25 October 2010

Angela Merkel, multikulti and "progressives" mental paralysis

So, the sky has thundered. The leader of one of most politically correct, sensitive and holier-than-thou countries in Europe finally delivered a coup de grâce to already dying unnatural creature called  multiculturalism. It's quite the time, and let's be frank: the European (and not only European, but later about it) implementation of this inherently flawed doctrine is a wretched baby of governmental bureaucracy, "progressive" stupidity, natural laziness of most do-gooders and our other lesser foibles.

Multiculturalism, in many feverish progressive minds, was supposed to become an unending festival of mutual enrichment, poetic meeting of different cultures under the benevolent watch of the government sponsor, where foodstuffs, music, language, dance, love (don't ever forget love) and other ethnic delights flow every each way unimpeded. In the grim reality of thousands so called European "projects" it turned out to be just lots of newly erected ghettos bringing alienation, lack of common language and, indeed, common culture. Well, lack of common culture was built into the idea of  multikulti to start with, you would say, and you will be right. Of course, this is precisely the point. This is what ghetto tends to do to its inhabitants - a majority of them just don't see any need to make an effort and integrate into the host society. And the host society hardly cares - as long as the streets remain clean, the cars are produced on schedule, the garbage removed etc.

But over time the source of cheap workforce becomes a source of troubles. The confession "We kidded ourselves for a while that they wouldn't stay, but that's not the reality" came at a cost to be paid by many generations to come. The newly born kids of the people who were supposed to be temporary (and paying) guests grow up as alienated from the life outside the ghetto as their parents are. As a result, ghettos become a major source of unemployed, idle and discontented youth or, in other words, excellent breeding ground for recruiters of extremist ideologies and/or religions.

In short the multikulti parents' dream was about the natural solution to immigrants' issues by just seeing them off to the "projects", giving them low-paying menial jobs and waiting to enjoy the rich fruit of multiculturalism in action. The dream appeared to be just that - a dream. And Angela Merkel was only the first to voice the inescapable conclusion. 

Absorption (an Israeli term for successful assimilation of a new immigrant) is a long and difficult process that requires a lot of attention, patience and investment from the government, from volunteers, from neighbors. When it is substituted by just settling the immigrants with common ethnic background together and hoping for the best, the results are always the same: poor to non-existent assimilation, lack of language, lack of understanding of local culture and customs. And the problem doesn't go away with the first immigrant generation, it stays with the children. Israel (to take one example) is full of examples of successful and failed integration. All follow the same pattern.

Why do I refer to Israel, you may want to ask? For two reasons. One is already mentioned: Israel has a lot of experience - good and bad - with absorbing huge (compared to the size of its population) waves of immigration. Second reason is rather different: The rising wave of xenophobia in Europe is bad for all European minorities. It may start with Muslims, but Roma, Jews, Poles, Russians etc. are not far behind on the list. In fact, Roma may be the first on the European xenophobia list at the moment.

What else? Yes, it's impossible not to mention the response to Merkel's thunder from some "progressive" commentators. First there was silence for a day or two: the gurus just couldn't believe their eyes and ears, apparently. Then the responses started trickling in. Like this rather pathetic one by Philip Oltermann, a German guy, full of good intentions, who tries to dispel the clear message of Merkel by anecdotal examples of his multikulti family and friends. Of course, population osmosis happens even in generally unsuccessful cases. People do leave ghettos, no argument about it - but what about the ones who stay there? Of course, Philip doesn't have an answer.

Another way of attacking the message and the messenger was found quite quickly: according to many (too many to mention by name or to link), Merkel is anti-immigration in general, feeding the base instincts of the right wing (or worse) German electorate. And it's patently untrue. Stephen Evans hit the bull's eye saying:

In other words, her basic message is that integration has not worked - but it needs to.
And, of course, the august voice of UN didn't hesitate for too long a time, warning Europe against "stereotyping that closes minds and breeds hatred". Whatever that means and whatever it contributes (nothing would be my guess). And of course, we are being reminded how many neo-Nazis and their sympathizers there are in Germany, as if the problem of failed multiculturalism will be resolved once neo-Nazis disappear...

But what about Merkel's own diagnostics of the problem? If indeed, as it is quoted here:
She stated that too little had been required of immigrants in Germany, and that they should learn German so they can better succeed in school and in the labor market.
Ms Merkel is barking up a wrong tree. There was nothing and nobody to encourage the immigrants to learn the language and to integrate. Now Europe is reaping what it saw for many years of carefree import of cheap workforce. As correctly (to my utter surprise) summarizes this Indy leader:
If integration is now to be the focus, however, the effort will have to be two-sided. As well as requiring migrants to do more, governments and the indigenous population will have to try harder, too. And this will take funds – for language tuition, better schooling and homes – at a time when money is in very short supply.
While this post languished in its draft form, something useful happened. A few days ago I've tried to take to task one Adrian Hamilton, an Indy scribe, who is denying Israel its right to be "a uniquely Jewish state"  in the midst of "Muslim majority Middle East". This, uniquely moronic and racist statement, is uttered by a person who surely considers self progressive. I have said about Mr Hamilton in that post:
A member of multi-cultural progressive British elite who in any other situation will risk his life for your right to express your personal ethnic "I"...
And here Mr Hamilton comes out swinging, in a spirited, albeit moronic, defense of multikulti.
Multiculturalism was once a term of tolerance, an acceptance of difference in an increasingly cosmopolitan and urbanised western world.
No, it wasn't, dear Adrian. It was rather a surrender to the necessity to bring all these black, brown and otherwise colored heathen into the country for jobs you and your brethren didn't want to do. It was also a good cover for unwillingness or inability to do what should have been done, once the people were brought in: invest money, time and good will into their real integration. But of course, our Mr Hamilton is not done yet. He anticipates criticism in his vacuous way, and succeeds, in two consecutive short paragraphs, to contradict himself in a brilliantly stupid (OK, what can I do?) manner:
It [Multiculturalism] wasn't a policy of letting everyone do their own thing so much as a counteraction to the suspicion and hostility to difference that immigration was bringing.
Its assumption was that immigrants, just as the Huguenots and the Jews of the late 19th century had, would integrate through generations, that over time their children would grow up much like everyone else in their society.
So, on one hand, "do nothing" wasn't exactly a policy of multikulti. It has just happened so, exactly as with them Huguenots and the Jews... over generations... oh boy...

In short: Europe is looking into abyss. And the only good thing is that some more courageous leaders are willing to face the facts, instead of hiding behind the mental paralysis of the "progressives".

And if you want to know more about the extremes that failed multiculturalism leads to in some cases, you can do much worse than reading Terrorism and the British Academy (via Just Journalism). And connect the dots...

Cross-posted on Yourish.com


Dick Stanley said...

Multiculturalism, even in a hodge-podge like the USA, is a fantasy. You can take several cultures, as we seem to be able to do most of the time, and homogenize them into one, more or less coherent whole. But no country can long endure split into separate groups that have only economics in common, if that much. I believe that's where the term Balkanization came from, and we saw what happened to them.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

This is the main difference between the USA and European approaches. US invests a lot more in integration, while most European countries just let it go. And call it multiculturalism.

Israel is somewhere in the middle. Sometimes we forget the lessons and let it go too.

Pisa said...

Speaking of British Academy, I don't think that multiculturalism plays a role other than as fig leaf in their distorted worldview. Everything and everyone that hurts jews (in a most politically correct multicultural way, of course) is the British Academy darling.

No second thoughts on this. Ever.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

I am not sure that British Academy members are all that obsessed with us. Some of them, probably. All of them - hardly. Most people, British intellectuals included, don't give a flying donut about this here place.

It is the "activists" whose shrill voices we hear most...