Serious European Structural Problems-Michael Totten: ‘Europe On The Brink’

Well, I’m not quite sure about the brink:

***Good piece on life in Brussells by Ian Baruma.

‘Americans don’t want immigrants to self-segregate in cultural ghettoes. It happens to a certain extent anyway, but less so than in Europe. We not only welcome immigrants, we expect and encourage them to join us rather than live separately alongside us. In Europe, by contrast, Muslim immigrants are forever “the other.”

American Muslims are also more interested in joining mainstream American culture. Those who immigrate here must go through a rigorous selection process, and they can’t expect to just show up and live on state benefits in perpetuity like they can in Europe. They must work hard and assimilate to some extent, or they’ll fail. They have, on average, done a very good job of it.

American Muslims are actually a little richer on average than the general population. European Muslims, by contrast, are much poorer on average.’

It’s easy to criticize the idealism guiding and unifying many European political majorities right now, pointing-out their inability to handle many pedestrian realities of daily life (and human nature more as it actually is).

Part of this springs from the horrific bloodletting this past century (German guilt, for example), to which the rather noble desire to create a political and economic union should be commended, but for which the political and economic union as it stands should be criticized.

What’s the plan, here, exactly?

European societies, relative to life here in America (where we’ve got immigration issues of our own), tend to have more stratified class-structures, longer histories of intimate conflict (people may forgive, but not forget), slower-growth economies and ethnic identification more closely united with national identity.

We, as Americans, can easily overlook these facts, as well as the lived reality of most other people on the planet:  Survival has often been a matter of direct, constant conflict and territorial dispute, as well as survival based on tribal, ethnic, religious and later on, national unities.

There’s room for immigrants, of course, and they’ll never be ‘consensus’ amongst all members of any society regarding whom to let in and whom to keep out, but some reasonable questions surrounding immigration would seem to include:

What of our traditions and institutions must be passed on, and what am I sacrificing in order to make sure what’s important is passed on?

Can I get a job?

‘Am I more open to working alongside folks of different backgrounds and competing to get ahead, possibly making myself better in the process?’

-“Are certain groups/ religions/habits more or less incompatible for that which I am sacrificing“?  Can we ever know such a thing and should we make judgments based on such knowledge?’

‘Where am I in relation to my countrymen?’ (All of us seem to have an innate sense of injustice, and take profound pride and harbor profound fears about our own places in society.  There’s no shortage of tension, being s**t on, and often s**tting on others to feel better about ourselves).

-“Am I even a little bit open to having my son/daughter marry someone of this new group one day?

‘What about our past, and what about future generations?”


Of course, often in the name of progress, many Americans are busily eroding traditions which I believe keep America on a glide-path towards continued economic growth, less political conflict, and more individual liberty.

The case seems continually worth making: Traditions and political institutions matter.  The ideas guiding the people within them matter too.

Any thoughts and comments are welcome.

***The melting-pot works pretty well.

See Also On This SiteVia Youtube: ‘Roger Scruton On Islam And The West’

.From The Middle East Quarterly Via A & L Daily: Europe’s Shifting Immigration Dynamic

Related On This Site: A British neo-conservative type?:  Islamism, Immigration & Multiculturalism-Melanie Phillips Via Youtube

It’s the fierce critic of religion, new Atheist, and 68er Christopher Hitchens who has defended free speech most vigorously:  Repost-From Beautiful Horizons: ‘Christopher Hitchens and Tariq Ramadan at the 92nd Street Y’

A British Muslim tells his story, suggesting that classical liberalism wouldn’t be a bad idea…as a more entrenched radical British Left and Muslim immigration don’t mix too well: From ‘Introduction: How Salman Rushdie Changed My Life’… Via YouTube: ‘Christopher Hitchens Vs. Ahmed Younis On CNN (2005)’

Free speech (used both well and unwell) meets offended Muslims: Mohammad Cartoonist Lars Vilks HeadbuttedDuring Lecture’From The OC Jewish Experience: ‘UC Irvine Muslim Student Union Suspended’From Volokh: ‘”South Park” Creators Warned (Threatened) Over Mohammed’

Najat Fawzy Alsaeid At The Center For Islamic Pluralism: ‘The War Of Ideologies In The Arab World’

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