Friday, 28 September 2007

Multiculturalism and social exclusion

In order to assess whether the policies of multiculturalism are responsible for social exclusion, the definition of the term must first be clarified. It must be noted that there is a distinct difference between a society that is 'multicultural' and one that adheres to the doctrines of 'multiculturalism'. A 'multicultural' society is described by Stuart Hall as one that is 'by definition culturally heterogeneous' (Hesse 2000:210), this term would for example be applied to describe French society, but many commentators would doubt whether France, in its continued endorsement of a common French national citizenship, could be defined as a society that adheres to 'multiculturalism'. A 'multiculturalist' society, as S. Sayyid describes in his essay 'Beyond Westphalia', is defined as one that follows 'a normative stance arising out of the recognition and celebration of the variety of cultural forms and practices that exist within the body of the nation' (Hesse 2000:33).

The philosophies of 'multiculturalism' are clearly distinct from the previous models of 'assimilation' and 'integration', that had been deployed to incorporate marginal groups into the mainstream of western societies. The assimilation model, otherwise known as 'mono-culturalism', has a central feature of insisting that all those within the marginal groups who are capable of doing so, should incorporate the traditions and customs of the dominant culture of a society. Assimilationists believe that with the removal of state-imposed restrictions and outlawing of discrimination, marginal groups would be able to follow the path of the dominant groups to prosperity. The disadvantages experienced by marginal groups in society would be explained by assimilationists as an insufficient or an inadequate degree of assimilation of the groups or individuals in question.

An integrationalist stance on the management of diversity in society, would be the 'humanist' approach of believing that individuals among such diverse groups all share a natural intellectual equality with those of mainstream society, and have more personal 'human' commonalities than ethnic or racial differences. Its goals are the levelling of barriers to association, creating equal opportunities regardless of race, and the development of a progressive culture, drawing on both mainstream traditions and those of its diverse constituents. Integrationalists also believe that cultural practices which are particular only to the groups in question should, and will eventually become more of a privatised matter for these groups.

Multiculturalism, in contrast to both of these approaches, focuses on difference as opposed to sameness between groups in society, and refutes that in doing so it disrupts the dominant western narratives, as democracy involves not merely concern with the rights of the majority, but also the marginalized. Multiculturalists claim that pluralism is the supreme social virtue of globalized, flexible, post-modern and post-Fordist capitalism. The purpose of education in multicultural theory is to create a 'multicultural literacy' among a nation's population, meaning that people from mainstream culture are able to successfully operate in subcultures and culturally different situations. In turn, members of sub-cultures would learn to operate in mainstream culture and gain essential abilities through equal economic and educational opportunities, while simultaneously building a pride in their heritage and cultural difference.
The roots of the doctrine of multiculturalism as an official government policy are found in the Canadian government's declaration of 1971, that 'all citizens (of Canada) are equal….can keep their identities, can take pride in their ancestry and have a sense of belonging'. Simultaneously such citizens must 'respect the political and legal process….address issues by legal and constitutional means….integrate into their society and take an active part in its social, cultural, economic and political affairs' (, 10/04/2006).

This policy was adopted as a reaction to the Canadian Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism in 1963, who had advocated that the government recognizes that the Canadian peoples, with their British and French ancestry are a bilingual and bicultural society, and must adopt policies to preserve this character. The opposition to the 'biculturalist' policy came mainly from Canadians who were neither of French or British ancestry, but diverse groups, such as descendents of migrants from the Ukraine, the Caribbean, or Canadians of Aboriginal origin. To accommodate these groups, "biculturalism" was adapted to "multiculturalism".

Examples of multicultural ideas that influence government policies include the allowing of dual citizenship, accommodation of traditional and religious dress in schools or the workplace, or the financial support for ethnic minority media, events, and community groups. This policy also encourages affirmative action programmes to encourage minority representation in politics (such as the 1980s campaign within the British Labour party for Black sections), education, and the work force. It must be noted however, that despite the emphasis on cultural differences, as Nira Yuval-Davis points out, it would be incorrect 'to suppose that those who advocate multiculturalism assume a civil and political society in which all cultural identities would have the same legitimacy….in all states in which multiculturalism is an official policy, there are cultural customs (such as Polygamy, using drugs, etc.) which are considered illegal as well as illegitimate, giving priority to cultural traditions of the hegemonic majority' (Werbner and Modood 1997:198).

The reasons put forward for adopting of policies of multiculturalism over those of assimilation and integration are that 'minorities have a right to maintain and transmit their ways of life and denying it to them is both indefensible and likely to provoke resistance' (Parekh 2000:197). Bikhu Parekh's also claims that the whole premise of the assimilation model is 'unable to redeem its promise of unqualified acceptance….(as) the demand for total assimilation springs from intolerance of differences, and for the intolerant even the smallest differences are sources of deep unease' (Parekh 2000:198).

The link between monocultural theories of assimilation and a fundamental intolerance of difference is also made by Kincheloe and Steinburg. They claim the assimilationist model to be 'a new embrace of the colonialist tradition of white male supremacy' (Kinchloe and Steinburg 1997:3) and that melting pot assimilation model had 'never operated smoothly even for non-white people who wanted to melt - no matter how much they tried to assimilate, they were still marginalized on the basis of their colour' (Kincheloe and Steinburg 1997:4).

The monocultural model also over looks how fragmentation within receiving societies had existed throughout the era of the modern nation-state, based on differences of class, religion and regionalism, and in many cases sub-divisions such as being 'Scottish' or 'Quebecois' failed to effect one's identity as British or Canadian. Bikhu Parekh notes that the monoculturalist tendency is to assume 'that society has a coherent and unified cultural and moral structure, and that is rarely the case….the assimilationist ignores all this, and either offers a highly abridged and distorted view of national culture or equates it with that of the dominant group' (Parekh 2000:197).

Parekh asserts that although national identity and the sub-divisions within such territories need not conflict, such a situation 'can arise in practice if either of them were to be defined as to exclude or undermine the other…minorities cannot feel part of the community if its very self-definition excludes them and treats them as outsiders' (Parekh 2000:232). S. Sayyid also points out how the idea of exclusion is a built in feature with national identity, as 'the nation is at best an enterprise based on exclusionary universalism. It is a bounded entity; it is not open to everyone' (Hesse 2000:36). Therefore by its very nature, a national culture will have difficulties assimilating marginal groups into its collective identity.

Multiculturalists also argue that integrationalist policies are equally as flawed as their assimilationist counterparts. They argue that such theories are grounded in a supposed colour blindness, but the reality of their implementation makes marginal groups culturally invisible, resulting in an unconscious ethnocentrism. Kincheloe and Steinburg argue that appealing to consensus and similarity between groups falsely portrays such perspectives as 'neutral and universal process(es) of consciousness construction'. As a result their beliefs of an 'unexamined sameness….allows educators and cultural producers to speak the language of diversity but to normalize Eurocentric culture as the tacit norm everyone references….(it) still assimilates to white standards' (Kincheloe and Steinburg 1997:11).

Also part of the logic for having a perspective that is grounded in the differences between groups, rather than their commonalities, or a call for such groups to create a homogeneity between them, is that it assumes a bi-polar 'white/non-white' perspective. As Stuart Hall points out 'in the 1970s anti-racist struggles by both (Afro-Caribbean and Asian) groups tended to cluster under the affirmative identity of 'black', defined by their shared racialized difference from white society. However, one unintended effect was to privilege the Afro-Caribbean experience over that experienced by Asians' (Hesse 2000:224).

It also needs to be remembered that theories which draw upon a cultural sameness, or call upon marginal groups to assimilate to the dominant culture, are grounded in different societal conditions to the ones which prevail today. The 'melting pot' assimilation model in particular was formed in the era of late nineteenth century migration to the new world and are very much a product of modernity. Zygmunt Bauman argues that multiculturalism has an enhanced potential to reduce social exclusion, because of its closeness to post-modernist theories.

Bauman claims that the boundary-conscious certainties of modernity had in many ways inspired the social exclusion of marginal groups, meaning that they were often 'earmarked for annihilation'. By contrast, the uncertain and non fixed identities of post-modern citizens, makes the creation of internal 'others' equally uncertain, therefore such groups are to be considered 'by joyful or grudging, but common, consent - here to stay….their strangerhood is to be protected and lovingly preserved…ours is a hetrophilic age…the question is no longer how to get rid of strangers and the strange but how to live with them' (Werbner and Modood 1997:54).

The nineteenth century era, when the 'melting pot' theory was founded, was also one that lacked the communications technology of today, and consequently migrants would have had a near-absolute severance with their homeland both physically and culturally. The practicality of the assimilationist, and also to a great extent integrationalist policies are questionable in this present-day era, with the compression of space and time that has occurred through technological advancement. The development of the internet, satellite technology and digital broadcasting, has brought with it an increased capacity to transmit more diverse forms of culture within western society. This includes an increased ability for migrants and their descendants to communicate with family and peers in migrant homelands, and attain instant access to cultural information and produce from these territories within the receiving nations.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown points out that such technologies of communication have aided the creation of 'pan-national virtual communities….you can see this most clearly with the growth in pan-Islamic identity in the last decade' (Alibihai-Brown 2000:269). Technology's creation of increased space for media produce has in turn led to an increase of 'narrowcast' rather than 'broadcast' media, meaning that such produce is 'not aimed at a general national audience, but at specialised segments, whose particular patterns of consumption are targeted by advertisers' (Billig 1995:132). This development has brought an opening for ethnic minority programming by organisations such as Al Jazeera, Star TV and Bollywood TV companies. A situation that had not even existed with Britain's original wave of non-white immigration in the 1950's and 60's.

The increasing deregulation of national markets created by globalization, has also led to a situation where the national cultural identity of any given nation 'must compete with other identities on a free market of identities' (Billig 1995:133). A belief that society's marginal groups must assimilate to a singular national culture is at best an inherent contradiction to, and at worst an endorsed exclusion from the prevailing ethos of post-Fordist market liberalism. As explained by Anthony Giddens, many on the new right of the political spectrum have often assumed that 'individualism and choice are supposed to stop abruptly at the boundaries of…national identity, where tradition must stand intact. But nothing is more dissolving of tradition than the 'permanent revolution' of market forces' (Giddens 1998:15).

It could be argued therefore that the policies of multiculturalism are a mere response to societal changes resulting from such a technological and commercial paradigm shift. However the potential of market-led pluralism as a force of emancipation for the socially excluded is criticised by Kinchloe and Steinberg. They argue that the primary purpose of ethnic minority media representation and produce is 'to sell and create consumer markets for particular goods and services. Techno-power becomes a medieval alchemist that instead of turning base metals into gold transforms 'truth' into 'what sells'. Valuable information in this context becomes not that which explains or empowers but that which creates a cooperative community, a culture of consumption' (Kincheloe and Steinburg 1997:116).

Kincheloe and Steinburg support their view, by pointing to the fact that the very same ethnic groups, whose cultures have become more commodifiable, have experienced a corresponding deterioration in their share of society's overall material wealth. Commodification has reinforced their exclusion as it 'constructs non-whiteness as lesser, deviant and pathological - but concurrently more interesting, more exotic, more natural and, therefore, more commodifiable than the 'white bread' norm' (Kincheloe and Steinburg 1997:18). Therefore, as such multicultural media representations of marginal groups have been accused of failing to adequately address the social inequalities they experience, multicultural policies, many of which are the subject of their indirect or covert influence are equally susceptible to repeating such failings.

Multicultural theories and policies have often been accused of a general reluctance to address issues of power relations that result from one's socio-economic class and standing, and as a result 'honour cultural difference outside of a historical power-literate context….trivialise the lived realities of exotic others and relegate them to a nether land of political isolation' (Kincheloe and Steinburg 1997:18). This lack of challenge to socio-economic issues, has led to critics questioning the egalitarian potential of such policies.

Kenan Malik criticises multicultural policies as a new form of 'divide and rule', reminiscent of that experienced by diverse tribes under colonialism, who were culturally pigeon-holed and indirectly ruled via local chiefs. Malik's claim is that the colonial system, rather than removing the indigenous culture of the colonised, had in fact changed it from one that was a living and open culture to one that was 'mummified' in a closed static formation. This 'mummifaction' came about by a 'plural outlook (that) ignored the dynamic interplay of the various groups making up colonial society, and instead represented the products of their mutual interaction as cultural forms created by autonomous segments of society, each supposedly following its particular path in isolation' (Malik 1996:172).

Malik's claim is that multiculturalism's own pluralist vision is destined to repeat such a stagnating 'mummification' of culture. Cultural differences that result from the mainstream exclusion of minority groups and their resulting willingness to cling to 'old habits and lifestyles as a familiar anchor in a hostile world', have in turn become 'rationalised not as the negative product of racism or discrimination but as the positive result of multiculturalism' (Malik 1996:177). Malik believes that rather than refraining from disrupting the narratives of modernity, multiculturalism is an embodiment of the death of post-French Revolution enlightenment ideals of universal progress and humanity. He claims that the 'philosophy of difference is the politics of defeat, born out of defeat.….unable to pursue the goal of equality, postmodernists have simply refashioned its meaning and embraced difference. The consequence has been the celebration of marginality, of parochialism, and indeed of oppression' (Malik 1996:265).

In reference to Malik's claim of multiculturalism's neo 'divide and rule' tendencies, ethnic minority community leaders have been often been cast by many critics in the role of the indirectly-ruling local chiefs. They have been criticised in many cases for providing poor leadership, resulting from a remoteness that stems from 'accepting as representatives of minorities people, in class and power positions very different from those of the majority members of that community' (Werbner and Modood 1997:200).

A Home Office report from an independent review team compiled in the aftermath of the 2001 riots in Northern England, had noted that 'In some areas, the Asian community have drawn our attention to a situation where some local political activities, including the selection of candidates, owe more to familial and other inappropriate connections than to the legitimate and pressing concerns of the local electorate. The 'politics from back home' was often cited, not only as a distraction, but also as a factor in priorities and decision making, overriding the merits of the local circumstances' (, 15/04/2006).
Malik's claims of Multiculturalism's stagnating 'mummification' of culture, is also backed by the accusations of social commentators, that such policies give a disproportionate level of cultural influence to religious leaders. Such critics claim that this has led to the extremely narrow defining of cultures and the formation of religious and cultural essentialisms. Akhtar Saeed Bhutta, director of the Muslim Education Council of Scotland, coupled his claims for state funded Muslim schools with accusing secular state education of dislocating Muslim pupils from their cultural heritage. Bhutta claims that state schools promoted entirely materialistic principles, which resulted in their Muslim pupils being 'in a cultural limbo….they are not ours, neither are they theirs'. (, 17/04/2006).

Bhutta's comments were criticised by Glasgow University's Amanullah De Sondy, an adviser on the teaching of Islamic studies within the Scottish curriculum. De Sondy claims that Bhutta's perspective on education 'will make it difficult for (Muslim) kids to face their uniqueness….if we only want to hear things we agree with in school, then is that really education?….I think working with this (state) system will help foster a Scottish Muslim identity far quicker than this other isolationist appreciation of Islam' (, 17/04/2006). In the essay 'Ethnicity, Gender Relations and Multiculturalism', Nira Yuval-Davis also claims that such perspectives bring about 'an inherent assumption that all members of a specific cultural collectivity are equally committed to that culture…(and) tend to construct the members of minority collectives as basically homogeneous, (and) speaking with a unified cultural or racial voice' (Werbner and Modood 1997:200).

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, however disagrees that the influence of religion in multiculturalist theory, has an anti-modernity stance, or that it has failed to challenge inequalities, especially regarding questions of freedom of expression. She points to the 'Satanic Verses' controversy as one that 'more than any other, made white Britons confront the fact that multiculturalism was not merely about happy-clappy festivals and world music…fundamental values were now being contested in a public arena' (Alibhai-Brown 2000:266-7).

Alibhai-Brown points to the long established principle that even in the west 'freedom of expression could not always prevail unquestioningly' and the Rushdie affair had questioned 'lazy beliefs about freedom' (Alibhai-Brown 2000:266-7). The right to 'Freedom of Expression', encapsulated in Article 10 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, is not an absolute, but a qualified right limited by legal penalties, one such example being the strict liability offence of Blasphemy.

As shown by the 1979 case of R v Lemon, producing anything related to Christianity that is considered 'contemptuous, reviling, scurrilous or ludicrous' could be grounds for prosecution. Lord Scarman, one of the Law Lords who formed this decision, had advocated its extension to non-Christian religions, as 'in an increasingly plural society….it is necessary not only to respect the differing religious beliefs…but also to protect them from scurrility, vilification, ridicule and contempt' (Barnett 2004:575). This however, failed to materialise in 1991 when an attempted to prosecute Rushdie for blasphemy had failed, as it was not considered applicable to non-Christian faiths.

Alibhai-Brown points out that such protests by the Muslim community were aimed at this very power inequality, rather than attempting to stifle the right to free speech. She points out that 'censorship is something enforced by powerful people and their institutions….the book burning was the complete opposite' (Alibhai-Brown 2000:267). She claims that such protests against the Satanic Verses signified that 'Asian people of faith were no longer just clamouring for access but for influence and power in cultural life and political life' (Alibhai-Brown 2000:267).

Bhikhu Parekh had also highlighted that the Rushdie affair, rather than caused by a multiculturalist outlook, was a situation where multiculturalism had been insufficiently incorporated into British life, particularly with regards to creating a 'multicultural literacy' as 'the debate would have been properly engaged if both parties had been sufficiently bicultural or had made a genuine effort to enter into each other's way of thinking….British society as a whole lost the opportunity to develop a self-understanding adequate to its multicultural character' (Parekh 2000:305).

Parekh points out that both Conservative and Liberal commentators were 'unwilling to appreciate that their deep historical fears about the public role of religion might be unjustified' (Parekh 2000:311), due to an historical memory based on early modern religious conflict. They had assumed that Muslims were opposed to free speech, rather than advocating its exercise with proportionality to the sensitivities of religious communities. Muslims had in turn brought their memories and experiences of racism and colonialism, and saw the Satanic Verses as a form of demonising the Islamic faith, and 'for their part…were unwilling to appreciate that the European Islamaphobia might have lost some of its earlier intensity, that religion must change with the times….and that the refusal to ban a piece of writing did not imply its endorsement' (Parekh 2000:311).

In conclusion therefore, as Tariq Modood points out 'the leading political philosophers of multiculturalism….do not advocate separatism….but for renegotiating the terms of integration'. He equates such an outlook with the example of gay rights campaigners, who were not content with their mere decriminalisation, but also called for public acceptance and equality with heterosexuals. Such an outlook, according to Modood, has similarity with religious minorities who are discontented with the mere toleration and privatisation or of their religion. He further elaborates that 'when subordinate, oppressed or marginal groups claim equality, they are demanding not to be marginal, subordinate or excluded. We too, they are saying, our values, our norms, our voice, should be part of the structuring of the public space' (, 24/04/2006).

The policies of British multiculturalism, however have failed to recognise the important aspect of social integration endorsed by such multiculturalist theorists and consequently also failed in their attempts to prevent social exclusion. The Home Office report into the 2001 riots noted that in executing such multicultural policies 'the development of cross-cultural contact and the promotion of community cohesion, was not valued as an end in itself', and also that 'many communities operate on the basis of a series of parallel lives. These lives often do not touch at any point, let alone overlap and promote any meaningful interchanges' (, 15/04/2006).

In realisation of such failure the UK government has ' in recent years…undergone a quiet revolution in its citizenship policies', claiming a rejection of 'multiculturalism' by introducing such measures as an emphasis on achieving basic knowledge of English language skills, British history and civic life and public citizenship-awarding ceremonies. However, as Nick Pearce points out, these policies 'are familiar to many other Anglo-Saxon democracies (such as Canada or Australia), not least those that proudly describe themselves as multicultural' (, 24/04/2006). Therefore it can be concluded that it has been the particular application of multiculturalism by the British government through its policies that have failed, rather than multiculturalism itself, as a theory.


Kinchloe and Steinberg, Changing Multiculturalism, 1997, Open University Press, Buckingham, Philadelphia

Parekh, Bikhu, Rethinking Multiculturalism, 2000, Palgrave, London

Malik, Kenan, The Meaning of Race: History and Culture in Western Society, 1996, MacMillan, Basingstoke

Alibhai-Brown, Yasmin, Who Do We Think We Are?: Imagining The New Britain, 2000, Penguin, London

Werbner & Modood, Debating Cultural Hybridity - Multi-Cultural Identities and the Politics of Anti-Racism, 1997, Zed Books, London and New Jersey

Billig, Michael, Banal Nationalism, 1995, Sage Publications, London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi
Giddens, Anthony, 1998, The Third Way, Polity Press, Cambridge

Barnett, Hilary, 2004, Constitutional and Administrative Law: Fifth Edition, Cavendish, London
Hesse, Barnor, 2000, Un/settled Multiculturalism, Zed Books, London and New York

The Conservatives and London Governance

As the 2008 London Mayoral race begins to warm up, with Ken Livingstone facing his most media friendly and arguably his stiffest challenge yet, it is interesting to note the Conservatives' history regarding London governance. It is interesting to note how the development of the political organisation of London, and how efforts to create, expand, limit or abolish London's governing authorities were influenced by the policies and political ambitions of the incumbents of central government, coupled with parochial concerns characterised by London's 'east-west' divide in the nineteenth century, and then between inner and outer London from the mid-twentieth century onwards.

The main reason for the political manipulation of London's governing bodies by central government, often at the expense of the practical needs of London as a city, is that the British political constitution is one of a unitary state, characterized by supreme power being held by parliament as the central authority of power. The structure and functions of all local government powers are controlled by Westminster and in Britain 'local democracy only ever existed on licence' (Pimlott and Rao 2002:43). One reason why there was much political conflict regarding the administration of the capital city between 1889 and 1986 when it had a directly elected administration, is that the national government had been predominantly controlled by the Conservative party. During this time non-Conservative governments with parliamentary majorities were in power for less than 20 years. London's local government in stark contrast to this, only had Conservative party control for 36 out of the 97 years that an elected administration existed. Therefore due to the superior constitutional position which central government holds, the Conservatives, when in control of Whitehall had often sought to effect the structure of London's local government to their political advantage, especially to prevent a radical administration forming in the national, and for much of this period imperial capital, directly opposing its policies.

The parochial conflict that existed between the east and west-ends of the metropolis, had roots which pre-dated party politics in the capital. Prior to the 1851 census there was no agreed definition of "London" and where its boundaries lay, other than that of the City of London area. "London" had for many centuries consisted of two separate entities, in the City of London and Westminster, with the rest of the area that was to make up London's conurbation area for many centuries run by several separate parish vestries. This situation had often led to conflict as 'civic pride was still primarily parochial, and if anything divisive in its effects' (Pimlott and Rao 2002:23).

The City of London had enjoyed considerable independence from central government as a local authority within the square mile, however the Royal Commission on Municipal Corporations Report of 1837 had recommended that the extension of the City of London Corporation's jurisdiction was the best solution for governing a rapidly expanding London, as most of the adjacent parishes were 'carefully planned within themselves but with little reference to the adjoining villages' (Hall 1997:88). The City of London Corporation however had strongly opposed this recommendation and had preferred to preserve its considerable powers and look after its own interests, rather than subsidizing the development of its poorer neighbours, or create a possibility of the City Corporation becoming an accountable organisation. The City had remained a staunch opponent to reforming the governance of London throughout the nineteenth century and had often resorted to underhand tactics. The findings of an 1887 parliamentary inquiry included 'bribery, the founding of bogus organisations, false reports and violent behaviour' (Wheen 1985:17)

As well as the City lacking a willingness to be involved in a centralised London governing body, the wealthier vestries of the west had also lacked the same level of enthusiasm as the poorer vestries of the east for such a move, in 1837 an attempt to create a pan-London authority was defeated by the Marylebone and Westminster districts. The need for such an authority had been highlighted by a series of public health problems effecting the whole metropolis, most notably several cholera outbreaks, which occurred in the early nineteenth century and was largely the result of poor sanitation. This had led to a renewed motivation across the metropolis to deal with its overall running.

Under the 1854 Royal Commission on the City Corporation, a Metropolitan Board of Works (MBW) was approved and then set up under the Metropolis Management Act 1855, which aimed to provide the infrastructure to cope with the problems associated with London's rapid growth, by dividing powers between itself and the parishes. The MBW had achieved some degree of success in its provision of London's infrastructure, but was in many ways a concessionary measure to delay metropolitan-wide democracy, and had 'limited resources and insufficient authority (which) rendered any really effective action impossible' (Hall 1997:91).
The MBW had not been accountable to the residents of London and in 1888, many Liberal reformers had thought it appropriate that the MBW be replaced by an authority that was directly elected, in the mould of numerous county councils which were set up in the UK, during the very same year. Such reformers had long opposed the MBW's existence 'as an undemocratic body in the grip of the City Corporation and the conservative vestries' (Pimlott and Rao 2002:23). The MBW had been involved a succession of scandals, of which the worst in 1888 had led to a Royal Commission investigation, that had found several officers and two members of the MBW had acted corruptly.

The MBW was replaced by the democratically elected LCC in 1889 which was created by the Local Government Act 1888. In many ways from hereafter, the parochial interests of certain areas of the metropolis had transferred itself to the domain of party politics. Many of the better off western parishes, opposed to metropolitan-wide government had sided with the Conservatives and their affiliated Moderates, with many of the poorer eastern parishes siding with the radical Liberal-affiliated Progressives and later the Labour party.

The LCC's introduction by the Conservative government of the day, was in many ways a political compromise. Their return to power in 1886 was greatly reliant upon an electoral pact with the Liberal Unionists, many of whom favoured the introduction of a County Council for London. There had also been fears of a violent uprising within the metropolis, from riots such as was seen in Pall Mall in 1886 and Trafalgar Square in 1887. The first elected LCC was controlled by the Progressives, who 'had an ambitious programme of municipalisation. They hankered for control of the police, the water supply and the gas and electricity services' (Jackson 1965:10).

The Conservative government however, was careful to limit any concessions over the creation of a pan-London authority, the LCC had roughly the same powers as the MBW previously had, with the exception of being elected by its residents. It was also an atypical example of a county in that it did not have the same powers conferred on other county councils. The LCC 'did not perform the same role as, say, the Lancashire County Council' (Rhodes and Ruck 1970:19) and was 'in its early years…but a pale and slender precursor of its later self' (Jackson 1965:8).
Within a decade the Conservative government had sought to put a brake on powers the LCC, their leader Lord Salisbury referred to the body as 'the place where collectivist and socialistic experiments are tried' (, 12/12/05).

In the creation of the London Government Act 1899, the Conservatives had 'proposed breaking up the LCC and transferring its powers and duties to the boroughs' (Wheen 1985:17). The Act created a lower tier of 28 metropolitan boroughs replacing the earlier parishes and vestries, who were to share powers with the LCC. The new metropolitan boroughs however 'were never strong enough individually or collectively, to mount a serious challenge to the LCC's authority' (Pimlott and Rao 2002:24).

This structure of pan-London democracy remained static as the Conservative-affiliated Municipal Reform Party dominated the LCC from 1907-34, but from the inter-war period onwards, when Labour's power was rising in the County of London, there had inevitably arose questions around the size and boundaries of London's governing authority. It was clear that the inter-dependence which existed within the County of London area had appeared to have extended beyond the county boundaries, and into the outer suburbs, as a continuous built up area had formed with the Green Belt as the boundary and 'transport facilities had made it possible for workers in the central areas to live outside the County' (Jackson 1965:234). As well as white-collar workers, much of London's industry had also relocated to the outer suburbs, the most famous example being that of Ford's Dagenham plant which opened in 1931. Between 1934-38 the LCC area had a net loss of 191 factories, whereas the outer London area had a net gain of 429 plants.

A Labour controlled LCC had aided the creation of this 'Greater' London area, in its building of council estates in areas outside of their County area, a power which only the LCC and the City Corporation had authority to perform, and a power which the LCC made extensive use of, due to the cheaper land and lower density living available in these areas. An example of an LCC out-county estate was the Becontree Estate in Essex, with over 26,000 new homes. Despite this, the idea of a Greater London Council and fewer amalgamated boroughs had been picked up by the Conservative administration which had dominated Westminster between 1951-64, though had failed to control the LCC from 1934 to its abolition in 1965.

The increased demands on local government had meant that London's expansion was 'suggested for many years from various non-political quarters…(and) was not exclusively a Conservative idea' (Jackson 1965:239), but the Conservatives were accused of taking their own political considerations into account, over and above the interests of the organisation of the capital. The introduction of a more 'conservative minded' outer ring of Greater London would have increased their chances of regaining control of County Hall, which had looked improbable under the existing LCC boundaries.

The practical considerations and apolitical endorsement of the creation of a Greater London Council did not prevent the considerable opposition to it. The parliamentary Labour party had by 1962 taken the stand of opposing a Greater London body, of which their leader Hugh Gaitskill vowed to fight any proposed bill 'clause by clause, and line by line' (Rhodes and Ruck 1970:43). The LCC opposed a Greater London Council, particularly moves to reduce the number of boroughs and the transference of any of its functions to the individual boroughs. Meanwhile the individual boroughs who may have favoured taking over these functions, strongly opposed amalgamation with other boroughs.

The Herbert Commission was formed by the Conservative government to look into issues of local government in Greater London in 1960 and from its proposals the GLC was formed in 1963. Despite it being a creation of a Conservative administration, it remained an unpopular institution with the predominantly Conservative outer-London boroughs, and in many ways the divide between inner and outer-London became as important as the 'east-west' divide that dominated London's politics in the preceding century. The GLC's creation was for the most part strongly opposed in the counties and county boroughs which were either to disappear altogether, such as Middlesex, or as a result, would suffer considerable reductions in territory, such as Essex, Kent, or Surrey. It is therefore clear that enthusiasm for the GLC's creation was more evident in the Conservative-controlled central government than local government circles.

The Conservatives had achieved the result of regaining County Hall in 1967, but as control of the GLC returned to Labour in 1973, the GLC Conservatives were lobbying within their party for its abolition. Such proposals were delayed by Labour's election victories of 1974, who saw the need for the GLC 'to maintain the cohesiveness of Greater London as a political and economic unit' (Pimlott and Rao 2002:32). The GLC's abolition was also delayed by the Conservative's taking power of County Hall in 1977, with Sir Horace Cutler's agenda which included the selling off of council houses and public spending cuts. The GLC had become a prototype for the Thatcher administration that was to follow the Conservative general election victory of 1979, meaning the Conservative party's leadership would have been unwilling to dissolve its own control over Greater London.

Despite this there had been pressure from the Conservative dominated outer-London boroughs to review the powers of the GLC, whose belief was that they could perform the functions of the GLC as efficiently. This led to the Marshall inquiry, led by Sir Frank Marshall, a former Conservative leader of Leeds City Council. However the Marshall inquiry had praised and affirmed the need, for the GLC's existence 'as a strategic planning, resource allocating, and redistributive body….concerned with the reconciliation of London's various needs' (Pimlott and Rao 2002:32).

The cause for GLC abolition within the Conservative party had been reasserted after Labour's return to County Hall in 1981 under Ken Livingstone. The GLC was involved in a legal dispute with, and eventually defeated by, the Conservative controlled Bromley Borough Council, regarding the GLC's 'Fares Fair' policy of a 25% reduction in London's tube and bus fares, funded by an increase in rates. Bromley Council asserted that the GLC was acting outside of the powers conferred by the Transport (London) Act 1969, and was unwilling to increase its rates as it was not part of the areas covered by the London Underground, which mainly benefited Labour-controlled inner London boroughs.

Ken Livingstone also had a deliberate campaign of antagonising the Thatcher government, which included placing an electronic scoreboard of London's rising unemployment figures on the side of County Hall, directly opposite Parliament; entering into dialogue with Sinn Fein, and endorsing a statute of Nelson Mandela, whom Thatcher regarded as a terrorist. It was partly because of this, Livingstone's administration had been accused of considering wider political issues, over those that were specifically of concern to the organisation of London, and many of its policies were 'symbolic stances aimed at a national audience….using the council machinery as part of a political campaign both against the government and in defence of socialist policies' (Pimlott and Rao 2002:36).

The GLC was also criticised for increasing funding to groups such as Women's, gay and Ethnic Minority Committees, which had combined campaigns with bestowing grants to groups and projects. Norman Tebbit, a leading member of the Thatcher administration and MP for the outer-London constituency of Chingford, had described this as an 'assault on the interests of the majority of Londoners….(the) encouragement and funding of every minority cult and creation which the mind can imagine' (Wheen 1985:9). The counter argument to the Conservatives' accusation of the GLC being 'wasteful' with its grants was that 'Ministers were also concerned that the grants the council handed out to various groups….were creating a permanent constituency for Labour voters' (, 09/12/05) and possibly fears of repeating the permanently Labour-controlled County Hall, which occurred with the LCC by the mid-twentieth century.

The influence of Livingstone's GLC was also felt on a national level, with the growth of a new 'urban left' movement in other cities around the UK during the 1980's. A notable example of this was 'Militant' in Liverpool who challenged the policies of the Thatcher government and 'saw it as their duty to try to alleviate the effects of central government policies in their areas' (Wheen 1985:23), in the face of central government's threats to 'put the squeeze' on local government spending. After the landslide election defeat of the parliamentary Labour party in 1983, Ken Livingstone's GLC had been one of the few serious opponents to Thatcher's drive to dismantle the post-war Keynesian consensus and 'the political outlook identified with Livingstone….transformed the landscape of local politics in the 1980's' (Pimlott and Rao 2002:36).

The threat of Labour dominated councils challenging the Thatcherite programme had thus lead to the GLC, as well as six other Labour controlled metropolitan counties, becoming the subject of a government White Paper entitled 'Streamlining the cities'. This had advocated abolition, for being uneconomic and wasteful with resources and in turn influenced the Local Government Act 1985, which once it passed through parliament, had set the date for abolition on 1st April 1986. There had been a strong belief, particularly within the Labour party that the GLC, as well as considerations of London's local government needs, had been sacrificed for the political aims of the central government of the day.

The GLC's abolition was carried out without any investigation, unlike its creation, which was preceded by the extensive Herbert commission. The unpopularity of this move was such that discontent was expressed outside of both the Labour party and the GLC. By September 1984, a poll conducted by London Weekend Television's 'The London Programme' found that 74% of Londoners had been against the abolition of the GLC, as well as the Conservative leader at County Hall, Alan Greengross endorsing the retention of a pan-London authority for 'direction for the specific tasks that must be done for London as a whole' (Pimlott and Rao 2002:42).

Following abolition in 1986, the 32 individual boroughs effectively became unitary authorities, ruled by a single tier of local government, and responsible for almost all local government functions within their areas, giving the Conservative boroughs autonomy from a Labour controlled GLC. Such boroughs were relieved to a considerable extent of the financially re-distributive functions of the GLC, which also benefited the wider economic aims of the Thatcher government for the national economy, that of wealth creation instead of wealth re-distribution. It was estimated that from the GLC's abolition 'the largest increase in rates would be 17.6p in (Inner London and Labour controlled) Islington….(whilst) the end of the GLC would cut Westminster's rate poundage by 5.1p and the City of London's by 7p' (Wheen 1985:119).

The Conservative dominated central government had also gained direct control over many of the former GLC's powers and services, for example the formation of London Regional Transport to take over control of London's Buses and Underground trains. Functions were also taken over indirectly through non-governmental, but government appointed and funded bodies, otherwise known as 'Quangos'. Examples of such organisations were the London Docklands Development Corporation (LDDC), responsible for the regeneration of former Dock areas, and the London Planning Advisory Committee (LPAC), which was formed to give strategic advice on London planning to the Department of the Environment.

Unlike the GLC, these quangos were unaccountable to Greater London residents and were given powers 'unprecedented in that they were previously only exercised by local authorities acting as elected bodies' (, 11/12/05). This new arrangement for London governance was described by John McDonnell, Labour MP for Hayes and Harlington as 'culminating in the establishment of the government of our capital city by an appointed state: the appointment of Tories, by Tories, to line the pockets of Tories' (, 11/12/05).

In conclusion therefore, the governing of London had long been effected by the parochial concerns of various areas of the metropolis, with a general unwillingness among such areas to effectively see London, or Greater London as a whole, inter-connected unit. The Conservative party's response for most of this period, was to seek to retain 'localism' within the metropolis, in that 'it was not part of party doctrine to seek to curtail local discretion by means of detailed central intervention in local affairs' (, 13/12/05). This situation was coupled with London's political 'otherness' from the rest of the nation, which had for much of the period in question left it contradicting the political make up of the national government. Due to the high visibility of its actions, being the largest local authority in the UK, situated in the national capital and in close geographical proximity to Whitehall itself, London's local government was 'regarded as a political prize by both main national parties' (Rhodes and Ruck 1970:91).

The recognition of the importance of the local government of London's influence on national affairs had become startlingly clear by the 1980s, as 'excluded groups, represented chiefly by the Labour party, demonstrated that national party politics was becoming an inherent aspect of local political life' (, 13/12/05). Central governments throughout the 1889-1986 period would have undoubtedly viewed such an administration as a threat to the legitimacy of its national authority if this administration's policy greatly contradicted its own, and would thus seek to alter the structure of such an authority for its own benefit. The history of London's governance during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries can therefore be summed up as 'one of conflict of interplay between central government, campaigners and recalcitrant local authorities' (Pimlott and Rao 2002:21).

Rhodes and Ruck, The Government of Greater London, 1970, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London
Hall, Thomas, Planning Europe's Capital Cities: Aspects of Nineteenth Century Urban Development, 1997, Chapman and Hall, London, Weinheim, New York, Tokyo, Melbourne, Madras
Jackson, W. Eric, Achievement: A Short History of the London County Council, 1965, Longmans, London
Wheen, Francis, The Battle for London, 1985, Pluto Press, London
Pimlott and Rao, Governing London, 2002, Oxford University Press, Oxford

Authoritarianism vs Liberal Democracy in the inter-war period

The growing instability of the modern industrialized world from the period of the build up to the Great war of 1914-8, through to the inter-war period had brought two conflicting theories for governance of societies - Liberal Democracy and Authoritarian Rule.

The Great War of 1914 to 1918 had brought a general lack of confidence in the existing structure of Post-industrial rule. Some had wanted stronger authority to stabilize the weaknesses of modern industrial societies, while others had called for increased democracy to give sovereignty to the wider population from the discredited Monarchical or Colonial rulers. This argument between the two ideologies also existed in anti-colonial movements, providing a sharp contrast between those who believed post-colonial Liberal democracy and those who supported the authoritarianism of Fascism or Communism to aid the rapid modernization needed after colonialism. In India such a contrast existed between the Indian National Congress and Hindu and Muslim Nationalist movements, including the Hindu RSS movement which openly admired Hitler’s anti-liberal stance. The increasing advancement of technology had left a general unease among rulers and general public, due to the adoption of modern industrial techniques to warfare that had lead to an unprecedented level of carnage and death. The war involved a larger amount of conscription than any previous conflict and involved entire societies in fighting and arms production.

Technology had also produced new mass media, such as Radio and Film aiding the creation of a ‘mass culture’. This was originally favourable to ruling elites who used it to galvanize populations for the war effort, though post-war had given an intimacy between consumer and producer capable of spreading ideas and images faster and wider than existing media or culture printing press. The reason this induced fear among ruling elites is that the Great War had shown that state power was increasingly dependent on public support. Clear examples of this are the withdrawal from the war and overthrowing of existing monarchies in Germany and Russia as a direct result of public revolt from mass hunger, general poverty and disease. Within the British empire there were signs of the status quo undergoing a challenge that was directly linked to such societal changes - the change in status of women had been a concession needed for a reserve pool of labour in retaining the war economy. Resentment in India at the massacre of civilian protesters at Punjab was also widely reported in the media, as was Gandhi’s salt march. The power of such new medium was also to be exploited by authoritarian regimes, in order to retain their power through propaganda. The clearest example of this is the introduction of the Volksempfanger by the Nazi regime in Germany, its purpose was to make radio reception technology affordable to the general public.

Two key events - the Great War and the Wall Street Crash - greatly reduced confidence in the ruling system and gave rise to anti-capitalism, anti-colonialism, anti-democracy and anti-autocracy in political views across the globe. The Great War resulted in the destruction of empires and monarchies within Europe and shifted the balance of industrial power, in 1913 the U.S.A. and Japan had been in debt to European powers by 1920 the situation reversed. The fact that the Great War started in Europe, but lead to millions conscripted in Asia, Africa, Australasia and Canada, plus fighting over colonial territories fuelled anti-colonial sentiments among subjects who were lead to question Europe’s ‘civilising’ influence. The example of liberal democratic economic success post-1918 had been the United States, considered a ‘model modern economy’, with blue collar workers aspiring to a middle-class lifestyle, democratic political system and ‘mass production-mass consumption’ ethos typified by it’s rapidly developing automobile industry and mass culture.

Due to the over-production of its industry however, the New York stock exchange collapsed and thus lead to Great Depression. This incident had further discrediting effects on liberal capitalist parliamentary democracy. It had further repercussions for Europe which had been financially dependent on the U.S. economy for post-war rebuilding and war debts, as well as Japan hit by imposed trade barriers in the U.S. and China. The mass poverty and unemployment which resulted, aided authoritarian ideology which offered more short-term security than liberal ideology in the form of social welfare programmes and full employment schemes. The authoritarian regimes continued a vow to deliver the promises of modern industrial development, which Liberal regimes after the Great War and Great Depression could not.

Examples of such assurances that the authoritarians gave included Nazi Germany’s re-introduction of militarization, which was prohibited by the Versailles treaty and public work schemes building autobahns and dams. The soviets under Stalin introduced the ‘five year plan’ to further industrialisation and eliminate unemployment. Japan under military dictatorship also created huge business conglomerates that were founded to safeguard the economy and employment by government direction, including a terror campaign against unco-operative businessmen. Latin American governments were also called on to create a more interventionist role in the economy with the backing of middle-classes, intellectuals and workers. Trade Unions, peasant associations and minority organisations all operated with state sponsorship creating a bridge between elites and the masses. Such an example of this was Brazil under the Vargas military regime which had outlawed competitive political parties for corporatist representation, in which trade unions had a platform to bring their collective demands.

Therefore it can be seen that a dangerous element within the lack of faith in the existing order came from the popular conception of liberal parliamentary democracy and free market economies being indistinguishable from each other. Therefore as liberal market capitalism descended into chaos parliamentary, democracy was also undermined. This was especially so in a post-1918 established democracy, such as the Weimar republic after 1929. The fear of liberal democratic capitalist countries was that these models would give further fuel to similar parties within their own countries to discredit the existing system in the eyes of the general public. Therefore countries dedicated to the continuation of Democracy and Capitalism had attempted to divorce the link between Liberal Market and Liberal Democracy by introducing more state interventionist policies, to save rather than destroy capitalism.

The U.S.A. during the 1920’s boom had re-elected successive Republican government who adhered to the free market ideology, this enthusiasm declined post-1929 as Democrat Franklin Roosevelt won a landslide in the 1932 election. Roosevelt implemented the ‘New Deal’ which included old age pensions, unemployment insurance and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration to assist the poor, though privately owned enterprises continued to dominate. This method became known as Keynesian economics and was based primarily upon the theories of British economist John Maynard Keynes.

In his work ‘The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money’ published in 1936, Keynes openly acknowledged the state had to stimulate the economy by increasing capital and employment in times of market failure, though his theories were not widely implemented in his homeland until the foundation of the welfare state until after the second world war. The pressure on democratic governments to bring in more state interventionist policies had came indirectly from the authoritarian regimes that started their own schemes intended to provide employment and further industrial aims.

Stop Usmanov!

He's been accused by the former UK ambassador of the kind of stuff, that you would not want this man to marry your daughter. Sadly I can go into greater detail as his resources to fight a are greater than mine and anyone else who tries to expose him.
In order to stop the like of Usmanov and Thaksin Shinawatra taking over our national game I urge everyone to sign this petition

Monday, 24 September 2007

Race and the development of Immigration policy during the 20th century

In February 2002 the British government introduced a white paper entitled "Secure Borders, Safe Haven: Integration With Diversity In Modern Britain". On the subject of issues of Citizenship and Nationality, emphasis was placed on an aim to 'integrate ethnic minorities into mainstream British culture, but celebrate Britain's cultural diversity'. However it is worth considering the extent to which post-1945 policy and legislation on British citizenship and rights of abode in the UK were influenced by issues of race and racial exclusion. In order to assess this however, there must first be a clarification of the terms British citizenship and right of abode. A citizen of a state is defined as a person owing loyalty that state and entitled to protection and privileges within it. One such privilege being a right of abode within that state's territory, which is in essence having the freedom from immigration control and the ability to enter at any time. All British citizens are 'British nationals', however not all British nationals are British citizens, the latter being distinguishable from mere nationals from their having such a right of abode.

Prior to, and in the immediate aftermath of the second world war, the term 'British Subject' was used to described any person who owed allegiance to the British Crown, and was applied indiscriminately to anyone born where the monarch reigned, be it within the United Kingdom, in one of its colonies or in a self-governing dominion. Those who fell outside of this distinction were termed 'aliens' and their entry within the empire was subject to immigration controls. The philosophy of 'Civis Britannicus Sum', meant that it had long been assumed all subjects of the British empire had the equal right of abode in the UK. The passing of the British Nationality Act 1948 (henceforth referred to as the BNA 1948), had merely reaffirmed this pre-existing equality and did 'in no active sense…contribute to the flow of British subjects into the United Kingdom, nor was it seen at the time as likely to do so' (1).

The BNA 1948 reaffirmed the status of 'British Subject' on all those born within the empire and Commonwealth territories, but allowed for the creation of two sub-divisions within this term. The first was Citizenship of the UK and colonies (henceforth referred to as CUKC) which was created for Britain and those imperial territories yet to gain independence. The other being that of Commonwealth citizenship enacted by the self-governing Dominions, such as Canada, who began to create their own form of national citizenship and control over who entered their territories. Such dominions had however wished to retain a common empire-wide status. On gaining independence from the empire, inhabitants of the former colonial territory usually lost their CUKC status, but if that territory on independence joined the British commonwealth, they had gained commonwealth citizenship and thus retained their status as a British subject.

The notion of an equal right of abode had however been based more on theory than in practice. There had long been an informal policy of restricting the settlement of Asian and Black British subjects in the United Kingdom (often aided by the governments and colonial authorities of such territories) that had continued until the supposed ending of the 'open door' policy with the passing of the Commonwealth Immigrants Act of 1962 (henceforth referred to as the CIA 1962). There had not been discrimination towards such subjects at the point of entry to Britain, but on leaving they were required to possess a valid passport properly endorsed by the UK or colonial authorities, which in many cases was limited to those who were of European origin, or who possessed money and/or educational qualifications.

One example of this policy being put into practice is Spencer's quoting of a commonwealth Relations Office Official in 1954 and his satisfaction with 'the restrictions imposed by the Pakistanis on the issue of Pakistani passports which…operates to the advantage of the United Kingdom in keeping down the number of undesirable Pakistanis who came to this country' (2). British Home secretary R.A. Butler had also cited one reason for enacting the CIA 1962 being that 'the passport control system which had kept down the rate of immigration from the Indian sub-continent had now broken down completely' (3).

Britain had experienced a chronic labour shortage and fears of a diminishing population in the immediate post-war period, but issues of race had not been absent in seeking a solution to this. A 1949 Royal Commission on Population had advocated the solution was to encourage the migration only by those of 'good human stock…(who are) not prevented by their race or religion from intermarrying with the host population and becoming merged in it' (4). The British government had thus sought to solve such a problem through the European Volunteer Workers scheme, as many within the ministry of labour believed that 'displaced persons from Europe were preferable' (5), to non-white workers from its own empire and there had been 'very little opposition, either in the country or in parliament to those schemes' (6).

The demands to enact legislation to limit the rights of abode for non-white British subjects in the early post-war period, had little to do with numbers and was not 'of the need to restrict immigration in general - (as) far larger migrations of Europeans from Eire and the old commonwealth arrived without comment' (7). It also had little to do with the needs of the British economy, as the Treasury noted by the early 1960s Asian and Black immigrants 'added more to the value of the gross national product than they consumed or remitted abroad…found employment without creating unemployment for the natives and…(by) easing labour bottlenecks, contributed to the productive capacity of the economy' (8).

The central tenet behind enacting the CIA 1962 was therefore the racial objective to limit the settlement of non-white British subjects within the UK. However Britain's political and moral leadership within the newly multi-racial commonwealth, had held great importance to its standing as a world power in the early post-war years, therefore an overt colour bar had to be avoided. This importance was equalled by Britain's reluctance to place restrictions on 'old' commonwealth citizens, many of whom held familial connections in the UK, or restrictions upon citizens of the Irish republic due to the practical difficulties involved, and Ireland's providing of a large source of 'assimilable' migrant labour (who remained exempt from restriction under the CIA 1962).

When the British government passed the CIA 1962, commonwealth citizens seeking entry for settlement, had a right of entry if they came to study, visit for a limited period supporting themselves financially without working, or were a dependent accompanying or rejoining a resident of the UK. Those who did not fit in any of the above had to be issued with one of three categories of employment voucher by the Ministry of Labour, which had the appearance of being racially neutral, but in practice they had an entirely different effect.
Category A vouchers were applied for by an intending employer, on behalf of a named worker who already had employment awaiting them in the UK. However 'the whole process could take a long time and was a source of irritation to employers, most of whom refused to have anything to do with it' (9). Those on whose behalf employers did carried out this process mostly 'would be white immigrants from the Old Commonwealth' (10). Category B vouchers were for migrants who possessed special skills that were in short supply in the UK, however 'the ability of the new commonwealth to supply such highly skilled persons was its own limiting factor' (11). Category C on the other hand were the unskilled without an offer of employment and whose numbers the government limited, and gradually phased out entirely by 1965.

The declining influence of the Commonwealth to Britain's world standing by the late 1960s had meant that the British government lacked its earlier inhibitions toward a seemingly overt racial narrowing of citizenship and rights of abode. The Labour government, influenced by the defeat of their Shadow Home Secretary by an overtly racial anti-immigration campaign by Peter Griffiths at Smethwick in the 1964 election, had perceived a need to counter-balance the enacting of legislation aimed at improving race relations and integration, with tighter controls on the entry of non-white migration.

It is noticeable from this period onwards that the defining of British citizenship had began to transform from one based around the place of one's birth to a quasi-biological definition. This is highlighted by the 'Kenyan Asian crisis' that had developed in the late 1960s. British subjects of non-African origin who had settled in Kenya, were given the option of retaining their CUKC status, rather than attaining the local citizenship when Kenya gained independence in 1963. Under the British Nationality Act 1964, anyone with a UK born father or grandfather (who were almost certain to be white) could regain their CUKC status, if they previously had needed to conditionally renounce it to obtain citizenship of another commonwealth country.

Those Asians who had retained CUKC status were not subject to the CIA 1962 as their passports, issued by the British High Commission, were considered as issued by the UK government. Their CUKC status had given them a right of abode in the United Kingdom, and 'it had been understood at the time of independence negotiations that this citizenship was to be their protection' (12) from any possible discrimination by Kenyan government policies. Many had exercised this right in February 1968, which thus provoked the passing of the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968 (henceforth referred to as CIA 1968) within three days.
This act had subjected all holders of UK-issued passports to immigration control unless they, a parent or grandparent had been born, adopted or naturalised in the UK. The provisions of the BNA 1964 and the CIA 1968, had the combined effect of privileging white, over non-white commonwealth citizens, and also privileged whites who had renounced British citizenship over non-whites who had retained theirs.

The Immigration Act 1971 developed further the biological distinction within citizenship by 'inventing a quasi-nationality, for immigration purposes only' (13), with the requirement of 'patriality' for rights of abode in the United Kingdom. Those who were deemed 'patrial' included CUKCs who were born or naturalised in the UK, or who have a parent or grandparent who is so; as well as Commonwealth citizens with a parent born in the UK, or commonwealth citizens who have settled in UK for five years and applied to register for UK citizenship. On the other hand non-'patrials' who were either a CUKC or commonwealth citizens were restricted by immigration control, on exactly the same basis as aliens from any other part of the world.
The Immigration Act 1971 had scrapped employment vouchers, which conferred rights of permanent residency and to bring family members, and had simultaneously become part of UK law as Britain entered the EEC on 1st January 1973. Employment vouchers were subsequently replaced with tightly controlled work permits, which conferred upon non-patrial commonwealth citizens 'a status which was closely akin to that enjoyed by guest workers in…other European states' (14), who could be 'deported almost at will if…(their) presence is not conductive to 'the public good'' (15). The cumulative effect of the passing of the Immigration Act 1971 and the European Communities Act 1972 was that they 'increased the number of people entitled to enter Britain but as these comprised almost entirely of people of 'European extraction'…this caused no political difficulty' (16).

From the enactment of the CIA 1968, the common citizenship of CUKC had been decoupled from that of the right of abode in the UK, the purpose of the British Nationality Act 1981 (henceforth referred to as BNA 1981), was an attempt to re-integrate the two, but also a continuation of the process of narrowing the scope of citizenship shared by most of the UK's inhabitants. The BNA 1981 discontinued the recognition of commonwealth citizens as British subjects, and the status of CUKC was replaced by that of British Citizen.

The BNA 1981 completed the removal of the central notion of 'jus soli' (based around place of birth) and increased the element of 'jus sanguinis' (based around familial connection) within British citizenship. Any person born in the UK after 1st January 1983 could only to be regarded as a British citizen if at the time of their birth at least one of their parents is a British citizen or ordinarily resident in the UK for more than five years without restriction. In contrast commonwealth citizens, who were not born in the UK, but had 'patriality' under the Immigration Act 1971 were now considered to be British citizens. Two other categories of British nationals were created from those eliminated from CUKC status under the BNA 1981, that of British Dependent Territory Citizenship (henecforth referred to as BDTC) and British Overseas Citizenship (henceforth referred to as BOC). Being mere British nationals as opposed to British citizens, neither BDTCs or BOCs had rights of abode in the UK.

BOCs were those who held CUKC and did not acquire citizenship of a former colonial territory on independence, an example being East African Asians. Those among the BDTC category were inhabitants of the few remaining territories under British rule, the vast majority of which comprised of non-white populations. Two exceptional dependent territories, whose inhabitants were entitled to full citizenship rights, were that of the Falkland Islands, (partly as a justification for the 1982 war) under the British Nationality (Falkland Islands) Act 1983, and Gibraltar whose inhabitants under s5 BNA 1981 were entitled to register as British citizens, because they are a 'United Kingdom national for European Community purposes'.

Gibraltarians and the Falkland Islanders were also predominantly of European origin. One reason cited as motivating the creation of the BDTC category was the impending handover of Hong Kong to communist China and 'fears that many Hong Kong CUKCs would want to enter the UK rather than live under Chinese control' (17), and thus the BNA 1981 had legislated to prevent these CUKCs from attaining a right of abode in the UK. It is a striking observation from these new categories which the BNA 1981 created, that 'virtually all the existing British nationals who were non-European and who were outside the United Kingdom were to receive a practically valueless form of nationality' (18) .

It can quite clearly be seen therefore, that the development of British citizenship and rights of abode in the UK during the late twentieth century has been greatly influenced by issues of race, and the definition of British citizenship itself significantly narrowed on the grounds of race. By the turn of the century however due to increased fears over the number of asylum claims, public and political anxieties had less emphasis on non-white economic migration. A 1998 DTI White paper, titled 'Our Competitive Future: Building the Knowledge Driven Economy' had also signalled a change in perspective, emphasising the necessity of attracting 'bright people with scarce skills to work for UK businesses and set up businesses of their own which create jobs….this requires a positive attitude to immigration' (19).

The suggestions of the DTI white paper had in no doubt been greatly influenced by the noted economic benefits to Canada and Australia in the last 30 years, by the removal of immigration colour bar policies in favour of a flexible points system 'to admit well-educated and skilled newcomers of any racial origin' (20). Two pieces of legislation have to some degree attempted to redress the stance of racial narrowing in British citizenship law, and implement to a certain degree the Canadian and Australian models. One is the British Overseas Territories Act 2002 which had renamed BDTCs with the less paternalistic British Overseas Territory Citizens (henceforth referred to as BOTCs), who in their near entirety were granted full British citizenship with rights of abode. The other being the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (henceforth referred to as NIAA 2002).

Under s12(2) NIAA 2002, the position of BOCs, along with British Protected Persons and British Subjects Without Citizenship, were allowed to register for full British citizenship if they neither held, nor voluntarily relinquished or lost, any other form of citizenship or nationality through an action or inaction on their behalf by the 4th July 2002. This provision was described by Beverley Hughes, a Home Office minister at the time, as 'righting a historical wrong which has left a number of overseas citizens without any right of abode, either in the UK or elsewhere' (21). S6(2) NIAA 2002, had also removed the s19D Race Relations Act 1976 exception of nationality decisions to the unlawfulness of a public authority performing discriminatory acts on the grounds of nationality, ethnic or national origins. It had thus brought such decision making within the scope of the act.

Chapter Two of the Home Office white paper 'Secure Borders, Safe Haven: Integration With Diversity In Modern Britain' had noted an intention to further the BNA 1981 requirement of sufficient knowledge of the English (or any other British) language, and 'to require applicants for naturalisation to demonstrate that they have achieved a certain standard….applicants would need to produce certificates showing they had passed a test' (22). This was also a requirement that would extend to 'spouses of applicants who are…not at present subject to the language requirement' (23). Under s1 NIAA 2002 a further requirement of 'sufficient knowledge about life in the United Kingdom' is added to this BNA 1981 provision, as well as s3's provision for public ceremonies to award citizenship and an updating of the oath and pledge sworn on attaining citizenship.

The 'Secure Borders, Safe Haven….' white paper, that had influenced much of the content of NIAA 2002 was published in February 2002, and was greatly influenced by the findings of the Home Office Independent Review Team's report into the race riots that broke out across Northern England in the summer of 2001, published a few weeks earlier. This report had noted that 'the team was particularly struck by the depth of polarisation in our towns and cities….(which) operate on the basis of a series of parallel lives' (24) and had recommended that 'the rights - and in particular - the responsibilities of citizenship need to be more clearly established….This should then be formalised into a form of statement of allegiance' (25)

Although the s1 NIAA 2002 provisions were considered to be a racial inclusive remedy to social disturbances that were claimed to have been caused by the social exclusion of non-white groups in society, Habib Rahman, the chief executive of the JCWI, had criticised it as being 'the intellectual residue of the same racist debate brought to the fore by Enoch Powell' (26). The JCWI had also stated that 'the issue of social exclusion does not relate in any strong way to the concept of citizenship, since there are many people who are British citizens who are excluded and equally many non-citizens who are integrated into British society' (27).

The s1(1) NIAA 2002 requirement of 'sufficient knowledge about life in the United Kingdom' also 'raises connotations of ethnicity rather than nationality' (28) and can be said to suggest a cultural deficiency on the part of ethnic minority groups within the UK, and in this respect can be seen as a continuation of the post-war discourses of 'new racism'. 'New racism' is considered to be a perspective that has arisen since the post war discrediting of biological inferiority and superiority between 'racial' groups, and sees 'culture' often as a new euphemism for 'race' in the discourse of social exclusion. New Racism has been described as implying the existence of a 'unified white nation state who participate in a shared British culture, history and identity and who have a common sense of belonging….that there is a need to protect the British nation and the national culture from those who are presumed to pose a threat to its existence' (29) and that 'Black groups whether born in Britain or not are not viewed as part of the nation state and as such their alien cultures are thought to pose a threat to its existence' (30).

Both Enoch Powell's 'Rivers of Blood' speech in 1968, and Margaret Thatcher's 'swamping' remarks in 1978 have been seen by many to be 'new racist' stances because of a 'racialization' of cultural aspects of Britain's non-white populations. Powell's statements were cited as influencing much of the content of the Immigration Act 1971 and it was under Thatcher's premiership that the BNA 1981 had been introduced. The effect of both had been a racial narrowing of citizenship and rights of abode in Britain.

It can be seen therefore that issues of race and racial exclusion were undoubtedly the biggest factor in legislation and policy developments regarding citizenship law and the right of abode in the UK during the second half of the twentieth century. The central focus of such policy and legislation since the turn of the century has slightly shifted to the needs of the British economy, in attracting investment and skilled workers, as well as filling labour shortages at the unskilled end of the employment market at wage levels that satisfy employers. It is for these reasons, therefore that the British government has needed to place less emphasis on the racial character of potential British citizens.

There has however been an increased emphasis on their cultural characteristics, be it in their existing educational qualities, or their abilities to adapted to the values of British society. This could be viewed as a potential positive in laying a basis for the corresponding social responsibilities that come with the rights of British citizenship, after all predominantly Anglo-Saxon such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand who have had 'multiculturalism' as an official poilcy for longer than Britain have long since had such citizenship tests. On the other hand it could also be seen as a negative development in citizenship law that merely replaces the cultural characteristics of non-white groups for racial ones in discourses of social exclusion, after all such nations previously mentioned have their own problems with racism and racial exclusion. Only the passage of time can give us a clearer picture.

(1) Ian R. G. Spencer, British Immigration Policy Since 1939: The Making Of Multi-Racial Britain (1997), p.53
(2) Ian R.G. Spencer, British Immigration Policy Since 1939: The Making Of Multi-Racial Britain (1997), p.27
(3) Ian R.G. Spencer, British Immigration Policy Since 1939: The Making Of Multi Racial Britain (1997) p.122
(4) Ann Dummett and Andrew Nicol, Subjects, Citizens, Aliens and Others: Nationality and Immigration Law (1990), p.174
(5) Ian R.G. Spencer, British Immigration Policy Since 1939: The Making Of Multi-Racial Britain (1997) p.40
(6) Paul Foot, Immigration And Race In British Politics, (1965) p.119
(7) Ian R.G. Spencer, British Immigration Policy Since 1939: The Making Of Multi-Racial Britain (1997) p.82
(8) Ian R.G. Spencer, British Immigration Policy Since 1939: The Making Of Multi-Racial Britain (1997) p.115
(9), (11) Clifford Hill, Immigration and Integration: A Study of the Settlement of Coloured Minorities in Britain (1970) p.12
(10) Ian R.G. Spencer, British Immigration Policy Since 1939: The Making Of Multi-Racial Britain (1997), p.116
(12) Ann Dummett and Andrew Nicol, Subjects, Citizens, Aliens and Others: Nationality and Immigration Law (1990), p.199
(13) Ann Dummett and Andrew Nicol, Subjects, Citizens, Aliens and Others: Nationality and Immigration Law (1990), p.217
(14) Ian R.G. Spencer, British Immigration Policy Since 1939: The Making Of Multi-Racial Britain (1997), p.144
(15) Robert Moore and Tina Wallace, Slamming The Door: The Administration of Immigration Control, (1975), p.5
(16) Ian R.G. Spencer, British Immigration Policy Since 1939: The Making Of Multi-Racial Britain (1997), p.144
(17) Gina Clayton, Textbook On Immigration and Asylum (1st edn), (2004) p.43
(18) Ann Dummett and Andrew Nicol, Subjects, Citizens, Aliens and Others: Nationality and Immigration Law (1990), p.245
(19) Duran Seddon, JCWI: Immigration, Nationality and Refugee Law Handbook: 2006 Edition (2006), p.414
(20) Ann Dummett and Andrew Nicol, Subjects, Citizens, Aliens and Others: Nationality and Immigration Law (1990), p.231
(21), 08/05/2006.
(22), (23), 08/05/2006
(24), (25), 08/05/2006
(26), (27), 08/05/2006
(28) Gina Clayton Textbook On Immigration and Asylum: First Edition, Oxford University Press, (2004) p.52
(29), (30), 09/05/2005

Sunday, 23 September 2007

The Holocaust and the Modern Age

In 1989 Zygmunt Bauman, professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds had caused an enormous stir within the world of Social Sciences with the publication of 'Modernity and the Holocaust. Bauman himself a Polish Jew, who along with his family had fled the Nazis in 1939 to the Soviet occupied area to avoid the persecution that followed. In 'Modernity and the Holocaust' the essence of Bauman's claim was a challenge to the post-war premise that the Nazis were a phenomena of counter-modernity that had managed to overcome or reverse the 'civilizing' process of modernity. An example of this particular counter-modern view of the Nazis was endorsed by Ernst Nolte who stated that 'fascism has at its command forces which are born of the emancipation process (of Modernity) and then turn against their own origin…and in its radical form is the most complete and effective denial of that society' (Nolte 1963:567).
Bauman, in contrast had asserted that rather than an aberration of modernity, the holocaust was an event which could not have taken place without the social structure and technological advancement of post-enlightenment modernity and was 'done in the modern - rational, planned, scientifically informed, expert, efficiently managed, co-ordinated way' (Bauman 1989:88-9).

Bauman's claim is that the Holocaust 'could merely have uncovered another face of the same modern society whose other, more familiar, face we so admire. And that the two faces are perfectly, comfortably attached to the same body' (Bauman 1969:7). In supporting his view, Bauman directly attributes certain elements of modernity with aiding German society on the path to the Holocaust. These include the political formation of modern Europe into various nation-states, the evolution of the bureaucratic apparatus and forms of organisation which had governed the modern nation-state, and the modern ethos of the pursuit of societal progress, through scientific knowledge and rational thinking. I will now endeavour to evaluate the contribution that each of these processes had made to the rise of Nazism and the perpetration of the holocaust.

In his analysis of the contribution bureaucracy made to the holocaust, Bauman explains that 'though engaged in mass murder on a gigantic scale, this vast bureaucratic apparatus showed concern for correct bureaucratic procedure, for the niceties of precise definition, for the minutiae of bureaucratic regulation, and the compliance with the law' (Bauman 1969:14). Bauman claims that the essence of the modern hierarchical bureaucracy is the right to command and the duty to obey, with the aim of solving difficult problems in a moral vacuum. He also points to a 'free floating' responsibility, which floats upwards from the person carrying out the act to the person who gave the order, distancing responsibility from each participant, who can point to another, higher in the chain of command, being responsible for the actions in question. Bauman claims that human morality is often shaped through what the individual sees with their own eyes, and that there is a biological morality of 'animal pity' to human suffering, which the modern, rational hierarchical Bureaucracy detaches its servants from. Bauman claims that in such an organization, those above their sub-ordinates 'in addition to giving orders and punishing for insubordination…also pass moral judgements - the only moral judgement that counts for the individual's self-appreciation' (Bauman 1989:159).

To support this point Bauman cites Stanley Milgram's study of obedience to authority, conducted by a scientific researcher, who orders participants to administer electric shock punishment to victims for failure to answer questions correctly. Such participants are unaware that no such punishment is being administered to the 'victims'. Milgram's finding was that 65% had administered the maximum voltage to the 'victims', his explanation for this finding is that 'the subordinate person feels shame or pride depending on how adequately he has performed the actions called for by authority…(Freudian) superego shifts from an evaluation of the goodness or badness of the acts to an assessment of how well or poorly one is functioning in the authority system' (Bauman 1989:160).

Milgram had identified that compliance with authority could be reduced with an increase in the obviousness of the victim's plight. An example is that where the victim could not be heard or seen, there was 66% compliance, and when heard but not seen a compliance rate of 62%, however when the victim was only one metre away from the participant, compliance had dropped to 40%. Bauman links Milgram's theory of the distancing of 'victims' to a belief that such rational modern bureaucracies dehumanise to a certain extent, its human subjects as 'soldiers are told to shoot targets…employees of big companies are encouraged to destroy competition. Officers of welfare agencies operate discretionary awards at one time, personal credits at another'. The human subjects behind such decisions are 'better not perceived and not remembered' (Bauman 1989:103).

Bauman also points to the modern division of labour, as creating a mental distance within the industrial production process. This division of labour is typified by those carrying out a part of the process, having little, if any, awareness of what the corresponding part does. Each function in the process is, in itself, devoid of meaning until the production process is completed, thus psychologically distancing most of its participants from the final outcome and bringing 'more than the suspension of moral inhibition, it quashes the moral significance of the act…moral dilemmas recede from sight, while the occasions for more scrutiny and conscious moral choice become increasingly rare' (Bauman 1989:25). Bauman cites Kren and Rappoport's example of chemical plant workers producing napalm and the link between them and infants burned by such a substance, stating that 'it is chemical plants that produce napalm, not any of their individual workers' (Bauman 1989:100).

Bauman's view of the moral unconsciousness of Nazi bureaucrats, in their contribution to, and participation in the holocaust, is refuted by a number of sources. Christopher Browning, in his study of Nazi bureaucrats involved in dealing with 'Jewish' affairs prior to the final solution, disagrees with Bauman's view that they were mentally distanced from the suffering of their human subjects. Browning states that they 'lived in an environment already permeated by mass murder…(which) included wholesale killing and dying before their very eyes….these men had articulated positions and developed career interests that inseparably and inexorably led to a similar murderous solution to the Jewish question' (Browning 1992:143).

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen also refutes Bauman's claim that the Nazi bureaucracy's attitude to Jewish suffering was blinded by a rational approach to problem solving. Goldhagen claims that all the institutions involved in the holocaust, from the start to the finish of the process, shared the crucial common feature of a belief that their Jewish subjects were 'evil, powerful and dangerous', a view which 'structured the character of the institutions of killing as much as architectural plans did their physical plants' (Goldhagen 1997:168). Raul Hilberg also disagrees with that these bureaucrats had merely shown concern for correct procedure and legal compliance, claiming that the holocaust 'was not so much a product of laws and commands as it was a matter of spirit, of shared comprehension, of consonance and synchronization' (Browning 1992:125).

Bauman also claims that the rationality of the modern age had even filtered down to Jewish populations subjected to Nazism, which had enabled the Nazis to co-opt even the victims of their own genocide. The Jewish councils (Judenrate) in order to minimize the overall death toll, had listed and rounded up other Jews, as they were forced into a choice of 'death or survival' by the Nazis. Bauman also highlights that Judenrate leaders, like the industrialist Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, responsible for the Lodz ghetto, had a flawed assumption of Nazi rationality, which lead to their attempting to prove the Jews to be too economically useful for extermination. Such leaders had however aided the Nazis, because as a result 'almost everything was done to achieve maximum results with minimum costs and efforts' (Bauman 1989:149).

Laying the blame for Judenrate co-operation with the Nazis at the feet of modernity and the idea of rational thinking, however overlooks some of the essentially pre-modern features of the Judenrate as an organisation and their original reactions to dealing with the threat that Nazism posed to the Jewish population. The concept of the Judenrat 'was based upon centuries-old practices which were instituted in Germany during the Middle Ages' (, 29/03/2006), and like the Jewish population as a whole, was to a certain extent influenced by pre-modern received wisdom in dealing with past persecution. Laura A. Buck notes that 'for centuries, the Jews had learned that in order to survive they had to refrain from resistance. Through all the attacks against them they lost many people, but always emerged again like a rock from a receding tidal wave, they always survived….but the Nazis were a force unlike anything before' (, 29/03/2006).

It also needs to be emphasized that, although in most cases the Judenrate ultimately failed to keep much of their populations from deportation to the death camps, their rational thinking had kept many from their deaths for as long as possible. As Laura A. Buck notes 'reports show that the councils who obeyed German orders and did not create problems, kept their ghetto population alive longer….Ghettos that revolted were liquidated immediately. The Germans arrested, killed and replaced any Judenrate who did not obey orders'. (, 29/03/2006). This shows that the Nazis would have been just as willing to carry out the holocaust by indiscriminate slaughter, if the 'orderly' genocide that Bauman claims the Judenrate provided, wasn't forthcoming. As the only real attainable goal for the Judenrate was to preserve as many Jewish lives, for as long as possible, their rational thinking could be considered to a certain degree a success.

Bauman clearly contradicts his own view, stating that 'the range of choices was not set by them….(the Judenrate) deployed their reason and their skill of rational judgement to choices which had been made available to them' (Bauman 1989:149). He also states that 'one can hardly charge Chaim Rumkowski….with making an irrational response to the German threat. He had surely underestimated the German's murderous irrationality, and over-estimated their inherent business-rationality' (Bauman 1989:137). Therefore he acknowledges that the Nazis held the real power over life or death in this situation, and in exercising it were motivated by murderous irrationality rather than enlightened rational thought. Thus Bauman's equating modern rationality with culpability in such a situation is hard to fathom.

In citing the modern nation-state's central role in creating the conditions that lead to the holocaust, Bauman claims that in its carrying out of the 'civilising' process of modernity, rather than eradicating violence from every day life, it has given itself a monopoly of its exercising, through state apparatus such as the police or armed forces. He claims that 'somewhere in the wings physical violence is stored - in quantities that put it effectively out of the control of ordinary members of society and endow it with irresistible power to suppress unauthorised outbursts of violence' (Bauman 1989: 107). Bauman's claim is that this has brought a mellowing of manners and daily security for its citizens, but also a paradox, in that they are less likely to challenge state authority, allowing it the opportunity to carry out actions like the holocaust.

In assessing whether Bauman's claim of the nation-state's monopoly in exercising force, is as true in practice as it is in theory, account needs to be taken of Goldhagen's claims that German soldiers had often perpetrated acts against the wishes of their superiors. He claims that members of the Police Battalions that played a central role in implementing the 'Final Solution' had often photographed much of their actions against Jews, in defiance of orders of prohibition. Also one member of a police battalion had testified that they were 'monthly instructed that, in accordance with a Himmler order, nobody can order us to shoot anyone' (Goldhagen 1997:380).

Goldhagen states that rather than being unthinking robotic automatons 'Germans of all ranks, even the most Nazified, disobeyed orders that they opposed…Generals who willingly contributed to the extermination of Soviet Jews conspired against Hitler. Army soldiers, on their own, participated in the killing of Jews without orders to do so, or in disobedience of orders to keep their distance from massacres' (Goldhagen 1997:382). Goldhagen's conclusion is that they formed their own opinions about the rules they were supposed to adhere to, and often could exercise a choice in whether or not to follow them, and above all 'the evidence that no German was ever killed or incarcerated for having refused to kill Jews was conclusive' (Goldhagen 1997:381).

Goldhagen also claims that those who worked as Nazi concentration camp guards were barely concerned with correct procedure handed down by their superior officers. According to Goldhagen, such camps were 'a site of the freest self-expression' (Goldhagen 1997:172) and that 'every German guard was an unquestioned, untrammelled, absolute lord over the camp's inmates…(and) could indulge any urge by degrading, torturing, or killing a camp prisoner at whim, without fearing or suffering repercussions' (Goldhagen 1997:174). Bauman also claims that the nation-state's role in the path to the holocaust, came from its very notion being grounded in the inter-twining of a culturally homogenous population with a defined territory of maintained boundaries, excluding those alien from such a group. Bauman asserts that the pre-modern era, prior to the formation of nation-states, was characterised by divisions of several castes and orders, in which 'the Jews were just one estate or caste among many….the Jews were set apart, but the state of being set apart in no way made them unique' (Bauman 1989:35).

Bauman notes that 'there was no shortage of prophecies that once the newly fashioned legal equality was extended to Jews, their distinctiveness would fast evaporate, and the Jews…would soon dissolve in the now culturally and legally uniform society' (Bauman 1989:44). Goldhagen supports this view, claiming that German Liberals, who supported legal emancipation, had wanted to eradicate 'Jewishness' from German society, rather than eradicating the Jews. A major influence on German Liberal thought toward the Jews was Wilhelm Von Dohm, who believed that 'Jewishness stood in opposition to desirable…"human" qualities, and for a Jew to be laudable, his Jewishness must be denied' (Goldhaven 1997:57). Famous examples of Jews who had converted to Protestantism to pursue a position of standing in Germany include the Journalist and Professor of Literature at Dresden University, Victor Klemperer and the composer Felix Mendelssohn.

Bauman had noted however that the reality was that the Jews of Europe, instead of being intertwined with the rest of the nation, had found themselves as the 'foreigner within' each nation-state throughout the continent as 'the boundaries of the nation were too narrow to define them' (Bauman 1989:52). The upshot of this, according to Bauman is that anti-Semitism had changed from one based around pre-modern 'hetrophobia', the mere reaction of fear to the presence of groups who are a cultural 'other', to the 'biological' otherness of racism. And the 'solution' of such a problem according to Bauman, eventually lay in the use of modern science.

According to Bauman, Jews had been transferred from redeemable sinners to carriers of an eradicable vice who 'cannot repent. They have not sinned, they just lived according to their nature' (Bauman 1989:72). The logical extension to this biological racism, according to Bauman was 'the conviction that a certain category of human beings cannot be incorporated into the rational order, whatever the effort' (Bauman 1989:65). Bauman's claim is that modernity had brought a 'garden' culture, in which man can manipulate nature to perfection removing the unsightly, like the 'weeding of a garden' and that the Jewish victims of the Nazis were removed because they did not fit the 'rose garden' image of modern society that the Nazis held.

Bauman highlights that this was one of several instances where the Nazis had borrowed much of the pro-active attitude to problem-solving from the modern sciences, particularly the advances of the medical profession, where 'one can train and shape 'healthy' parts of the body, but not cancerous growth. The latter can be 'improved' only by being destroyed' (Bauman 1989:65). Adolf Hitler had specifically linked the 'discovery of the Jewish virus' with the medical advances of the proceeding century by the like of Louis Pasteur. The effort to eliminate the Jews was also clothed in medical terminology, particularly 'Judensauberung' (cleansing of Jews) or the 'gesungdung' (healing) of Europe.

Bauman highlights that science and the Third Reich were very much in close association with each other. Due to science's reliance on large funds 'a government who stretches its helpful hand and offers just that can count on the scientists gratitude and co-operation' (Bauman 1989:109). Bauman cites Robert Procter's study on science and the third reich and his findings that 'widespread opinion sorely underestimates the degree to which political initiatives…were generated by the scientific community itself, rather than imposed from outside….and the extent to which racial policy itself was initiated and managed by the recognised scientists with academically impeccable credentials' (Bauman 1989:109).

However one can view the Nazis enthusiasm for scientific progress, not quite as a full implementation of modernity, but that of a unique form of 'reactionary' modernism. This view is elaborated by Jeffrey Herf, who believed that Germany's particular form of modernism, was at fault for the rise of the Nazis, rather than the very essence of modernity itself. Herf explains that 'there is no such thing as modernity in general. There are only national societies each of which becomes modern in its own fashion' (Herf 1984:1).
Herf explains that pre-1945 German society had experienced an incorporation of the enlightenment only partially and inadequately, thus creating the paradox of an embrace of modern scientific technology, but a wholesale rejection of the political aspects of enlightenment reason, such as the values of universalism, political equality, and the improvement of societal ills. Herf explains that 'the reconciliations of technics and irrationality….were not and are not inherent in modernity, capitalism, or the enlightenment, but rather in a peculiarly authoritarian, illiberal and unenlightened national variant of them' (Herf 1984:219).

Herf points out how Germany's industrial revolution had occurred later than in England or France, though its industrial modernization was a quicker and a more thorough process, due to its authoritarian regime. The result of Germany's authoritarian industrial revolution, according to Herf, was that in Germany 'the bourgeoisie, political liberalism, and the enlightenment remained weak' (Herf 1984:5). One could therefore explain the disappearance of faith in the ability to incorporate Jews into German society, as emanating from the weakness of political liberalism in German society, rather than an enthusiastic embrace of science.

What also needs to be taken into account is that the Nazis' policy of linking of race with science, rather than being a genuine product of the scientific rationality of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, was based on the theories of the 'pseudo-science' of eugenics. Eugenic theories had much opposition within highly regarded scientific opinion, as its basis for the construction of 'racial' inferiority was social rather than biological, as 'biology supplied no evidence for the mainline-eugenic assumption that Italians, Poles, Lithuanians or other national groups were biologically uniform' (Kelves 1985:132).

Thomas Hunt Morgan, who had been awarded the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, had noted in 1925 that the definition of 'race' had not been 'in a biological sense, but social or political groups bound together by physical conditions, by religious sentiments, or political organisations' (Kelves 1985:132-33). Above all the essential reason why eugenics was discredited as a science was because, as H.L. Mencken notes 'in none of the books of its masterminds is there a clear definition of the superiority they talk about so copiously' (Kelves 1985:147). Kenan Malik also disagrees with Bauman's view that modern racism arises from rationality, as the 'belief in reason, espousal of the scientific method and a universalistic conviction do not of themselves imply a racial viewpoint' (Malik 1996:41).
Malik divorces racism and enlightenment theories, explaining that the 'belief in the unity of humanity and the equality of man was held by virtually all Enlightenment thinkers. Human beings were naturally equal; inequality was created by society…The certainty that there existed a universal human nature and a common human psyche led to a greater willingness to accept unfamiliar values and to a more tolerant and humanistic attitude to non-European peoples' (Malik 1996:49).

Malik argues that modern 'scientific' racism has its historical roots in the structure of post-industrial revolution capitalist society and the relationships of economic inequalities that result from the pursuit of profit. This had occurred during the nineteenth century, rather than in the early eighteenth century where enlightenment theories had their origin. Malik's claim is that capitalist society creates a clash with theories of enlightenment-endorsed equality, and brought difficulties in attaining such an equality. Malik asserts that as a result of conflating capitalism with the enlightenment 'the specific problems created by capitalist social relations become de-historicized….racial theory, colonialism or the holocaust are not investigated in their specificity, as products of distinctive tendencies within capitalist society, but are all lumped together as the general consequences of 'modernity' (Malik 1996:246).

In conclusion therefore, Bauman fails to comprehensively establish a link between Modernity and responsibility for the holocaust, or the Nazis rise to power in Germany. He overstates the power of the hierarchical bureaucratic organisation in the modern era and underestimates the ability of those within such organizations to evaluate the moral content of their actions. He fails to recognise that obedience to such authority does to a great extent 'depend upon the existence of a propitious social and political context' (Goldhagen 1997:383) and underestimates the ideological element of the Nazis rule through a tendency to 'bracket off, or at least to leave radically under-theorised, the specifically non rational' (, 30/03/2006).

It can be seen to a certain degree that the Nazis exercised a modern rational approach to carrying out the final solution, applying the highly efficient processes of a modern nation-state to pursuing racial purity, however Bauman overestimates the power of force that the modern nation-state could exercise over its own citizens. As Goldhagen's study shows, it was proven that throughout the holocaust many of its officers had perpetrated inhuman acts against others which had not been within the authority conferred upon them by the power of the state.
Despite the fact that there was a degree of organisational and scientific rationality on the path to the final solution, the overall philosophy which led to the holocaust was undoubtedly irrational.
Bauman fails to recognise that the degree of enthusiasm for scientific modernity that the Nazis had was grossly asymmetrical with their feelings on political modernity, and their linking of science and race was inaccurate as a scientific theory and discredited by highly regarded scientific opinion of its time. Therefore it is conclusive that Germany while under Nazi rule was an insufficiently modern society, with many features, especially socio-politically, that were specifically counter-modern and Bauman's claim that modernity was specifically responsible for the holocaust is one that is inaccurate.