Nationalism As Nepotism

Madduckdes rightly describes the nationalist sentiment behind "Buy American" as ugly nepotism:

Your whole analogy was about helping your closer brothers rather than your more distanct cousins. It doesn't matter that you weren't talking about a blood relationship with the farmers in question. If I hire my little brother simply because he's my little brother and not because he is awesomer than the other candidates - and if lots of people do the same thing - that becomes a societal problem. It is still a societal problem if I hire only Seattleites but not qualified applicants from Portland. (Portlanders?) Or if I only hire people from the west coast but discriminate against applicants from Boston. The decision about who to hire should be based on merit, not based on who we feel coziest with or who lives closest.

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Family business

Family businesses are fine. The problem with nepotism isn't a general principle that you shouldn't favor family over strangers. That's bullshit. People should favor whoever they want to favor. I know I favor family over non-family, and you're never going to make me feel guilty about that. If it's my own business, then I might very well choose to hire family instead of non-family, for a variety of reasons.

Hiring family becomes a problem when you work for a company that's not your own company, and you've been entrusted with hiring decisions. You have an agreement, formal or informal, explicit or tacit, but an agreement of some sort with your employer that you will act in his best interest in your hiring decisions. His best interest is not your best interest. The problem with nepotism is that it betrays a trust with your employer. It is akin to stealing office supplies. If you own the business and you take home office supplies, you're not stealing.

To hell with "society". I don't have any contract with "society". The problem with hiring family is not that it's a "societal" problem. It's that I've betrayed a specific trust with a specific entity, my own employer. And this only happens if I don't own the business. If I own the business, then it's my own business who I hire or fire, and the effect of this on "society" is not my problem.

The decision about who to hire should be based on merit, not based on who we feel coziest with or who lives closest.

The decision about who to hire should be based on whatever the hell you want to base it on, provided you're not wronging anybody by, for example, betraying a trust.

I wouldn't necessarily say

I wouldn't necessarily say family businesses are fine, even if they are entirely family owned and the owners don't have to worry about the concerns of stockholders/other owners. Consider the discussion in this thread, about business owners who fool themselves into essentially ignoring opportunity costs and hiding losses from themselves. Even if you view family businesses as a form of internal charity, it's important that the owners recognize that it is a form of charity and not necessarily financially prudent.

(At this point you could argue that hiring within the family also insures a certain amount of trust. But Madduckdes already acknowledged this in her original argument: "If you want to argue that someone living close makes the person *better at the job*, then you're making a merit argument, and I can accept that. But that does not sound like you were you were saying in the original comment.")

Further, though you may not approve or appreciate the point as a strict individualist, it is worth considering what sorts of systematic problems a widespread social norm in favor of nepotism has on an economy, and its strong association with bribery, corruption, and lack of social mobility. Surprise, surprise, nepotism on a national scale - i.e. trade restrictions and domestic subsidies - leads to all three.

I think this also highlights a weakness in certain formulations of strict methodological individualism, completely unconcerned with what you dismiss as merely "societal" problems. And, in turn, this provides one of the strongest arguments in favor of a version of "thick libertarianism" that recommends a set of social norms in addition to something like the nonaggression principle.

To quote from one of my favorite essays:

A more charitable reading of libertarian attitudes might be this: while the collectivist boycott of independent minds and stifling of creative excellence in The Fountainhead is not itself enacted through government means, collectivism clearly is associated with the mass psychology that supports statism. So is patriarchy, actually, but it is most closely associated with a non-governmental form of oppression—that is, male supremacy and violence against women. All this makes it seem, at times, that libertarians—including libertarian feminists—are suffering from a sort of willful conceptual blindness; perhaps because they are afraid to grant the existence of serious and systematic forms of political oppression that are not connected solely or mainly with the state. It’s as though, if they granted any political critique of the outcomes of voluntary association, they would thereby be granting that voluntary association as such is oppressive, and that government regulation is the solution. But such a phobic reaction only makes sense if you first accept (either tacitly or explicitly) the premise that all politics is exclusively the domain of the government, and as such (given Mises’s insights into the nature of government) all political action is essentially violent action. This is, as it were, a problem that has no name; but we might call it “the authoritarian theory of politics,” since it amounts to the premise that any political question is a question resolved by violence; many 20th century libertarians simply grant the premise and then, because they hold that no question is worth resolving by (initiatory) violence, they call for the death of politics in human affairs.

[...]

Libertarian temptations to the contrary notwithstanding, it makes no sense to regard the state as the root of all social evil, for there is at least one social evil that cannot be blamed on the state — and that is the state itself. If no social evil can arise or be sustained except by the state, how does the state arise, and how is it sustained? As libertarians from La Boétie to Rothbard have rightly insisted, since rulers are generally outnumbered by those they rule, the state itself cannot survive except through popular acceptance which the state lacks the power to compel; hence state power is always part of an interlocking system of mutually reinforcing social practices and structures, not all of which are violations of the nonaggression axiom. There is nothing un-libertarian, then, in recognizing the existence of economic and/or cultural forms of oppression which, while they may draw sustenance from the state (and vice versa), are not reducible to state power. One can see statism and patriarchy as mutually reinforcing systems (thus ruling out both the option of fighting statism while leaving patriarchy intact, and the option of fighting patriarchy by means of statism) without being thereby committed to seeing either as a mere epiphenomenon of the other (thus ruling out the option of fighting patriarchy solely indirectly by fighting statism).

Nepotism on a national scale

Further, though you may not approve or appreciate the point as a strict individualist, it is worth considering what sorts of systematic problems a widespread social norm in favor of nepotism has on an economy, and its strong association with bribery, corruption, and lack of social mobility.

You realize that I have just got done speaking against nepotism. I have described nepotism and stated what was wrong with it and when and why. I stated that what was wrong with it was that it was corruption - not in exactly those words, but what else is betrayal of the trust placed in an agent, but corruption? It is surely the very definition of corruption. You have attempted to counter my argument by misconstruing it as excusing nepotism (when in fact I damned nepotism as betrayal) and then throwing my own position back in my face as if it were your position.

Surprise, surprise, nepotism on a national scale - i.e. trade restrictions and domestic subsidies - leads to all three.

That isn't nepotism and it is coercion.

I think this also highlights a weakness in certain formulations of strict methodological individualism, completely unconcerned with what you dismiss as merely "societal" problems.

I did not dismiss societal problems. I stated that the individual has no obligation to society. Apparently unlike you I realize that the invisible hand works rather well and does not require the continual browbeating of individual decisionmakers to make things work out okay. You're doing what the communists do to their slaves: exhort everyone to act properly so that the economy does not collapse. It's unnecessary, and it's a harm in the same way that a visit by the Jehovah's Witnesses is a harm (not a serious harm to be sure - but a damnable annoyance). Society does quite well thank you very much without its members constantly barraged by holier than thou attacks from the self-appointed arbiters of the good. I am defending individuals and since society is individuals I am defending society from the likes of you.

You realize that I have just

You realize that I have just got done speaking against nepotism.

Well, no, I don't realize that at all. I read you as redefining the term to fit your idiosyncratic meaning - which is fine, but then I wish to argue against even your defense of non-coercive family business backscratching.

Apparently unlike you I realize that the invisible hand works rather well and does not require the continual browbeating of individual decisionmakers to make things work out okay.

Yes, your view of the world is apparently very much unlike my view of the world. Much of the world is mired in poverty, and pretty much all of it is mired in statism. Worse, the vast majority of people disagree with you and me and seem to think that statism is the solution, not the problem, So how has that invisible hand of societal views and societal organization been working out for you so far?

You're doing what the communists do to their slaves: exhort everyone to act properly so that the economy does not collapse.

Right, in the sense that communists had an ideology, so do I. You apparently think that ideology doesn't much matter, which I certainly wish was true, but I don't see much evidence for, and I see much evidence against.

Perhaps with future technological and entrepreneurial advances, we will come to inhabit such a world - a world where ideology doesn't matter. But the world as it currently exists, and as it has existed for quite some time, doesn't seem to be letting the invisible hand do as much work as it should be doing. Perhaps positive cultural change towards a freer market through exhortation is impossible, or severely limited, but that is not how I view the world - I am more optimistic than that. I not only believe that change toward a freer market is possible in the future, but that a freer market was possible in the past (and is possible in the present), had people just stepped out of the way and stopped interfering with it. But that would require some amount of argument (or a lot more guns).

Society does quite well thank you very much without its members constantly barraged by holier than thou attacks from the self-appointed arbiters of the good. I am defending individuals and since society is individuals I am defending society from the likes of you.

Here's the irony, though; insofar as you are exhorting me to refrain from exhorting everyone else to act properly, you are committing a similar crime of engaging in a version of thick libertarianism, albeit for the purposes of promoting a version of thin libertarianism.

Nepotism

I read you as redefining the term to fit your idiosyncratic meaning

Oh really. Read up on nepotism:

Nepotism gained its name after the church practice in the Middle Ages, when some Catholic popes and bishops — who had taken vows of chastity, and therefore usually had no children of their own — gave their nephews positions of preference such as were often accorded by fathers to sons

These were not people running family businesses, but were agents of a larger organization who betrayed the trust placed in them, misusing their position to advance their families. In fact family businesses had been a very common form of business, so if nepotism had meant to include family businesses, why did it "gain its name after the church practice"?

You are making a mistake by trying to lump in mere preference for family with betrayal of a trust for the sake of family. I am pointing out and correcting that mistake.

Yes, your view of the world is apparently very much unlike my view of the world. Much of the world is mired in poverty, and pretty much all of it is mired in statism. Worse, the vast majority of people disagree with you and me and seem to think that statism is the solution, not the problem, So how has that invisible hand of societal views and societal organization been working out for you so far?

That's not what I was talking about. What I was talking about was the economic effect (or lack thereof) of individual choices to buy or not buy American. While I agree that protectionism is bad, I make the point that protectionism is coercion. You, in contrast, are here ignoring the distinction between coercion and free action in order to push the idea that the problem is "nepotism".

That many people believe that statism is the solution does not contradict my point, in fact does not have anything to do with it that I can discern.

Right, in the sense that communists had an ideology, so do I. You apparently think that ideology doesn't much matter

Again, you seem to be completely missing the point and talking about something with no discernible connection to it. No, it's not just that communists had an ideology, but specifically that they were not laissez-faire. That's what it is to exhort everyone to act properly in their economic activities. In contrast, the laissez-faire ideologist directs his exhortation not at the average person but at the state, and his exhortation is that the state leave the people alone.

Here's the irony, though; insofar as you are exhorting me to refrain from exhorting everyone else to act properly, you are committing a similar crime of engaging in a version of thick libertarianism, albeit for the purposes of promoting a version of thin libertarianism.

It's ironic only if you insist on looking at it that way. Similarly, I suppose you could declare it ironic if somebody defends himself against murder by killing the would-be murderer. You might say that he tried to prevent a killing, but ended up committing a killing, and that this was ironic. But there are important distinctions to be made between the initiation and the response.

Oh really. Read up on

Oh really. Read up on nepotism:

Are you fucking kidding me? Are we really having this argument? You are going to try to defend your idiosyncratic definition, against all evidence to the contrary, with etymological arguments? Even after I granted that I understood what you were saying, but chose to use the word under its more common usage? Seriously?

Wikipedia:

Nepotism is the showing of favoritism toward relatives and friends, based upon that relationship, rather than on an objective evaluation of ability, meritocracy or suitability. For instance, offering employment to a relative, despite the fact that there are others who are better qualified and willing to perform the job.

Merriam Webster:

favoritism (as in appointment to a job) based on kinship

American Heritage Dictionary:

Favoritism shown or patronage granted to relatives, as in business.

Barron's:

Employment and economic policies practicing favoritism toward one's family. Firms give favored employment positions to family members as well as encouraging business transactions with other family members. Many U.S. Businesses discourage nepotism in personnel practices.

Shall I go on?

Honestly, I should really stop the argument right here, because that was completely ridiculous, but I can't help myself.

While I agree that protectionism is bad, I make the point that protectionism is coercion. You, in contrast, are here ignoring the distinction between coercion and free action in order to push the idea that the problem is "nepotism".

Constant, why do you think people consistently vote for politicians who support protectionist policies? Mercantilism has been around for a while; it's intuitive in a way that comparative advantage is not.

People don't see "coercion" in trade policy and they likely never will see it the way you and I do, at least not without first understanding a lot of prior arguments. Instead of "coercion", they see "protection" and think that's a good thing. They think that subsidies and tariffs and quotas protect American jobs, support American industry, reduce the trade deficit (as if the trade deficit is necessarily a bad thing), and generally make us wealthier.

The analogy to nepotism is helpful since many people do feel some reservations about that form of protectionism. The analogy gets people thinking, and perhaps it makes it easier for them to see the inherent coercion that is so obvious to you and me.

As long as people continue to view market interventions and trade barriers as beneficial and desirable, the cause of freer markets is doomed. That needs to change, and the way to change is to speak in a language that regular people understand. The language of coercion requires a lot more baggage and background assumptions than the language of nepotism.

No, it's not just that communists had an ideology, but specifically that they were not laissez-faire. That's what it is to exhort everyone to act properly in their economic activities. In contrast, the laissez-faire ideologist directs his exhortation not at the average person but at the state, and his exhortation is that the state leave the people alone.

But the state is not an entity independent of average people. The state derives its support from average people. It is futile to press the Murray Rothbard button and eliminate the state unless we have good reason to think the state won't instantly reappear, back by popular demand. Advocates of laissez-faire must direct their exhortation at the average person to leave other people alone, else what's the point?

But there are important distinctions to be made between the initiation and the response.

This is not a case of initiation and response, but of an instance meeting all of the criteria of the general rule. But this is only an amusing observation, and not central to the rest of this discussion, so I'll just refer to Roderick Long's post on the subject and leave it at that:

All that one can consistently do in defense of thin libertarianism is argue that libertarians need not bundle liberty with other values; to argue, more strongly, that they should not is to turn thicklib by bundling libertarianism with a commitment to no-bundles-but-this-one.

Bla bla bla bla bla

That "favorite essay" is a condensed mush of statements that it would take a book to unravel and, for the most part, dissolve. I'll just look at one element, the most important element:

As libertarians from La Boétie to Rothbard have rightly insisted, since rulers are generally outnumbered by those they rule, the state itself cannot survive except through popular acceptance which the state lacks the power to compel; hence state power is always part of an interlocking system of mutually reinforcing social practices and structures, not all of which are violations of the nonaggression axiom.

Good God. Bla bla bla bla bla.

The state in fact has power to compel my acceptance: if I do not accept, it can surround me and force me to accept.

So, for each person under its power, the state in fact does have the power to compel the acceptance of that person.

What is the objection? Well, it is not stated above but merely alluded to: the above statement mentions that the state is "outnumbered". But being "outnumbered" does not automatically produce defeat. If you have two enemies facing each other in battle, then, certainly, the side that greatly outnumbers the other side will probably win (with exceptions). But that applies to enemies facing each other in battle. A government and a population are not that, except during a popular uprising. And the uprising itself is probably only a tiny minority, so then in fact a government and a population are probably not that even during a popular uprising.

The reason that the government survives despite being "greatly outnumbered" is that the population does not, in fact, form a coherent army. If you want to blame something for the survival of the state, then, blame the fact that society is not an army.

So what, then, about this:

hence state power is always part of an interlocking system of mutually reinforcing social practices and structures

Is the fact that society is not an army "an interlocking system of mutually reinforcing social practices and structures"?

No, it is not. So the inference in the quoted statement is invalid. It jumps the gun. How does it get away with it? It gets away with it by being bla bla bla bla bla. It inundates you with words and you think that it is saying something, when in fact there are gaping holes in the argument which are being papered over by the distracting patter.

I just looked at one bit. I could go at the entire thing this way.

So, for each person under

So, for each person under its power, the state in fact does have the power to compel the acceptance of that person.

For each person, perhaps, as an individual, but not for every person, if united in opposition.

Not that opposition needs to be unanimous, either. The transaction costs of running a state quickly become prohibitive when a sufficiently large number of people are uncooperative.

You seem to be reading everything in that article in the most uncharitable way possible, so I'm not even sure it's worth continuing this conversation much further, without an attempt at good faith on your part. Still, on the off chance that others are looking in, I'll point to a related argument made by David Friedman, by way of Bryan Caplan:

David Friedman has a particularly striking argument which goes one step further. Under governmental institutions, he explains, good law is a public good and bad law is a private good. That is, there is little direct personal incentive to lobby for laws that benefit everyone, but a strong personal incentive to lobby for laws that benefit special interests at the expense of everyone else. In contrast, under anarcho-capitalist institutions, good law is a private good and bad law is a public good. That is, by patronizing a firm which protects oneself, one reinforces the existence of socially beneficial law; but there is little incentive to "lobby" for the re-introduction of government. As Friedman explains, "Good law is still expensive - I must spend time and money determining which protection agency will best serve me - but having decided what I want, I get what I pay for. The benefit of my wise purchase goes to me, so I have an incentive to purchase wisely. It is now the person who wishes to reintroduce government who is caught in a public goods problem. He cannot abolish anarchy and reintroduce government for himself alone; he must do it for everyone or for no one. If he does it for everyone, he himself gets but a tiny fraction of the 'benefit' he expects the reintroduction of government to provide."

Now, consider the fact that humans and human society existed before government, and that getting from one equilibrium (anarchy) to another (government) required a certain amount of tacit consent (or at least disillusionment at the prospect of resistance), and that to reverse this process requires a similar perspective shift among a significant (but not necessarily even a majority) portion of the population.

This public goods problem does not seem to solve itself "through the invisible hand" very frequently, else we would be living under a fully free market already, or at least see far more instances of such societies throughout history than we do. Systematic justice takes organized social effort to establish and maintain.

Caplan on Friedman

Byan Caplan's take on David Friedman's argument is crystal clear and fine. I have no problem with it. And it's clearly not what Long was saying. Long says:

the state itself cannot survive except through popular acceptance which the state lacks the power to compel; hence state power is always part of an interlocking system of mutually reinforcing social practices and structures, not all of which are violations of the nonaggression axiom.

David Friedman, in contrast, says:

Under governmental institutions ... good law is a public good and bad law is a private good. ... In contrast, under anarcho-capitalist institutions, good law is a private good and bad law is a public good.

Not even remotely the same thing.

This public goods problem does not seem to solve itself "through the invisible hand" very frequently, else we would be living under a fully free market already, or at least see far more instances of such societies throughout history than we do.

I didn't say that the invisible hand would produce laissez-faire.

And it's clearly not what

And it's clearly not what Long was saying.

Which is why I called it a related argument, and not identical argument. It's related in pointing out the different equilibria and getting "there" from "here", whichever direction from anarchy to statism and back one happens to be traveling.

Surprised

I agree with the portion of the essay you quoted and was very surprise that this was co-authored by Roderick Long. He struck me as someone who would be suffering from this willfull conceptual blindness. Actually I would have thought Charles Johnson suffered from the same problem. If I recall correctly his arguments about immigration rested on this kind of assumption. Perhaps they don't recognize this in their own writings.

I'll have to actually read the backing article when I get a chance (and if I remember). Not sure if they've changed their minds on something or I just never understood their positions in the first place.

As far as I know, neither

As far as I know, neither Charles nor Roderick have changed their positions on immigration, and in fact are two of the most vocal and enthusiastic opponents of immigration restrictions.

I'm not entirely sure, but I think I can guess, what you are getting at here. I think you are trying to argue that Mexicans as a group are somehow more statist than native-born U.S. citizens, and that this somehow justifies their exclusion. But apart from the fact that this is the epitome of collectivism (the attribution of beliefs, and therefore blame, to an individual because of their membership in an ethnic group), and the factual problems with this argument (those Mexicans who self-select to migrate to the U.S. for work, especially if undocumented, are not very interested in [nor legally permitted to] participate in the electoral process), consider the "willful conceptual blindness" as it's described in the quoted section:

perhaps because they are afraid to grant the existence of serious and systematic forms of political oppression that are not connected solely or mainly with the state.

There is certainly no systematic effort on the part of the immigrants to reduce liberty for current U.S. citizens. I suppose you could argue that Democrats are systematically using immigrants for these purposes (although Democrats these days are really no better than Bush and McCain, who are actually relatively good on immigration compared to some of their political rivals), but then the blame should fall on welfare statists for locking immigrants into a cycle of dependence, and not on the immigrants themselves for simply trying to make their way and live the American dream.

Aculturation

"There is certainly no systematic effort on the part of the immigrants to reduce liberty for current U.S. citizens."

I didn't take his "systematic" literally. I took it as referring to cultural norms. Cultures that view women as inferior will treat them as such with no need for a "system" to accomplish this. Just individual actors.

I don't think there was a "systematic effort" on the part of immigrants in the past to reduce liberty for current U.S. citizens either. Problem is that those immigrants threw the balance of opinion (voting power) such that such a reduction of liberty was acheived. Labor unions (and coercive labor law) got a big boost from immigrants, criminal gangs in New York were notoriously immigrant, etc.

Why do you think reduction in liberty is my only concern with illegal immigration? I think things like peeing in the sink at Jones beach, washing your babies diapers out in the surf at Sunken Meadow park, washing ones feet in the sink at work leaving large puddles around it, and entering the public pool without taking a shower so that an oil slick arises from your body are the violation several cultural norms that foreigners don't share with natives. Norms arrived at based on public health concerns.

Sure this is in part due to the fact these are public areas but in large part it is also due to aculturation. When I was in Mexico there was a general disregard for the upkeep of public toilets, even the ones run by private businesses. No toilet paper was the general rule, not the exception. In general the bathrooms looked like the worst examples of toilets in the US. Not only was there any toilet paper but very often the toilets were clogged, urine on the floor, with not a cleaning supply in sight.

There is also a general fortress mentality there. Many yards, even ones out in the country are walled around with eight to twelve foot high cement barriers topped with broken bottles.

There are issues of disease, etc. also that arise from aculturation. Not getting your vaccines doesn't just harm oneself.

I don't think it's "systemic" but there are plenty of immigrants living on the dole, abusing the emergency rooms, etc. In Britain some of the most notorious Muslim militants have several wives living on the dole. They are also importing their social norms with regard to wife beating, raping the immodest western women, and honor killing their daughters.

One city recently passed strict laws on illegal immigrants and saw a large drop in crime. Neighboring locales where these illegals presumably relocated saw a rise in crime.

I don't mind immigration. I just want to see them aculturated first. We don't need ghettos that are no-go for the natives like they have in Europe.

Both these guys have a totally open borders position and frankly that wouldn't prevent masses of immigrants who practice "honor killings" from moving in next door. In part it's the public schools that ameliorate this stuff in the US. Institutions that both these guys are against.

As a kid I moved from areas further from to areas closer to parts of the US where there was a large influx of immigrants. There were very distinct attitudes about what one should or should not do. The cultural norms of my childhood minnesota were very different from those I experenced as a child upstate New York, vs. New York City. I visited all within a few year period.

... and no "the State" wasn't main source of these differences. People had different attitudes.

For example, New Yorkers (especially the kids) are much more tolerant of 'line cutting' apparently if you have an acquantance (or are big enough or popular enough) you get to cut ahead in line in New York. Whereas, at the time I had very little experience with this happening and a strong adversion to it, as I moved closer to New York City it became more frequent, and tended to be more accepted. When I did something about it the attude was not "you're right" but more like "don't get yourself twisted". Both the perpetrators and the people being victimized often had this attitude.

Just like your attitude towards graffitti. The reason why it's rampant in some areas is that people find is socially acceptable. Hell in New York they celebrate it as an art form in some circles.

Cultures that view women as

Cultures that view women as inferior will treat them as such with no need for a "system" to accomplish this. Just individual actors.

True, good point.

I think things like peeing in the sink at Jones beach, washing your babies diapers out in the surf at Sunken Meadow park, washing ones feet in the sink at work leaving large puddles around it, and entering the public pool without taking a shower so that an oil slick arises from your body are the violation several cultural norms that foreigners don't share with natives.

These sound to me like the results of poverty, the sorts of cultural norms that are soon adopted by the next generation or two of the children of immigrants. Didn't people used to make the same kind of complaints about the Irish, the Italians, the Chinese, and the Jews?

I don't mind immigration. I just want to see them aculturated first. We don't need ghettos that are no-go for the natives like they have in Europe.

This just doesn't make any sense to me. In every other major wave of previous immigration in this nation's history, ghettoization seems to be the pattern prior to adopting the dominant culture and eventually assimilating into it. Why should we expect the current wave to be any different?

Both these guys have a totally open borders position and frankly that wouldn't prevent masses of immigrants who practice "honor killings" from moving in next door.

This also doesn't make any sense to me. Are Muslims more or less likely to kill their own daughters for getting raped if they are living in America, where this is presumably illegal and will be severely punished and discouraged, or in an Islamic country, where the authorities and majority of the population turn a blind eye? If you truly care about the victims of honor killings, where would you prefer them to live?

Didn't people used to

"Didn't people used to make the same kind of complaints about the Irish, the Italians, the Chinese, and the Jews?"

Yes, I'm part Irish and the complaints were valid. No these cultural differences are not neccesarily the result of poverty. Peeing in the streets is a common occurance in certain European countries. It's not because they are poor.

Some immigrants are better aculturated than others, even better aculturated that subclasses of the natives in certain regards. Black immigrants from the West Indies on average have a greater work ethic than Americans.

This is not an argument for stopping immigration.

"In every other major wave of previous immigration in this nation's history, ghettoization seems to be the pattern prior to adopting the dominant culture and eventually assimilating into it. Why should we expect the current wave to be any different?"

Those old ghettos were not neccesarily 'no go' for members of other races or cultures. China towns certainly were not 'no go'. Muslims are specifically taking the attitude in Europe that the areas they are dominating are only for Muslims. In addition they are brutalizing and harrassing any muslims that decide to aculturate to the native culture.

"If you truly care about the victims of honor killings, where would you prefer them to live?"

I don't have a problem with Muslim girls seeking asylum here. If some group (or individual) is willing to take them in, or if they can support themselves then I don't see a problem.

The expectation however should not be that Islam is superior and that they are immigrating here to teach us how to live. Especially defaming the natives via their religion. Defamation and incitement to violence are crime evens if Allah tells you to do it.

It would have been perfectly reasonable for the south american Indians to restrict immigration of Catholic Spanards who were claiming that the indians had no souls, were subhuman, etc.

This is not an argument for

This is not an argument for stopping immigration.

Well, we agree on that much. But then what is the point of you raising it in the context of a discussion about immigration policy?

Those old ghettos were not neccesarily 'no go' for members of other races or cultures. China towns certainly were not 'no go'. Muslims are specifically taking the attitude in Europe that the areas they are dominating are only for Muslims. In addition they are brutalizing and harrassing any muslims that decide to aculturate to the native culture.

Again, that may or may not be the case, but what is the relevance to U.S. immigration policy? And as for the sort of cultural enclaves I'm most familiar with, if you visit certain ultra-orthodox Jewish communities in both the U.S. and Israel, and act in a way that is upsetting to them, you will be quickly made to feel very unwelcome. Ultra-orthodox often do this to other Jews, who don't meet their levels of religious observance.

As I recall, didn't our own government recently do this to a certain Mormon sect? Making people who practice different cultures and hold different religious beliefs feel uncomfortable or threatened isn't unique to Muslims.

I don't have a problem with Muslim girls seeking asylum here. If some group (or individual) is willing to take them in, or if they can support themselves then I don't see a problem.

The expectation however should not be that Islam is superior and that they are immigrating here to teach us how to live. Especially defaming the natives via their religion. Defamation and incitement to violence are crime evens if Allah tells you to do it.

This is yet another huge non sequitur. We, by which I mean you or I or anyone claiming to speak for "the government" or "the people", do not get do determine such "expectations." If Muslims want to try to convert us or even insult as, that is their prerogative, as it is ours to do the same to them. You may not like it, and you may disapprove of it, but so long as they are not violating your rights, you have no right to forcibly exclude them from entering the country.

Every religion "defames" every other non-compatible belief system; that is the very nature of religions. Many Christians and Jews also interpret their religious text as incitements to violence. That is not a reason to persecute all Jews and all Christians.

It would have been perfectly reasonable for the south american Indians to restrict immigration of Catholic Spanards who were claiming that the indians had no souls, were subhuman, etc.

Only insofar as those Native Americans legitimately held claim to the territory for which they claimed exclusivity. They had no greater claim against the Catholic Spanards than the elderly Jewish Holocaust survivors of Skokie, Illinois had against the neo-Nazis attempting to march there.