Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Leonid Bershidsky has written an article for Bloomberg about resistance to immigration across Europe. The article itself is not very interesting. It follows the usual Jewish line (yes, he is Jewish, although he claims to be a Russian patriot, but is apparently not patriotic enough to actually want to live there) of portraying the wish of Europeans to preserve their own identity as a pathology and stigmatising even rational critique as "hatred".

It does contain a couple of interesting graphs, however. The first plots the parliamentary representation of anti-immigration parties against the percentage of immigrants in the population.


Bershidsky's point is that there is no correlation between the two and concern about immigration is not rational. A more "rational" conclusion was that democracy has abysmally failed in some countries but much less so in others.

I've made the point before that smaller countries are leading the way in producing a democratic response to the problems of Mohammedanism and immigration more generally. The most egregious democratic failures are in large countries. Spain and Germany are not shown in the graph but, if they were, they would be alongside Britain and France as countries with a large percentage of immigrants but scarcely any parliamentary representation for anti-immigration parties. Polls show the Spanish, no doubt because of their historical experience of Mohammedanism up close, are the most concerned of all Europeans about Islam, but there is scarcely any significant anti-immigration or anti-Islam political force there.

The example of Spain, I think, illustrates the big country problem generally. Big countries are basically mini-empires housing a number of regional identities and sub-patriotisms. This creates failures of both empathy and information between the different regions. Danes can see the problems Muslims are creating because, it being a small country, they probably experience them directly or know someone who does; ditto with Dutch, Norwegians, etc. But, in a big country, whole regions will be almost untouched by immigration. Their only information about it comes from the biased mass media. So they fail to grasp the importance of what is happening, and, even if they do, won't be moved by it as much because Bavarians are not filled with empathy for Prussians, Castilians for Catalans, Scots for English, etc.

The second interesting graph show the percentage of people who say there are too many immigrants when they are given or not given the number of immigrants in their countries.
The Swedish example is interesting in that it goes against the grain by indicating greater concern when the number of immigrants is known. This shows the influence of the politically correct Swedish press, I think. What accounts for the "information effect" more generally? Probably the disproportionate presence of immigrants in cities, which are more visible; and in the media, where broadcasters are obviously going out of their way to show brown people excessively. "Immigrants" is probably being intuitively understood as "people of recent immigrant origin" while the figure provided by the interviewer will relate strictly to first-generation invaders.

2 comments:

  1. In the first table, Bershidsky isn’t comparing like with like because the UK uses first past the post, with all the others using various forms of proportional representation. If PR had been used in this year’s UK general election, UKIP would apparently have around 80 MPs.

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    1. In some cases, they have actually changed the electoral system to make it more difficult for European survivalist (aka racist) parties to gain representation. In the 80s, for example, the Front National did unusually well in an election, so they promptly changed the rules to set a higher minimum vote threshold. In Britain, too, in the debate about voting reform, one of the arguments the Establishment advances against proportional representation is that it would allow "racist" parties to have a presence in parliament.

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