as mass immigration increases diversity, it reduces social cohesion and civic trust
.. the trust problem is not a simple matter of racist natives mistrusting foreigners, since social trust is often weakest among minorities — which is one reason why the most diverse generation in American history, the millennials, is also the least trusting.
.. It’s one reason why campus politics are so toxic, why Democrats struggle to keep their diverse coalition politically engaged
.. Then linked to these ethno-cultural tensions are the tensions of class, where mass immigration favors stratification and elite self-segregation.
.. regions and cities with the largest immigrant populations are often the wealthiest and most dynamic.
.. The hinterlands are also filled with people who might want to move to wealthier regions (or who used to live there) but can’t because an immigrants-and-professionals ecosystem effectively prices out the middle class.
.. Thus our rich and diverse states also often feature high poverty rates when their cost of living is considered, while second and third-generation immigrants often drift into the same stagnation as the white working class
.. Which in turn encourages them toward mild contempt for their fellow countrymen who don’t want to live under a cosmopolitan-ruled caste system
.. For some pro-immigration Republicans this contempt is Ayn Randian: We’ll all be better off with more hard-working immigrants and fewer shiftless mooching natives. For pro-immigration liberals it’s the predictable cultural triumphalism: The arc of history is long, but thanks to immigration we won’t have to cater to heartland gun-clingers any longer.
In both cases there’s a fantasy of replacement that’s politically corrosive, and that’s one reason why Donald Trump is president and Jeb! and Hillary are not.
.. Hence my own view that keeping current immigration levels while bringing in more immigrants to compete with our economy’s winners and fewer to compete for low-wage work represents a reasonable middle ground.
The very emergence of the monks, the early Desert Fathers and Mothers, is an unexpected and surprising third-century movement because there is nothing in Jesus’ teaching to suggest there should be different levels of discipleship in his vision. We are all equally called to follow Jesus, but we created our own caste system; some people were supposed to “get it” and take it seriously, and some were just along for the ride. The very term layperson implies someone who doesn’t know anything. We were left with the professionals and the amateurs. But we were all meant to be professional disciples.
Could meditation or contemplative prayer be the very thing that has the power to both democratize and mature Christianity? Meditation does not require education; it does not need a hierarchy of decision makers; it does not argue about gender issues in leadership or liturgy; nor does it demand licensed officials for sacraments. Meditation does not need preachers and bishops; it does not have moralistic membership requirements. Meditation lives and thrives with dedicated pray-ers who have every chance of becoming healers in their world, each according to his or her gift. And let’s be very honest, Jesus talked a lot more about praying and healing than anything else.
Christians who meditate are self-initiating. Since we no longer have formal rites of passage in our cultures, we need contemplation to change us. Faithfulness to contemplative practice can achieve the same radical inner renewal as sacraments and formal initiation rites. Contemplation addresses the root, the underlying place, where illusion and ego are generated. It touches the unconscious, where most of our wounds and need for healing lie. With meditation or contemplation, I think we have every likelihood of producing actual elders for the next generation, and not just elderly people.
It is everywhere illegal yet slavery persists in many corners of the global economy. How do its beneficiaries justify it?