Australia: Multiculturalism or Assimilation? Watch

JonD
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#21
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#21
(Original post by zooropa)
:rolleyes: I'm simply telling you what Australians say themselves.
Many British say that too. It's epidemic in western countries, it's their culture of self-hate. It doesn't mean they're right.

Culture can mean a lot of things, but in this instance it pertains to common social values, mores and sensibilties.
Well, that's a bit of a narrow definition, but in this case Australia does have common social values and sensibilities (I'm not sure what 'mores' are). Again, if it didn't, the country wouldn't have much social order. Why would Australians follow laws if they didn't believe in them?
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zooropa
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(Original post by JonD)
Many British say that too. It's epidemic in western countries, it's their culture of self-hate. It doesn't mean they're right.
No British person I know says this.
Well, that's a bit of a narrow definition, but in this case Australia does have common social values and sensibilities (I'm not sure what 'mores' are). Again, if it didn't, the country wouldn't have much social order. Why would Australians follow laws if they didn't believe in them?
Social values are distinct from laws or governance. Some British people Morris Dance but that isn't linked to laws or how the country is governed.
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JonD
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(Original post by zooropa)
No British person I know says this.
Britain has no culture. You do now. My point is, just because a Australian person says something about Australia doesn't mean it is true.

Social values are distinct from laws or governance. Some British people Morris Dance but that isn't linked to laws or how the country is governed.
So Morris Dancing is a social value, but rule of law isn't? Wierd. Anyway, if forms of entertainment constitute social values, Australia undoubtedly has it's own custom pastimes. They don't rely solely on imported TV and music, you know.
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zooropa
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My point is, just because a Australian person says something about Australia doesn't mean it is true.
Why not?

So Morris Dancing is a social value, but rule of law isn't? Wierd. , Australia undoubtedly has it's own custom pastimes. They don't rely solely on imported TV and music, you know.
Rule of law is a legal/political concept. Not all social values are related to law an politics.

Anyway, if forms of entertainment constitute social values
Of course they do. How is that not an aspect of a society's culture?!

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=culture

Points 1a and 1b are relevant here.
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milady
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(Original post by zooropa)
Australia is huge. It's not as if there is no room for immigrants.
Ah, but there is a limit on our resources. eg. Sydney is suffering from water shortages, pollution, an overburdened transportation and health system -- the more people who flow in, the worse it gets. There is a lot of empty worthless land in Australia, otoh, resources etc, are constrained. Australia can only sustainably support so many people.
Also, Aussies also complain that they have no culture. If this is the case, then what culture is there to undermine?
Oh, hearsay evidence. I disagree.
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milady
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(Original post by Fear and Loathing in Stoke (David))
Irony.

I think the highlighting of this issue within Australia is fuelled, more or less entirely by the tensions between Lebanese population and "disillusioned" white communities. I'm not 100% sure why, because nothing has really happened in Australia to cause such tension.
I would suggest crime in predominantly muslim suburbs and gang rapes as two possible causes. Terrorist attacks overseas are possibly another more irrational reason.

And I would also hesitate to use the word 'lebanese' to describe these people.
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milady
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The common arguments used against immigration don't apply to Australia. It has no clearly defined culture that can be undermined. It has plenty of land to house new immigrants.
Culture is never clearly defined.
No country that was founded on immigration can ever denounce it. That seems hypocritical. Or were Johnny Howard's ancestors aborigines?
Your argument being that is hypocritical therefore we cannot do it?
That doesn't stand up.

If we believe it's in our best interests, then 'oh, but it would be hypocrisy' doesn't hinder anything at all. We are under no obligation to allow more immigrants into the country, to enjoy our benefits, our lifestyle, our democracy, our road/health/etc system (which the inhabitants already here have paid for in taxes most of their lives).

I believe my quality of life will be better if immigration is kept low. And, personally, I do not want the muslim part of the australian population to outnumber the rest of us.

Right or wrong, I do not think muslims really support western democracy and all it entails - from looking at the state of predominantly islamic countries, their human rights/treatment of women record, and so on.
This is extremely debatable, of course, but if it could be true, why take that risk? It's not necessary.
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Vienna
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(Original post by Nysh)
In 1973, Australia finally dissolved its White Australia Policy, and introduced Multiculturalism.

Now, the PM, John Howard, Treasurer Peter Costello, and Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs, Andrew Robb are saying that Muslims (and other immigrants) should sit 'tests' to see if they have been assimilated and adopted Australian values before allowed to become citizens.

From ABC News:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems...2/s1573689.htm
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems...2/s1577268.htm
http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems...2/s1578289.htm

But why only Muslims?
Their remarks are made in regard to all immigrants and citizens of dual nationality.
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JonD
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(Original post by zooropa)
Why not?
For the commonsensical same reason I've given at least once already. Need I make it clearer? I say Britain is mainly inhabited by purple elephants. I'm British, so your logic dictates I must be correct.

Rule of law is a legal/political concept. Not all social values are related to law an politics.
Most Australians would be quite pissed off if government ministers started acting above the law. At the same time such behaviour is accepted almost everywhere else. That's because rule of law is a social value in Australia.

Of course they do. How is that not an aspect of a society's culture?!

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=culture

Points 1a and 1b are relevant here.
Huh? If Home and Away is not culture, how can Morris Dancing be culture?

If that dictionary definition has any value, it can be demonstrated quite easily that Australia has its own culture. Since Australia has "socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought" - such as surfing, belief in democracy, Mad Max, membership of the Australian identity, Australian literature - it has culture.
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Nysh
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#30
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(Original post by JonD)
Firstly, employing the worst (but most effective) rhetoric in order to weaken the will of western persons: implying they are race supremacists. Secondly, rejecting the idea of Australia's continued existence as western, monocultural, and predominantly European.
1. Implying they are race supremacists? Anyone who ever read any newspaper, or watched rubbish like Channel 9 news would know that that is still the doctrine that Australian are fed. And, sorry to state the obvious, but when you have Pauline Hansen stating that she agrees with the govt, then you know the policy is racist/xenophobic.

2. Australia chose to move away from that monoculture because that was not wokring out, and they simply could not have a continually growing economy that way. They needed to syncronise with the western world, which was effectively (with the exception of South Africa- which DID consider itself western) using Multicultural policies. Assimilation was not as accepting as the melting pot form of migration in USA.
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Nysh
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#31
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(Original post by JonD)
Not surprising when you're grossly outnumbered by people totally different to you, who could well have the means to conquer you in coming decades.
No really. It was more about destroying this so-called 'pure' white culture which supposedly superceeds this Asian "plague", or "yellow peril", as it sometimes referred to. It was not fear of weapons (other than in WW2), but a fear of imposing cultures.

And what of differences. I am surrounded by people who are completely different to me everyday. Am I supposed to be terrified of them?
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Nysh
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#32
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(Original post by JonD)
There tends to be tension between the host population and immigrants. Australias immigrants traditionally came from the same places everyone else in Australia came from, meaning they spread out and blend in easily, making that tension minimal. Since modern immigration to Australia is coming more and more from different sources, and ends up with little integration beyond the economic, it means these tensions are more highly present and don't go.
Not the case. Even European immigrants in the time of Assimilation were finding it hard to fit in, and a large proportion of them actually went home (even back to Communism). There was also a large influence of Greeks and Italians who formed their own little "ghettos". AS for these "different" sources, they rae mostly from Asia. During the time of the gold rush, there were quite a few large Asian communities in Australia, except after 1901, and the crack down on immigration, they were thrown out, or pressured out of Australia.

Plus by allowing immigrants from elsewhere, there are more trade connections, and allies, so this would actually ease tensions within a nation rather than ignite them.

(Original post by JonD)
Even in other countries where tensions are kept relatively low, there're still cultural tendancies between host and immigrant that will clash from time to time. The Australians probably look over the seas to America and Britain, see the **** that goes on - if not terrorism or race riots, then the cringeworthy communalisation of politics - and decide it's not worth it.
You forget where Australia is located- ASIA. It's not like USA and UK, where immigrants came from far distances. The majority of immigrants to Australia come from their neighbouring countries. And are, in a way, a way of keeping the peace between the nations.

(Original post by JonD)
If the country didn't have a common set of values it probably wouldn't have a legal, economic or political system, or even identity for that matter.
That's probably the point. It is an Imperialistic set of values, that haven't changed when Imperialism collapsed. Postcolonialism did not even touch Australian. The original peoples of Australia have been qwelled, and silenced. Common judicary systems may exist, but that does not necessarily mean that all people agree with it.


(Original post by JonD)
It wasn't officially "founded" in the name of immigration. It was first founded by imperialists looking for more territory to carve up in the name of Britain, and later as an ethnic state for the decendents of European settlers. If instead you mean most of the people are decended from immigrants, well, I doubt you'd be able to name me a country that wasn't (unless you subscribe to that regional theory of human evolution).
The point is the nation was founded by Imperialists (Aboriginal people did not view the island as a nation. The concept of a 'nation' is a Westen concept). And the immigration is recent. Whilst England was 'founded' quite a few centuries ago, Australia was only made a nation in 1901, and more than 50% of the nation has descended, or come from immigrants who moved there in the last 50 or so years. That's why it can be fair to say that Australia is predominantly a nation of immigrants.
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Nysh
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#33
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(Original post by JonD)
Japan contributed precisely nothing to the devolopment of democratic ideals, and it's post-war system was explicitly modelled on the Westminster system. Interestingly, Australia was the first country to have universal suffrage..
Er. No it wasn't. Aboriginal people weren't even recognised as people until 1967. So, it did not have "universal" suffrage.


(Original post by JonD)
So how many years does it take for an ethnic group to officially be recognised as 'cultured'? If not 200 years, what about 300? I think that's about as long as the Afrikaaners have been living in South Africa, they even have their own distinct language. More importantly, why not actually tell us what culture is so we can try to answer the question ourselves.
Culture is a difficult word to define. Although I would say there is some sort of culture in Australia, it's like Britain, where different areas have different attitudes and cultural values. But due to the general mixed-up nature of Australian society, that is a concept which is hard to define, and therefore any test on Australian 'culture' would be ineffective.
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Nysh
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(Original post by milady)
Right or wrong, I do not think muslims really support western democracy and all it entails - from looking at the state of predominantly islamic countries, their human rights/treatment of women record, and so on.
This is extremely debatable, of course, but if it could be true, why take that risk? It's not necessary.
And how many Muslim people do you know? I could tell you I know quite a few, who are completely able to accept so-called 'democratic' values. But then again, they have to take that vow already when they go for citizenship (I had to)! So why put stupid tests on the matter as well.

I'm sorry, but you obviously don't know much about Muslim people, do you? Because, I'll bet you just listen to the right-wing news. I suppose SBS wouldn't be a channel you'd ever watch, would you? I'll bet that the Sydney Morning Herald is your favourite newspaper- which was critised by many international newspapers as being right-wing. Not surprising considering the most left-wing newspaper Australia has is "the Australian", which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, and therefore Pro-Howard anyway. I guess, to equal it out, you shoudl occasionally watch ABC- they're elft-wing enough.

As for the treatment of women and human rights abuses, you do know that Christian countries were just as bad, and a lot of CHRISTIAN nations in Africa and Europe have had serious human rights abuses. For the case of women, I have to agree with you that in certain nations, such as Saudi Arabia (which the US or Aus will never say anything against because they provide oil), there is that issue, but not all sects of Islam follow that law. I mean even under Saddam Hussein, women were allowed to work, etc.
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Nysh
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#35
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(Original post by Vienna)
Their remarks are made in regard to all immigrants and citizens of dual nationality.
No, if you read the remark made by John Howard (where this entire debate stems from), then you would know that it was in the case of Muslims.
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Vienna
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(Original post by Nysh)
No, if you read the remark made by John Howard (where this entire debate stems from), then you would know that it was in the case of Muslims.
Can you quote it for us?
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Nysh
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(Original post by Vienna)
Can you quote it for us?
"I stand by those comments that there is a small section of the Islamic population in Australia that, because of its remarks about jihad, remarks which indicate an extremist view, that is a problem," he said.

"It is not a problem that we have ever faced with other immigrant communities who become easily absorbed by Australia's mainstream.

"We want people, when they come to Australia, to adopt Australian ways.

"We don't ask them to forget the countries of their birth, we respect all religious points of views and people are entitled to practise them but there are certainly things that are not part of the Australian mainstream."

I was asking why only them, and not those, like Professor Fraser, who said that non-white immigrants will basically destroy Australia...
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zooropa
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(Original post by JonD)


Huh? If Home and Away is not culture, how can Morris Dancing be culture?
Both are culture.
If that dictionary definition has any value, it can be demonstrated quite easily that Australia has its own culture. Since Australia has "socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought" - such as surfing, belief in democracy, Mad Max, membership of the Australian identity, Australian literature - it has culture.
Well yes that was my point. It was you who questioned the concept of culture.
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zooropa
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(Original post by milady)
Culture is never clearly defined.Your argument being that is hypocritical therefore we cannot do it?
That doesn't stand up.
It does. How can collectively reject the concept of immigration when it's so prominent in your history and make-up as a people?
If we believe it's in our best interests, then 'oh, but it would be hypocrisy' doesn't hinder anything at all. We are under no obligation to allow more immigrants into the country, to enjoy our benefits, our lifestyle, our democracy, our road/health/etc system (which the inhabitants already here have paid for in taxes most of their lives).
Immigrants would pay "taxes" too, wouldn't they? Or you expect all immigrants to scrounge off the welfare system?
I believe my quality of life will be better if immigration is kept low. And, personally, I do not want the muslim part of the australian population to outnumber the rest of us.

Right or wrong, I do not think muslims really support western democracy and all it entails - from looking at the state of predominantly islamic countries, their human rights/treatment of women record, and so on.
This is extremely debatable, of course, but if it could be true, why take that risk? It's not necessary.
How is a Muslim living in Australia affecting your life? As for Muslims not respecting Western democracy, you cannot confuse radical Islamic opinion with moderate Muslim thought.
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JonD
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1. Implying they are race supremacists? Anyone who ever read any newspaper, or watched rubbish like Channel 9 news would know that that is still the doctrine that Australian are fed. And, sorry to state the obvious, but when you have Pauline Hansen stating that she agrees with the govt, then you know the policy is racist/xenophobic.

2. Australia chose to move away from that monoculture because that was not wokring out, and they simply could not have a continually growing economy that way. They needed to syncronise with the western world, which was effectively (with the exception of South Africa- which DID consider itself western) using Multicultural policies. Assimilation was not as accepting as the melting pot form of migration in USA.
What's race supremacist about this policy relating to “Australian values” then? You're going to have to be more specific. Britain has or has considered implementing similar citizenship tests, is Britain a race supremacist state too? I still think you're just trying to invoke subconscious images of swastikas and the KKK because you know they work.

By “western, monocultural, and predominantly European” Australia, I was referring to it as it is now. One group of people fit into those three categories, and they are the vast majority.

No really. It was more about destroying this so-called 'pure' white culture which supposedly superceeds this Asian "plague", or "yellow peril", as it sometimes referred to. It was not fear of weapons (other than in WW2), but a fear of imposing cultures.
There are always many factors. White Australia policy was mainly trumpeted by the Labour party because Asian workers were undercutting Australians. I don't think Australians are worried about their children adopting a foreign culture any more than they were 100 years ago. It won't happen; unless they are forced. There are foreign cultural practices carried out by immigrants that I'm sure they do disapprove of, however. These lead to things like increased crime and disease and Islamic terrorism.

And what of differences. I am surrounded by people who are completely different to me everyday. Am I supposed to be terrified of them?
You probably would be terrified of them if you stood out like a sore thumb, were hugely richer than them, much smaller, and unprotected. Sure, Australia is safe while it's protected by its big brothers in Europe and America and the others can't afford weapons, but that's not something that can be guaranteed forever.

Not the case. Even European immigrants in the time of Assimilation were finding it hard to fit in, and a large proportion of them actually went home (even back to Communism). There was also a large influence of Greeks and Italians who formed their own little "ghettos". AS for these "different" sources, they rae mostly from Asia. During the time of the gold rush, there were quite a few large Asian communities in Australia, except after 1901, and the crack down on immigration, they were thrown out, or pressured out of Australia.
The Soviet Union, Greece and Italy are not traditionally where Australian immigrants mainly came from. Of course first generation immigrants are going to have a harder time, especially when they don't speak the same language. I don't know why things should be made intentionally harder for their children, however. Which is what multiculturalism does.

You forget where Australia is located- ASIA. It's not like USA and UK, where immigrants came from far distances. The majority of immigrants to Australia come from their neighbouring countries. And are, in a way, a way of keeping the peace between the nations.
No matter the distance, cultures and ethnic groups occupying the same place can and will still clash. These can be as minor as every day racism, from racial preferences to playing the race card in a situation that involves different groups of people.

How, exactly, do these immigrants keep the peace between nations then? Not only have countries long waged war with each other despite having large minorities of the other nation within their borders, many wars have been the result of those minorities. Hell, we could have witnessed such a thing a few weeks ago if Denmark was closer to the middle east. Looking at this, it seems a bit ludicrous to suggest immigration is a way to keep peace.

That's probably the point. It is an Imperialistic set of values, that haven't changed when Imperialism collapsed. Postcolonialism did not even touch Australian. The original peoples of Australia have been qwelled, and silenced. Common judicary systems may exist, but that does not necessarily mean that all people agree with it.
Please give us some examples of modern Australian imperialism then.
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