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Mine enemy’s enemy

November 6th, 2005

I haven’t found enough information on the riots in France, to make any useful comment on what’s happening, except an obvious one, that the Chirac government has made an awful mess of things.

In this context, there’s an expectation about that leftists should defend Chirac and his government, and therefore be embarrassed by his failures. The first time this expectation arose was when (thanks to poor performance and co-ordination on the left) Chirac ended up in a run-off against Le Pen for the presidency in 2002. Hence it was necessary for the left to campaign for a strong vote against Le Pen and, necessarily, for Chirac. Then in 2003, Chirac’s government led the opposition to the Iraq war at the UN, by virtue of its permanent membership of the UNSC, rather than because of its great moral standing. Still, the war had to be opposed, and Chirac therefore had to be supported.

But the argument that ‘mine enemy’s enemy is my friend’ can only go so far. Much of the reason why French Gaullists annoy US Republicans is that they have so much in common. There’s little doubt that, if Chirac had the kind of global power that Bush does, he’d abuse it in exactly the same way. Australians and New Zealanders, who’ve seen Chirac and his predecessors throwing their weight around in the South Pacific (long used as the site for French nuclear tests), are well aware of this. The same kind of heavy-handedness is evident in domestic policy and seems to have contributed to the riots.

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  1. Terje Petersen
    November 7th, 2005 at 04:04 | #1

    QUOTE:In this context, there’s an expectation about that leftists should defend Chirac and his government, and therefore be embarrassed by his failures.

    RESPONSE: Some of the economic policies in France (35 hour week, high level of public sector spending, price regulation everywhere etc) seem to be pretty leftist economic policy. And I would suggest that problems like high French unemployment are a product of economic policies. So the leftists should be embarrassed.

  2. Dave Ricardo
    November 7th, 2005 at 08:35 | #2

    “if Chirac had the kind of global power that Bush does, he’d abuse it in exactly the same way”

    Chirac would be much worse. Look at the way the French still throw their weight around their former colonies, like the Cote d’Ivoire. The make the Americans look like models of restraint.

    As bad as Bush is, he’ll be gone before too long, and, thanks a combination of scandals, bad policy, plain incompetence and the diffusion of power within the United States, his Presidency is moribund anyway.

    The next President might be a Democrat or a very different Republican. The United States Government from 2008 may be a different animal altogether

    But in France, Gaullism and L’Etat are one and the same, regardless of who the President or government is. Gaullism is a firmly entrenched in power as the Bourbons were circa 1750.

  3. conrad
    November 7th, 2005 at 08:55 | #3

    The problem has been around long before Chirac — maybe Chirac didn’t do much to fix it, but it isn’t a particularily easy problem to fix. Perhaps there are no short/medium term solutions.

    I also don’t see why leftists should defend the generally right-wing Chirac. The vote against Le Pen was just that, a vote against Le Pen, which made Chirac the defacto winner.

    Terje : The French workforce participation rate is similar to that of Australia, despite an older population. No doubt getting rid of the layers of beuracracy would help employment, but the main problem with some of the poor non-white groups (and indeed the poor white French groups) is education and training . Until you fix that problem, you could have the simplest and most free employment conditions in the world, and you would still have high unemployment. Also, I’m not sure which France you’re talking about, but if its the one I work in every now and then, I think you’ll find the mythical 35 hour week is just that — most professionals work quite hard.

  4. Ian Gould
    November 7th, 2005 at 09:39 | #4

    >Chirac would be much worse. Look at the way the French still throw their weight around their former colonies, like the Cote d’Ivoire. The make the Americans look like models of restraint.

    To be fair to Chirac, he hasn’t been nearly as bad in this regard as either Mitterand or D’istang.

  5. Ian Gould
    November 7th, 2005 at 09:43 | #5

    Terje: Some of the economic policies in France (35 hour week, high level of public sector spending, price regulation everywhere etc) seem to be pretty leftist economic policy

    Actually Terje, the current French government has been pursuing a policy of cutting benefits, privatisation and lowering taxes – so maybe it’s the rightists who should be ashamed.

  6. wilful
    November 7th, 2005 at 09:48 | #6

    The moment the right start apologising for Bush, I’ll start considering why anyone needs to be an apologist for the often right-wing Chirac.

    Anyway, this seems like one of those tedious diversions that Gerard Henderson is so fond of, talking about some long dead and buried mistakes by some very different people as a way to score points in the culture war.

  7. Ros
    November 7th, 2005 at 10:19 | #7

    that the Chirac government has made an awful mess of things.�
    It would be “nice� to hope that the incompetence of Chirac and co was sufficient to explain what is happening in France. Reports such as this suggest that some Europeans don’t think so.

    “Here are today’s headlines in Belgium’s (only) Sunday newspaper De Zondag. Page One: “No Sign of Revolt in Belgium Yet.� Page Five: “Violence Moves Towards Belgium.’
    Belgium has I guess reason to worry, 2002.

    Behind the race riots that followed the murder of a Moroccan immigrant lies a sinister organisation, Guardian
    “At the centre of the controversy is the shadowy figure of Dyab Abou Jahjah, 31. Dubbed the Arab Malcolm X or the Dr Frankenstein of integration depending on who is doing the dubbing, Abou Jahjah, the president of an organisation called the Arab European League (AEL), has the Belgian establishment running scared.
    Shortly after Achrak stopped breathing, Abou Jahjah was spotted in the middle of the gathering crowd, holding forth to hundreds of second-generation Moroccan teenagers. A little later, Antwerp’s police had the first of many riots on their hands and the finger of suspicion fell on Abou Jahjah.
    he makes it clear that the AEL has plans to expand into the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands within two years….The league officially numbers 1,000 members across the continent, but that is said to be a conservative estimate. “

    Interestingly his launch of AEL in Holland was greeted almost positively.

    Fingers are being pointed at Jahjah currently in France, at least as an opportunist in the current problems. He is certainly putting himself out there.
    “The riots of this week, regardless of the incidental frame of trigger and style, are a soft expression of the situation that I have just described. I say a soft expression, because it can be harder, and if nothing changes it will be harder.
    The French aristocratic class during the pre-revolutionary period in France was also referring to the small riots here and there that preceded the revolution as acts of thugs and criminals. They did not realize that these riots were little storms preceding the hurricane that was looming.� Nov 5th Arab European League web site.

    It would seem reasonable to see in him one of those called by Charles Tilly a political entrepreneur, who seek escalation to violence in the competition for dominance. And they have in many cases have the know how to use violence from previous activities. Jahjah gained his stripes in Lebanon fighting Israel. Tilly makes the point that these entrepreneurs out bid those who want to use negotiated solutions.

    Of course even if he is involved now he is just one of many actors and causes. It does however add to the French difficulties. The situation would also seem to be one where it is extremely difficult to know who to negotiate with. And that there could be players that don’t want to negotiate.
    Report such as the following are worrying.

    “Without question what is taking place bears all the hallmarks of being coordinated,” Yves Bot, the Paris public prosecutor, told Europe 1 radioâ€?

    “ riots are just a particularly virulent flare-up of an ongoing pattern of violence: twenty to forty cars are set afire nightly in Paris’ restive Muslim suburbs, and no fewer than nine thousand police cars have been stoned since the beginning of 2005.â€?

    “Sunday: 29 cops injured by gunfire in Grigny (2 CRS riot police seriously hurt).�

    “six youths, all aged under 18, were last night arrested in a raid on a building in Evry, south of Paris, during which more than 100 bottles, gallons of fuel and hoods for hiding rioters’ faces were also found.â€?

    Chirac doesn’t stand alone in this and while making statements that it won’t be tolerated doesn’t inspire confidence, it has been a long time coming. Many actors and factors have led to this dangerous moment and it is exhausting to see how often we repsond with the left/ right it is your fault response. Is it fear and the need always to have someone to blame.

    Pretending initially that it wasn’t such a problem and trying to make Sarkozy the bad guy isn’t encouraging either. It does seem reasonable to suggest Chirac has not coped. To hold him a special cause not so valid.

  8. Katz
    November 7th, 2005 at 10:20 | #8

    Chirac’s Gaullists may be no more moral than Bush’s clique, but the French tend to bully people who can be bullied. In foreign interventions they don’t mistake self-righteousness with capacity.

    I have some issues with JQ’s comment:

    “Then in 2003, Chirac’s government led the opposition to the Iraq war at the UN, by virtue of its permanent membership of the UNSC, rather than because of its great moral standing.”

    Yes, France does have a veto power. But it was plain before the vote for war was actually to be taken, the majority of the Security Council were going to vote against Bush and his foreign claque. That’s why the vote was never taken and Bush rushed to war.

    Perhaps American Imperialists would be better employed learning French finesse and delicatesse rather than changing the name of junk food.

  9. Katz
    November 7th, 2005 at 10:35 | #9

    I agree with Ros that France’s ethno-religious problems are by no means unique to France, just like French social and political problems in 1848 and in 1968 were by no means unique to France. France often serves as the seedbed of pan-European discontent.

    Even though the behaviour of the North African-dominated rioters does seem very threatening, interestingly their behaviour is very French in character. This is how French people have rioted since the 18th century.

    So in one way, this behaviour is the hallmark not of foreignness, but of Frenchness. It may even signal the entry of a new group into the Frnech political conversation, which has long been renowned for its rudeness and periodic, and largely symbolic, violence.

  10. November 7th, 2005 at 11:24 | #10

    the Chirac government has made an awful mess of things…The same kind of heavy-handedness is evident in domestic policy and seems to have contributed to the riots.

    I would think that the rioters, whatever their ethnic or economic rationales, bear some responsibility for the riots. Or is Pr Q saying that it is all Chirac’s fault and that protesters should be free to take the law into their own hands?

    The law and order of the French democratic state and the security of its citizens is surely a paramount consideration. In short, ethics should trump economics and ethnics.

    The real finger of blame should be pointed at immigration authorities who have lurched from one blunder to another. French policy after the war was to allow unselective immigration based on temporary labour shortages. The riots are what happens when “guest workers” and their kin overstay their welcome.

    Also French settlement policy has been a giant zig-sag going around in circles. The wonks at the lycee inittially followed a policy of municipal segregation of ethnics into tower blocks, so the gendarmes could keep an eye on them and cordon the area off if things got out of hand. Then, after Le Pens challenge from the Right, they changed tack towards a superficial policy of national integration.

    Both the (Mitterand) Nationalist Left and (Le Pen) Racist Right need to drasticly re-think the way in which Islamic immigrants are selected and settled into France. I bet most Frenchmen yearn for De Gaulle to return to power to solve this one last crisis.

  11. observa
    November 7th, 2005 at 11:44 | #11

    “I haven’t found enough information on the riots in France, to make any useful comment on what’s happening, except an obvious one, that the Chirac government has made an awful mess of things.”

    Well perhaps you might like to start here for some commentary and analysis
    http://fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com/

    The situation for police is getting more serious it seems
    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,17162701-23109,00.html

    So apparently the Chirac government has made an awful mess of things. Perhaps they failed to sense the danger in allowing a rerun of The Cars that Ate Paris and some Parisians have taken the film too literally. I guess if they succeed in continuing to burn nearly 1300 cars a night, among other sundry items of furniture, their fears will ultimately be assuaged.

    Now it was only recently that the finger of blame for poor social outcomes in New Orleans was pointed accusingly at Bush Neoconservatives and the ills of US capitalism. Now it appears to be the vagaries of Chirac and French socialist policies to blame. Something doesn’t quite square here, except that it was a Professor Andrew Fraser who warned Australians about trying to force too many square pegs into round holes making for poor social outcomes. With each passing night in Paris, it would seem to the casual observer, the muticultural wet dreams of his critics are fast evaporating in the flames. For the French it’s now a question of how to quell the flames of racial and sectarian violence. For Australians it’s a question of how to prevent such outbreaks here. Presumably Professor Fraser believes he has already prescribed the answer for Australians.

  12. November 7th, 2005 at 12:04 | #12

    Both the (Mitterand) Nationalist Left and (Le Pen) Racist Right need to drasticly re-think the way in which Islamic immigrants are selected and settled into France. I bet most Frenchmen yearn for De Gaulle to return to power to solve this one last crisis.

    I doubt it Jack. It’s not a matter of “selecting immigrants”. Most of the rioters are third generation French citizens of North African and particularly Algerian origin – a legacy of France’s approach to colonialism (which was to refuse to recognise that colonies were that and incorporate them into metropolitan France) and the immigration is the responsibility of De Gaulle’s government’s continuing the fiction that these French citizens were indistinguishable from native French and would automatically assimilate.

    It would help if some commenters would recognise the specificity of French history and culture and not automatically extrapolate from Australian experience, as if it were the same.

  13. Patrick
    November 7th, 2005 at 14:25 | #13

    Actually, Chirac would never be in power in Australia or America or Britain. Whatever some of you might fantasise about some of our leaders, none of them are as corrupt as Chirac.

    And as to whether this can be ‘right’ or ‘left’, it is a bit silly to extrapolate at that level of generality. French ‘left’ is insane by our standards, to start with. French ‘right’ often looks, to us, like our left – many people have distinquished between European and American conservatism: remember, one is trying to conserve the fruits of a revolution against the other!

    And on PrQ’s post, ‘heavyhandedness‘!?!? How I wish, for France’s sake, its government could be a little heavyhanded in the sense you mean, for once, and a little less heavyhanded in the sense you would doubtless felicitate it for.

    The latter is stuff like their stupid 35 hour week, which is a waste of everyone’s time, and the just crushing weight of regulation which of course just translates straight into corruption. Did you know that in France you need local government approval to have a sale in your shop? Or even better, think of all the reasons once parroted against Sunday shopping in Australia. Then consider that in France, it is generally illegal, except in December. Holidays, if you work in a restaurant/café/shop in France, are certainly not for December.

    On the other hand, if they could just work up the heavyhandedness to break a strike for once, or let the 2.5% of the country that farms just grow up and either shape up or sell out, or have actually bothered enforcing the law in these cités 10 years ago, all of those heavyhandednesses might actually help them get somewhere.

  14. Ros
    November 7th, 2005 at 15:12 | #14

    It seems unlikely that the bulk of these young people are third generation. French immigration prior to WW2 was mainly European, though this dropped off by 1930. The Algerian immigration prior to WW2 was minimal, and what there was temporary, they left when they had made enough money. After WW2 Europeans weren’t interested. Hence Algerian migration. It was assumed by the populace that the migrants who arrived in the 1950s and 1960s from North and Sub-Saharan Africa would return home after having earned some money in France. As the perception of this began to change, so by the mid 1970’s France had begun to tighten immigration.
    So in 1962, about 350,000 so-called “French Muslims” were counted in France (France doesn’t or didn’t trace ethnicity because all are equal). The number of Algerians rose to 470,000 in 1968 and to 800,000 in 1982.

    So I assume that Mark is pointing out that the individuals concerned had French colonial standing. They were not living in France however so it may not be that they think like third generation Europeans as such. And considering stats such as those for 2000, the French colonial origins of the immigrants is not so assured; 150,025 applications were approved. The origins of these new French citizens are North Africa (48 percent), Europe (16 percent), sub-Saharan Africa (7.5 percent), and Turkey (8.5 percent)

    If that was not what was meant, 3 to 4 decades does not seem long enough to adequately cover 2 generations. Of course one of the petrol bombers caught was 10 so maybe so.

    Well Dominique de Villepin wouldn’t be our Prime Minister. I learnt from this event that he was appointed, and he has never been elected to any public office at any stage in his life.

  15. Ian Gould
    November 7th, 2005 at 15:25 | #15

    Terja looks at the riots and sees evience for the evils of socialism, Jack looks at the ritos and sees evidence to supprot his view on the undesirability of unrestricted immigration.

    I look at the riots and confess my lack of knowkledge of the French language and French society and confess myself unable to offer a definitive explanation.

    A few observations may be in order though:

    1. Superfically, at least, the riots seem to resemble those in the Sydney suburbs of Redfern and Macquarie Fields (although they are obviously on a much larger scale and much more destructive) and the LA Riots following the Rodney King beating. That would tend to argue against a specifically French cause for the riots.

    2. As far as I know, Macquarie Fields was a typical Australian working class suburb no single dominant group of migrant residents – but the other three examples (Paris, LA, Redfern) all involved members of a racial minority – and they were all sparked by perceptions of police misconduct (justified or not).

    3. They also all share a failure of the police to respond rapidly and with sufficient force in the initial stages of the disorder.

    4. I know it’s getting on well into autumn in the northenr hemisphere but I have to wonder if the lacksidaisical response of the French government over the first week or ten days of rioting is antoher reflection of the French custom of very extrnded summer holidays which contributed to the heat wave tragedy in 2003.

    5. The media coverage of the riots is referring to the rioters as being “mainly” or “mostly” of north African descent. you have to wonder if this is straight factual reporting or understates or overstates the involvement of other French citizens. I find it quite credible that prevarication could be being employed for reasons of political correctness and the rioters could be more-or-less entirely of Northern African origin. But I also find it equally credible that French chauvinism could lead to a downplaying of the involvement of “real” French people in the riots. Rioting is now occurring in somr quite small towhships where I’d be surprised to learn there were significant migrant communities.

  16. November 7th, 2005 at 15:34 | #16

    Its funny that the Arab Street has risen most violently in the nation that most strenuously opposed the Gulf War. Another bit of Wet ideology bites the dust.

  17. November 7th, 2005 at 15:49 | #17

    Mark Bahnisch Says: November 7th, 2005 at 12:04 pm

    It’s not a matter of “selecting immigrants�. Most of the rioters are third generation French citizens of North African and particularly Algerian origin – a legacy of France’s approach to colonialism (which was to refuse to recognise that colonies were that and incorporate them into metropolitan France)

    It is a post-facto myth to suggest that France’s migrant selection and settlement policies have been based on an ideal of national assimilation. One only has to look at the massive public housing estates and the police cordons to see segregation at work from the beginning. In reality the monoculturalism is just window dressing, lip service payed to breached Jacobin ideals.

    Really, I wonder if Mark Bahnisch really knows any French people or has observed the French political scene over the past generation. Do they sound like liberals or vote like liberals?

    In reality the Algerian emigres have been subjected to politically sponsored segregation for capitalist and statist convenience. The Algerian immigrants were let into France in order to do the dirty work that French capitalists were unwilling to pay native French trade unionists to do. And they formed a lucrative welfare clientele for France’s famously dirgiste urban planners.

    and the immigration is the responsibility of De Gaulle’s government’s continuing the fiction that these French citizens were indistinguishable from native French and would automatically assimilate.

    If the Muslim immigrants are not indistinguishable in nature from native Frenchmen then Mark Bahnisch is asserting the natural inequality of ethnics argument, most strenuously advocated by Charles Murray. That would be a turn up for the books.

    So is Mark Bahnisch suggesting that the solution to France’s ethnic problem is more multiculturalism? The definition of a fanatic is one who redoubles his effort when he has forgotten his aim.

  18. November 7th, 2005 at 16:04 | #18

    Really, I wonder if Mark Bahnisch really knows any French people or has observed the French political scene over the past generation. Do they sound like liberals or vote like liberals?

    Yes – and yes and no. There’s actually not much of a liberal tradition in France in the Anglo sense.

    The ghettoes are comparable to those across the world from the 50s, Jack. Have a look around Melbourne or London for forbidding tower blocks for an underclass. Ethnicity/religion has nothing to do with it.

    Though I do recognise the limited validity of the Marxisant analysis in your third paragraph.

    I can’t see how you equate my views with those of Charles Murray. The reason why the immigrant populations have not moved into the mainstream rests in a combination of misguided assimilationism and discrimination.

    So is Mark Bahnisch suggesting that the solution to France’s ethnic problem is more multiculturalism?

    Yes. Even Chirac is contemplating affirmative action in employment and education.

  19. November 7th, 2005 at 16:06 | #19

    Ros

    I should probably have written 2nd or 3rd generation, but it’s correct to note that the grandparents of many 2nd generation immigrants would have been French citizens while residing in Algeria before the War.

  20. Bill Cushing
    November 7th, 2005 at 16:15 | #20

    Check out the movie ‘La Haine’ (with Vincent Cassel).

    It clearly shows the ticking time bomb of the banlieux–ten years ago.

    Good movie, too.

  21. Ros
    November 7th, 2005 at 17:56 | #21

    Mark I wasn’t just nitpicking. There is the suggestion that those who arrive as young first generation or are second generation immigrants have particular alienation problems. That is whereas their parents arrive with their culture inculcated and their sense of self well established these two groups are at some risk of being confused and unsure of where they belong. The fact that the Muslim community as well as the French authorities have no discernible influence with the rioters might support this.

    The misunderstood and underprivileged line is being promoted heavily in the press. It was however interesting to listen to the ABC’s report from their European correspondent this evening. Yes unemployed etc, but as he sort of put it, as unemployed underprivileged ghettos go these are top of the line. Most other similar western areas are far worse.

    I am reminded of school bullies and the emotional commitment to them as either the innocents or the victims so beloved of many parents and teachers. First there is the boys will be boys, or unemployed testosterone charged adolescent males will be bullies. This requires ignoring why most aren’t. And as there seems to be many quite young males involved, they are not even unemployed. Then there is the, this child has a hard life, hence strikes out at others. Again most don’t choose to do that.

    Why do I think of this, because when asked why it was not possible to stop them, well one reason is, they are enjoying themselves so much. It certainly looks like a game, text messages on where to go where the police are, and so on. Only people are being hurt.

    Must we once again commiserate with the violent? If for one reason only, to be made some kind of heroes fighting for the rights of the underprivileged is guaranteed to encourage them. In the meantime those who have been left to their lawlessness for many years by the French police continue to suffer.

  22. Ros
    November 7th, 2005 at 22:19 | #22

    ABC reports cars burning Brussels. Maybe this phenomenon has as much meaning as the revival of Hush Puppies.

  23. conrad
    November 8th, 2005 at 05:51 | #23

    Mark : It definitely is partially an ethnic problem — even if it didn’t start as one.

    This is also why the comparison with Australia is wrong. In Australia, most of the racial problems are caused by ignorance, which is why the most racist areas of Australia are those with the least immigrants (like Central Queensland — are there any immigrants at all there ?). Perhaps exlcuding one or two more minor groups, the closer people are to non-Anglos the less racist they become. I don’t see people complaining too much anymore about the Greeks in, say, Northcote in Melbourne, or the Chinese and Koreans in, say, Epping in Sydney. This is because these groups are generally quite harmless.

    The situation is the opposite in France. The closer you are to the major ethnic groups, the more racist you are likely to become — mainly because the young males are, basically, a pain (this is where Le Pen’s support base comes from — those living close to Arab areas). So it isn’t ignorance at all, it is people getting worn down from getting constant grief by people predominantely from one or two ethnicities. This is also why there is a hierarchy of dislike. The more people get bothered by a given ethnic group, the more they dislike them. It is not surprising that the general order of dislike goes Arabs then Afticans, because you are more likely to get bothered by the former than the latter.

  24. November 8th, 2005 at 11:46 | #24

    Mark Bahnisch Says: November 7th, 2005 at 4:04 pm

    There’s actually not much of a liberal tradition in France in the Anglo sense.

    The French founded the Enlightenment. Thats pretty liberal in my book. They also launched the Napoleonic crusade which makes them pretty chauvinist. So there is a tension between humanity’s universal “liberty and equality” and the Gauls partial “fraternity”. But the world already knows this as a general rule, which is why nation states sprang up as modernity progressed.

    The French will never give up their cultural exceptionalism, nor should they for French culture is one of the chief glories of the world. However they are cosmopolitan and have a good record of accepting foreigners who are willing to pay homage to France. This is unfortunately not the case with Islamic ethnics. And the problem is getting worse, not better. Even as policies are becoming more liberal we find these ethnics are getting more militant.

    French chauvinism does not explain the similar ethnic problems that other European jurisdictions have enountered. Why havent Chinese immigrants formed enclaves and taken militant action against Dutch authorities, whilst Middle eastern immigrants have? East Asians are racially more different to Europeans than Middle Easterners, so presumably should be subject to more racial discrimination. The objective basis for religious discrimination is also weak, since Islam is a cousin to Christianity.

    The reason why the immigrant populations have not moved into the mainstream rests in a combination of misguided assimilationism and discrimination.

    It is far-fetched to call the French system of (sub-structural) ethnological enclavism and (super-structural) ideological slogneering a form of “misguided assimilationism”. Lets call a spade a spade. The French securite knew what they were doing. In the aftermath of the Algerian war they ran a glorified form of apartheid to re-colonise the ethnic emigres, for capitalist profit and statist power. If some Algerians managed to turn themselves into Frenchmen then so much the better. However many have not. Now the game is up.

    The [French Islamic] ghettoes are comparable to those across the world from the 50s, Jack. Have a look around Melbourne or London for forbidding tower blocks for an underclass. Ethnicity/religion has nothing to do with it.

    Ahh, so thats why Prahran and Waterloo have been the scene of such savage rioting over the past two generations. Capitalist economies and statist polities worked their evil magic of entrenching social stratification accross the board, irrespective of race or creed.

    I can’t see how you equate my views with those of Charles Murray….Even Chirac is contemplating affirmative action in employment and education.

    If you believe that an ethnic minority is in permanent need of affirmative action in order to compete on equal terms with native majority then by implication you must subscribe to Murray’s “natural inegalitarian” thesis. This is especially obvious if the demand for ethinc privileges and quotas gets stronger, rather than weaker, over time.

    [Strocchi:] more multiculturalism?… [Bahnisch] Yes.

    This is madness squared. It is plain that no reconciliation of ideologies is possible here. The globalist seeks multicultural differentiation by selecting immigrants indiscriminately (open borders) and settling them discriminately (affirmative action). The nationalist seeks monocultural integration by the opposite course: selecting immigrants discriminately (on the basis of merit not identity) and settling them indiscriminately (no ethnic lobbies).

  25. conrad
    November 8th, 2005 at 14:35 | #25

    Jack : I think you’ll find a fair few of the rioters are from African countries that are at least partially Christian. The Africans from Cote d’Ivoire [Ivory Coast] are a good example, as are those from Togo. How are they different, in terms of mentality, from the nominally Muslim Arabs rioting ? It also isn’t the people with a strict Muslim identity who are likely to annoy you, it is the second generation that don’t.

    The obvious reason why East Asians don’t cause such problems is that they are by and large rich by the second generation (for whatever reason). Discrimination against them might be bad for the countries with them as a whole (losing potential talent — just look at the Jewish people Germany lost), but few rich individuals complain even if they might be otherwise richer.

  26. Andrew Reynolds
    November 9th, 2005 at 15:43 | #26

    Jack,
    To put my understanding of the problem in France into your terms I believe that the problem is a (particularly French) combination of the Nationalist and the Globalist views – French chauvinism assumed that, because French culture is the best then anyone moving there would subscribe to it, at least given some time. The globalist policy of unrestricted immigration (at least from the now former colonies) gave them a large pool of identifiably non-indigenous French – large enough that there was no real need for the immigrants to integrate.
    This has tested to and past breaking point the naive assumption that they would become culturally French, given time.
    France has never really tried multi-culturalism because of the integration assumption. It was always believed that it was not needed.
    Australia’s case is different. Immigration, because of our distance from the main centres from which ‘our’ immigrants arrived, was normally controlled, slow and picky. The only major exception may have been the Vietnamese in the ’70s – I am not sure of the numbers, though.
    Immigrant integration here was a must for most of the immigrants – and for their children it was simply unquestioned. Australian culture has also adapted to pull in elements of each large ethnic group to come in, making the integration easier for them.
    In France this was not the case – ergo these riots of the both socially and culturally alienated.

  27. November 9th, 2005 at 21:07 | #27

    Andrew Reynolds Says: November 9th, 2005 at 3:43 pm

    France has never really tried multi-culturalism because of the integration assumption. It was always believed that it was not needed.

    France has always followed a dejure settlement policy of assimilation for ethnics willing and able to integrate according to French norms. But France’s defacto settlement policy is one of state-segregation by the New Right mustering factory fodder and New Left filling welfare rolls.

    Britain and Australia rely on multiculturalism for non-C/C ethnics. This effectively licences self-segregation for those ethnics who are unwilling or unable to integrate.

    I am not aware of any examples of a European state which has a large population of Islamic ethnics that has not wound up segregating them. The nature of settlement policy seems to be irrelevant.

    It looks like it is the people – natives v ethnics – rather than the policy – assimilation v multiculturalism – that is important. And numbers are of the essence.

    Australia’s case is different. Immigration, because of our distance from the main centres from which ‘our’ immigrants arrived, was normally controlled, slow and picky. The only major exception may have been the Vietnamese in the ‘70s – I am not sure of the numbers, though.

    I agree. I am fine with multiracial immigration. I hate multiculturalism because any social structure that divides society is immoral: reinforcing ethnic identity reduces the flow of social sympathy. Multiculturalism is analogous to class division, with results even more destructive. The end point of ethnic segregation is a caste society.

    Most non-Caucasian/Christian ethnics came here for a better life, not to reproduce the worse life they had in the Old Country. And many of the non-C/C ethnics were carefully selected and are integrating without too much fuss.

    However many ethnics were selected to fit the political or commercial needs of domestic vested interests. And they have been settled according to a reactionary and divisive social philosophy.

    The Vietnamese are a partial exception. They were selected in a haphazard way, basicly as mass refugees fleeing communist tyranny. And they have been settled in a bad way, with an abnormal amount of multicultural hanky-panky. Australia’s first political assasination appears to have been carried out by an ethnic lobbyist.

    However Vietnamese students are high IQ, roughly up to the East Asian standard. So I anticipate that the next generation of Vietnamese will integrate successfully. In spite, not because, of multiculturalism.

    In many ways the real settlement policy is carried out by the schools. Schoolyards are the most conservative and authoritarian settlement authorities that one could possibly imagine. If ethnic children can pass muster by hanging out and getting accepted by the cooler native children then their future looks bright. If not, then the French disaster beckons.

  28. November 9th, 2005 at 21:16 | #28

    “non-C/C” = non-Caucasian/Christian ethnics.

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