Increase Immigration to Shrink the Size of Government

Mike Bales’ Infantilism,” by Dan, tdaxp, 26 February 2005, http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/02/06/mike_bales_infantilism.html.

“The Road to Dubai,” by Paul Krugman, New York Times, 31 March 2006, pg A21.

Two days ago I argued that we should annex Mexico to expand States’ Rights. However, we don’t need to go that far to bury the dreams of the big government elite. Simply embracing sustained immigration leads to smaller government and more freedom

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The Face of Small Government

The paleoeconomist Paul Krugman eloquently demonstrates this point in his New York Times column today…


Labeling immigration part of a “hard right economic conservative” agenda, Dr. Krugman notes

Countries with high immigration tend, other things equal, to have less generous welfare states than those with low immigration. U.S. cities with ethnically diverse populations — often the result of immigration — tend to have worse public services than those with more homogeneous populations

This is true. I’ve seen this first hand. As I wrote more than a year ago:

[My home state, South Dakota, was] settled by two big government groups: Germans and Swedes. Swede-state Minnesota is famous for its “red’ tradition, while the state of Bismarck, North Dakota is partially socialist. Fortunately, while Germans and Swedes are very charitable to their own they are suspicious of each other, and so ethnic distrust led to South Dakota’s very small government.

Diversity leads to small government. Think of the huge “protected” sector in Japan, or the traditionally insular European states, and the huge welfare systems they have built. People are generous with other people’s money to people like them, and will spend away the future in big-government solutions to problems. But in an immigration nation built with people from all over, and the public is more respectful of property and skeptical of Official Establishments.

Shrink government. Increase immigration.

Jesusism-Paulism, Introduction: The Revolution of Early Christianity

After a particularly long post, Chirol from Coming Anarchy suggested that when I have a lot to say, I should break it up into a series of articles. I’ve taken his advice, and now for several subjects (Embracing Defeat, Guerrillaz, Liberal Education, and OODA-PISRR) I’ve written four tetrologies.

However, before all that I wrote a trilogy on early Christianity. I described it as essentially a 4G movement, such as Maoism, but one that also drew energy from existing family structures. In that sense it is similar to the religious right in America or al Qaeda in Iraq. Early Christianity was profoundly shaped by two thinkers, Jesus and Paul, similar to the way that Sovietism was shaped by Marx and Lenin.

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Symbol of the Revolution

This insight is not original. About the time I wrote my posts, Jeffrey Obbins of Lebanon Valley College published The Politics of Paul, where he wrote…

Paul is every bit Jesus’ equal as a social and political revolutionary, standing to Jesus as Lenin does to Marx.

The importance of this is at least threefold: First, this recovery of Paul is a repoliticization of Christianity – or, more precisely, the realization of the intrinsically political nature that was and is at the very heart of the Christian identity. Second, as a politicized religion, this Christian legacy (which is distinctively Pauline, if not Paul’s own creation) establishes the conditions of Western thought

Nonetheless, I think my original posts have something to contribute. So with his introduction and some fiddling in the original works, I am reformatting by trilogy as a series. Since then I have continued the story, chronicling the Christian and Muslim battles against Rome

There are five parts

  • Part I, Love Your Enemy As You Would Have Him Love You
    Christian doctrine was built to win. It emphasized People’s War from its first commandments.
  • Part II, Caiaphas and Diocletian Did Know Better
    The High Priest and the Emperor get a bad wrap for attacking a harmless religious. Yet they correctly understood the political implications of the growing movement and attempted to kill it. They almost succeeded.
  • Part III, Every Man a Panzer, Every Woman a Soldat
    The early Christians used gender to their advantage. Exploiting genetic tendencies in men and women, they equipped themselves for unlimited war. They won.
  • Part IV, The Fall of Rome
    Constantine gave the Christians their Army, and with it the Christians gave Constantine his Empire. A short conventional victory to a long unconventional war, the Battle of Milvian Bridge brought about the defeat of Greco-Roman civilization.
  • Part V, The People of the Book
    Hundreds of years after the Christian victory, another semitic religion would emerge to challenge the Christian Empire of the Romans. Perhaps the first Totalitarian faith in history, Islam would shatter the unipolar world of the Christians while replacing itself with a minimum of mutations.
  • Part VI, Embrace and Extend
    While Christianity in the East was shattered by Islam and Islamization, the Church in the west continued its ancient 4G operation. Refusing to look away from the worst of barbarian culture, the Catholic Church embraced and extended the pre-Christian ways of modern Europe, eventually exterminating rival organizing principles.

To all those who have not read these yet, I hope you enjoy.

Drawing North America

Katheryn Lopez and Michelle Malkin note this photo:

mexico_distressing_america

I like this one better:

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Mdms. Lopez and Malkin doubtless agree with tdaxp that ethnic multiculturalism would be disasterous for the United States. The left’s strangehold on universities does real harm, pumping out teachers who believe in multiculturalism and subtly encouraging counter-cultural moments like the above flag debacle.

Happily, that form of apartheid is very weak. America is a “melting pot,” in which cultures cannot be kept distinct and separate.

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Against the wishes of those who wish to see all identities blurred equally, in America the American identity comes out on top..

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But our need for Mexican immigrants goes beyond that, and even beyond the business interests that are often used. America (the United States of America) and Mexico (the Mexican United States) were both conceived as multinational economic and political unions, no less than the European Union. Growth, expansion, and geographic union are in the DNAs of our Unions. With different Constitutions and different political traditions, the USA and MUS were born as complex adaptive systems — pragmatic attempts to create liberty and happiness for the North American people. It is the will of the Mexican people to organize themselves into a federal’ democratic, representative Republic composed of free and sovereign States in all that concerns their internal government’ but united in a Federation established according to the principles of this fundamental law, no less than that of the American people

The next stage is clear. Combine the American United States and United States of Mexico into one political union under the US Constitution. Our way works — that’s why Mexicans are coming here — so why not export our rules over there? There is nothing sacred about 50 member states belonging to this union, so add Nayarit to New York, Morelos to Montana, Oaxaca to Oregon, and expand our federal, democratic, representative, economic & political union to 81 free and sovereign States.

We can do it.

The Death and Birth of Soviet Europe

Curzon’s rumination on post-Soviet Ukraine and Belarus and the strange death of Slobodan Milosevic got me thinking about post-Soviet Europe generally. Film can be a good of narrating history, so here are five films that tell the story of Soviet Europe, from its tragicomic end to its terrible birth.

Timeframe: 1940s-1990s

Synopsis: An armed monkey accidentally liberates disoriented Serb WWII vets from a kleptocratic arms smuggler. Corrupt UN peacekeepers and “Nazis” litter the landscape.

Opinion: Hilarious, truly sad, and amazingly symbolic, it originally aired on Serbian TV.

Stand-out Quote:

“Here we built new houses
with red roofs and chimneys where storks will nest.
With wide-open doors for dear guests.
We’ll thank the soil for feeding us and the sun for warming us.
And the fields for reminding us of the green grass of home.
with pain, sorrow, and joy, we shall remember our country,
as we well our children stories that start like fairy tales
Once upon a time there was a country…”

Timeframe: 1980s-1990s

Synopsis: An armed monkey Slobodan Milosevic accidentally liberates… Corrupt UN peacekeepers and “Nazis” litter the landscape.

Opinion: Demonstrated that war is politics by other means. Originally aired on BBC and the Discovery Channel.

Timeframe: 1980s-1990s

Synopsis: Communism falls, but the old are too weak to take it. A loving son pretends to live in the corrupt deathwatch of Stalinism.

Opinion: A country jumps 50 years into the future.

Timeframe: late 1940s

Synopsis: A murder in Allied-Occupied Austria… but who is the 3rd man?

Opinion: Take The Quiet American, and replace 1950s Saigon with 1940s Vienna. Good in an academic sort of way. Watch The Quiet American instead.

Timeframe: May 1945

Synopsis: A hopeless insurgency destroys the lives of Poles. A victorious Communist Party prepares to destroy more.

Opinion: Originally aired in Poland during the 1950s. Very human characters and some interesting cinematography.

Final Reaction on David Moshman’s Advanced Psychological Development

This reaction paper, nowhere near as good as my summary of interpretivism for scopes & methods, is a required reaction paper for David Moshman’s Adolescent Psychological Development: Rationality, Morality, and Identity (2nd Edition). It was one of the three books I read for Adolescent Psychology, along with David Elkind’s All Grown Up And No Place To Go and Amin Maalouf’s In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong.

I’ve previously turned in and posted quest sets of Moshman before, on cognitive development, identity development, and the purpose of education. The paper below focuses mostly on moral and advanced psychological development. For a taste of my take on Moshmanite reasoning, see my comment’s to Mark’s post The Epistemological Battlespace.

As a political science instructor, I commonly see students grapple with moral (what we call “normative”) issues while analyzing situations. From collateral damage to unaverted genocides, and everything in between, the rules of statecraft Therefore Moshman’s section on advanced psychology development, especially rationality and morality, intrigued me. In this reaction paper I will sail closely to the order the book presents issues, but interpret each in light of my experience.

First, Moshman cites Ketternauer’s moral espitemologies (116). These are intuitionist, subjectivist, and transubjectivist. In my experience the vast majority of freshmen at UNL appear to be transsubjectivists. Two weeks ago my recitations help mock trials of Slobodan Milosevic, after learning about the dismemberment of Yugoslavia. In every section, the arbitrarily named defense team put up a well-thought-out and well-reasoned defense. In one, the defense even earned an acquittal from a judge who had previously been selected by the students. Milosevic’s actions were defined as necessary in the context he was operating under, and superior to other options he had. This is the essence of transubjectivism. As my classes are composed of freshmen interested in politics, as opposed to “graduate students with background in moral philosophy” (117), either UNL’s student body is significantly above-par or Krettenauer’s findings need to be rethought.

Second, Moshman’s discussion of moral identity is helpful, because it can help in explaining “idealism” — one of the main perspectives in international relations. An idealist believes that people are motivated by thoughts that drive their action, even if that action is not self-beneificial. Moshman’s definition of a moral agent — “one who acts on teh basis of respect and/or concern for the rights and/or welfare of others” (121) is essentially the definition of an idealist. Using this definition, George Bush, Osama bin Laden, Chang Kai-Shek, and Hitler can all be explained in idealst/moral agents ways. Going back to the previous example with Slobodan Milosevic, one of the defense arguments used was “He had to protect his people.” That is a clear example of reasoning based on moral agency.

Third, Moshman’s constructivism section is useful because the same theory, under the same name, exists in international relations, as well under the term “interpretivism” in political science generally. It can be helpful to explain to students that their reality, and their nation’s reality, both are formed because “individuals play an active role in constructing their own knowledge and reasoning and in generating their own behavior.” (126). With the end of the Cold War and the rise of terrorism, where the fate of nations now hang more on individuals with boxcutters than bureaucracies with bombs, constructivism enables students to apply their own metacognition to the field they study.

Fourth, and here is a failing of Moshman’s, I could use discussion that “we should consider the relationship of differences across individuals to differences within individuals” (132) as an example of fallacious reasoning. Intergroup contests come up constantly in political science, and Moshman’s example of how even an educated author can be misled by statistics will be insightful. For instance, imagine that there are two groups A and B, each of whom as a standard variation (sigma) of 3, and in each of whom the variation with individuals is 6, and that the difference in means (mu) between them across whatever domains is only .1. Moshman would say here the intergroup variation is meaningless, because variance within groups is larger than between groups, and variance within individuals is greater than within a group. Yet this analysis would be deeply misleading, because in any highly-intense competition that strongly selects for some characteristic (say, Senate races), we could except all winners to be from the favored group (because we would be chopping off the normal curve at the very upper tail) even with this comparatively minor intergroup variation.

Fifth, while I disagree with Moshman’s belief that education’s “core purpose should be the promotion of rationality” (it should instead be preparing students for personal happiness and national success, in accordance with the U.S. Constitution), I enjoyed the important features of discussion he mentions (138): “each students has multiple opportunities to present and defend his or her views,” “each student was exposed to a variety of alternative views and justifications,” “students were encouraged to reach agreement on a conclusion they all deemed most justifiable,” and “students were not required to change their views if they remain unconvinced by the critiques and alternatives.” I run all ofy recitations as a democracy with a three stage process: students elect representatives to a Class Assembly through proportional representation, the Class Assembly selects a President through a 2/3ds Majority, and the President names a Prime Minister who has to be approved by more than half of the Class Assembly (actually, because I allow the Class Assembly to change the Constitution with a 2/3rds vote, two of the recitations have altered the process — in my original formulation the Prime Minister has a judicial role, but now one recitation has named a standing Supreme Court, and the other created multiple classes of suffrage as well as an elected, judicial Speaker of the Assembly). Every class begins with this entire process (with the exception of the one with a Supreme Court, whose appointments are for life). Among the many benefits of this approach are that they force students to go through Moshman’s four stages first thing. The election generally takes only five minutes, but even contested elections are valuable, because they force students to practically confront politics in the context of increased rationality.

In conclusion, the Moshman book was valuable. Indeed, I found it to be the best thing in the course. His words on moral epistemologices, moral identity, and constructivism are clearly useful and relevent to me. Even when he falls down, such as in statistical analysis or the purpose of schooling, his book is still valuable. I enjoyed it.

Political Science and Campus Happenings

No graduate International Relations courses will offered by UNL’s Political Science Department next semester. And only one comparative politics course, a core seminar, will be available.

A seminar by John Hibbing on his genetic research will be available, but the dirth is disappointing. To say the least.

Changes may be coming. Hopefully I’ll know more on Monday.

On the plus side, both Superchick and Guster are coming to campus shortly. Both have been prominently featured on tdaxp before

Quality 4, Inlets, Lakes, and Streams

Quality, a tdaxp series.

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Photo Courtesy Despair.com

I haven’t been that pleased with my scopes & methods reaction papers — however, I thought this was was great. It builds on some posts from both tdaxp and ZenPundit, namely

I use my extra energy for blog writing, as I learn more here, I enjoy more here, and I interact with more people here. So it’s notable that there this turned-in paper is blog-worthy.

Enjoy! It’s good! (I promise)

The readings this week say that truth only exists when two people can talk about the same thing. It is therefore unfortunate that the authors have chosen such technical language to present themselves. Our class is full of smart, well-read students, but our professor had to warn us over the difficulty of the assignments.
Fortunately, a friend and I covered this same ground last year, in more understandable language. So in this week’s paper I will summarize the readings using the easier vocabulary I previously encountered.

The world is not just made of things — there are more to life than just entities. Just as a computer’s database is based on entities and relations — things and how they relate to each other — the world is composed both of “brute data” (Taylor) and relationships that give meaning to the data. Without relations, the world would be meaningless. All that would exist would be an infinite stream of facts with no semantics (“language,” in Taylor’s analogy) to guide the observer. We would exist in a sort of “conceptual anatopianism,” to misquote Farr. Happily, we do not live in that world.

Instead of the cold isolated entities, we are warmed by the friction caused the dynamic intersubjective relationship between ourselves and everything else. The heat from his friction warms our hearts, but acts just like physical friction. It can be so hot we melt, changing our nature (A good school is like this, because students leave different than when they entered. The friction of relations changed their relationship to things, ideas, places, etc.)

However, just as in a complex database there is not “one true semantic,” there is not just one true meaning in the real world. Fay gives the example of a killer, and observes how the meaning of the actions changes depending on the scope. Again the analogy of friction is a good one, because friction is caused by resistance.

Think of a swimmer in a small inlet. His hands and feat resist the watery body, changing his position (his relation with the entities of the water). The ripples from his strokes propagate through the inlet, leading to a certain meaning in that inlet (even if to the swimmer the heady surface is full of “contradiction and confusion” of overlapping ripples). But if we expand our view from beyond the inlet to the estuary the inlet is part of, the nature of the estuary is changed in a different way. And expand beyond that to the bay, to the gulf, to the sea, and to the ocean where that water flows, and the ripples (the alterations of the semantic meanings) work in different ways. The border between the inlet and the estuary represents “boundary conditions” (Farr), just as validly as the boundary between Medievalism and Modernism, or the Qing and the Republic [pun]. And just as a swimmer’s intent is only part of the story of his ripples, a killer’s intent is just part of the story of a murder/prevented assassination/protection of a regime.

Again, keeping in the analogy, imagine a scientist attempting to understand the nature of the inlet. He observes the moss, fishes, and swimmers, and the ecosystem they form. He devises causal laws (“If more moss, then less swimmers”) and correlative observations (“inlet-bed surface light and swimmers rise and fall together”). Proud of himself, he submits his work on ecological turns in inlets to the American Inlet Science Review…

… only to be told his work is not scientific, because it does not hold for all forms of dihydrogen-monoxide! Reviewers castigate him: “These ecological turns are not true for glaciers! Or steam! Or even culverts in Sikkim!” Unaware their demands would turn Inlet Science into something completely different, the editors of AISR reject the paper, robbing the world of insight, all because the concepts in the paper existed within the “framework” (Fay) of inlets. Such a rejection would prohibit the inlet scientist from “elucidat[ing] the meanings which inform specific [inlet] practices, and thereby reveal the structures of intelligibility which accounts for the behavior of [inlet flora and fauna].”

This is similar to the Farr’s discussion on the nature of revolution. By trying to avoid specific, meaningful scopes, and looking only at an ahistorical view of “revolution, some threaten to turn political science into something none of us would recognize. Even though he later confuses himself during a discussion of “temporally related entities,” Farr warns us not to put aside the practices of real science; for example, when even there laws are not ahistorical (the laws of physics were apparently quite different immediately after the Big Bang than now). Further, the attempt to de-contextualize and de-semanticize “revolution” is like trying to take the inlets out of Inlet Science. As Fay says, “an action is an action .. only in the context of a certain set of social rules” (my emphasis).

Just as inlet science studies the nature of specific types of bodies of water, political science studies the power relationships of certain frictional seas of men. Political science is not the study of “power” generally (if it was we would measure things in watts), nor is it the study of men generally (that’s psychology) nor of society generally (that’s sociology) — it is the study of power and men in a “semantic field” (to use Taylor’s words). It is the study of power in meaningful, semantic, rational, frictional contexts.

Bibliography

Brian Fay. 1975. Social Theory and Political Practice. London: Allen and Unwin. Ch. 4 (pp. 70-91).

Charles Taylor. 1979. “Interpretation and the Sciences of Man.” In Paul Rabinow and William M. Sullivan, eds., Interpretive Social Science. Berkeley: University of California Press (pp. 25-71).

James Farr. 1982. “Historical Concepts in Political Science: The Case of ‘Revolution,’” American Journal of Political Science 26: 688-708, http://www.jstor.org/view/00925853/di975157/97p0200p/0?currentResult=00925853%2bdi975157%2b97p0200p%2b0%2cFFFF3F&searchUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jstor.org%2Fsearch%2FBasicResults%3Fhp%3D25%26si%3D1%26Query%3DHistorical%2BConcepts%2Bin%2BPolitical%2BScience%253A%2BThe%2BCase%2Bof.


Quality, a tdaxp series, has five parts:
The First Part, Beauty
The Second Part, Friction
The Third Part, Seas
The Fourth Part, Inlets, Lakes, and Streams
The Fifth Part, The Magic Cloud

Taiwan, a Quasi-Trusteeship under United States Military Government within the United States Insular Law Framekwork?

Two fun Taiwan pieces today. First, The Korea Liberator wonders if there was a failed Taiwanese coup in 2004. Second (and also from TKL) — is Taiwan American soil?

Let’s look at Taiwan. All military attacks against Taiwan during the World War II period were conducted by the United States, so the U.S. is the “conqueror.” The surrender of the Japanese military forces in Formosa was on Oct. 25, 1945, thus beginning the military occupation, and the administrative authority for this military occupation was delegated to Chiang Kai-shek (aka the Chinese nationalists or Republic of China). The treaty between the U.S. and Japan came into effect on April 28, 1952. Japan renounced the territorial sovereignty of Taiwan, but no receiving country was named. The Republic of China flag should have come down at this point.

While the KMT (Chinese Nationalist) “white terror” in Taiwan was nothing compared to the CCP (Chinese Communist) “red terror” in China, it is a mistake to think that either were popular parties in their respective countries.

Some have criticized Taiwanese plans to change their official name to Republic of China (Taiwan). How ironic if the Taiwan Republic was never Chinese at all…

Csikszentmihalyi the Pseudoscientist?

The Creative Personality,” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Psychology Today, July/August 1996, http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/pto-19960701-000033.html.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is a pioneering researcher in talent and expertise. His books Creativity and Flow are influential works, his thoughts on positive psychology have clear implications for meaningful conflict, and his work is mentioned from graduate courses to blogs.

Yet a short piece by him makes me wonder if he is a pseudoscientist.


My class in scopes and methods has strongly emphasized positivism — the ability to prove something wrong — as a touchstone of science. What, then, to make of these “traits of the creativity personality” as described by

  • Energetic but restful
  • Smart yet naive
  • Playful yet disciplined
  • Imaginative yet realistic
  • Extroverted yet introverted
  • Humble yet proud
  • Masculine yet feminine
  • Rebellious yet conservative
  • Passionate yet objective
  • Open to pain yet open to enjoyment

Certainly these may be accurate descriptions — many of them came out in my interview with Thomas Barnett. Yet how could this ever be proven wrong? If you disagree with the masculine yet feminine characteristic, for example, what possible collection of cases would disprove it? None, because any piece of evidence fulfills at least part of the paradox.

Perhaps there is some precise definition Csikszentmihalyi gives here or elsewhere. This may just be a non-operationalized hypothesis. For instance, we rarely use the to make precise predictions, yet that doesn’t mean it couldn’t become scientific.

So tdaxp community — any thoughts? Aaron? Mark?