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Author Topic: Merkel says German multi-cultural society has failed  (Read 7161 times)
alleyesonazarath
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« Reply #15: October 18, 2010, 10:08:17 pm »

You can use that if you consider Muslims to be "other."  And I expect German leaders to say "Judeo-Christian" because of Hitler -- saying "Jewish or Christian values" might be better (if one has to leave out Muslims) but that's probably asking a bit much of political speech writers.


I have mixed feelings about this. I think they should have gone about this in a different way, but I can't blame them for the attempt.

Given the rise of emigration from the middle east to Europe during the last few years I can see some reason for concern. There has been a significant increase of people into countries, like the UK and Germany, of people that may not have wanted to move there in the first place.

I wouldn't blame anyone for doing that, but considering the problems that the world economy has been facing, I can see why some nations would want to be more "protective". Not to mention that unlike the U.S., these nations weren't founded solely by immigrants for a new way of life. These are nations that have rich cultural histories, of which most of the pantheons represented in this forum originated from, if nothing else.

We're not talking about a Quran burning over a mosque being built next to ground zero, or a ban on veils for women in France. We're talking about a direct message for people to assimilate with the culture or politely leave.

Granted, it sucks, but it's better than the alternatives. I can see it as being assholish due to the whole "speak without an accent" issue, but I can't see it as nazism.

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RandallS
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« Reply #16: October 19, 2010, 08:00:37 am »

Granted, it sucks, but it's better than the alternatives. I can see it as being assholish due to the whole "speak without an accent" issue, but I can't see it as nazism.

I'm not saying it is Nazism. I'm saying that like some of the stuff the Bush II administration said/did, there are worrisome parallels. 
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« Reply #17: October 19, 2010, 08:13:25 am »


I wouldn't blame anyone for doing that, but considering the problems that the world economy has been facing, I can see why some nations would want to be more "protective". Not to mention that unlike the U.S., these nations weren't founded solely by immigrants for a new way of life. These are nations that have rich cultural histories, of which most of the pantheons represented in this forum originated from, if nothing else.


This has very little, to nothing, to do with the current economy.
The issue of Turkish Muslim immigration / non-integration has been around for decades in Germany. General Muslim immigration / integration has been around for about at least a decade.

At most, it's come out into the open for discussion by people who can not be marginialized due to the economic climate.
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« Reply #18: October 19, 2010, 08:20:14 am »

This has very little, to nothing, to do with the current economy.
The issue of Turkish Muslim immigration / non-integration has been around for decades in Germany. General Muslim immigration / integration has been around for about at least a decade.

At most, it's come out into the open for discussion by people who can not be marginialized due to the economic climate.

Peter,

I'm not sure I'd agree with you on the economy. Obviously the problem has been around for ages, but when the economy goes to shit, immigrant problems tend to take on a whole new importance. That's been something we've seen here with the illegal immigration issue and other immigration issues at different time. IIRC, it's a pretty well known phenomenon.
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« Reply #19: October 19, 2010, 12:59:25 pm »

I'm not sure I'd agree with you on the economy. Obviously the problem has been around for ages, but when the economy goes to shit, immigrant problems tend to take on a whole new importance.

But this is, in my observation, at least partly due because it is *made* an issue. There has not been an actual dramatic increase in any of the problems associated with the cultural / religious differences. That is has become a main issue in our election is not because of the actual necessity. I am sincerely wondering if the lack of decent response has not been because our main stream parties found it convenient not to have to answer too many questions about "geez, how come you let fraudulent banking corporations into our markets anyway" or "how shall we actually handle our problem with rising costs of care". Because if those issues had been addressed thoroughly, our elections could very well have swung a different way.
And too many voters had too many ill feelings in general.


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Inca
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« Reply #20: October 19, 2010, 01:05:00 pm »


I have mixed feelings about this. I think they should have gone about this in a different way, but I can't blame them for the attempt.

I am wondering though: an attempt to what? What does Merkel try to achieve? Because it is very clear that when you start a discussion with such statements, it cannot get past the emotional stuff easily. It is not the way to open the situation up to clear the issue, it is just creating more friction. There isn't any solution, it fails to bring anything constructive. So what is the attempt exactly?
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sailor_tech
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« Reply #21: October 19, 2010, 03:09:14 pm »

But this is, in my observation, at least partly due because it is *made* an issue. There has not been an actual dramatic increase in any of the problems associated with the cultural / religious differences. That is has become a main issue in our election is not because of the actual necessity. I am sincerely wondering if the lack of decent response has not been because our main stream parties found it convenient not to have to answer too many questions about "geez, how come you let fraudulent banking corporations into our markets anyway" or "how shall we actually handle our problem with rising costs of care". Because if those issues had been addressed thoroughly, our elections could very well have swung a different way.
And too many voters had too many ill feelings in general.




I'd add in, as an outside observer, that the main parties have refused to address the immigration, assimilation & social support issues. Instead of dealing with the easy parts, or at least proposing and talking about it, the major parties have branded Wilder & such as racists and took Wilder to court for hate speech.

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« Reply #22: October 19, 2010, 05:52:55 pm »

I'd add in, as an outside observer, that the main parties have refused to address the immigration, assimilation & social support issues. Instead of dealing with the easy parts, or at least proposing and talking about it, the major parties have branded Wilder & such as racists and took Wilder to court for hate speech.



Randall and I were talking about immigration today. I think it is absolutely insane that the US is refusing to deal with this issue. Then again, I'm not sure how you have a conversation when one side seems to only want to shoot them as they cross the border and deport the millions that are here. And then if you get some sort of dialog going, how on earth do you get a vote on it.

It makes it impossible to come up with anything that can even BEGIN to address the problem.

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« Reply #23: October 20, 2010, 12:36:28 am »

Randall and I were talking about immigration today. I think it is absolutely insane that the US is refusing to deal with this issue. Then again, I'm not sure how you have a conversation when one side seems to only want to shoot them as they cross the border and deport the millions that are here. And then if you get some sort of dialog going, how on earth do you get a vote on it.

It makes it impossible to come up with anything that can even BEGIN to address the problem.



No, the US IS having the discussion. It just involves a lot of fireworks and such.

Europe has not been letting this conversation occur. Of course they don't have a 1st amendment.
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Chabas
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« Reply #24: October 20, 2010, 02:18:41 am »

No, the US IS having the discussion. It just involves a lot of fireworks and such.

Europe has not been letting this conversation occur. Of course they don't have a 1st amendment.

Just because freedom of speech is constructed differently here, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The Netherlands have also been working really hard on finding ways to have this discussion in a constructive way, and if there's anything that's making it more complicated, it *is* Wilders calling for taxes on wearing of the hijab, and the banning of the Qur'an. When it comes to his trial, you'll note that the prosecutor has called for Wilders not to be convicted, and has in fact originally refused to prosecute, which a judge then overruled, forcing them to prosecute. The prosecutor falls under the authority of the government (if several layers down). The judge is independent. Several political opponents of Wilders have spoken out against this trial. The whole framing as a political trial is nonsensical.

The fact is we've been working hard over the last 8 years - since Pim Fortuyn entered the political arena, if anyone recalls - to find constructive ways to have this discussion while Wilders, certainly the last few years, has been working mostly on creating a climate where you're either a "muslim hugger" or a "tea drinker" (referring to Cohen's habit of discussing problems with the people involved over a cup of tea) or wholly against Islam and wanting to ban the Qur'an and force all Muslims to be exactly the same as the Dutch WASP equivalent. The discussion is sadly being controlled by Wilders, who leaves no room for a middle ground.

When it comes to what you call the "easy measures", like making the social support system affordable, I'll point out that Wilders' party is one of the two holdouts against the raising of the retirement age by two years. These "easy measures" as you call them, are often hugely unpopular because they will hit voters directly in the wallet - mostly the voters (blue collar, not highly educated) who Wilders gets his popularity from. So Wilders turns against those measures and generally votes against reform on these points. Meanwhile, every time someone disagrees with him and states they don't want him governing (which he isn't, technically, but the distinction is too subtle even for many Dutch people to really grasp) he makes a big to do about how they're ignoring the wishes of 1.5 million voters, while happily ignoring the wishes of the people who voted for other parties - a good 7 million voters.

Now clearly, it's not like we've fixed this. But don't come telling me that Wilders is such a hero, fighting against the political establishment (which, btw, he has been a part of since the early '90s! He's not the outsider underdog he claims to be) and that no other party is willing to face these realities - refusing to go along with measures that go directly against various aspects of our constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion as well as freedom of speech, is not the same as refusing to face reality. Just Wilders is loudly refusing to recognize that his way is not the only way.

For the record: no, this does not mean I think that Wilders is entirely without merit. Clearly, he is formulating problems that people do feel they are facing and that are important to them. I do have very major issues with the way he approaches these problems, since I do feel that he is failing to recognize the humanity of people who do not fit into his picture, and prefers polarizing the discussion and fanning the flames to looking for actual usable solutions.

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« Reply #25: October 20, 2010, 07:33:51 am »

I do have very major issues with the way he approaches these problems, since I do feel that he is failing to recognize the humanity of people who do not fit into his picture, and prefers polarizing the discussion and fanning the flames to looking for actual usable solutions.

Unfortunately, that's exactly what goes on in the US over the problem of (non-WASP) immigration -- such as the recent statement by one Republican candidate that we should just shoot everyone coming across the Mexican boarder and have leaflet drops over Mexico warning people that the military is guarding the Mexican borders with shoot to kill orders. No mention of doing this at the Canadian border. It's hard to have a useful conversation about fixing immigration problems when one vocal and unwilling to compromise side basically wants all immigration from places they don't approve of stopped and often people already here from those places sent back (or worse). 
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« Reply #26: October 20, 2010, 08:21:11 am »

No, the US IS having the discussion. It just involves a lot of fireworks and such.

If this is a discussion, it's of the temper tantrum variety.

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