Habermas`s Huff About Thilo Sarrazin


The continuing

success
of the German

high wage
economy relative to the Anglo-American
low wage
/

high finance
system is raising worries among the global
great and good that a newly confident German public
might start thinking
for itself
on…immigration!

Particularly agitating to transnational
elites is that Social Democratic central banker

Thilo Sarrazin
published an immigration restrictionist
book,
Germany Abolishes Itself.

(Here`s
Rafael Kosk
i`s informative

review
of Sarrazin`s book in VDARE.com.) Since August,
it has sold a

million
copies. (Trust me when I tell you that`s an
astonishing total for
a
statistics-heavy social science work.)


Germany`s economic model requires, on average, a highly
productive population with strong human capital. Germans
deeply value extensive

technical education
or demanding

apprenticeships
in the

skilled crafts.
But high investment parenting means
that, especially in a

crowded country like Germany
, children are

expensive
. Thus, the main long-term threat to Germany`s
high investment / high wage model is the below-replacement
birthrate

among Germans.

Sarrazin advocates policies to boost the
birthrate so that Germany won`t abolish itself. Yet there`s
an obvious problem:

incentives to reproduce
would tend to appeal more to
parents who
don`t
invest as much
in their children`s human
capital, especially

Germany`s Muslim immigrants
.

Germany is now into its

third generation
of

Muslims
.  As
Sarrazin documents, they tend to lag behind in achievement,
much as

Mexicans do on average
here in the U.S., even after
four
generations
.  

What are the causes of these gaps?

Genes
?
Culture
? Or whatever?

We`ll eventually find out for sure. But
meanwhile, this is the pragmatic take-home message: these

disparities have been long enduring.
Therefore, they
can`t just be assumed away when discussing immigration
policy.

Conclusion: immigration restriction is a logical necessity.

This is especially true in
welfare
state Germany
. There, immigration from the Muslim world
since the abolition of guest worker programs in the 1970s
has been more or less an elaborate form of

welfare fraud
carried out through marriages arranged to
obtain “family reunification” visas. As Christopher Caldwell

pointed out
in Reflections upon the Revolution in Europe, Reflections upon the Revolution in Europe,
from 1971 to 2000, the number of foreign-born people in
Germany rose by 150 percent—but

the number of foreign-born
workers didn`t go
up at all.

Neighboring

Denmark
, the epitome of
a
civilized country
, has had an immigration-restrictionist
party in the ruling coalition since 2001.The Danish
government has actually cracked down to some extent on
arranged marriage immigration scams by not accepting foreign
spouses under 24.

Like American scientist
James Watson in 2007,
Sarrazin was

quickly forced to resign his post.
Here, when somebody
gets fired for political incorrectness, the general
assumption is that he

must have had it coming
. Yet the German people have
responded by assuming that if the ruling elite is desperate
to silence Sarrazin, he must have something important to
say.

Elite
efforts to dissuade anyone from listening to Sarrazin`s
analysis have now spread to America.

Godwin`s
Law
famously states:
"As an online
discussion grows longer, the probability of a

comparison
involving
Nazis
or Hitler
approaches one.”
A corollary is: Whoever
mentions Hitler first loses the debate.


Nevertheless, the
New York Times
recently played the Nazi Card flagrantly, frontpaging an
article about some museum exhibition in Berlin called


“Hitler and the Germans: Nation and Crime”.


Michael Slackman`s October 15, 2010
article,

Hitler Exhibition Explores a Wider Circle of Guilt
,
made clear that the political point of the exhibition (and,
in turn, his article) was to shame 21st Century Germans
through guilt-by-descent into not standing up for themselves
over current political issues such as immigration:

“But
one curator said the message was arguably more vital for
Germany now than at any time in the past six decades, as
rising
nationalism,
more open hostility to immigrants and a
generational disconnect from the events of the Nazi era have
older Germans concerned about repeating the past. …”

Sarrazin`s book is Exhibit A in what must be covered-up:


“Increasingly, Germans have put the guilt of the past behind
them, reasserting their pride in national identity in many
positive ways. But there also have been troubling signs
seeping from the margins into the mainstream. A best-selling
book by a former banker promoted genetic theories of
intelligence and said that

Muslims were `dumbing down`
society.”

And similarly, on October 28, the
Times ran a long
op-ed,

Leadership and Leitkultur
,
by the celebrated German philosopher,


Jürgen Habermas
, a

Marxian Establishmentarian
, complaining that today`s
Germans want to talk about things he doesn`t want them to
talk about:

“Since the end of
August Germany has been roiled by waves of political turmoil
over integration, multiculturalism and the role of the
`Leitkultur,` or guiding national culture. This discourse is
in turn reinforcing trends toward increasing xenophobia
among the broader population.”


Habermas` magnum opus is entitled The Theory of Communicative Action. In theory, Habermas is

all for Communicative Action.

In
practice…not so much. He writes:


“These trends have been apparent for many years in studies
and survey data that show a quiet but growing hostility to
immigrants. Yet it is as though they have only now found a
voice: the usual

stereotypes
are being flushed out of the bars and onto
the talk shows, and they are echoed by mainstream
politicians who want to capture potential voters who are
otherwise drifting off toward the right.”

Over the years, Habermas has written at
vast, Teutonic length about
communicative
rationality
in the
public
sphere
.”
But to demean Sarrazin`s arguments, the
empirically-outgunned philosopher resorts to transparent
fallacies routinely exploded in Logic 101 classes, such as
argument by assertion and appeal to authority. For example,

“It
all began with the advance release of provocative excerpts
from Germany Does Away
With Itself
, a book that argues that the future of
Germany is threatened by the

wrong kind of immigrants
, especially from

Muslim countries.
In the book, Thilo Sarrazin … fuels
discrimination against this minority with intelligence
research from which he draws false biological conclusions
that have gained unusually wide publicity.”

Well, I guess that wraps that up. Habermas
has asserted that Sarrazin`s conclusions are
“false”—so what
more evidence do we need?

In case
you aren`t fully persuaded, however, Habermas has another
arrow in his communicative quiver: appeal to authority.
Unfortunately, Habermas appeals to an authority that almost
nobody in America has ever heard of:


“After half-hearted responses in the press by a handful of
psychologists who left the impression that there might be
something to these claims after all, there was a certain
shift in mood in the news media and among politicians toward
Mr. Sarrazin. It took several weeks for
Armin
Nassehi,
a respected sociologist, to take the
pseudoscientific interpretation of the relevant statistics
apart in a newspaper article. He demonstrated that Mr.
Sarrazin adopted the kind of `naturalizing` interpretation
of measured differences in intelligence that had already
been scientifically discredited in the United States decades
ago.”

Armin Nassehi?

In case you are skeptical about this
Nassehi person`s authority, let me remind you that Habermas
calls Nassehi “a
respected sociologist”
, so that`s all you need to know
about the content of his argument. If you can`t trust
“a respected
sociologist”
, who can you trust?

While nobody has bothered to translate
Nassehi`s

article
into English, a glance at it shows that Nassehi,
in turn, tries to befuddle Germans by appealing to the
pseudo-authority of the usual suspects from the
English-speaking world:


“Besonders einflussreich war etwa die evolutionsbiologische
Kritik von

Richard Lewontin
,

Steven Rose
, Leon J. Kamin und

Stephen Jay Gold

[sic]
gegen den genetischen Determinismus …”
[Die
Biologie spricht gegen Biologismus
, October 18, 2010]

Few well-informed Americans take Stephen
Jay Gould and Company seriously anymore. But the poor
Germans, who have been

shielded from all this,
might assume that the Four
Horsemen of Disinformation know what they are talking about.

You can turn Nassehi`s

article
into quasi-English at
Google
Translate
. It`s the usual hoo-ha:

The Bell
Curve
is outdated!

Epigenetics
! Neuroplasticity!

Let me
repeat: whether or not the cause of lower achievement in
Muslims in Germany or in
Latinos
in the U.S.
is caused in part by genetics is not
terribly relevant to prudent immigration policy. The facts
are that these gaps have existed for generations. And
despite expenditures of billions over the last 45 years,

nobody has shown that they can make them vanish.

Habermas
blusters onward in the
New York Times
:

“The
poison that Mr. Sarrazin had released by reinforcing
cultural hostility to immigrants with genetic arguments
seemed to have taken root in popular prejudices. When Mr.
Nassehi and Mr. Sarrazin appeared at the House of Literature
in Munich, a mob atmosphere developed, with an educated
middle-class audience refusing even to listen to objections
to Mr. Sarrazin`s arguments.”

In other words, Sarrazin defeated Nassehi
in open debate. (You can read a lengthy description of the
evening

here
.)

That
sounds like Communicative Action in action to me. But
Habermas, intellectually impotent against Sarazin`s
research, can`t let up on his use of embarrassingly loaded
terms like “poison” and “odious”
:

“Amid
the controversy, Mr. Sarrazin was forced to resign from the
Bundesbank board. But his ouster, combined with the campaign
against political correctness started by the right, only
helped to strip his controversial arguments of their odious
character.”

Habermas`
obvious subtext:


Why
doesn`t everyone stop talking about things I know nothing
about? I`m the expert on Communicative Action, and now
Germans are taking action to communicate about subjects that
confuse and scare me.


Why
don`t they just shut up and listen to me lecture like they
used to?

Poor Herr Doktor Habermas, the recognized
heir to

Kant, Hegel, and Marx,
a man as used to

enjoying adulation as President Obama
, is now petulantly
annoyed that the big issues in 21st Century Germany turn out
to be two topics—immigration and intelligence—upon which he
appears to be simply ignorant.

Sound
familiar?

[Steve Sailer (email
him) is


movie critic
for


The American Conservative
.

His website

www.iSteve.blogspot.com

features his daily blog. His new book,

AMERICA`S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA`S
"STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE", is
available


here
.]