Hoyt Brings the Hammer

 

Portugese-born writer Sarah Hoyt:

I didn’t grow up in a South American country, but the culture rhymes. I think I told before of the father of a friend who, when I was fourteen, informed me that the Portuguese would have invented/produced much better computers than IBM if “the US let us.” I tried to figure out what the US was doing to hold back this powerhouse of Portuguese computing and got a confused story about not being allowed to grow rice and if Portugal did something or other (search me. It made no sense then, and I have trouble remembering insane ramblings) the US would cut aid. Thereby making it impossible for Portugal to have a computer industry.

In the years to follow, I heard similar stories about pretty much everything.

None of it was the fault of the (then) 48 official holidays a year, the culture of the 2 hour lunch and the hourly coffee, and of considering a job a sinecure from which it’s very hard to fire anyone; the laid-back Mediterranean lifestyle; the cultural disdain for people who work too hard; the socially conformist culture that makes it hard to invent or innovate; the lack of secure property rights; the socialist policies that stood astride the economy yelling “stop.” No, America had more than Portugal did, and produced more than Portugal did, so it was all America’s fault.

I suspect in South America you should multiply that by 10 at least. I’ve read and seen hints of it.

And of course, our leftists believe it.

Read the whole thing. Sarah has much to say about the “caravan,” the cultural factors preventing economic success in many countries, and the destructiveness of American Leftist attitudes.

There are 22 comments.

  1. DonG Coolidge

    I am a big fan of diversity. I like that America is different from other countries. It used to be a haven and meritocratic playground for smart, liberty-minded, creative or ambitious people. The entire globe benefited. If we homogenize the world, it will be like mixing all the paint colors and we’ll have a drab gray life. 

    • #1
    • October 26, 2018, at 8:44 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. Bob Thompson Member

    The next interesting political event in this story could be to see what the Left does in reaction to Executive action to stop any entry into the United States by those in the caravan now traveling Mexico.

    • #2
    • October 26, 2018, at 8:52 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    DonG (View Comment):

    I am a big fan of diversity. I like that America is different from other countries. It used to be a haven and meritocratic playground for smart, liberty-minded, creative or ambitious people. The entire globe benefited. If we homogenize the world, it will be like mixing all the paint colors and we’ll have a drab gray life.

    Considering that the world is diverse in part because of the wide range of monstrous regimes, inhuman religious leaders, and dehumanizing ethoses, I could do with a touch more homogenizing. 

    • #3
    • October 26, 2018, at 2:35 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  4. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    Her sci-fi is pretty good, too.

    • #4
    • October 26, 2018, at 5:11 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  5. I Walton Member

    Latin American countries and Portugal are very different. Even the Portuguese speaking former colony of Brazil has little in common with Portugal. The folks in most of those countries are hard working and clever, as are most Latino immigrants. The indigenous folk who are coming here illegally now may be different from historical immigrant populations in the past, but the problem isn’t them. It’s us.

    We used to be a melting pot. The melting pot was a product of freedom under the rule of law. America was not a nation full of people of one or a few nationalities. It was a place built on ideas and to become an American you came here, learned the ideas and lived by them. We now have one party that promotes tribalism, administrative states, as exist in every country in Latin America, (i.e. not freedom under the rule of law), generous welfare, racial divisions, opposes controlled legal immigration, any effort to slow illegal immigration, and any and all means to return to the melting pot.

    These invasions in mass with photo ops and stories, should convince doubters, among whom I include myself, that the wall is necessary (but not sufficient). If we can reduce the impact and power of the administrative state including it’s vast welfare structure, we could allow more immigrants, but since the Democrats don’t want that either, we have no choice but to stop illegal immigration and reduce legal immigration until we get back to an ability to assimilate them. I.E. the constitutional system and away from the administrative state. The two are not compatible. 

    • #5
    • October 26, 2018, at 5:47 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. David Foster Member
    David Foster Post author

    I Walton (View Comment):
    The folks in most of those (Latin American) countries are hard working and clever, as are most Latino immigrants.

    I’m sure you’re right about the immigrants; I’ve seen plenty of very hard-working and intelligent people in this category. Probably true of most of those in their countries of origin, too (although immigrants may typically be more go-getters than those who stay behind)…but somehow, these positive attributes have not shown up in economic success reaching the majority of the populations.

    Rose Wilder Lane had some interesting thoughts about the cultures of the Americas have been influenced by differing colonial strategies of France and Spain, on the one hand, and Britain, on the other:

    The Governments gave them (in the case of the French and Spanish colonies–ed) carefully detailed instructions for clearing and fencing the land, caring for the fence and the gate, and plowing and planting, cultivating, harvesting, and dividing the crops…The English Kings were never so efficient. They gave the land to traders. A few gentlemen, who had political pull enough to get a grant, organized a trading company; their agents collected a ship-load or two of settlers and made an agreement with them which was usually broken on both sides…To the scandalized French, the people in the English colonies seemed like undisciplined children, wild, rude, wretched subjects of bad rulers.

    https://chicagoboyz.net/archives/35432.html

    It seems likely that at least a significant % of immigrants would bring implicit cultural assumptions of this type along with them.

     

    • #6
    • October 26, 2018, at 6:15 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  7. David Foster Member
    David Foster Post author

    I Walton (View Comment):
    If we can reduce the impact and power of the administrative state including it’s vast welfare structure, we could allow more immigrants,

    It’s not only the administrative state and its programs…there is also the lack of cultural self-confidence that exists in America at present which makes it less-likely for immigrants to meaningfully assimilate.

    • #7
    • October 26, 2018, at 6:16 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. I Walton Member

    The cultural attitudes are products of their administrative states although I’m a little free with the use of that term. They all inherited pre enlightenment Spanish or Portuguese mercantilist systems i.e. they try to control all trade from the center. Such states allocate opportunities from the center so that there is little upward mobility unless one comes from a family that has access. There is strong entrepreneurial activity but it doesn’t grow because legalization is expensive and difficult. However unless we return to a low welfare easy entrepreneurial access system, they won’t acculturate. Other waves had to acculturate, starve or return.

    • #8
    • October 26, 2018, at 6:49 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Amy Schley Moderator

    May I suggest folks read further down?

    Antonio Gramsci and the Frankfurt school saved the left from a crisis of faith by identifying the third world and other races as the fated “proletariat” of Marxism.

    This was one part noble savage and three parts blind faith, but the left still believes it. They are absolutely convinced that somehow people who can tan are naturally communitarian and naturally socialist.

    I did mention none of these people have ever been outside the US on their own, in a country in which they speak the language, without tour guides, chaperones, or enough money to insulate them from reality, right?

    Because this crazy idea wouldn’t survive ten minutes, otherwise.

    Sure, the mess in Africa and in much of South America is Marxist, but not the way they think. The problem is that these countries send their best and brightest to study economics and governance in the west where for the last fifty years we’ve taught them Marxism. Which then goes back home and gets added to cultures that never fully experienced the industrial revolution, and which are still captive of tribalism and in South America’s case the messy remnants of being a Roman frontier. (Rome never really fell. The bureaucracy and government fell. The culture is still marching on. That entire Portuguese and Spanish conquest was no more and certainly no less than a late hit of Roman conquering.)

    Their support for the endless immigration is only partly because they think brown people being naturally socialist will give them power. It’s mostly that they think we deserve it and that the US needs to be brought low before the rest of the world can become less of a [outhouse drainage system].

    It’s also that this is the last philosophical stand of socialism. If the little brown noble savages don’t save it by making America a socialist paradise, the left has to admit its faith was wrong and brings only death and destruction.

    So it shouldn’t have surprised me that last week the same idiocy surfaced on Facebook, all over my colleagues’ pages, this time directed at the caravan: the only reason you could possibly oppose limitless immigration from countries with serious cultural issues is that you oppose “population replacement.”

    No, seriously, they really, really, really believe that.

    You white people – including the ones who aren’t white, but by refusing to be socialist have earned your “whiteness” (like me) – have disappointed the Marxists.

    In fact, all Americans, who believe in and love America are white. Loving your homeland, in the socialists’ minds immediately makes you tall and blond and blue-eyed like Hitler youth. I know this because I’ve been accused (yes, accused!) of all of the above. (Reality be damned. I mean, why should socialists believe their lying eyes over their beloved philosophy?)

    One of the things I love about Sarah is that she refuses to buy into the notion that culture is destiny. Despite the name, she’s as Latino as anyone in that caravan, and she refuses to use that as an excuse for her problems, a prison to define her writing, or a permission slip for special treatment.

    • #9
    • October 27, 2018, at 11:55 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. Bob Thompson Member

    I am encouraged by some of what I am seeing resulting from the Age of Trump. Latino and black American minorities are starting to abandon the monolithic culture the Left has worked so hard to impose. The seeds have been there but now we are seeing some change. I hope it continues.

    • #10
    • October 27, 2018, at 12:05 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  11. AchillesLastand Inactive

    TBA (View Comment):
    I could do with a touch more homogenizing. 

    You do realize, don’t you, that the US is only 0.33 billion / 7.7 billion = 4% of the world’s population? And the other 96% are mainly communists, socialists, islamist theocracies, and random tribalist…

    As @dong said, “we’ll have a drab gray life” indeed.

    • #11
    • October 27, 2018, at 1:02 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  12. AchillesLastand Inactive

    Amy Schley (View Comment):
    One of the things I love about Sarah is that she refuses to buy into the notion that culture is destiny.

    Culture is not destiny, but as Breitbart said, culture is upstream of politics (well, actually, he said, “politics is downstream of culture,” but I switched it around for emphasis).

    I had an interesting conversation in Madrid one evening.* A Spanish gentleman cornered me after much wine, asking me, “Why is it that America is so much more prosperous than other countries in the Western Hemisphere?” 

    I gave a number of, ugh, polite responses, which he quickly refuted, then said, “Culture. It is the American culture. That is why.”

    I’m afraid I don’t remember much more of the conversation than that, but his answer to his own question has always stuck with me.

     

    *At the time, I was living overseas, working for an oil company, which was operator of a consortium of oil companies. The meeting was a semi-annual engineering meeting to review our work with the consortium. Dinner and drinks afterwards was de rigueur.

    • #12
    • October 27, 2018, at 1:19 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  13. Amy Schley Moderator

    AchillesLastand (View Comment):

    Amy Schley (View Comment):
    One of the things I love about Sarah is that she refuses to buy into the notion that culture is destiny.

    Culture is not destiny, but as Breitbart said, culture is upstream of politics (well, actually, he said, “politics is downstream of culture,” but I switched it around for emphasis).

    I had an interesting conversation in Madrid one evening.* A Spanish gentleman cornered me after much wine, asking me, “Why is it that America is so much more prosperous than other countries in the Western Hemisphere?”

    I gave a number of, ugh, polite responses, which he quickly refuted, then said, “Culture. It is the American culture. That is why.”

    I’m afraid I don’t remember much more of the conversation than that, but his answer to his own question has always stuck with me.

     

    *At the time, I was living overseas, working for an oil company, which was operator of a consortium of oil companies. The meeting was a semi-annual engineering meeting to review our work with the consortium. Dinner and drinks afterwards was de rigueur.

    Exactly. In one of her blog posts (and if you like what she said here, you should really follow According to Hoyt) she describes a fundamental difference between Americans and the Portuguese. If a Portuguese is seated at a restaurant with a dirty table, they just accept it. If an American is seated at a dirty table, they demand that it be fixed or grab a napkin and clean it themselves. We don’t passively accept less than ideal circumstances; we try to improve them.

    • #13
    • October 27, 2018, at 1:31 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  14. AchillesLastand Inactive

    Amy Schley (View Comment):
    If an American is seated at a dirty table, they demand that it be fixed or grab a napkin and clean it themselves. We don’t passively accept less than ideal circumstances; we try to improve them.

    This is the culture I grew up in (60s), and the culture my wife & I have tried to instill in our 3 boys (2 millennial, 1 post), but I fear that all those participation “trophies” (and inflated grades and no-such-thing-as-failure) have taken a toll on the younger generation.

    We came from working class families with fairly different particulars, but with the same “get off of your butt and do something about it” ringing in our ears. 

    • #14
    • October 27, 2018, at 2:05 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  15. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    I Walton (View Comment):

    The cultural attitudes are products of their administrative states although I’m a little free with the use of that term. They all inherited pre enlightenment Spanish or Portuguese mercantilist systems i.e. they try to control all trade from the center. Such states allocate opportunities from the center so that there is little upward mobility unless one comes from a family that has access. There is strong entrepreneurial activity but it doesn’t grow because legalization is expensive and difficult. However unless we return to a low welfare easy entrepreneurial access system, they won’t acculturate. Other waves had to acculturate, starve or return.

    Of course, may immigrants who come here from south of the border have figured all this out, just as some of us have. They probably wonder why we don’t have a low welfare system, but since we have a generous one, they work here, also sign up to get bennies, and save their money.

    Then after four or five years, they pack the kids and family back up and head home, where they can build for 20K a home that would cost them 400K in the San Francisco area. I am sure they think of our current system fondly.

    • #15
    • October 27, 2018, at 2:06 PM PDT
    • Like
  16. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    AchillesLastand (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):
    I could do with a touch more homogenizing.

    You do realize, don’t you, that the US is only 0.33 billion / 7.7 billion = 4% of the world’s population? And the other 96% are mainly communists, socialists, islamist theocracies, and random tribalist…

    As @dong said, “we’ll have a drab gray life” indeed.

    I sort of assumed that they would become more us-like while we remained us-like. 

    • #16
    • October 27, 2018, at 4:53 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. Boss Mongo Member

    She’s awesome.

    And, she’s authoring (authoringette?) the next Monster Hunter installment.

    HOON!

    • #17
    • October 27, 2018, at 6:30 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. Amy Schley Moderator

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    She’s awesome.

    And, she’s authoring (authoringette?) the next Monster Hunter installment.

    HOON!

    Did you see the mail bomb he was sent? 

    • #18
    • October 27, 2018, at 7:30 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. AchillesLastand Inactive

    TBA (View Comment):

    AchillesLastand (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):
    I could do with a touch more homogenizing.

    You do realize, don’t you, that the US is only 0.33 billion / 7.7 billion = 4% of the world’s population? And the other 96% are mainly communists, socialists, islamist theocracies, and random tribalist…

    As @dong said, “we’ll have a drab gray life” indeed.

    I sort of assumed that they would become more us-like while we remained us-like.

    I’m not that sanguine.

    We already have 30-40% of the “adults” in this country who are certifiably loony leftists.Then there’s the full-frontal indoctrinated children by the NEA, NARAL, PETA, GreenPeace, GlobalWarmists, et cetera, ad nauseam. And finally, we’ve got 20-25 million illegal aliens here already, and, oh happy day, more where that came from.

    So, no, I don’t assume “that they would become more us-like while we remained us-like.”

    • #19
    • October 27, 2018, at 8:37 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Ontheleftcoast Inactive

    As much as I like Sarah Hoyt, she’s ignoring some important facts. Not much moves in Mexico, certainly not illegal entry into the US, without the cartels. That has to include the “caravan.’

    Scott Adams interviewed Brandon Darby, who runs Breitbart’s border and cartel project:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t89D14s9TD4

    Big themes:

    “The border is secure/safe” and “The border is not secure/safe” are both half truths, and depend on which cartel controls any given sector of the border. Sinaloa has scouts in the US which help move drug loads through by tracking all ICE and other law enforcement assets are. Unauthorized crimes are subject to violent sanctions.

    One problem is that most Americans don’t know what they’re talking about when they talk about the border; it’s a region including the Mexican side. South of Texas, all pols work with cartels or die, and every news outlet has a cartel minder. There is a tax on all commerce, legal or illegal on their turf.

    The cartel bosses are fungible, the rest of the enterprise is happy to have them be the public face.

    Mexico City has a functioning government, but 16 of the 31 Mexican states are “under the physical control of transnational criminal organizations” (TCOs). This includes the Mexican side of the border.

    The State Department requires that US LEOs balance enforcement with diplomatic concerns, and the pols the diplomats have to talk to are part of TCOs.

    It’s hard to do real journalism on the caravan; American journalists pay a cartel fixer and are told what they can and can’t cover; you can sometimes make a quick foray and get out but if you stay for long you play ball with the cartel.

    The point of joining a caravan has been to use foreign scrutiny to protect the migrants from the cartels on the way. There are a lot of agendas that are being played out on this. Sinaloa doesn’t want terrorists, they want crooked officials and businessmen and to smuggle drugs. Gulf and Los Zetas are the human traffickers and are the ones who smuggle terrorists.

    We more or less tolerate Sinaloa and focus on the more violent cartels.

    ~125,000 killed in Mexico in the last 10 years in the cartel wars, 56,000 have disappeared.

    400,000 people have crossed illegally from Mexico into the US so far this year.

    The enemy is our lawmakers who put laws on the books that encourage people to come here.

    • #20
    • October 27, 2018, at 10:10 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  21. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Amy Schley (View Comment):

    AchillesLastand (View Comment):

    Amy Schley (View Comment):
    One of the things I love about Sarah is that she refuses to buy into the notion that culture is destiny.

    Culture is not destiny, but as Breitbart said, culture is upstream of politics (well, actually, he said, “politics is downstream of culture,” but I switched it around for emphasis).

    I had an interesting conversation in Madrid one evening.* A Spanish gentleman cornered me after much wine, asking me, “Why is it that America is so much more prosperous than other countries in the Western Hemisphere?”

    I gave a number of, ugh, polite responses, which he quickly refuted, then said, “Culture. It is the American culture. That is why.”

    I’m afraid I don’t remember much more of the conversation than that, but his answer to his own question has always stuck with me.

     

    *At the time, I was living overseas, working for an oil company, which was operator of a consortium of oil companies. The meeting was a semi-annual engineering meeting to review our work with the consortium. Dinner and drinks afterwards was de rigueur.

    Exactly. In one of her blog posts (and if you like what she said here, you should really follow According to Hoyt) she describes a fundamental difference between Americans and the Portuguese. If a Portuguese is seated at a restaurant with a dirty table, they just accept it. If an American is seated at a dirty table, they demand that it be fixed or grab a napkin and clean it themselves. We don’t passively accept less than ideal circumstances; we try to improve them.

    Thus far. 

    • #21
    • October 27, 2018, at 10:46 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  22. Amy Schley Moderator

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    Unauthorized crimes are subject to violent sanctions.

    I’ll admit that I never thought I’d see the logic of Terry Pratchett’s Thieves Guild played out in real life. 

    • #22
    • October 28, 2018, at 6:36 AM PDT
    • 1 like