2010 October 16 Saturday
Angela Merkel Declares Multiculturalism A Failure

The Germans are coming to their senses. Multiculturalism is a dead parrot. Someone tell the Norwegians. The German Chancellor proclaims the utter failure of multiculturalism. Like the bulk of the Western elite, she is a slow learner. But better late than never.

"Multikulti", the concept that "we are now living side by side and are happy about it," does not work, Merkel told a meeting of younger members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party at Potsdam near Berlin.

"This approach has failed, totally," she said.

I hear Doctor McCoy saying "Its dead Jim". The German culture will dominate.

Horst Seehofer, the leader of the CDU's Bavarian sister party, CSU, told the same party meeting Friday that the two Union parties were "committed to a dominant German culture and opposed to a multicultural one.

"'Multikulti' is dead," he said.

This is a measure of how far European thinking has shifted on immigration and multiculturalism. Europe has come from behind and bypassed the US in a shift against immigration of incompatible cultures. The newly formed Dutch government adopted major planks from the small political party PVV which Geert Wilders leads. Anti-immigration parties are growing in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and other European countries.

There is the matter of the 2.5 million Turks in Germany who remain steadfastly Turkish. They also do far worse in schools and the workplace. What to do about that?

Merkel spoke a week after talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which they pledged to do more to improve the often poor integration record of Germany's 2.5-million-strong Turkish community.

Time for some out-of-the-box thinking: Has it occurred to Merkel or Erdogan that those 2.5 million Turks would integrate much better into Turkey? I mean, they are Turks after all. They could continue to retain their culture and successfully integrate if the German and Turkish governments were to help them move back to a culture that is the same as theirs. Think of it as reunification.

Imagine an American politician talking like this. Horst Seehofer, leader of the CSU, says certain groups of immigrants do not do as well.

Earlier this week, Horst Seehofer, the leader of the CDU's Bavarian sister party, CSU, said about integration that it was "obvious that immigrants from different cultures like Turkey and Arab countries, all in all, find it harder".

Muslim ethnics form their own parallel communities heavily isolated from the host society. Why should the host society inflict this on themselves?

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2010 October 16 10:30 PM  Immigration Culture Clash

Thomas said at October 17, 2010 4:21 AM:

Not sure what to think about this. Now that it's obvious that public opinion is with Sarrazin, Wilders et al, every politician that can reasonably pull it off presents himself as a German Leitkultur hardliner. At first, it seems like a significant shift in policy is about to happen, but in the end this will just serve to steer the discussion away from HBD and/or deep cultural incompatibility.

Once everybody agrees that "multikulti is dead", you'll see that thinking hasn't shifted on IMMIGRATION, but on INTEGRATION. Kindergarten and language courses will become mandatory for example. Even worse, several universities just announced that they will start training islamic Immams. This too is presented as a great new way to westernize our immigrants.

We will just throw more money at the symptoms, which is precisely the thing politicians are good at. Think about it as a stimulus programm for the integration industry.

Mark said at October 17, 2010 5:22 AM:

It's worth noting that more Turks are leaving Germany than are entering it these days...


joseph Moroco said at October 17, 2010 6:22 AM:

The era of big government is over.

kurt9 said at October 17, 2010 1:30 PM:

The Der Spiegel article represent how this will work out. The European economies are moribund. Given the attitudes expressed by Europeans towards stuff like technology and enterprise, as compared to Americans, along with their debt and banking problems (which are worse than ours), it is reasonable to assume that Europe will remain moribund into the foreseeable future. Turkey, on the other hand, shows remarkable economic dynamism. Additionally, Turkey, along with much of the rest of the Muslim world, is experiencing the same fertility decline as Europe did 30 years ago. It is likely that this will produce a reverse migration, not only of Turks, but of North Africans as well, starting in the near future.

Europe has higher taxes. If I'm a reasonably competent Turk, why should I stay in Germany or France and support the high taxes to pay for all of the European retirees when I can return to Turkey, get a good job, and pay lower taxes.

I believe the same thing will happen in the states as well. Mexico is already below replacement fertility (so is Brazil). Mexico, Brazil, and parts of the rest of Latin America are showing reasonable economic growth(5% annually). It is likely that Latino immigrants in the U.S. will start to go back once their countries start to produce decent opportunities for these people. After all, if I were Mexican and could get a job back home (where I would be around family and friends in my culture), I would rather go back than to remain here around the "ice people" who really don't like me very much.

I think a lot of the current immigration issues will resolve themselves in this fashion in the near future.

Black Death said at October 17, 2010 1:48 PM:

Horst Seehofer is a conservative Bavarian, the head of the CSU and an important ally of Merkel. Here's the rather predictable response from the German Left:

The statement, predictably, drew all manner of protests from Germany's opposition, particularly from the center-left Social Democrats and from the Green Party. With his comments, Seehofer made it sound as if the number of Muslims coming into the country were some kind of growing phenomenon that threatened to spiral out of control. But his statements also show a blatant disregard for the facts.

As it happens, there is no Muslim immigration to Germany to speak of. In 2009, a total of 721,000 foreigners immigrated to Germany according to the German Federal Statistical Office -- and 734,000 moved away. Of those who arrived, a mere 30,000 were from Turkey, roughly equal to the average number of people of Turkish origin who have left Germany annually in recent years. The rest of the Top Five source countries for immigrants to Germany were Poland, Romania, the United States and Bulgaria, hardly countries known for their outsized Muslim populations.

When it comes to asylum seekers from Muslim countries, the numbers are just as inconsequential. In 2009, 6,500 people from Iraq, 3,375 from Afghanistan and 1,400 people from Turkey (primarily Kurds) applied for asylum in Germany -- the three largest sources of asylum applications. On the one hand, Germany is obligated by international agreement to accept asylum seekers. On the other, it is difficult to imagine that Seehofer is genuinely concerned about allowing a few thousand persecuted Muslims into the country each year.



Actually both Seehofer and his leftist critics are correct - there is no current tidal wave of Muslim immigration into Germany, more Muslims are actually departing from Germany than arriving (the Left wins this one). But there are about 4 million Muslims in Germany, and they are very poorly integrated into German society (Seehofer is correct here). I visited Munich a few months ago, and I was shocked by the number of Muslims I saw - burqas, bedouin outfits, etc. They live in Germany, but they make absolutely no effort to adapt to German society. They expect the Germans to adapt to them. When I am in Berlin, I like to take the U-Bahn to the Schlesisches Tor stop for the surrounding excellent Middle Eastern restaurants. But the whole neighborhood feels like Ankara, not Berlin. Many Turks immigrated to Germany in the 1950's and 1960's, when the economy was booming and there was a manpower shortage as a result of the war. There descendants are, for the most part, poorly integrated into German society.

Der Spiegel is predictably leftist (and anti-American). Here's another quote:

Öger went on to say that "surveys show that 40 percent of those with Turkish origins who have earned degrees here in Germany return to Turkey because they don't feel at home here. ... I find it tragic that people who are born here leave the country again because of the atmosphere that is unfortunately repeatedly poisoned by people like Sarrazin and Seehofer.


Note the spin - a lot of Turks leave Germany because the Germans don't make them feel welcome. Could there be, just maybe, other reasons why the Germans aren't too happy with them? Nah!

Few, of course, would deny that Germany has had difficulties integrating many of the 4 million Muslims who live in the country. Knowledge of the German language is not always up to par, education levels tend to be comparatively low, even among second and third generation immigrants, and they are twice as likely as Germans without immigration backgrounds to be unemployed.


So the Turks don't speak German very well, have no knowledge of the country's history and culture, have low levels of educational attainment and high rates of unemployment, make little effort to integrate themselves into German society, and these problems persist for multiple generations, yet their difficulties are the fault of the nasty right-wing German bigots who are probably closet Nazis. This is an excellent example of how the German (and European) Left thinks.

Here's something from the Radio Netherlands article:

While warning against "immigration that weighs down on our social system", Merkel said that Germany needed specialists from overseas to keep the pace of its economic development.

According to the head of the German chamber of commerce and industry, Hans Heinrich Driftmann, Germany is in urgent need of about 400,000 engineers and qualified workers.

"The lack is causing a loss of growth of about one percent," he said in an interview.


Germany has a high IQ population and one of the best educational systems in the world. Germans have made enormous contributions to science, engineering and technology (can't seem to think of too much the Muslims have done in these areas, at least in the last 500 years). If Germany is indeed short of engineers and technical workers, why can't they grow their own? Well, here's the reason (again from Radio Netherlands):

Far-right attitudes are found not only at the extremes of German society, but "to a worrying degree at the centre of society," the report noted.

Around the same number (35.6 percent) think Germany is being "over-run by foreigners" and more than one in 10 called for a "Fuehrer" to run the country "with a strong hand".

Engineer-Poet said at October 17, 2010 3:23 PM:

This might just be a move to try to prevent voters from moving to the new Freedom Party and upsetting the establishment's gravy train.  We'll see if policy measures follow, or if it's just empty words (like US inaction against illegal immigrants).

no i don't said at October 17, 2010 4:55 PM:

Increased interaction between different religions, nationalities, races and customs might be a failure, precisely if there lacks culture; but multiculturalism is not a failure, because it implies CULTURE.

If Angela Merkel declared multiculturalism as a failure, I think she should read the meaning of the word "multiculturalism" more carefully.

al Andalus said at October 17, 2010 5:54 PM:

Increased interaction between different religions, nationalities, races and customs might be a failure, precisely if there lacks culture; but multiculturalism is not a failure, because it implies CULTURE.

If Angela Merkel declared multiculturalism as a failure, I think she should read the meaning of the word "multiculturalism" more carefully.
You will make good dhimmi!

Vanishing American said at October 17, 2010 7:59 PM:

I think Thomas and Engineer-Poet have it right. This is just a ploy, or an attempt to corral the anti-immigrant sentiment that is rising in Europe.

After all, Merkel said almost identical things back in 2004, and it was widely reported then. But did anything change substantially after Merkel pronounced multiculturalism dead back then?

Likewise, around that same era, other Western leaders made very similar statements, namely Tony Blair, and John Howard of Australia. The idea is stated, though apparently not noticed by many, that immigration will not stop or slow down -- only that the immigrants will be required to assimilate and 'integrate.'

The problem is multiracialism, not multiculturalism.

Sycamore said at October 17, 2010 8:20 PM:

> Europe will remain moribund into the foreseeable future. Turkey, on the other hand, shows remarkable economic dynamism

As usual you get starry-eyed about concepts like innovation and dynamism. In truth, they aren't necessary for a strong economy. Innovations get copied. Patented things aren't responsible for a huge share of production. I wish you were right, so that foreigners would leave. No one would deny that your concept of reverse migration will apply to Chinese people to some extent (though I'd rather that all the other nationalities migrate back first). And it will apply to India in a far weaker way. But, Turkey generates a third as much as Germany, at PPP. That will not change much. These matters are limited by HBD. It's certainly possible that Turkish stocks are undervalued by say 7% vs German ones. But compared to 3x, 7% ain't much. When you look at nominal production rather than PPP, which matters for international trade, the difference is more like 5x.

Sycamore said at October 17, 2010 8:26 PM:

The Merkel quote surprised me. Nevertheless, I'll side with the cynics. When I was in Berlin ten years ago there was plenty of talk about Leitkultur. So I'm a little skeptical that major progress has occurred.

A.Prole said at October 18, 2010 1:07 AM:

You've got it absolutely and completely wrong.
Basically, America is FUCKED and FUCKED big time, I'll go as far as saying that the USA will follow the Brazil or Argentina trajectory (in case you didn't know, both states were big cheeses in the 19th century).
If you actually understood economic data and trends and actually tried to keep abreast of the same, you will come to the unescaple conclusion that the American predicament is, in a word, HOPELESS.
Europe has its troubles too, but it is not totally FUCKED like the USA.

Mthson said at October 19, 2010 3:36 PM:


Latinos in the US are already surrounded by their culture, and they can get by fine with only speaking Spanish. Here in California, Latinos are already the majority group.

Latin America will always be impoverished relative to the US, so most Latinos have no incentive to return to Latin America. Even if things get much worse in the US, there's still a White/Asian elite to run everything competently (compared with a society run by NAMs).

jdwill07 said at October 20, 2010 9:00 AM:

Agree with "Latinos in the US are already surrounded by their culture"


Good article on the history of the US/Mexico border. Andrew Jackson pops up again as villain? What would have happened if we left Texas alone and had lived with a more demographically stable border?

My take is the Latin immigration issue has a unresolved conquest component that we should be careful with to avoid a history like Northern Ireland.

Mike said at October 20, 2010 1:37 PM:

"The European economies are moribund"

Well sort of, countries like Germany do have high taxes, low growth and high unemployment, but they also have low inflation and high savings rates compared to the U.S, and are better prepared for peak oil. Also remember that the retirement of the baby boomers isn't going to hit Continental Europe as hard as it is going to hit the Anglosphere, as Europe didn't have a baby boom just after the war.

Also, since European countries have higher taxes they have more room to cut taxes. Sweden could slash taxes by a third and still have a relatively generous welfare state. If America tried that I imagine it would be burn baby burn all over again.

If the Germans really need more skilled labour, they should make better use of skilled labour from Eastern Europe. For example Ukraine in still in a mess, but has considerable scoop for growth and has a relatively smart population. Allow some high IQ Ukrainians in an teach them German ways of doing things and get a few years labour of them, then send them back to Ukraine to improve the Ukrainian economy, so that the Ukraine is more able to buy German imports.

Eastern Europeans are economic underachievers relative to IQ, so there is probably a lot of potential to improve their economies through cultural and technical exchange.

no i don't said at October 20, 2010 2:29 PM:

"You will make good dhimmi!"

So how do you figure the whole world is going to become muslim? I reeeeally doubt it.

And since i'm not planning to live in Northern Africa or the Middle East, your comment is shallow at most.

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