Stijn van der Kasteel (mahnmut) wrote in talk_politics,
Stijn van der Kasteel

Clash Of Cultures

This is your regular installment of hypothetical situations to ponder about, taken from the NationStates online game, where you're the benevolent ruler of your own country. Last time the issue was terrorism, and the way society should respond to it. Unfortunately today we learned about the terrible terror strike in Stockholm, the capital of one of the most peaceful nations in the world. Sadly, no one is immune to that.

Today's issue that I'm bringing to your attention is in a way related to that. Immigration, and the culture clashes that come with it.

The Issue

Conservative commentators have remarked that many foreign immigrants in [Insert Country Name] are failing to take part in, or even acknowledge, the country's rich and varied culture, traditions, and social mores. This has caused some interethnic strife, and reports of violence in minority-dominated neighbourhoods have been increasing every day.

The Debate

1. "It's disrespectful," says Chastity Rubin, serving traditional eagle-shaped cookies on a tray. "These people talk funny, dress funny, pray to bizarre gods, and cook their smelly food. Food I've never seen on any LOCAL menu. Some of them don't even speak our language very well! If at all! If immigrants want the privilege of living in this country then they should be made to adopt our own traditions! Otherwise our culture will slowly but surely disappear! If they refuse... well, then they can go back to their own country since they love it so much."

2. "I have a right to lead my life the way I want," says Buffy Silk, an immigrant, with the help of a translator. "I will not forsake my heritage for your people and I will not dirty my tongue with your heathen language. And if you have a problem with that then tell me this: what have I done wrong? I pay my taxes, I break no laws - and yet you think I should change? Those who don't wish to 'integrate' shouldn't have to."

3. "Oh, there's no need to be like that!" says Melbourne Love, president of the Multiculturalism Society in a cheery tone. "Insert Country Name should be a more accepting country, open to new experiences! Embrace difference, people, don't reject it! These folk aren't hurting us or our traditions, they are showing us different ways of life and making us wiser and richer beings in the process! It's our responsibility to take the first step towards reparations and remove any ethnic bias from the names of our public holidays - how does Winter Day sound to you? I like it."

4. "We need to stop thinking of 'them' as a problem that needs to be fixed," insists Jack Johnson, an undergraduate in anthropology. "Integration in society is a two-way street! We can't shun people for not following a major religion or drinking their tea with the wrong hand. That's just silly! No, if we want immigrants to pick up our ways then we should be more willing to learn about theirs! Mandatory education courses should encourage citizens to learn more about other cultures in Insert Country Name."

5. "That's stupid," says Calvin Wang, flatly. "I'm not going to 'bond' with immigrants by learning about their beliefs! For multiculturalism to actually function, everyone needs to actually meet these people and deal with them on a day-to-day basis. Then maybe they'll realise that yeah, they're people too. The only way to do this is to put an end to segregated neighbourhoods - even if it means forcing families to move elsewhere."

6. "Everyone shut up, I have the perfect solution," says Larry McCormack, shouting into a megaphone. "How about we kick these ungrateful foreigners out of our great nation nation and never let them come back?! We've all heard what those ethnics are like, I wouldn't be surprised if they ate their own young! Immigration shouldn't be allowed! I won't abide it!"

The legislature of Insert Country Name is preparing to adopt a decision.

Poll #1656101 Clash Of Cultures
This poll is closed.

You're the ruler of Insert Country Name. Adopt one of the above positions.

Miss Rubin the patriot housewife
Buffy the immigrant
Mr Melbourne the multiculturalist
Jack the anthropology student
Mr Wang the anti-segregationist
Larry the wingnut

The possible options, of course, are purposefully stratified.

Ps. On a side note, the question What Ails America got a fairly diverse set of answers, but a couple stick out:
- Materialism, consumerism and the money-debt cycle;
- Stupidity, bigotry, racism, nihilism, cinicism, apathy and bias;
- American exceptionalism, hawkish patriotism, the military industrial complex, too many wars;
Tags: culture, hypothesis, immigration, poll
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