Angela Merkel: Multicultural Society in Germany has "utterly failed."

  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Oct 18, 2010 12:31 AM GMT
    So... what are your thoughts on this assessment? How much of this do you believe is an indirect product of the global recession, or "depression" according to some people? Furthermore, I've notice a growing trend amongst people to dump 'political correctness,' and voice/display their real feelings about issues - even if some people might construe those unabated attitudes as homophobic, racist, sexist, xenophobic, etc.

    Do you think a similar dynamic is developing or has developed in the US?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/17/angela-merkel-germany-immigration-multicultural-society_n_765696.html
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    Oct 18, 2010 12:36 AM GMT
    Saw an article about it this morning. My reaction? D'oh. Of course it doesn't work. Never has, never will. It's idealism.
  • BIG_N_TALL

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    Oct 18, 2010 12:57 AM GMT
    I'm inclined to agree - it's idealistic. I find it especially interesting when a head of government says it publicly. She wouldn't have said it unless she thought she and/or her political party could get serious, substantive support for doing so...
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    Oct 18, 2010 1:00 AM GMT
    RYAN1000 saidI'm inclined to agree - it's idealistic. I find it especially interesting when a head of government says it publicly. She wouldn't have said it unless she thought she could get serious, substantive support for doing so...


    I'm actually shocked she said it! I think I read somewhere that only half of all children under 5 are even ethnically German.

    Her statements could sound controversial but really, all she is meaning is that assimilation is important, not that Germany doesn't want falafel or chinese food.
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    Oct 18, 2010 1:04 AM GMT
    I would much rather learn English than German. All those verb conjugations and super-long nouns.
    Donau­dampfschiffahrts­elektrizitäten­haupt­betriebs­werkbau­unterbeamten­gesellschaft
  • BIG_N_TALL

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    Oct 18, 2010 1:09 AM GMT
    mocktwinkie said
    RYAN1000 saidI'm inclined to agree - it's idealistic. I find it especially interesting when a head of government says it publicly. She wouldn't have said it unless she thought she could get serious, substantive support for doing so...


    I'm actually shocked she said it! I think I read somewhere that only half of all children under 5 are even ethnically German.

    Her statements could sound controversial but really, all she is meaning is that assimilation is important, not that Germany doesn't want chinese food.


    Again, I agree with you. I also think her words have the potential to be used by those in Germany who are not happy with immigration, amongst other issues. Look at Sweden, the Netherlands, and their recent parliamentary elections in which political parties that are arguably very much opposed to immigration got more support than most had previously thought they could. Furthermore, France, Switzerland, and Belgium have issues with regard to multicultural harmony in their respective countries.
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    Oct 18, 2010 1:11 AM GMT
    RYAN1000 said
    mocktwinkie said
    RYAN1000 saidI'm inclined to agree - it's idealistic. I find it especially interesting when a head of government says it publicly. She wouldn't have said it unless she thought she could get serious, substantive support for doing so...


    I'm actually shocked she said it! I think I read somewhere that only half of all children under 5 are even ethnically German.

    Her statements could sound controversial but really, all she is meaning is that assimilation is important, not that Germany doesn't want chinese food.


    Again, I agree with you. I also think her words have the potential to be used by those in Germany who are not happy with immigration, amongst other issues. Look at Sweden, the Netherlands, and their recent parliamentary elections in which political parties that are arguably very much opposed to immigration got more support than most had previously thought they could. Furthermore, France, Switzerland, and Belgium have issues with regard to multicultural harmony in their respective countries.


    Oh absolutely, it's a real problem. It's not even about discrimination or xenophobia anymore, it's merely a struggle for identity survival from extinction. It's just the human spirit, I suppose.
  • BIG_N_TALL

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    Oct 18, 2010 1:13 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidI would much rather learn English than German. All those verb conjugations and super-long nouns.
    Donau­dampfschiffahrts­elektrizitäten­haupt­betriebs­werkbau­unterbeamten­gesellschaft


    I know - German is ridiculously difficult to learn. After four courses of German, and literally hundreds of hours of studying the language, I still have difficultly grasping it. As for immigrant assimilation into Germany, I think it is an imperative for successful incorporation into the culture and society.
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Oct 18, 2010 1:15 AM GMT
    mocktwinkie said
    RYAN1000 said
    mocktwinkie said
    RYAN1000 saidI'm inclined to agree - it's idealistic. I find it especially interesting when a head of government says it publicly. She wouldn't have said it unless she thought she could get serious, substantive support for doing so...


    I'm actually shocked she said it! I think I read somewhere that only half of all children under 5 are even ethnically German.

    Her statements could sound controversial but really, all she is meaning is that assimilation is important, not that Germany doesn't want chinese food.


    Again, I agree with you. I also think her words have the potential to be used by those in Germany who are not happy with immigration, amongst other issues. Look at Sweden, the Netherlands, and their recent parliamentary elections in which political parties that are arguably very much opposed to immigration got more support than most had previously thought they could. Furthermore, France, Switzerland, and Belgium have issues with regard to multicultural harmony in their respective countries.


    Oh absolutely, it's a real problem. It's not even about discrimination or xenophobia anymore, it's merely a struggle for identity survival from extinction. It's just the human spirit, I suppose.


    haha.. yes I agree again. I think over time it will only get worse to be honest. To me, it feels almost like a subdued version of Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" theory.
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    Oct 18, 2010 1:18 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidI would much rather learn English than German. All those verb conjugations and super-long nouns.
    Donau­dampfschiffahrts­elektrizitäten­haupt­betriebs­werkbau­unterbeamten­gesellschaft

    It's not unreasonable to expect people to learn German if they want to live permanently in Germany. Long words and all.
    BTW every time I've tried out my rusty college German on whatever hapless Germans I encounter, they've all been helpful, forgiving of mistakes, and seemingly pleased that someone was making an effort to communicate with them in their own language. Unlike the French.
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    Oct 18, 2010 1:24 AM GMT
    Ah so many points to respond to!


    First, it depends on how you define "multi-culturism" to me. If you mean groups of people living in very distinct manners with sets conflicting core values, then yes, that will prolly aways be a failure. There has to be a core set of values of a society to function. If you just mean tolerating differences in dress, cuisine, and prehaps even religious beliefs if the believers are willing to keep their beliefs unto themselves and not force them on others, then that is workable. In the US, we have had wave upon wave of immigrants with different cultures and backgrounds come to America. Those that come are just like where they come from. The first generation born here is both cultures and passes between the two fairly effortlessly. The second generation is American and look at their grandparents as old and weird.

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    Oct 18, 2010 1:28 AM GMT
    Caslon16000 saidAh so many points to respond to!


    First, it depends on how you define "multi-culturism" to me. If you mean groups of people living in very distinct manners with sets conflicting core values, then yes, that will prolly aways be a failure. There has to be a core set of values of a society to function. If you just mean tolerating differences in dress, cuisine, and prehaps even religious beliefs if the believers are willing to keep their beliefs unto themselves and not force them on others, then that is workable. In the US, we have had wave upon wave of immigrants with different cultures and backgrounds come to America. Those that come are just like where they come from. The first generation born here is both cultures and passes between the two fairly effortlessly. The second generation is American and look at their grandparents as old and weird.



    But either way there is always a scenario of a majority (defining what the culture and civilization are overall) and a minority (present, and hopefully tolerated, but not significant enough to change the identity of the culture). If the minority becomes the majority it becomes something else, it cannot remain the same. The laws, the ideas, the culture, the religion, will all change because majority rules.

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    Oct 18, 2010 1:32 AM GMT
    The German language is god-awful to an English speaker. But among the Germanic languages, it is English that is the odd man out. The other Germanic languages follow pretty much the same paradigm with genders, endings, and word order. Altho time has definitely made changes to each.

    English however has gone completely wack-a-doodle by comparison. It's due to the fact that our german linguistic ancestors settled in with a bunch of celtic speakers. The celts vastly outnumbered the Anglo-saxons. So it was celtified English that prevailed. Our syntax is celtic, hence English's odd man out amongst the Germanic languages. Then it was the Vikings that knocked the genders and ending out of our language. Thank God!....until you try to learn another Germanic language.

    Have a good laugh wiht Mark Twain's "The Awful German Language"

    http://usa.usembassy.de/classroom/Mark Twain/Mark Twain Awful Broschuere.pdf
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    Oct 18, 2010 1:41 AM GMT
    mocktwinkie said
    Caslon16000 saidAh so many points to respond to!


    First, it depends on how you define "multi-culturism" to me. If you mean groups of people living in very distinct manners with sets conflicting core values, then yes, that will prolly aways be a failure. There has to be a core set of values of a society to function. If you just mean tolerating differences in dress, cuisine, and prehaps even religious beliefs if the believers are willing to keep their beliefs unto themselves and not force them on others, then that is workable. In the US, we have had wave upon wave of immigrants with different cultures and backgrounds come to America. Those that come are just like where they come from. The first generation born here is both cultures and passes between the two fairly effortlessly. The second generation is American and look at their grandparents as old and weird.



    But either way there is always a scenario of a majority (defining what the culture and civilization are overall) and a minority (present, and hopefully tolerated, but not significant enough to change the identity of the culture). If the minority becomes the majority it becomes something else, it cannot remain the same. The laws, the ideas, the culture, the religion, will all change because majority rules.


    Indeed. I especially fear a majority of immigrants whose culture didnt go thru the European Enlightenment which produced our western core set of values.
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    Oct 18, 2010 2:02 AM GMT
    I speak German and have friends there, with whom I keep regular contact. The general consensus is consistent with what Merkel says. Many if not most Germans regret the lax immigration laws. The same thing can be observed in France. In fact, if you google No-Go Zones in France, you will find some interesting articles.
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    Oct 18, 2010 2:04 AM GMT
    Caslon16000 said
    mocktwinkie said
    Caslon16000 saidAh so many points to respond to!


    First, it depends on how you define "multi-culturism" to me. If you mean groups of people living in very distinct manners with sets conflicting core values, then yes, that will prolly aways be a failure. There has to be a core set of values of a society to function. If you just mean tolerating differences in dress, cuisine, and prehaps even religious beliefs if the believers are willing to keep their beliefs unto themselves and not force them on others, then that is workable. In the US, we have had wave upon wave of immigrants with different cultures and backgrounds come to America. Those that come are just like where they come from. The first generation born here is both cultures and passes between the two fairly effortlessly. The second generation is American and look at their grandparents as old and weird.



    But either way there is always a scenario of a majority (defining what the culture and civilization are overall) and a minority (present, and hopefully tolerated, but not significant enough to change the identity of the culture). If the minority becomes the majority it becomes something else, it cannot remain the same. The laws, the ideas, the culture, the religion, will all change because majority rules.


    Indeed. I especially fear a majority of immigrants whose culture didnt go thru the European Enlightenment which produced our western core set of values.


    Not sure if you're being sarcastic or not, but the truth of the matter is that western values have produced the most tolerant and open-minded societies in the world, so much so that some day they move prove to be inadvertantly self-destructive. I still don't know of a better society than one sharing a partially christian and secular humanistic philosophy, flaws and all.
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    Oct 18, 2010 3:07 AM GMT
    I don't have any problem with the comments made by Merkel that are cited in the Huffington Post link.
    For sure, immigrants to Germany should learn to speak German.
    Just like every wave of immigrants to come to America should learn to speak English.

    I do have a problem with some other comments she made in the same speech.
    She said that immigrants who come to Germany should adopt "Christian values", and that those "who don't accept them don't have a place" in Germany.

    I don't think that Germany should have some sort of a policy of creating a state religion that it's citizens - native or foriegn-born - must "accept".
    I think that's a dangerous idea.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101017/wl_afp/germanymuslimreligionimmigration
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    Oct 18, 2010 3:35 AM GMT
    mocktwinkie said
    Caslon16000 said
    mocktwinkie said
    Caslon16000 saidAh so many points to respond to!


    First, it depends on how you define "multi-culturism" to me. If you mean groups of people living in very distinct manners with sets conflicting core values, then yes, that will prolly aways be a failure. There has to be a core set of values of a society to function. If you just mean tolerating differences in dress, cuisine, and prehaps even religious beliefs if the believers are willing to keep their beliefs unto themselves and not force them on others, then that is workable. In the US, we have had wave upon wave of immigrants with different cultures and backgrounds come to America. Those that come are just like where they come from. The first generation born here is both cultures and passes between the two fairly effortlessly. The second generation is American and look at their grandparents as old and weird.



    But either way there is always a scenario of a majority (defining what the culture and civilization are overall) and a minority (present, and hopefully tolerated, but not significant enough to change the identity of the culture). If the minority becomes the majority it becomes something else, it cannot remain the same. The laws, the ideas, the culture, the religion, will all change because majority rules.


    Indeed. I especially fear a majority of immigrants whose culture didnt go thru the European Enlightenment which produced our western core set of values.


    Not sure if you're being sarcastic or not, but the truth of the matter is that western values have produced the most tolerant and open-minded societies in the world, so much so that some day they move prove to be inadvertantly self-destructive. I still don't know of a better society than one sharing a partially christian and secular humanistic philosophy, flaws and all.

    I wasnt being sarcastic. I truly feel that the values of the Enlightenment are core to our tolerant and advanced western society, as imperfect as it is. If fact, I think our core values are in danger because of the very poor education our schools give. We have totally jettisoned Civics and essential history lessons, in favor of purely technical training.

    For example, I have asked on RJ, why do we say all men [people] are created equal? I havent gotten an answer.
  • GQjock

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    Oct 18, 2010 3:39 AM GMT
    The problem isn't Multi-culturalism

    Because if you've been to Europe they ARE NOT accepting of other cultures
    so what happens is that people from other places remain outsiders
    Culturally and economically
    They remain isolated in their own culture language and customs
    That happens here too but to a lesser extent
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    Oct 18, 2010 3:50 AM GMT
    GQjock saidThe problem isn't Multi-culturalism

    Because if you've been to Europe they ARE NOT accepting of other cultures
    so what happens is that people from other places remain outsiders
    Culturally and economically
    They remain isolated in their own culture language and customs
    That happens here too but to a lesser extent


    That is, by definition, multiculturalism. Different cultures supposedly all thriving together without assimilating. For a civilization to be functional there must be a majority that maintains a particular monoculture.
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    Oct 18, 2010 3:54 AM GMT
    mocktwinkie said
    GQjock saidThe problem isn't Multi-culturalism

    Because if you've been to Europe they ARE NOT accepting of other cultures
    so what happens is that people from other places remain outsiders
    Culturally and economically
    They remain isolated in their own culture language and customs
    That happens here too but to a lesser extent


    That is, by definition, multiculturalism. Different cultures supposedly all thriving together without assimilating. For a civilization to be functional there must be a majority that maintains a particular monoculture.

    That majority can be formed by assimilation into the national culture. Much like how muslims are better assimilated into US and dont live in distinct ghettos, like they do in Europe.
  • BIG_N_TALL

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    Oct 18, 2010 4:01 AM GMT
    Caslon16000 said Thank God!....until you try to learn another Germanic language.


    Welcome to my world circa 2007-2009 icon_neutral.gif
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    Oct 18, 2010 3:38 PM GMT
    I just listened to her actual speech. Unbelievable, 2 out of 3 children under 5yrs old in Frankfurt are not even German. Kind of shocking. Imagine hearing news that 2 out of 3 children in Tokyo weren't Japanese or that 2 out of 3 Kenyans weren't even Kenyan or that 2 out of 3 South Koreans weren't Korean. People would be calling it genocide. And people wonder why parts of Europe are in an uproar?

    What I don't understand, however, is how they plan on making this "assimilation" possible, when apparently the group (Germans) who want the others to assimilate into them are becoming the minority within the next couple generations? A majority cannot assimilate into a minority.
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    Oct 18, 2010 6:41 PM GMT
    socalfitness saidI speak German and have friends there, with whom I keep regular contact. The general consensus is consistent with what Merkel says. Many if not most Germans regret the lax immigration laws. The same thing can be observed in France. In fact, if you google No-Go Zones in France, you will find some interesting articles.


    There are "No-Go Zones" all across the globe these days. Here in N ew Zealand they are much as they exist in Europe. They tend to be areas where those who 'survive' there do not speak the national language, are therefore economically distressed, and draw from what some might call 'conformist' individuals in society who drive the economy.

    There is only so much of this a country can support.
  • GQjock

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    Oct 18, 2010 10:43 PM GMT
    mocktwinkie said
    GQjock saidThe problem isn't Multi-culturalism

    Because if you've been to Europe they ARE NOT accepting of other cultures
    so what happens is that people from other places remain outsiders
    Culturally and economically
    They remain isolated in their own culture language and customs
    That happens here too but to a lesser extent


    That is, by definition, multiculturalism. Different cultures supposedly all thriving together without assimilating. For a civilization to be functional there must be a majority that maintains a particular monoculture.


    No That isn't mult-culturalism
    That's secondary classism

    The problem is that you can be born in Germany or France speak the language
    have citizenship there but if you're heritage is from somewhere else You're Not German or French in the eyes of the Majority