September 28, 2003


Mexifornia: A State of Becoming by Victor Davis Hanson (C-SPAN, September 28, 2003 , 8 & 11 pm)

Two themes dominate most of what has been written about Mexicans in California, and I have tried to avoid both. On the one extreme, we hear scary statistics that "prove" California will become part of Mexico by the sheer fact of immigration. On the other, we are told that either nothing much is changing, or that what alterations are occurring in the fabric of our social life are all positive. The truth, as always, is in between: California is passing through tumultuous times, but there is no reason to anticipate that it must become a de facto colony of Mexico. More importantly, I do not believe all that much in historical determinism—the idea that broad social, cultural and economic factors make the future course of events inevitable and render what individuals do in the here and now more or less irrelevant.

My main argument instead is that the future of the state—and the nation too, as regards the matter of immigration—is entirely in the hands of its current residents. California will become exactly what its people in the present generation choose to make it. So it is high time for honest discussion, without fear of recrimination and intimidation. How else are we ever going to sort out the various choices that will decide our collective fate—especially at a perilous time when we find ourselves at war with those who kill us as Americans regardless of accent, skin color or origin? That many in the business community will consider what follows naïve or dub me a protectionist/isolationist worries me as little as the critical voices I am sure to hear from an academic elite whose capital remains largely separatist identities and self-interest. Both parties, after all, did their part to get us into this predicament and have so far escaped accountability for the harm they have done.

We have extensive links to more by and about Mr. Hanson and his writings following our review of his earlier title, The Soul of Battle.

-BOOK SITE: Mexifornia: A State of Becoming by Victor Davis Hanson (Encounter Books)
-ESSAY: Do We Want Mexifornia? (Victor Davis Hanson, Spring 2002, City Journal)
-INTERVIEW: Such a Lovely Place: Talking with Victor Davis Hanson about the future of California — and the United States. (A Q&A by Kathryn Jean Lopez, 6/11/03, National Review)
-ESSAY:Hanson on “Mexifornia”: Good – But Not Good Enough (Sam Francis, June 19, 2003, V-Dare)
-REVIEW: of Mexifornia: A State of Becoming by Victor Davis Hanson (Ken Masugi, Claremont Review of Books)
-REVIEW: of Mexifornia: A State of Becoming by Victor Davis Hanson (Emily Cochran,
-REVIEW: of Mexifornia: A State of Becoming by Victor Davis Hanson (Paul A. Garcia, Fresno Bee)
-REVIEW: of Mexifornia: A State of Becoming by Victor Davis Hanson (John Fonte, Hudson Institute)

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 28, 2003 12:47 PM

The truth of historical determinism is also, like the fate of California, in the middle. There are strong currents that push toward a particular result but they can be resisted if the citizenry cares to do so. They may be strong currents, but they're not the tide. I think that the doomsayers will turn out to be right if nothing is done. This will be sad because as Hanson points, there is in fact much that can be done.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at September 28, 2003 10:46 PM

Makes you wonder whether an American of Spanish descent speaks Spanish or not, doesn't it?

Let's pick a fer-example. Jeff Garcia.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at September 30, 2003 1:23 AM