Sunday, November 29, 2015

The "TV Dinner" Model of National Ethnic Non-Integration

Michael L.

{Also published at the Elder of ZiyonThe Jewish PressJews Down Under and The Algemeiner.}

Europe is in chaos due to the raw fact of millions of Arabs pouring onto the continent, heading for Germany and Sweden.

The United States is also very familiar with large waves of immigrants pouring into the country at an alarming rate for a great many citizens... and a great many nativists.

With the waves of mid-late nineteenth-century immigration into the United States from Eastern and Southern Europe the notion of a "melting pot" emerged.

The United States would welcome the strange-sounding, strange-looking, allegedly criminal, foreigners washing onto our shores - even Jews - if they assimilated.  Some American manufacturers hiring these immigrants went so far as to offer their employees free instruction on how to be American.

{Quite often baseball was involved.}

After World War II, and after the transition from economic liberalism in the United States to what is sometimes call "rights liberalism" - women's rights, gay rights, ethnic rights, and so forth - the "melting pot" notion gave way to the "salad bowl" notion.  No longer were ethnic minorities expected to dissolve themselves into American culture as developed by the Anglo settlers of the seventeenth-century.  By the middle of the 1960s, and the rise of the Civil Rights Movement and the New Left, a multicultural ideal developed and Americans began recognize the value of distinctions between cultures.

The fundamental idea, of course, was that the various ethnicities should not melt into a sort-of homogeneous, Wonder Bread, Leave It To Beaver culture, but would remain distinct while integrated into the whole.

The enormous current wave of Arabs into Europe fits neither model, which is hardly surprising since these are not Europeans and they are not migrating into America.  It is, rather, what I call the "TV Dinner" model of national ethnic non-integration.  If we have learned nothing else over the course of recent decades it is that large segments of the Arab immigrants into Europe have no intention whatsoever of integrating.  Many will insist upon maintaining traditional, and separate, societies within the host countries.

The difference between the American immigrant experience and the European immigrant experience is that in the United States there is a blending of cultures, while distinctions are still maintained.  Individuals may fully integrate but cultural presences in the form of cuisine, culture, and politics remain as part of a larger interconnected cultural landscape.  Arabs in Europe, on the other hand, are quite often finding it difficult to reconcile the old country with the new and this is causing major problems throughout Europe and it is likely that in the coming years the growing Arab immigrant population is going to exacerbate those problems..  They are not living side-by-side, but together, with their neighbors in Europe.  Many are living side-by-side, but separate, from their neighbors.  They do so while maintaining an often violent malice toward European morality and culture alongside an irrational, Koranically-based hatred toward the Jewish people.

David Crouch, writing in the Guardian tells us:
Sweden needs “respite” from the tens of thousands of refugees knocking at its door, the government has said, announcing tough measures to deter asylum seekers in a sharp reversal of its open-door policy towards people fleeing war and persecution.

The country’s generous asylum regime would revert to the “EU minimum”, Sweden’s prime minister, Stefan Löfven, said on Tuesday, revealing that most refugees would receive only temporary residence permits from April.

Identity checks would be imposed on all modes of transport, and the right to bring families to Sweden would be severely restricted, he said.
Sweden is awakening to the fact that it made an exceedingly dangerous foreign policy mistake vis-à-vis Arab immigrants.

The EU flung open the doors of Europe and both Germany and Sweden went entirely supine... for awhile.  The European response was motivated largely by compassion.  There is no doubt, however, that when the historians dig into this vital moment they will uncover who benefited financially and who benefited politically.  Nonetheless, it is only the crassest of cynics who would refuse to acknowledge the humanitarianism behind the willingness to take in so many Arab immigrants.  Yet, the recent influx of millions of Arab and African Muslims into Europe is going to have long lasting effects on the nature of European culture and society.

As the immigrant population increases, and flexes its political muscle, there will be a decline in the rights and well-being of women, a decline in the rights and well-being of Gay people, and a decline in the rights and well-being of Jews.   Concurrently there will be an increase in crime and an increase in terrorist activity, as we just saw in Paris.

Saying so should not be controversial, but acknowledged as obvious.

Europe, North America, and Australia are open and diverse societies.  We welcome immigrants.  We enjoy diversity.  The problem in Europe, however, is that the immigrant population is interested in neither the "melting pot" notion, nor the "salad bowl" notion, but the "TV dinner" notion. They are not only fleeing the war-torn Arab-Muslim Middle East, but they are bringing the war-torn Arab-Muslim Middle East with them and, if recent European history is any guide, a very large segment of these immigrants will refuse to integrate or even really associate themselves with the larger society.

They will maintain their separate neighborhoods and separate cultures and many of the green beans will refuse to fraternize with the salisbury steak.

And some, unfortunately, will seek to murder the mashed potatoes.


  1. The immigrant experience was predicated on "America" making immigrants more American than whatever they brought with them changed the underlying "American" culture. Hence the hyphenated American. Moreover, assimilation while it may not have been the goal of immigrants it was surely the fastest path to prosperity. One had to be "like" their boss, their neighbor, their friends, their town, in order to thrive economically.

    After the 1940's though the lever, the engine of prosperity and therefore the engine that drove the immigrants slowly changed from the community, the town, the congregation, the small business, the labor union, to the Government. The State took on the role of 'integrating' new immigrants by offering them a social welfare net that didn't require them to learn English or go to American schools or even in many cases get a job or join a union take any of the options that were used to accomplish that a generation earlier. The State placed no demands on their motivation to assimilate or not. It was no longer important because it not assimilating no longer carried with it the economic burden of being a second class citizen.

    Now instead of assimilation there's parallel cohabitation. Dominicans with Dominicans, Pakistanis with Pakistanis, Bengalis with Bengalis, Chinese with Chinese, Korean with Korean and so on. Now the ethnic ghetto is no longer a place to evolve FROM. It's a place where one is free to be born live their whole life and die w/o having to come in contact with much of the host nation's world. And because government is a business like any other, it's in government's interest to keep them dependent on the government. Muslims are free to erect Muslim schools in Muslim neighborhoods where the only languages spoken are the local indigenous language and liturgical Arabic, of course. Beyond the need to be an Uber driver or have a low skilled job in wider world, where permitted, there's not much of anything the new immigrant needs to do to assimilate. In countries with more complex and comprehensive social welfare systems than the US there isn't even that. People are paid to sit home and make babies for the most part.

    So why is anyone shocked by this?

  2. beautifully written. I would more tho say Europe's situtation with Muslim immigrants resembles jungle juice or "skittle parties": feels good for a bit but is really bad for you and can kill you, especially if you're vulnerable. Look up "jungle juice" or "skittle party" if you don't know what it is.

  3. It is absolutely necessary to understand that the problems of lack of assimilation into European societies is not caused by an unwillingness on the behalf of incoming groups to assimilate, but a deliberate policy practised by those European societies to dissuade people from assimilation in the first place.

    To quote from Ed West's book " The Diversity Illusion" :

    Few political ideas of recent years have enjoyed such a meteoric rise and fall as multiculturalism, so that today many liberals argue that it has been a failure, although what they mean by this term is not always clear. While "soft multiculturalism" refers simply to cultural interaction, which most of us agree is generally a positive thing, multiculturalism can also refer to the idea that a society filled with diverse, cultural, ethnic and racial groups is in itself a good, so that multicultural becomes just another word for multi-racial. Most commonly, however, it is used to describe " hard multiculturalism" , the specific government policy that each culture should be valued equally, and that "white" British culture should not be supreme. Multiculturalism as a policy was, in effect, the application of anti-racist doctrine to run a multi-ethnic society.
    ... Ethnic minorities, the new thinking went, should not be forced to adopt a "white" British identity, but instead should express their own, live by their own values and pursue their own lifestyles, and to say otherwise would be to argue that their culture might be in some way inferior.
    ...In other words - the state should treat people differently. But more tellingly the Parekh report, as it was known, being compiled by Labour peer Bhikhu Parekh, stated that "Britishness" was an alien concept for many citizens as it had " systematic, largely unspoken, racist connotations". Since Britishness is the culture of a country that was almost entirely white until half a century before, to enforce it on newcomers is to enforce white cultural values. Integration must therefore be racist.
    Multiculturalism, "celebrating diversity" or however one wishes to describe policies against the need for integration, is essentially the official recognition of self-hatred.

    It's impossible to overstate how this policy was entirely deliberate.

    1. This is very interesting, Kate.

      I agree that Europe, in general - particularly western Europe - values the multi-cultural ideal and that this would reflect their policies toward immigrant groups. Separate Sharia courts in Britain leaps to mind.

      However, there is no doubt that if second generation children of immigrants wanted to assimilate then they would.

      When my family came to the States in the 1920s much of the country did what they could to keep immigrants out of the mainstream of American life. My father, for example, was once fired from a job for notifying his boss that he would be missing a day of work due to one of the Jewish holidays. Jews were often not hired into the better jobs in part because they were not welcome in the better schools.

      So, I would argue that the roadblocks facing Southern and Eastern European immigrants into the US were far-and-away more rigid than anything Muslim immigrants are facing in Europe today. Heck, the governments of Western Europe even give them money, housing, and help them to find jobs. The immigrants of my grandparents generation received none of that.

      Yet, their kids wanted to be Americans and they became Americans despite the serious obstacles placed in their paths.

      Believe me, if Muslim immigrants wanted to assimilate into western liberal Europea culture, they would do so.

      The fact is, they generally don't want to, which is why they don't do so.

      In my opinion, the West needs to stop blaming the behavior of others on ourselves.

    2. Mike,
      What you say about your family - and of course it applies to many, many other people from all sorts of backgrounds - is interesting. It is true that people who were immigrants in America faced all kinds of difficulties, prejudice, bigotry, and obstacles. However, they arrived into a country that expected assimilation and integration. And into a culture that valued itself. A culture that believed in itself and thought of itself as a positive thing. A culture that taught it was a good and proud thing to be an American citizen. Under those circumstances, it was part of the American experience for newcomers to be motivated to assimilate and to quickly feel proud to be Americans. They kept their own culture but acquired an American identity. One of the most striking things about the U.S.A. is how successful that was. In addition to that, people had much more reason to integrate because they were a very long way from home. Unlike nowadays, they had to integrate because otherwise they would not have survived. They were without modern day technology - phones, computers, cable television channels, the internet etc- which meant they needed to learn English and were unable to keep in contact with their home countries. In the present, because of technology, people coming from other parts of the world can, for example, almost entirely get their news and current affairs via technology which brings it to them directly from the countries they have left. As you can imagine, in certain parts of the world that news coverage can be fairly skewed in an anti-western manner. This makes the situation staggeringly different from the periods you are referring to. As well as this, certainly in much of Europe, people arrive in a culture that has lost any confidence in itself; one that even seems to be embarrassed and ashamed of itself. These messages are constantly spewed out in our schools, universities, and media. It creates a kind of void. It is ( to paraphrase Ed West) difficult for people to integrate into a void. We have done this to ourselves, or rather, our intelligentsia and political class have.
      It is not very easy for second - generation immigrants from some communities to integrate when many of them are growing up in quite segregated areas and have no sense of what the positive " narrative" of the host country is. This is unsurprising as they - like the rest of us - are constantly told the story of Britain etc is one of the sins of colonialism and imperialism, racism, military intervention etc. All of this creates a mixture of things that make integration into Britain seem like a bad thing. It is,in fact, the opposite of what your family experienced, or, indeed, what my great- grandparents experienced.
      It has fostered, not only segregation, but a complete lack of any positive sense of the country that they now live in.
      And, of course, a plethora of reasons ensure that people are encouraged to feel aggravated senses of grievance but like affection or respect for Britain. It is a serious mess. Everyone needs to feel they belong, but if the host country has lost the ability to " sell ' itself as something worth belonging to, then it is extremely difficult for young people to know what to do.

      I'm afraid to say, that in this case the West - or certainly some parts of Europe - really does have something to blame itself for.

      I would, again, recommend reading " The Diversity Illusion" by Ed West. It's extremely helpful.

    3. Correction: That should read " little" affection or respect for Britain. Not " like".

    4. Damn.

      "However, they arrived into a country that expected assimilation and integration. And into a culture that valued itself."

      This is true and that is an important point.

      Does Europe no longer respect itself?

      This is, perhaps, the most critical moment in European history since World War II.

    5. "Ethnic minorities, the new thinking went, should not be forced to adopt a "white" British identity, but instead should express their own, live by their own values and pursue their own lifestyles, and to say otherwise would be to argue that their culture might be in some way inferior. "

      Their culture is just fine for them as long as they are in their own countries. But as the old saying goes, when in Rome...
      Why would one pick up and move to another country with another culture only to replicate the shit hole one left? My family came because they very much wanted to be Americans, not that they, we, have given up our Jewish roots entirely, but they certainly gave up that eastern European style of life they'd endured for centuries for something they believed was better, yes, superior. This model practiced by my immigrant ancestors as well as other ethnic groups who came here greatly enriched the United States.
      I agree with Mike's argument that if most French Muslims, for example, wanted to be French, they could and would honor their ancestors' memory but also try emulating the French, and steep themselves in their new country's culture and history, i.e., they would try to assimilate.

    6. Jeff,
      I'll just write this briefly and come back to it later when I'm in a better position to do so.
      One point:

      My family came because they very much wanted to be" Americans"..

      That's an important distinction.
      Wanting not just to live in, for example, Britain but to be British .
      Britain, Germany, Sweden, Holland etc no longer are able to offer that idea to people as if it is a desirable thing. Let alone a necessity.

    7. k,
      That is truly unfortunate. What those countries will need is a cultural renewal. Unfortunately, the way things are going that may come as a backlash resulting in the extreme right being in charge of it.

    8. Kate and Jeff,

      Can someone who is not French or, say, Japanese, become either French or Japanese?

      Can a Japanese family who has lived in France for generations ever really be French?

      Can a French family who has lived in Japan for generations ever really be Japanese?

      This is a sticky question and the reason that I ask it is because it makes my stomach queasy... which tells me that it is definitely a good question.

      I do not know the answer to this question.

      Anyone can become an American or an Australian or a New Zealander - I am guessing - or a Canadian, but can anyone who is not of French ethnic descent truly ever become "French"?

      The Arab-Muslim world is pouring into Europe and they will bring that world into Europe.

      That much is certain.

      Merkel is an idiot.

    9. Mike,
      It is an interesting question. And of course, in real terms, no immigrant can become " ethnically" Japanese regardless of how long they live there.
      It should be said in Japan's case that it is one of the most homogeneous countries on the planet. And the most industrialized country that is homogeneous. As far as I know, Japan has virtually no immigration. People are allowed to be there on work visas but, as in common with other Asian countries, I think Japan really only accepts permanent immigrants who come from other Asian countries. It is a very homogeneous area of the world.
      Totally unlike much of Europe and the Anglo- sphere.

      France, perhaps, is a different matter.

      There is an important debate to be had - long overdue - on what it is that makes a nation hang together and feel like something everyone can belong to and have a stake in.
      There is a really interesting sociological theory of a nation consisting either of a place in which people have a shared sense of history and a shared story - or a "great hotel" where people merely live on the same patch of land. An American sociologist described the theory of the "great hotel" and I have stupidly forgotten his name. I will try and find it as it's a really interesting idea to read about.

      If it's OK, I will write out the last couple of pages of Ed West's " The Diversity Illusion" in the next couple of comments.
      By the way, sorry to bang on about it, but that book - currently in the top ten of the Sunday Times book list - is the book you should read if these questions really interest you.

    10. 1)

      The real challenge, and difficulty, is forging a sense of nationhood that is strong enough to hold the country together. Multiculturalism has failed, but the replacements currently being suggested will also fai, because they are built on the same assumptions of the anti-racist Left. Such beliefs, that British identity is racist if it does not include some fictional multi-ethnic past, or that all ethnic groups must have equality of outcomes, or that racism is institutionalised in any white-dominated organisation, are a recipe for eternal conflict and bitterness. Yet these divisive ideas are still actively promoted by the race relations industry, which stretches across all areas of the state. The government must cut off the oxygen supply to the people who have a vested interest in seeing racism everywhere.
      Not only are many of the problems they identify not a problem of racism, but such groups are a cause of huge resentment, and their attempts to rid the world of discrimination and inequality are not just likely to fail, but to cause further division.
      The extent of equality and discrimination laws must be scaled back, so that at the very least small businesses are exempted, while no business or government department should have to prove its commitment to " equality and diversity".
      Neither should diversity be used to bring radical social change by dismantling British social structures in the name of reducing " bonding", something which has already had hugely negative consequences.
      Whatever happens Britain must not continue to sacrifice the liberal institutions and practices it has spent centuries building up in the name of diversity - better to have liberalism in one country than globalised authoritarianism.

    11. 2)

      Although the Labour party in recent years must shoulder much of the blame for these problems, it is perhaps the Labour tradition that offers the better hope of bringing British national identity back to life. We need to re-awaken a sense of nationhood that does not turn ugly, what the Labour peer Maurice Glasman calls a
      "generous patriotism", rather than an unpleasant and xenophobic nationalism. It is not just a question of creating an identity that unites different races, but one that unites both white conservatives and white liberals. Labour as a party once came closest to achieving that; plans by the Coalition Government to introduce a new citizenship test focussing on British history and literature are a step in the right direction.
      Rather than trying to forge a new identity that will fail to unite us, we should look for inspiration in the old one, starting with a nation-based school history curriculum.
      A shared sense of history and culture is far more liberal in practice than the creation of state-enforced British values, many of which are not shared by much of the population. A nation does not need official values, it only needs a,narrative and a shared past, from which values and loyalty emerge. You do not need to share some artificial government - approved British vision; you only need to love Britain, and that cannot come about until school children are taught the basics of British culture and history; Shakespeare and the King James Bible are a more effective tool of integration than a thousand multiculturalism manuals. We should not fool ourselves that we will create a,conflict -free society - France and the United States, even with their strong civic cultures, still have serious problems - but we can, at least, try to minimise the potential for diversity to become division.
      Recalling his parents, who willingly raised their son to be an Englishman, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks once said: "They were proud to be English because the English were proud to be English. Indeed, in the absence of pride, there can be no identity at all."
      This seems like a good place to start.

      All the above by Ed West. " The Diversity Illusion."

  4. Also, it is wrong to suggest that the refugees in the migrant crisis are all Arab-Muslims.
    A significant number of people are coming from Sub-Saharan Africa. Countries like Eritrea, for example.
    People who are from a Christian background are coming. As well as other minorities.
    It is extraordinarily complex, and, unfortunately, being very badly reported in the media.

    This is a good article by Douglas Murray on the subject:

    1. No, I wouldn't disagree that the majority are from those backgrounds.
      And I would say that many complex factors do make it more likely that there will be cultural problems. Many people are coming with - as indeed many people already settled here have - fairly " conservative" religious and social values. Of course that brings problems. Of course. There is a lot to be thought about, and to be done. That needs to be a dual effort by communities themselves, and by our political class and our general culture. No one with any sense is suggesting that will be easy.
      In some countries, as we have discussed before, there are very worrying problems arising in the general political landscape.

      For a really good explanation of the challenges facing Britain, I would recommend watching Dave Rubin's conversation with Maajid Nawaz. It's through people like him that we might achieve progress. With difficulty, of course.

  5. Sorry to be writing so much today, but if you want to see the real ( vile) face of the BDS movement, please read this:

    Read it and weep.

    Happy to say, some very decent people have been outraged by this story on social media today. Small consolation, I know.

    1. Despicable; but then, what does one expect of BDS'ers? They are evil fanatics.