Wednesday, June 26, 2019

READ THIS: Gerfried Ambrosch: "Making Sense Of Immigration: Why Multiculturalism Is At Odds With Integration"

I almost couldn't agree with this more.
   I've said a lot of it, some of it many times; some of it I'd glimpsed but not grasped; some of it I wish I'd seen, but didn't.
   Though I might change the subtitle to: Why Multiculturalism Is At Odds With The Functioning And Continued Existence Of The Liberal State...  I think that's closer to what Ambrosch argues for. It seems obvious to me why multiculturalism is at odds with integration.
   Ambrosch is good about repeatedly pointing to the respective extremes to orient the discussion. The rightward extreme is: no (or very little?) immigration. The leftward extreme is: fully open borders. Both are bad. But the Overton widow has been shifted so far to the left that we have become disoriented. The old leftward extreme fell far short of open borders even ten years ago. And the left now seems to view Some immigration laws rather than none as a rightward extreme. Currently, despite the fact that we admit a million legal immigrants per year, anyone who advocates actually enforcing the laws against illegal immigration is a racist, xenophobic, reactionary extremist.
   Thing is, America somehow hit the sweet spot for awhile--we seemed to succeed at everything. We were (and still largely are) the envy of the world. We were where most people wanted to go. We were (and still are) awesome.
   But this, well, made everyone (note: exaggeration) want to come here.
   And that includes: a whole lot of people who don't quite share the culture and values that made us awesome.
   Now, part of what made us awesome is: that's ok!
   You can come on in anyway--though we'll keep the influx at manageable levels--and we'll assimilate you. We'll make you one of us.
   We're not the Borg, though; we're the melting pot (or as some have said: the tossed salad). You'll contribute your insights and some of your folkways to our evolution, thus helping to determine what we'll--in a deliberate and controlled way--eventually become.
   But to do this, you're going to have to largely accept at least the basics that allow this system to work as well as it does:
This requires that we consistently define and assert our values and principles, which are themselves subject to rational scrutiny (which is itself a cultural value). Western society is based on Ancient Greek philosophy, Roman law, the Judeo-Christian tradition and Enlightenment humanism. If there is one guiding principle that epitomizes our liberal tradition it is that “no idea is above scrutiny, and no people are beneath dignity,” as the British counter-extremism activist Maajid Nawaz—himself the son of Pakistani immigrants—puts it.
   Two relevant things that threaten the continued functioning of this amazing system are: (a) huge, unregulated influxes of immigrants and (b) extreme versions of multiculturalism. Both become more dangerous the more different the immigrants are from us. And the contemporary progressive left wants both (a) and (b).
   We're premitted to say no for at least two reasons. First, they're not our status quo, and the left has failed to prove that either (a) or (b) is disireable. Second, because both (a) and (b)--and especially the combination of the two--endangers the survival of the liberal order. (Of course the illiberal left doesn't want the liberal order to survive...but we don't have to want what they want.)
   If anyone were arguing for the rightward extreme--no immigration--that's be different. They'd have an extremely heavy burden of proof, to say the least. But what's being represented as the rightward extreme is: stick to the status quo and enforce our very generous legal immigration system. And this is no mere appeal to tradition. The system was set up as it is for good reasons. The fad on the left is to push for something extreme--and to pretend like they have no burden of proof at all. And there are legitimate concerns that this extreme and unproven leftist fad could overwhelm and undermine our ways of life and the liberal order.
   And just about the only argument they have in support of this radical position is: you're a racist.
   To get some more perspective: we're not even arguing that open borders are off the table for discussion. We're merely refusing to accept whimsical and ill-considered demands that this possibly catastrophic idea be de facto implemented immediately.
   Though these last bits are mine, not Ambrosch's. So don't blame him.


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