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Old 11-08-2005, 08:07 PM   #121
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
Does he make sense on this issue?
He is reliably isolationist, which is probably why there's a kind of very subtle racism about what he's written.

When he decries the end of "Western culture," he's correct. What he neglects to mention is that "barbarian culture" (or whatever fairly ethnocentric term he wants to use) is "ending" too.

The Roman Empire did fail, because it had held up its culture as an ideal, while neglecting all other cultures surrounding it. The Germanic tribes of Europe likely gravitated towards the Roman Empire for the same reason that third-world citizens gravitate to the Western world today: where there is money, they will come.

However, although the Roman Empire ended, much of its culture did not. The Germanic tribes may have carved up the Roman Empire into its own kingdoms, but they maintained many Roman traditions and institutions, making it their own. And over the course of centuries, the language of the Roman Empire, Latin, had not faded away, as much as it spawned dozens of new languages. If "Latin" had died, then so did all the languages of the Germanic tribes. If the Roman Empire had fallen, so did all the existing institutions of the barbarians.

What has become most evident is that if we want the Western world to continue, we can no longer continue a policy of amassing large amounts of wealth at the expense of the rest of the world. If the United States wants to stop Mexican illegal immigration, force Mexico to clean up its economy and illegal immigration will stop. If Africa wasn't so poor, so many African immigrants would not want to go to France. Basically, we cannot ignore the abject poverty that most of the world suffers from any longer, because, eventually, they will win. It is not a matter of "if"; it is a matter of "when."

But maybe it's too late. Maybe the failure of the Roman Empire and the Western world lies in its success: with increasing education and wealth comes a population unwilling to do much of the most banal and still integral occupations that third-world individuals are still willing to do. Much of the Roman army, before the Germanic invasion, was actually populated by Germanic tribesmen. The Romans were "too good" to even be in their own military anymore.

Anyway, people shouldn't fret. This is the circle of civilization. If the Western world is to collapse, then perhaps it is meant to be. In another century or so, we would probably get so incredibly bored from having attained absolutely everything we'd ever have wanted. With the collapse of civilization, new generations of people get a new crack at rediscovering all the knowledge of the world, along with all the enjoyment of the pursuit. Then, after enough centuries have passed with their civilization, it will collapse and be reborn, as well.

But if there's a consolation in all of this is that "civilization" cannot collapse overnight. It is a gradual process that will likely outlive all of us.

Melon
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Old 11-09-2005, 12:32 AM   #122
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Originally posted by DrTeeth
It's sad when it apparently takes riots of this scale to get governments to recognize the needs of minorities.
justifying the riots
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Old 11-09-2005, 12:41 AM   #123
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What has become most evident is that if we want the Western world to continue, we can no longer continue a policy of amassing large amounts of wealth at the expense of the rest of the world. If the United States wants to stop Mexican illegal immigration, force Mexico to clean up its economy and illegal immigration will stop. If Africa wasn't so poor, so many African immigrants would not want to go to France. Basically, we cannot ignore the abject poverty that most of the world suffers from any longer, because, eventually, they will win. It is not a matter of "if"; it is a matter of "when."


Melon
these guys produce 20 kids each - 5 of them die young, 2 of them migrate to italy ( illegally or legally) , 2 to france, 2 to US & 2 become suicide bombers in tel-aviv and you want the western world to feed them good food.

If these guys produce 1 kid per family, poverty is going to dissappear in Africa in 30-40 years but they cant make 1 kid.

They will make 20 kids each and nothing is going to happen even if you give them the whole of American wealth, they will become poor in another 50 year.
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Old 11-09-2005, 01:00 AM   #124
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
When he decries the end of "Western culture," he's correct. What he neglects to mention is that "barbarian culture" (or whatever fairly ethnocentric term he wants to use) is "ending" too.
...
However, although the Roman Empire ended, much of its culture did not. The Germanic tribes may have carved up the Roman Empire into its own kingdoms, but they maintained many Roman traditions and institutions, making it their own. And over the course of centuries, the language of the Roman Empire, Latin, had not faded away, as much as it spawned dozens of new languages. If "Latin" had died, then so did all the languages of the Germanic tribes. If the Roman Empire had fallen, so did all the existing institutions of the barbarians.
...
But maybe it's too late. Maybe the failure of the Roman Empire and the Western world lies in its success: with increasing education and wealth comes a population unwilling to do much of the most banal and still integral occupations that third-world individuals are still willing to do. Much of the Roman army, before the Germanic invasion, was actually populated by Germanic tribesmen. The Romans were "too good" to even be in their own military anymore.
Excellent point. There is an important distinction between one culture giving way to another on the one hand, and the gradual erosion of a clearcut binary opposition between dominant and subordinate culture(s) on the other. And in fact Islamism can really only be made sense of in terms of the latter. I'm going to remember this next time I teach Huntington's Clash of Civilizations! And I promise to cite you if I ever use this argument in print .

Apropos of the Roman army, I remember reading several years back a fascinating doctoral dissertation on graffiti found in the latrines of Roman barracks camp sites. The author's name escapes me at the moment, but this particular paper has actually become quite well known among Roman historians not just for its eyebrow-raising subject, but also because it's actually one of the best sources of evidence we have for the surprising cultural diversity of the Roman army. Much of the graffiti reads like a game of "the dozens" where (often very lewd) ethnic slams were the insult of choice, and many of the soldiers signed their "postings," leaving further suggestive evidence of their own cultural backgrounds.

This isn't entirely attributable to military work being undesirable, though; Roman soldiers were often paid quite handsomely, and the political benefits of having served could be significant. Indeed the Romans recognized that a diversified army was one good way of cultivating a sense of loyalty and belonging among subject peoples, and took full advantage of that fact.
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Old 11-09-2005, 02:30 AM   #125
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Quote:
Originally posted by AcrobatMan


justifying the riots
Even though I already said I wasn't condoning this violence in any way in a previous post, I knew someone was going to say this.
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Old 11-09-2005, 03:04 AM   #126
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Get French or Die Trying

By OLIVIER ROY
The New York Times, November 9, 2005

Olivier Roy, a professor at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, is the author of "Globalized Islam."

The rioting in Paris and other French cities has led to a lot of interpretations and comments, most of them irrelevant. Many see the violence as religiously motivated, the inevitable result of unchecked immigration from Muslim countries; for others the rioters are simply acting out of vengeance at being denied their cultural heritage or a fair share in French society. But the reality is that there is nothing particularly Muslim, or even French, about the violence. Rather, we are witnessing the temporary rising up of one small part of a Western underclass culture that reaches from Paris to London to Los Angeles and beyond.

To understand why this is so, consider two solid facts we do have on the riots. First, this is a youth (and male) uprising. The rioters are generally 12 to 25 years old, and roughly half of those arrested are under 18. The adults keep away from the demonstrations: in fact, they are the first victims (it is their cars, after all, that are burning) and they want security and social services to be restored.

Yet older residents also resent what they see as the unnecessary brutality of the police toward the rioters, the merry-go-round of officials making promises that they know will be quickly forgotten, and the demonization of their communities by the news media. Second, the riots are geographically and socially very circumscribed: all are occurring in about 100 suburbs, or more precisely destitute neighborhoods known here as "cités," "quartiers" or "banlieues." There has long been a strong sense of territorial identity among the young people in these neighborhoods, who have tended to coalesce in loose gangs. The different gangs, often involved in petty delinquency, have typically been reluctant to stroll outside their territories and have vigilantly kept strangers away, be they rival gangs, police officers, firefighters or journalists.

Now, these gangs are for the most part burning their own neighborhoods and seem little interested in extending the rampage to more fashionable areas. They express simmering anger fueled by unemployment and racism. The lesson, then, is that while these riots originate in areas largely populated by immigrants of Islamic heritage, they have little to do with the wrath of a Muslim community.

France has a huge Muslim population living outside these neighborhoods - many of them, people who left them as soon as they could afford it - and they don't identify with the rioters at all. Even within the violent areas, one's local identity (sense of belonging to a particular neighborhood) prevails over larger ethnic and religious affiliation. Most of the rioters are from the second generation of immigrants, they have French citizenship, and they see themselves more as part of a modern Western urban subculture than of any Arab or African heritage.

Just look at the newspaper photographs: the young men wear the same hooded sweatshirts, listen to similar music and use slang in the same way as their counterparts in Los Angeles or Washington. (It is no accident that in French-dubbed versions of Hollywood films, African-American characters usually speak with the accent heard in the Paris banlieues).

Nobody should be surprised that efforts by the government to find "community leaders" have had little success. There are no leaders in these areas for a very simple reason: there is no community in the neighborhoods. Traditional parental control has disappeared and many Muslim families are headed by a single parent. Elders, imams and social workers have lost control. Paradoxically, the youths themselves are often the providers of local social rules, based on aggressive manhood, control of the streets, defense of a territory. Americans (and critics of America in Europe) may see in these riots echoes of the black separatism that fueled the violence in Harlem and Watts in the 1960's. But the French youths are not fighting to be recognized as a minority group, either ethnic or religious; they want to be accepted as full citizens. They have believed in the French model (individual integration through citizenship) but feel cheated because of their social and economic exclusion. Hence they destroy what they see as the tools of failed social promotion: schools, social welfare offices, gymnasiums. Disappointment leads to nihilism. For many, fighting the police is some sort of a game, and a rite of passage.

Contrary to the calls of many liberals, increased emphasis on multiculturalism and respect for other cultures in France is not the answer: this angry young population is highly deculturalized and individualized. There is no reference to Palestine or Iraq in these riots. Although these suburbs have been a recruiting field for jihadists, the fundamentalists are conspicuously absent from the violence. Muslim extremists don't share the youth agenda (from drug dealing to nightclub partying), and the youngsters reject any kind of leadership.

So what is to be done? The politicians have offered the predictable: curfews, platitudes about respect, vague promises of economic aid. But with France having entered its presidential election cycle, any hope for long-term rethinking is misplaced. In the end, we are dealing here with problems found by any culture in which inequities and cultural differences come in conflict with high ideals. Americans, for their part, should take little pleasure in France's agony - the struggle to integrate an angry underclass is one shared across the Western world.
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Old 11-09-2005, 03:52 AM   #127
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Good article.
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Old 11-09-2005, 04:06 AM   #128
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Originally posted by AcrobatMan


these guys produce 20 kids each - 5 of them die young, 2 of them migrate to italy ( illegally or legally) , 2 to france, 2 to US & 2 become suicide bombers in tel-aviv and you want the western world to feed them good food.

If these guys produce 1 kid per family, poverty is going to dissappear in Africa in 30-40 years but they cant make 1 kid.

They will make 20 kids each and nothing is going to happen even if you give them the whole of American wealth, they will become poor in another 50 year.
Wow Acrobat. I am shocked. Apparently you think Africans can only "produce" kids. With all respect, your wording reminds me of a South African who was for segregation. I met him in South Africa, now he was a rich fat white men, and he said stuff like "What? You want no more Apartheid? Then tell me what the ni**ers will do - all they can do is get kids".

Sad to see that such prejudices still exist, especially in places like India that has three times as many inhabitants as the whole of Africa.
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Old 11-09-2005, 04:29 AM   #129
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Hiphop

All I am saying is that "control the population". I am exactly the same feeling for poor guys out here who produce 10-20 kids.

Just to record straight ( so that other interferencers especially the non-english speaking ones dont infer it wrongly), I am strictly against apartheid or any forms of discrimination.

The only thing that makes me absolutely angry is guys who are incapable of feeding 2 kids - making 20 kids.

We have the same problem here and I am "harsher" in my views
about population control here.

AcrobatMan
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Old 11-09-2005, 05:05 AM   #130
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Originally posted by AcrobatMan
Hiphop

All I am saying is that "control the population". I am exactly the same feeling for poor guys out here who produce 10-20 kids.

Just to record straight ( so that other interferencers especially the non-english speaking ones dont infer it wrongly), I am strictly against apartheid or any forms of discrimination.

The only thing that makes me absolutely angry is guys who are incapable of feeding 2 kids - making 20 kids.

We have the same problem here and I am "harsher" in my views
about population control here.

AcrobatMan
Good to hear you on that Acrobat. I know you don´t want discrimination, but it sounded very much like that.

So you think communist China´s one-kid-per-family-policy was the right thing to enforce?
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Old 11-09-2005, 06:41 AM   #131
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Are you referring to the closing of the Muslim School in Milan?
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Old 11-09-2005, 07:07 AM   #132
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in the news they say that tonight there were less riots. in the last 2 weeks 1500 people have been arrested, many of them under 18, lots of them will have to face a quick trial and go straight to prison.

what a great way of dealing with the problem for the future. what do you think those juveniles will experience in jail and what will they tell their friends when they come back to the banlieu

lets program more social unrest.
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Old 11-09-2005, 07:09 AM   #133
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Maybe if we gave them all junior grade jobs as bureaucrats they would become integrated.
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Old 11-09-2005, 07:25 AM   #134
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Sure


Yes, it was a disgrace. But on the other hand it´s also right that they integrate themselves in the italian society. Closing the school was simply a terrible mistake, but if the parents of those children want to let their sons and daughters to grow up in Italy, it is important that they attend the italian school, too. Otherwise they would find clearly difficulties in a consequent work in Italy. Personnally, I was born in Germany, I´ve lived there until my 16, and I attended the german school in the morning and the italian school 3 times a week in the afternoon. It was a grandious thing for me, because I got well into the german society, and at the same time, I had the possibility to learn well italian and to get the opportunity to study now in Italy. But I have a german degree, I speak the language very well, and whenever I want I would get a job in Germany. If those children of that Muslim school in Milan don´t attend the italian school, too, they´re losing an opportunity for themselves. I would have never closed that school, at least I would have found a compromise, like you attend the italian school, but in the same time you attend the Muslim school, for example in the afternoon. Closing it, merely, was a big offence against a different and important culture.
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Old 11-09-2005, 07:27 AM   #135
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Maybe if we gave them all junior grade jobs as bureaucrats they would become integrated.
yeah, you see, I think this problem is larger than the usual conservative vs. leftist party politics. both of them have failed, also in the past, the problems have been there for too many years.

there were certain initiatives by the last leftist government that went the right direction, but they have been abandoned, programs like "emploi jeune".. this was new jobs created for young people, gave them a new way to get active in social/ society activities.

and there were the "grand frères", the big brothers: students, also from migrants´ families - who had an incredibly positive influence on the youth in the banlieues. they were responsible for security, but not in the way the police is, not based on repression, rather talking about the problems, heightened sensibility amongst the youngsters, and helped them with their problems.

this program was cancelled by the new conservative government after 2002. an enormous mistake, because there was much potential .. for juvenile policies in the banlieues.
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