A Young Illinois Reader On Amy Chua's "Triple Package"

Steve Sailer's blog post Here's The Gist Of Amy Chua's New Book: "What Drives Success?"

 From: A Young Illinois Reader [Send Him Mail]

The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in AmericaMs. Chua's argument about various minorities and the "Triple Package" (which she defines as a combination of superiority, insecurity and impulse control) is extraordinarily candid.

Once I would have regarded it as a bracingly conservative thesis: politically incorrect, supportive of work ethic and other bourgeois values, and scornful of mediocrity. The point-'n-splutter reaction of NYT readers surely means that Ms. Chua is doing something right.

Ms. Chua's enthusiasm for successful minority groups is not uncommon among immigration restrictionists, either. The unfortunate Jason Richwine was supportive of high-skilled, high-IQ immigration, comparing Mexicans unfavorably to more desirable immigrant groups.

I myself used to be relatively comfortable with immigration by high-achieving groups, for all the social and economic reasons Ms. Chua enumerates.

Here's the thing, though—Ms. Chua gives the game away in her description of the insecurity-cum-superiority complex of successful minorities. The attitudes associated with the Triple Package are implicitly hostile to the founding population of the American nation. The groups highlighted by Ms. Chua evince centrifugal ethnic, religious, and other cultural tendencies. They promulgate narratives of vulnerability and oppression among their members, narratives that are apparently impervious to the reality of these groups' material success in America.

Notwithstanding her pro forma hemming and hawing about downsides of the Triple Package, Ms. Chua doesn't much seem to mind this antagonistic worldview among people who have benefited from the hospitality of Americans. She is, after all, a member of the post-national ruling class writing for a similarly situated audience.

Iimmigration of market-dominant minorities is a mixed blessing. Chua's thesis testifies to a profound agency problem between the old-stock American nation and its increasingly (albeit quite selectively) diverse elite. Americans should take a page from the playbook of the Quebecois and seek to dominate their own markets.

They should, indeed, take a page from Chua's playbook. Americans' forefathers won this great land for their descendants as pioneers, soldiers, industrialists, etc. and modern day Americans are pathetically surrendering the birthright that they hold in inter-generational trust. How's that for a narrative of both exceptionalism and shame?

I'd like to think  that in the long run America's Tiger Minorities will come to regard themselves as essentially American, with a sense of noblesse oblige toward their countrymen. But this won't happen unless white, gentile Americans demonstrate the same sort of  solidarity as the groups Chua celebrates.

See previous letters from the same reader.