At the end of the 1800’s, industrialization was changing the face of
Farmers were famous for not wanting to leave their farm. American farms were largely self-sufficient affairs – nearly everything a family needed could be grown, raised or produced on just a few dozen acres of land. True, farmers could sometimes be lured into factory work, but they were unreliable, showing up only when and for as long as they needed hard cash. As soon as family or farm responsibilities called, they would disappear. This was not good for industry.
Worse, anyone who entered
In order to own land, immigrants needed money, and factory jobs were a steady source of income. American industrialists soon discovered immigrants were an excellent source of cheap, steady labor. Because they were immigrants, they didn’t own land. Because they didn’t own land, they had no land to run back to. The only sources of refuge were their churches and their families.
But these refuges were dangerous. They represented a source of hope outside of the job, an alternate means of ordering one’s life apart from the factory job. Worse, people would go to enormous lengths to protect their families and their sanctuaries. The connection to family and church had to be broken.
The European experience, both on the continent and in the European colonies scattered throughout the world, had shown the importance of schools, especially urban schools, as a means of social control. If children could be wrested from the influence of their parents, if the family and the church could thereby be broken apart, the factory worker would become more easily controlled, more focused on the only important thing: his job.
Building a Better Mousetrap
Starting in the late 1800’s, child labor laws forced young men and women out of apprenticeships and onto the streets. The passage of child labor laws was always immediately followed by mass schooling laws, requiring those now-unemployable children to be indoctrinated in the culture of mass consumption at the factory school. At the same time, immigration laws were passed, preventing immigrants from gaining easy access to land. Within twenty years, factory labor was trapped on the factory floor.
But that wasn’t all. Whereas the university stood at the margins of American cultural life in the 1800’s, it became the center of American cultural life in the 1900’s, but American culture had changed. In the early 1800’s, it focused on self-sacrifice, church and family. By the mid-1900’s, it focused on narcissism, consumerism and comfort.
If the business of
How Hollywood and Academia Fit In
As the culture industrialized, the self-sufficient agrarian lifestyle slowly corroded The destruction of the family created what is called “the demographic transition”: American families went from an average of 7 children in 1800 to 3.5 children in 1900 to 1.8 children in 2000 as the population changed from 80% agrarian in 1800 to 80% urban by 2000. Today, less than 2% of the
As I’ve noted elsewhere, this transition from an agrarian, family-oriented lifestyle to an urban, job-oriented lifestyle is a great boon for the economy. Narcissism increases sales and profits across the board, as does making business “Job One” for every American.
The only possible flaw in the ointment is the very family breakdown the process is designed to create, i.e., the eventual lack of narcissistic consumers available to buy things. While narcissists do, from a business perspective, show a laudable interest in their own comfort, they tend not to have children. Thus it becomes increasingly difficult to exploit the next generation since that generation tends not to exist. As the old saying goes, if your parents didn’t have any children, chances are you won’t either.
In the early 1800’s, Anglo-Americans illegally immigrated into Mexican territory in massive numbers, but largely refused to assimilate into Mexican Catholic culture. Instead, with the active assistance from
, American illegals eventually rebelled against the legitimate government authority and provoked the war of 1848, resulting in the American capture of what is now the entire southwestern portion of Washington DC . That was the first invasion. United States
NAFTA was not the opening salvo in our second invasion of
, but it was the opening of a major operational front. Roughly 30% of Mexico is agrarian with a strongly family-oriented Catholic culture. But things are changing. Mexico
As noted above, less than 2% of
Meanwhile Mexican farmers, 30% of the Mexican population, receive essentially no government subsidies and are only lightly industrialized. Of the several dozen areas in which trade tariffs between the two countries are reduced or abolished, farm tariffs were the first to disappear. While the American media concentrated on the movement of American automotive plants, no one noticed what was happening to the price of Mexican corn and the backbone of the Mexican food economy, the corn tortilla.
Mexican tortillas are now made almost exclusively with American corn, as Mexican farmers are driven out of business by lower American-subsidized crops. This, in turn, creates an enormous migration pressure, forcing Mexican rural folk to the cities.
The men and women who designed NAFTA don’t really care which cities, American or Mexican, the campesinos choose. In either case, the farmers lose their land. In either case, the family is broken apart, children become expensive to have, and adults are pressured to stop nurturing babies and start nurturing themselves. A new generation of consumers is created.
Of course, from the perspective of the intellectual elites, it is best if the migrants end up illegally in American cities. Unlike the immigrants of old, today’s American immigrants will be unable to purchase land without documents. They will be unable to marry without documents. Even if they can marry and purchase land, they won’t be able to buy the self-sustaining farmland necessary to raise large crops of children since small family farms are as economically difficult in the
as they are in United States . Mexico
By making marriage difficult or impossible, by making home stability difficult or impossible, we destroy every possible refuge, every possible source of support. Landless peoples are easier to control, landless peoples without documents are the easiest.
As with any war, our trade war with
, conducted with the acquiescence of the Mexican government, has produced a large refugee population. Mexico
In 1848, our goal was to capture
in order to gain land. Mexico City
Today, the goal of the Mexican government is to capture the land.
Today, our goal is to capture the Mexican farmer and turn him into an American consumer.
And, as in 1848, our plan appears to be working.