Dalrymple: A Confusion of Tongues

• Views: 1,837

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.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis 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: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Recent PagesClick to refresh
Former Executive Director of Anti-Immigrant Hate Group FAIR Joins Trump Administration Kirchner worked at America’s most influential anti-immigrant organization for almost ten years before leaving in 2015 to become an immigration advisor to the Trump campaign. The appointment, reported by multiple sources, suggests that President Trump intends to follow through ...
Tarkloon
12 hours, 40 minutes ago
Views: 133 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Supreme Court Won’t Hear Appeal From Texas on Voter ID Case WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court rejected on Monday an appeal from Texas officials seeking to restore the state’s strict voter ID law. As is the court’s custom, its brief order in the case, Abbott v. Veasey, No. 16-393, gave ...
Tarkloon
20 hours, 15 minutes ago
Views: 155 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
National Pie Day Peach Pie Recipe - NYT Cooking Pie to Impeach By Ingredients For the pastry: 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt ⅔ cup cold lard (Allard usually uses 3 tablespoons of butter as part of the lard) [VB uses Crisco] ¼ cup ice water For the filling: 4 to 6 ...
The Vicious Babushka
1 day, 1 hour ago
Views: 223 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 4 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
It’s National Pie Day! Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe - NYT Cooking Ingredients The filling: 1 9-inch pie shell 1 ½ cups sugar ⅓ cup cornstarch 1 ½ cups boiling water 3 egg yolks, slightly beaten 4 tablespoons lemon juice 1 ½ tablespoons grated lemon rind 3 tablespoons butter The meringue: ...
The Vicious Babushka
1 day, 1 hour ago
Views: 191 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
He Shot the Trump Inauguration Protests and Got More Than He Bargained For I couldn’t get a good shot, but there was a sign I was able to sit on that put me about 8 feet up. I took a few shots, and then a group of maybe four or five Trump ...
Unshaken Defiance
1 day, 20 hours ago
Views: 738 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 4
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Women’s Marches: More Than One Million Protesters Vow to Resist President Trump More than 1 million people gathered in Washington and in cities around the country and the world Saturday to mount a roaring rejoinder to the inauguration of President Trump. What started as a Facebook post by a Hawaii retiree ...
Tarkloon
2 days, 3 hours ago
Views: 564 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 6 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Comments: 0
: 1
The All-American Rejects - Top of the WorldMusic video by The All-American Rejects performing Top Of The World. (C) 2006 Interscope Records
Tarkloon
2 days, 11 hours ago
Views: 228 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - I Won’t Back DownMusic video by Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers performing I Won't Back Down. (C) 1989 Geffen Records
Tarkloon
2 days, 11 hours ago
Views: 530 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 13 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Comments: 0
: 1
Video: The World’s Most Dangerous Downhill Ski RaceFrom top to bottom, the Streif presents skiers with one imposing challenge after another. See what it takes to conquer famous downhill race course with a detailed look at every feature of the run.
teleskiguy
3 days, 14 hours ago
Views: 728 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 3
Comments: 0
: 3
Ani DiFranco - ‘Binary’ (Live at WFUV)wfuv.org • Follow @wfuv: ow.ly Ani DiFranco performs "Binary" live in Studio A. Recorded 11.10.16. Host: Alisa AliAudio: Kate FitzSimonsCameras: Sarah Burns, Monica Fafaul, Joanna LaPorte & Dan TuozzoliEditor: Joanna LaPorte & Dan Tuozzoli
Tarkloon
3 days, 16 hours ago
Views: 605 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0