Posts tagged ‘King George’

The "They Will Not Assimilate" Argument Rising Yet Again From the Grave

How many times does an argument have to be wrong, and for how long, before it finally loses credibility?  I suppose the answer must be nearly infinite, because the "they will not assimilate" argument is rising again, despite being about 0 for 19 on the groups to which it has been applied.  Germans, Irish, Italians, Eastern Europeans, Chinese, Mexicans and now Chechnyans.   This argument always seems to be treated seriously in real time and then looks stupid 20 or 30 years later.  As an extreme example, here is Benjamin Franklin writing about Germans in 1751:

why should the Palatine Boors [ie Germans] be suffered to swarm into our Settlements, and by herding together establish their Language and Manners to the Exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion.

(By the way, if you want to retain an unadulterated rosy image of Franklin, who was a great man for many reasons, do not read the last paragraph at that link.  People are complicated and sometimes even great men could not shed all the prejudices of their day.)

The only good news is that the circle of those acceptable to the xenophobic keeps getting larger.  It used to be just the English, then it was Northern Europeans, then much later it was all Europe and today I would say it is Europe and parts of Asia.  So that's progress, I suppose.

Fun fact:  Ironically, the English King at the time Franklin wrote the quote above was George II.  He was actually a German immigrant, born in Germany before his father came to England as King George I, jumping over numerous better claimants who were Catholic.  His son actually assimilated very well, as George III spoke English as a first language, and his granddaughter Victoria practically defined English-ness.  By the way, Victoria would marry another German immigrant.

Wow, It Turns Out We do Have A Hereditary Aristocracy in this Country

Should we just change the name now from "Senate seat" to Duke of Massachusetts now?

With Massachusetts having paid its final respects to Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the politics of succession begins in earnest this week - candidates will emerge, a race will take shape, and the Kennedy clan will have to reveal whether it wants to keep the seat in the family....

"Joe Kennedy, as emotionally drained as he must be, cannot help but be moved by the outpouring of affection and respect that has come from people all over the country in the last several days,'' said Dan Payne, a longtime Democratic media consultant. "I'm not saying he is going to run, but he wouldn't be human and he wouldn't be a Kennedy if he didn't give serious thought to running for the so-called Kennedy seat.''

I am somehow reminded of this story about George Washington, who turned down power after his army had beaten the British in the Revolutionary War.  All of Europe expected him to claim power.  Instead:

Give the last word to Washington's great adversary, King George III. The king asked his American painter, Benjamin West, what Washington would do after winning independence. West replied, "They say he will return to his farm."

"If he does that," the incredulous monarch said, "he will be the greatest man in the world."

That is what was considered greatness in that age - the willingness NOT to pursue power, even when by military success or family name such power could easily be had.  Unfortunately we celebrate just the opposite today, singing eulogies for a man and a family that do nothing but seek power.

Where Our Founding Fathers Extremist?

Certainly King George III would have considered our founding fathers extremist.  But apparently, they may be considered extremist even today, at least by the left.

In my earlier post on Janice Rogers Brown, I quoted JRB saying:

"Where government moves in, community
retreats, civil society disintegrates. . . . When government advances . . .
freedom is imperiled, civilization itself [is] jeopardized."

I noted that both the NY Times and the People for the American Way use this quote to say that JRB is "extremist".  I said, in response, "I bet I could find about 20 similar quotes in the Federalist Papers or from other contributors to the US Constitution."  Of course, I was too lazy to go looking for quotes, but Gary Galles of the Mises Blog was not.  He has hunted down many examples, but I will quote his work on the JRB quote above:

Janice Rogers Brown: "Where government advances"”and it advances
relentlessly"”freedom is imperiled...When did government cease to be a necessary
evil and become a goody bag to solve our private problems?"
Thomas
Paine
: "Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in
its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable
one."
George Mason: "Every society, all government, and
every kind of civil compact therefore, is or ought to be, calculated for the
general good and safety of the community. Every power, every authority vested in
particular men is, or ought to be, ultimately directed at this sole end; and
whenever any power or authority whatever extends further...than is in its nature
necessary for these purposes, it may be called government, but it is in fact
oppression."
Thomas Jefferson: "˜What more is necessary to
make us a happy and a prosperous people?...a wise and frugal Government, which
shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to
regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from
the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good
government..."

Go read them all.  And remember, he is taking all the JRB quotes right off the People for the American Way site, who have posted the quotes to scare us about what an extremist she is.