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But what you describe is a real conundrum for governments isn't it?

If this hypothesis is true then you would think that the government in place would do everything they can to stop the far right/far left from rising from the ashes of the failed social safety net.

Instead, what we see mostly is the mainstream parties blaming the far right/far left without even addressing the issues that have led to people actually joining their ranks.

Its the same in Europe. Some people say they want a different Europe, mainstream politicians say no.

People then have the impression that their voices have not been heard. What do they do? They vote far right or far left and say: "now, can you hear me?"

But even that's still not enough, because most politicians are only concerned with being reelected, they still don't listen and they even blame the people who now despise the mainstream parties.

I can't understand this kind of logic.


> If this hypothesis is true then you would think that the government in place would do everything they can to stop the far right/far left from rising from the ashes of the failed social safety net.

The problem is that politicians care about their individual pockets, not what happens to society after their term. Politicians are not incentivized to serve the people - quite the contrary. And even if they do end up thrown out of office, a nice private sector job is waiting for those who let themselves be bribed.


Addressing the far-right/far left for the mobilization of unheard voices is kind of like treating the symptom. What we have here is a failing economy based on the enormous banking sector, debt and trickle down economics. Most of it is based on ideological premises, the belief that big profits will be reinvested to create more jobs, the idea of "responsible business", whatever that is. I mean, I can imagine small responsibilities that successful businesses take upon themselves, but can't imagine them solving global or national-scale scale problems.

Anyway, the public political discourse is usually addressing the symptoms, like far-right blaming the immigrants or far-left bringing back some welfare-state memories. Looks like ever since the iron curtain was lifted global economies have been rocked by constant crisis and the voters want an answer, so they choose either left or right or whoever is speaking "the truth". And of course it's hard to address economic problems, requires a well-educated know-how.


> If this hypothesis is true then you would think that the government in place would do everything they can to stop the far right/far left from rising from the ashes of the failed social safety net.

I don't think they can. When the mainstream messes up really badly, people turn to the fringe. The mainstream can try to hinder them, but can't really stop them by anything other than not messing up badly. Once something like 2008 has happened, it's already too late.


"the rise of Trump was and is based mostly on rednecks blaming the loss of their jobs on immigrants"

Please stop calling them "rednecks" and please don't assume that all his supporters were simply anti-immigration. While "redneckism" was a part of their campaign, Trump was elected by college educated, white suburban women too. Personally, the Trump supporters I've talked with are mostly well-off (small business owners), and mostly disconnected from world news. They don't identify as rednecks, and live in a very blue state. The usual justification goes like this "I worked for what I have, I don't think others should get hand outs" and "Politicians are all evil, I like that Trump is 'shaking things up'"

To be clear, I'm not defending Trump supporters but rather advocating for looking at them with a broader view. While my state is one of the most liberal in the nation, 50% of my neighbors identify with GOP messaging.


I think all of what you’re saying can hold for people who supported Trump before his election, to an extent. Now however? I’m not inclined to cut people who still support him any slack. He’s more than demonstrated that in addition to all of his many hideous qualities, he’s not shaking anything up. The massive tax cut, continuing with the wars, involvement in Syria, etc, are all pure status quo. The ways in which he’s demonstrably different are his open racism, misogyny, and anti-democratic, anti-immigration stances.

And polls keep showing that the people who voted for him do not regret their vote. “Redneck” may be unfair, and a slur, but the spirit of it in term of cultural identity (small-minded racists) has sadly been proven through his continued support.


"Now however?"

A logical thing to assume for someone who is fully engaged with current events/news. However, most don't follow /r/politics religiously, and the nightly network news certainly isn't covering it (with the outrage that they should be) so many are still blissfully ignorant. Or is it willfully ignorant?


> the nightly network news certainly isn't covering it

Even from here in Germany, newspapers make headlines with every little tweet that Trump spews out, not to mention every tiny detail from the Mueller probe. Same for social media. You gotta run through the world blindfolded to be unaware of Trumps scandals...


Good for Germany.

In the US we have "network news" and "cable news".

Network news is what the workers, families and people who just want a quick update on the world watch. This nightly news (30-60 min) focuses mostly on local horrors like murders, robberies, fires etc. with a smattering of positive local happenings. They might touch for 1-2 minutes on national/political news, and in doing so attempt to tell it in a way that doesn't piss off 50% of their audience. People that watch this news, as their primary source are blissfully unaware of how bad it really is. They think it's just "politics as usual" and don't want to be bummed out after a long day at work.

Then we have cable news, which is is a 24/7 IV drip for retirees, stay at homes, jobless Americans and the most militant supporters on both sides. If you identify with Republicans you watch Fox News if you identify with Democrats, you watch MSNBC. Both leave you feeling outraged, exhausted and convinced the other side is "lying to you".

Then, both sides retreat to social media, where their friends and family re-enforce what they already feel - further widening the divide between Americans.


I’m all all for cynical reductionism, but come on. There are hundreds of millions of Americans and only a fraction watch Fox or MSNBC. There are newspapers, blogs, forums, social media of varying quality, PBS, NPR, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, Twitter, news magazines, and much more. There truly is no excuse for being totally ignorant of politics after two years of this except deliberate action to blinker yourself.

This, in a country of cord cutters, and massive internet consumption, with access to the world’s press in addition to their own.


For brevity, maybe I went too far in my reduction-ism. I stand by my assertion however that "network news" isn't covering it enough (leaving most in the dark) and cable news is creating a divisive atmosphere due to the mixing of commentary and actual factual news which leads both sides to believe the "others" are lying to them.

I think you need to broaden your social circle, as the Americans I know personally aren't as connected as you assume. Every revelation I share with them is responded to with shock and disbelief. "What do you mean it's illegal but no one is doing anything about it?" or "If that was true, shouldn't those people be arrested and in jail?"

I only know a couple "cord cutters" and even those that have cut the cord, still watch network news; CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox. Facebook we know is an echo-chamber, not open to dissenting opinions by design.

Furthermore, these people aren't on Twitter, they don't even know what a "web forum" or blog really is ("is it like a website?").


claiming ignorance is no defence in court. Why should it be a defence for trump voting?


It shouldn't but ...these people don't have to testify in court. They get to cast a vote, in private, while also publicly decrying Trump and harmful GOP policies to their neighbors.


They don’t identify as rednecks because most of polite society looks down on those types of people. Over the past 40 years we’ve demonized manual labor and the people who perform it as lower class and undeserving of nice things. Real success after all is an office job, just ask any high school guidance counselor.

Most people have the innate sense that something in our society is deeply unfair and they’re looking for someone to blame. Trump offers easy solutions.

What we should refuse to do is let anyone off the hook for supporting Trump. Just because you like his business policies doesn’t mean you get to look the other way when he does monstrous things like locking migrant families in detention centers.


American identity politics started long before Trump, and long before the GOP's modern assault on governance. I just finished reading; White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America - it was illuminating.

The war against "cultural elites" started with the first "mountain men" that ran for office in contrast to the 'educated elites' from "the North". Sound familiar?

It's not liberals, leftists or elitists who started the war on manual labor - they used it to separate themselves a long time ago.

This of course was connected to slavery, which left the south under-educated and feeling personally attacked. Too much to cover here, just read the book!


> The rise of Hitler, for example, was based on him blaming the Jews for Germany's messed up economy (when it was the insane reparation load of WW1 that caused the economy situation)

Hitler spent far more time blaming Democracy for that, and several missteps in a row really handed it over to him. He despised Jews and blamed them, but you don't really come to power by blaming hidden minorities. He had to first destroy Democracy, which he did, to rousing applause. He convinced everyone that autocracy was the solution. And man, was it fast. As soon as he was Chancellor, they were up and murdering what was left of the minority opposition. It was fast and ugly. And after that, it was ironclad. People should be more worried.


He doesn’t have control of the justice department. It’s also uncertain the military would violate the constitutional ban on law enforcement at his order.

To get closer to autocracy he’d need better control of one of those two branches.


> Hitler spent far more time blaming Democracy

"democracy is fundamentally not German: it is Jewish" - Hitler

Hitler believed the Jews invented and foisted democracy onto the world. So when he's blaming democracy, he's still blaming the Jews.

> you don't really come to power by blaming hidden minorities

Except he did exactly this, repeatedly and publicly, in his writing, speeches, and policy.


> Except he did exactly this, repeatedly and publicly, in his writing, speeches, and policy.

Sure. He pointed a hell of a lot of fingers. He had a special hatred for Jews, yes. He said it publicly, but my point was that it he didn't come to power by solely blaming Jews for everything. The "humiliation" that he felt Germany suffered due to the end of WWI generally played much better.


> The "humiliation" that he felt Germany suffered due to the end of WWI generally played much better.

Hitler believed Germany lost WW1 specifically because they were "stabbed in the back" by the Jews.


...when social safety nets are being dismantled or are no longer existing...

I'm slowly coming to realise this. You'd think that point might be more broadly advertised.


Politicians cannot and will never fix the economy by going against the business cycle. It's all just hype, lies. Polarization will happen whenever people are discontent and facing hardship. They will look for someone to blame.


In 2007 the World Bank issued a report stating, in effect, it wanted more right-wing governments in power around the world because they tended to borrow more (for wars) and it was better for the World Bank to have right-wing/crypto-fascsist in power than the liberal social democrats that had been paying off their bills.

And now, look where we are. In short, if you're sick of all the right-wing nonsense, follow the money: who loaned them the money to get where they are today, in power? Follow that trail all the way back and you'll see the real string-pullers behind the puppets...


You do realize issues about immigration aren't just about jobs, its about having a home. Maybe it's too hard for the rootless masses on HN to understand what its like being rooted in an area over generations to just watch it become a foreign country within a decade.

Then to be told if only you cared more about climate change everything would be fine...


> You do realize issues about immigration aren't just about jobs, its about having a home. Maybe it's too hard for the rootless masses on HN to understand what its like being rooted in an area over generations to just watch it become a foreign country within a decade.

The amusing thing in the case of Germany is that the country never really was a real nation with a unifying culture etc (like e.g. France). Having only been unified in 1871, it was a hodgepodge of dukedoms for centuries. It's for example completely arbitrary that Bavaria became part of Germany but Austria didn't. To this day there is no unifying culture to speak of, e.g. the stereotypical German-Bavarian would scoff at "traditional" food from Northern Germany and vice versa. It was migration, immigration and arbitrarily drawn borders since practically forever. Many inhabitants of northern Germany have slavic surnames, because half of the local population has been wiped out in the Thirty Years' War, with immigrants replacing the dead. We don't even have a common religous tradition.


Opposition against immigration is highest in areas with very little immigration, and support for it is highest in areas with a lot of it.


Which kinda makes sense. Why would you life in an area with high Immigration if you dont Like/Support it. You would have to look at the data of people living in areas where Immigration just begins/recently started to see if they are happy about it


Internal immigration flows fairly closely correlate with external immigration flows. In other words, people are moving from areas of low immigration to areas of high immigration, not the other way around.


My point was: Are people who live in an area for a long time happy if a low immigration area turns into a high immigration area.

High immigration(besides nearby catastrophes) usually means something good happended to the area. So people can have the same overall happiness but for different reasons.

For example: Job opportunities are better now, Property prices are rising(Great my home is worth more), but it feels less at home then before.


> You would have to look at the data of people living in areas where Immigration just begins/recently started to see if they are happy about it

I live in Munich. Aside from exorbitant rents caused by politicians ignoring housing issues for decades, we don't have a significant problem w/ immigrants and refugees. We do have a couple Nazi groups (two different Pegida groups, plus the "old" NPD nazi party plus the AfD neo-fash) with maybe two dozen people on the streets, but no one except Antifa gives a flying f..k about them.


The exorbitant rents were the reason i didnt move to Munich, but Nuremberg. Rent is a Gatekeeper though, only "succesfull" people can afford to live there. The conflict seems to be more about gentrification.

Also i personally dont know anybody who got negatively affected (besides closed school Gyms) by the refugee crisis, but many worry anyways. Probaly Social Media makes it feel worse then it is,similar to people feeling less safe now despite way lower crime rates.


> Maybe it's too hard for the rootless masses on HN to understand what its like being rooted in an area over generations to just watch it become a foreign country within a decade.

I can't remember the exact number, but the majority population feels threatened when the non-majority reaches some like 5-10% of the total population. When you feel threatened, the minority population isn't exactly overwhelming. America has had this kind of xenophobia before. Irish, Italians, Ukranians, Jews, it's all the same noise, and it turns out the same - you still have America, it's just a little different, a little more culturally complex. And don't give me that whole "but they aren't integrating" shtick. They may not integrate easily, but 2 generations from now their grand kids will be as American as anybody.


Immigration is just about the most American thing there is. If you think having a bunch of immigrants move in makes the area “a foreign country” then you have no idea what this country is even about. If being around different ethnicities bothers you, then I suggest returning to your ancestral homeland.


So it's racism then?

Because if it was white people moving into their hometowns then you/they wouldn't feel like a foreigner.


Most people mostly don't care so long as the new residents don't gentrify the crap out of the place.

White people tend to be the biggest offenders in the gentrification regard but people tend to take it out on the newcomers who are visibly different from them so in white communities it because an "immigration problem" and in nonwhite communities it becomes a "gentrification problem".


> to just watch it become a foreign country within a decade.

Jeez, that's basically directly quoted out of the conspiracy theory playbook ("Umvolkung"). Germany has 5% Muslims and people whine about Islamization.

It's bollocks fueled by media. When media and politicians does nothing but draw migrants or "foreign" people as problems, then you'll see the non-whites on the streets automatically, subconsciously, as a problem. THIS is why the Nazi rhetoric and framing is so dangerous.


Switzerland has a immigration ceilings and annual quotas.

https://blog.kpmg.ch/swiss-immigration-recent-developments-o...

This is how immigration should be handled.


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Race war will get you banned here. Ditto religious flamewar. Please keep such tropes off HN.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


You’re suggesting a subgroup will increase tenfold in two generations, assuming that the majority population stays roughly constant. That implies a birthrate of something like 9 children per woman, maintained for two generations. Meanwhile every bit of sociological evidence shows that increases in income and living standard reduces total fertility.


The rate is high enough that in two generations they'll go from 5% to 51%?


Doesn’t seem too far fetched.

If a Muslim family on avg has kids around early 20s and have about 3kids each vs avg European family starting in early 30s and having 1 kid on avg..

In 60 yrs - Muslim pop will have 8x while European population will be at 1.75x

If Muslims are at 5%, they will then turn to 25% of population vs 75% Germans after 60 years.

The population change is exponential.

A lot of things that change you won’t even notice until it’s too late.


> The population change is exponential.

That assumes that reproduction rate stays constant. Fact is: after the second generation, reproduction rate is only a tiny bit above the one of the "host country" (per http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/demografische-stud...).

The reason is that while first generation women usually stay at home and care for kids, second and following generation women go to universities and then into jobs which means delayed childbirth and less kids overall (because each kid means a drop in career). In addition, Germany has easy and cheap access to family planning - everything from pill and condoms over "plan b pill" to abortions - than typical "origin countries", further lowering the rate of unwanted pregnancies.

Altogether, the "Umvolkung" theory is utter bullshit spewed out especially by the Identitäre Bewegung neo nazis.


Also the birth rate of the source population (Syria) is 2.5x. Germany is 1.5x. It's not really that far apart. Between that and the drop in the birth rate after the first generation, and the conversion out of Islam that will start happening as later generations assimilate and intermarry with locals, I doubt if there will be a substantial change in the Muslim population over the long term.


The demographic crisis has a lot to do with economics, Europeans choosing to have (if have at all) children later in life. And we need to acknowledge the fact that Merkel did accept a lot of immigrants fleeing from war in middle-east, no thanks to western policies there. I really don't think that religion is the issue here.


But isn't it a problem of integration? Globalization did happen and open borders were celebrated both culturally and economically. I understand that people care about their neighborhood, but I think it has a lot to do about safety. If the immigrants do get lower waged jobs or don't get jobs at all, or if it's harder for them to get equal opportunities then, even if it's definitely wrong, crime becomes the solution. And that's what needs to be addressed.




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