Immigration does and must work for Finland

by , under All categories, Enrique

Some of the bloggers who visit this site believe that multiculturalism in a demographic sense is a failed project. Just because immigration has been a part of humanity since the dawn of time, some insist that a country with lots of immigrants become  failed states. As examples they use countries such as the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and others to drive home their argument.

It would be important to point out that while the former Yugoslavia ended up in ethnic civil war, the outlandish conflict was not brought on by immigrants that moved their. The civil war was created by the inhabitants of that country.

Moreover, if one wants to look at how people can be taught to function successfully  in a new society, one has only to look at North and South America, Even though everyone knows about countries such as Canada and the United States, we hear very little about nations such as Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

Even though Argentina has had a violent history, the immigrants that moved there in the early twentieth century comprised as much as 49.4% of the population of Buenos Aires. In Uruguay, there were also high number of immigrants in relation to the total population. Brazil also promoted European immigration to help “whiten” the population from the high amount of blacks.

Even though Uruguay had a high number of immigrants, which totalled about 30% of the population by 1900, the country became one of the first welfare states in the world in the 1910s. It even adopted a secular constitution in 1919.

How is it possible that a country like Uruguay with such a high amount of immigrants could have built one of the most successful societies in the world in the beginning of the last century?

Immigration was also a driving force in Argentina that transformed the country. However, the failure of the country to become a successful nation in the same league as Canada and Australia is not due to immigration but the political and economic system.

And then there is Brazil, the giant of Latin America. Brazil also attracted large flows of immigrants in the end of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. If one looks at the country, it is a mosaic of people from different ethnic and cultural background. Even so, Brazil never suffered civil wars nor ruinous political infighting that characterized many newly independent Spanish-American countries.

Yes, there are many examples of countries that have succeeded in turning immigration into a force of progress.

Those countries that do not understand the strengths and richness of diversity will be doomed to geriatric wards and economic hardships too painful to describe in words.

  1. Tiwaz

    Well, guess I should start shooting this down again…

    -“It would be important to point out that while the former Yugoslavia ended up in ethnic civil war, the outlandish conflict was not brought on by immigrants that moved their. The civil war was created by the inhabitants of that country.”

    Yugoslavia ended up in civil war because it tried to be MULTICULTURAL. Handful of culturally and ethnically different groups squeezed inside same borders.

    It is irrelevant if the multiculturalism is imposed with imported foreigners or through attempt to put several native culturally different groups together. Result is multiculturalism and conflict.

    -“Moreover, if one wants to look at how people can be taught to function successfully in a new society, one has only to look at North and South America, Even though everyone knows about countries such as Canada and the United States, we hear very little about nations such as Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.”

    We should notice in North America that during the successful phase of their history, they were culturally very similar. Canada had for a long time mainly European immigrants, who were culturally very similar.

    But when they started to import people of totally different cultures, problems started.

    Same for USA. They imported people of different cultures, yes. But they never held them up as equals. For this you may wish to refer to treatment of Chinese when they first arrived.

    When USA started to go “properly” multicultural, it also started to go straight to hell.

    Regarding Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina. Again you make very simplistic case.

    Argentina, for example, was never about multiculturalism, but adjusting to local conditions. As proven by post in this very blog…

    Children of Finnish immigrants were told NOT to speak Finnish. Not to do anything “Finnish”. And their parents obliged, in this blog having said “I do not know what is right anymore”. Namely, there was no multiculturalism. Immigrant had to adjust to existing conditions of Argentina.

    Furthermore, we must look at what KIND of immigrants Brazil etc received. Were these welfare bums who wanted things to be done their way or people who were prepared to adjust to conditions they moved into and work hard to prosper?

    Because reality is, that today people who whine about multiculturalism are those bums. They do not want to work hard, go through trouble to adjust. They just want everything to be handed to them without need to do anything.

    If we take immigration to be ore as an analogy, we have first group who are the desired metal, say iron. Then, we have this second group who are slag.

    Problem of multiculturalism is that it promotes the interests of slag, the group which is useless to society.

    But this is understandable, because the valuable part of immigrants, those who ARE worth to society, do not need or often even want multiculturalism. They are often content, adjusted, integrated and working hard. And if not, they just move to next country where their own preferred cultural norms are closer to one which is native to that land.

  2. DeTant Blomhat

    Problem is you are comparing apples with oranges. All the countries you mentioned were “empty” and needed immigration as in population growth to boost their economy.

    Finland isn’t a country with an frontier wilderness to conquest and the natives aren’t some nomads living in tents. So compare with something comparable.

    Finland has no need for unskilled workers as there is no work – 600 000 + unemployeds – theres a need for specialists into certain jobs (like doctors) but not some unskilled immigrant labor pool. And then if you have work you read the empolyers being sued in court for breaching the labor laws paying immigrants less. So the “need” is for cheap exploitable slave labor.

    Compare with Sweden if you want to. They had a similar boost in the 1960’s when immigration boosted their industrial growth. Sweden in those days had a strong integration model. Things changed and look at “multicultural” Sweden today. And you call that a success?

    • Enrique

      –Problem is you are comparing apples with oranges. All the countries you mentioned were “empty” and needed immigration as in population growth to boost their economy.

      A good question, DeTant, however, my point was to show that immigration is and can be a power force of progress in a country. Even though Finland – as you mention – needs qualified labor, I would not steer away too much from economic reality. Are we keeping out others in order to defend an employment system that will eat away itself by becoming more expensive? I think these are some hard questions that one must make when looking at the future of Finland. How much can we afford and what must we change. Here too immigrants are offering an opportunity. I do not mean an opportunity to undermine the rights got by Finnish employees but to look at different alternatives. The same arguments, if you think of it, were used by EU critics in the 1990s to defend high food prices at the market. In the end, and if you believe so much in conservatism, isn´t competition important? Greater competition and EU membership from 1995 saved Finland from becoming a closed ineffective economy.

  3. DeTant Blomhat

    Basically that would then mean scrapping teh Nordic “welfare state” system. Which then again might not be such a bad idea – if ytou look at Estonia how they deal with welfare and immigration… don’t have too many immigrants there as they don’t pay “disco money”.

    BTW I stated 600 000 people unemployed – say “without work” – the official “jobseeker looking for work” figure is 300 000, but as we know how anyone on a course or some other fix doesn’t show up the available labor force is probably the 600 000 easily.

    Finland needs jobs – but as all the industry is escaping to cheaper countries we don’t have jobs here for unskilled labour so much – only certain professions and professionals and as you can read now in the newspapers about say the Thais who eat vegetables thrown into the forest for deer feed we are starting to explouit slave labor. I don’t know if this is a normal thing to you to have this kind of society but I find it disturbing.

  4. Mateus

    “Furthermore, we must look at what KIND of immigrants Brazil etc received. Were these welfare bums who wanted things to be done their way or people who were prepared to adjust to conditions they moved into and work hard to prosper?”

    That’s right, Tiwaz. Immigrants in Brazil were extraordinarily diligent and determined to provide their children with a better life than they had.

    The first thing they did was, obviously, to learn the local language, and subsequently to embrace the new culture, but, most importantly, without forgetting their own.

    Newcomers in Brazil DID adapt to the local culture because they felt welcome here. They knew right from the beginning that this would be their new home, for the rest of their lives.

    We have already come to the conclusion that foreigners fail to adapt to Finnish culture. But why?

    Perhaps because they see Finland merely as a place where they can make good money, and as soon as they have saved up enough they will move back to their homelands. If that were the case, whose fault would it be?

    • Enrique

      Hi Mateus, thank you for you interesting comment on Brazil. I think what you say is quite true. People found a home in Brazil, a country that would accept them.
      By the way, I noticed that in Brazil you still classify people by ethnicity: white, mulatto, black and “amarhello,” which I guess mean Amerindian. Are there any interesting social issues between the black community and whites?
      I know by your history, that Brazil never had the political problems/violence when it became an empire in 1822. In Spanish-speaking Latin America the road to independence was sudden, violent and quick. Has the Brazilian attitude on racial relations been the same?

  5. Tiwaz

    -“Perhaps because they see Finland merely as a place where they can make good money, and as soon as they have saved up enough they will move back to their homelands. If that were the case, whose fault would it be?”

    Nobodys. But if they expect to make that big money without adjusting, it is THEIR fault.

    Finns do not need unskilled temporary labor. Thai berry pickers might succeed, but they cannot live for more than couple months in Finland. And even then, as pointed out, they might end up scavenging food thrown out.

    Every immigrant has to accept that there just are no jobs for “no speak”-immigrants outside few small niches.

    No job, no money.

  6. Mateus

    Enrique, that’s right. We classify our people by ethnicity. The different ethnic groups are the following:

    a. Whites: almost 50%
    b. Indigenous: 0,4%
    c. Blacks: 6,3%
    d. Pardos (whites + blacks + indigenous): 43% (in statistics, these are considered to be black)
    e. Amarelos (asians): 0,5%

    Of course these are rough numbers…
    How are people classified in Finland and in Europe?

    Apart from the huge social differences, there are no major issues between whites and the black community.

    An interesting fact is that there are quotas for blacks and indigenous in universities and public contests. This “special” treatment that they get has generated much controversy as to whether it is going to spark even more racism or not.

    Concerning your last question, my apologies. I don’t really understand the link you make between independence and racial relations. What do you mean?

    • Enrique

      Hi Mateus, thank you for your comment. Has there been any debate in Brazil over people being classified in this manner. Do you think it is a good things. All of them are Brazilian anyway. Why do you think the government does this. I suspect that the same thing has been/is done in the United States. Even though this type of information is interesting to read, what purpose does it play?
      Sorry about my comment that you did not understand. What I wanted to ask is even if Brazil has had a much laid-back experience with independence and, subsequently when it was an empire (1822-1889) and then a republic (1889-), where there ever strong racial tension in Brazil? Does it vary if you are from the northeast of from Rio Grande do Sul? What about the indigenous Brazilians. What place do they play in the Brazilian social totem pole?

  7. hannu

    “Has there been any debate in Brazil over people being classified in this manner. Do you think it is a good things. All of them are Brazilian anyway.”

    And here you are yelling that finland should classify people like that too and telling us who do not want any classifyings are racist nazis from moon…
    And you are in first line on classify ones like Lola… Do i see something odd in here?

    • Enrique

      –Do i see something odd in here?

      Yes, Hannu, I do. You are putting words in my mouth. That is what I see odd.

  8. Mateus

    Enrique, as far as I know there has been no debate. People are classified this way in Brazil simply for the sake of census. Actually, if you ask Brazilians which ethnic group they belong to, most of them won’t even know the answer for such a question due to miscigenation (“What do you mean ethnic group?? I am Brazilian!”)

    And since there are neither racial tensions nor ethnical conflicts I don’t think it is something bad. My opinion is quite the opposite, actually. This sort of distinction between different groups helps us to understand who we are. By knowing who we are we can strengthen the cultural aspects of our society, and as you can well imagine, culture is one of the most important factors if we are to become a developed nation.

    Fortunately, there have never been racial tensions in Brazil. What does exist is a huge gap between the whites and the other ethnic groups. Also, the social and economic indicators of the south are much better than the ones of the north. Presumably, the majority of the white population is concentrated in the southern regions of the country. Such inequality stems from a succession of facts:

    1. Slavery sparked racism.
    2. Racism led the ‘non-white’ groups to poverty.
    3. Racism saw its end (recently).
    4. Poverty didn’t see its end.
    5. Poverty creates “the chains of ignorance” (that’s what I like to call it).
    6. The chains of ignorance create a certain mindset among the poor that stops them from pursuing a better life (e.g.: unwillingness to study).

    To sum up, if you are born in a poor family your chances of keeping on being poor are very high, no matter what the colour of your skin is. Since most of the ‘non-white’ people are poor, their children are more likely to be poor than the children of whites. That’s why there are many poor white families too.

    Through a more general point of view, we are all given the same opportunities. It’s all about getting rid of the chains of ignorance.

    The solution? E-D-U-C-A-T-I-O-N.

    That’s why Monteiro Lobato, a brilliant Brazilian writer, so wisely said: “A country is made of men and books”.

    • Enrique

      Hi Mateus, thank you for giving us insight on Brazil, one of the countries in the world that has been recently formed by immigrants and black slaves that got their emancipation in 1889.
      The role of education for all really works in this part of the world. I think it is a key factor that has promoted social equality in Finland and which has undermined it in countries such as Argentina. Even though Argentina had one of the best public school systems in Latin America, sending a child to such an institution today would be granting him/her a deficient education. This means that in order for a child to get a “good” education he/she must be sent to a private school. Is this the case in Brazil?
      One of the things that I admire about Brazilian history is that it was not as violent as with Spanish-speaking America. Pedro I declared independence without bloodshed in 1822 and when Brazil became a republic in 1889 it happened peacefully. How do you explain this in comparison to the violent history that Spanish-speaking American countries continue to face?
      A agree totally with you about what Lobato said. However, education has been on the losing end in Latin America for quite a long while.

  9. hannu

    “Yes, Hannu, I do. You are putting words in my mouth. That is what I see odd.”

    No i dont, all is what you have said.
    You want to see different people and live with understanding those. You feel good when you can understand dont you?
    I see finns and wont tolerate anything even if their faces look bit different.

  10. Mateus

    -The role of education for all really works in this part of the world. I think it is a key factor that has promoted social equality in Finland […]

    Spot on! And this was the reason that brought me to Migrant Tales. I was writing an academic essay on the role of education in the social well-being (a comparison between Brazil and Finland).

    -This means that in order for a child to get a “good” education he/she must be sent to a private school. Is this the case in Brazil?

    No. Not at all. I, myself, studied in a public school, and so did my older brother.

    Basic education in Brazil is far from being good, regardless of the type of institution. But personally I believe that the problem is much more cultural. The system itself is not too bad.

    Public universities are an exception, however. Because they don’t charge any fees the competition in the entrance exams are extremely high, and therefore the level of students is unsually high too.

    The indepence of Brazil is a very convoluted story, but it was peaceful mainly because:

    1. It was declared by a member of the Portuguese Royal family;
    2. Brazil received help from England in dilpomatic matters;
    3. The rights and interests of the Portuguese people living in Brazil were kept, and so they soon got used to the new situation;
    4. And, most importantly, we paid for it.

    Interestingly, Brazil has one of the most peaceful histories but also has the one of the highest criminal rates nowadays…

    Honestly, I’m really flattered that you know so much about Brazil!

    • Enrique

      Hi Mateus, I’ve been giving a series of lectures at the university on South American history. Last Tuesday we looked at the rise and fall of the Brazilian Empire. Many of the immigrants that came to South America brought the ideas of Proudhon, Bakunin 🙂 and Marx. August Comte also played an important role. I think the “ordem e progresso” was inspired by him.
      It is interesting and a good matter that the public school system in Brazil is good. In Argentina it has pretty much fallen to pieces. The University of Buenos Aires, however, still has a good reputation. Behind my desk I have my grandfather’s diploma, when he graduated in 1929 as an architect. It was given in May, seven months before the stock market crash of October 1929. He was born in Nova Friburgo but migrated to Argentina with my great grandparents when he was a baby.

  11. Mateus

    August Comte did write “L’amour pour principe et l’ordre pour base; le progrès pour but.”

    “Love as principle and order as the basis; Progress as the goal”

    However, it is interesting to notice that in Brazil “love” was left off. Brazilians don’t love this country.

    So your grandfather was born in Rio de Janeiro? Unbelievable! Do you know why they migrated to Argetina?

    (If I may ask, what University is that?)

    • Enrique

      Hi Mateus, thank you for expanding on that important motto. There was a yellow-fever epidemic. One of his brothers died and they decided to move to Argentina.
      Turku University.
      By the way, do you think that Brazil has the opportunity to improve the standard of living of those that live below the poverty level now that there is a lot of oil and gas in offshore Santos Basin?

  12. Jonas

    “Yugoslavia ended up in civil war because it tried to be MULTICULTURAL. Handful of culturally and ethnically different groups squeezed inside same borders.”

    Utter nonsense. A complete misunderstanding of history. Please look at the state of play in the lands that formed Yugoslavia before they did so and you will find they were extremely ethnically mixed (as they were during Yugoslavia’s existence). The Ottoman and Habsburg empires were massively ethnically diverse and a like a patchwork quilt, peoples of different language groups and religions literally lived next door to one and other. What caused the wars was the import of the western intellectual concept of nationalism (on top of that, earlier the western great powers in the Congress of Berlin had actually artificially divided the Balkans into small states in order to keep them weak and maintain their own balance of power). Suddenly people started to think of themselves as being different because they spoke a difference language or they had a different religion. Yet, in the beginning of Yugoslavia, there was still a strong pan-Slavic movement. Only later did nationalism really begin to be exploited by the political classes (the Milosevics of this world) who used it to whip up popular opinion behind them, to do this they primarily blamed the other ‘nationalities’ or constituent Yugoslav states for the troubles of the people of their own. This was simply a way to maintain power. It’s much easier to command popular support in conflict situations when everyone who does not support you can be easily portrayed as traitors.

    • Enrique

      Hi Jonas, very well put about Yugoslavia. A lot of people do not know it but the Ottaman Empire had an ethnically diverse society that lived peacefully. Of course we must not forget what happened to the Armenians….

  13. Mateus

    Enrique, to be honest with you I have always believed that poverty in Brazil is caused by cultural, historical and demographic factors, and definitely not by lack of resources.

    I do think that the newly-found oil reserves will help to lift thousands of families above the poverty line. However, in my opinion this will happen because of the symbolic importance of the pre-salt fields, and not directly because of the profits from the exploitation of the oil.

    We should all bear in mind that extracting oil and gas from the Santos Basin is a long-term project, hence we won’t see any profits in the near future. However, the reserves will certainly be used as a bait in Dilma Rousseff’s (nationalistic) presidential campaign.

    But I believe that our good economic prospects (and the foreign investments that they bring) will be a sort of injection of morale, and we will hopefully see improvements.

    • Enrique

      Mateus, just a rapid question: Does “amerelo” mean “Oriental” or does it imply “aboriginal?”

  14. Tiwaz

    -“Utter nonsense. A complete misunderstanding of history.”

    Actually spot on. You just do not grasp the difference of society where multiple cultures exist under control of one and multicultural society which Enrique is advertising for.

    -“Please look at the state of play in the lands that formed Yugoslavia before they did so and you will find they were extremely ethnically mixed (as they were during Yugoslavia’s existence).”

    And look where it got them. Hmm? How “ethnically mixed” they are today after this “mixing” sparked their little war?

    If it was so perfectly functional system, why it fell down like house of cards which it was?

    -“The Ottoman and Habsburg empires were massively ethnically diverse and a like a patchwork quilt, peoples of different language groups and religions literally lived next door to one and other.”

    AND DID THEY EVER STATE THAT EVERY CULTURE IS AS GOOD AS EVERY OTHER AND HAS EQUAL RIGHTS?

    Fuck no! Ottomans held ottoman culture above all else. Rest of people were permitted to live their life, but they were not permitted to act against Ottoman system.

    If they were so culturally sensitive, how you explain the enforcers of Ottoman empire, the famous Janissary corps formed from children taken from Christian families to be raised as Muslim slave soldiers?

    -“What caused the wars was the import of the western intellectual concept of nationalism (on top of that, earlier the western great powers in the Congress of Berlin had actually artificially divided the Balkans into small states in order to keep them weak and maintain their own balance of power).”

    Ah, you are one of those humanists who refuse reality. Nationalism is not new invention. People have ALWAYS had nationalism in their hearts. Tribalism, nationalism. Same thing. Those who are like me and those who are not like me. It is something that is essential to human psyche.

    In case you have never bothered to read history, Balkans have been fractured through their whole existence. Only times they have resembled something solid is when someone comes over and conquers the whole lot.

    -“Suddenly people started to think of themselves as being different because they spoke a difference language or they had a different religion.”

    Oh gosh… So they started to think themselves different because they WERE different? I wonder how that is possible…

    -“Yet, in the beginning of Yugoslavia, there was still a strong pan-Slavic movement. Only later did nationalism really begin to be exploited by the political classes (the Milosevics of this world) who used it to whip up popular opinion behind them, to do this they primarily blamed the other ‘nationalities’ or constituent Yugoslav states for the troubles of the people of their own. This was simply a way to maintain power. It’s much easier to command popular support in conflict situations when everyone who does not support you can be easily portrayed as traitors.”

    You are of course ignoring all the ethnic tensions of prior years.

    Like during WW2 how Croats and Bosniaks were quite eager to get a chance to kill Serbs.

    And how Tito forcefully repressed any signs of national feeling in Yugoslavia. I guess this is the “enlightened” multiculturalism here. Any oppression is acceptable if you are multiculturalist.

    You clearly also have no knowledge of “Croatian spring” which was another prime example of Yugoslavian ethnic tensions, far before Milosevic was anywhere near power.

    Yes, history of Yugoslavia is shining example of success of multiculturalism. It proves that multicultural societies only exist if there is someone with iron fist forcing the groups to get along.

    For someone who tries to claim others to have no knowledge of history, you Jonas have no fucking clue of it.

    -“Hi Jonas, very well put about Yugoslavia. A lot of people do not know it but the Ottaman Empire had an ethnically diverse society that lived peacefully. Of course we must not forget what happened to the Armenians….”

    Yes, you lived peacefully as long as you accepted supremacy of Ottomans in all fields. What happened to “sharing public space” and “having a voice”?

  15. Mateus

    Tiwaz, are you an economist? You argue exactly like one…

    Instead of bringing in your own arguments and solid information you only look for falacies and flaws in other people’s arguments, avoiding the topic. Your objective always seems to be to merely knock down people’s opinions, but without stating real facts.

    So instead of saying that someone has “no fucking clue” of history, why don’t you behave like a civilised person (from a monocultural society) and share your knowledge of history with us?

    I’d appreciate that…

  16. DeTant Blomhat

    Ah, I think it must be slightly to be attributed to the history “written by winners” as in “USSR truths” and “Hollywood history”.

    Wasn’t basically Brazilian “independence” due to Napoleon & his war in Spain? The Portugese royal family escaped to Brazil, and after it got the status of a “kingdom” – when they returned the king’s son being left as a viceroy told daddy to go shove the colonial status up his arse?

  17. DeTant Blomhat

    BTW Mateus, you should try to find this book:

    Tapio Hiisivaara: Myrkkynuolia, kahvia, banaaneja WSOY 1945

    “In 1945 appeared the travel book MYRKKYNUOLIA, KAHVIA, BANAANEJA, which depicted Hiisivaara’s early journey from Montevideo to Rio de Janeiro and his experiences in odd jobs, among others as a vacqueiro, a cowboy, in Brazil. The journey took over a year. During it Hiisivaara used all kinds of vehicles from canoe and raft to train, and he also walked long distances. He spoke some Spanish and after five moths he read Portuguese novels. “At a young age one learns quickly,” Hiisivaara wrote – he was about 23.”

  18. Mateus

    Detant, exaclty. But, I’d like to make a few comments:

    The royal family did flee to Brazil and so the Government of Portugal was officially transferred to Brazil (called in history the ‘metropolitan inversion’ and so we got the status of metropolis, and not of kingdom.

    And the royal family did not escape to Brazil because of the Napoleonic war in Spain but because Napoleon himself was invading Portugal which did not obey the Continental System and the British Blockade (decrees through which Napoleon expected to stop european countries from trading with the Britons).

    However, this does not justify the peacefulness of the independence process. The Portuguese Government was divided into 3 main factions, which had conflicting interests concerning Brazil. So, actually, the wish of the Prince to stay in Brazil (known as the ‘Dia do Fico’, the day when D. Pedro defied the orders of Portugal, saying that he would not leave Brazil) sparked a lot of political conflicts which culminated in the independence.

    Of course blood was shed, but the insurgents were quickly supressed with a big dosis of military help from Britain. The economic relationship with Brazil was in the top of the British agenda, and so they sponsored our independence in order to be able to keep doing business with us.

    And thank you very much for the suggestion of this book. I will definitely look for it!

  19. Tiwaz

    -“Instead of bringing in your own arguments and solid information you only look for falacies and flaws in other people’s arguments, avoiding the topic. Your objective always seems to be to merely knock down people’s opinions, but without stating real facts.”

    I have posted solid information in past, and have had certain people ignore it. So I do not bother anymore.

    Furthermore, if their “arguments” are load of shit I expose it for what it is. If you want more proof of history of Balkans, go find a history book.

    Whole place has been fractured for it’s entire existence. Ethnic groups have always been at odds.

    -“So instead of saying that someone has “no fucking clue” of history, why don’t you behave like a civilised person (from a monocultural society) and share your knowledge of history with us?”

    I did. I pointed out to example of Croatian spring, event in history of Yugoslavia during which Croatian protests in seventies made Tito appease them (Tito was born in Croatia by the way) by trying to dismember Serb influence in Yugoslavia. Which in turn caused lots of resentment from Serbs.

    Along with causing Albanians in Kosovo, which was now separated from Serbia, to demand more independent position as constituent of Yugoslavia.

    Prior to Tito rising to power, during WW2 different ethnic groups in Yugoslavia were eagerly fighting one another. Croatian Ustaše group aligned with Germans and Italians and started to commit genocide on Serbs. They were joined by Bosnians movements and responded in kind by Serbs.

    This in turn was preceded by formation of autonomous area of Croatia by same ultranationalist group in thirties. Clearly this attitude of wanting their own land with their own cultural ways has not been something new for Yugoslavia.

    In fact, if we look at fall of Yugoslavia, we see that Serbs had far less to do it. It was Croatia and Slovenia declaring independence which was final straw. Another minor historical detail which Jonas failed to notice in his multicultural fervor.

    Whole history of Yugoslavia is prime example of why multiculturalism fails. People from completely different cultural outlooks cannot coexist harmoniously unless someone forfeits their own conflicting cultural principles. If this isnot done. Result is conflict.

    Same is true for Ottomans. Ottoman empire existed as long as Ottomans held power to keep conquered territories under their rule.

    And unlike many people want to make people believe, Ottomans DID hold their own way above that of all others.

    While there were three different court systems in Ottoman empire, it was Islamic court which held supremacy.
    Same way, despite not usually using this power, Ottoman governors had full power to interfere in local legal system.

    Again, as it failed to address the different needs and principles of cultures and ethnic groups forming it… Ottoman empire ultimately failed.

    In short, Jonas is talking utter bullshit. His shining examples of multiculturalism were defeated by the failure of multiculturalism. Not to mention that specially in case of Yugoslavia, they were coming off their seams all through their history. Barely held together with force of arms.

  20. Jonas

    Tiwaz, please go away and read some history of the Balkans under the Habsburgs and the Ottomans and then come back and tell me that the peoples of the former Yugoslavia all lived in nice distinct national groupings that were only forcibly mixed together later. I really don’t wish to be rude, but you really do not know what you are talking about in this case and are just repeating popular misconceptions of the war propagated by a lazy, ignorant western media (journalists are not historians).

  21. Tiwaz

    Really?

    So when they lived in peace they were under occupation of Hapsburgs or Ottomans? Shock and horror! It is PRECISELY what I told you.

    If there was no outside force forcing them to live together, like today western peacekeepers, all those Balkan groups were eager to jump at each others throats. As proven by HISTORY.

    Look at those points in history when Yugoslavia has not been occupied by foreign forces. Immediately you see sharp rise in ethnic tensions and violence.

    You should actually read a proper history book Jonas, not some fairytale some multiculturalist has wanted to pretend to be true.

    Can you deny any of my examples? No.

    You say Milosevic was to blame for rise of nationalist feeling. I have proven that nationalist feeling is older than Yugoslavia! And that Serbs were not quite clearcut “bad guys” as your piece of propaganda claims. It was action of Croatian groups which started the escalation. And prior to this, Bosnian and Croatian groups have proven track record of attempted genocides.

    Does this make Serbs innocent? Far from it! But it proves that Yugoslavia is failure as idea. It tries to force groups to live together who do not want to live together.

  22. Martin

    Well, I believe in the case of Uruguay, you have to look at several causes for the integration.

    Objective conditions:

    -Economic growth at the time, and the need for labour for the economy to growth.
    -Public and Universal Education
    -Democratic system and the rule of law.

    Subjective conditions:

    -Some similarity between the immigrants, the groups were not racially very diverse (Italians, Spanish, worst case from some European country). Remember, blacks and the few remaining Indians were and still are discriminated in a subtle way. (We never banned black people from public transport like in the US at the time)

    Considerations for today’s reality: Today the very integration of a society, even without immigrants is in question, due the changes in the economic systems and communications. Some groups that adapt well to the new system, concentrate wealth, other gets relegated. The collapse of the industrial order and the factory has a role to play in this.
    Still this effect is reduced by the social democracies in Europe, but the tendency is there I believe.
    Emigration nowadays is not the one way experience as it used to be, it is easy to keep in contact with the relatives and family via Skype or similar means, and air travel is affordable. This reduces the cost of not integrating.
    Globalization makes lot of things available in more places, the change in the way of life can not be as much in the past when moving countries, but more of a economic equation regarding the salaries.
    If conditions change immigrants leave or go back to their countries.

    I also believe it is hard for cultures with a very provincial mentality to accept different people and this creates a tension.
    It is interesting also how in developed countries the issue is separated from other issues like the policies imposed on the 3rd world countries, the colonial past, or the presence of Multinationals in the emigrants native countries.
    Overall i think is used as a smoke curtain to move the debate away of the real issues that will affect them. The so called convergence of living standards that the capitalistic system produces when relocates industries around the world. (Creates a global unequal society, 3rd world countries raise their standard a little, 1st world standard reduces its standard a lot!).

    I think it is a little bit extreme to pull for integration as a policy, integration happens naturally. It may not happen in a generation or two, true. And in fact several groups have lived many centuries without integrating. We may not like it, but it is their choice. The only boundary should be to comply with the local laws, and international laws regarding human rights, that should be it.

    I hope this helps

    Martin

    • Enrique

      Hi Martin, thank you for you insightful view of Uruguay, the role of immigration and being one of the first social-welfare states in the world. Considering that Uruguay had a very small population of 40,000 people, the 1852 census whos that there were 67,538 Uruguayans, 28,586 immigrants and 35,845 “unknown.” In 1860 the relationship of Uruguayans/immigrant was 147,557/74,849 but in 1900 it starts to get smaller 717,493/198,154. Most likely the majority of the Uruguayans were first- and second-generation natives. Argentina is another interesting case with respect to the number of immigrants: in the 1914 census 49% were foreigners in Buenos Aires compared with 30% nationally.
      Even though you state that they were not that different ethnically because they were mostly from Spain and Italy, I would contest your oibservations. Back then there were very big differences even of people who lived in the same country. Take for example Italy, which became a unified kingdom in 1870.
      It is remarkable that a country can take in and absorbe so many immigrants. There are probably very few countries in the world have done so to such an extent. The immigrants that came to Argentina and Uruguay must have placed demands on the traditional seats of political and economic power, which caused these countries to change. Uruguay got José Batlle y Ordoñez and Argentina had to wait unil 1912, when the Sáenz Peña Law was passed granting universal suffrage to all Argentine males. Do you think that immigrants forced Uruguay to become a modern liberal nation? Or was Batlle y Ordoñez afraid of not allowing social reforms in Argentina prior to the 1910s?
      Could the end of these two South American countries’ social, economic and political expansion come to an abrupt end when immigration started to fade after the 1930s?
      What do you think Europe could learn from Uruguay´s experience with immigration?
      With respect to integration, I personally feel that in a modern society we all adapt to a the sort of common good that helps maintain good ethnic relations. Since we have Skype, internet, globalization etc there is no need to “integrate” because one can have his/her cultural cake and eat it at the same time. Instead of integrating we adapt and contribute to society through mutual respect, which creates good ethnic relations. This I believe will be the shape of societies of the future.
      What do you think?

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