Just Wanna Know

Revolutionary Propaganda Organ

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Belgium

Interesting NYTimes article about Belgium, "the most successful failed state" in the world. Apparently the country is again close to breaking up. Here's the best quote:

Mr. Dannemark added: “Flemish culture is dynamic today, Flemish intellectuals are fluent in Dutch and French and English, and they aren’t part of the separatist movement. Many of them come to live in Brussels because we here are the last Belgians. Most people in Flanders now say, ‘I’m Flemish,’ not ‘I’m Belgian.’ It’s as if Flemish-speaking Belgium wanted to leave Europe. And if they weren’t poor, Walloons would probably want to secede too.”


I had heard this before, that Brussels is the only truly "Belgian" part of Belgium. Tribalism has led people in the other two parts to consider themselves either Walloon (French speaking) or Flemish (Dutch speaking). Now, the fact that only Brussels is truly Belgian is important, because it's a city of immigrants. According to Wikipedia (wiki no lie), more than one in every three Brusselians is an immigrant or relative of immigrants:

Population of the Brussels capital region: 954,040
Population born in Belgium and Belgian-born: 607,446
Population of others: 346,954

Many of these are Moroccans and Muslims. So it appears to me that the same group that most Europeans believe to be incapable of integrating into Europe also belongs to the main group responsible for keeping Europe's most European country integrated.

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