September 26, 2007, the Australian
Alan Wood, Economics editor
"WE have heard little in this year's political debate about immigration or multiculturalism, although immigration is running at record levels.
Yet a change of government has the potential to bring with it a marked change in both these policy areas, and one that most Australians may not like much.
Kevin Rudd has, as on other issues, kept a low profile and told his shadow immigration minister to do the same ...
In the Labor years it was the role of cosmopolitan elites to keep ordinary, red-necked Australians and their inherent racism on the straight and narrow. It was an era of stifling political correctness, where critics were howled down with cries of racist by the cosmopolitan internationalist elites of the progressive Left.
It was also an era of corrupt immigration policies, with family stream migration rorted to provide branch-stacking fodder.
It was a time when ordinary Australians had the cosmopolitans' virulent multiculturalism shoved down their throats ...
Historian John Hirst wrote in 1994:
"Mainstream Australian society was reduced to an ethnic group and given an ethnic name: Anglo-Celt. Its right to primacy was denied; indeed, it became the most suspect of all ethnic groups given its atrocious past." ...However, the real worry, given Australia will want to continue to run a strong immigration program, is a Labor government's ability to retain a national consensus in favour of immigration. There is a substantial body of research that shows the ethnic diversity driven by immigration is destructive of social capital ...
Francis Fukuyama, author of The End of History, told an International Monetary Fund conference on social capital some years ago:
"Social capital is important to the efficient functioning of modern economies and is the sine qua non of stable liberal democracy."... over several decades immigration and ethnic diversity lead to mistrust, challenge social solidarity, break down community and are poison to social capital.
This isn't an argument for stopping immigration or for racial purity, since, as Putnam says, ethnic diversity will inevitably increase in all modern societies. But it is a powerful argument against multicultural policies that encourage ethnic separatism and discourage assimilation ...
Yet the strongly adverse effect of immigration and ethnic diversity on social capital suggests a policy that brings Australians together rather than encouraging cultural separation will be essential to sustaining immigration and its long-term benefits."
My comment ...
Full marks to Alan for acknowledging the loss of community through multiculturalism and the lack of debate on immigration in this election. With regards to current immigrants, certainly an assimilation policy is preferred over multiculturalism.
But if you happily endorse continued record levels of immigration, you can throw your assimilation policies in the bin. For when numbers get to critical mass, as they now are, they will laugh and piss all over top-down assimilation policies. Forced integration doesn't work. DEMOGRAPHY IS DESTINY. It's the numbers, stupid. No Aussies want to live in ethnic enclaves so, as Melanie Phillips says "if there is no longer an overarching culture, there is nothing into which minorities can integrate". They revert to their ethnic/religious identity.
There is nothing "inevitable" about ethnic diversity increasing in a modern society. Such "thinking", as we have heard before, is the delinquency of the parrots. Is that conviction, Alan, or convenience? We know that assimilation doesn't work under the weight of numbers, and we know that diversity is poison to social capital, so the only thing "inevitable" is to stop nonwhite immigration.
“The models in Europe have failed. The multicultural [model] has failed. The model of forced integration has also failed. In France, you see young people using violence to reaffirm their Muslim identity.” source
"You see, Britain has had an official multicultural policy rather like our own and I think it has totally failed in Britain and it has totally failed here. France has not had a policy of multiculturalism of that kind. In fact successive French governments, to their credit, have turned their faces against such policies. They have favoured what I myself favour, namely an integrationist policy … what we used to call in Australia before the triumph of multiculturalism under Mr Whitlam and Mr Fraser and successors, which was called assimilationist policies. Now, it’s clear too that where assimilationist policies have worked in France pretty well until recently, what’s happening now shows that, for Muslims, integrationist policies don’t work either …And the issue of race is important. Lawrence Auster:
... what we are talking about is whether or not those of the Muslim culture can be readily integrated into cultures which are western in their orientation, such as our own. I think the answer to that, in my opinion, is clearly no. And that is why not only do I believe that we should bring an end to our official multiculturalist policies, but we should bring an end to or virtually bring to a halt…for the time being at least, until the world gets this situation sorted out—or more particularly until Islam gets its sorted out within itself—we should virtually bring to a halt Muslim immigration into Australia. We don’t have to take people from the Muslim culture." source
"Context and numbers are everything.
A small number of people of different race can join a majority group without changing the identity of the group, because, being a small number, they act as individuals and are seen as individuals, though they will always be seen as exotics.
A massive number of people of different race fundamentally changes the whole society. Then it becomes a matter, not of individuals joining a culture, but of one group and its culture replacing another group and its culture."