Refine & Enlarge
Posted in Refine & Enlarge by Peter W. Schramm
I particularly liked that one.
"No one is more American just because his family has been living here for many generations; anyone—regardless of where he comes from or when; regardless of his race or religion or experience—can be an American if he embraces America's ruling principles."
I believe that. I don't know if we are habitally optimistic; I know I am not. However, we are Americans by principle, that I understand and believe.
The real question is this: Can social psychology (i.e., a value system) trump "blood and soil" in forging a unified nation? I'm afraid that history suggests not (e.g., the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Soviet Union - or any empire you care to name). True, most empires did not seek to create a unifying ideology, but some have. I will admit that having a single language is enormously helpful, but it's not always enough.
Those of us who are concerned about uncontrolled immigration are concerned about this. You don't have to be a racist to wonder if extreme ethnic/cultural differences will ultimately damage a rather fragile sense of nationhood rooted in something that is so easily manipulated and requires such a high degree of intergenerational maintenance as an Enlightenment philosophy. Our Democratic Party has demonstrated time and again how easily we can be divided along racial and ethnic lines.
And where's Pete these days? As I wrote the above I found myself wondering how he would respond, and then realized I haven't seen him post in a long while. Has he grown discouraged, or simply gotten busy?
Pete is here these days: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/postmodernconservative/2011/12/02/open-field/
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