« Watch This Week's Issues | Main | Watch This Week's Issues »

April 19, 2013


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference This Week on Issues - 4/19 & 4/21:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Miguel Melgar

. My main argument is that individuals tend to memorize things in a monolithic society while they tend to analyze in a pluralistic society. The consequence is the many residence in a monolithic society, because of lack of analysis, tend to be robots. Pasternak, his book Doctor Zhivago shows the similarity between the communist and the Russian Orthodox Church followers, They both behave as robots.

2. What is this thing about permanent alimony. In 1975 permament alimony had been replaced by rehabilitative alimony. When did permanent alimony come back?

Immigration of Monolithism

Since the Immigration Law of Arizona was passed there has been much discussion about immigration. Many different arguments have been presented pro and con, some inflammatory, some naive. However, the following does not seem to appear in the discussions

Let us start off with the fact that Hispanics are currently last on the academic ladder in this country. Many reasons have been given for this failure. But not the following:

The USA is a pluralistic country. There are people from all religions. Until recently the largest group were the Baptists who had approximately 18%. Since the Hispanic wave the Catholics have risen to over 26% and there seems no end in sight to this increase. This leads me to an observation and a prediction.

This first is that in countries where there is pluralism there is a tendency to study by comparative analysis and critical thinking. In countries where 90% or more of the population is of one religion, there seems to be an academic environment of teaching by memorization. I have studied in a comparative analysis type of academic environment, and have always tried to teach in the same manner. I have also developed a teaching technique of answering a question with a question leading to the answer. The Hispanic environment in Miami-Dade will not tolerate either one. I have been criticized many times for teaching more than one way of solving a math problem. That confuses the student. I maintain that if a student gets confused when presented more than one method, the student did not understand the problem. He/she has simply memorized an algorithm. In Miami-Dade I am not allowed to teach more than one method and I am not allowed to answer a question with a question leading to an answer. That is the Hispanic monolithic influence.

Other observations that I have observed is:

1. Monolithic societies tend to harbor dictators. The very citizens tend to prefer a dictatorship as long as the dictatorship agrees with them. I find it interesting that the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) has elected Raul Castro as their new chairmen for the year 2013..

2. Communism has never penetrated a pluralistic country.

3. Monolithic societies tend to tolerate a man having mistresses. The Miami Herald once wrote an article on the 14 elections prior to the one in which Chamorro of Nicaragua was elected. In all 14 there were two major candidates. One was faithful to his wife. The other had a mistress. In all 14 elections the candidate that had a mistress was elected. When the reporters had interviewed the citizenry, they heard the following comment more than once from females. “If he isn’t macho enough to have a mistress is not macho enough to be my president.” In certain monolithic societies, such as many Muslim societies, the man is allowed to have more than one wife.

4. Women from monolithic nations tend to have more children and at an earlier age than those in pluralistic nations. This contributes to their being the fastest growing population in the USA.

The second point is a prediction. When the percent of Hispanics increases to the point where more than 45% of the nation is Catholic, pluralistic democracy, as we know it, will disappear. At that point they will have the strength to demand that Spanish be an official language of the USA. They are already almost there. Marco Rubio gave the Republicans response to Obama State of the Union speech in both English and Spanish. This is a first.

One of the main complaints that I hear in recent days is that Muslims come to this country and then demand that they be allowed to imposed their Shia to the rest of the country. This is the mentality of those that come from monolithic societies. The Hispanics have been doing no different. They are escaping the poverty and misery and bringing the cause of their poverty with them to this country, that is, a monolithic environment with no pluralism allowed, mainly Catholicism. In the Miami museum a poem Desiderata was presented. In the poem there is a passage “God, whatever you conceive him to be”.. This passage was eliminated in the Spanish translation. There was only one concept of God allowed. We had my mother’s funeral at a Catholic funeral parlor. We were not allowed to have Humanist cards. Catholic only. That is no different from the monolithic Muslim attitudes.

When I was at Hofstra University I took a course on History of Intellectual Life in United States. In the chapter on the Civil War we were presented with 6 different interpretations of the war. It was up to the student to come up with a conclusion, if any. Recently I have read a 2 volume book Interpretations of American History by Gerald N. Grob and George Athan Billias. In each era there are 3 different interpretations of the history of that era. That is what I call education in a pluralistic society.

I recall in my single days when I would be approached by an Hispanic female and told that “You Americans do not like poetry.” I would counter that I do not like poetry, but most of my non-Hispanic friends do. She would then recite a poem by Ruben Dario, with much emotion. When she finished I would clap and then ask her what Ruben Dario meant by the poem. She would then jump up in desperation and say “Tu esperas mucho”. In other words, she did a good job memorizing but she did not analyze. This incident happened more than once with different Hispanic females.

I suggest that all immigrants be obliged to take a course on Comparative Religion (Religions in America), in addition to English proficiency, as a prerequisite to acquiring American citizenship

We already have 6 Catholics on the Supreme Court and no Protestants, nor any other denomination.. We are already at the non-pluralistic stage. What is next? I suggest that we have a constitution amendment restricting membership in the Supreme Court to 1/3 of the total membership for any religious denomination.

I have spent my entire life among immigrants and have observed the monolithic mentality that many bring with them. In our struggle for rights to all, we should be vigilant against any creeping monolithism in our nation. If the religious right, having existed in a pluralistic society, have made attempts to impose their ideas on our society, what would one expect from those that have spent their imprint years in a monolithic society?

I might have given the erroneous impression that I am against Catholics or Muslims. I am not against either, although I am not in their world. I am against monolithism. As I previously implied, I maintain that when a religion gets to be a majority in any country, the concept of pluralistic democracy disappears. What I am trying to say that members of a pluralistic society should be always on guard against the evolution from a pluralistic to a monolithic society.

I maintain that most of the Muslim countries are backwards in the evolution towards democracy, as in some Latin American Catholic countries, not because they are Muslims or Catholic, but because they possess monolithic societies. This could happen with any religion, including atheism.

My mother comes from Valencia, Spain and my father form Salamanca, Spain. I grew up in a secular bicultural family environment in a pluralistic neighborhood & school environment and am familiar with both cultures and many others.

Thank you for allowing me to express myself.

Miguel Melgar, ME

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment