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The U.S. and Jewish refugees - Open Knowledge — LiveJournal

Jun. 15th, 2006

11:48 pm - The U.S. and Jewish refugees

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From:ernunnos
Date:June 16th, 2006 04:59 am (UTC)
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While antisemitism was certainly a factor in formulating this aim, fear of communism and a general fear of poor people in a time of depression were equally influential.
And they were right. Even with the restrictions of 1924 Roosevelt had to pedal hard to find a compromise form of socialism to keep the people from revolting. He'd almost gotten killed by a desperate socialist immigrant before he'd even taken office. He knew what he was up against. A lot of conservatives think of Roosevelt as the great Satan. I think he might have been a necessary evil. But he wouldn't have been that if the Know-Nothings had been successful at shutting down immigration back in the 19th century. Communism - and the diluted form of socialism Roosevelt eventually enacted - was not a product of American soil.
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From:crasch
Date:June 16th, 2006 06:32 am (UTC)
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And they were right.


How do you know this? Perhaps the U.S. would've turned Communist if we had allowed more immigration. But I can just as easily construct alternate scenarios. If the Know-Nothings had been more successful, we would've had a much smaller population. Would we have then had the economic clout and military might to aid in the winning of WWI and WWII? Would other nations have been more willing to launch direct attacks on U.S. soil? How many attacks have been prevented because the would-be attacker has relatives or business interests in the U.S. who would've been harmed?

And without Einstein and other immigrant scientists, maybe the Soviets would've got the bomb first. And what other inventions were never created, businesses never started, books never written because those Jews died in Nazi ovens?

Moreover, in the absence of the immigration laws, the millions who died of starvation in the USSR and China could've fled to the U.S. Are you entering those losses into your utility equation? Had they been able to flee, perhaps we wouldn't have had to endure 60 years of New Deal madness, as those virulent anti-communists took to the polls.
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From:ernunnos
Date:June 16th, 2006 01:56 pm (UTC)
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If the Know-Nothings had been more successful, we would've had a much smaller population.
Fractionally smaller. And again, as the Civil War proved, economic and military might does not come from unskilled labor, but from technology and industry.
How many attacks have been prevented because the would-be attacker has relatives or business interests in the U.S. who would've been harmed?
The U.S. has a far better defense, equivalent to the Russian winter: it's damn difficult to keep a supply chain up across an ocean. That was known as far back as 1812, and was no less true a century later.
And without Einstein and other immigrant scientists, maybe the Soviets would've got the bomb first. And what other inventions were never created, businesses never started, books never written because those Jews died in Nazi ovens?

That presumes that the Soviets were capable of using the same resources equally effectively. They weren't. That's the problem with communism. Once again - and this is something you fail to understand - government is the most important determining factor in technological development and economic success. More important than natural resources or individual minds. Handing the Soviets an Einstein would be like handing a monkey a laptop.

Had the no-nothing isolationists gotten their way, it's entirely possible the U.S. would never have gotten involved in WWI. It's almost certain that we never would have experienced the great depression - the monetary expansion that lead to it being the demand of populists and demagogues. Which would, in turn, have stabilized the global economy. Since WWII was the product of WWI and that economic collapse, it is doubtful that anyone ever would have heard of Adolf Hiedler.

The world is better off because the U.S. is not communist today, and I have to believe that the world would have been even better off if we'd managed to limit that trend even more.

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From:crasch
Date:June 16th, 2006 02:46 pm (UTC)
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Once again - and this is something you fail to understand - government is the most important determining factor in technological development and economic success.

When I have ever said otherwise? Indeed, it is in part because I think that hard-working, innovative, entrepreneurial immigrants have contributed so much to our culture and economy that I'm so passionate that they be allowed freely to cross our borders.
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From:ernunnos
Date:June 16th, 2006 02:56 pm (UTC)
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Indeed, it is in part because I think that hard-working, innovative, entrepreneurial immigrants have contributed so much to our culture and economy that I'm so passionate that they be allowed freely to cross our borders.

They have also been the primary contributors of communist and socialist values. We didn't and don't need more immigrants to bring values of hard work and immigration to our shores. Those values already existed in quantity. Is getting a little more of something you already have worth contracting a disease you don't?

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From:gentlemaitresse
Date:June 16th, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
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Thoughts are diseases? Nobody in the US would have ever come up with ideas of communism and/or socialism if it weren't for immigration?

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