Philip Jacob

A Day Without Immigrants

· Philip Jacob

I have to wonder if this “A day without immigrants” campaign is going to have any meaningful outcome. It makes me think of a claim in John Gall’s Systemantics that says:

Systems in general work poorly or not at all

The thought is that complex systems must be resilient in the face of failure. If a system is large and composed of many pieces operating together, then larger systems have a much higher chance of experiencing a failing component at any given time. If the system cannot continue operating in the face of such a failure, then the system fails.

In Systemantics, I believe that Gall uses the example of garbage collection in a big city. At any given time, you have strikes, broken trucks, traffic jams, shifting regulations, unplanned sickness and injury among garbage workers and other unforseen problems. But it all still happens. Garbage collection is performed in the face of all of this.

And if I cut my toe, it doesn’t inhibit me from moving about. I adapt.

I’m wondering what the day without immigrants tactic will produce when the system containing these immigrants doesn’t completely fail.

That being said, it is an interesting time watching people trying to figure out what “American” means these days.  This country has a foundational reliance on under-represented people inside the US and in other countries.  Calls for undocumented workers to leave the US doesn’t reflect the reality of the situations that many of these people are running from.