Joel Kotkin argues that unless Western cities take a very aggressive position against potential terrorists that fear will drain their urban centers of populations. Thanks to immigration European cities are following the American pattern of white flight.
Nor is this flight a strictly American phenomenon: Population has been dropping in London, Paris, Hamburg, Milan and Frankfurt. In many of these cities, the only rapidly growing group is immigrants, most of them Muslim, including many who are increasingly recruited by and susceptible to Islamist extremists.
So much for the idea of Muslim immigration as a solution to European demographic problems. Muslim immigration, by causing white flight, contributes to the decline of European cities. The obvious response ought to be to halt the Muslim immigration and deport all the Muslims who are not already citizens. Such a move might save some cities.
Lots of cities in history declined due to violence.
It's too early to tell how businesses or individuals might react if terrorist attacks were to become commonplace. But the historical record isn't promising. Many of the earliest cities of antiquity -- in places as dispersed as Mesopotamia, China, India and Mesoamerica -- shrank and ultimately disappeared after being overrun by more violent but often far less civilized peoples. As is the case today, the greatest damage was often inflicted not by organized states, but by nomadic peoples or even small bands of brigands who either detested urban civilization or had little use for its arts.
A number of older American cities have become shadows of their more glorious pasts. The same fate awaits still other cities as higher crime and lower achieving populations displace the white populations that used to make up their majorities.
A lot of financial services firms are moving away from big concentrated cities in order to reduce the risk of terrorism.
It's easier to measure effects of decisions by financial services firms to shift more of their operations to suburbs and smaller towns, in part because they are less vulnerable to a potential terrorist assault. Jobs that used to be done in Manhattan are migrating to New York's outer suburbs, as well as to places such as Florida. The same has been happening to London. British observers note the steady movement of financial and other high-end service jobs to less vulnerable and less expensive provincial cities, as well as offshore havens in India and other parts of the developing world.
Kotkin notes that the dense and centralized nature of London and New York makes mass transit more feasible for them. But the mass transit then becomes an obvious target of attack due the density of the people on the buses and trains and also due to the dependence of these cities on mass transit.
Kotkin argues that in order to survive cities must abandon multiculturalism for assimilation. But what if a group embraces a religion that makes it incompatible with the larger society? Kotkin also argues for wider scale installation of eletronic surveillance systems and active surveillance of suspected terrorists. He also argues for preventive detention. While that probably won't pass constitutional muster in the United States in Great Britain Parliament has fewer restraints. Though Britain has now placed itself under an EU constitution and it is not clear whether the highest court in the European Union will allow the British government the range of powers that it has exercised in the past.
Demographics matters. America's demographics outlook is grim. Ditto Europe.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2005 August 10 08:15 PM Immigration Culture Clash|