Wednesday, March 3, 2004

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Revisiting Huntington

Remember last week when I said about Samuel Huntington's new essay that, "I think he's wrong now. I'll be posting much more about this later."?

Those five of you waiting on pins and needles will finally be sated. Huntington's essay is the topic of my latest TNR Online essay. Go check it out.

posted by Dan on 03.03.04 at 10:19 AM


Drezner firing a cheap shot at Samuel Huntington and badly missing:

"Huntington is slippery on the question of identity--sometimes he writes about Hispanics writ large, sometimes he focuses on Mexicans in particular. Studies of Hispanics as a group suggest a fair number of cross-cutting cleavages that Huntington discounts, among them country of origin. One University of Albany analysis of census data concluded: "It is becoming harder to talk generally about 'Hispanics'--increasingly, we will have to recognize that there are many Hispanic situations in America." Huntington seems content to ignore these distinctions."

Professor H was absolutely clear that Mexicans and only Mexicans present the threat he describes. Unique geography (right at the border), demographics (100 mil of them) and history (they used to own 1/3 of this country) account for that. Only Open-Border enthusiast with PhD in PolSc could fail to understand this.

posted by: Mik on 03.03.04 at 10:19 AM [permalink]


You make reasonable and valid points in your response to Huntington. However, I think you missed a key question that we need to answer to determine whether Mexican immigration will indeed evolve along a trajectory similar to that of early European immigration to the United States. That question is this: how has the economic success of the two sets of immigrants (if I may) evolved over (comparable periods of) time and is there evidence that Mexican immigrants over the past 2-3 decades (or less) have been able to replicate the history of economic success of European immigrants?
Clearly, there is no fundamental reason why Mexican immigrants cannot be economically successful. But, their capability is one thing and the conduciveness of their environment (in the US) in helping them build their wealth successfully is another thing. There is so much in that context that I fear your and other takedowns of Huntington have missed. Huntington's points on culture and identity are the easiest to critique; his lack of attention to the root cause of illegal immigration and the economic/fiscal issues surrounding that are in my opinion the most significant problem with his essay.

I have tried to cover it to the extent I could, here .

posted by: TR on 03.03.04 at 10:19 AM [permalink]

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