*Reflections on the Revolution in Europe*

I am surprised that Christopher Caldwell's Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West has not sparked more blogospheric debate (with a few exceptions).  This is an intelligent, well-reasoned argument against allowing so many Muslims into Europe.  That said, while the author does ask how many traditional Italian restaurants would have to close without immigrant labor, he doesn't pursue this chain of reasoning very far.  What would happen to the Swiss tourist sector?  Nor will he admit that, financial crisis aside, Europe has never been richer, freer, and stronger.  Interestingly, he thinks that Latino immigration to the U.S. will go just fine, in part because Latinos are Christians.  I should add that Stockholm has many more immigrants than does Sicily and which is the place in greater future trouble?  It is interesting to see how many Somali (and other) immigrant women have adopted the gait and dress and demeanor of Swedish women. 

I did, however, in Palermo have an excellent Sri Lankan-Sicilian fusion meal, namely sardines in a spicy dosa.

The bottom line: I'd like to see a list of his short positions in asset markets.

Comments

The always-excellent Demography Matters blog had a good rebuttal of the book.

Clearly the native Americans should have known to not allow Protestants into North America; what I wonder is whether it was better or worse to allow Catholics into Central and South America.

But then, like the firms that need low wage workers in Europe, some native tribes saw an advantage in allowing Christians in because they would gain a competitive advantage against other neighboring tribes.

While I will concede some points, you are completely forgetting that Siciliy unlike Switzerland was conquered and held by the Arabs for a long period in the Middle Ages. These are things that live in a people's consciousness and they do not forget, which is why Siciliy may be the place in bigger trouble rather than Switzlerland where such preexisting angst does not exist.

Some Europeans just don't want Europe to become Islamic continent. So easy it is. And burqas are the ugliest womens attire ever invented. Just for aesthetic reasons, Islam should be unwelcome.

"It is interesting to see how many Somali (and other) immigrant women have adopted the gait and dress and demeanor of Swedish women."

Don't know the stats for Sweden, but I doubt they are much different - if anything, they are worse. In Denmark, 2008, the employment rate of Somalis were 41%. In 2007, it was 35%. The -rate is much higher for males than females.

(source: Danish Bureau of Statistics. No direct link to the stats, but the numbers have been mentioned several places, ie. in the article linked below)

http://www.business.dk/article/20090318/okonomi/903180333/

Maybe they dress more like Swedes now than they used to, but it's the Swedes that pay for their clothes. They don't get much in return.

"Europe has never been richer, freer, and stronger." Don't people always say something like this on the eve of some crisis or collapse or revolution? Not to mention the questionable "stronger."

"Europe has never been richer, freer and stronger"

Hmm.

Richer... I'll grant that. Europe and America seem to be doing a lot of borrowing and inflating to maintain current levels of consumption though.

Freer... Let's see. What fraction of your income is yours to spend today, compared to 1950? 1910? Is it harder or easier to open a business today? Speak frankly about immigration and other un-PC topics? Purchase the food, drugs, automobiles etc that YOU want, regardless of the whims of central government bureaucrats? I'm curious, what freedoms do we have today that we didn't have fifty or a hundred years ago, that make up for what I've listed above?

Stronger... I can't even imagine what argument can be made in support of this. The British Empire was once a, ya know, empire. Today, the united strength of the USA, Britain, Canada, Australia, continental Europe, and basically the whole of western civilization can't even bring order to Afghanistan and Iraq. The brits conquered half the world with muskets and sailboats, and turned a profit on the venture, more often than not. How many trillions has the US, with a far superior technological advantage than the brits ever had, poured into Iraq?

Europe is in the process of voluntarily ceding it's territory to masses of immigrants who, to put it mildly, will not be raising their children to read Mills, Smith and Hume. The USA is undergoing a similar demographic shift, although at least their chosen human imports are not actively hostile to American values - just indifferent.

Every western nation in the world today is heavily indebted, infected with a massive and growing soul-sucking bureaucracy, (with one exception) militarily weak, and generally on a slow descent into savagery and barbarism.

But hey, at least we have nice restaurants.

We now return to your regularly scheduled programming of Global Warming and health care reform. I'll be in the other room taking Mandarin lessons.

Cheers,

Zdeno

From the book:

"Bizarrely, as immigration began to change Europe at its economic and cultural core, the political vocabulary remained the same as when immigration had been a fringe phenomenon. People kept talking about restaurants."

Conor,

Positive freedoms are just as important as negative freedoms. Far more Europeans enjoy things such as "The freedom to eat", "Freedom to sleep under a roof in the winter", and "The freedom to be treated by a doctor" then they did 50 or 100 years ago. To most people, this is far more important then the ability to buy Mein Kampf at a bookstore. (Not that there necessarily exists a trade-off! But if we have to choose...)

But if we want to play your game: Government financed telecommunication infrastructure, public transport, and generous publicly-financed small-business subsides and loan guarantees have greatly facilitated the process of opening a new and successful business. There is, by any sane standard, far more options for European consumers wishing to buy "food, drugs, and automobiles" then in any other point in human history.

Working on getting that European Passport,

David

I am surprised that Christopher Caldwell's Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam and the West has not sparked more blogospheric debate

I haven't read the book, but from what it appears to me, the only reason his book is talked about in the first place is that gives a green light for the mainstream to finally talk frankly about the issue in the hope that one will not be brandished as Islamophobe or Xenophobe by refering to the book. It doesn't appear to me that Caldwell adds anything substantially new to what the "New Atheists" and the "Islamophobes" have said all along, albeit maybe in a more polite tone.

It is interesting to see how many Somali (and other) immigrant women have adopted the gait and dress and demeanor of Swedish women.

The reports from Germany and Austria have it that more and more school girls come to school with headscarves and that at earlier ages, even in primary school.

There are some scantily clad women of muslim background. But don't be fooled. Go to a playground or hang out near mosques or backyard prayer rooms before or after the Friday Sermon and you will see plenty of veiled women. Notice how you can see packs of young muslim men, the much mentioned "youths", but no similar number of girls accompanying them. The girls have to stay at home.

Even left leaning secular Muslim politicians complain that second and third generation immigrants have become more rather than less traditional.

Workplace participation of Muslim women has actually declined in recent decades and is now as low as 23% in Germany.

Fertility rates of Turks have come down and are lower than what the alarmists believe, but they are higher than in Turkey. Exposure to the west seems to decrease westernization or modernization, probably to avoid a loss of identity.

Immigration of Turks to Germany is now negative. More Turks are moving out than are moving in. This may be a result of economic progress in Turkey and because of the new requirement that import brides and grooms know at least 300 words of the German language.

What would happen to the Swiss tourist sector?

I don't know about the Swiss tourist sector, but the tourist sector in Austria has come to rely on cheap east German labor. (The German Governemnt actually encourages emigration and provides language classes in the Austrian dialect.)

Muslims have been traditionally employed as factory workers and textile workers. That has faded away. Many of them now work at gas stations, run cell phone shops, kebab joints, groceries etc. They live in urban centers and not in the alpine ski resorts.

If Caldwell thinks that Latino immigration will work fine because of Christianity, it seems like his focus is to much on religion. Turks for example are not as religious as say Arabs or Pakistanis, but they are very nationalistic. Turkish mosques in Europe are run by the Turkish ministry of Religion, which seeks to spread a mix of nationalism and religion. Some secular right wing groups have popular support among immigrant turks and they are not helping immigration efforts either.

What I am trying to say is that you can't simply generalize "Muslim immigration". It varies greatly by nationality. Iranians are very secular. They have fled theocracy in most cases after all. Bosnian Muslims don't practise their religion. Being Muslim is more of an ethnic than a religious category for them.

I don't think that Europe being freer as it ever was applies to the Netherlands in particular. Theo Van Gogh wouldn't agree, were he still alive.

Latino immigration - which I am mostly ignorant of - going fine depends on the definition of "fine". If it means no serious religous conflict, terror, honor killings and bothersome accomodations for countless religious practices, etc., it will be fine.

But "fine" seems that mean that they will become WASPs or americanized rednecks to some, including Christopher Caldwell, apparently. After all, how is Mexican immigration not "fine" already if that is not what it is about?
There is a sense i gather from the blogosphere in which even the mere suggestion that Mexicans don't want to become WASPs is seen as xenophobic or anti-immigrant. I find this not open minded and liberal as the proponents of this notion seem to think of themselves, but rather to be implicitly chauvinistic. Not everybody wants to be an American (in the cultural sense), you know. From what I gather from Youtube clips and other media to improve my Spanish skills, it appears to me that Mexican Americans are perfectly happy with being Mexican, their language and their Telenovelas. Italian Americans didn't have satellite TV and the internet. History doesn't repeat itself perfectly. Time will tell, how Latino immigration will unfold.

Cubavision, which I watch religiously of course, is hilarious btw. It is broadcast via Satellite in Europe. Venezuela based TeleSUR as well. Both spreading the gospel of socialism.

fact: that something like 60% of all americans have a kraut background will prevent us from going to war with germany. or even let anabaptist pacifict krauts lead the attack. When you throw in the Irish population, the chance of us allying with the imperial brits in none. And since they are no french in this country, we would never do a deal with the french. Oh, and bomb Italy -- so silly. With the votes in Brooklyn it will never happen.

nationalism isn't dead yet, baby.

From what I gather from Youtube clips and other media to improve my Spanish skills, it appears to me that Mexican Americans are perfectly happy with being Mexican, their language and their Telenovelas.

I don't really buy that. If you look at third-generation hispanics whose families orginally came from Mexico and Latin America, only something like 4% of them even speak Spanish at all. That's actually faster than some of the earlier waves of immigration in the late 19th century.*

*People forget this, but there were actually large pockets of immigrant communities of German descent in places like Wisconsin where German was a commonly spoken and widely held-onto language even into the third-generation, with German-language newspapers, etc. It only really came to an end with eventual assimilation, plus demonization in the First World War.

I don't really buy that. If you look at third-generation hispanics whose families orginally came from Mexico and Latin America, only something like 4% of them even speak Spanish at all. That's actually faster than some of the earlier waves of immigration in the late 19th century.*

Third generation Hispanics are the descendents of the first wave of Hispanic immigrants which, I assume, faced more pressure to learn English. So you can't assume that this trend continues with regard to more recent immigrants.

But what your example illustrates what I wanted to say. Don't you think that Hispanic grandparents are sad, when they can't converse with their own grandchildren? I don't see that as a good thing and it is perfectly understandable to me, if Hispanics are trying to do everything in their power to retain their language and culture going forward. I would do the same thing.

Is it too much to ask people to stop caring and go on with their lives? Whether some guy who moves in across the street came from Pakistan is mostly nobody's business.

There is a gay quarter in Hamburg where homosexuals are now harassed by Muslims who claim that their behaviour is disrespectful, especially near their mosques. So the gays are hunkering down and moving out. Why these Muslims moved into a gay neighborhood and built mosques there in the first place is beyond me.
The reason Muslim immigration is in the news as opposed to ultra-orthodox Judaism, Hinduism or Sikhism is that these very religious and traditional communities keep their religion to themselves and don't demand that larger society change to accomodate them.

Call me naive and closed minded, but I can't see xenophobia as anything short of childish.

My point is that, while it's nice and all that certain generations become culturally integrated in their new land, is that really a concern at all? Seems like a waste of time to talk about that when it all boils down to "xenophobia is silly."

The thing is that Xenophobes aren't convinced by that argument. Racism is childish too. Yes, if only racists and Xenophobes would stop being so childish, most issues would resolve itself.
What was your Plan B again?

"Richer, stronger, freer."

Correlation is not causation.

And the present isn't necessarily the future.

But then, you already knew that. When you aren't obfuscating.

Dave, good one.

Steyn's _America Alone_ doesn't include a signle verifiable sourced statistic, so Caldwell's book is an improvement. I suppose.

I should add that Stockholm has many more immigrants than does Sicily and which is the place in greater future trouble?

What does that prove? Immigration in and of itself is a neutral term. The question is who is immigrating? If thousands of Swedes immigrated to Sicily, Sicily's prospects would probably improve immeasurably. Thousands of Sicilians going to Sweden would probably not be so great for Sweden. Thousands of Somalis is even worse.

Matt, I do not believe that comparing Christianity and Islam in 2009 makes much sense.

For start, currently living Muslims, at least those of non-European origin, value their religion much more in terms of personal identity than currently living Christians. Polls which ask Muslims whether they identify themselves as Muslim first, or (say) Arab, British or Turk first, show surprisingly high numbers of "Muslim first" answers. The same polls taken with Swiss or Mexican Catholics would not come even close for the "Catholic first" option. By large, (ethnic or state) nationalism and other political identifications have substituted the previously dominant religious self-identification in the Western culture. This process has taken place in the 19th century, and it has been finished for so long that westerners take its results for natural and granted. They are not.

This is reason why it makes more sense to speak about Islamic immigration rather than Arab immigration, and, at the same time, to speak about Mexican immigration than Catholic immigration; the self-identification of the groups in question differs.

Second, Islam of the year 2009 is a highly politicized religion. Almost everywhere in the current Islamic world, the "clergy" (a loosely defined term, of course) struggles with the older secular regimes for power. It made a huge success in Iran 1979, and things have never been the same since then. This struggle is not only ideological, but very bloody at times. And echoes of this struggle come back to Europe, if only through several ME-based TV channels whose regular programming is close to religious incitement. Some of them have actually been banned in Europe.

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