Arab riot Down Under

Diversity is our strength: young Arab men riot in Australia over Iraq war. Immigration policies there seem to be importing not only ethnic and religious conflict but also other Middle Eastern habits like denial of obvious reality: “Australian Arabic community leaders condemned the violent clashes but rejected police claims the perpetrators were Middle Eastern men.”

Why are such policies a good thing, so clearly good that the only possible explanation for opposition to mass Third-World immigration is hatred? People, including the Pope and all the fans of inculturation, say culture is good and important. If it’s good and important, why shouldn’t it be taken into account in public policy?

Culture is fundamentally a system of social cooperation that grows up over time among a people living together. As a result, common culture normally means more cooperation, lack of common culture less cooperation. Shouldn’t such considerations, which after all are based on the fundamental nature of man as a social and cultural animal, play some role in deciding who to invite into one’s society? If not, why not?

5 thoughts on “Arab riot Down Under”

  1. If I may … Yes,
    If I may … Yes, cooperation is a positive good, and culture should play some role in deciding who to invite into our society. There may be problems, however, when incidental cultural traits are elevated above more important considerations (say, ethnicity over virtue), or when signficant cultural traits are ranked beneath less important considerations (say, language beneath cheap labor). There are other legitimate considerations as well: war and catastrophe, economic needs of host country, crime, assimilation, politics, etc. Reasonable men can disagree about the appropriate hierarchy of values here, but your central point—that culture should be an important factor—must be granted.

    My congratulations on your reception into the Catholic Church. God go with you.

  2. Thank you, and thanks for
    Thank you, and thanks for commenting.

    One comment of my own—virtue can’t play much of a role in immigration policy unless immigration is on a very small scale indeed. The INS can screen out convicted criminals, but I can’t imagine it screening hundreds of thousands of applicants for virtue.

  3. That’s true as far as
    That’s true as far as individuals are concerned. But certain groups may be recognizably more virtuous (or less crime prone) than others at any given point in time. Swedish immigrants, for instance, cannot be expected to uphold public morality, and would be less desirable than Lebanese Maronites on this count.

  4. Agreed that quality of
    Agreed that quality of culture as well as common culture is a consideration. I don’t think the former should simply trump the latter though. A man should choose a virtuous wife but I don’t think he’d be smart simply to choose the most viruous woman he can find absolutely speaking. There are things other than virtue that also go into whether people are able to live well together.


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