Pandaemonium

IMMIGRATION AND CULTURAL LOSS

freedom of movement 11

This essay was the main part of my Observer column this week. (The column included also a shorter piece on the concept of radicalisation, in the wake of the conviction of Darren Osborne who drove his van into a crowd of Muslim worshippers.) It was published in the Observer, 4 February, under the headline ‘That working class lives are more fraught is not down to immigration’.


Last month, the Commons home affairs select committee published a report entitled Immigration Policy: Basis for Building Consensus. Hostility to immigration, it suggests, derives from those who have ‘significant concerns about the impact of migration on public services’ and who worry that immigrants are coming not ‘to contribute’ but to ‘play the system’. The government, it concludes, must be ‘more proactive in challenging myths and inaccuracies’ and ‘publish more factual information about the costs and benefits of immigration’.

Critics of the report, such as Policy Exchange’s David Goodhart, and Eric Kaufmann, professor of politics at Birkbeck, University of London, argue that opposition to immigration is not economic at root, but ‘largely cultural and psychological’. Rather than ‘appealing to voter economic interest’, it would be better to frame immigration ‘as something which their ethnic group will gradually absorb through intermarriage and assimilation leaving the country relatively unchanged’.

There is a pinch of truth on both sides in this debate, but also a large dollop of misapprehension. People do worry about the material deterioration of their lives, as everything from the anger at austerity policies to the panics about ‘health tourists‘ reveals. But it is not just economic deterioration that concerns people. It is the erosion, too, of the more intangible aspects of their lives – their place in society, their sense of community, their desire for dignity.

Economic, social and political developments have, in recent years, coalesced to make working-class lives far more precarious – the imposition of austerity, the rise of the gig economy, the savaging of public services, at the same time as the growing atomisation of society, the erosion of the power of labour movement organisations and the shift of the Labour party away from its traditional constituencies.

Immigration has played almost no part in fostering these changes. ‘Social and economic change’, Goodhart himself acknowledged in his 2013 book The British Dream, ’would have swept away the old working-class ways even if there had been zero immigration.’ Immigration has, however, come to be the principal lens through which many perceive these changes. The very decline of the economic and political power of the working class has helped obscure the economic and political roots of social problems.

At the same time, the language of culture has become increasingly important as the means to make sense of society and social relations. Many people, as a result, have come to see their marginalisation as a cultural loss. Immigration, seen as a key reason for the cultural transformation of the nation, has come bear responsibility for that loss.

Immigration has clearly brought major changes, in the physical character of British cities, in the rhythm of social life and in the sense of what it is to be British. But it is not alone in driving social changes, nor is it even the most important driver of social change. Feminism, consumerism, the growth of youth culture, the explosion of mass culture, the destruction of manufacturing industries, the decline of traditional institutions such as the church – all these and many more have helped transform Britain, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.  But, thanks largely to the way that immigration has been framed from the beginning as a problem, even a threat, it is immigrants who have primarily become symbolic of change and of change for the worse.

Goodhart and Kaufmann are right that ‘publishing more factual information about the costs and benefits of immigration’ will in itself sway few minds. They are wrong, however, to imagine that reducing immigration numbers so as to persuade white workers that ‘their ethnic group will gradually absorb’ newcomers ‘leaving the country relatively unchanged’ will assuage worries. The problem is not that white workers are desperate to protect their ethnic identity. It is, rather, that in the absence of political mechanisms and social movements that can challenge their wider marginalisation, such identity is all that many have to lean upon.

However low one caps immigration, it will not affect austerity policy, or the atomisation of society, or the crisis in the NHS, or the neutering of trade unions. The immigration debate cannot be won simply by debating immigration, whether from an economic or a cultural viewpoint. Anxieties about immigration are an expression of a wider sense of political voicelessness, abandonment and disengagement. Until those problems are tackled, the anxieties will remain.

59 comments

  1. I don’t agree that immigration has not contributed towards problems of sufficient public service provision, housing, private sector opportunities, economic wellbeing and cultural changes.

    https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/immigration-inconvenient-truths-by-robert-skidelsky-2017-11?utm_source=Project+Syndicate+Newsletter&utm_campaign=ebb6631dad-sunday_newsletter_31_12_2017&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_73bad5b7d8-ebb6631dad-104931981

    https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2017/11/how-much-is-immigration-to-blame-for-the-housing-crisis/?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Lunchtime_Espresso_24112017

    https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11625/mass-migration-uninvited-guests

    The fact that elected governments have minimal competence over EU immigration policy, due to EU treaties, makes it very difficult to manage the demand for public services, housing and jobs and also means public expenditure must be directed towards accommodating migrants in terms of public service provision and integration which has exacerbated austerity and cutbacks for domestic provision.

    For example using the WTO baseline of 4.5 health professionals per 1000 population, 8.3million non-uk born people, of which 3.7million are EU citizens, requires an additional 36,935 health professionals who themselves must be non-uk born in order to meet supply. This also translates to the housing sector and the transport sector. This isn’t xenophobia or racism, it is economics and the availability of governmental revenues to finance increased infrastructural capacity to accommodate immigration which is always beset by lags and catch ups.

    Similarly, according to
    https://fullfact.org/immigration/eu-citizens-brexodus/
    there are 3.7m EU citizens in the UK of which only 2.4m are in employment. This means an increased burden on domestic taxpayers to pay for benefits, tax credits and public services for non-uk born immigrants.

    Lastly since the financial crisis, the UK has adopted a migration-led growth strategy which has actively encouraged a gig economy and likewise has led to a compression of wages at the minimum wage level.

    Similarly, migration-led growth is also putting green infrastructure under risk in order build more housing, create more job opportunities and increase infrastructural capacity.

    In all immigrants choose to come to the country to compete with British workers for adequate public service provision, adequate green infrastructure, adequate housing, adequate jobs and cultural values. Compete being the operative word. As a result social cohesion has reduced making it less likely for effective solidarity movements.

    However whilst it is true that poor economic performance and structural changes to the economy has contributed to these wider issues, especially that GDP growth adjusted for debt has actually been in the negative for the last decade – largely due to the increasing costs of surplus energy,
    https://surplusenergyeconomics.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/113-death-of-a-high-fashion-model/
    the resulting squeeze on real wages due to negative growth and poor productivity has been exacerbated by inequality and competition from immigration.

    I hope Brexit reduces the sort of problems we are encountering by allowing elected governments to formulate policies that give precedence to national citizens over and above non-uk born citizens and thereby create a better balance between cosmopolitan values and communitarian values.

    https://www.socialeurope.eu/spd-task-ahead-enacting-communitarian-cosmopolitan-values

  2. The cover article in this week’s New Statesman points out that mass-migration is the most revolutionary force operating in today’s world.

    In Britain this revolution has occurred primarily because it was carefully unleashed by New Labour, partly from liberal idealism (if it can be called that), partly for electoral gain.

    It was always going to be revolutionary, despite the ivory tower views of liberals thinking (or pretending) it was merely gentle evolution.

    And revolutions have consequences, many of them unintended. These consequences are now coming home to roost – the most serious one being an insoluble housing crisis.

    If soluble, what’s the solution ? – there isn’t one, in fact, in a country where public, national government and local government are bankrupt and increasingly indebted.

    On the most visible unintended consequence of Britain’s immigration revolution – Brexit – it is best to keep silent.

  3. The culture IS changing in Britain due to massive immigration. The immigration being done today into a solid Ango-Saxon country by third world immigrants, is going to change dramatically Britain. This type of immigration is a form of ethnic dilution. Ethnic dilution is a form of Genocide, Soft Genocide. The people of the West are facing genocide. Here is an academic article on it: The Many Forms of Genocide: Hard and Soft. 5th Rev.
    https://www.academia.edu/34936383/

    • The only thing diluted seems to be your attachment to reality. No, there is no genocide, soft or otherwise, going on in Britain. Yours is the kind of bigotry, however, that lays the groundwork for real genocides. As for your ‘academic’ article, when the first sentence tells us that ‘most of the info comes from public sources like Wikipedia’, we can safely say that this is little more than trolling. I am open to rational debates about racism and immigration, but such bigoted stupidity leaves no room for any kind of engagement.

      • No where is there a compendium of all the forms of genocide. It seems that what’s on the web, leaves out soft genocide. In order to create a compendium, one naturally starts with what’s out there; yes, on hard genocide, physical violence, it does come from Wikipedia which is on other articles. This I did because the article is about cataloging all the forms of genocide. And then the article talks about Soft Genocide which other people don’t even consider. As a researcher, one must first put away bias and prejudice. It seems you have a lot of bias and prejudice. What is going on is “the blending of races”. Well, if you “blend” races together—one is committing genocide, soft genocide. You are NOT a European. What the heck are you telling me, what I can and cannot say about my OWN Home country? You’re a foreigner. Britain is NOT your country. It is my Fatherland. Not Yours. I don’t know why you claim “authority” over my fatherland and what is happening there.

        • Lordy, you really are a pantomime racist aren’t you?

          What is going on is “the blending of races”

          Define a race. Define the ‘blending of races’. I don’t know whether you consider yourself to be a pure-bred member of whatever race you are. If so, can you detail your pedigree, and your descent from the original member of that race, so as to confirm that you are pure-bred and not ‘diluted’? If you’re not a pure-bred member of your race, by your own definition you don’t have ‘authority over [your] fatherland’, and should give way to those who can prove they are pure bred.

          You wrote in your first comment:

          The immigration being done today into a solid Ango-Saxon [sic] country by third world immigrants, is going to change dramatically Britain

          Angles and Saxons only arrived in Britain in the fifth century. They are late-comers; very late-comers. The first hominins arrived in the British Isles almost a million years ago, the first modern humans around 40,000 years ago, the first Celts probably around 800 BCE. Anglo-Saxons are, therefore, in your own terms, foreigners, presumably responsible for the ‘soft genocide’ of previous peoples, and who, again in your words, have no right to ‘claim “authority” over… [another people’s] fatherland’.

          What the heck are you telling me, what I can and cannot say about my OWN Home country

          If you are ‘Anglo-Saxon’ this clearly is not your home country, but you, just like us ‘third world immigrants’, are guilty of ‘changing Britain dramatically’ and of the ‘soft genocide’ of the peoples who were here previously.

          You’re a foreigner. Britain is NOT your country.

          Why am I a ‘foreigner’? Because I have a funny name and a darker complexion than you do? Is that your definition of people who don’t belong?

          I don’t know why you claim “authority” over my fatherland and what is happening there.

          Why? Because you don’t have a fatherland, you don’t know ‘what is happening here’, and I couldn’t give a damn about your racist definitions about who belongs or has the authority to speak.

        • You ask me if I am a “pantomime racist”.

          I see that you have written a book about ethics. Well, Ethics is partly based on Virtue. The four main virtues are Manliness, Righteousness, Temperance and Prudence. St. Peter taught, “Supplement the Faith with Virtue”. Well, the Virtue of Righteousness teaches duty to God and Patrida (Fatherland)!

          Well, I grew up as a Boyscout in America and the Boy Scout Oath begins thus, “On my Honor, I will do my best, to do my Duty to God and Country”. Country should be, righteously, Fatherland.

          Am I racist? “Racist” is a Masonic/Marxist agitprop term. I didn’t know that Ethics demands allegiance to Masonic/Marxist universalist linguistic ideology.

          Race is synonymous with Nation. I’m a nationalist—For MY people. There is NOTHING wrong with that Prof. Malik. I am following the teachings of my forefathers in the Virtue of Righteousness.

          I am a Nationalist and my duty is to preserve my nation from soft genocide. That is what Duty requires.

          So, In your “Masonic/Marxist” propaganda—Yes, I’m a racist. I am here to preserve the Anglo-Saxon race. You can’t have “ethics” without virtue.

        • You ask “Define race”. ‘Race’ is a French word meaning breed. It was FIRST used as an agricultural term! Is there breeds of dogs? Is there breeds of bovine? Yes. Just as there are breeds of dogs and bovines, there are breeds of humans. That is also behind the Latin term ‘natus’ meaning ‘one birth’ and the Greek term ‘ethnos’. They all mean the same thing.

          What is race? Is in other words what is ‘Nation’? Race, nation, ethnos, in their original languages means a group of interrelated families descended from a particular patriarch. The Bible is quite clear on how names of ethnicities are attached to their particular patriarchs.

          Race/nation/ethnos are macrorganisms. Race is nothing more that Family writ large. I explain in greater detail in this article that uses the Bible and the Natural Law to prove the point. The Tower of Babel, The Philosophy of Race and the Genocidal Ideology of Social Justice/Political Correctness
          https://www.academia.edu/14904951/

          In Western Culture and Civilization, the Bible and the Natural Law go hand in hand. That is how we do things in the West. If you bring in Third Worlders, they have no connection, no conception, no idea of what is going on. They have no heritage of the West. So how can foreigners be a part of our culture? Support our heritage? They can not. Third World immigration is about breaking down our culture and our civilization.

        • The idea that ‘race’ is a ‘family writ large’ is a common view among certain strands of ‘race realists’. It is also meaningless. On the one hand, both the Smiths who live down the road and the Britain Royal family constitute distinct families, each with their own specific genealogies. Are we to view the Smiths and the Windsors each as a distinct race?

          On the other hand, the entire human population is a product of common descent; in other words, it constitutes ‘a group of interrelated families descended from a particular patriarch’ (and matriarch). Recent calculations suggest that the common ancestor of all humans living on Earth today lived less than 3,600 years ago. Given that, in your view, immigration policy should be shaped by whether or not people belong to a particular race, and hence a common ‘group of interrelated families’, and given that all humans form just such a group of interrelated families, I assume you are in favour of open borders?

          If you are interested, here’s an essay on ‘Why both sides are wrong in the race debate’.

          Oh, and the Bible is the product not of Europeans but of Semites (and the Old Testament not of Christians, but of Jews). So, presumably, by your own account, the Bible is not part of the heritage of those of ‘Anglo Saxon’ descent?

        • Kenan. Are you familiar with the work of Karen Barad and Agential realism.
          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_Barad
          In particular her paper
          http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/345321

          You are falling in the trap of representationalism whereby you are failing to acknowledge how you are framing your representation of race. Performativity seeks to overcome the ontological biases that occur within representationalism.

          Effectively you are arguing how race should be framed in response to how Mr Wheeler is framing race. Performativity seeks to incorporate the person doing the representation and therefore see how this influences framing.

          Appeals solely to the first definition of race when Mr Wheeler is using a different definition of race
          http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Race
          is simply talking at cross purposes. Is this a debate or a competition of definitions.

        • I think trying to invalidate an argument by using a different definition is a logical fallacy in that you are using Genetic Fallacy as a Straw Man argument. Similarly you use the Slippery Slope argument and the Moral Equivalence argument to represent socio-cultural distinctions as the basis of genocide.

          Regarding your article, you use the same logical fallacies to avoid engaging with sociocultural constructionism as a representation of race. Moreover you go so far as to say that

          The debate about race is not a debate about whether differences exist between human populations. Jon Entine, a staunch defender of the idea of race, defines race as ‘human biodiversity’. That is meaningless. No one, on either side of the debate, would deny that there are a myriad of differences between different human populations.

          Except
          1. a computer programme called structure did identify biological differences on the basis of DNA and bearing in mind that RNA is currently theorised as the nurture component of a feedback mechanism between the two then the ability to maintain these biological differences becomes a reality. It would have been interesting to see how the programme delineates the human population if ten groups were asked for.

          2. Do pigs share 98 per cent of human genes (or do monkeys).
          http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2010/05/03/2887206.htm

          This points to the fact that the differences actually exist within around 10-5% of mammalian dna which from a logical fallacy point of view is argued as insignificant but from a realist view point of view, that 10-5% is home to all the major differences between all mammals.

          Again this is the politics of framing.

          As a result DNA ‘nature’ differences are and can be wed to RNA ‘nurture’ differences to form representations of race although ethnicity might be a better basis on which to frame these sorts of arguments. However it depends on the extent to which biological differences and socio-cultural differences wish to be acknowledged as part of the broader framework in which to situate these debates.

        • Effectively you are arguing how race should be framed in response to how Mr Wheeler is framing race… Appeals solely to the first definition of race when Mr Wheeler is using a different definition of race
          http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Race
          is simply talking at cross purposes. Is this a debate or a competition of definitions.

          To the contrary, I am taking W. Lindsay Wheeler’s definition of race as a family at face value, and pointing out that in its own terms it is meaningless. Any definition of real-world categories must be 1. coherent in its own terms 2. empirically robust. You may wish to accept a definition of a real-world category that is incoherent in its own terms and fails to meet basic empirical criteria. But, then there is no point in having a discussion about it, since all you are saying is ‘I believe this to be the case and you cannot convince me otherwise because I will continue to believe it to be the case irrespective of the fact that it is internal incoherent and cannot stand up to empirical scrutiny’.

        • However it is your framing that is incoherent. By rigidly trying to impose strictly scientific categories of measurement on to matters of race and ethnicity, you conveniently fail to acknowledge the wider sociocultural constructs that give shape to the biological distinctions that a mere computer was able to discern. In other words, the hard positivism and the verificationism that you use to frame your arguments are simply ways to discard representations and framings that you do not agree with. This isn’t informed debate, its just a means of falsifying all views except your own.

          By your measure of logical positivism, we shouldn’t even be making socio-cultural distinctions between humans and apes despite their ‘slight’ differences. Does this mean that anthropology, ethnology and other social sciences should be disregarded as false sciences because they are empirically unverifiable.
          http://www.medicaldaily.com/scientists-reveal-single-gene-difference-between-humans-and-apes-243615

          You might find this interesting
          Book Review: The Neopopular Bubble: Speculating on ‘the People’ in Late Modern Democracy by Péter Csigó
          http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/lsereviewofbooks/2018/02/07/book-review-the-neopopular-bubble-speculating-on-the-people-in-late-modern-democracy-by-peter-csigo/#respond

        • It’s got nothing to do with ‘hard positivism’ or ‘verificationism’ or ‘framing’ or ‘sociocultural concepts’. If you want to define race as ‘a family writ large’, do so. But then you have to explain why ‘one family writ large’ constitutes a ‘race’ but another doesn’t. So far you haven’t even begun to address that. Otherwise you’re just saying ‘A race is anything I want it to mean’. Which, of course, you’re entitled to do. But if everyone simply made up concepts as they went along, it doesn’t provide for the ‘rational discourse’ to which you claim to be so attached.

        • So you’re just being pedantic then. We both know what he is trying to say, that there is an ancestral element to certain representations of race/ethnicity. Yes this excludes in the form of endemism but then most if not all socio-cultural constructions exclude to some degree, even liberal/universalist/humanist ones.

          I do find your positivist representation of race/ethnicity interesting but how do you create socio-cultural policies that are objectively indifferent to socio-cultural constructions. Also, how do you apply the principle of non-discrimination to socio-cultural categories that you believe do not exist because there is no empirical basis for those categories.

          Surely this just leaves a world in which people can subjectively discriminate at will because there isn’t any objective basis to even have the principle of non-discrimination in the first place since there is nothing to objectively discriminate against.

          Or is my logic wrong somewhere.

        • To define a race by the existence of ‘an ancestral element’ is equally meaningless. Every group from my immediate family to the entire human population includes ‘an ancestral element’ in its definition. Does every one of these groups constitute a ‘race’? If not, why not? If you think it’s pedantic to ask that, what you are saying, as I have already pointed out is, ‘A race is anything I want it to mean’.

          As for whether your ‘logic [is] wrong somewhere’, I have no idea, since I don’t understand the question you are asking or the point you’re trying to make.

        • So there was no such thing as a celtic race, an Anglo-Saxon race, an aztec race, a Jewish race
          http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Race

          Your strictly positivist representations of race/ethnicity are only one representation amongst many but again you try to invalidate other perspectives through falsification and reductionism.

          The critiques of positivism are fairly well known in the form of antipositivism.
          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positivism
          but rather than engage with them you simply dismiss them as meaningless. This isn’t particularly constructive in my view.

          With regards the latter point. If according to the premise of logical truth, racialised or ethnised socio-cultural constructs are logically false due to biological reductionism then the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of racialised or ethnised socio-cultural constructs is equally false since there are no racialised or ethnised socio-cultural constructs to discriminate against. In effect you are arguing for the abandonment of non-discrimination policies regarding racialised or ethnised socio-cultural constructs because you are arguing that there is no basis for racialised socio-cultural constructs so why have non-discrimination policies that refer to these non-existent constructs.

          This is why logical positivism is now largely redundant regarding social policy because it “systematically failed to appreciate the extent to which the so-called social facts it yielded did not exist ‘out there’, in the objective world, but were themselves a product of socially and historically mediated human consciousness.”

        • You’re still dodging my question. If a ‘race’ is defined as a ‘family writ large’, how do you explain why ‘one family writ large’ constitutes a ‘race’ but another doesn’t? If a ‘race’ is defined by the existence of ‘an ancestral element’, given that every group from my immediate family to the entire human population includes ‘an ancestral element’ in its definition, does every one of these groups constitute a ‘race’? If not, why not? Or is a race simply defined as ‘Anything I claim it to be’?

          You can throw around concepts such as ‘positivism’ (positivists will be very puzzled, incidentally, to discover that I am one of them) or ‘verificationism’ or ‘socio-cultural constructs’. But unless you can give simple answers to simple questions, throwing around such concepts is simply a means of trying to obscure the fact that you’re dodging the question.

        • Well obviously a group of people delimit themselves from another group of people that delimit themselves from another group of people that delimits themselves from another group of people that delimits themselves from another group of people and on it goes ad infinitum. Hence you have racialised and ethnised differences spanning the globe. Until you had nationalism, this continuum of regional socio-cultural differences was largely unbroken. In those days there were thousands of racial categories or families writ large all with their own dialects, customs, traditions and ways of seeing the world. I’m surprised you didn’t know that so apologies for presuming you did.

        • 1. I suggest you read a history of the development of the concept of race. This book might be a good start ☺.

          2. You still have not answered the specific questions I asked. However, you seem to be suggesting that any human group can constitute a ‘race’ and that a race is anything one wishes to define it as. In which case there is no point in having a discussion about what a race is, or how racial categories might shape immigration policies. So I’m ending it here. Thanks for your contributions.

        • Having studied culture and identity in Europe at university level I think I know what I’m talking about. You don’t want a debate about race because you don’t want your extremely narrow positivist representation of race contested and because your career hangs on that extremely narrow definition of race. Simple as that.

          However thanks for helping me think through the implications of race more deeply. Also thanks for the offer of your book but I prefer peer reviewed articles. As I said if “races are a social construct and they do not actually exist”, then by logical extension the principle of non-discrimination as applied to non-existent race constructs is similarly an illusionary construct since there is nothing to discriminate against. As I said before, your positivist line of thinking has long since been abandoned for the tautology that it is.

        • From the link you posted “Why Both sides are wrong”, you write **The message was clear: Biology permits no racial divisions.** But in the Bible, it says in Psalm 85, “all the nations whom thou hast created”.

          As you should know, Wisdom, which philosophy concerns itself with, is “the knowledge of Divine and human things and their causes”. Socrates and Plato, being Greeks, and their philosophy being derived from the most pious and god-fearing people the Dorians, did not divorce objective reality from religion. Pythagoras taught that Truth of the Divine and the Secular spheres harmonized. As a true philosopher, what God says is more important. True science does not contradict Divine Truth.

          The Scripture is clear—God created nations, races. Humans are NOT a pure material being. Humans are a mix, a combinatorial system, as the Natural Law teaches. Humans are part spiritual and part material. Humans have a Soul and a Body. A Mix. So is race. The Truth of the world is not in pure materialism.

          See, I fear God for it says, “The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. No fear of God—No wisdom—Hence no philosophy. Philosophy, a science, the Queen of Sciences, (Intro to Philosophy, Jacques Maritain), takes in all the facts. You write “Biology permits no racial divisions”—but God CREATED all the racial divisions. True Philosophy takes in the teaching of the Divine. Life is NOT pure biology. Life is both material and spiritual. You leave out that part.

          To even back up the claim further, why do you think God destroyed the Tower of Babel? Now for the British Isles, the Bible is fundamental to British culture. You’re a foreigner. Your culture has nothing to do with the Bible. So you are teaching in England, but you have no connection to the cultural history of the place you teach in. To the British and the Americans, the Bible is of create value and is a teaching device. It is an authority. The Greeks, i.e. the Dorians, the founders of philosophy, would never divorce Divine Truth from Secular truth. Truth is a whole. All Truth harmonizes. The Biological sciences are skewered because they follow an ideological faith of cosmopolitianism—they make the facts fit their cause.

          Race/Nation is a fact of life. It is important and it is needful. —-Because the Bible teaches it!

        • Interesting words. It does seem that the process by which a group of biological people/organisms delimits themselves from another group of biological people/organisms that delimits themselves from another group of biological people/organisms is a fundamental principle of Nature. Obviously it is this natural principle alone that creates/generates biological and by extension socio-cultural differences, a principle that I might add which motivates Kenan to also delimit himself and thereby create biological and by extension socio-cultural difference. In fact by this natural principle he is probably manufacturing new forms of rna which in turn are tweaking his dna as we speak.

          Of course his thesis that “Biology permits no racial divisions” is patently false as his article and book openly admits in that slight variations in dna structure do indeed create biological and by extension socio-cultural differences. The fact that these differences were honed over thousands of years of relative stability within a particular environment meant that these biological differences were highly recogniseable and highly adapted to their particular environments. Hence to base a socio-cultural argument on the relative lack of biological differences is simply another way of defining biological and socio-cultural difference which in your words not only shows that the hand of God is still at work but is also an example of how races/nations formed in the first place. In effect he is seeking to create a new race/breed/nation of peoples.

          I’m certainly curious what this natural principle of diversification is beyond territorialism, quantum polarisation or building up natural resilience. Does it say anything in the Bible about it?

        • W Lindsay Wheeler:

          From the link you posted “Why Both sides are wrong”, you write **The message was clear: Biology permits no racial divisions.** But in the Bible, it says in Psalm 85, “all the nations whom thou hast created”.

          Actually, what I write is that this is the message of the human genome issue of Nature in February 2001. I spend the rest of the article showing why the reality is more complicated. I hope you read the Bible more carefully than you seem to read secular works.

        • Steve Gwynne:

          Obviously it is this natural principle alone that creates/generates biological and by extension socio-cultural differences, a principle that I might add which motivates Kenan to also delimit himself and thereby create biological and by extension socio-cultural difference. In fact by this natural principle he is probably manufacturing new forms of rna which in turn are tweaking his dna as we speak.

          Is there no end to your expertise and knowledge?

        • There is no mention of the Natural Law in your article on “Why Both Sides are wrong”. Heraclitus states that the Logos is what “is steering all things from within”. This idea is what is called later on as the Natural Law. The Natural Law is the politiea of the cosmos, i.e. the constitution of the cosmos.

          One of the Natural Laws is the Golden Mean. Aristotle defines the Golden Mean as the middle between the extremes or where the extremes meet. It is ensconced on the Doric Temple at Delphi, “Nothing too much”. The earth’s orbit is in the Golden Mean, not too close to the sun—not to far from the sun. Life exists in the Golden Mean.

          Nature works because it follows certain laws, the Golden Mean being one of them. Race/nation is the Golden Mean. The individual is a deficiency because he is not self-sufficient. Nor is the single family. If mankind was one large mass–well, that would be an excess. That mankind is broken up into units called nations is meet and right because it is in the Golden Mean. Nature forms things into groups—naturally. Race/nation is the Golden Mean between the Excess of mass, and the deficiency of the individual.

          A second natural law, which is a concomitant of the one above is limits. All things in nature have limits. If mankind was one large mass, it would not be limited, hence unfit for Nature.

          Furthermore, Nature seeks not only efficiency in an organism but also self-sufficiency. Anything that grows too big, becomes inefficient and collapses. Anything too small and it doesn’t have self-sufficiency. Race/nation answers the call for efficiency and self-sufficiency.

          Another Natural Law is that Life is War. The individual can not stand by himself. He needs a group for defense. Nature provides that with race/nation.

          Your article discusses race using the materialist sciences but does not use the metaphysics of Philosophy. Furthermore, this is how Roman Catholic thought, true European thought, is orgainized. It is organized around two principles, the Logos of Divine Inspiration, the Bible and the Logos of the Natural Order, the Natural Law. The Bible declares that two witnesses are needed to come to the truth. The Bible and the Natural Law both teach on the legitimacy, necessity and the sanction of race/nation. This is how a traditional European constructs his thought—on the spiritual, on the metaphysical, on the physical . European culture is based on the Bible and the Natural Law tradition.

        • Again interesting words which have taken me a couple of days to process, helped by a reading of Buen Vivir, an indigenous socio-cultural movement opposed to global neoliberalism and euro centric (liberal) universalism and a movement that seeks recognition of its indigenous cultural and material rights.

          So far then, the natural/biological principles or laws of
          1. (self) preservation
          2. discrimination/discernment
          3. diversification
          4. sufficiency
          converge to naturally/biologically create community-based heterogeneity.

          heterogeneity
          ˌhɛt(ə)rə(ʊ)dʒɪˈniːɪti/
          noun
          noun: heterogeneity
          the quality or state of being diverse in character or content.
          “the genetic heterogeneity of human populations”

          Interestingly the use of the word heterogeneity has steadily increased from zero mentions in the 17th century to considerable mentions in the present day which closely aligns with the slow but sure degradation of cultural heterogeneity as a result of state-centric nationalism. Liberal democracy as a state-centric form of nationalism/universalism is in reality just a recent social construct.

          At present I am actually thinking that liberal/cosmopolitan/humanist Ideology is being used to atomise society in order to make it easier to control society through state-centric institutions. Identity politics in this context, is simply a form of cultural rebellion/revolution that seeks to remain within the Ideology of liberalism whilst still acting/performing within the framework of natural principles/laws.

      • It can be said that white people have inflicted a genocide upon themselves, via contraception and abortion.

        Now that they are ageing and beginning to disappear, some of them are anguished or angry about this, however irrationally.

        For myself, I have no feelings on the matter – the shrinkage of selfishly affluent populations has always been a keynote of a decadent civilisation.

      • bigotry
        ˈbɪɡətri/
        noun
        intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself.

        Actually Kenan, so far in this debate you are the one being bigoted.

        You often say we should engage with opinions, arguments, perspectives that we don’t agree with and within an environment of tolerance and reasoned discussion debate the issues. You have failed to practice what you preach and have simply rejected the argument and took flight through a process of rationalisation that makes the claim that the argument is irrational so I do not need to engage. Put simply this is a hypocritical cop out. Test his ideas and make him back up his claims. If you havent the time just say so but running off with a self-righteous vindictiveness is not debate and is not engaging with diverse opinions.

        You are intelligent enough to see the argument being made surely.
        http://www.amerika.org/politics/soft-genocide/
        Soft genocide is being used in a particular context and the soft signifies an extinction event rather than a murderous event.

        extinct
        ɪkˈstɪŋkt,ɛkˈstɪŋkt/
        adjective
        1.
        (of a species, family, or other larger group) having no living members.
        synonyms: vanished, lost, died out, dead, defunct, no longer existing, no longer extant, wiped out, destroyed, exterminated, gone
        “an extinct species”

        I know you have issues with the alt-right (or more specifically with the far-right) but you can’t say that their reasoning/logic is flawed.
        http://www.amerika.org/about/
        There is some interesting arguments in there which will require some thought rather than knee jerk dismissal.

        Certainly no less or more reasoned than your own arguments and opinions.

        • Actually Kenan, so far in this debate you are the one being bigoted.
          You often say we should engage with opinions, arguments, perspectives that we don’t agree with and within an environment of tolerance and reasoned discussion debate the issues. You have failed to practice what you preach and have simply rejected the argument and took flight through a process of rationalisation that makes the claim that the argument is irrational so I do not need to engage.

          Being willing to engage in debate does not mean that I won’t also call out bigotry and stupidity when I see it. Indeed, as I‘ve often argued, if you believe in free speech it is morally incumbent upon you to call out bigotry. And anyone who claims that ‘ethnic dilution’ caused by ‘third world immigration’ is a form of ‘soft genocide’, and that I am a ‘foreigner’ who cannot call Britain ‘home’ because I have a funny name and a darker complexion, and who gets outraged that in talking about Britain I am ‘claiming authority’ over his ‘fatherland’, is nothing more, nothing less, than a bigot.

          And, no, there is no validity to the notion of ‘soft genocide’. It is an attempt to pretend that normal human activities – population movements, intermarriage, etc – are comparable (in a ‘soft’ way) to the mass killings of Jews or Armenians.

          Nor is there an ‘extinction event’. Who has been made extinct, and by whom? Cultural change is not an ‘extinction event’. English culture, in the 1930s, even before postwar immigration, was very different from that of the English culture of the Elizabethan period, or that of the Middle Ages. Does it make any sense to suggest that the English culture of those periods suffered, therefore, an ‘extinction event’? Or that the peoples of those cultures faced ‘soft genocide’? It’s an absurd notion based on racist concepts of ‘pure races’ and ‘pure cultures’. I have challenged these kinds of ideas when they crop up on the left (for instance, in debates about the ‘preservation of cultures’), and pointed out their rootedness in a racial view of the world. I’m certainly not going to hold back when they come out the mouths, or the pens, of straightforward racists.

          I know you have issues with the alt-right (or more specifically with the far-right)

          Don’t you?

        • Don’t you…

          Well I see both sides of the argument and neither are massively convincing. You behave in a bigoted way from your liberal cosmopolitanism and he is just saying that nations should reflect an ethnic communitarianism. In my opinion your views about immigration are just as extreme as his. You are totally for open borders and he is totally for closed borders. Each argument contains its own perspective on diversity. You can have ethnic diversity based on distinct characteristics which don’t have to be genealogically purist or you can individualised diversity where ethnicities don’t matter. The alt-right see the latter as a cultural Marxist conspiracy which dissolves traditions, heritage and history and as such turns people into passive consumers but also turns identity into a commodity. In actual fact your arguments do have quite a lot of similarities with alt-right arguments.

          I am certainly sympathetic to how you must feel since I too was subject to ‘racism’ as an English kid living in Wales. Even the Welsh nationalist teachers enjoyed giving me a good hiding but little to no reason. I’ve also had very passionate debates/arguments with Welsh people online complaining about the English setting up smallholdings on their land and failing to know the heritage names of local hills and its mythological traditions. They were genuinely upset that their traditional history was being slowly made extinct by the soft genocide of English settlers searching for a better life.

          I think to be truly compassionate and understanding is to feel the death and grief of the change that is inflicted upon people who are genuinely connected to the land and traditions that they grew up with, a particular type of rootedness that you commonly dismiss as irrelevant but have no understanding or appreciation of. You simply dismiss it as Burkean conservatism which is disrespectful at best and extremely arrogant at worst.

          His ethnic rootedness that you interpret and then dismiss as racism is a real emotional pain.
          I grew up in Stockport and the sense of a community spirit where you felt safe because you felt people even strangers were looking out for you was almost tangible. I could literally feel it in the air. Now liberalism has run its course I’m lucky to even hear the word community and bear in mind that it is usually liberals that promote social change, cultural change and economic change. However this cosmopolitanism isn’t the only point of view and very few liberals seem to get that. They just go around waving their rights around without any respect for other people’s points of view and in the process castigate others if they don’t share their bigoted views.

          I don’t really know the answer to your problem. I have lots of older black friends/colleagues and I’m often appalled when they tell me stories about the 50s and 60s, enough to make me cry but Asians are a different breed. They keep themselves apart, locked up in their own cultural ghettos whether rich or poor. I always get a feeling they are looking down on you, like they think they are better. Blacks tend to be more humble. They can certainly give you that evil eye but with most Asians they just feel contempt.

          I’ve now lived in Birmingham for ten years right in the middle of the Asian quarter and still nothing more than an awkward hello if I’m lucky. And the ones that go to the central mosque, getting a hello out of those people is like getting blood out of a stone.

          The backs on the otherhand, I can chat with an older black woman and within a few minutes I feel she is like my grandma. I’ve even hugged an older black lady after a heartfelt conversation.

          So you see Kenan, I’ve had the same sort of experiences as you and very different ones too. I think if people come to a land that is already occupied by a cultural ethnicity then I think its polite and respectful to learn how to blend in. Even learn something about that culture before arriving. I certainly don’t agree that we can just wave our rights about gesturing our entitlement to everyone with no care or concern about the culture that is presently rooted in a particular place.

          Nowadays there is so little culture it makes life hollow. Just people moaning all the time about virtually everything. In the old days the conversation was more about the community and how to resolve problems that arose. Life meant something. Now it’s about tourism, getting ripped off and meaningless small talk.

          To finish off. Nearly every place that I’ve visited and there has been many, places always had an identity, a sense of community, even the Asian areas of Birmingham, and nearly always there was a cohesive culture which only partially accepted foreigners. But in Britain, except where there is obviously a strong foreign cultural community, it is now almost unacceptable to have a cultural community other than a liberal one. Perhaps the exception is rural towns. In my view there should be more democratic control over cultural values so that cultural communities can self-determining to some degree. Not at the scale of a nation or even a region but a town certainly so. If that means some people are excluded from that town for not conforming to the democratically agreed cultural values then so be it. This could also even include skin colour. This system would just mean that I wouldn’t be welcome everywhere but for me it is better to be welcome somewhere rather than the situation we have now where everywhere is like nowhere. It’s just plain drab devoid of any cultural content.

          I think some people are more passionately opposed to the current state of affairs and immigration is a big part of it because its immigration that creates policies of non-discrimination which eventually empties a community of its ability to self-determine its cultural rights. This is I think what is meant by soft genocide. Obviously an emotional articulation of the fact that the non-discrimination policies that arise from (mass) immigration annihilates a community’s ability to self-identify.

          I only just realised that. I think that is the intended effect of rational discourse, to help enlighten. In yogic terms its called yanna yoga. However starting a sentence with pantomime racist is not rational discourse. It’s bigotry dressed up as liberalism.

        • You behave in a bigoted way from your liberal cosmopolitanism and he is just saying that nations should reflect an ethnic communitarianism.

          What he is demanding is that Britain is an ‘Anglo Saxon’ nation and must always remain so, that it is his ‘fatherland’, and that those of a different race or ethnicity are ‘foreigners’ who don’t and cannot belong and should have no say. This is the argument that has justified ethnic repression and violence from anti-Jewish pogroms in the nineteenth century, culminating in the Holocaust of the twentieth century, to the expulsion of Christians and Jews from Arab lands in the postwar world, to the actions of Idi Amin in 1970s Uganda to ethnic cleansing in the Balkans in the 1980s and 1990s to the mass expulsion of the Rohingya from Myanmar this year. And there are thousands more similar cases from across the globe. Perhaps tin all these cases people were all also merely ‘reflecting an ethnic communitarianism’? And perhaps it is only the bigotry of my ‘liberal cosmopolitanism’ that makes me shudder at such expressions of ethnic exclusivity, and to oppose the cleansing and repression perpetrated in the name of ‘ethnic communitarianism’?

          What is striking through the whole of your post is the extent to which you go out of your way to be sympathetic to bigotry, continually reframing demands for discrimination and exclusion as a yearning for ‘tradition’ or as ‘emotional pain’, while at the same time dismissing anyone who stands up to such bigotry as themselves ‘bigoted’.

          I think to be truly compassionate and understanding is to feel the death and grief of the change that is inflicted upon people who are genuinely connected to the land and traditions that they grew up with, a particular type of rootedness that you commonly dismiss as irrelevant but have no understanding or appreciation of. You simply dismiss it as Burkean conservatism which is disrespectful at best and extremely arrogant at worst.

          I have considerable sympathy for many who feel that they have lost their traditions or their old ways of life. What I don’t have sympathy for is racism. In trying to reframe racism as a desire for rootedness it is you who is disrespecting those who mourn disappearing traditions or ways of life; most who do not express that sorrow in terms of ethnic exclusivity or the denial or rights to those who are of a different skin colour. You are simply tainting such people as inevitably racist.

          Since you have read my work, and commented at length on it over many posts, you will know that I don’t simply ‘dismiss… Burkean conservatism’. What I show is that there is more than one way of conceiving of communities and collectives. You must know that I am not a liberal individualist, but one who conceives of community and collective differently from a Burkean. The fact that you try to pretend otherwise does you disservice.

          In any case, why is my critique of Burkean conservatism any more ‘disrespectful’ or ‘arrogant’ than your far more curt dismissal of liberal cosmopolitans (which, incidentally, is not how I would describe myself) as ‘bigots’?

          His ethnic rootedness that you interpret and then dismiss as racism is a real emotional pain.

          As I said you seem desperate to reframe racism as rootedness or emotional pain. Racism can appear as a form of emotional pain. Dylann Roof, who shot dead nine black worshippers in a Charleston Church in 2016 was certainly suffering from ‘emotional pain’. That does not stop his actions being racist in the most brutal of ways.

          Asians are a different breed. They keep themselves apart, locked up in their own cultural ghettos whether rich or poor. I always get a feeling they are looking down on you, like they think they are better. Blacks tend to be more humble. They can certainly give you that evil eye but with most Asians they just feel contempt.

          It seems that you believe in ‘ethnic rootedness’ and in people preserving the particularities of their cultures except when it comes to Asians, with whom you suddenly view it negatively as a case of ‘keep[ing] themselves apart, locked up in their own cultural ghettos’. I have always argued against locking oneself up in cultural ghettos. That is also why I argue against racist ideas of ethnic exclusivity.

          In my view there should be more democratic control over cultural values so that cultural communities can self-determining to some degree. Not at the scale of a nation or even a region but a town certainly so. If that means some people are excluded from that town for not conforming to the democratically agreed cultural values then so be it. This could also even include skin colour.

          ‘You can’t enter my town because you’re black.’ ‘No Chinese person is allowed to walk down my street’. Is that seriously what you are proposing? And you still say this is not racism? It’s what used to be called apartheid.

          Presumably this does not apply simply to whites? If Muslims in East London really do decide it’s a no go area for non-Muslims, you would defend them given that they are merely excluding people ‘from that town for not conforming to the democratically agreed cultural values’?

          However starting a sentence with pantomime racist is not rational discourse.

          Except when one is addressing a pantomime racist. As in this case.

          It’s bigotry dressed up as liberalism.

          As I said, throughout this post you have bent over backwards to insist that racist views are merely some form of emotion pain, but anyone challenging racism must be bigot. Sorry, I take the opposite view.

        • Actually Kenan, the remarks about Anglo-Saxon national exclusively was preceeded by your bigotry..
          The only thing diluted seems to be your attachment to reality. No, there is no genocide, soft or otherwise, going on in Britain. Yours is the kind of bigotry, however, that lays the groundwork for real genocides.
          I am open to rational debates about racism and immigration, but such bigoted stupidity leaves no room for any kind of engagement.

          These sorts of personalised bigoted statements is not the basis of rational discourse but the basis of hate speech. In return you got hate speech back. However you seem to fail to acknowledge your complicitness and the fact that you instigated the hate speech in the first place. This unfortunately highlights your own racism and from Mr Wheeler’s point of view the basis of soft genocide.

          For the rest of your reply you simply attempt to absconded from any sense of responsibility for your personalised attacks and in fact try to reframe your lack of responsibility as me being a racist apologist when for all intent and purposes you began the racist diatribe.

          Your perspective is not straightforward and whilst you are not simply a Liberal cosmopolitan (which I did not say you were), your perspectives and lines of argument utilises bits of liberalism, bits of cosmopolitanism, bits of cultural relativism, bits of trade unionism, bits of conservatism even in order to try and reimagine a kind of millennial working class universalist solidarity without the discrimination. And I admire your efforts to do so. But you seem very hung up on racism which I think not only motivates your project but also creates obstacles for you.

          For me, the discussion between you and Mr Wheeler hangs on the balance between cultural discrimination and cultural non-discrimination. Rational discourse would dictate that the arguments for and against are explored but instead you set yourself up for a dichotomy between craving and a version to use a Buddhist concept which takes you out of rationalisation discourse into irrational discourse. As such you reject my ideas as racist apologism with a view I guess to solely promote cultural non-discrimination. This is bigotry in the real meaning of the word as opposed to the appropriation of the word by anti this or anti that political Ideology.

          However one only need to explore the principle of non-discrimination to see that it is this principle alone that gives rise to identity politics, safe spaces, protected group and positive discrimination policies which in theory should be very interesting to you. And again I’m only just realising this myself. So I would argue that Mr Wheeler was presenting a argument against cultural non-discrimination with the charge that the principle of non-discrimination acts to dilute specific formations of cultural ethnicities. Your response was discriminatory in itself by using discrimination to oppose discrimination. This perhaps explains the negative feedback loop of identity politics which not only serves to break down traditional forms of solidarities but through atomisation also serves as an obstacle to reimagining future solidarities. This is where your thinking shares some similarities with the philosophical methodology of the alt-right albeit with different objectives. Theirs being a form of cultural particularism and yours being a form of cultural universalism.

          Therefore in my mind at least, this moral/political/sociological exploration hangs on the balance between the principles of discrimination and non-discrimination and again in my mind how this balance can be incorporated into democratic processes. I don’t actually believe that a mere opposition to discrimination will end genocide and that in fact when and if severe resource scarcities become a reality, then the moral obstacle created by the principle of non-discrimination will cease to apply. For me therefore it is better to have rational discourses about the balance between discrimination and non-discrimination now in order that societies can adapt and show constraint towards views from either side of the debate. For me this is a moral imperative in order to protect people who are susceptible to discriminatory attacks due to superficial differences. Not having this debate is a social bomb waiting to go off albeit a perspective that believes in the inevitablity of severe resource constraints. This does not make me a racist apologist, it makes me a person that is deeply motivated by an ethics of care.

        • This is getting rather silly.

          Actually Kenan, the remarks about Anglo-Saxon national exclusively was preceeded by your bigotry… However you seem to fail to acknowledge your complicitness and the fact that you instigated the hate speech in the first place. This unfortunately highlights your own racism and from Mr Wheeler’s point of view the basis of soft genocide.

          I am bigot because I called out a bigot for being a bigot before he wrote a second post expressing even more clearly his bigotry? And you insist I am a bigot for using the b-word (to a bigot), while continuing quite happily to call me a bigot, presumably without that turning you into a bigot too?

          As for the rest of your post, I’m afraid I do not fully understand the point you are trying to make, so I am calling it a day. Thanks for the discussion.

        • Exactly what was bigoted about Mr Wheeler’s post. He simply made the argument that immigration has diluted an Anglo-Saxon version of British identity. He simply stated this as a rebuttal to your argument that immigration has had very little consequences on British identity. Your response wasn’t rational discourse but a bigoted array of personal attacks on the man rather than on his arguments.

          Having worked through the arguments on both sides I realised that the application of the principle of non-discrimination, which can be argued is partly attributable to the phenomenon of mass immigration, disallows a community from protecting its ethnic heritage. Similarly the non-discrimination principle protects people from discrimination on the basis of belief. As such there is no law that says it is wrong to hold the belief that a community can protect its ethnic heritage. You say it is bigoted to hold such a belief but the belief in itself is simply an assertion.

          The fact that you have a moral judgement about such beliefs to the extent that you are unwilling to countenance such views makes your rejection of that belief bigoted in the true meaning of the word. There is no a priori condition that such a belief will result in genocide. If there is then prove it considering that most traditional Asian communities in Britain are highly selective in terms of members of that community. In all my years in Birmingham I have not seen a white person fully embedded within a traditional Asian community. According to your logic these traditional Asian communities are incubating genocidal tendencies because they effectively disallow white people into their midst and so are inherently racist.

          The fact of the matter is that there is no law which applies the principle of non-discrimination regarding community membership when that membership is through friendship or marriage. So there is nothing illegal about a community desiring an exclusive white ‘Anglo-Saxon’ membership. You say this is the ground work for a genocidal event but don’t apply the same logic to traditional Asian communities that desire an exclusive brown ‘islamic’ membership. Or do you???

          http://www.who.int/gender-equity-rights/understanding/non-discrimination-definition/en/
          http://eur-lex.europa.eu/summary/glossary/nondiscrimination_principle.html

          The principle of non-discrimination has ramifications on pre-existing cultures because it requires the recalibration of national identities. So regarding the UK, national identities have had to extend beyond the exclusive Anglo-saxon heritage in order to incorporate an exclusive brown Islamic heritage too. This has either diluted or diversified UK national identity depending on your political beliefs which are protected by non-discrimination laws. It doesn’t matter if the deeply rooted beliefs of either brown Islamic or white Anglo-Saxon communities are racist because their heritage and beliefs are protected by law. Your judgement however is not protected by law and so going around calling people racist in an antagonistic abusive way is not calling out bigots, it is being a bigot. Do you go to a mosque and start calling everyone a racist bigot because they exclude non-islamic whites. No you don’t because you are a racist bigot. You simply target and victimise white people having the protected belief that they wish to be in an exclusively white Anglo-Saxon community.

          Further ramifications of the principle of non-discrimination on the basis of the 9 protections leads to identity politics within the more social sphere of gender rights, safe space rights, the right to disrespect other people’s rights, the right to abuse others holding ‘intolerable’ beliefs. The list goes on.

          Effectively the principle of non-discrimination, despite its good intentions eventually carves out individual niches by which the personal becomes political. Arguably this principle alone has done more to atomise society than any other principle or idea. Now political groupings are more based on individual subjectivities, compared to individual objectivities such as social institutions like the church, trade unions or class.

          The question is how to build solidarity beyond rampant individual subjectivities. Rightly or wrongly I assumed that non-discrimination needs to be balanced with some level of discrimination. This already exists to some degree because you can’t apply non-discrimination to individual preferences. In that respect we are all discriminating to some degree and I’d argue that it is not only healthy to do so but it is also the natural function of the amygdala.

          However it seems to me that you wish to apply non-discrimination even to the level of people’s preferences and beliefs which I would find difficult to accept. Of course this can also be said of radical communitarian liberals too. Especially those that like to publicly display their bigotry in response to a group’s individual preferences regarding ethnicity. Again I don’t see these radical liberals shouting obscenities at brown Islamic communities who hold similar beliefs which oddly enough makes them racist in a strangely inverted way. I know these type of people and they are horrible to one another let alone to those whose views they find intolerable.

          My thought experiment was to allow communities to self determine what cultural values to have. Brown Islamic communities do it already and they seem from the outside pretty cohesive and we are protected by law from them harming others, other than their own of course. They don’t employ white people, they don’t intermarry with white people and they don’t have white people living with them. I don’t have a problem with this, do you?

          Further to this type of discrimination, maybe abit more discrimination might be healthy in terms of wanting a particular type of person to fill a job. If somebody wants a particular type of person then it would save alot of time and energy by simply being allowed to ask for that within the advertised job specification.

          What I’m saying is this could be done to build solidarity within the organisation by being allowed to consciously build up a more cohesive group of people. Also what I’m arguing is that by having abit more discrimination, it depoliticises somewhat individual identity and preferences whilst at the same time politicising somewhat community identity and preferences which in theory would build up group solidarity.

          Myself I can’t see how you would create social solidarity by applying the principle of non-discrimination even further to individual preferences and beliefs. I suppose it might work through coercion but only superficially but then we really are going towards stalinist genocidal tendencies to cull out those with the wrong beliefs and the wrong preferences.

          Is that the sort of universalism you want to create. One where we have thought police!

        • Sorry, replace community with nation in

          Having worked through the arguments on both sides I realised that the application of the principle of non-discrimination, which can be argued is partly attributable to the phenomenon of mass immigration, disallows a community from protecting its ethnic heritage.

  4. I confess to not having read all of Steve Gwynne’s last comment, and indeed, not to have carefully read your last comment. It is critical to recognize that there has ALWAYS BEEN MIGRATION, from homo erectus among other in Africa and out of it to the Indians who arrived in the Americas thousands of years ago to many, many more recent groups. Mixing has kept us evolving (not always well, perhaps, given our tendency as humans to violence). There is a difference between migration and aggression, perhaps, that should be made. But still, we migrate. Modern difficulties are often due to racism and to fear of foreigners. This is exacerbated I think by modern cultural problems. That is, dominated by mass media and corporations, culture has lost some of its glue and its attractiveness. And immigrants have become the scapegoats. Contemporary culture in Britain and the US has damaged community bonds and family bonds. Again, I think immigrants who probably still have stronger cultural and family cones are the scapegoats.

    • Migration has often if not mostly been associated with conquest, conflict and territorialism. This is because migration will increase population numbers in some areas and reduce it in others. Migration is often if not mostly associated with the search for resources, either in order to survive or to increase standards of living. Historically migration occurs due to a lack of available resources or because of increasing population levels within a given area. Historically, migration has also been used a political tool to colonise areas in order to exert power over pre-existing populations.

      As such migration is usually associated with resource scarcity and resource grabbing. Migrationary flows therefore will usually result in conflict over available resources, power relations and social cultural norms unless a host area is devoid or lacking in humans.

      Contemporary (liberal) efforts to suppress and even ignore the associated historical reasons and consequences of migrationary flows, especially within a context of finite resource availabilities and an ever increasing human global population, is not rational discourse but propaganda.

      Efforts to suppress the facts around immigration and efforts to suppress rational discourse around immigration by using bigoted statements like racism, xenophobia and scapegoating is simply an unwillingness to acknowledge the historical facts and more importantly acknowledge the associated reasons and consequences of migration.

      This suppression actively seeks to distort facts into propaganda by a process of decontextualisation with the aim, I guess, of realigning human nature with universalist liberal cosmopolitan perspectives.

      This project is usually dubbed as progressive social change by its adherents. Its more ardent adherents, as passionate and radical as they are, sometimes forget that this is just one perspective amongst many and in the process castigate other perspectives as bigoted. However the source of the bigotry actually emanates from these more ardent adherents who show
      “intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself”.
      This is the true meaning of the word bigotry, not the progandised version utilised by the ardent adherents of universalist liberal cosmopolitan perspectives.

      If we are to have a rational discourse about immigration then the historical and contemporary reasons and consequences of immigration need to be included as well. Not progandised versions that serve one perspective alone but the historical and contemporary facts that embraces all perspectives.

    • Maybe you need to educate yourself with the full list of push/pull factors including migration as colonisation
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_human_migration
      and then acquaint yourself with the arguments opposing immigration
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposition_to_immigration
      since it is the nature of the arguments opposing immigration that will largely determine democratic outcomes.

      Making statements that migration is a wholly passive phenomenon does not provide coherent counter arguments to anti-immigration perspectives.
      Relevant counter-arguments can be extrapolated from here
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration#History
      However much of the acedemic evidence shows a detrimental effect on the lower wage quintiles of a host country whether in terms of wages, public service provision, social capital, assimilation, affordable housing provision, income inequality, population increases, environmental impacts, national security issues and terrorism.

      Most acedemic research on long run economic impacts tend to be borderline verging on the positive with gains for the higher quintiles and losses for lower quintiles but overall usually net aggregate benefits. But aggregates tend to hide the negative impacts whereas democratic preferences do not.

      Universalist liberal cosmopolitan perspectives tend to focus on long run aggregate economic benefits and liberal/humanist/cosmopolitan ideals around non-discrimination and transnational human rights whereas other more communitarian perspectives will tend to focus on short and long run socio-economic, socio-cultural and socio-ecological impacts within a more national human rights/responsibility perspective.

      The ideal is to move the discussions beyond mutually reinforcing bigotry and simplistic statements towards a mutually agreeable consensus which will require the Cardinal Virtues of Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Fortitude from both sides of the debate since whether we like it or not we do live within a world of increasing resource scarcity and human population growth and somehow we need to manage these complex problems in a peaceful way. As such debates about immigration also need to incorporate issues regarding increasing resource scarcity and human population growth as well as the push/pull factors that induce migration.

  5. I appreciate your efforts to move toward consensus. I think that the issues surrounding immigration are issues of human nature. How to put this. We humans I sometimes think we humans have not evolved well. We are a cloth woven of contradictory impulses. We aren’t too good at separating them. Intellectualization doesn’t really help us to let go of our more destructive drives. You can see that left wingers can be just as susceptible to rage as right wingers, among other impulses. Trying to deal with immigration does not lend itself to rational argument because it is really a huge swath of human history, a big piece of which provokes sympathy, including in me. I do acknowledge that not all immigration waves resulted in good. Look at the fate of Indians in the United States. But I think that trying to protect one’s identity is not a good reason to oppose immigration. We have never remained “pure” for very long. Blocking immigration doesn’t lead to purity. Humans tend to divide themselves into superior, middle, inferior regardless of immigration. Sometimes this division has been kinder, but it has not been due to any kind of ethnic purity. We humans have ideals. The best ideals, I think, are those that respect all humans and acknowledge all our problems. These can exist in hierarchical societies and not in more egalitarian ones. But stopping immigration is not the answer. When we are liberal with our immigration laws, we allow ourselves to admit ideas and ways of living which may in fact help us become a better human race.

    • I certainly understand your argument about the need to discard race as a categorical imperative which is underpinned by liberal/cosmopolitan/humanist notions of non-discrimination and therefore your concluding argument is that anti-immigration perspectives are inherently unjustified and might even establish obstacles to human development and evolution.

      Mr Wheeler obviously has a different more communitarian notion of race as being intertwined with the cultural development or breeding of particular sets of cultural values and norms that are rooted in ancestral knowledge and certain genetic characteristics that symbolises membership of a particular race of people. In this respect purity is more on the basis of cultural ethnicity rather than genetic history.

      I know Kenan has previously been critical of multicultural policies that serve to reinforce the cultural distinctions between different races or breeds of humans. Arguably multicultural policy has the performative role of maintaining these distinctions in order to preserve Anglo-Saxon cultural ethnicities. You at least seem to understand the power behind self-referential ethnic sympathies and how these might contribute towards formal and informal social hierarchies with an explanation that human nature is naturally discriminating.

      For myself two problematics arise. One is ecological diversity as a form of natural resilience in that “Systems with many different components, be they species, actors or sources of knowledge, are generally more resilient than systems with few components. This leads to redundancy which provides ‘insurance’ by allowing some components to compensate for the loss or failure of others: “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”.
      http://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/research-news/2015-02-19-applying-resilience-thinking.html
      Similarly, connectivity, slow variables and feedbacks and adaptive thinking are also relevant which feed to some extent into your thinking that “opposition to immigration is not the answer. When we are liberal with our immigration laws, we allow ourselves to admit ideas and ways of living which may in fact help us become a better human race.” However according to resilience theory this is usually managed in order to maintain the main principles of resilience which will include connectivity. The point being that shared learning and appropriate adaptation can be accomplished through digital networks, acedemic networks and through tourism without the need for immigration as such especially if it can be shown that immigration reduces diversity which arguably it does through policies of non-discrimination.

      Therefore it is not a given that immigration is inherently good and it is not a given that immigration is the sole vehicle by which to transfer cultural knowledge bearing on mind that what Mr Wheeler is trying to articulate is that the cultural formation that he wishes to protect has ensured the survival of countless generations of this particular breed of humans which in an ecological sense demonstrates a very high level of resilience. Therefore resistance in the form of endemism is not only having cultural sympathies and cultural identifications but a recognition of the ‘resilience value’ of that particular set of cultural formations. This need and desire to preserve is not only a human instinct it is a biological instinct and arguably it at the root of conservatism. Unfortunately social commentators like Kenan are unwilling to confront these deeper ‘ecological’ arguments and instead resorts to bigotry in the form of
      obtuse or narrow-minded intolerance, especially of other races or religions. In effect what Kenan is doing is attempting to preserve and protect his own liberal/universalist/cosmopolitan/humanist breed of humans without acknowledging that he is actually making a distinction between his own breed/race of humans in contrast to another. His overarching task seems to be in creating a universalist monoculture which not only disregards natural principles of resilience but also disregards currently existing high resilient cultural ethnicities.

      The second problematic is that life exists as a life/death cycle which incorporates highly discriminatory choices that form sophisticated food chains. Much of liberalism seeks to theoretically remove humanity from this ecological process by awarding all humans the right to life but at the same not acknowledging the impossibility of awarding the right to life to all sentient and semi-sentient lifeforms. This paradox at the heart of liberal/universalist/cosmopolitan/humanist conceptions of human biological nature is extremely problematic to say the least and since I’ve probably already overwhelmed you with ideas of resilience theory I’ll leave it at that.

      Thank you very much for helping me think through the nuances of this extremely problematic debate.

  6. Change is healthy and needed in any society. Only by accepting diversity we can enrich a culture and it society.

    The fear of immigration is a symptom of political malfunction and the lack of clarity regarding a country problems.

    In the UK the majority of the immigration are coming to build themself and for their children a better future. It’s an active immigration. The deterioration of the UK culture have more to do with the young British culture than anything else.

    We are entering into an era of globalisation. A one mind education is necessary to allow the UK to benefit the advantage of such a progress.

      • I agree. I believe more transparent study is required in the subject.

        The attack on immigration by the media is normally promoting a very clear propaganda. It’s unhealthy for the mentality of the masses as they tend to repeat empty slogans.

        In general, propaganda based on hatred is promoting extremism and violent. It’s a subject that requires counter publication for the sake of the wellbeing of the general population and its progress.

        • Yes it would help but it would need to be able to measure how immigration does affect host countries and donor countries in economic, socio-cultural, ecological and political terms including how immigration can affect cultural traditions, social capital, infrastructural capacity for both green and grey infrastructure, resource availability, population levels, pollution, congestion, required taxation to mitigate pressure and increase capacity of public services as well as a thorough investigation into the push/pull factors that motivate migration especially in the context of international relations, international trading agreements, resource wars and international development models.

        • Thank you Amitai.
          I too look forward to such a wide ranging study. Too much of the current research is far too narrow in order to confirm researcher bias. Different levels of migration, who the migrants are and why, and perhaps most importantly why politicians are encouraging certain types of migration and not others needs to be considered. In particular migration must be researched in association with the resource environment and population levels. Overcrowding in certain areas will inevitably cause considerable tensions unless there are considerable government budget surpluses to quickly expand grey infrastructure upwards rather than outwards into green infrastructure. Ideally population distribution will be managed as an international effort with international finances. This points to the need for an International Treaty on Migration with a commitment to financial and capital resources. Also we need to seriously review how we use resources globally. The priority should be to use resources to build the material infrastructure to satisfy the needs of a growing population with countries that are in ecological credit being the primary locations. Alternatively, consortiums of countries should come together in order that as a group they are in ecological credit and then sign treaties to commit themselves to sharing green and grey infrastructure with one another.

          In my opinion it would be foolish to encourage migration to countries that are already heavily in ecological debt like the UK unless the UK did form an international covenant with countries that are in ecological credit. I intend to propose this idea to DFID, the UK government department for International Development.

          We must think ecologically about our decisions regarding migration. We do not want to cause unnecessary problems simply for the sake of political Ideology.

        • Dear Steve,

          I agree with your points completely. Without any doubt, many parameter are required to be take in consideration when addressing a subject that affect so many aspects in a society. For sure society that are already in ecological debts problems and political turmoil.

          In any case, the ecological consideration should always be taken as a primary point. Any kind of intense concentration have proven itself to be unhealthy for any long term economy or population. We must keep in mind that while talking generally about immigration, it affects real people. Their wellbeing should be considered as the wellbeing of the local population. In the short and long terms.

          I find your proposal to be a good beginning for the creation of a smarter system of immigration. Which is required.

          Please feel free to share with me any process, thought or idea of progress. I’m highly motivated to be an active part of the creation of a better future. I believe this subject is one of the most important one in the process of creating an healthy future global population.

        • Wow, Ms Rosengart—a genocider. I’m glad that your purpose in life is to genocide the English people. What Virtue! Yes, that is what Love does–engages in genocide. Full steam ahead to globalization. And you don’t engage in propaganda—propaganda of the Hate of multiculturalism for homogeneity and leaving people well enough alone? You know “multiculturalism” is diversity propaganda? That you are engaging in brainwashing?

        • Good evening, I took a few days to answer to make sure I give you the right answer.

          The need for diversity and change are crucial for the healthy development of any society. If you like it or not, globalisation is the future of our soceities.The arrival of new cultures to an existing one, can only promote progress if accepted and seen in the right way.

          Extreme reactions as yours above, normally comes from fear and frustration. Which are dangerous as they lead to extremism and violence. Which I believe are never the solution.

          I personally admire the English culture and its development, as they brought us the progress we enjoy today.

          I’m trying to promote the acceptance of change and the integration of new cultures, in an era in which we can all understand that any culture is progressing thanks to the wilingess of its population to accept different opinions. As you’re coming from a country that has been created thanks to immigration, I would think twice before promoting extremism against immigrants.

          Ignorance is not negative if admitted. Peace and acceptance of the other is the only solution to promote the wellbeing of any country and the world population.

          Hope I manage to express myself good enough and calm your violent extremism.

        • Amitai Rosengart, You are showing astonishing patience, politness and grace to someone who, frankly doesn’t deserve it. Someone who throws around the term ‘genocide’ as easily as W Lindsay Wheeler does, and who describes anyone with a liberal view of immigration as a ‘genocider’ is, in my view, contemptible. But, thank you for your politeness and grace.

        • Thank you for your reply. It reinforce me to know other people share some liberal perspective.

          In the beginning of our life we all start ignorant and scared. The reinforcement and experiences we are passing in our lives shake our foundations or just make our confidence in our ideas stronger. Fear is a disease that did ignorance, which take the worst out of some people’s.

          I truly believe that for the sake of creating a healthy and constructive social movement, for the sake of a better future. Active patience, politeness and a bit of grace are required when facing such a violent extremism. If not for the sake of changing the extremist mind, for the sake of giving confidence to the population around.

          I hope It made at least a few proud people reconsider their thoughts and reinforce a few people that are sharing mind.

          The only way I know to create a productive social movement to fight violence is by responding in an non violent active way. At least it is a good start.

Comments are closed.