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One, maybe obvious, lesson the last few years has shown me is that there is a strong correlation between immigration and xenophobia.

There is a certain rate of change that society is willing to tolerate before there is significant backlash.

Maybe those of us who are, generally, in favor of migration should try to determine that threshold rate of change and take steps to ensure we don't surpass it.

The opposing argument is that maybe these times of upheaval are necessary for drastic change. And that we should be reaching for drastic change instead of doing just as much as society is currently willing to bare.

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During much of the magnificent Nina Simone's "Mississippi Goddamn" there are people chanting "too slow" in the background. I think of that whenever I am having these sorts of arguments with myself.

All the people suffering in the background because I'm too afraid of upsetting the status quo and inconveniencing those in power.

Am I working to protect the powerless against the powerful, or the opposite?

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Yep, it's definitely a delicate balance. Move too fast and you get a counter-revolution that can make things even worse.

@zacharius It's less about powerful and powerless, and more about different kinds of power.

Fast change incentivizes simple plans and motivated mass action. The focus is on critical mass of force (military or political).

Slow change emphasizes effective resource use, and setting up resilient cultural or technical systems.

One objectifies the powerless, the other weaponizes them.

@machado @zacharius the increasing lack of diversity due to technology is also at play I feel. Lack of diversity means centralization of win conditions and a hierarchy to squeeze upwards into. If that single direction is the only thing deemed worth living for then power and domination desires are the only thing that can “win”.

@zacharius that's definitely a good thing to be questioning.

But, is it really true that immigration causes xenophobia? talking about the US only (don't know about Europe):

- the xenophobic wave in politics has happened while illegal immigration has decreased (since 2006)
- anti-immigrant views are highest in parts of the US that have the fewest immigrants

which suggests xenophobia is caused by something else besides the facts.

@zacharius @jamescgibson @machado
something that really surprised me when i looked into it is that support for immigration in the US is trending upward, not downward:

news.gallup.com/poll/235793/re

opposition to immigration was a lot stronger right after 9/11 than it is today. The xenophobic rhetoric in politics is coming from a loud minority. It might be the case that Trump is actually making his own nativist position less popular.

@nindokag @zacharius Yeah, people talk about anti-immigrant backlash in the EU, but if you look at a map of who voted for the right-wing party in DE, it pretty much corresponds to a map of germany where immigration was the *lowest*. (which also happens to be a map of east germany 😬 )

@zacharius Even if you temper the rate of immigration, eventually there will still be a tipping point where the majority group realizes that their institutional supremacy is threatened.

This is basically what's happening in the US right now. Immigration is low, but racists are feeling the ocean move underneath their blood-raft. They know, and we know, whether it's 10 months or 10 years, that their raft is going to sink.

@Elmkast @zacharius it's very interesting to compare today with the rise and fall of the Know-Nothing party in the 1850s: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Know_Not

which was a big freak-out over Catholic immigration - Irish, Italian, German, etc.

the last time white people were worried about becoming a minority, they ultimately resolved it by allowing Irish, Italian, etc. people to become white ("white" being a political category, not a biological one) and thereby restoring a white majority.

@nindokag @zacharius Yep. The most important thing in the US is just being not-black. "White" is a hardly descriptive term: many second generation Turkish/Persian/Armenian immigrants to the US have access to the spoils-pool like any other white person.

@Elmkast @nindokag @zacharius I recall reading that the “acceptable” rate of immigration has to do with the rate of cultural assimilation of immigrants. It’s not so much about skin color, but way of life.

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