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Monday, November 02, 2015


Immigration, Extremism, and Existentialism

Life in the tiny town of Sumte, Germany, is about to become very different. The 105 residents of the remote and previously unheard-of Lower Saxony village will soon be joined by 500 of the millions of migrants who are heading to Europe from the Middle East, with another 250 scheduled to arrive soon after, so it is reasonable to expect that some significant changes are inevitable. The rest of the western world won’t be out-numbered seven-to-one within its own borders quite as soon, but it would still do well to consider the fate of Sumte.

It’s tough enough for a town of 105 people to suddenly accommodate another 750 or so in the best of circumstances, especially when it has no shops or schools or police stations and a limited amount of sewers and roads and other infrastructure, and such an influx of newcomers who do not speak German and practice a consequentially different religion and derive from countries with a culturally enforced hostility toward western values is by no means the best of circumstances. The German government, which one might well have thought had been created to protect they German way of life for its citizens, has reportedly told the people of Sumte that the only responses to the resettlement plans are “yes and yes,” and the rest of the western world suddenly seems faced with the same grim options. The people don’t much like it, in Sumte or pretty much anywhere else in the western world, but their supposedly democratic governments don’t seem to care. Throughout most of Europe’s officialdom, and among at least half of America’s political parties, and even among the American press that brought us the sad story of Sumte, the bigger worry seems to be that extremist nationalist parties might benefit from the inevitable discontent. ....

For the moment America’s immigration problems are less threatening, as most of the country’s unprecedented number of new arrivals don’t speak English but at least practice a religion that is less consequentially different than the American norm, or they don’t practice any religion at all, which is becoming the American norm, and they’re not so hostile to most western values, even if they derive from countries with a culturally enforced hostility to capitalism, but the issue is still thorny even here, and the Middle Eastern influx is becoming even thornier. Already the issue has provided a platform for the likes of Donald Trump, and anyone hoping to shame him out of the race should hope that a more respectable candidate will emerge to represent the overwhelming public opinion in favor of retaining something more or less like the cultural status quo.

What better way of "fundamentally changing" a country than to fundamentally change its people.  It seems that this is one promise that Barack Obama meant to keep.

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