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ZetaTalk: Melting Pot

Note: written May 15, 1997.

Early on after its discovery as a large land mass relatively un-populated and rich in resources, the Americas became the target of hungry immigrants. Protected from discovery earlier by the vast oceans on either side, the Americas had remained the land of the American Indian with only an occasional lost straggler arriving by boat from other lands. Unlike the acquisitive values forming the base of European society, the American Indian did not plunder the land and its resources, but lived in great harmony with nature and considered themselves the guests of nature rather than the owners of nature. Thus, to the Europeans, the Americas looked like land and resources for the taking. The rush was on, and has not stopped, and the general notion of immigrating to America, to the land of opportunity, has spread around the world so that all countries have this impression of the Americas - go there and get rich!

Immigrants are characterized primarily by their ability to initiate action, to be activists rather than pacifists. In their native country, all experience food shortages or repression, but not all pick up and leave home, friends, family, and familiarity! During the early years when the great melting pot was forming, many immigrants could anticipate never seeing family and friends again, or even hearing from them by the rare letter that made the distance without being lost or destroyed. Thus the early immigrants were courageous as well as activists, and were capable of operating independently. America is the nation that involves itself in other nation’s affairs because of the genetic makeup of its immigrants. Because of the initial rush toward riches, the attitude of most Americans is that nothing is impossible but only requires action.

Differences, rather than conformity, are the rule in America, due to the vast mixture of races and cultures in American cities. Most cultural mixing can result in explosive confrontations, synergy of ideas, or both. In the case of Arabs and Israelis, explosive confrontations are the result. In the case of cultural and racial mixing in America - both results have occurred. America is the land of violence, statistically holding some of the highest rates in violent crimes. America holds its lead as the nation where the vast majority of patents issue from in great part because of the attitude of its immigrants, who are by their genetic nature exploratory and persistent, but also because the cultural mix encourages tolerance of new ideas! Thus the great melting pot has fostered a result few anticipated, a synergy that is by its nature a leader in ideas and a champion for democratic rule. For mankind, the melting pot has proved to be a success.

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