November 2, 2010

Immigration in Germany: Sarrazin v. Habermas

From my new VDARE.com column:
The continuing success of the German high wage economy relative to the Anglo-American low wage / high finance system is raising worries among the global great and good that a newly confident German public might start thinking for itself on immigration.

Particularly agitating to transnational elites is that Social Democratic central banker Thilo Sarrazin published an immigration restrictionist book, Germany Abolishes Itself. (Here’s Rafael Koski’s informative review of Sarrazin’s book in VDARE.com.) Since August, it has sold a million copies. (Trust me when I tell you that’s an astonishing total for a statistics-heavy social science work.)

Germany’s economic model requires, on average, a highly productive population with strong human capital. Germans deeply value extensive technical education or demanding apprenticeships in the skilled crafts. But high investment parenting means that, especially in a crowded country like Germany, children are expensive. Thus, the main long-term threat to Germany’s high investment / high wage model is the below-replacement birthrate among Germans.

Sarrazin advocates policies to boost the birthrate so that Germany won’t abolish itself. Yet there’s an obvious problem: incentives to reproduce would tend to appeal more to parents who don’t invest as much in their children’s human capital, especially Germany’s Muslim immigrants.

Germany is now into its third generation of Muslims.  As Sarrazin documents, they tend to lag behind in achievement, much as Mexicans do on average here in the U.S., even after four generations

What are the causes of these gaps? Genes? Culture? Or whatever?

We’ll eventually find out for sure. But meanwhile, this is the pragmatic take-home message: these disparities have been long enduring. Therefore, they can’t just be assumed away when discussing future immigration policy.

Conclusion: immigration restriction is a logical necessity.

This is especially true in welfare state Germany. There, immigration from the Muslim world since the abolition of guest worker programs in the 1970s has been more or less an elaborate form of welfare fraud carried out through marriages arranged to obtain “family reunification” visas. As Christopher Caldwell pointed out in Reflections upon the Revolution in Europe, from 1971 to 2000, the number of foreign-born people in Germany rose by 150 percent—but the number of foreign-born workers didn’t go up at all.

Neighboring Denmark, the epitome of a civilized country, has had an immigration-restrictionist party in the ruling coalition since 2001.The Danish government has actually cracked down to some extent on arranged marriage immigration scams by not accepting foreign spouses under 24.

Like American scientist James Watson in 2007, Sarrazin was quickly forced to resign his post. Here, when somebody gets fired for political incorrectness, the general assumption is that he must have had it coming. Yet the German people have responded by assuming that if the ruling elite is desperate to silence Sarrazin, he must have something important to say.

Elite efforts to dissuade anyone from listening to Sarrazin’s analysis have now spread to America.

Read the whole thing there and comment upon it here.

25 comments:

kurt9 said...

The key point in all of this is not that differences in human capital are due to genetics or cultural factors, but that they are enduring over at least 4 generations. This makes debate over the origin of these differences completely irrelevant. There seems to be no known method for eliminating these differences and uplifting a lower human capital group to that of the higher human capital group.

Dennis Dale said...

re logical fallacies, Habermas' argument is based entirely on what is perhaps the most common, the appeal to consequences, ie, determining an assertion to be either true or false based on which possibility is more desirable.

Indeed, essays like this are usually just a series of iterations of that fallacy, with lots of familiar epithets and bludgeon-phrases ("hate", "ignorance", etc.) juxtaposed against equally familiar platitudes ("tolerance", "diversity", etc)

asdfasdfsadf said...

“The poison that Mr. Sarrazin had released by reinforcing cultural hostility to immigrants with genetic arguments seemed to have taken root in popular prejudices. When Mr. Nassehi and Mr. Sarrazin appeared at the House of Literature in Munich, a mob atmosphere developed, with an educated middle-class audience refusing even to listen to objections to Mr. Sarrazin’s arguments.”

The real problem of Nazism was not in arguing for racial differences but in insisting on false differences. German Jews were more successful in Germany because they were more intelligent. If Germans had accepted this fact, they might have been better able to understand and even accept Jewish success and power. But Nazis said Jews were less intelligent than the Aryans, which left only one explanation for their success: Jews were cunning leeches and parasites.

Sarrazin is the complete opposite of the Nazis because he speaks the truth to explain the differences between Germans and Muslims. Germans may well have an edge in IQ, though culture no doubt also plays a role--after all, Poles and Germans have comparable IQs but Germans have achieved more due to a culture with greater emphasis on order, work ethic, and thoroughness whereas Poles tend to be rather sloppy in a cultural sense. Also, 50 yrs of communism seems to have eroded certain German cultural values among East Germans who'd gotten used to cradle-to-grave socialist statism.

At any rate, I suppose Jews, especially in NY, are allergic to any notion of racial differences. If Muslism are poorer because they are naturally less intelligent, the implication is that Jews are richer because they are naturally more intelligent.
A lot of gentiles might be more willing to accept Jewish dominance if they knew this fact, but then... given that Jewish values and politics tend to be considerably left to the mainstream majority population--still white in America--, this may lead to rising rage among white conservatives that fear and resent a PERMANENT Liberal Jewish overclass over them. And so, Jews(even neocons)keep calling for more immigration from non-white nations to neutralize the white conservative vote.

In this sense, NY Jews are no less tribal than Sarrazin is. Majority tribalists try to maintain their majority, whether in Germany or Israel. But minority tribalists seek to serve their tribal interests in the name of 'diversity', which to the Jewish elite means, 'divide and rule'.

Kylie said...

kurt9 said..."The key point in all of this is not that differences in human capital are due to genetics or cultural factors, but that they are enduring over at least 4 generations. This makes debate over the origin of these differences completely irrelevant."

Not to the left, unfortunately.

And..."There seems to be no known method for eliminating these differences and uplifting a lower human capital group to that of the higher human capital group."

Hence the ongoing efforts to degrade the higher human capital group not only by redistributive means but by cultural marginalization and even, at times, demonization.

Whiskey said...

Sarrazin's arguments are all about the money, mostly, and secondarily culture.

If Immigrants contributed a lot of wealth, no budget hole, no problem. But they don't, they instead require a lot of wealth, a problem as Germany ages.

Secondarily, immigrants don't become Germans. They remain Turks or Arabs in "occupation" of land they believe they will conquer and turn into outposts of their home countries.

These are the two twin elements of Sarrazin's book. Everything else is irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

Second generation immigrants to Germany do even worse than the first generation...

http://super-economy.blogspot.com/2010/10/second-generation-immigrants-in-europe.html

ironrailsironweights said...

As I understand it, Turks in Turkey look down on their counterparts in Germany, considering them to be the equivalent of hillbillies and hayseeds.

Peter

Anonymous said...

You have a lot of fun with Habermas's credentials, and his opinion piece was pretty terrible, but I have to say I'm a big fan of his book "The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity," which should be used as a first step in rehabilitating college students who take Derrida or the Frankfurt school too seriously.

interesting account of habermas by a colleague said...

"Having been Habermas’s colleague for a couple of years, l knew only too well how much he likes to weigh in even on matters that don’t concern him. And these attacks on an old comrade certainly did. Where was he? Was he ill? Had he turned on Grass? What was going on?

The November 2006 edition of the German cultural magazine Cicero told me.

It had long been known that Habermas, like Grass, had been in the Hitler Youth. But according to Cicero he, too, had a higher level of involvement than he had acknowledged, though hardly as high as the SS. He had been a squad leader. And towards the end of the war, one member of his squad—one Hans-Ulrich Wehler---had been blowing off meetings. This could have been mere adolescent busyness—but it also might have signaled a loss of faith in the F├╝hrer and his Reich. After all, one did not openly resign from any Nazi organization. (What reason would you give? “I don’t like you guys any more?“)

So, the Cicero article continues, Squad Leader Habermas wrote a letter to Recalcitrant Member Wehler, urging him to get more active in the Youth. And there was, apparently, more: Habermas urged Wehler not to give up faith in the Endsieg, the ultimate victory of the Fatherland, etc., etc., yada-yada.

The story continues that many years later, Wehler—who had become a history professor at the University of Bielefeld—and Habermas were having a friendly dinner. Wehler cheerily reminded Habermas of that long ago letter, which he had recently found again in his papers—and which, just for old times’s sake, had brought with him to the dinner. What fun!

Habermas asked to see it; read it quickly; wadded it up.

And swallowed it."

Peter A said...

"But Nazis said Jews were less intelligent than the Aryans"

No. Nazis claimed that Jews were morally depraved (not sure how HBD measures that), but admitted they were "more clever". The Nazis did not place a high value on intelligence or intellectual activity. The ideal German was the strong yeoman farmer. I think most Nazis would have happily agreed that Jews do better on IQ tests.

Anonymous said...

Why won't the medical field come to terms with the fact that race is just a social construct?

"For bone marrow transplants, minorities and those of mixed ancestry have a more difficult time finding good matches because there aren't as many people from those groups signed up as potential donors. Right now, 83 percent of African-American patients who need marrow transplants don't find matches after six months of searching"

source

Anonymous said...

FWIW, Germany has been following a low-wage policy, not a high-wage policy, for about twenty years in order to try and boost hiring. The unions and management are in cahoots under a "co-determination" scheme. It avoids actual labor unrest, but it stiffs productive, especially educated, workers pretty badly. It's a bad deal if you're an accountant or doctor, but a good deal if you work in manufacturing. It all just about washes out in the aggregate; Germany and US are about equally productive and have been for twenty years.

Germany's long-run unemployment performance has in fact been pretty bad, but things seem to be looking better as of late...the key seems to have been a major overhaul of the unemployment insurance system at the beginning of 2005. The UI system plus huge amounts of low-skilled immigration was a horrible combo, and they've been trying to fix that. Yep, a generous welfare state and low-skilled immigration don't mix...especially with an education system that is in fact extremely hostile to kids who speak German with a slight accent.

I'm actually somewhat surprised that Habermas is still alive. None of these stories surprise me all THAT much; think about the type of person that the period in question selected for.

-NotThatChris

SFG said...

Comically, Sarrazin's original argument was actually philo-Semitic; he supposedly wanted to bring more smart Jews in. Frankly, I kind of think this is a dumb idea; maybe they were valuable citizens before the war, but now they hate your guts for making soap out of their relatives. I think he would have been better off not even mentioning Jews. Come on, you're arguing for IMMIGRATION RESTRICTION in GERMANY; you really think the mainstream media isn't going to jump all over this?

What I found most disturbing was this statement by Habermas in his NYT oped:

"To the present day, the idea of the leitkultur depends on the misconception that the liberal state should demand more of its immigrants than learning the language of the country and accepting the principles of the Constitution. We had, and apparently still have, to overcome the view that immigrants are supposed to assimilate the “values” of the majority culture and to adopt its “customs.” "

Oh please. Every country expects this. That's the whole point of assimilation...

Anonymous said...

Does Habermas ever get together with his old student Hans-Hermann Hoppe? :)

Anonymous said...

The Turks I met in Germany tended to be very surly and noisy. Turks from Turkey tended to be much friendlier and happier. I heard that Turks from Turkey consider the Turks raised in Germany to be jerks that were cold and very "German".

The German Turks are not very happy to be the bottom rung in the German labor ladder, which is their whole reason for being there. The fact that the second generation has lower employment doesn't mean they aren't "integrating", its just that they are integrating dysfunctionally. Since the second generation is part of German society, they don't want to do "dirty work" like an immigrant would. But their lower IQ, poor language skills and poor technical skills ensure that they are largely only qualified for the dirty work that brought the first generation to Germany.

The German Turks also have a difficult time integrating properly because they came in such large numbers. Their large size has ensured that they could socially insulate themselves from their German neighbors with Turkish markets, restaurants, social clubs, etc. This cultural isolation is further reinforced by large influxes from Turkey or other parts of the middle east.

Anonymous said...

For 15 years after East and West Germany were divided it was still possible for those living in the East to move to the West. Many of them moved as soon as they realized that they were going to be on the Soviet side of the border. Others moved West after the currency reform in the West in 1948, and East Germany was losing hundreds of thousands of people per year up until the Berlin wall was built (out of a population of around 16 million.) There is no reason to think that the people who left were a random assortment of East Germans. The productive and ambitious and young tended to leave, while the die-hard socialists, slackers, and elderly stayed. So, the East and West German populations were VERY different, even as of 1950 or so.

I'm not sure what the German-speaking population of Europe is at this point -- 100 million? I didn't know it was possible to sell any book in the German language to anywhere near 1 million people. AMAZING.

SFG said...

"I'm not sure what the German-speaking population of Europe is at this point -- 100 million? I didn't know it was possible to sell any book in the German language to anywhere near 1 million people. AMAZING."

Pretty close. Supposedly there are 120 million native German speakers in Europe, according to the infallible Wikipedia.

They're pretty literate though.

Anonymous said...

"For bone marrow transplants, minorities and those of mixed ancestry have a more difficult time finding good matches because there aren't as many people from those groups signed up as potential donors. Right now, 83 percent of African-American patients who need marrow transplants don't find matches after six months of searching"

Funny how, in mainstream discourse, this is never characterized as the obvious transfer of organ/tissue donor resources from whites to others that it so obviously is.

Svigor said...

We could find a few hundred thousand Chinese smarter than the vast majority of the Jews in Israel to run Israel much more efficiently than it's being run now.

What's not to like? Sauce for the gander, right?

Svigor said...

Funny how, in mainstream discourse, this is never characterized as the obvious transfer of organ/tissue donor resources from whites to others that it so obviously is.

That's why I no longer sign donor cards. I tell the person asking I don't trust the government to do the right thing with my organs. That's why I refuse to listen to the first thing coming out of environmentalists' mouths. I'm supposed to worry about the Snowy Egret, when the same people not only work to hasten my demise, but pillory me for even mentioning what's going on, much less doing anything about it?

The whole thing can burn, as far as I'm concerned, until I get a bit of reciprocity.

Kylie said...

Svigor said..."Funny how, in mainstream discourse, this is never characterized as the obvious transfer of organ/tissue donor resources from whites to others that it so obviously is.

That's why I no longer sign donor cards. I tell the person asking I don't trust the government to do the right thing with my organs."

Same here. Only I don't tell the person asking anything beyond no.

And..."The whole thing can burn, as far as I'm concerned, until I get a bit of reciprocity."

Same here. It's surprising how fast you can abandon the natural impulse to help (some) others once you realize it's a matter of both principle and survival to do so.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

The Danish government has actually cracked down to some extent on arranged marriage immigration scams by not accepting foreign spouses under 24.

That sounds like a beginning, but how 'bout this: you cannot import a spouse from abroad if any of your parents were immigrants or any of your grandparents were immigrants from outside of the EU.

Anonymous said...

Comically, Sarrazin's original argument was actually philo-Semitic; he supposedly wanted to bring more smart Jews in.

No, he didn't. He used Jews as an example of an ethnic group whose immigration he wouldn't mind because of their high intelligence, as opposed the dumb Turks and Arabs who now make up such a large proportion of immigrants to Germany. He wasn't actively promoting the immigration of anybody, and wants to keep Germany German.

Anonymous said...

In somewhat-related news:

A Roma girl who moved to Spain from Romania 3 weeks ago has just given birth to her first child.

The mother is ten years old. The father is thirteen. The grandmother doesn't understand why the Spanish think this is weird.

DIVERSITY IS STRENGTH

bruce said...

Thanks for this takedown of Habermas, it's a bullseye as far as my understanding of the pontificating Teuton goes. Back when I was required to wade thru his tomes, a friend summed up his Communicative Action for me, as a justification of political correctness and social censorship. Typically German in other words.

'Rules to govern communication'.

You skewered him.

A better German to study is the pessimistic doom-prophet Max Weber. Train tracks to the Iron Cage, no hope no way out.