Assimilation to what?

A finding of interest to Catholics and others who believe that open borders are good because immigrants are mostly Hispanic Catholics and “family values don’t stop at the Rio Grande”: increased English use by immigrants leads to teen sexual activity. The numbers are impressive. Among Hispanic teenagers in Arizona, 13.6% of Spanish speakers, 24.4% of bilinguals, and 30.7% of English speakers have engaged in sexual intercourse. (The rate for whites is the same as the rate for bilingual Hispanics.)

Given the nature of discussions in the social sciences it’s not surprising that all this is treated as a big mystery, part of the general “healthy immigrant paradox” that Hispanics coming to the United States are healthier than second- and third-generation U.S. residents from the same countries. One researcher, apparently determined to stay on message, did find it in herself to say that the problem is that “[a]s a culture, we have problems with openly discussing the whens and ifs of sex with our children … This is one of the outcomes of that.” I don’t think anybody has to believe her even though she’s a researcher. She’s just one voice, after all, and there must be some limit to what we’re required to swallow.

Since the experts haven’t agreed on a firm answer I’ll propose one of my own that may have some relevance to the “paradox” that after several decades in-country immigrant populations end up worse off in important ways than either natives or new arrivals. Sexual conduct, like other aspects of social and moral life that have to do with well-being, is heavily influenced by culture. Culture is always particular. A particular culture is a generally coherent and authoritative complex of attitudes, understandings, habits, loyalties and whatnot. Large-scale immigration normally breaks up such patterns and so degrades the ability of culture to function. That applies especially to immigrants but also to the native population. The more open the society the greater the effect will be. (Multiculturalism can be viewed as a moralistic effort by “open society” fanatics to equalize the disadvantages for both sides.) It follows that large-scale immigration is likely to degrade social and moral life by blotting out informal standards, and the degradation is likely to increase as assimilation goes forward. That effect will apply regardless of how virtuous the immigrants or host society may be. Neocon immigration enthusiasts point out that assimilation still works: the children of Chinese immigrants like the same pop culture American teenagers like. That’s believable, but is it a good thing? It may be if we want the things that unsupervised teenagers pick up from a radically commercialized and bureaucracy-ridden environment to be the basis of our national way of life, but perhaps not otherwise.

The Arizona finding incidentally casts light on a Biblical point that ought to be a bit mysterious for many Catholic immigration enthusiasts. When Paul visited Athens, and found that the people weren’t Christians, he didn’t propose to remedy the situation by moving large numbers of Levantine Christians there. Instead, he tried to Christianize the people already there by persuading them of the truth of Christianity by reference to their existing concerns and understandings. Quite possibly he thought it was the genius of Christianity to transform peoples through conversion—thus letting grace perfect nature—rather than transform localities through invasion. Catholic leaders may want to consider the point.

6 thoughts on “Assimilation to what?”

  1. Not just teenage-girl modesty but youth delinquency and crime
    “A particular culture is a generally coherent and authoritative complex of attitudes, understandings, habits, loyalties and whatnot. Large-scale immigration normally breaks up such patterns and so degrades the ability of culture to function. That applies especially to immigrants but also to the native population.” (—from the log entry)

    I wonder if this can also be part of the reason for high crime rates among certain immigrant groups, such as Moroccan teenagers in Holland or Mexican ones in California, who don’t demonstrate high crime rates in the country they’ve left. I’ve never been to North Africa but I’d imagine it’s a safe bet that Moroccan teenagers aren’t roaming the streets of Rabat gang-raping the local 14-yr-old girls at will, as they’re apparently doing in Holland, Sweden, Flanders, Wallonia, and France.

    Why do some of them act like gentlemen in the Maghreb but animals in the West? It would seem back home they are kept in line by something in their native Arabic/Berber cultures, some element which is lacking in Western and Northern Europe—cultures alien to them, of course—so they run amok, becoming delinquents, muggers, and gang rapists which they never would have done back home. That “something” keeping them in line at home may have to do with their particular culture’s version of what the log entry describes as a “generally coherent and authorative complex of attitudes, understandings, habits, loyalties, and whatnot,” which gets broken up by the immigration process so it no longer channels them into proper modes of behavior as it does back home.

    “Large-scale immigration normally breaks up such patterns and so degrades the ability of culture to function. That applies especially to immigrants but also to the native population.”

    Of course the resulting epidemic of delinquency and just bad social behavior all around, affecting immigrant and native youth alike, is manna from heaven for the social workers, psychologists, sociologists, left-tilting clergy, and other experts who get called in to “help” and get listened to on the main TV networks and NPR in rapt awe, the whole avoidable excercise (avoidable by simply restoring immigration sanity) giving these largely useless drones “something to do” and a chance to “feel important.” Never in a million years would these experts favor a policy (such as … hmmmm … Let’s see … uhhhhhhh … Got it! Such as immigration sanity, for example!) that would take away their chance to feel really important for a change (not to mention make a few bucks …)!

    Now, one of the brilliant things about the log entry was this line:

    “Multiculturalism can be viewed as a moralistic effort by ‘open society’ fanatics to equalize the disadvantages for both sides.”

    No comment. That insight stands alone as a nugget of pure golden truth.


    Long live Flanders!

    • One explanation
      Sociologists often identify certain groups as having a strong “in-group vs. out-group” morality. In other words, a group has one set of rules when dealing with other members of its group, and a different set for dealing with outsiders. An extreme case would be the Gypsies, who actually believe it is terribly immoral to steal from one another, but perfectly OK to steal from outsiders.

      Muslims get some of this straight from the Koran. Outsiders are to be treated differently, reduced to dhimmitude, killed if they proselytize, etc. It is probable that the Moroccan boys you mention don’t run around raping at random in their new countries. The Muslim girls in their home neighborhoods are probably fairly safe (as long as they aren’t seen talking to an outsider, dressing immodestly, flirting with an outsider (non-Muslim), etc.), while the girls being raped are the non-Muslims of the host country, who are looked upon as being practically subhuman anyway.

      My conclusion is that groups with a morality limited to their in-group should not be allowed to immigrate into my country.

  2. The benefits of Hispanic Catholic immigration
    We were all sold the bill of goods that immigrant Catholics would be socially conservative and thus help make our society more conservative. Now it turns out that there are two kinds of Hispanic Catholic conservative immigrants: Those who remain monolingual and live in their Spanish enclave and do not assimilate, and those who learn English and assimilate.

    The former create all kinds of Balkanization problems for the society, and they don’t really influence the society to be more conservative, because they are isolated and separate, just like the Amish are not really making the society more conservative. These immigrants are not citizens, not voters, not connected to the society at large and working to improve it. Their social conservatism is irrelevant.

    The latter group of Hispanic immigrants rapidly become indistinguishable from other Americans, thus not contributing any social conservatism to the society.

    Remind me again about the benefits of having these two kinds of immigrants come here?

  3. Objections to the post:
    This node is based on fallacy from causation,when two phenomenous happen at same time,it NO indicates one is cause or motivation from another;it only indicates there are a Correlatiuon between both of them. And the view on Mexican culture is very stereotyped indeed.

    • I say why this is the result
      I say why this is the result that should be expected, and I say nothing whatever about Mexican culture and indeed explicitly say that the “effect will apply regardless of how virtuous the immigrants … may be.” So where does the fallacy fro causation come in, and what is the stereotyped view of Mexican culture presented?

      Rem tene, verba sequentur.

      • Wait for my answer…
        later,I’m very busy the answer must to be long,but while reads my other posts,these are very importants


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