2015 October 18 Sunday
Germany Will Fail To Assimilate Immigrants
This is the best essay summing up what a disaster is in the making in Europe with the large Middle Eastern immigrant influx. Adam Garfinkle makes many good points on the German asylum debacle in the making:
What sort of sound is that other shoe going to make when it finally does drop? Truth be told, the German leadership—and the EU leadership as well, with Mr. Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg in the lead—are planting the seeds for long-term agony. That agony will comes in three forms: the economics of the welfare state; the self-blinding politics of multiculturalism; and security.
I don't mean to bore my regular readers but this needs to be said again: The EU welfare states are in deep financial trouble and can not afford a large influx of low skilled people. Look at this OECD sovereign debt table. Governments with sovereign debt of 100+% GDP can not afford Angela Merkel's folly.
Germany's pressure on other welfare states (which are in far worse financial shape than Germany) to take in Muslim immigrants and put them on the dole is incredibly unfair. Germany will turn around and pressure these same welfare states to raise taxes and cut services to reduce the sovereign debt. Germany won't let the EU central bank to inflate way that sovereign debt. The skilled populations of these countries are aging. The debt burden of these countries is already on course to become too large.
Consider: 0.1% of 1 million is 1000. What damage can 1000 terrorists do?
If only a tenth of one percent of these Arabs are now or are later turned toward salafi-based political violence for any number of reasons we can all think of, then Germany will have a problem that will shred its esteemed privacy laws to bits, whether Germans like it or not.
Multiculturalism has contradictions embedded in it. We are supposed to respect and celebrate differences. But many differences in values are deep and fundamental. What one group requires as moral rules to live by will be seen by another group as an offense against all that is holy and just. These groups should be separated by borders, not by neighborhoods or apartment house walls.
It is, in my view, better morally to respect the dignity of difference than it is to try to expunge it though the mindless homogenization of humankind, which is the unstated premise at the base of the “thinking” of much of the EU elite. What better way to get rid of pesky nationalism than to get rid of nations, eh?
Garfinkle says the immigrants are going to cause an east-west split within the EU. Will Schengen collapse? How will this play out?
By Randall Parker at 2015 October 18 11:31 AM
I find this seriously worrisome; I work for the American branch of a Germany company, and while it might result in a lot more work coming our way, we're a small arm of a large company, and could just go down with them instead. At the least, I expect Germany to become a much more dangerous place to visit.
Americans don't realize how fortunate we are, that Muslims constitute under 1% of our population. They're too few for most to take seriously the idea that they're entitled to force everybody else to live according to their rules. But that IS what they attempt to do, if they become even a significant minority.
I don't expect Islam to take over Europe. But I expect that when things get bad enough that the general public will no longer tolerate this multicultural nonsense, it's going to be a long, bloody fight to restore the former status quo.
Multiculturalism is going to end up thoroughly discredited before this is over. But there'll be a lot of suffering in the process.
Oh, and you're really going to get yelled at for this post, you realize that? ;)
Some people treat cultural differences as if they were just a superficial matter of cuisine or what style of hats people wear. But a culture involves a conception of justice and these conceptions can be radically different. The concept of justice is not a divisible concept. No society can be run on the joint basis of two completely incompatible concepts of justice such as the sharia and modern Western liberalism. Islam and the West are two scorpions in a bottle. Eventually there is only one left.
I've lived in Germany many years, still work for a German company abroad, speak fluent German and still have many friends back in Germany. I feel like I have a dog in this fight.
Angela Merkel is sowing the seeds of her own destruction by allowing circa 1 million Muslims into her country. Her party is already starting to rebel against her. I used to be a fan based on how she handled the heat under pressure, aber jetzt kann sie sich verpissen.
What moxy she must have to openly announce that allow one million, mostly Islamist men, are welcome in her country. Most have no employable skills. Most do not share German values of order, hard-work, respecting women, and Christian values (the values are still there, although Germans don't attend church much anymore#. Watch the crime and rape statistics soar.
Any German can tell you that most African and Muslim asylum seekers, some of those who have been there for decades, basically live on the public dole. There's strong antagonism between the German and Turkish populations, the latter of which were migrant workers #Gastarbeiter) from the 60s/70s that never went back home. The Turks have never fully integrated into German society. Most speak a mish-mash of German and Turkish. Most are losers that are either unemployed or have low-paying jobs. They're not super violent but are very prone to petty larceny. They're reminiscent of blacks in the States, but the blacks didn't have a choice about coming to the states. At least blacks offer some value given that they are tremendous athletes, singers and comedians. The Turks, while less violent, have no identifiable skills besides the fact that they make a mean Doener Kebab.
Switzerland has been dealing with an influx of immigrants too, basically because Italy doesn't register them and allows them to pass through the borders towards Zurich. A new study in German shows that on average 70% of asylum seeks land on public welfare: http://bazonline.ch/schweiz/standard/Aus-Asylanten-werden-Sozialhilfefaelle/story/19937027 How the heck can Germany support that?
The article in American Interest was particularly notable, because Garfinkle is not exactly a hard xenophobe right-winger; he's more of a moderate/liberal Neocon type. If the "refugee" situation in Germany is scaring the Garfinkles of this world, we might be nearing some sort of turning point. We are at any rate entitled to hope...
"Consider: 0.1% of 1 million is 1000. What damage can 1000 terrorists do?"
Terrorists -or revolutionaries- stop being terrorists when they have money in their pockets to provide for their basic needs like food on the the table. Better said, terrorists -or revolutionaries- would never have become so if they had had access to the resources people in rich countries had. No kid who is born in a rich country thinks "oh, I want to be a terrorist when I grow up".
Social inequiality is what produces such anger in people. Terrorists are just ordinary people who were born and lived through a kind of hell nobody should have to go through, like constant poverty, religious indoctrination, abuses and violence of all sorts to one and to one's family. Anybody has the potential to become a terrorist, or a great leader, a child abuser or a kind adult, an incestuos prick or a great parent.
It all has to do with environment. There's no such thing as an innate "evil" person, except in Walt Disney's films.
"Terrorists -or revolutionaries- stop being terrorists when they have money in their pockets to provide for their basic needs like food on the the table."
I think you should be aware that that isn't really true. The Boston Marathon bomber, for instance, was scarcely starving. Terrorists are often college educated.
In fact, I think, "That was utter BS" is probably closer to the truth.
Seth W. - Osama bin Laden's father had a personal wealth estimated at $5 billion dollars. The amount of that which Osama inherited is not known but the lowest estimate is $50 million, probably enough to put food on the table.
"It all has to do with environment. There's no such thing as an innate "evil" person, except in Walt Disney's films."
That there are still people who can believe crap like this, that terrorism is a function of poverty, after all the wealthy terrorists we have seen over the last fifty years, fills me with astonishment. If this is not a troll, I simply stand in awe.
Say for the sake of argument that you are correct. If so, wouldn't it make more sense to remedy whatever the problem with this people with them staying in their homelands rather than importing them (and their problems) into the West? Your argument is that the environment in the West is more conducive to prosperity than that of the Middle-east. Rather than importing them into the West, by your logic, it would make more sense to export Western society and cultural values into the Middle-east than, thus, bring about economic prosperity to them. Of course, we tried this, in a totally half-assed manner, not too long ago. Perhaps you are suggesting we try again.
You mention the resources of rich countries. How do you think rich countries became rich? Through free-markets, entrepreneurship, limited government, and technological innovation. Would not the best way to "share" these resources with the rest of the world be to export these values and systems to the rest of the world so that they can become rich as well?
Take China as example. The Chinese used to be as poor as Africans 35 years ago. Today, they have the largest middle class in the world (larger than that of the U.S.), courtesy of free-market economics, entrepreneurship, and technological innovation. I assume you are proposing social and economic reform of a similar nature for the Muslim Middle-east. What are your ideas on how to make this happen?
Abelard - According to Wikipedia in 1959 the Pied-Noir population of Algeria was about 9%, about 1 million out of 11 million. By 1965 the Pied-Noir population in Algeria was 100,000.
I didn't realize that one of the powers of the German Chancellor was the power to eliminate the German nation. Who knew?
I used to think Merkel was one of the smartest leaders in Europe, but her current course of action is either clinically insane or purposeful suicide. I don't know which.
Abelard - The Chinese economy is pretty far from any "free market" ideal. The Chinese government, one of the most corrupt governments in the world, is heavily involved in economic activity in China. Private property rights in China are not terribly secure. Nor is the Chinese government adverse to repression. The populations of the Middle East are genetically very different from the dominant population of China. The genetic difference is probably much more important than the factors you mention.
Yes, the Chinese economic system can probably be described as "fascist", or at least a form of crony capitalism. This is true. However, they used to be hard-line Maoist in the 1970's and it was the free-market element from the free-market reformed that have made the Chinese comparatively wealthy today. My argument remain valid, and especially so within the context of the recent history of economic development policies.
The genetic differences are significant as well. Chinese are generally smart and hardworking, although they are corrupt to beat hell (I have personal experiences with doing business with the Chinese, both good and bad.). The Chinese are, culturally and genetically, a mixed bag.
My argument against "Seth W" remains standing. I will add to it. If the cause of terrorism is poverty, then why do we see only Islamic terrorism? Most Africans and Indians are poorer than most Middle-easterners. Yet you do not see international terrorism from these people. The Chinese used to be as poor as Africans in the 1970's. Yet we never saw terrorism from them either.
There are so many ways to discredit "Seth's" arguments that its like shooting fish in a barrel.
Yes, the rich countries have become rich through free-markets, entrepreneurship, limited government, and technological innovation, but in order to accomplish that they needed governments that acted as such. Nowadays governments are subordinated to free market corporations. A country should not be run as a corporation. That's when education and medicare goes down the drain. Besides, most rich countries became rich also by plundering and "legally" stealing the resources of poor countries. I don't believe you are really going to argue against that...
Remember that there's really no "free market" in the world today. It's just the game of the rich corporations. Have you exported anything recently? Have you tried to even export anything? Do you have any idea how difficult -if not impossible- that is? How many are getting the big money of the so called "free trade"?
As far as China goes, I think you've chosen a not so good example. Outside the big urban centers like Shanghai, Peking, Hong Kong and some others, China is very, very rural indeed. The majority of the population lives in poverty. There's still hunger in China.
You assume wrong by thinking I'm proposing social and economic reform of a similar nature for the Muslim Middle-east. In fact quite the opposite. It is all these new neo-liberal "reforms" pushed by the U.S. that continue to plunge third world countries still deeper in poverty. However, I do propose that the U.S. governments stop invading, destabilizing economies, aiding coups in other countries, specially countries where they have legitimate elected governments like Syria or Venezuela. That worked to a point in the Twentieth Century, but to continue with that... I mean look at the poverty rates all over the world.
When you ask "what can we do for them", I think the best answer is, don't, just don't. We'll be of great help if we don't get in the way any longer; if we start to realize that everywhere we get our hands into it becomes a mess. Now of course the damage is done in Lybia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and much of Latin America. Let's not get upset if they start turning to China and Russia to strengthen ties. Let's just leave them alone, just as they were before, praying towards Mecca three times a day and whatever other rituals they like to live with. It works for them. Our democracy is not the best in the world, you know.
-Here's Vladimir Putin's address to the Americans and their leaders, back in 2013. It's a message just a few Americans knew about, but which I think is important to read, just to get back some perspective and remember how things were two years ago. It's a great read. Enjoy.-
MOSCOW — RECENT events surrounding Syria have prompted me to speak directly to the American people and their political leaders. It is important to do so at a time of insufficient communication between our societies.
Relations between us have passed through different stages. We stood against each other during the cold war. But we were also allies once, and defeated the Nazis together. The universal international organization — the United Nations — was then established to prevent such devastation from ever happening again.
The United Nations’ founders understood that decisions affecting war and peace should happen only by consensus, and with America’s consent the veto by Security Council permanent members was enshrined in the United Nations Charter. The profound wisdom of this has underpinned the stability of international relations for decades.
No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization.
The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance.
Syria is not witnessing a battle for democracy, but an armed conflict between government and opposition in a multireligious country. There are few champions of democracy in Syria. But there are more than enough Qaeda fighters and extremists of all stripes battling the government. The United States State Department has designated Al Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the opposition, as terrorist organizations. This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world.
Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, are an issue of our deep concern. Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali. This threatens us all.
From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos. The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression.
No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored.
It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan “you’re either with us or against us.”
But force has proved ineffective and pointless. Afghanistan is reeling, and no one can say what will happen after international forces withdraw. Libya is divided into tribes and clans. In Iraq the civil war continues, with dozens killed each day. In the United States, many draw an analogy between Iraq and Syria, and ask why their government would want to repeat recent mistakes.
No matter how targeted the strikes or how sophisticated the weapons, civilian casualties are inevitable, including the elderly and children, whom the strikes are meant to protect.
The world reacts by asking: if you cannot count on international law, then you must find other ways to ensure your security. Thus a growing number of countries seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction. This is logical: if you have the bomb, no one will touch you. We are left with talk of the need to strengthen nonproliferation, when in reality this is being eroded.
We must stop using the language of force and return to the path of civilized diplomatic and political settlement.
A new opportunity to avoid military action has emerged in the past few days. The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government’s willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction. Judging by the statements of President Obama, the United States sees this as an alternative to military action.
I welcome the president’s interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria. We must work together to keep this hope alive, as we agreed to at the Group of 8 meeting in Lough Erne in Northern Ireland in June, and steer the discussion back toward negotiations.
If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust. It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues.
My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.