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March 27, 2008


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Fred Reed -- who has lived in Mexico for the last five years -- writes with a lot of brains and authority about some of the reasons why allowing mass immigration from Mexico is a very, very bad idea for the U.S.



posted by Michael at March 27, 2008


I read the article, and his argument seems to be that Mexicans are innately unintelligent. Am I misunderstanding him?

Posted by: JW on March 27, 2008 10:34 PM

I think it boiled down to these points:

* They really do want to take back the SW.
* Culturally there's a much bigger gap between the U.S. and Mexico than there was between, say, the U.S. and Italy.
* Since they seem to have no interest in school, they won't advance, and they'll grow resentful.

The IQ thing ... Seems to me that even if you don't buy it, the above points still hold.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on March 27, 2008 10:57 PM

Sometimes it seems as if the glue that holds together the modern world is coming unstuck.

Mark Steyn notes repeatedly that the people who will inherit the world are the people who have children. The people who have children, at least a lot of children, are the religious, those in the Third World, and the poor and ignorant.

Fred Reed is a lot of fun. He's sometimes a reliable source, sometimes a weird old crank.

Here's the place where I get kind of confused about your liberal outlook on sex, Michael. The primary purpose of sex really is producing children. Sex as play... well, that's for people who are content to see their blood line disappear from the earth. In the hip communities, an odd ideology has emerged that it is "enlightened" to not care whether you produce descendents.

Incidently, a passionately commitment to environmental issues almost always accompanies this "enlightenment." ("I can't have children because it would despoil the environment.") I often wonder if this isn't just a way of rationalizing a refusal to give your parents grandchildren, simultaneously replacing the normal religious value system with another, more "intellectual" system.

I know that this idea is pretty trite, but it looks like the American empire is going the same way as the Roman empire, only a lot faster. The wealthy, educated class only wants to play, and doesn't care about the future. So, those who are passionate about sexuality and want to re-populate the world win by default.

Religious belief is a monumental force, isn't it? Purging yourself of religious belief leads inexorably to abandoning the future for the moment. The religious want to have a stake in the future. Belief in God holds incredible power. That belief seems a lot more concrete, in terms of results, than unbelievers can bear to acknowledge.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on March 28, 2008 10:51 AM

After reading "Scoping Out Pepe," I was struck by the similarities between the stratification of cultures in Mexico and the United States. In the U.S., although barriers to culturals mobility are low, relatively easy to climb over with training, education and diligence, there exists a subculture characterized by drug abuse,indigence and violent confrontation. This "Culture of Defeat" frustrates in its persistence. We spend a huge portion of our national wealth to deal with the problems it creates.
I am a teacher, near retirement, with 24 years experience in alternative schools that are tailored to the educational needs of youths who are from this subculture of defiance and failure. This culture is not racially based, but instead an homogeneous mix of the disaffected. Parents, grandparents and friends all participate to reinforce the cultural barriers for these children. Often, life goals are set that are unreachable with the individual set of abilities and talents, yet when equally lofty, but less glamorous, goals which fit their talents are suggested, these children scoff at or dismiss them as trivial. To reiterate, this is not a racial characteristic. It is cultural. If it were racial, it would be easier for teachers to isolate and deal with. Is a solution possible- can it be fixed? I think it is, but only by relationship and encouragement of individuals in a kind of "Twelve Step Program" that focuses on the uniquenes of the student and not the esoteric criteria that is the basis of most curricula in our schools.

Posted by: hrteacher on March 28, 2008 11:13 AM

@hrteacher, probably the only useful lesson that could be learned from the Bolsheviks is how to deal with feral children. I dare say that they form only part of the group you discussed, but every little helps.

Posted by: dearieme on March 28, 2008 11:43 AM

I was married to a gal from El Salvador for 8-1/2 years, and much of what Reed says about Mexico and Mexicans goes for Central America. I think letting in millions of poor, semi-literate immigrants from these countries is a bad idea, not because I'm ignorant or a bigot, I think it's a bad idea because, like Reed, I know the people and their culture quite well.

A Mexicanized USA will not be a horrible place, but compared to what we are and historically have been, it will be mediocre and feel like a huge comedown. Certainly we can expect more crime, more corruption in our public and private institutions, fissures along ethnic-linguistic-cultural lines, and probably economic stagnation as our economy adjusts to the reality of a less productive workforce. Politically, I think we can expect a leftward lurch, complete with higher taxes, more instrusive government, and maybe imposition of official bilingualism, along with strict race/ethnicity quotas.

Long term, I can even envision the USA breaking up into semi-autonomous regions as people self-segregate by ethnic and linguistic preference, e.g. the southwest as a mainly Hispanic region, the upper Midwest mostly white and English speaking, and so on. Carried to its logical extreme, one day we might see Californians of Mexican ethnicity fleeing their state en masse due to rampant poverty and corruption, headed for places like Idaho, where things still function more or less the way the USA used to.

Our elites insist that everything will turn out alright, because we've allowed large scale immigration before, and everything worked out that time. In private business, if a company's management ran it based on "it was OK before, it'll be OK tomorrow" the board of directors would remove them from office, if for no other reason than to save their own asses from a shareholder revolt. A great country is a lot more fragile than most people imagine, and just like a seemingly solid business, corruption, ineptitude, or sabotage can sink it in no time. I don't trust any of the 3 people left running for president to not deliberately make the immigration problem worse by several orders of magnitude.

Posted by: c.o. jones on March 28, 2008 11:51 AM

Since MB offered up Fred Reed (who does not exactly seem like an unbiased or even particularly insightful observer, but rather an ideological gadfly) and then posits a series of points he takes from Reed. I'm led to ask:

Do Mexicans, in fact, want to take back the SW?
In what ways are the differences between the culture of Mexico and the US so much more different than the cultures of mid-19th C. Italy ... or Poland or Greece?
What evidence is there that Mexicans have no interest in education or that this would continue beyond the first generation or so?
Do genetics alone account for one's I.Q. or do other factors beyond one's DNA come into play?

Answers would seem to be:
Not seriously, although a few hot-headed activist types might, on occasion, make rabble rousing speeches along these lines.
Cultural differences are far greater between the US and China, Japan or other Asian countries or between the US and most countries of the Middle East. Are we going to limit immigration to Northern Europeans who score above a certain level on an I.Q. test?
Anecdotal complaints about feral immigrant children and their disinterest in education may abound, but then again so do anecdotal complaints about the lack of interest in education shown by native born white Americans from the lower socio-economic strata, especially among those whose parents have not been well educated themselves.
Few credible scientists are of the opinion that I.Q. is some immutable given, the result of pure genetics.

So ... it boils down to what? Mexicans are stupid brown people who will dilute our culture with their own debased and lazy ways? While I can think of many reasons for tighter borders and better immigration policies, these arguments are less than compelling.

Posted by: Chris White on March 28, 2008 1:29 PM


Do you have a sense of humor?

Would you know a sense of humor if you saw one?

Jesus Fucking Christ, you are one hell of a dutiful leftist.

I humbly kiss your ass for having committed some kind of offense against doctrine... even if I don't know what it is.

I'm sure that Fred, if only he were in ass kissing range, would kiss your ass, too.

Doesn't that act ever just make you tired? Reading your writing always makes me want to slug down a couple of shots of tequila.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on March 28, 2008 2:18 PM

"Few credible scientists are of the opinion that I.Q. is some immutable given, the result of pure genetics."

True, but even fewer credible scientists believe that IQ is mutable by environmental factors by more than a couple of points. Furthermore, as we enter adulthood, the effect of environmental factors actually declines.

"Not seriously, although a few hot-headed activist types might, on occasion, make rabble rousing speeches along these lines."

That would be nice if that were true, but unfortunately, reality begs to differ with that. According to a poll commissioned by Zogby in 2002 58 percent of Mexicans believe that the Southwest US really belongs to Mexico.

Posted by: Zarathustra on March 28, 2008 2:33 PM

Are we going to limit immigration to Northern Europeans who score above a certain level on an IQ test?

Yes. Yes. A thousand times, Yes.

Every last problem that plagues us now and is guaranteed to get worse with each succeeding year would subside. The only thing that will remain is the normal competitiveness and friction that has been a part of every society since the dawn of time. But to purposely force feed alien and inferior peoples and cultures into a culture that has been an immense success? Suicidally perverse.

Posted by: ricpic on March 28, 2008 3:17 PM

So, ST, this is all intended to be humorous but I've missed the joke? If so, I apologize for being so gullible. However, most of the remarks posted here seem quite serious. ricpic seems to be very seriously advocating a strong nativist stance and Zarathustra is linking to polls claiming that the majority of Mexicans think the Southwest US belongs to Mexico. I re-read your own comment and I'll be damned if I can find the humor in your expressed fear that " the American empire is going the same way as the Roman empire, only a lot faster."

You and I have very different views about many things. While I respect you and your right to hold whatever opinions you want, I don't have to agree with them. I often find your comments to be mean spirited, bitter and (yes) utterly lacking in humor. And when I read them, I reach for the Jack Daniels because tequila is the drink of Mexico, not the USofA.

Posted by: Chris White on March 28, 2008 3:59 PM

What is happening is that our corporate elite is planning on owning the assets of Mexico (mainly oil) in 30 years. They are betting (wisely) that Mexicans will not "revolt" against the United States in the Southwest because they will be addicted to our welfare benefits in 25 years and various other benefits of being U.S. citizens. Our corporate-establishment overlords will spread the global corporate uniculture into Mexico and slowly but surely begin to buy up what is worth having there (natural resources) and planting a few factories here and there. They will also buy up their media slowly but surely as time passes. What do the coporate gated-community elite "get"?

They get 100 million new people, smarter and more hardworking and less physically threatening than blacks, who will be a permanent working class in the new ENLARGED Amercia. They get to cut wages in the USA for the smart-mouthed white and black working class also as a beneficial externaltity. They will be unaffected by the influx of Mexicans because they (the elite) live in gated communities here and are just as removed from us as the white elite in Mexico is removed from the average poor Mexican. ...............and we will get alot of oil in the process.

Do you guys see whats up now?

Posted by: m on March 28, 2008 7:17 PM

m, interesting analysis. But what's in it for the Mexican overlords? Here's a stab at it: There is ZERO chance of Mexico reclaiming overt sovereignty over the southwest. Instead, tens of millions of Mexicans will live there, voting in American elections (perhaps retaining their Mexican citizenship). They will, of course, vote massive benefits to themselves, effectively granting the Mexican government access to the US treasury, as well as a direct influence at all levels of the federal government. Our American overlords may well be buying up Mexico. but Mexico will be voting its way into a deeper and truer sovereignty over America than any mere re-colouring of the map and a different national anthem would indicate.

The Mexican government stands to be in the position of having its citizens able to extract TRILLIONS of dollars of direct transfer from the helpless American taxpayer. Your friends to the south may well be overtly owned by American capital, but they'll be plundering the American economy and treasury in the greatest wealth transfer in the history of the human race.

And there'll be nothing the gringos can do about it.

Posted by: PatrickH on March 28, 2008 9:28 PM

Like Fred, I'm also a resident of Mexico. Have been for ten years. I moved here from Montreal. There are indeed huge cultural differences between Canada, the US and Mexico. Fred's comments are pretty accurate. I would like to think that potential IQ is pretty much the same anywhere, but there seems to be a lot of evidence that it isn't. What I really notice is that knowledge and intelligence have a low cultural value in Mexico, while interpersonal facility is highly rated. In Montreal you see people reading books, often very serious ones, in public, while riding the subway, sitting in the park. In Mexico you never see anyone (other than a foreigner) reading a book in public and only members of the educated elite reading even a newspaper. Mexico is a great place to move to--lots of freedoms, courteous society and other things Fred mentions. And you can have good Mexican friends that aren't your gardener. I have a good friend who is a lawyer, teaches constitutional law in a university. He is writing a book on Mexican history. BUT--people like that are rare. If you are born in Mexico, unless it is to an elite family, your opportunities are non-existent. Growing up in a shack with no books, the possibility of intellectual formation is almost non-existent. IQ seems almost irrelevant. By the way, where I live, there is a considerable American community that has created a library and scholarship program for Mexican children.

Posted by: bryan on March 29, 2008 10:45 AM

Who among us can claim their ancestors origingated in what is now called the United States? The American Indian has his/her original roots from somewhere else, via the Bering Strait through what is now Alaska and the spread East and South to the Andes

We all come from immigrants who on their arrival were thought to the ruination of our society from those who came before them. That is until they became established and looked down on the next wave. My prediction: The Mexicans will complain about the Eskimos when they decide to emigrate.

Posted by: damonk on March 29, 2008 7:47 PM

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