Migration, demography, the strength of nations: World history and geoeconomics classrooms

See earlier post re: demography and geography. Humans lie with words, so to triangulate the truth, watch where they send their kids for college, where they park their can’t-afford-to-lose retirement funds, and whose embassies and consulates have a line waiting for immigration visas. And while Chinese keyboard super-patriots are louder and more obnoxious than before, if you use these three metrics, you will find plenty of American, EU, Canadian, and Australian passports. While there are always essentialist ethnonationalist idiots: the fact remains, that there is nothing about supposed Chineseness, or Russianness, or Americaness, that makes a nation naturally more or less attractive to migrants. And students are always surprised when I gently remind them that millions of migrants wanting to come to America now does not make this ‘natural’ nor ‘eternal’ — and I find it super insulting when people on different sides of the ideological spectrum assume that migrants primarily are driven by money alone. The same kind of offense I take at assumptions that American citizens join the military primarily for money. Sure a job is important, but plenty of places on earth for jobs. America promises an unrivaled degree of stability, legal protection, equality, and social mobility, that though flawed and worthy of critique and improvements, relatively speaking, is unmatched by most nations on earth. We Americans of 2022 are doing a horrible job understanding and improving our own American democratic story, which is terrible for us, and bad news for the democratic world. 20.8.2022

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