Category Archives: Netherlands, The

Why should the dying have all the best deaths?

Dalrymple writes that Amsterdam may yet have its suicide parlours as it has its coffeeshops.

Put yourself in the shoes of a Moroccan in Holland

screen-shot-2017-01-15-at-20-18-46When, writes Dalrymple, Geert Wilders

asks a crowd whether it wants more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands, I try to put myself in the position of a Moroccan, or Dutch citizen of Moroccan descent, and imagine what it is like to be regarded by a popular politician, almost ex officio, as a nuisance or a plague, even though all I want to do is to fit in with the society around me. It takes little imagination to understand how uncomfortable it would be.

On the other hand,

it would be incumbent upon me as an immigrant or descendent of an immigrant to try to understand why the majority population might not want their society to be fundamentally altered by immigration and why they might be in favour of a limitation of numbers of immigrants. In fact, it is by no means uncommon for members of immigrant groups themselves to wish such a limitation, for fear of provoking a backlash.

Repression carried out in the name of tolerance

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-18-02-08Dalrymple points out that the judge in the Geert Wilders case

had to maintain that the Moroccans were a race, because the law does not recognise nationality or national origin as grounds for legal protection from insult and critical comment. This gave rise to a certain amount of hilarity. If nationality were to be confounded with race, Dutch law would henceforth have to recognize a Belgian race, a Swiss race, etc.

The idea, writes Dalrymple,

that there are certain groups in need of special protection from offence is incoherent and condescending, partaking of the qualities that the idea is supposed to be eliminating from the wicked human mind. The number of human groups that have, or could be, subjected to humiliation, discrimination, or worse is almost infinite. Persecution on economic grounds, for example, has been at least as frequent as persecution on racial grounds. To select a few groups for special protection is irreducibly discriminatory. It is a little like protecting certain species from the ravages of hunters because they are threatened with extinction and unlike other species are unable to protect themselves by fecundity, say, or by camouflage.

A couple of members of the Belgian race

A couple of members of the Belgian race

On the one hand, when Wilders

asks a crowd whether it wants more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands, I try to put myself in the position of a Moroccan, or Dutch citizen of Moroccan descent, and imagine what it is like to be regarded by a popular politician, almost ex officio, as a nuisance or a plague, even though all I want to do is to fit in with the society around me. It takes little imagination to understand how uncomfortable it would be.

On the other hand,

it would be incumbent upon me as an immigrant or descendent of an immigrant to try to understand why the majority population might not want their society to be fundamentally altered by immigration and why they might be in favour of a limitation of numbers of immigrants. In fact, it is by no means uncommon for members of immigrant groups themselves to wish such a limitation, for fear of provoking a backlash.

Tact, and imaginative sympathy for others, cannot, says Dalrymple,

be legislated. The clumsy attempt to decree tolerance has inflamed the opposite.

Fewer Moroccans!

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-00-21-17What, asks Dalrymple, was Geert Wilders’ crime?

He had discriminated against no one, but made a speech in which he called for ‘fewer Moroccans’.

The law against incitement to discrimination

is implemented in a discriminatory way. One sometimes has the impression that liberals want to provoke the very reaction that they say they fear, so that they don’t have to think about such unpleasant questions as, ‘How many Moroccans do we want or need?’

Wilders’ movement, Dalrymple explains, is

a reaction against the moral arrogance of the political class.

Dutch ethical narcissism

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-23-22-57In the Netherlands, Dalrymple points out,

a very large proportion of immigration was in accordance with the family reunification program. The original economic migrants, principally from Morocco and overwhelmingly male, were felt to be suffering from loneliness.

So it gave the political class

a nice warm and fuzzy feeling inside (a bit like that experienced in the gullet after a shot of whisky) to let immigrant labourers be reunited with their families—in the Netherlands.

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-23-25-55One thing led to another,

and suddenly 11% of the population, much of it economically inactive, was of immigrant origin.

Unfortunately, Dalrymple notes,

those who had the warm and fuzzy feeling—which included the knowledge that they were not repeating the less than glorious record of their country during the Second World War—did not bear the consequences. But they felt good about themselves.

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-23-26-50Into the stew of ethical narcissism

was poured multiculturalism. Its object in the Netherlands was the opposite of, or at least very different from, what it  became. Moroccan economic migrants were originally encouraged to maintain links with their homeland and continue their cultural practices so that when they became surplus to the Netherlands’ requirements for cheap unskilled labour—that is to say, of pensionable age or sooner if there were an economic downturn—they would be able to reintegrate easily back into Morocco. As Goethe said, however, grey is theory, but green is the tree of life.

For many years, Dalrymple writes,

the political class and much of the educated middle class refused to see that there was a problem—not only because it did not obtrude much on their personal lives, but because they had created it, and they would have to lose their ethical virginity if they tried to do anything about it.

screen-shot-2016-11-15-at-23-22-23Unfortunately,

molten lava has a habit sometimes of breaking through the placid surface of the earth. The rise of Pim Fortuyn was the tremor and his murder, as well as that of Theo van Gogh, the eruption.

Fortuyn has found a successor in Geert Wilders, who

is accused of incitement to hatred and discrimination. But it is quite clear that he has done no more in regard to Islam than, say, an anticommunist might have done in claiming that the implementation of communist doctrine inevitably leads to tyranny.

Därför byggs det så fult

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 08.52.40Dalrymple skriver:

Varje gång jag anländer till Utrecht med tåget, som nyligen, drar jag förvånat efter andan. Hur kan det komma sig att arkitekterna, med en av de vackraste arkitekturstilarna som exempel inför sina ögon, fick för sig att bygga betongmonster av det slag som omger stationen?

The invincible complacency of the Dutch

A discussion of the Netherlands in particular and the northern European mess in general.