Posted 21 January 2004 - 03:30 PM
I don't think the situation in England and France are similar at all.
England has been very good at assimilating people coming into the country, especially people from countries part of it's commonwealth (that's a lot of countries). People from India, for example. The become English, which is the way it should be and what G1223 was aluding to about the US. If you move to a country, you should expect, and be expected, to become a part of the country. If you're so hung up on where you came from you should have stayed there. And if they people in the new country don't let you in socially, you won't be able to become fully part of the new country either.
Anyways, France is still very seperatist. People may be French citizens, but they are not French, they are considered outsiders, and therefore excluded and not assimilated into the society. Eventually, when there are enough of them, they create a problem for the existing culture, potentially overwhelming it. If they are treated as outsiders, they will be outsiders, keeping their old traditions and ways, and not being particularily friendly to the 'ruling' class. And don't forget how protective the French have always been concerning their culture. They have all kinds of rules about movies, food, etc to try and persist what is considered French. But while they were so worried about being overwhelmed by American culture they missed what was happening in their very midsts. They liked the idea of cheap labor without considering the consequence, something Americans should be very carefull about these days. And you can't entirely blame them, no one wants their culture to be over run by someone else's culture.
This is also another reason why countries try to limit how many people immigrate at once, not only does the physical infrastructure have limits to how fast it can absorb new people, but so does the cultural infrastructure.