loser spiral down. And that is GOOD for long-term stability. Culling is healthy. In an efficient tribe, everyone has a better chance to thrive.

        Short term “Altruism” “feels good,” but increases the chance we try to put too many people in the life boat, the boat sinks… And everybody dies. Terrible plan. No thanks.

        Back to being RIGHT… I think conservative men are okay at making hard decisions. We can’t adopt every stray, so we make tough decisions… Even when the women/children think we are heartless.

        When times get tough… And they will… The strong, disciplined men will save our ass… If we’re lucky enough to be one of those men, or under their shepharding. This has always been true.

        There is something natural and “right” about all that.


    2. Almost all immigration throughout history has come from the poor and the desperate. People at the top of their societies rarely wish to leave. The U.S., Australia, Canada, all were settled by people from the bottom who made it to the top.

      The real virtue of Western culture is that it takes people in and turns them into Westerners. That was true in 1890 and it’s true today.


    1. For the record… RQ is a super smart and interesting guy. And a man for which I have a lot of respect. A very unique and interesting POV in game. One of a kind.

      I disagree with him on this topic. And I do feel like he could, perhaps, expand his influences a little here.


  2. “what is the moral imperative from a utilitarian perspective?”

    pancake, these third-world immigrants are DESTROYING american cities, and they are destroying european cities too. have you been to paris lately? i have. parts of paris are SCARY, feels like africa. import the third world, become the third world is a real thing. have you seen this graph? not all of africa can fit in europe:

    if things continue this way, we WILL reach a tipping point — maybe in our lifetimes? — when western civilization will go to shit, and we will become the third world too. it’s much easier to tear something down than to build something up.

    i’ve lived in madrid five years, and i’ve seen the changes. now, there’s a black dude in front of every other grocery store asking for change — funny how they behave the same way wherever they go — and african immigrants have created their mini ghetto in madrid. they had riots last year:

    and thanks to immigration, now we have latin gangs in madrid. the madrid police are seeing violence they hadn’t seen before. we literally imported ms-13!

    paul ramsey has this great saying, there is no magic dirt. the problem with honduras is that it’s full of hondurans. the problem with haiti is that it’s full of haitians. put the somalis in sweden, and there is no magic dirt that will make them peaceful and law-abiding. nope. the somalis will recreate a mini-somalia in malmo, sweden.

    “Teens roam streets with rifles as crime swamps Sweden. The army may be called in to halt a gang surge in immigrant areas”


    immigration is NOT the answer. the answer is to help these countries in their own countries.

    remember: import the third world, become the third world.


    1. Avoid the scare-mongering sensationalist stories; it’s also possible to pick out stories about native-born persons behaving badly, like the Vegas sniper.

      Focus on the history and the aggregation of larger data sources.

      If people are making the same arguments today they did in 1890, and the arguments were wrong in 1890, what should that tell us about today?


      1. What is your opinion on the German refugee crisis?

        Regarding crime rate specifically, the relationship between immigrants and crime rate is not completely clear as different sets of studies and statistics claim different relationships. See the relevant Wikipedia page for examples of studies:

        (Keep in mind that the political spectrum terms have different meanings in European countries compared to the U.S.)

        Personally, I would say that the government’s policies and social climate are not conducive to the integration of immigrants from significantly different cultural backgrounds such as North African refugees, and the consequence of this may be the formation of parallel societies within the nation.

        In comparison, the Swiss government has much better policies in place regarding refugees, their employment and integration into society. Refugees are strongly encouraged to find work (to a much larger extent than in Germany), integrate into society and directly pay back their debt to the government. The Swiss are at not risk from the refugees they accepted, however that amount is also extremely small compared to Germany’s (even proportionally) and is not nearly as taxing on national budget, infrastructure and labour.

        The most concerning aspect by far of the German refugee crisis is the censorship of criticism regarding mass migration. This has absolutely disastrous consequences for the whole political climate and governmental system because no rational debate regarding the possible dangers of mass immigration is taking place. Mainstream media outlets simply do not discuss possible problems stemming from migration apart from the resurgence of the far right, which is a problem that in itself is directly caused by the one-sided media and political climate not giving a voice to moderate and right-wing views on the topic, which leads to only the most vocal and controversial “right wing” opinions being acknowledged at all.

        And the far-right is not actually capable of preventing the risks related to immigration because more often than not it is an emotionally driven movement that has to maintain an extremely controversial tone to even exist and be noticed by the mainstream outlets. They clearly state that a problem exists, but wether they are able to actually address it (especially without causing needless harm) is a whole other story. Their rethoric is heavily based on their “gut-feeling” of immigration involving significant cultural differences being bad for society. These views, while possibly founded in reality, are not disseminated upon in a calm and useful manner, making them difficult to understand for people that do not agree with them.

        Even the so-called “conservative” newspapers do not directly criticise mass migration and regularly publish articles to encourage people to eliminate xenophobic views regarding the migrant crisis, which further points towards the complete lack of intelligent, meaningful opposition to the overwhelmingly supportive views of the established government regarding immigration.

        Finally, this leads to a state of affairs where the Overton window is shifted so far to the left that mass immigration is portrayed as having positive aspects *only* and no meaningful discussion of social consequences is taking place.

        The UN Migration Treaty may worsen this issue even further as the proposal appears to encourage governmentcensorship of views opposing mass migration. Please read the official treaty document, especially the sections regarding the creation of a migration-friendly environment and share your interpretation of it.

        Without going into more detail on the possible direct risks of mass immigration and their causes, I would like to ask wether you agree that immigration should be open to criticism in the public. In my opinion it absolutely has to be in order to maintain a stable society because otherwise it simply isn’t possible to correctly determine and weigh the risks that may stem from immigration and thus find the best solution for the given situation.


      2. “it’s also possible to pick out stories about native-born persons behaving badly, like the Vegas sniper.”

        You’re much smarter than this, RQ. Making this argument shows that you’re not thinking clearly!


      3. You can’t generalize from a single subject to a large group; if I did that, I would argue that the Vegas shooter shows that native-born Americans are a massive threat to everyone, or that that guy who shot up a bunch of people from Norway shows that we should fear all Norwegians.

        Again, look at the history: the anti-immigrant rhetoric remains the same, even as the source of immigrants changes. That tells us something about the human propensity towards group formation and the human propensity to hate people perceived as “outsiders” (even when the people propagating the hate have little if any direct experience of those outsiders).


      4. “Focus on the history and the aggregation of larger data sources.”

        Spoken like a true academic! Academia has tricked you into thinking diversity is good. But don’t worry, I believe in you, RQ. You will wake up from this haze.


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