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Lessons from Europe

Back in October, it was Germany's Angela Merkel:

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel: "lmmigrants should learn to speak German"
Attempts to build a multicultural society in Germany have "utterly failed", Chancellor Angela Merkel says.

She said the so-called "multikulti" concept - where people would "live side-by-side" happily - did not work, and immigrants needed to do more to integrate - including learning German.

The comments come amid rising anti-immigration feeling in Germany.

The study - by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation think-tank - also showed that roughly the same number thought that some 16 million of Germany's immigrants or people with foreign origins had come to the country for its social benefits.

Mrs Merkel told a gathering of younger members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party on Saturday that at "the beginning of the 60s our country called the foreign workers to come to Germany and now they live in our country."

She added: "We kidded ourselves a while, we said: 'They won't stay, sometime they will be gone', but this isn't reality."

"And of course, the approach [to build] a multicultural [society] and to live side-by-side and to enjoy each other... has failed, utterly failed."

And over the weekend, it was Great Britain's David Cameron:

Prime Minister David Cameron, in a speech attended by world leaders, on Saturday criticized his country's longstanding policy of multiculturalism, saying it was an outright failure and partly to blame for fostering Islamist extremism.

He said the U.K. needs a stronger national identity to prevent people turning to extremism.

"If we are to defeat this threat, I believe it's time to turn the page on the failed policies of the past," he told an international conference in Munich.

"Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream," Cameron said during a panel discussion attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "We have failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong."

He said the "hands-off tolerance" in Britain and other European nations has encouraged Muslims and other immigrant groups "to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream."

Refreshing stuff.  Somewhere, some country, once adopted the motto E pluribus unum, "out of many, one". 

I suspect there was good reason for doing so.


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Comments (5)

Every society has a word fo... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Every society has a word for not being part of the larger group. Auslander to gaijin the implication is the same. Time was, you were expected to learn the language of the country where you lived. Being able to communicate with those around you tends to reduce stress - on the individual and the group. Now our government openly works to keep you separate in your own little world.

Well, its worked out so wel... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Well, its worked out so well in all those Euroweenie states and 'The Won' is SO trying to emulate them...

I expect an Executive Order to pop out any day now stating "Make it so" to change everything this regime has been doing to combat this problem. /sarc

Were I to know I would spen... (Below threshold)
John A:

Were I to know I would spend, say, four years where the local tongue is not English - and certainly if I were to emigrate permanently to such a locale - I would certainly deem it in my own best interest to learn at least some of the lingo. It might make sense for a government to provide after-working-hours classes of some sort.

Mr. Cameron unfortunately wants to make it law that non-English-speaking parents must learn it and teach it to their children. Outside of trading/merchant classes, for centuries it has long been the norm for children to learn the local lingo, through greater exposure to natives of all ages, and then teach it to their parents who are not as much surrounded at work or social occasions to those who do not share their original or "mother" tongue.

That many years ago, when ... (Below threshold)
gaius piconius:

That many years ago, when 'multikulti was young, the dominant leftfooted wisdom insisted that a wonderfull cultural mosaic would be the outcome. The reality though is that all we are getting out of it as 'first nations' is curried cornflakes and heartburn.....or am I missing something?

Gottdammit Rick, quit itali... (Below threshold)
skh.pcola:

Gottdammit Rick, quit italicizing block quotes! You are the only Wizbanger that does this, and it makes the text difficult to read. Block quotes make it abundantly obvious that the included text is an excerpt, so the italics are superfluous. Sheesh. I enjoy your writing, but this peccadillo of yours makes it a chore to peruse your posts. Please, just stop doing it. Blame it on my advanced age and failing eyesight, if you must, but the redundancy is unnecessary.




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