Mittwoch, März 01, 2006

A Slight Misunderstanding

One of the really big problems facing Europe today - besides institutionalized corruption, failing social states and obscene unemployment that is made worse by labor departments - is the problem of ethnic minorities, almost invariably immigrants. France has the problem with immigrants from its former colonies; Germans have it with the Gastarbeiter; Italy has illegals coming out of every corner; the UK has the problem with its former colonies as well; Spain with Africans; you name it, they got it.

Now, as nice and proper socialist democrats - i.e. those who are socialists, but are willing to be voted out of office - the governments of Europe have been trying to integrate these folks into European mainstream society as productive members. Sometimes this works, but usually it hasn't.

This is based, unfortunately, on a slight misunderstanding.

The misunderstanding is enough immigrants actually want to become productive members of society.

The problem of the demographics in Europe are well known: low birth rates, which will, in the 21st century, lead to lower populations. Smaller populations, not lower growth rates. Negative growth rates: there will be fewer Europeans around.

Immigrant growth rates, on the other hand, are significantly higher.

But there is one factor left out of the equation.


The vast majority of immigrants are not citizens of the country that they live in. Nor do they want to be.

What many want is the European welfare state to pay them to be in Europe (working is fine, otherwise on the dole), to have their kids, but never, ever, ever to force them to become citizens of the countries involved. You see, acquiring citizenship means not merely enjoying the rights and priviledges, but more importantly it means having to accept the duties and the legal framework of the country they live in.

And that is the last thing the radical immigrants want: they want a disenfranchised underclass to demand - and usually get, in order to avoid riots - special rights. They do now want assimilation.

What they want is ownership. You see, they think that when they achieve a certain percentage of the population of the country, then the government has to listen to them and obey the will of the people: after all, that's what democracy is all about, right?


This is the misunderstanding: in a democracy, those who have the rights and duties of citizenship have the right to be listened to.

Those who merely live there do not.

And this is where the conflict will grow: you will have large minorities, getting larger over time, who want to live according to their laws and customs (sharia, for instance). They aren't citizens of the countries involved, so they are disenfranchises (per definition).

Granting them sharia amongst themselves would be effectively the nullification of the state over these minorities. Which is, ultimately, what the radicals want: they want the state and the citizens of any given country to give them shelter, feed them, allow them to work, not demand integration and assimilation according to the norms of the host country, and pay for their health care, their retirement benefits, everything. But they want at the same time to be, basically, separate and equal, with their own norms and customs (female genital mutilation paid for by the health care system, for instance): they want a kind of apartheid, a voluntary apartheid imposed by themselves upon the citizens of the host countries.

And European politicians, terrified of confrontation, terrified of the monster that they have created in their midst, terrified of sending police into the local equivalent of the banlieus - and they are in every European city, most are simply better hidden - and terrified of having to tell their populace that their immigration policy of the last 50 years has failed miserably, are ultimately giving in to these demands, slowly but surely, allowing this to happen.

A slight misunderstanding.

There aren't any simple solutions to the problem. Europe has to realize that the growing immigrant problem is going to get a lot worse and may never get better: the lumpenproletariat is not only there, but steadfastly rejects the idea of becoming partners in society, prefering instead to demand their place outside of the society that has hosted them for so long.

A slight misunderstanding.

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