Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


Multiculturalism and Birthright

Reacting to David Cameron's recent comment that "multiculturalism has failed," Peter Kirsanow notes that the U.S. "hasn't traveled as far down the road of multiculturalism as Britain," but he also notes that we've gone further than many think.

One area that might be worth highlighting is in the area of citizenship.  The day someone becomes a U.S. citizen, he becomes an American in the most important respect.  His character as an American is whole, perfect, and complete.  By contrast, familes can be citizens of France or Britain for generations, but still not be thought of as British or French.  The same is true in most countries.  What sets the U.S. apart is that citizenship in America has been, in principle, primarily political.  It has not been based on soild or blood, but, instead, it has been based upon being party to the compact built on the principles of 1776 and confirmed when we the people ratified the compact in 1787-88. 

By making citizenship depend primarily on soil, and also, to a degree, on blood, birthright citnzenship changes that.

The efforts we have seen in the past few decades to make it easier to be a citizen of the U.S. and another nation fit in here too.  (Dual citizenship makes no sense if citizenship is primarily political, but which is possile when citizenship is cultural--Once we're talking culture, however, citizenship probably is no longer the best word. Race or ethnicity would probably be better). The efforts to weaken our citizenship oath in the same line.  These efforts are all, ultimately, of a piece with a reading of the constitution which separates citizenship from the principles of 1776.

Categories > Race

Discussions - 11 Comments

But when you consider the strict rules of the Muslim countries why should Britain be more benevolent? The country's system of immigration causes that many people come to live there without the basic knowledge of its culture or language. How can they be supposed to absorb the values shared by the British people?

Britain simply is more benevolent than any Muslim nation. Its nature is flavored by liberalism; just ask Montesquieu.

People used to expect to absorb a nation's values when they moved there. Or maybe they already shared those values and wished to express them there. Maybe most Muslims do move to Britain to benefit from its liberalism and embrace it. Not all do and there is the problem. Do we really think that no one moves to Great Britain or to the US without understanding something of what they are?

"Britain simply is more benevolent than any Muslim nation."

...and that benevolence must stop. Jesus would not stand for it!!

"People used to expect to absorb a nation's values when they moved there."

Exactly. Just look at the first European settlers who came to North America. They stepped off their boats and said to the first people they met, "Teach me your language, show me your values!" And then offered them some very special blankets.

The Indians lacked the power to resist invasion. What a shame if we, who have the power to do so, lacked the moral will.

The bit about the blankets is a myth:

And the Indians said to the European settlers "if you learn our language and our code of laws and legal traditions and our technologically superior culture of individualism and liberty we will let you apply for citizenship" and didn't shoot arrows at them.

Show me a group of people living on a piece of land that they haven't stolen.

Arm - your link isn't legit. For starters, this, from its author:

"They essentially wanted the French back, I believe. Towards the end, they may have even wanted freedom.

But freedom for Indians was never going to work out, at least in the short term, because they were so stupid. Stupid? Yes, which is why in the mid-1700′s, when the civilized world was starting to get themselves a country, or something like a country (monarchical empires) no way could the American Indians have made one.

Why? Because they were so stupid that they had endless deadly blood feuds with most of the surrounding tribes such that they spent way more time fighting and killing each other than they did the White man. Any country they would have gotten would have fallen immediately into mad civil war, with no adults around to sort it out and send one to one room and another to the other."

This is not serious thinking.

Also, I don't think it's a myth - even if it was not perpetrated by colonists (who, at the time, probably did not have the knowledge or ability to do it):

You'll like that link for the handy quote from conservative idol Machiavelli in the first paragraph.

Suffice it to say that the decimation of native American Indians (by various European people) was pretty thorough, and involved a variety of means.

But I know, I know, Americans are necessarily and always innocent and pure as the driven snow.

Andrew, your comment is disgusting, and actually sums up nicely the necessary mindset behind giving blankets to "savages" - be they Indians...or American rebels (pick your hierarchy of superior-inferior - perhaps today it might be the West vs. Africa; that's popular among conservatives). From the link I provided:

"In 1777 a British officer, Robert Donkin, published in New York a little book entitled Military Collections and Remarks. In a footnote he offered a suggestion:

'Dip arrows in matter of smallpox, and twang them at the American rebels, in order to inoculate them; This would sooner disband these stubborn, ignorant, enthusiastic savages, than any other compulsive measures....'"

Was the Machiavelli supposed to be shocking? I'm pretty sure its common knowledge that NM was an amoral character.

At any rate, what have we been talking about here? The progressive doctrine of original sin?

Why is my comment disgusting?

[Sorry for the delay, been busy] Why is your comment disgusting? Because you seem to be saying that because you think the American Indians/native Americans were, in several ways, less advanced than the Euro settlers (and that they fought back when their territories were taken) the Indians deserved their decimation.

Basically, it reminds me of the National Review's approach to racial politics in the US in 1957:

"The central question that emerges–and it is not a parliamentary question or a question that is answered by merely consulting a catalog of the rights of American citizens, born Equal–is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes–the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race."

Link for the National Review quote, in case you want it:

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