On Deconstructing the Majority: Nothing To Do With Islam? Really?
From the desk of Fjordman on Wed, 2008-12-10 08:04
Here is a revealing interview (in Norwegian -- English translation here) with the leading academic Multiculturalist in my country, Professor Thomas Hylland Eriksen of the University in Oslo, who has received millions in government funding for his projects and is something of a national celebrity. It's a few months old, but I haven't seen it until now. He says point blank that in his view the most important thing to do right now is to "deconstruct the majority [population] so thoroughly that it can never be called the majority again." End of quote. And this is the agenda of the Multiculturalists in all Western nations. Make no mistake about it. I have honored him with a mention in my book Defeating Eurabia:
Thomas Hylland Eriksen, professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, heads a multi-million project sponsored by the state trying to envision how the new Multicultural society will work. He is a career Multiculturalist and intellectual celebrity in his country, a frequent contributor to the public debate and lives, according to himself, in a boring, white monocultural part of the city, insulated from the effects of cultural diversity. Hylland Eriksen has proclaimed the death of (Western) nation states as if he derives pleasure from it, and has stated that the Nidaros Cathedral (Nidarosdomen), the most prominent church in the country, should no longer serve as a national symbol in our Multicultural society.
Mr. Eriksen has clashed with Ole Jørgen Anfindsen, who runs the bilingual quality website HonestThinking.org and warns against the effects of uncontrolled mass immigration. According to Hylland Eriksen, "Cosmopolites insist on a world comprising of more colors than black and white. In such a world, the problems presented by Ole-Jørgen Anfindsen are not just petty, but irrelevant."
What are the problems presented by Mr. Anfindsen? Well, he has published calculations indicating that if the current immigration continues, native Norwegians will be a minority in their own country within a couple of generations. Given the fact that ethnic groups who become minorities in their own lands usually have a hard time, and always get persecuted when the newcomers are Muslims, one would assume that this would be interesting information. But for self-proclaimed "Multicultural cosmopolites," it is "petty and irrelevant" to even consider that this could represent a problem. Eriksen calls Anfindsen "stupid and ignorant," and hints that "Maybe Anfindsen's agenda is inspired by a kind of perverted Christianity (he has a Christian background)."
Yes, Anfindsen does have a Christian background. Is that supposed to disqualify a person from worrying about whether his grandchildren will be persecuted? Mr. Eriksen, like other Western Multiculturalists, worries about Islamophobia but is more than willing to mock Christianity. A newspaper essay co-authored by Eriksen states that: "Is he [Anfindsen] asking us to once again repeat the obvious in that the murder of Theo van Gogh, various acts of terrorism and death threats against newspaper editors have nothing to do with Islam?"
Nothing to do with Islam? Really?
Mohammed Bouyeri, born in Amsterdam of Moroccan parents, killed Theo van Gogh as he was cycling in Amsterdam on Nov. 2, 2004, shooting and stabbing before slashing his throat and pinning a note to his body with a knife. "I did what I did purely out my beliefs," he told judges while clutching a Koran. "I want you to know that I acted out of conviction and not that I took his life because he was Dutch or because I was Moroccan," but because he believed van Gogh insulted Islam in his film criticizing the treatment of Muslim women.
So a peaceful Christian man is accused of having a dark, secret agenda, while a Muslim murderer who brags about his Islamic motivations has nothing to do with Islam? A Serbian doctor from the former Yugoslavia, where a Multicultural society recently collapsed in a horrific civil war, warned against the effects of unchecked mass immigration to Western Europe. Thomas Hylland Eriksen responded by chastising her for her "lack of visions."
Apparently, your worth as an intellectual is measured in how grandiose your ideas are. The greater your visions, the more dazzling your intellect is and thus the greater prestige should be awarded to you. Whether those visions actually correspond to reality and human nature is of secondary importance. In fact, many a self-proclaimed intellectual will be downright offended by the petty considerations of his more pedestrian fellow citizens, concerned with what effects his ideas will have in real life. The fact that some people could get hurt from his ideas doesn't discourage him. Truly great advances for mankind can only be accomplished though sacrifices, preferably made by others.
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Submitted by Ronduck on Sun, 2013-08-11 21:31.
What happens to black people in some regions in the states is very similar to what happens to Muslims in Europe: Same ghettos, same discrimination.
Whoa there, Blacks here in the US are not as discriminated against as they should be. Blacks commit 50% of all homicides here despite being 13% of the population.
I assumption the American
Submitted by drugan on Mon, 2009-02-02 07:21.
I assumption the American association is added accessible for a) and
harder abundant for b). The actuality that you are Japanese, Chinese,
Muslim, all-embracing or Jew doesn’t attempt your affairs in
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which on about-face makes them retreat in their own ability
fanatically. This is accessible accurate the all-encompassing European
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places: By not acceptance ghetto’s in which they can feel almost safe,
getting on their own, and by actively aggravating to stop
discrimination. Both actual difficult I’m afraid.
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The Saudi Plan: 100 years of Dhimmitude?
deconstruction # 3
Submitted by marcfrans on Thu, 2008-12-11 19:34.
2-A) You are ignoring the main point, which was "the persecution of nonmuslims in virtually all MUSLIM societies today". The fact that there are societies were muslims live peacefully with others is besides the point. I have lived among muslims in such a society, but those muslims were less than 10 percent of the population, and the rest of that particular nonwestern society would not tolerate nonsense (from muslims nor anybody else). The relevant observation is that all muslim societies or muslim-dominated societies are intolerant of nonmuslims, in the sense that they discriminate in law against the latter. In addition, there is no genuine 'rule of law' in any muslim society today, only 'rule of (powerful) men'. I am not an expert on Albania, but I understand that it is pretty much a sort of 'mafia state'.
2-B) You are certainly right in claiming that persecution is not limited to muslims in the world (e.g the Han-Chinese in Tibet, the Shona in Matabeleland in Zimbabwe, etc...). But, that observation is irrelevant to the issue at hand which was your claim that "being muslim has nothing to do with it". Point 2-A is independent from point 2-B.
3) Your comparison remains flawed, but there is no time to discuss every individual case. Focus on the big picture.
4) Indeed we agree on point 4. That is one of the reasons why I consider you a rational European leftist (in contrast, say, with Kappert who cannot even read accurately, let alone reason about issues).
5) This is a big subject, with both elements of agreement and disagreement between us. Two fundamental disagreements are: (a) identities do NOT get "invented" and (b) people will only integrate if they WANT to integrate. The second point suggests that large-scale group immigrations are 'bad' (for the recipient/host country), and that immigration should be 'planned' by the host country and not 'undergone'.
6) The "principle" is useless, if you are not willing to live by it, or enforce it. If you start from the presumption that we cannot enforce immigration laws, or that we have "limited possibilities to stop the immigration flow" then you are lost as a society. You have essentially conceded that you are not a sovereign country, but that you are at the mercy of others. The Chinese, the Japanese, etc... don't have that problem. The only reason why people are "storming the fences" in Europe is because they know that it 'pays', i.e. because the European body politic is not willing to enforce its own laws, and a big part of the body politic is actively engaged in undermining the law. The same applies to America.
7) I have no reason to doubt Fjordman's description of Professor Eriksen. He sounds like a 'typical' professor of "social anthropology". When I was still a fairly young man working in a developing country in the early 1970's, I started running into that sort of western 'experts'. It is then that my eyes started opening up to two characteristics of much of western 'social science academia': (a) perverse self-hatred and (b) the ability to justify/excuse just about 'anything' (i.e the inability to make moral judgments of others).
Submitted by kappert on Thu, 2008-12-11 17:52.
Just imagine 5 million in France, 4,5 million in Germany, 1,5 million in Holland, and more 5 million people in the rest of Europe 'persecuting' non-muslims. Marcfrans would be shattered by the lack of evidence!!!
Submitted by Frank Lee on Thu, 2008-12-11 03:16.
Correction: the multiculturalists will not bring us all down with them. They will bring the Europeans down with them. The American electorate is not nearly as passive. I simply ask that people leaving the sinking ship of Europe not relocate to America. We don't need any more fools here.
deconstruction # 2
Submitted by marcfrans on Wed, 2008-12-10 20:21.
1) I am not going to invite you to move to Morocco or Nigeria (you would not survive there with your worldview), but you should think this through better. At the same time, while discussions with dogmatics like for instance Monarchist and Wheeler are impossible, they are conceivable with a rational Western leftist like yourself. In the latter case it is often just a matter of clarifying the distinction between observable facts and beliefs/opinions.
2) How can you dispute the claim (not "fact") that being Muslim has nothing to do with it? The persecution of nonmuslims in virtually all muslim societies TODAY is an observable fact or reality. And we are talking here about real 'persecution', both in a direct-physical sense (from time to time) and in a legal sense (on a permanent basis). We are NOT simply talking about individual opinions and attitudes (like say in the context of typical 'discrimination' claims in the West).
3) Your comparison with European colonialism is deeply flawed. There was typically no large-scale emigration of 'ordinary' people from colonial centers in Europe to colonies in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The colonisation of the 'emptier' Americas (and Australia+NZ) by Europeans was of a different nature and, viewed from the perspective of maintaining the cultural values of the 'original' peoples, it surely was disastrous. I hasten to add, that I do not share that particular perspective (i.e. I do think that those 'native' values were pretty abysmal), but the point is that your comparison is flawed. And, certainly, there is no moral equivalence between spreading 'Islam' and spreading democratic ideals (of equality and of individual freedom).
4) If "protecting ethnic minorities" has become a "civilised value" in the West, it surely rests on a more fundamental 'Western' value, i.e. of respect for the rights of the individual. Sadly, in the current naive-left orthodoxy, the fundamental value gets more and more forgotten and is being replaced by the lesser derived value. In short, if 'muslims' need any special protection at all, it should not be because they are an "ethnic minority", but because they are human individuals. To put it very concretely, ideally the Belgian law should protect the individual rights of all its citizens, including of muslim citizens (whose individual rights are much more threathened by fellow muslims than by nonmuslims). By contrast, in fact the Belgian law and practice seems to undermine the basic rights of all in order to facilitate demands of 'separateness' and for special rules for some.
5) You misunderstand the American past. By the time of US independence, there was an established American culture. That culture has of course evolved further over time. But, for nearly another two centuries the American ethos was NOT one of "intermingling cultures" (in order to create a new culture), but rather one of assimilating (many different) newcomers and of turning them into 'Americans', i.e. of maintaining a common civic culture. The growing 'balkanisation' and the attempt to maintain 'old' (imported) cultures is a relatively new naive-lefty phenomenon, rooted in perverse selfhatred and valse victimisation theories.
6) It is also naive to think that, in Europe, the integration of Franks and Celts and Visigoths and Vandals, etc...occurred through some peaceful process. The historical reality was quite different and very painful. But, I know that we agree on the need for integration of newcomers. Where we probably differ is on the recognition that such integration is not always possible. And, as you know, I firmly believe in the moral right of selfdetermination, both for the individual and for any society. That surely means that immigration must be explicitly (and democratically) 'invited', not imposed from the outside.
7) I don't know whether any quote in the article was taken "out of context" or not, but I doubt very much that your belief in an "academic exercise" is correct. We do agree on the need to separate race/ethnicity from culture. But, I do think that the concept of "majority culture" is a very dangerous one. Societies can survive with different sub-cultures (concerning relatively unimportant matters like clothes and food), but they do need a common civic culture about essential matters (relating to moral values and to the law).
Submitted by peter vanderheyden on Thu, 2008-12-11 14:55.
2)Again, I don’t want to claim that Muslims are not persecuting nonmuslims. They are to a great extend. But
a) there exist regions were muslims live peacefully together with non-muslims like in Albania.
b) The persecution by the ethnicity in power against those not in power (regardless if they are a majority or not) is seen in a lot of other non-muslim instances.
3) There surely was a large-scale emigration from Europe to e.g. african countries. Algeria, Rhodesia, South Africa to name a few. They never succeeded in outnumbering the locals. And spreading Christianity across the newly conquered regions was done by “fire and sword”.
4) I agree on your point 4. Indeed some parts of the left still believe that protecting “separateness” is doing people a favor. I’m not one of them.
5) On the USA: What’s the difference? The identity “American” had to be invented first isn’t it? And that happened to intermingle and synthesize the different European cultures that were present on the continent. Once this group became large enough, it’s evident that elements of foreign cultures, brought in by newcomers had it increasingly difficult to become the predominant one. I totally agree that trying to preserve artificially “imported cultures” is stupid. But trying forcefully to make people abandon their culture is equally useless. People do integrate automatically if
a) you give them a chance to become a full member of society on basis of equality.
b) it’s their only way to live a decent life.
I guess the American society is more open for a) and hard enough for b). The fact that you are Japanese, Chinese, Muslim, catholic or Jew doesn’t jeopardize your chances in doing business and finding a job. Once your life becomes embedded into the local economy, cultural integration will come all by itself. Not integrating means poverty. The other way around: creating possibilities for people to function without having to step out of their own community is equally bad. What happens in Europe is the reverse circle from what happens in America. People of North African and Turkish descent have a bad name, (and statistically, there is a good reason for it) which causes discrimination against them, which on turn makes them retreat in their own culture fanatically. This is possible true the extensive European welfare system. This makes them increasingly hostile and disrespectful against the dominant culture, which makes them even more discriminated. The circle is round. We need to breach this circle on two places: By not allowing ghetto’s in which they can feel relatively safe, being on their own, and by actively trying to stop discrimination. Both very difficult I’m afraid.
So, yes I’m very much against letting Muslims slaughter ritually sheep if they that is in not in line with the way we feel animals should be treated. Equally violence against persons even within the family is inacceptable, also for Muslims.
What happens to black people in some regions in the states is very similar to what happens to Muslims in Europe: Same ghettos, same discrimination.
6) “That surely means that immigration must be explicitly (and democratically) 'invited', not imposed from the outside.”
As a principle I agree. And especially the way foreigners are marrying people from their original countries to claim family-reunion afterwards is inacceptable. But in this country it’s precisely the descendents of the “invited” people that causes the greatest troubles. Due to my activities in my hometown, I’m often confronted with the refugees and illegal’s living here. A big majority is doing the best they can to integrate. But the Belgian system is not really helpful. They are not allowed to work and forced to live on our welfare system. They are left years without certainty about their faith. No wonder you’ve got to spend hands full of money on medical and psychological aid.
Practically we must recognize our limited possibilities to stop the immigration flow. In Europe we experience more and more the sheer desperation of people trying to get in. With small boats on a rough see, children and women included, storming the fences around Ceuta, hanging on planes which means their sure death, paying (relatively for them) fortunes to criminals. Each year thousands of them are perishing in their attempt to get to Europe.
7) I’m not going to discuss this any further. Probably I Misunderstand “deconstruction of the majority culture”. Although I still don’t understand how on earth a professor or politics can actively alter the majority culture.
Submitted by Kapitein Andre on Wed, 2008-12-10 20:03.
I. Disagreement on the propensity of Muslim majorities to persecute non-Muslim minorities is one matter. Referencing colonialism, the Roma and Jews is quite another. Are you claiming that Europe as a whole must "pay" for past transgressions against non-European peoples? And if so, should Norwegians not be under the heel of Britons - not Somalis, Iraqis and Iranians? Why is Norway responsible for the British, Italian and French colonial empires? Must Poland accept the dregs of Bogota or Mexico City because of Spanish conquests? Is Norway permitted to "return the favor" some decades or a century from now?
II. Civilized values are useless without survival and continuity. The Seym's liberum veto was theoretically noteworthy, but prevented concerted action against Poland's enemies.
III. American culture is mainly Anglo-European. Nor have Hispanic numbers translated into an equal share of cultural weighting. It is incredulous that you conflate miscegenation with cultural integration; and for the record, 1/3 of White Americans has less than 90% European genetic ancestry. African-Americans tend to have on average 30% European genes.
IV. The clash between Germanic, Celtic and Romantic cultures after Rome's fall continues to be felt today. Indeed, the fault lines cut across Belgium, eastern France and Switzerland. The Franks were culturally assimilated by the Gallo-Romans, the Visigoths made a superficial mark in Iberia before their defeat by the Moors, and the Vandals and Ostrogoths were similarly neutralized.
V. The New Left claims that multiculturalism is liberalism's (as if) solution to ethnic/cultural/racial inequality. The Left's solution is "deconstruction", which is reminiscent of Marxist-Leninist policies. It has little to do with an intellectual or academic "exercise".
Submitted by peter vanderheyden on Thu, 2008-12-11 10:42.
I) I’m afraid you misunderstood me, (or I did express badly). I’m rather a forgiving person. “Paying for” especially if it is already some time ago sounds not very constructive to me. What I mend is that persecution of minorities is something that has been done by a lot of cultures, regardless their religion.
II) Civilized values are precisely conceived to assure survival and continuity. The Idea is that by respecting the other, the other might respect us; a kind of win-win by which we assure continuity for both of us. This doesn’t mean that there are no other possible strategies for survival (like liberum veto), nor that those civilized values are a guarantee for survival.
III) Thank you for the figures, and indeed my remark about “miscegenation” (I couldn’t coin the term anymore.) are on the wrong place in a discussion about cultural integration.
IV) I think this is a wrong perception about what life was after Rome’s fall. Intermingling of cultures was rather the rule then the exception. People often spoke several languages. In the Artois region one had Frank (and thus Germanic) villages and Latin villages and towns intermingled for centuries. An example is also the mix of Slavic and German towns and neighborhoods before WWI and WWII. There was no such thing as a language frontier. That is only a very recent invention; invented together with the “nation-state”. It is true that within a region at the end a certain consensus emerges, around language and religion, mostly based on purely economic principles. This was often overturned by yet another invasion of yet an other culture.
V) I’m afraid I’ve lost you here. That has probably to do with my limited knowledge of “deconstruction”. I thought he mend to “deconstruct” the idea of “homogeneous culture”. To show that there is no such thing. Seems purely academic to me.
The West has a death wish
Submitted by Arius on Wed, 2008-12-10 19:51.
How can the ignorance of Islam in the West be explained? It only takes a weekend of reading the history of the dhimmitude and slaughter of Jews, Christians, and Hindus and their culture to know what Islam will do in Europe when it gets to critical mass. The purpose of the emerging alliance between the Left, Islamists, and Fascists is to promote the cleansing of Jewish and Christian identity in Europe to prepare the way for the conversion of Europe to Islam.
The suggestion by Paganini to Peter to move to a Muslim country is apt; it might open his blinded eyes. We Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Copts, Nestorians, Hindus, and Sikhs have centuries of experience with Islam and know what it does. But multiculturalists won’t listen to us. They are locked inside the death grip of ignorance and self hatred and will take us all down with them.
Submitted by achille on Sun, 2008-12-14 18:47.
The ignorance of Islam in the West is only part of the HUGE ignorance of History,and particularly,WESTERN history,by western europeans.
Ignorance,the "tabula rasa" policy, is a tool for multiculturalists and leftists since years and centuries to build the "new multicultural world".HISTORY and CULTURE are their worst enemies!
Van der Vayden ignorance about christianity seems stunning and his "knowledge" reduced to mediatic clichés(some seem to learn history watching TV)when he says that christianity has been spread in conquered "countries" by "fire and sword".
Many christian missionaries were and are true unknown heroes living alone with populations,trying to help them with education,craft industry,farming,learning their language and making dictionaries....many died by diseases and many were murdered...And this happened in Asia,Africa,America(south and north).I could quote by memory François Xavier(a fellow of Ignacio de Loyola the Jesuits'founder),Isaac Jogue(tortured in Canada),Kim(crucified in Corea),Mateo Ricci a jesuit erudite who was an Emperor's adviser(in China)....
PS.: Please VanderWayden try to have a clue on specific points instead of making rough general statements in order to repeat a priori assumptions .
BTW i have no problem with sword when it is used for spreading civilization and fighting tyrany and barbaria....
Submitted by peter vanderheyden on Wed, 2008-12-10 14:39.
"Given the fact that ethnic groups who become minorities in their own lands usually have a hard time, and always get persecuted when the newcomers are Muslims"
1) I firmly dispute the fact that "being Muslim" would have anything to do with it. As colonialist's often in history, we did pretty much the same thing. In recent history, the fate of Turkish minorities on the Balkan and gipsies and Jews in all of Europe show that we were not much better. Since then western society has apparently adopted “protecting ethnic minorities” as a civilized value. But that’s a PC-thing. Hardly an attitude advocated on this website.
2) It doesn’t have to be that way. Often in history, we could see that out of two different intermingling cultures emerges a new culture. The USA is a good example. (Each white person in the states has on average of 18% to 20% of black genes.) in Europe, Franks and Celts, Hispanic people and Visigoths, Vandals and Ostrogoths proved that peaceful integration was and is possible. On the other hand Irish, Berber, and Jewish examples show us that in some cases integration is not happening at all. This sometimes results in frictions and violence. We should study what elements encourage integration, and what elements discourage them, and make sure we use that knowledge to integrate the incoming flux of immigrants.
“deconstruct the majority [population] so thoroughly that it can never be called the majority again”
My Norwegian is non-existent. But by reading the trough translation programs translated text; I’ve the impression that the above quote is deliberately taken out of context. As I understand it, it is a white spot in “research”, and it is mend as showing there is no such thing as a monolith majority culture. The term between brackets shouldn’t read “population” but rather “culture”. What is absolutely sure is that he didn’t meant “deconstruct” as a real action upon society, but rather an academic exercise performed upon a concept.
deconstruct a bit with them
Submitted by Paganini on Wed, 2008-12-10 16:00.
"What is absolutely sure is that he didn’t meant “deconstruct” as a real action upon society, but rather an academic exercise performed upon a concept" Do you really believe this ridiculous nonsense yourself ?
you feel caught because this guy openly speaks about the real agenda of leftism and multiculturalism, that's your problem, not ours
peter, please baby, take a plain and move to Nigeria or Marocco or something, there you have your non-white non-christian society (with a lot of gays) and all the 'pleasures' and 'advantages' of it, just go over there and integrate !
Or even better, just go and DECONSTRUCT a bit over there !!!
Why isn't this sorry piece
Submitted by Emigrantus on Wed, 2008-12-10 12:29.
Why isn't this sorry piece of shit challenged to put his money where his mouth is and let him move out of his 'boring white neighbourhood'? Preferably into some nice, swanky multicultural place like Sudan, Lebanon or the Balkans.
Submitted by Paganini on Wed, 2008-12-10 10:34.
I don't understand why Eriksen isn't threatenend or menaced, and people like geert wilders (who defend us) are. I don't understand that: this guy is a dangerous lunatic and he should feel the repercussions of his behavior.