December 15, 2005

Multi-culti Policy and the Sydney Beach Riots

Keith Windschuttle's op-ed in The Australian discusses the connection between Australian official multiculturalist policies over the past few decades and the failure of assimilation that led to the Sydney beach riots. Interestingly enough, as Windschuttle points out, the Anglosphere assimilation engine has continued to work in many cases in the face of official policy. Money quote:

Outside the ethnic enclaves, instead of racist or ethnocentric attitudes to newcomers, old Australians were working with, marrying and having children with them.

Studies by Monash University's Bob Birrell of the most revealing test of immigrant integration, the marriage rate, showed that by the end of the '90s less than 10 per cent of second-generation marriages of people of European descent were to someone from their parents' country. Much the same was true of immigrants from south and east Asia. Only 6 per cent of Indians married within their ethnic group, as did only 18 per cent of Chinese. In short, most immigrants, whatever their race, married Australians of other nationalities.

However, for the Lebanese, of whom most of marriageable age were Muslims, these figures were reversed. No less than 74 per cent of Lebanese brides and 61 per cent of Lebanese grooms married within their own ethnic group. Moreover, these figures had increased since the early '90s, when they were about six percentage points lower. This pattern may have fulfilled the community-building objective sought by Lebanese political and religious leaders, but it has been a disaster for their constituents' relationship with the rest of Australia.

Put this week's beachside violence into its political and social context, and the conclusion is clear. It is not race that is the problem but culture. Multiracialism has been a success in contemporary Australia but multiculturalism has been an abject failure.

Democracy, immigration, multiculturalism. Pick any two.

Posted by James C. Bennett at December 15, 2005 06:06 PM

Keith Windschuttle's distinction between multiracialism and multiculturalism is important. This is not your grandfather's Anglosphere -- all Anglosphere communities are now significantly multiracial and becoming more so all the time with (1) continued immigration from all over the world and (2) the resulting intermarriage among members of different racial and ethnic groups. However, the continued health of the Anglosphere depends on the continuation and extension of one basic culture. Not that Anglospheric nations are monolithic (far from it!), but they share certain basic cultural norms such as personal choice, open inquiry, private property, and voluntary relations. Within that basic culture, many variations are possible (as befits a foxlike culture), and that basic culture also needs to be extended and adapted to meet changing conditions (those foxes again). Diversity is not only possible but normal in Anglospheric cultures. What is abnormal and unhealthy is the presumption that cultural norms antithetical to those of the Anglosphere -- e.g., lack of personal choice, unfree intellectual life, collective ownership of property, forced association among members of ethnic or racial groups -- can exist within Anglospheric nations without serious negative consequences.

Posted by: Peter Saint-Andre at December 15, 2005 09:41 PM

I'll second that. In the south of England, especially in the London conurbation, a really surprising number of relationships/marriages are multiracial (like 50%). It's simply unremarkable these days to see a (British-born) couple of Korean/Afro-Caribbean ancestry for example. But in the north of England, the picture is not so rosy. I used to live in Bradford, which is now part of the Leeds conurbation, and there was a definite tendency to ghettoisation on the part of the largely north Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani immigrant community even a decade ago. I am sure this has accelerated. As anecdotal evidence, I remember seeing a local news report a good ten years ago on the grossly disparate unemployment rate between native and immigrant populations in Yorkshire. They interviewed two unemployed textile workers from Todmorden (near Hebden Bridge). They'd been in the country for years, but spoke in Urdu via an interpreter. "Well," I thought to myself, "perhaps a tiny step towards accommodating the language of your hiost country might enhance your employment prospects, hmm?"

Posted by: David Gillies at December 16, 2005 08:37 AM

We should not let the Lebanese Christians become tarred by this Muslim violence just because they hail from the same part of the world. The Lebanese Christians are well-integrated and achieving in Oz, as they also are in Canada.

As always, the violence and aggression stem from Islamic ambition to make the world Dar-as-Islam. They are now bruiting about the idea, as "a solution to the problem" that there beaches should be segrated - one section being Dar-as-Islam and the other being Dar-al-Harb (as a commenter at noted) for the vast non-Islamic majority. Australia should be very, very careful of this idea - not just because apartheid is not legal - but because Muslims believe that once something has been dubbed Islamic, as in part of the beach, it remains forever Islamic and will be fought for.

This needs to be nipped in the bud pronto. If they want beaches of their own, I understand there is a lot of sand in Saudi Arabia and no white sluts in bikinis.

Posted by: Verity at December 16, 2005 08:38 AM

If you don't have immigration, how can you have real multiculturalism?

Posted by: Andy Freeman at December 16, 2005 08:42 AM

What is "real multiculturalism?" I think it;s being used here in the sense opposite integration/assimilation of immigrants, where immigrants come to a country and create ethnic "ghettos" (or enclaves if you prefer).

Posted by: John Jenkins at December 16, 2005 08:49 AM


If you don't have immigration, how can you have real multiculturalism?

Is there a point in there somewhere?

Posted by: ed at December 16, 2005 08:52 AM

"Real Multiculturalism" is an unreachable goal.

Any society will tend to 'level' itself into one common culture. So, if you mix a bunch of different cultures, you'll end up with one "new" culture after a while, that has bits of the older ones in it.

Posted by: Eric Blair at December 16, 2005 10:25 AM

Switzerland traditionally had something that could validly be called "real multiculturalism". Some cantons were German-speaking, some French, some Italian, some mixed. They made this work as a democracy by decentralizing almost public goods to the cantonal level and carefully negotiating allocations on those things that did have to be done at the confederal level, mostly roads and railroads. A rapid shift in percentages of population (for example, by immigration of Italian-speakers from the Republic of Italy) puts strains on this system; the injection of other nationalities who retain their own languages and cultures strains it even more.

The other way to achieve immigration and multiculturalism, of course, is to forego democracy and let a self-appointed elite decide on public goods allocations. The Ottoman Empire, for example, absorbed much of Spain's expelled Jewish population after 1492 with little strain. They enjoyed commmunity autonomy in social customs, but had no say over the big decisions of state. Since nobody else did either, this was not seen as a problem.

You can go find a society like that and live there if you want to. But that's not our tradition or our way of doing things. Constitutional self-government, immigration of people wanting to join our society, and assimilation are three of the basic pillars of Anglosphere societies.

Posted by: Jim Bennett at December 16, 2005 11:36 AM

Real multiculturalism involves folks who actually came from the culture in question. The US has a fair amount of poser-multiculturalism, such as Ward "Injun" Churchill.

Posted by: Andy Freeman at December 16, 2005 12:07 PM

So it's the fault of the Lebanese when drunk white louts start rioting?

Posted by: rj3 at December 16, 2005 04:37 PM

"If you don't have immigration, how can you have real multiculturalism?
Is there a point in there somewhere?"

Yeah, actually, and it may be pretty central to the discussion.

One way is confederation - if India is or becomes a piece of the Anglosphere, it won't be becuase all 1B of them immigrate into the UK or the US.

Another way is splitting. Does anyone doubt that Mormons and say Episcopalians and maybe Southern Baptists are culturally quite distinct, and especially in areas that have political, and all arising out of people who originally pretty similar. The great Catholic-Protestant cultural divide is another example of this. So no, you don't have to come from the culture in question to be multicultural, you can invent the new culture.

And then there is another way. This one depends on how recent "immigration" has to be to be called immigration. An example her would be German-Americans. German immgration to America basically ceased before WWI. How Anglo are they now? And how truly English are they? As much and in the same way as Southerners or New Englanders?

Posted by: Jim at December 16, 2005 04:42 PM

So it's the fault of the Lebanese when drunk white louts start rioting?

Well, in this case there seems to be plenty of evidence that the drunk white louts didn't just throw a dart at a world map, happen to hit Lebanon, and go out looking for Lebanese to beat up. There have been drunken white louts in Australia since they staggered off the First Fleet, but they have mostly beat up each other all that time. The question is why they haven't been picking fights with any of the other many many ethnic groups in Australia. Maybe, just maybe, this is a cycle of violence that has something to do with government multiculturalist policy ghettoizing this group.

As for the question about the Germans, they have been one of the most intermixed ethnic groups in America. This is partly due to the fact that the German immigration was well split between Lutherans, peace churches similar to the Quakers, Catholics, and Jews. So Lutherans married Scandinavians and British Isles Protestants, German Catholics married Irish and Polish Catholics, Mennonites married Quakers, and German Jews married Eastern European Jews. So everybody's part German and hardly anybody's "pure" German. Germans were in a way the univesal ethnic solvent in America.

Posted by: Jim Bennett at December 16, 2005 04:56 PM

Maybe the loutish behaviour has less to do with government policy than with the loutish behaviour of the Lebanese.

More Americans have German blood coursing through their veins than that of any other ethic group. America is a German populace under an English culture.

Posted by: Richard A. Heddleson at December 16, 2005 06:33 PM

Jim Bennett: I must note that language isn't the only aspect of culture. Most, if not all, Swiss speak a dialect of German; Swiss German. While Standard German is used officially, the fact that people from Italian and French cantons can speak a uniquely Swiss dialect shows a certain degree of assimiliation.

Furthermore, French-speaking and Italian-speaking and the ever so rare Romansh-speaking differs greatly in cultural norms from their linguistic cousins across the borders. For one, far more often than not, they are significantly more conservative and religious in comparison with their European counterparts.

Certainly, there is strong regional differences in culture, but that happens also between cantons of the same language as it does with cantons of different languages.

Switzerland isn't a good example of multiculturalism (it is, however, a good example of a multi-linguistic federation).

Posted by: Rajan R at December 16, 2005 08:22 PM

So it's the fault of the Lebanese when drunk white louts start rioting?

Yes, when the Lebanese Muslims have a history of belligerency against Australians. The Lebanese Muslims have a reputation for insulting women. It is common for Australian women to be sexually taunted by these Muslim Neanderthals, even when they are with their boyfriends and husbands. It is common for the Muslim gangbangers to follow women around, even to their homes. It is terrifying for the women, infuriating to all. And if you stand up to them, they page their gang and dozens show up to beat you up.

This happens not only to ordinary citizens, but the police, who have chosen in most of these confrontations to back down and leave. If they have a Lebanese Muslim in hand for some offense, they let him go and walk away. This rewards and encourages the criminal behavior of the Lebanese Muslims.

Then there is the matter of the gang rapes. Lebanese Muslims have a history of luring one or two Australian girls off and then gang raping them. Sometimes, when the first crew of rapists are done, a second crew starts. When they are brought to justice, they claim that they are being persecuted because they are Muslims.

That is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a large amount of general harassment from the Lebanese Muslim gangsters everywhere. There is also the antagonism against Muslims raised by the Bali bombings, where the main murder suspect cheerfully admits his guilt and laughs about the Aussies he killed. Seven of the Aussie dead were girls from the Cronulla area, where the Bali memorial is located on the beach near where the riots started.

This is part of the general campaign of aggression by Muslims the world over, which is a continuation of the jihad against the world that Islam has promoted since its birth.


Posted by: Tantor at December 17, 2005 09:57 AM

Tantor: so we're doing a little "root cause analysis" on why the louts started rioting? Obviously, because of society, they can't be held responsible for their actions when they lash out. We just need to *understand* why the louts are rioting -- address their needs -- and when that's done, they'll stop. Nice.

Posted by: rj3 at December 17, 2005 10:46 AM

And besides, Tantor, don't overblown and poorly-sourced rape allegations remind you of certain race-related vigilantism from the American south a century ago?

Posted by: rj3 at December 17, 2005 03:41 PM

How do you mean "overblown and poorly sourced rape allegations"? Either they happened or they didn't happen. Or is it your view that women who report gang rape should not be believed?

Posted by: Helen at December 17, 2005 06:14 PM

rj3, there have been prosecutions and convictions (one sentence of 55 years was handed down, I believe), or didn't you know that already?

Posted by: Mike James at December 18, 2005 12:03 AM

Rajan - "Switzerland isn't a good example of multiculturalism (it is, however, a good example of a multi-linguistic federation)."

Cantonal distinctiveness is real but there is a strongly unifying sense of Swiss identity that I think transcends cultural differences. You don't see the kind of communal conflict that has existed for example in Belgium.

Jim Bennett's point is that intermarriage has dissolved some of the barriers between different groups in America and this may be the ultimate remedy to cultural tensions.

Posted by: David Billington at December 18, 2005 02:40 AM

Could it be that it's just two versions of mindless, shallow, rap-listening australians bashing each other's heads? : the red-neck blond ones and the greased hair brown-skinned ones? To me, a european, they all look 100% australian, no matter where their family comes from. They all live in the same surf-riding, disney-watchincg, deeply imbecile culture..Having met a lot of Greek Australians personally, I can say they're not any different either. One more thing out of my personal experience.. I was dating an australian girl a few years ago. Until she told me that aboriginees are "all fucking neanderthals"! Well, that was it, no more australian girl for me. What a shame really she was quite cute after all..

Posted by: Yannis Sideris at December 21, 2005 02:35 PM
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