Xenophobia & immigration

Discussion in 'Politics' started by gregaryb, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. gregaryb Registered Member

    I have made the following observation about human society.

    Xenophobia is deeply rooted in and an unavoidable part of our humanity. It is the opposite side of a coin whose other face is the strong social cohesion with fellow members of our 'tribe' and 'family' that allow us to create complex societies and strong civilizations.

    If you look carefully at your local community you will see that xenophobia in one form or another occurs absolutely every where and and many levels within society. Here are a few examples in my community and country (Australia):

    1) Xenophobia against and stereotyping of Collingwood supporters by supporters of other AFL clubs.

    2) Xenophobia of Coles Supermarket employees against Franklins - I once worked for Coles.

    3) Strong Xenophobia between members of the Labour and Liberal parties, and between the National Party and the Greens.

    4) Xenophobia between Tamil Sri Lankens and other Sri Lankens

    5) Xenophobia between American and Australian servicemen during WW2 ("over paid, over sexed and over here")

    6) Xenophobia between the management and workers in large companies like Ford Australia and Australia Post.

    Some of this xenophobia is low level and/or good natured, but it is never the less undeniably xenophobia.

    I put it to you that the intensity of the xenophobia is proportional to the magnitude of the cultural and ethnic differences between people and inversely proportional to the thresh hold of tolerance towards 'others', i.e. the greater the cultural and ethnic differences the less of them in a host society that will invoke xenophobia.

    I further put it to you that it is entirely to be expected that large scale Islamic immigration (in particular) is generating such serious and socially destructive xenophobia in the west, and that western governments are being totally irresponsible in assuming that they can allow this sort of immigration and maintain social harmony.

    Our xenophobic instincts, that all humans possess regardless of race or religion, is a limitation that should be wisely kept in mind by our governments when setting immigration policy.

    It benefits no one, least of all the immigrants, to allow rifts to develop in our societies through foolish immigration policies born of a naive view of human nature.

    That is not to say that all immigration should cease across the world, merely that the intake rate needs to be sensitive to this limiting factor or our human nature.
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  3. gregaryb Registered Member

    Egypt's poltical instability

    Let's take a look at Egypt's political instability at present in the context of the above.

    This is clearly caused by over population - there are just to many people and not enough wealth, jobs and opportunities for all Egyptians to live happy and fulfilled lives.

    As a result an significant underclass has arisen, composed to a large extent of angry young adult males. They are clearly no longer prepared to cop their lot in live and are fighting for a fair share from the rest of Egyptian society which they expect to take less so they can have more. But this is just not going to happen and the Egyption establishment will fight tooth and nail to keep what they have.

    Hence this political instability will inevitably grow along with the Egyption population. Such inequity inevitably causes a society to fracture along ethnic an religious lines and often causes our innate xenophobic tendencies to explode into open racial intolerance and violence.

    But the answer is not for Egypt to export its political insatbility to Australia and the west through emmigration. Rather it is for Egyptions to face up to their own population problems and solve them internally. I.E. Through fertility control and population reduction - family planning services and contracpetion subsidised by the west where necessary.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
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  5. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

    While I think a few of your examples are not right, and disagree categorically with your conclusion (eliminating immigration from Islamic countries) I do agree that people, everywhere, are xenophobic. For example, I recently moved to British Columbia, from Texas, where people are (presumably) more open minded. But I hear people say things about the Chinese here that people would _never_ say about Mexicans/Central Americans back home. And the Chinese immigrants here are legal!

    One MP here recently suggested stopping immigration from Islamic countries---something that I've never heard an American politician (at the national level) suggest. I think this is what you're advocating, and I wonder: is this a common trend among westerners? Do most people think that we shouldn't allow immigrants from Islamic countries? In Australia, you seem to be in the same position as Americans---specifically, you're an immigrant country (unless, of course, you're native). Is this a view shared by many Australians?
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  7. gregaryb Registered Member


    eliminating immigration from Islamic countries

    I thought I made it clear that I do not believe that Islamic immigration should be eliminated entirely.

    Merely that, due to the very substantial differences between Islamic culture and western culture, Islamic immigration should be much less and commensurate with the average willingness of western citizens to accept it and commensurate with the slower rate that those of Islamic culture tend to integrate with western society.

    But these principals should be applied to immigration in general rather than only to Islamic immigration.

    The overriding principal for all immigration should be ecological sustainability and regional carrying capacity however. This will to a large extent determine the willingness of citizens to accept new immigrants.
  8. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

    Ahh apologies for misunderstanding your position.

    So what's the current situation? I don't disagree with your assessment that immigration should be decided based on your parameterization, but one should be aware of the benefits of immigration that you de-emphasized. In particular, there is value added to your organization (be it a company or a country) when there are a lot of people who don't look and think like you around.

    I'd also point out that "regional" can mean different things to different people---if it were left to "regional" authorities, the civil rights movement in America in the 1950s and 1960s would have burned out, as most of the South at the time was not in favor of the sorts of civil rights that were denied to blacks.
  9. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

    All the other issues and sub-components aside, the strong xenophobia one sees developing in the U.S. against Arabic peoples has only one root cause - the immigrants refuse to leave their country (although they have physically abandoned it) and culture behind. And it's their flat refusal to adapt and be assimilated that is the core of the conflict generated.

    The cultural thing isn't a problem in itself *unless* it conflicts with the culture of the majority of the people living in a given area. Many countries, including Australia are discovering that multiculturalism - as opposed to adaptation - simply does NOT work an is a time bomb just waiting to explode.

    For a couple of centuries, the U.S. has accepted immigrants from all over the world with only a small amount of xenophobia developing in specific areas - and never across the entire country as a whole. That's because the immigrants were willing to "leave their country behind" and simply become "Americans." The most recent round of immigrants REFUSE to do that - and the bomb is ticking throughout the entire Western world as a result.
  10. gregaryb Registered Member

    This is where governments need a formal immigration impact assessment before altering immigration intake as well as implementing measures to increase national fertility.

    Where will the majority of population increase, by either immigration or increased fertility, end up?

    What is the environmental carrying capacity of these regions and whay environmental impacts will this increase in regional population have?

    What will be the social and economic impacts?

    What will be the social and economic benefits?

    What measures will the people accept and the government prepared to implement to direct population increase to regions where it is wanted and needed? This impacts on democratic freedoms of citizens.

    After careful weighing up the pros and cons, then population policies are either implemented or scrapped.

    Some sort of board should be implemented to make these decisions and it should contain equal numbers of representatives from government, the economics and business lobby, the environment and conservation lobby and the environmental sciences community (particularly ecologists).

    At present the population policioes of governments is almost entirely determined by heresay from the economics and business lobby.
  11. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

    I don't know if this is all true---for example, I'm sure there was plenty of xenophobia in New York City n 1850-1950, when poor Italian and Irish immigrants formed their own ghettos. I think, in general, people always think "It's worse now than in the past" but it's really not. And the thing that changes it is that people like to fuck, no matter their color

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    At the end of the day, there may be some cultural things that differentiate Arab immigrants in 2010 from Italian immigrants in 1900, but I am confident that that it's not as bad as you've characterized it. Children only listen to their mothers for so long, especially when it comes to whom they're allowed to share their beds with, which people they're allowed to find attractive, and how they're allowed to live their lives.

    It is interesting, though, to see how it's all of a sudden an issue when the Europeans/Australians have to get dirt under their fingernails. We've been dealing with it in the US since the country was founded. My instinct is to air on the side of too many immigrants, rather than too few---greater diversity is always better for an organization, and the genetic diversity can only be good for the country as a whole.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2011
  12. gregaryb Registered Member

    How do any of my intrasocietal examples of xenophobioa not flow from the same spring as racial xenophobia?
  13. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

    Employees from one department store not liking employees from another department store?


    THAT'S xenophobia?
  14. gregaryb Registered Member

    Minor differences in culture, resulting from different stages of integration and smaller differences in culture in the first place, are not a problem while each 'group' collectively (not necessarily individually in all cases) is getting what it perceives it is entitled to.

    But should, for example, cheap oil suddenly finish and the super market shevles emptied due to to the resulting dramatic reduction in ability to produce food and consumer goods, then western society would fracture along ethnic and cultural lines, even the fairly minor ones.

    The establishment in each country would fight to keep what they have at the expense of lower socioeconomic ethnic groups. And, as has happened countless times through human history and indeed at present in the Arab world, these lower socioeconomic ethnic groups will rebel, resulting in civil war and likely fragmentation of the host nation in the long term.
  15. gregaryb Registered Member

    Yes! It is clearly not ratial xenophobia but it is never the less xeonophobia.

    From Wikipedia.....

    Xenophobia is defined as the "hatred or fear of foreigners or strangers or of their politics or culture".[1] It comes from the Greek words ξένος (xenos), meaning "stranger," "foreigner" and φόβος (phobos), meaning "fear."

    In this context Coles and Franklins employees, or at least the management who have some stake in the companies, are 'strangers' with opposing 'cultures' in competition with each other.

    The cultural differences here are rather minor and 'diluted' by wider Australian culture but, never the less, the mental processes of the participants in this sort of xenophobia come from the same brain circuitry as more powerful racial xeonophobia.
  16. Read-Only Valued Senior Member

    Yep, it's all true and accurate, Ben. And yes, NYC was one of those "local" areas where it really WAS tough. Boston was another. But the point is it did not cover the whole country. Leave NYC or Boston and go to Ohio or any other state with more open land at the time AND with job opportunities and there was little problem. Everyone was actually focused on fitting in so that they could feed themselves and their families. Cultural differences faded rather quickly because they weren't a priority at all. And that's ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE of a lot of Islamic immigrants today. Many arrive with all their cultural baggage hanging around their necks. Not only do they NOT wish to adapt, they actually expect Americans to adapt to them. It's the height of selfishness and egotism. (Have my cake in this new world and eat it too.)
  17. gregaryb Registered Member

    I will be even more specific and recount the comments made by an assistant grocery manager, Mr Peroni as I knew him, about 20 years ago that are still as clear to me as the day he uttered them.

    He said "I don't want this place looking like Franklins" with respect to stacking boxes on top of the new shelves they had recently installed.

    How is this fundamentally different from making a comment like "I don't want this place looking like a Chinese joss house"?
  18. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

    Well, immigration to those areas was largely from white Europeans who weren't culturally dissimilar from their cousins who immigrated just a few years prior---Scandanavians in Minnesota, for example, and Germans in my native Texas. But those people formed closed communities themselves---drive through the Texas Hill Country and you'll see cities called Boerne and Greune and Luckenbach and Fredricsberg. Assimilation may have happened more quickly because farmers can't farm by themselves---they need a whole community to help them harvest and sell their crops.

    I'm not saying I disagree with you, but I think the problem is much less pronounced than some make it out to be. The difference is that Islamic countries are mostly arid, and there aren't a lot of farmers anywhere any more. The result is that immigrants largely land in major population centers (this was true even in the 19th century) where it's easier to fit in with people who look like you and talk like you than to try and make your own way in a (sometimes) hostile environment. I think this, more than anything, is what causes immigrants to not assimilate---it's easier to be lazy always.

    Heh. It is funny to see how card carrying members of the ACLU are quick to decry how great the European social democracies are, until it comes to immigration

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    We don't even have an official language! In California, for example, ballots are published in TONS of languages. Imagine the fucking French allowing something like that.
  19. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

    Youre absolutely correct....those are two examples of the exact same thing.
  20. gregaryb Registered Member

    It is not the only example I have encountered over the years.

    I also noticed a certain amount of rivalry/xenophobia between the different IT departments of Tabcorp (privatised state horse racing Totaliser Agency Board) over the few years I worked for them.

    Particularly between the manager of our Terminals Group and the BRAVO (gambling server) team. And between the business related departments and the IT department.
  21. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

    Well at least you didn't predict rivers of blood. Enoch Powell anyone?

    Anyway I agree with you. I think selective immigration in small numbers can work over time if there is a mandated integration policy but mass immigration leading to parallel societies cannot produce a cohesive national identity and may eventually lead to the destruction of the host society.
  22. BenTheMan Dr. of Physics, Prof. of Love Valued Senior Member

    Do you have any examples of this claim?

    And are you against mass immigration period? Or just in the case when it leads to parallel societies?

    And what does "national identity" even mean?
  23. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

    Sure look at the social fragmentation taking place in the UK, Holland, Denmark or Belgium to name a few. When you find a school in Peterborough where only one or two children in the class speak English and the influx of immigrants overwhelms the social infrastructure designed to take care of them and the host society begins to feel isolated it leads to fragmentation. This is why immigration is the hot topic all over Europe and becoming more of an issue all the time. Its why you have Cameron after Merkel UK Prime Minister David Cameron coming out and saying:

    UK Prime Minister David Cameron has identified segregation and separatism as key issues behind the threat of Islamic extremism and called for a "shared national identity" to replace "the doctrine of state multiculturalism".

    Cameron has identified segregation and separatism as key issues behind the threat of Islamic extremism and called for a "shared national identity" to replace "the doctrine of state multiculturalism"...The UK prime minister said "the doctrine of state multiculturalism" had encouraged segregation and failed to supply "a vision of society" to which people want to belong....

    "Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream. We have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We have even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run counter to our values," Cameron said.

    The UK prime minister was critical of British society's tradition of "passive tolerance", whereby immigrants are left alone as long as they respect the law.

    As an example, he cited the practice of forced marriage in some communities, which he called a "horror" to which British society had not reacted adequately.

    Recently, German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted that her country's attempts to create a multicultural society had "utterly failed". Her statement added fuel to a debate over immigration and Islam that is polarising her conservative camp.
    Merkel said allowing people of different cultural backgrounds to live side by side without integrating had not worked in a country that is home to some four million Muslims.


    Now this is what Powell had said back in the day but at that time and even now to be critical of multiculturalism is an invitation to be called racist. Now the situation is so intense that even the prime minister is willing to break that taboo because the issue of immigration, mass immigration to be exact, must be addressed. If it isn't you will simply see a rapid rise of right wing national movements. If the liberals had addressed the topic from the beginning then they wouldn't be facing these problems right now. It was an experiment that failed but where it has failed in Europe it has been a success in the US.

    National identity are the values, habits and rituals that unify a nation or people. So for example when researchers go to a school in Bradford and ask a group of children born in the UK of immigrants how they identify themselves and they say 'Pakistani' then you see a lack of national identity.

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