TwitterFacebook

Dalrymple: A Confusion of Tongues

• Views: 1,430

Here’s an interesting piece by Theodore Dalrymple at City Journal, on Britain’s struggle to assimilate immigrants: A Confusion of Tongues.

London is now the most ethnically diverse city in the world—more so, according to United Nations reports, even than New York. And this is not just a matter of a sprinkling of a few people of every race and nation, or of the fructifying cultural effect of foreigners (a culture closed to outsiders is dead, though perhaps that is not the only way for a culture to die). Walk down certain streets in London and one encounters a Babel of languages. If a blind person had only the speech of passersby to help him get his bearings, he would be lost; though perhaps the very lack of a predominant language might give him a clue. (This promiscuity is not to say that monocultural ghettos of foreigners do not also exist in today’s Britain.)

A third of London’s residents were born outside Britain, a higher percentage of newcomers than in any other city in the world except Miami, and the percentage continues to rise. Likewise, migration figures for the country as a whole—emigration and immigration—suggest that its population is undergoing swift replacement. Many of the newcomers are from Pakistan, India, and Africa; others are from Eastern Europe and China. If present trends continue, experts predict, in 20 years’ time, between a quarter and a third of the British population will have been born outside it, and at least a fifth of the native population will have emigrated. Britain has always had immigrants—from the French Huguenots after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes to Germans fleeing Prussian repression, from Jews escaping czarist oppression to Italian prisoners of war who stayed on after World War II—and absorbed them. But never so many, or so quickly.

To the anxiety about these unprecedented demographic changes—a substantial majority of the public, when asked, says that it wants a dramatic reduction in immigration—one can add a reticence in openly expressing it. Inducing this hesitancy are intellectuals of the self-hating variety, who welcome the destruction of the national identity and who argue—in part, correctly—that every person’s identity is multiple; that identity can and ought to change over time; and that too strong an emphasis on national identity has in the past led to barbarism. By reiteration, they have insinuated a sense of guilt into everyone’s mind, so that even to doubt the wisdom or viability of a society consisting of myriad ethnic and religious groups with no mutual sympathy (and often with mutual antagonisms) is to suspect oneself of sliding toward extreme nationalism or fascism; so that even to doubt the wisdom or viability of a society in which everyone feels himself part of an oppressed minority puts one in the same category as Jean-Marie Le Pen, or worse. This anxiety inhibits discussion of the cultural question. In view of Europe’s twentieth century, the inhibition is understandable. One consequence, however, is that little attempt has been made to question what attachment Britain’s immigrants have to the traditions and institutions of their new home.

^ back to top ^

TwitterFacebook

Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing!
Take advantage of our yearly subscription, and save 50% off the normal subscription price! One-year ad-free subscriptions are just $59.95. Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing now and save!
Read more...

► LGF Headlines

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Articles

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Pages

  • Loading...

► Top 10 Comments

  • Loading...

► Bottom Comments

  • Loading...

► Recent Comments

  • Loading...

► Tools/Info

► Tag Cloud

► Contact

You must have Javascript enabled to use the contact form.
Your email:

Subject:

Message:


Messages may be published unless you request otherwise.
Tech Note:
Using the Contact Form
LGF Pages

This button leads to the main index of LGF Pages, our user-submitted articles. You can post your own LGF Pages simply by registering a free account with us.

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

Last updated: 2015-04-18 5:26 pm PDT

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
jhncsy
How America’s First Female Detective Helped Foil An Assassination Plot
If reading The Bourne Identity and watching Burn Notice has taught me anything, it's that spies need to blend in. Kate Warne was a master at this: The novelty of a female detective in those days meant Warne was able ...

16 hours, 59 minutes ago
Views: 174 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
Charles Johnson
The Tea Party’s Most Hated Presidential Hopeful? Hint: Not Hillary Clinton
The tea party hates South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, and the feeling is mutual. It attacked the Republican lawmaker mercilessly during his Senate reelection campaign in 2014, but Graham held his seat with 55 percent of the vote. "Kicking ...

19 hours ago
Views: 434 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 70 • Rating: 5
Thanos
Advanced LIGO Facility Hits Milestone in Hunt for Gravitational Waves
After seven years of upgrades, the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatories were dedicated on Tuesday at the LIGO Hanford facility near Richland, Washington. The facilities are located amid the tumbleweeds of southeastern Washington and the pines of southeastern ...

1 day, 10 hours ago
Views: 290 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 12 • Rating: 1
Great White Snark
A Racing Legend on Mastering America’s Greatest Track
WIRED: I hadn't seen cars run at the Speedway before yesterday. One thing that struck me about this place was how much of the magic and the weird old speed temple vibe you don't get over television. Does it ...

1 day, 17 hours ago
Views: 247 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
FemNaziBitch
Lawmakers Back Broader Access to Contraceptives for Women in the Military
WASHINGTON -- Both houses of Congress are moving to guarantee greater access to contraceptives for women in the military, actions that lawmakers say are prompted in part by concern about unplanned pregnancies in the armed forces. The annual defense ...

1 day, 21 hours ago
Views: 260 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
CriticalDragon1177
The Independent - New health minister opposed to abortion urged to reconsider stance
The United States isn't the only western nation where some people want to restrict access to abortion. It sounds like certain British politicians would want to limit when, where, and how a women can get one, assuming they wouldn't like ...

6 days, 17 hours ago
Views: 581 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 6 • Rating: 2
Cheechako
Wood Bison Adjusting to New Life in the Alaska Wilderness
Megan EdgeAlaska Dispatch NewsMay 12, 2015 Nearly a hundred wood bison roaming free in the area of the Lower Innoko and Yukon rivers are adjusting after being released into the wild last month, according to the Alaska Department of Fish ...

1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 528 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 2 • Rating: 6
Uraniabce
Omar Khadr walks free on bail after 13 years in custody
After 13 years of incarceration, after torture and abuse, after being abandoned by his own government, Omar Khadr is finally freed. "Mr. Khadr you're free to go," Alberta judge says in denying Ottawa its emergency motion. Ottawa condemns the release ...

2 weeks ago
Views: 964 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 32 • Rating: 2
 Frank says:

Flatulence can be cruel!