The Great Hippo wrote:The reason I hate that house metaphor so much is how it treats communities. Communities are collectives of people working together to occupy the same space (physically, legally, financially, culturally, or otherwise). A community is made up of compromises...
While that may generally be true of communities, it's not true of countries, and it's not even true of all communities. You are arguing here for some kind of democratic process, but that's not essential to communities or borders. Does the Catholic Church have to allow a coven to do witchcraft in the space bounded
by the walls and fences of the Seminary? They can argue and vote all they want, but the Pope will tell them what they can and can't do, based on the Word of God as Divinely Revealed to him. And homes (what we have also called "houses") are sometimes governed democratically, and sometimes by fiat. Depends on who makes up the household, and how old (or capable) they are. Point is, each makes their own rules, and each decides how to make
their own rules.
The Great Hippo wrote:But the house metaphor plays into [authoritarian paternalism]. It builds on the paternalistic trope of "My House, My Rules", which is used to justify so much nonsense in America
That metaphor does no such thing. It is merely the smallest reasonable unit of "boundaries" I could find, and it preserves many of the essential features of boundaries.
It's a metaphor, not an identity. And it's an illustration, not a proof. It gives insight, but not answers. And things change with scale, but looking at what
things they are, how
they change, and at what scale
they begin to transform, is a useful exercise.
The Great Hippo wrote:Our immigration policy shouldn't be based on who got here first, or who owns the house -- but rather, on a conversation that addresses our concerns, but also balances those concerns against the concerns of those who seek entry.
This is true of house as well as country. It's true in a different way, but it's still true. And we can even look at scale to see whether mere differences in scale change the answer. Simple example, the guy sleeping on the sofa. If it's a five person household, we're talking about adding one fifth
to the house population. In country immigration terms, it would be like allowing sixty million
people into the United States. For example, all of France. Or all of Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia together. So... if New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania decide to let all of Syria, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia "sleep on the sofa", that would be a similar impact as one housemate deciding to let his newfound friend sleep on the sofa of the house he shares with four other people.
US immigration stands around a million a year
. that's 1/3 of one percent of the population. It's hard to come up with an equivalent for a house, but in impact it could be the equivalent of letting the newfound friend (with whatever story) sleep on the sofa for a week or so (guaranteed to leave because math), instead of indefinitely. No, again, it's not an identical circumstance, but helps visualize the scale of the impact.
The number of refugees to the US stands at around 50 thousand annually
. You can do the math to come up with a "house" analogy of impact, but I'd say it's like inviting somebody to dinner who really needs it. Once a year.