Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The End of the Cosmopolitan Dream?

The New York Times has met the enemy, and the enemy is … drum roll, please… the far right, the radical right, the alt right and the fascistic Nazi right. Where has it found the one true enemy: why in Sweden. In a dishonest piece of reporting the Times suggests that the right wing disinformation machine has made it appear that Sweden is having serious problems with its relatively large population of Muslim migrants.

You see, Muslim migrants are wonderful people. All those stories about No-Go zones, in Sweden and in France and in other European countries are merely right wing disinformation. All those stories of migrant crime are distortions peddled by the vast right wing conspiracy.

About one thing you can feel confident. If the New York Times identifies it as an enemy, and is ready to go to war against it, it is not the enemy. Perhaps the Times is agitated because certain conservative media outfits are eating its lunch, but when it comes to fighting Nazis, the Times record is checkered, if not disgraceful.

Keep in mind, the paper of record did everything in its power to cover up the story of Nazi atrocities, of Nazi persecution of Jews and of Nazi extermination of Jews… during the Hitler years. Yes, indeed, the Times colluded with the Roosevelt administration to keep America ignorant of Nazi persecution. It, along with FDR, explained that it did not want to make things worse. Then again, how much worse could it have been. 

If Americans had known the truth about the Nazi treatment of Jews, there might well have been an outcry against the Roosevelt administration. It may or may not have been an outcry for war, but the public might have denounced the administration for systematically refusing to give European Jews exit visas to leave the Nazi inferno. 

Nowadays, whenever this issue comes up, defenders of FDR explain that it was the fault of Republicans… because it always is. Anyway, if the Times is up in arms about the right wing disinformation you can feel confident that the problem is not the right wing disinformation. Cowards always refuse to engage the real problem, which is the behavior of Muslim migrants in Europe.

For the record, here is the Times position, in the words of author Jo Becker:

To dig beneath the surface of what is happening in Sweden, though, is to uncover the workings of an international disinformation machine, devoted to the cultivation, provocation and amplification of far-right, anti-immigrant passions and political forces. Indeed, that machine, most influentially rooted in Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia and the American far right, underscores a fundamental irony of this political moment: the globalization of nationalism.

The central target of these manipulations from abroad — and the chief instrument of the Swedish nationalists’ success — is the country’s increasingly popular, and virulently anti-immigrant, digital echo chamber.

Naturally, these are half truths, shaded to make the right wing look like the enemy. With the notable exception of Nazi Germany, it always is.

To offer a fair and balanced perspective, we turn to Joel Kotkin, an eminent demographer, who reports on the current state of the European migrant crisis. (via Maggie’s Farm) Kotkin does not belong to the vast right wing conspiracy and is not an ideologue. He offers a sober assessment of the facts on the grounds, facts that the Times found unfit to print. As Kotkin puts it, the cosmopolitan dream is dying in Europe:

In headier days, Europe’s leaders dreamed of a multicultural continent, its aging cities saved by millions of new migrants eager to join a stable, prosperous urbanity. This was the promise behind former U.K. prime minister Tony Blair’s Cool Britannia, the multicultural fervor of Herman Lebovics’s Bringing the Empire Back Home: France in the Global Age, and the early enthusiasm that greeted Germany’s refugee influx in 2015—estimated now at 1.6 million.

That dream has faded, with Europeans now opposing new migration by wide margins. Once-peaceful German and Swedish cities have seen a spike in crime, a resurgence of anti-Semitism, and growing political unrest—all associated with the migrant influx. In 2016, Pew Research found that 59 percent of Europeans thought that immigrants imposed a burden on their countries. In addition, less than a third believe immigration has improved their countries, with 63 percent of Greeks and 53 percent of Italians, respectively, stating that immigrants have made things worse in their economically challenged countries. As the British political thinker Kenan Malik acknowledged in a 2015 Foreign Affairs essay, “multiculturalism” has devolved from “an answer to Europe’s social problems” to a fraught reality of “fragmented societies, alienated minorities, and resentful citizenries.”

In most places, the welcome wagon has been sent out for repairs. Nearly all European countries—even progressive ones like the Netherlands, France, Denmark, Norway, and Germany itself—have imposed stricter immigration controls over the last two years.

It is not a new story. It did not just happen yesterday. European nations welcomed large numbers of Muslim refugees in the 1950s and 1960s. How did that work out?

More recently, in the 1950s and 1960s, the mass migration of Turks into Germany, as well as North Africans into France in the 1990s and 2000s, brought in a new workforce—but this one didn’t integrate. Today, vast slums dot parts of the urban and suburban landscape in French and German cities. As a recent OECD study notes, immigrants in Europe have a harder time with socioeconomic assimilation than those coming to the U.S. This is particularly true for Muslim immigrants, who are employed at lower rates in Europe than in America, according to R Street and the Cato Institute

The absence of social cohesion has created cultural tension—discrimination against nonwhite applicants, notes one recent study, is far worse in France or Sweden than in the “racist” U.S.

Did you catch that: discrimination against nonwhites is worse in France and Sweden than it is in the United States.

Most migrants now inhabit European cities. The result, a crime wave:

For most of the past half century, European cities were remarkably crime-free, but in today’s immigrant hubs—notably in Germany and Sweden—crime rates have jumped dramatically in recent years. Most migrants continue to reside in European cities. In France, observes demographer Michèle Tribalat, the percentage of foreign-born youth in rural towns has barely changed over the past half century, but in cities, their cohort’s population share reaches 35 percent. In London, immigrants—mainly non-European—account for 37 percent of the city’s total population. The foreign-born percentages in Brussels, Zurich, and Genevahover over 40 percent.

But, governments are too embarrassed to report true crime figures:

According to official data from the BRA, Sweden’s crime-prevention agency, immigrants are twice as likely as natives to be listed in criminal databases, though critics dismissed this finding as a sign of greater police scrutiny.

In Germany, getting an accurate snapshot of crimes committed by immigrants is extremely hard because each state has a different definition of immigrants or crimes. According to German Federal Police (BKA) statistics, however, immigrants comprised 3 percent of suspects in 2014 but 8.5 percent of suspects in 2016—coinciding with the latest wave of immigration. The BKA found that crimes attributable to immigrants increased by 79 percent between 2014 and 2015, but mostly for nonviolent crimes such as theft, forged documents, or transportation fraud.

As for the press, in Europe as in America, it sees its role as promoting a cosmopolitan multicultural future. Thus, it prefers wish fulfillment to facts:

In Europe, as in America, attitudes about immigration are closely tied to class. Migration is much more popular among those whom British author David Goodhart calls the “anywheres”—largely cosmopolitan in outlook—but less welcome by many less educated European “somewheres.” The anywheres predictably dominate the European press, which often downplays jihadism and crimes associated with refugees because it threatens the preferred narrative of a post-national, secularized world. Most mainstream European politicians also belong to the anywhere camp, regardless of their constituents’ views. “The arrival of refugees is an economic opportunity,” suggests French president Emmanuel Macron. “And too bad if [it] isn’t popular.”

Kotkin makes an interesting point: it is difficult to assimilate migrants into European cultures when many Europeans no longer believe in the value of their own Western Judeo-Christian civilization:

Today’s newcomers enter European societies where many people—notably in the intellectual classes—reject core values, rooted in Christianity and liberal democracy, that shaped their culture. Filling this void is a campaign to replace the current colorblind republic with a “multicultural and post-racial republic” that embraces an “erasing of identities” from the past. This endeavor conflicts with the values of Muslim migrants, who, notes Arabist Gilles Kepel, often possess “a keen sense” of identity shaped by religious beliefs. Rather than defend their values, Kepel suggests, Europe’s leaders have told their citizens that “they must give up their principles and soul—it’s the politics of fait accompli.”

And, of course, the arrival of more Muslim migrants has meant a resurgence of anti-Semitism. True enough, Kotkin notes, some of it is coming from the radical right. But, obviously, most of it is coming from Muslims. This will not surprise anyone except perhaps readers of the New York Times:

Another distressing development tied to the new migration is the resurgence of anti-Semitism. Ever since the Holocaust, Europe’s Jewish communities have struggled to remain viable; today, nearly 75 years after the defeat of Nazi Germany, the continent’s Jewish population is less than half of what it was at war’s end in 1945.

Despite the much smaller Jewish footprint, anti-Semitism in Europe is intensifying. Some 90 percent of European Jews, according to recent surveys, have experienced anti-Semitic incidents. Some of this trend can be traced to the far Right, the historic incubator of anti-Semitism, the rise of which is tied to concern over migration. Some groups, such as the Austrian Freedom Party—founded by former SS officers—and the Swedish Democrats, have clearly racist roots.

Europe’s intelligentsia sees these familiar villains as the primary culprits behind the anti-Semitic resurgence, but a detailed survey from the University of Oslo found that in Scandinavia, Germany, Britain, and France, most anti-Semitic violence comes from Muslims, including recent immigrants. Similarly, a poll of European Jews found that the majority of anti-Semitic incidents came from either Muslims or from the Left, where the motivation is tied to anti-Israel agitation; barely 13 percent traced it to right-wingers. Violence against Jews, moreover, is worst not in right-wing hotbeds but in places like the migrant-dominated suburbs of Paris and Sweden’s Malmo.

The weak sisters of Western Europe have largely acquiesced to Muslim culture. The leader of one of Great Britain’s major political parties has openly embraced Palestinian terrorism. Among the few places where Jews can live and work in peace is Hungary, under the rule of the authoritarian Viktor Orban. It is worth noting, considering that the bien pensant elites constantly disparage Orban as a fascist:

By contrast, in authoritarian and anti-migrant Hungary, Jews appear much safer from persecution. Even Jews who detest Viktor Orbán—scorned as a fascist in the West—credit him for making Budapest one of the safest and most welcoming cities for European Jews. The Hungarian government maintains close ties to Israel—a rarity in Europe. Orbán’s regime has also made Holocaust denial illegal, established an official Holocaust Remembrance Day, and refused to cooperate with the anti-Semitic, far-right Jobbik party. 

The picture is obvious. The propaganda machine called the New York Times has thrown in with the anti-Semitic Muslim migrants and their enablers. The Times and the rest of the Western intelligentsia happily supports the disruptions and the crime wave produced by people have no intention to assimilate.


trigger warning said...

I think there's a more general point embedded here.

Begin with "Keep in mind, the paper of record did everything in its power to cover up the story of Nazi atrocities, of Nazi persecution of Jews and of Nazi extermination of Jews… during the Hitler years."

Absolutely. And we must all keep in mind, simultaneously, if possible, one word: Duranty. Despite the fact that more bitter enemies never occupied the planet than National and International Socialism. And now the Russians, once lionized for their abject, theory-driven policy failures, are blamed, not just for Donald Trump, but for hotwiring Progress toward global equality with what has to be among the most amusing oxymorons ever minted, "globalized nationalism".

The common thread I discern here is an institutional belief within the Times, and likely the Fourth Estate itself, most certainly within academia, and the elite levels of government straining for ubermenschitude, that the world is never as the "Masses" so dimly perceive in their bigoted Funhouse mirrors, but Truly Is as the intelligentsia perceive, in full, among the verbal arabesques and flourishes of their brilliantly counterintuitive word theories.

JPL17 said...

Wow, the stupidity, she runs deep in this one. "Globalization of nationalism" is easily one of the most moronic concepts I've ever encountered.

Take a hint, NY times. Nationalism is normal human behavior. No international conspiracy required.

In fact, an international conspiracy to promote nationalism is probably impossible, because each conspirator desperately wants to neutralize all the other conspirators. Imagine how hard it would be just to call a meeting.

Sam L. said...

Ah, the NYT! I despise, detest, and distrust the NYT. For good (and plenty of) reason(s).

"Naturally, these are half truths, shaded to make the right wing look like the enemy. With the notable exception of Nazi Germany, it always is." "Half-truths"? Those be 99.44% UN-truths. The NYT is ever so good at that.

UbuMaccabee said...

The enemy has been clearly identified: white nationalism. The link between white nationalism and white supremacy is dissolving quickly, and they are about to be interchangeable. They will be used interchangeably in public speech. If you do not support the leftist agenda, then you are a white supremacist. The enemies of progress are white supremacists. BTW, white supremacists are domestic terrorists (as Elizabeth Warren just noted on national television). Endgame: White conservatives are domestic terrorists.