Russell Turpin
Thu, 18 Oct 2001 22:17:24 +0000

Lisa Dusseault writes:
>>I realize this is a matter of psychology, but take a look at the recent 
>>British immigration backlash.

Clay Shirky responds:
>Yup, and the Aussie one as well. I also have no problem thinking of those 
>people as racists. Do you?


But. Allow me to play the devil's advocate. One can mount
the argument that immigration should be controlled for
entirely cultural reasons. The fear this addresses is not
that America (for example) would become brown, but that
uncontrolled immigration might, in twenty years, undermine
the puritan work ethic (as if that has survived everyone's
desire to get rich quick), or lead to politics influenced
by Islamic fundamentalism (as if that were worse than
Christian fundamentalism), etc.

I obviously don't present this argument very well, since
it doesn't resonate much in me. My own optimistic view is
that western culture is much more virulent than even the
mullahs imagine, and that were we to accept five million
fundamentalist Moslems onto our shores, in twenty years
their children will be liberal Moslems, and in forty
years, their grandchildren will be blasphemous,
promiscuous, secular humanists. But I could be wrong. I
understand the cultural argument, even if I don't find
it convincing.


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