The Transition To a Multi-Ethnic Society Will Be The Crucible Test For Democracy

In 1980, the US population was 80 percent white. Today, this share has dropped to 63 percent, and by 2060 it is projected to drop to less than 44 percent. Other countries face a comparable development. Today 23% of the people in Germany have a migration background, but nearly 40% of children under 5 have it and grading up the recent development over the next few decades, it`s most probably, that in 2060 Germans without a migration-background – that means those who live in Germany for generations – will be a minority. This is an important part of the reason, why uncertainty among many local people is increasing and why extreme right-wing movements are gaining popularity.

But what to do? There are people, who think building walls is the right way. Surely it`s not. Of course, you must try to control and partly limit migration movements. But never in history it has been possible to prevent migration completely. And in the present day and age, it is the stupidest way to try this with walls. Those who hope to solve problems with walls will always be among the losers in history. There are more reasonable measures that are manifold and sophisticated, but stopping migration at all will never be possible.

Therefore it`s a matter of a fact, the population share within the nations will change. The big danger is, when the advocates of walls will fail – and they will – that our nations move down to tribalism. To avoid this, a new narrative has to be created. I think this narrative we need, could be inspired by the words General Harras speaks out in Carl Zuckmayers drama, „The Devils General“, when he wants to make clear, that a nation is a great living stream.

“ There was a Roman captain, a dark fellow, brown as a ripe olive, he managed to teach Latin to his blond girl on the banks of River Rhine, then a Jewish spice dealer came into the family, a serious man, who converted to Christianity before the wedding and founded the Catholic tradition of the house. Then a Greek doctor, a Celtic legionary, a Swedish knight, one of Napoleon`s soldiers, a deserting Cossack, a Black Forest craftsman, a wandering miller`s apprentice from Alsace, a fat boatswain from Holland, a Magyar, a Pandur, an officer from Vienna, a French actor, a Bohemian musician and all the whole mixed up crowd that lived, brawled, drank and sang and begot children along the River Rhine! That Goethe character came out of the same pot. Also a guy named Beethoven and Gutenberg and – ah whatever, look it up in a lexicon. They were the best my friend, the best in the world! And why? Because the nations mixed there, like the waters from the springs and brawls and rivers that flow together in a great living stream.“

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