A few thoughts on immigration and Europe



Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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7 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I suspect that, to some degree, one of the things that helped with the US was that everybody showed up. When the main immigrant group is from a particular region, it’s easy to create a Chinatown or Somaliatown (I wonder if Somaliatown in Finland is particularly libertarian…) or whathaveyou… but if *EVERYBODY* shows up, there’s going to be integration happening like it or not. There will be attempts to create a little Italy or little Greece or little Ireland but they can’t stand up forever. Eventually they’ll turn from ethnicity havens to places that cater to the second generation to tourist traps.Report

  2. Avatar Bob says:

    Changes – David Bowie

    (Turn and face the stranger)
    Don’t want to be a richer man
    (Turn and face the stranger)
    Just gonna have to be a different man
    Time may change me
    But I can’t trace timeReport

  3. Avatar North says:

    Well I hope that it works out. Steyn is overwrought but I am sad to say that there are problems at the root of what he is raving about. Multiculturalism is great but I think there does need to be firmness about some things; women’s rights; sexual rights; freedom of speech; freedom of religion for example. Sometimes it feels like in trying to value other cultures we may bend a little too far backwards. Particularly with that subset of immigrants who desire the prosperity of their new country but would prefer that it’s social mores bow to the predilections of their old one. There has to be some way of saying that it’s not ok to murder a director for criticizing your religion; that it’s not okay to hunt people for converting to another faith; or assault women because you disapprove of their dress or go after two men for holding hands in their own home city without being called a racist. But when criticism is stifled that way that seems like where Steyn style rhetoric takes root. When people see their Opera houses meekly bow to threats of violence or their government agencies banish Piglette from their work places because of threats of lawsuits that starts feeding a breed of the right wing that has been in decline for a while (and thank goodness).Report

  4. Avatar Dan Miller says:

    “a more banal explanation is that societies with few immigrants are generally bad (at least at first) at immigrant assimilation”

    This strikes me as very true, and one reason that Republican efforts to reach out to minority communities have largely fallen flat.Report

    • Avatar greginak in reply to Dan Miller says:

      ahhhh America is , except for Native American’s, an immigrant nation. All our ancestors are from someplace else. For a sizable percentage, our roots only go back to the large wave of early 20th century immigration from Europe.Report

  5. Avatar Jim says:

    “ahhhh America is , except for Native American’s, an immigrant nation.”

    And they moved around quite a bit too, although some of them have conveniently forgotten that part. The Lakota for instance always lived in Northern Minnesota, not in the Dakotas – no small distance – until they got guns and horses, and then they spared no effort in exterminating the Absaaloke and Pawnee to take possession. They Navajo and Apaches didn’t show up in the Southwest until just a couple of centuries before the Spanish got there. We tend not to hear that piece of the story.

    In the case of Finland something that may play a role is the Finns own sense of being an embattled minority within Europe, surrounded by what once were expansionist Swedes, and much more recently expansionist Russians. The Chinese managed to host a Jewish for cenuries population without even half this much angst. The Chinese were more confidnet of their own survival because it was never in question.Report