Category Archives: Republic of Letters

ArE MEXICANS SPANISH? WHo are they?

Of course, Mexican and Spanish are not synonymous any more than Englishman and Irishman (Gael) are synonymous though most people don’t seem to know much about the cultural, linguistic, ethnic and religious pluralism of the Isles (the British Isles but some people prefer to call them the Isles especially if it includes the Isle of Man and Ireland). However, I think it fair to say just as most native English are really Anglo-Celtic-Norman-Roman most Mexicans are Spanish Mexican in culture and language. And of course, their history as a separate people from their (mostly) Spanish overlords has created a separate identity. Are most Mexicans indigenous? Certainly, most Mexicans have some indigenous roots. However, since the Mexican race or line (or raza) has its origins in the Spanish missions, presidios, and pueblos and not in Indian Reservations most Mexicans are very far removed from indigenous peoples culturally and linguistically. In other words, most Irish and Highlanders are closer to their ethnic and linguistic origins as Gaels (Celts) than most Mexicans are to their indigenous roots. The Iron Age in Europe only ended in Scotland in 1745 and in Ireland circa 1692 and well into the 18th and 19th century, the Gaels were considered racially and linguistically distinct from the English. Of course, Mexican and Spanish are not synonymous any more than Englishman and Irishman (Gael) are synonymous though most people don’t seem to know much about the cultural, linguistic, ethnic and religious pluralism of the Isles (the British Isles but some people prefer to call them the Isles especially if it includes the Isle of Man and Ireland). However, I think it fair to say just as most native English are really Anglo-Celtic-Norman-Roman most Mexicans are Spanish Mexican in culture and language. Are most Mexicans indigenous? Certainly, most Mexicans have some indigenous roots. However, since the Mexican race or line (or raza) has its origins in the Spanish missions, presidios, and pueblos and not in Indian Reservations most Mexicans are very far removed from indigenous peoples culturally and linguistically. In other words, most Irish and Highlanders are closer to their ethnic and linguistic origins as Gaels (Celts) than most Mexicans are to their indigenous roots. The Iron Age in Europe only ended in Scotland in 1745 and in Ireland circa 1692 and well into the 18th and 19th century, the Gaels were considered racially and linguistically distinct from the English. By contrast, and this can be proved by numerous documents, the vast majority of Hispanic Mexicans were heavily or almost totally Hispanicized into a virtual melting pot of the Spanish Empire. Hence, both the Philippines and Mexico share the Virgen de Guadalupe an old Catholic culture (now increasingly Evangelical protestant) and Spanish blood. Many “Spanish” sailors or soldiers of the 16th, 17th and 18th century were of Latin American, Filipino or even Guamanian origin not to mention Moroccan and African origin. I have taught immigrant students from Mexico and Central America for over 30 years (teaching easily and meeting thousands of students and their parents and relatives) and I have traveled numerous times to Spanish-speaking countries of the Americas. What has always impressed me was the great racial diversity of these people from people clearly African in origin (Black slavery existed in New Spain for over 300 years), Indian, Mestizo, and blue-eyed red-haired criollos. Racial categories no longer legally exist in Mexico but the old class/race system is still evident. And many Hispanic Mexicans, until very recent times intermarried with “White” populations (there was no law against it) and considered themselves “White” or “Spanish” because it was advantageous for them to do so. I have seen the birth certificates and census information prior to 1970 and even some prior to 1900 from New Mexico and California. Families of Mexican origin clearly identified as “Spanish” and many (if not most) identified as “White”. Many years ago Spanish-speaking far workers -impoverished former ranch owners of North Mexico used to routinely come up to me when I was coaching their kids and say things like (they didn’t speak English) and say knowingly, “nosotros los blancos (we the Whites ) were the first to play football and baseball and connect Mexico to American and European ways.”Those immigrants, probably born circa the 1930’s or early 1940’s clearly wanted to be accepted as Whites and identified as Spanish, I have personally observed 9th grader identified as “White” only to change by the 11th grade (time to apply to college)to “Hispanic/Latino.” (Good for them; you play whatever card life deals you.)

Latino is the word that is probably most universal for Spanish-speaking immigrants from the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America and depending on the national origin Hispano is also very common (Not “Hispanic” not among Spanish speakers in Spanish) But by far the most common way to identify oneself is by national origin, Mexican, Cuban, Dominican, Salvadoran, Panamanian, Puerto Rican etc. My own family is Spanish-speaking (it is the predominant home language of every household with children) and when we get together we have roots from Spain, Chile, Peru and Mexico. I wonder what my grandchildren will think of themselves in years hence. I think it highly likely they will be two things 1) Roman Catholic 2) consider themselves Mexican-Americans because that is the predominant ethnic group with which they associate They will be part of what Mexican author Carlos Fuentes called La Tercera Hispanidad. That is if they have an identity at all.

Who knows? But somehow I am sure that the dual identity of the Mexican that of having indigenous roots and Spanish roots will endure even as they will be (almost certainly) Americans. There is no question the Mexican-Americans feel ill at ease and uncertain about their status, acceptance and safety in the USA. For my part, I believe it very important for us to return to the policy of the Good Neighbor. We have to live to together as we will love together and have families together. That is the future and that is the road to peace and acceptance. When everyone is related by blood or marriage it will be hard to hate “the other.”

Burning Bushes, Smoking Mountains, and the Law ~ The Imaginative Conservative

While much has been made of the “Ten Commandments” in recent history, men for centuries have accepted these commandments as deeply rooted in the order of the universe and of creation—as an overt expression of the Natural Law. And, to be certain, they are logical as well as honest. They promote good order in the society, in the family, and in the community.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/08/burning-bushes-smoking-mountains-law-bradley-birzer.html

Is trump hitler?

Is Trump Hitler? Is he Mussolini? Is he Nero? Is he Rutherford B. Hayes? (That is probably closer to the mark). We could do a lot worse. But only those with eyes and ears can see. We must judge the man by 1) his actions 2) his deeds. History will be the final judge. The problem with calling Mr. Trump Hitler is like the boy crying wolf. If a real Hitler shows up no one will believe it. Mr. Trump is a patriotic American. He is a moderate conservative but a strong believer in property rights and American capitalism. I would like to believe he is a social conservative (I don’t think he is) but I am satisfied he tolerates and respects socially conservative views. How honest is his administration as compared to Mr. Obama? I only know what I read in the papers but from what I know Mr. Trump is much less corrupt than Maduro or the president of Mexico (those nations are kleptocracies -Venezuela is a failed state and Mexico is only one push and a shove from total anarchy and catastrophe.)

My immigrations views do not correspond exactly with Mr. Trump’s but I will say this. Mr. Trump is right that our illegal immigration anarchy must be attended to and that it is a threat to our national security and possibly the survival and success of the union over the next 20-50 years. My policies might be different in many cases. I am perhaps naive or overly optimistic about immigration and the assimilation of immigrants. But I believe in the idea of America. I also believe we must be Good Neighbors to our closest American neighbors. I believe we must be firm on the border and with illegal immigrants but just and our policy should be generous to ordinary hardworking, honest non-violent immigrants. Some guest worker program (with no immediate path to green cards or citizenship) should be broadly enacted. Every immigrant worker I know (I have known thousands) would PAY for a two-year permit to work in the USA for certain occupation. So instead of enriching coyotes sell work permits for cash and require cash deposits and guarantees as well as biometric ID cards. A real problem today is 1) so many phoney IDs and phoney social security numbers 2) identity theft threatens the financial security of millions of Americans. Is immigration good? It can be and over the long run, it can be positive for America. But it SHOULD be an organized and orderly process. Immigration anarchy is bad for children, bad for immigrants and bad for America. I have my differences with Mr. Trump. I have never, personally, liked him. I think he is a philistine. I thought, erroneously, he would lost to HRC. He didn’t. I don’t think Mr. Trump is a man of high culture and character. But I think is is a streetfighter and a remarkable politician. In other words, Mr. Trump has courage. He has guts. I respect that. I think Mr. Trump is wise about certain issues (he knows Socialism and the Bold State are not the answers for America or anywhere if you want happiness, freedom and prosperity). The economy has done very well under Mr. Trump and he must get credit for that. And Trump is no Hitler or Mussolini. He will win in 2020 or lose in 2020 and he will respect the outcome of the election. So it is up to the American people to decide. And Mr. Trump? History will be the final judge. So far he is at least as good a president as Rutherford B. Hayes. Let us now see if he is politically as successful as Ronald Reagan or Eisenhower or FDR.

The Horrors of Modern Public Opinion ~ The Imaginative Conservative

Even if the Allies should utterly defeat the Axis, Dawson feared that the poisons of power and centralization will remain. “The sufferings that the occupied countries have endured have weakened the whole tradition of civilized order and have accustomed men’s minds to violence and lawlessness,” he wrote a year later, in 1945. Because the democracies themselves were forms of totalitarianism, their party politics would especially descend into thuggery after the end of the war, thus permanently dividing Republicans from Democrats and Tories from Labour. We will no longer see our opponents as opposition, but rather as the enemy in a stake for total control of each respective society. Political opponents will call not for victory over their opposition, but rather for the complete “liquidation” of the opposition. “Every election,” he predicted, would become “a potential civil war.” Even as of 1945, broader commentaries identified fascists as “right wing” and democrats as “left wing,” thus creating artificial distinctions in the race for total control. “The result of this division is to obliterate the distinction between constitutional and totalitarian parties, and to force every shade of political opinion into alliance with some extremist totalitarian party which inevitably tends to become… predominant.”
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/08/christopher-dawson-modern-public-opinion-bradley-birzer.html

The American Revolution: A Timeline

1774

  • Parliament passes the five “intolerable acts”
  • Late May: Maryland meeting in Annapolis passes resolves in support of Boston
  • September 5-October 26: First Continental Congress (CC) meets
  • September 17: Suffolk Resolves tempers but passes by CC
  • October 14: CC passes “Declaration of Rights and Resolves”
  • October 24: CC forms Continental Association (nonimportation, nonconsumption, nonexportation)
  • October 25: CC petitions King for protection against Parliament
  • October 26: Congress adjourns permanently–if King answers petition
  • December: John Adams writes as “Novanglus”

1775

  • February 9: Parliament declares Massachusetts in a “state of rebellion”
  • March 22: Parliament rejects Burke’s plan of reconciliation
  • April 19: Battles of Lexington and Concord
  • May 10: American militias take Ft. Ticonderoga and Crown Point
  • May 10: Second Continental Congress (SCC) meets; declares united colonies on defensive
  • May 26: SCC again claims defensive
  • May 29: SCC invites Canadian provinces to join America
  • May 31: Mecklenburg County, NC, declares itself independent from UK
  • June 15: SCC forms Continental Army; names Washington as commander
  • June 17: Brits “win” the Battle of Bunker Hill
  • July 6: SCC passes “Olive Branch Petition” for King; passes Dickinson’s Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms”
  • August 2: SCC adjourns
  • August 23: King rejects “Olive Branch Petition”; proclaims Americans as traitors to empire; colonists must either “submit or triumph.”  
  • September 12: SCC meets; Georgia finally sends delegates; all 13 represented
  • November 16: Burke again calls for reconciliation
  • November 29: SCC forms secret committee to treat with other nations
  • December 6: SCC declares complete independence from Parliament; claims loyalty to King
  • December 22: Parliament declares all N.A. Colonies beyond protection of empire; prohibits all trade with colonies

Christopher Dawson on Becoming the Enemy in World War II ~ TIC

The irony, Dawson noted, is that the allies, ostensibly at least, waged their war against fascism. What is this thing the enemy propagated through extreme violence? It is, Dawson stated, “an attempt to transform the modern society into a purely dynamic organism, and to fuse community, party and state as a unitary mass driven by the aggressive will to power.” Dawson cautioned against the identification of fascism with authority. Instead, he claimed, one must identify fascism with power. Authority, as opposed to power, was the proper acquiescence every society (and its members) gave to those who ordered and secured a healthy society. Thus, as examples, a judge had authority because he decided things with wisdom; a teacher had authority because she taught her students the good, the true, and the beautiful; a policeman had authority because he upheld the law. Authority, as properly understood, was vital to a free society as were natural rights, Dawson argued. Authority, when used well, protected social freedoms, justice, and law. When violated, though, authority easily became power, a “poison” that seeps through societies, destroying all that it cannot corrupt. Power is, in essence, raw and naked force.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/08/becoming-enemy-world-war-ii-christopher-dawson-bradley-birzer.html