MACRO AND MICRO
Thomas Russell Wingate
March, June, October 2011
There are times when German has more clarity than English. In our language, “society” is a muddle.
Gemeinschaft differs from Gesellschaft.
Wikipedia explains them, but not quite as I do.
Gemeinschaft is often translated as “community.” It won’t easily let go of you, and you don’t want to let go of it. Think here of your family, think here of your countrymen, think here of partakers of your faith.
Gemeinschaften (plural) want you to honor what came before you and to ponder what will be here after your death. Almost by definition, they expect reverence. They will not be kind to you if you go against them.
Gesellschaft is often translated as “association.” Entry is voluntary and exit no shame. Persons with common interests pursue them together; hence, they “associate.”
Gesellschaften are about what you choose to do when the choice is, by common consent, yours.
Gemeinschaften are about who you are.
Gesellschaften are about convenience.
Gemeinschaften are about permanence.
Consider, please, matrimony. It has a definite date of beginning and, in all too many cases, a definite date of unnecessary end.
The Christian religion and others insist that each marriage is a Gemeinschaft. Husband and wife must view it this way. So must all who know the couple. Likewise, so must the children they will produce or adopt. Weddings are formal in the highest degree exactly to impress this upon the couple and all who know them. That is what formality is for.
Adultery is to the family what treason is to the state.
This Gemeinschaftische analogy is exact.
When a marriage is thought of as a Gesellschaft, divorces and infidelities arise through the discovery of imperfections in each other and weaknesses before temptation.
The “cultural war” (Kulturkampf) everyone encounters every day can be seen as a clash between permanence and convenience.
Each “side” claims to be following the highest principles but something subterranean is at work here.
Literature and revelation make known the intrinsic divisions of the human soul.
Nowhere does one find, for nowhere has there ever been, a society that is not a mixture of Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft.
(Notice that we are stressing mixture, not compound. Water is a compound of two gasses; air is a mixture of many gasses, mostly nitrogen we don’t ordinarily notice. There is a formula for water, and we can all write it; there is no formula for air, and there cannot be.)
Ideologies are apt to assert that the two should be compounded, or that one of the two should be eliminated as obsolete, oppressive, degenerate, utopian, unjust, untraditional, subversive, decadent, etc.
Invective is not evidence. To juggle is not to weigh.
Ideologies are manipulative, repetitive, deformative, pejorative, and mutually reactive.
Ask yourself in private, at length, where they want you to go—or be taken.
Ideologies are perjuries.
More and more societies are falling apart. Explanations are plentiful. Situational explanations are at present preferred.
We have no hope that posterity—ours or another’s—will see us as we see ourselves. They may see cause-and-effect to which we are blind—or self-blinded.
A woven canopy of explanations, some situational and some intrinsic, would get closest to those truths which are larger than life.
There were many centuries during which the most respectable explanations were teleological. (You may need a dictionary to help you here.) Science improved its predictions by discarding those explanations.
My point is that we should not give situational explanations a monopoly of prestige—or funding.¹
Euphemisms mutate as they cease to obscure.
Formerly we spoke of backward countries. Then we spoke of undeveloped countries. Then we spoke of underdeveloped countries. Now we speak of developing countries.
Let us be frank. Many of those countries deserve to be known as demolishing countries.
When large numbers of outsiders enter a country with no intention of leaving it or accepting its ways, this is a re-population (if done peaceably) or a conquest (if done by might). It is not immigration.
We must be very clear about this. If Turks do not adapt to Germany, must Germany keep them? Does Germany have an obligation to enable Turkey to continue in wretchedness by continuing Turkey’s traditions? Must Germany be a “safety valve” for Turkey’s pressures? After all, how many Germans are obtaining employment and families in Turkey?
We must also be clear that countries do not last forever, that maps and expressions can deceive us, and that populations can change their composition, allegiances, and attitudes.
Diminution of completed pregnancies—“birth dearth”—invites repopulation.
“National character” cannot be disregarded, but it is not carved in stone.
A lament of the Roman poet Horace has been wittily rendered:
Degenerate sires’ degenerate seed,
We’ll soon beget a fourth-rate breed.
Mexico’s northern border is the world’s longest between a demolishing country and an advanced country. Human detritus can walk across it. The pull and the push are northward. This roils the Gemeinschaft the United States must have to remain advanced or even alive.
“Mexico is our Balkan Peninsula.” Theodore Roosevelt was perceptive a century ago. Current events are not proving him wrong.
“Where there is a Mexican, there is Mexico.” So said Felipe Calderón, the current President of Mexico.
The sentiment is widespread. Indigenista propaganda has it that Mexicans crossing the U.S. border are “returning home” and need no one’s permission to do that.
From 1836 to 1853 lands totaling 124% of the present area of Mexico changed flags. Ethnicities and political systems clashed. Violence brought liberty (for whites) and stability from the western edge of Louisiana to the southern edge of Oregon.
It is hard to grasp the fact that so large an extent of territory was sparsely populated.
Before 1895 there was no national census in Mexico. We must make do with estimates.²
In 1800 Mexico (at maximum theoretical extent) had five million people. By 1855 Mexico (within present borders) had eight million. The U.S. census of 1850 (before the Gadsden Purchase) counted 23 million persons.
New Spain’s old provinces of Alta California and Santa Fé de Nuevo México contained at most 116,000 Mexicans (plus indios bárbaros) at the time of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo (1848). By the largest estimates, New Mexico then contained 87,000 Mexicans, mostly in the north; Alta California, 9,000, mostly near the coast; the ex-Republic of Texas (not yet reduced in size), 14,000, mostly in the south; Arizona, fewer than 2,000. We may conclude that less than 2% of Mexico’s population was shorn away. The United States directly conferred citizenship on all Mexicans (except indios bárbaros). Benevolence, however, did not inspire the way most Anglos understood “whiteness.”
The U.S. census of 1910 listed 367,510 persons “of Mexican race” born on either side of the border. The same census listed the total U.S. population as 92 million. One hundred years ago persons “of Mexican race” were 0.4%.
El Norte was not irreplaceable to Mexican hearts.
In 1848 the United States, victorious in war, pledged to pay Mexico $15 million to accept the Rio Grande and the Gila as frontiers. In the same year the United States offered Spain $100 million for Cuba. Spain angrily refused. Fifty years later …
The American film industry has remembered the Alamo and Pancho Villa often enough, but the Mexican-American War has been kept off our screens. An epic—well cast, well scripted, and well funded—showing both sides to have been honorable or understandable is overdue.
An independent Radio Free Mexico should be established to promote grassroots understanding of the merits of dynamic enterprise and private ownership, which tradition and intellectuals’ fashions envy and condemn. Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto—see Wikipedia—has many practical and uplifting things to say to us all.
Let us remember that the English and the French have cordially detested each other for centuries, interbred with each other for centuries, and now speak, write, and expand languages which cannot be detached from each other.
It is not farfetched to expect that Americans and Mexicans³ will achieve by fits and starts something no worse.
In the meantime, vaya con Díos.
1 In A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race, and Human
History (2014) Nicholas Wade escorts the general reader
into a cultural twilight zone. See High and Dry 2 and
Famous Art 9 10 on website.
2 I have mined the Internet for these data. Wikipedia is
always helpful, but I have had to correct typographical
or computational mistakes.
3 See Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans by
Alan Riding (1985). See also Mongrels, Bastards, Orphans,
and Vagabonds: Mexican Immigration and the Future of
Race in America by Gregory Sanchez (2007). See also
Mañana Forever? Mexico and the Mexicans by Jorge G.
Castañeda (2011). For specifics vividly presented see Eagles
and Empires: The United States, Mexico, and the Struggle
for a Continent by David A. Clary (2009).
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