Demographics are changing, so what?
We can show you that demographics in Europe are changing due to the influx of migrants from Asia and Africa. Possibly, we will even convince you that this is taking place. Some of you will conclude that it is a problem that must be stopped. Others of you will shrug. You will ask yourself, so what? What does it matter that Europe’s demographic make up is changing? Why should you care? After all, you are not a racist and you have no issues with people from other backgrounds. Without racism, what other reasons could you have to want to prevent this demographic change?
Before the end of the century
Before the end of the century, most of Western Europe is likely changed for good. The native populations will have become a minority in their own country. The Germans, French, Italians and Swedes are disappearing like the Native Americans before them. How? The trend is the same for all of them: low birthrates & high immigration.
The effect on democracy
Remember that all these countries are democracies. Whichever party gets the most votes, wins. Every citizens has a single vote. What happens when the demographics change? When minorities will form the majority? The native populations will no longer be able to dominate the elections. The new winners will be those parties that can get the new migrants to vote for them. How do you get people to vote for you? You promise to do the things they want.
The politicians of the future will adhere to the desires of the migrants, or perish in the opposition parties. The politicians in turn make the laws. The laws reflect the dominant culture in a country, even if there is some delay as laws take time to be changed. Whichever beliefs the migrants bring, those beliefs will be translate into law.
People will read this and continue to shrug. So what if the law changes? And, moreover, why would the law change if these migrants assimilate to the host culture? Well, firstly, there are limited signs of assimilation. Multiculturalism by definition means having multiple cultures living together in a single country. The term means that newcomers do not assimilate to the one host culture.
Lack of assimilation can be seen everywhere. Migrants group together in the same areas. They attend the same schools. They hold different values. If people believe that assimilation is happening, please bring in the evidence.
On that note, it is not to say integration is impossible. Some groups of immigrants have assimilated perfectly into society. It appears to depend on both the origin of the migrant and the amount of migrants. Let’s say that if an individual polish man goes to Germany and marries a German woman, he will assimilate fairly easily. If a million Turks move to Germany, the same doesn’t happen. Why is that?
One reason, if the number of migrants is low, the choice is social exclusion or adaptation. Second, the Polish culture resembles the German culture more closely than the Turkish one. Integration doesn’t require much effort.
A third problem, depends on the attitude of the migrant. Do you respect the host culture? Or do you look down upon it? If you move to Germany, but you think all Germans are fools and their culture is embarrassing to you, you are not very likely to adopt that culture.
If the number of migrants is low, the choice is social exclusion or adaptation.
Surveys have shown that 87% of British Muslims thinks it should not be allowed to mock their prophet. This is just one example of what might turn into law if this group becomes a majority. Blasphemy laws have existed in Europe in the past, but have been ignored for years. Mocking Jesus, or God himself, won’t land you in jail, or even make you pay a fine. More likely, you will hear such jokes on any night you walk into a comedy club.
When demographics change, laws will change.
High trust societies
A lot of people barely understand what culture is. What does the word even mean? It is not an easily word to define, so definitions tend to turn into a list of things it includes. From values to food customs. Sure, kebab is a nice addition. But is that all? One aspect of European culture is the high level of trust in society. that trust translates into low crime and corruption. What will happen to those when the majority of the inhabitants find their roots in a low-trust society?
Another way of thinking about it is the following. How do you feel when walking through Oslo? Do you feel the same when you walk through Islamabad?
Western Europe had created a very high trust society. It made life easy and the places are comfortable to live in. Yet, that concept is not known everywhere across the world. As demographics change, so will the degree of trust in a society change. Alongside that goes crime, corruption and civility.
The welfare state
Overall migrants appear to vote for a greater welfare state. They love the security it provides. Yet, for every euro that is paid out to someone on welfare, someone else has to pay taxes. People accepted this idea as fair, even though some people will pay in a lot more over their lifetime than others. The handouts were always restricted to those living in the country, or at least the citizens of the country. So what will happen if those citizens of the country don’t really share any values, history, or culture together?
Right now, ask a German if they believe all of India should be able to rely on German welfare payments. That’s a ridiculous question right? Why should the Indians, that never paid into the German welfare system, be able to benefit from it? Furthermore, it would quickly bankrupt Germany to fund a billion people living on their welfare. It is a preposterous suggestion to even make.
Paul Krugman agrees with the claim I make above, or perhaps I should say that I agree with him. The quote below are his words.
Open immigration can’t coexist with a strong social safety net; if you’re going to assure health care and a decent income to everyone, you can’t make that offer global.
Somehow that is what is happening though. As soon as the migrant crosses the border and becomes a citizen, government funds start flowing to them. First to fund the asylum process, and later on to pay for their welfare. They never paid into it, and if enough migrants arrive they will bankrupt the system. The question is what will break first? The governments financial ability to fund it all, or the willingness of ordinary Germans to work until they are 75 before they can enjoy a small pension?
Demographic change has a big impact
Now, maybe, you will agree that indeed migration changes society. You might still shrug and say so what? Perhaps you are willing to make these sacrifices, because you really want to live in a city where you have people from all over the world all together. You are very altruistic and still believe migration is the best way to help people. Maybe you really love that you have an Indian restaurant on the corner and you can buy a kebab right next door.
I could rebut that by saying that this is not a long-term solution, as sooner or later the European welfare states won’t be able to cope. However, there is another point I want to make.
What if not everyone agrees with your willingness to make such a sacrifice? Isn’t the idea of democracy that the people can choose their own future? Now, if most people are not altruistic to the point of being self-destructive, and want to limit migration, shouldn’t politicians discuss that option? Note that I said limit, not block completely. Sadly, any discussion on where the upper limit for immigration should be is politically incorrect.
Demographic change has a big impact, and politicians refuse to discuss the topic. They either blatantly lie and say integration will happen, they will say there will be economic benefits, or they will simply call anyone that opposes the idea a racist. The worst perhaps, is when they say that nothing can be done to prevent it. Really? What options have been considered to slow it down then?
The rise of the right
The reason people are upset, is because politicians have decided to greatly impact the future of the country, without asking the opinion of the people on the topic. A society where a topic cannot be discussed, does not have free speech. And without free speech, a democracy cannot function. Et voila, that is the origin of right-wing parties rising and the overall polarization across Europe.