Monday, August 14, 2006

Three Great Barnetts in One

The first on immigration (European versus American) and why the transition period of moving into the modern world is the toughest/most dangerous.

My favorite quote from the article:

All that understanding tells us though, is that it's the transition that's toughest, and that's the oldest lesson in the book. One thing to be in Gap, another in Core, and still the hardest to transition from Gap to Core. Easy to have peace, harder to have strife, but toughest to transition from strife to peace. Democracies in Core start no wars with each other, Gap states start more with each other, and Seam/transitioning ones most likely to go to war. Gap is young, Core is old, and Seam/transitioning are rapidly aging from youth to middle age--like the Middle East will be for two to three decades.

This is a truism: easier to be adult than kid, but hardest to be adolescent--the transition. Think about it. Any adjusted adult prefers that to childhood, especially because the latter would mean repeating the far harder adolescence.

Saying that it's the unintegrated middle class immigrants within our ranks that are the obvious problem (that terrorist pool), thus this whole integration process is a failure (thus we must abandon), is a bit like saying adolescence is too hard, so forget about adulthood. That's mirror-imaging the stunted logic of our opponents.

And to the reverse--the second to the immigrant communities themselves. Very diret and to the point--it's entitled Fish or Cut Bait, from which I quote:

This may come as crude and insensitive, but if you're truly confused about competing identities when living in an adopted country, you should go home immediately. If you can't adopt the identity of the country you've moved to, then you've made a mistake. Otherwise you should submerge your old identity within the new one, doing your best to shape that new environment's tolerance for your diversity through the example of your great life.

That's it. That's how it's been done by waves after waves of immigrants here in the U.S. and is still being done today. All that conflicted crap has got to go, or you need to go and let your place be taken by someone who can pull off that difficult pathway because they simply want it more.
And the more "tolerant" you let your system seem, the more losers you're gonna attract.

The third on the need for political vision and, yes, even optimism in political discourse. It's a shot across the bow of apocalyptic overly-emotional thinking, whether the end is comign in the form of Middle Eastern wars and the Rapture or The Ice Caps Melting for the "Second" Great Flood to wipe up life on earth. [Maybe Al knows a good carpenter?]. It's the choice between those two nightmares scenarios or a "middle ground" position of Newt's WWIII. Great--and you can see why there is no integrated leadership emerging. These narratives suck.


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