Moving Right Along

The massive and still accelerating cross-border movement of people across the globe might be the most portentous development of our times.

Appeared in: Volume 10, Number 2 | Published on: October 12, 2014
Roger Waldinger is distinguished professor of sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and author of The Cross-Border Connection: Immigrants, Emigrants, and their Homelands, forthcoming from Harvard University Press in 2015.
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  • ShadrachSmith

    Well written, scholarly, totally misguided.

    The multicultural lens is that all cultures are equally good. This is not true, and it leads to massively incorrect ‘solutions’.

    Islam is inherently evil. It demands the death of innocents for bad thoughts. When doing an equation of Islam entering a Protestant society you start with I=P as a premise. That premise is wrong. Rotherham provides abundant examples that I=P is wrong. Islam isn’t just another religion or culture. It is an evil, tribal, strong horse religious culture designed to exploit terror, glorify death, and embrace slavery. You just can’t get to an acceptable culture from there.

    The key term is acceptable culture. So long as you pretend that Islam is acceptable, so long as you pretend that the protestant ethic has no cultural advantage, you begin from profound, if fashionable, error.

  • Anthony

    “A seemingly more peaceful form of redistribution and regulation of global wealth inequality is immigration…this was of course the great contribution of the United States to global redistribution: the country grew from a population of barely 3 million at the time of the Revolutionary War to more than 300 million today, largely thanks to successive waves of immigration.” There you have it. Surely, immigrants see rightly or wrongly an upward trajectory despite social and caste hierarchies embedded in societies into which they emigrate. Indeed from capitalist point of view, why not allow labor to move to places…

    Yet, moving right along highlights dilemma posed by immigration (social costs, acculturation, societal arrangements, etc.) a mechanism which enables individuals born in poor countries to improve their lives by moving to rich countries; although said movement creates internal tensions on receiving countries (societies). Review leaves open to further inquiry immigration’s impact on middle to lower percentiles’ perception of its affects – one being can it or does it stimulate defensive ideas of both nationalism and identity politics.

  • lhfry

    As long as third world countries can unload their poor on the first world, the third world countries will never change (improve). One could argue that those who migrate are the “best and brightest” or at least the most enterprising. If that is the case, then the best thing we could do for Mexico and the rest of Central America would be to send back those who have had a taste of what a functioning polity might be. They might not speak Spanish, but so what? They could provide a powerful force for change.
    The open borders crowd is an unholy alliance between the business types who want cheap labor and those who believe the US is “too white.” Nevermind that the results desired by each are contradictory. Once the Democrats capture the Latino vote, which they will, and for which they are willing to throw their traditional constituencies under the bus (blacks mostly but the white working class too) laws will be passed that restrict the use of that cheap labor that the business types envision.

  • bittman

    The Obama Administration has not deported more people — they have merely changed the description of deportations to include those people who are not admitted to the country at the border to be classified as a deportation.

    The concept of open borders is ridiculous in today’s world where Al Queda and ISIS is threatening to cross our Southern border with anthrax and nuclear bombs, etc. And, now we have to worry about Ebola. It is also ridiculous in view of the fact that time is needed for these people to assimilate — they need to learn the American history, the Constitution and the government operating under it, and our American values. One just has to look at the governments of Mexico and other Central and South American countries to see the type of government these people are used to. The drug cartels control the government at all levels–from the local police and judges to the national level–the military, all levels of government officials — up to including the Presidents. Read the book “Down by the River” by Charles Bowden. This is life in every country south of our border. If we continue to let these people immigrate, we will end up with the government and the crime that prevails in these countries. Just last week they found a mass grave in Mexico containing 29-39 students’ mutilated bodies.
    I seriously doubt that any American truly wants their children and grandchildren to have to live in an America that has transformed into a country where such killings are ordinary events — be they Democrats or Republicans.

  • Curious Mayhem

    This is where globalization meets its end — that, and capital controls as various countries go bankrupt.

  • teapartydoc

    Movement was also at a peak in the Middle Ages just prior to the plague epidemics.

  • RickCaird

    I believe La Raza is an example of immigrants who are not changed by the new culture. In fact, they want to return to the failed culture they left.

  • ShadrachSmith

    Orientalism can be defined as the representation of Asia, especially the Middle East, in a stereotyped way that is regarded as embodying a colonialist attitude. The Wiki definition of Colonialism is the establishment, exploitation, maintenance, acquisition, and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a set of unequal relationships between the colonial power and the colony and often between the colonists and the indigenous population.

    To be in the business of journalism or academe and to be called an Orientalist is a death sentence, career wise.

    Therefore: the influx of Islam (I) into cultures with the Protestant ethic (P) is universally framed with the equation I=P, the confluence of two equally desirable cultures.

    If you accept that both the Boko and ISIL Caliphates support the thesis that I does not equal P, and I do. Those Caliphates, and the Rotherham experience, and the Foley beheading even suggest that Islam currently manifests itself as an evil, tribal, strong-horse tyranny designed to exploit terror, glorify death, and impose slavery.

    Yet for a professional commentator to state the obvious fact that Islamism is producing evil fruit is to put their career at risk of oblivion for supporting the heretical view that ‘I’ is not equal to ‘P’ in a job environment where that particular heresy is a firing offense. At a stroke of the keyboard you risk becoming an Orientalist, a Colonialist, an untouchable.

    In fact, all of Niles Ferguson characteristics of a successful civilization can be recognized in the the Protestant ethic. Islam, not so much.

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