21 July 2010

Eurabia-Mongering Part 2: Demographic Warfare

You know what’s quite good? The BBC’s More or Less. Since I blog slow and steady and the episode I want probably isn’t up any more, there’s a brief summary here and bonus details here. Basically, the ‘Muslim Demographics’ video gets a sound debunking.

Now this video really, really worries me. Not because of that creeping Islamicisificationment shite, but because of a nasty, nasty trend that seems to come with the territory of representative government: demographic warfare. Now I would partly put our quaint obsession with demographics down to our sense of community no longer being tied to location, the age of capitalist marketing and mass communication, but I don’t think it can be separated from the brass tacks of democracy. The system depends on balancing the interests of voting blocs and sections of the population against each other, and unfortunately the stronger a party’s grass roots, the more in touch both politicians and the system they represent are with the population, the more demographics and social grouping become an issue. Growth of a particular group is a boon to any other which shares its interests and a threat to anyone whose interests conflict. When this comes from social or economic change, for example an increase in unemployment or social mobility, it’s a rather neat, if indirect and probably deeply flawed and unreliable, mechanism for adjusting the ruling set of ideas to current conditions, or at least the way they seem.

The Muslim demographic conundrum is different. This group is not a product of social or economic factors. The reaction against this demographic change will not and cannot involve the practical circumstances that produced it. The sole reason for this demographic change is the people that constitute it, and so backlash will be, and can only be, against them. We should expect this to become more of an issue as the twenty-first century goes on, as more and more couples limit themselves to children they want, as international migration becomes (practically if not legally) easier and more desirable and as Europe adjusts to the children of immigrants. And as this attitude comes directly from representative government, expect it to become stronger, not weaker, as the liberal-democratic consensus settles in and groups who still hold power beyond their numbers and think they deserve it become ever more scared and petulant. And if we look at their fears, it is not of an illegitimate, external takeover, but of a group and ideology within Western society, and with the inalienable right to participate in it, increasing power alongside their numbers. Fear of Eurabia is fear of democracy, plain and simple.

Funnily enough, this idea of a sort of racial, sort of religious group hatching a logistical nightmare of a secret plot to take over the world, well, it seems disturbingly familiar. Pankaj Mishra:
This expectation of identity suicide has a rather grim history in enlightened Europe...Accused of mistreating their women and proliferating with devious rapidity, and goaded to abandon their religious and cultural baggage, many Jews in the 19th century paid an even higher cost of "integration" than that confronting Muslims today in France...As it turned out, those Jews who suppressed the Torah and Talmud and underwent drastic embourgeoisement became even more vulnerable to malign prejudice in post-Enlightenment Europe's secular nation-states.
Of course, the mistreatment of the Jews in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was often overtly racial, whereas Eurabia-mongers are careful to focus exclusively on religion and culture. But claims that this is not at all about race start to crack when you remember this isn’t about immigration or assimilation but birth rates. This is an objection to natural-born citizens being born to natural-born citizens.

And there’s something about the Eurabia theory that’s inherently even more despicable than the old skool religious/racial conspiracy. The Elders of Zion take over the world by manipulating the banks, infiltrating and corrupting the culture and gaining a stranglehold over the government and media and yadda yadda you know the drill. In other words, in order for his dastardly plan to work, the Foul Fiend Finkelstein actually has to get off his matzoh-munching arse and do something, even if it’s just polluting a couple of flaxen-haired Nordic lasses with his mongrel seed. The Muslims, on the other hand, simply need to sit there and maybe knock each other up a bit. Just find a fanny to pop out of, Abdul, and you’re away. There’s something terrifying about the idea that not the actions, but the very existence, of human beings is a threat. And the other fundamental difference between worries about immigration and worries about birth rates is the practicality. Closing our borders will not arrest Muslim population growth. Worse still, as many of Europe’s natural-born Muslim citizens might not be eligible for citizenship in their “countries of ethnic origin”, even the racist’s favourite mass-deportation is unworkable. So what we end up with is a sizeable minority group whose very presence terrifies us, but who we can’t just send away.

Of course, imagining that the statistics are true, and not deftly pulled from some swastika-tattooed arse, there are some peaceful solutions. Firstly, we can adjust to the demographic change by extending a political and cultural olive branch to Muslims and hoping that, when they inevitably come to rule the world, they look on us as friends and not enemies. Secondly, we can hope that by promoting secularism and civic equality in our societies as much as possible, we will secularise our Muslims. Then, inshallah, they’ll find our beer, bacon and bikinis so enticing they stop bothering with all that implausible sky-wizard stuff. The fundamental problem with both these approaches is that, if you even hint at them to a Eurabia-monger, you get called a ‘dhimmi’ and laughed off. (‘Dhimmi’, pronounced with a /d/ instead of a ‘ﺫ’, is derived from the Idiot word for ‘quisling’).

But that’s assuming, wrongly, that these figures aren’t a shoddily-fabricated crock of lukewarm arse-piss. Someone has completely made up some terrifying statistics, to which the major solutions seem to be suspension of democracy and jus soli, perhaps with a spot of mass ethnic cleansing. I wonder what they could want.

Part 1

11 July 2010

Gandhi, King and Palestine

Nicholas D. Krystof reckons the Palestinians would be much better off following Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.'s example, and just should just quit all that naughtiness about suicide-bombing and firing cheeky rockets at Sderot. Alas, he's a nowt but a dreamer, as we all know they're incapable of pulling it off:
But then a group of Palestinian youths began to throw rocks at Israeli troops. That’s the biggest challenge: many Palestinians define “nonviolence” to include stone-throwing.
See what I mean? They're never going to manage. Too temperamental, no self-restraint. Sad, really, as it means they'll all have to get blown up some more.

The straight fact is, The Palestinians will never, ever achieve this because The Palestinians aren't a person. All it takes is one bloke who doesn't believe in it, and the nonviolence goes out the window. Adopting nonviolence doesn't make other people's violence disappear, any more than being vegetarian is going to abolish meat. And let's not pretend it was any different with Krystof's examples. While King might have been all about the peaceful civil disobedience, Malcolm X was still around and well up for any means necessary. For all Gandhi and friends' refusals to fight back, Sir Michael O'Dwyer still wound up with a cap in his ass. Even when Mandela renounced violence, he couldn't renounce it on anyone else's behalf. Looking back at successful nonviolent movements, almost universally hailed in hindsight as deserving and justified, we don't blame the pacifists thronging behind Gandhi, King and Biko for the violence of militants who shared their cause. But, as always seems to be the case, Arabs, Muslims and Palestinians find themselves squashed into one homogeneous brown consciousness, with Mahmoud Abbas as the hive's bloated queen, serviced by randy Hamas drones and popping out rock-slinging, mouse-watching, self-exploding larvae by the hundred.

For both morality and effectiveness, I'm firmly behind nonviolent movements, but it's ridiculous to suggest there's such thing as nonviolent peoples. Krystof is not comparing like with like, and invoking King and Gandhi is both inaccurate and underhand. Look what happens only one paragraph after those hot-headed Arabs start chucking rocks:
Soon after, the Israeli forces fired volleys of tear gas at us, and then charged. The protesters fled, some throwing rocks backward as they ran. It’s a far cry from the heroism of Gandhi’s followers, who refused even to raise their arms to ward off blows as they were clubbed.
Expecting "The Palestinians", as a bloc, to totally renounce violence is blatantly unworkable, and the fact that "they" inevitably can't manage it then justifies whatever human rights violations and collective punishment nonviolent protesters and bystanders then suffer. Obviously Israel doesn't want to kill innocent people or violate basic freedom of assembly, but what choice does it have when troublemakers insist on ruining it for everyone else? Oh well, we did our best. Lock and load boys, and try to hide those erections.