We are concerned about the multicultural society, integration, globalization and (the lack of) solidarity. I have wondered what the feelings about this are with the Dutch elite; people who can turn things into their hands in the network, information and services company.
In the past, 'elite' had a favorable meaning, now less. I do not attach any value judgment to this term. In order to gain insight into their thinking world, I spoke to people from service clubs, the press, the financial world, small and medium-sized businesses and scientists. In addition, I spoke with 'the ordinary man' and with immigrants.
Does the Dutch elite feel uneasy about the development of our society and, if so, what does it focus on? After all the conversations I find that there is some discontent, but without urgency, whether it concerns climate change, globalization, the European Union, Islam or the cohesion of society.
To my surprise, I was regularly told: 'You are too pessimistic', 'We have the duty to be optimistic' and 'I do not want to be woken up from this beautiful dream'. Also heard: "I have bought a second home and a new SUV. I focus on my career, making money and my private life. '
Pensionados are mainly concerned with clubs, grandchildren, friends, staying healthy, playing golf and 'it will take my time'. They are friendly, hard-working, relatively rich, tolerant, helpful, guilt-conscious, empathetic and cosmopolitan, living in their own bubble. I saw complacency ('I'm going great') and resignation ('We can not help it anyway').
Less trust in each other
The 'ordinary man' feels the unease that the elite lacks. And there is plenty of reason for discomfort. The Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) reported in the report in May The new diversity Increasing diversity by origin in the Netherlands that social cohesion is affected by diversity.
Mayors know little about the changing composition in their municipality. Groups have less trust in each other, assess the contact less positively and are more negative about the living environment.
More diversity means more crime. Economic growth in North and South Holland is declining due to immigration. In places where many different ethnic groups live, residents become alienated from each other and withdraw into the private sphere.
Increasing diversity is detrimental for everyone, according to the WRR. Short-sighted government policy, aimed primarily at the interests of the business community, has damaged the interests of all groups. The WRR lets all the alarm bells ring, but rests. We have to deal with it.
No wonder that confidence in politics is decreasing. The report of the Social and Cultural Planning Office, The religious experience of Muslims in the Netherlands, noted in June that Muslims become more religious, in line with the worldwide trend. Our society becomes a tribal, despite all our attempts to prevent this.
We can address the responsible heads of government of the past period at this echec. We do not live together, but side by side in 233 bubbles. We have constantly occupied ourselves with 'them' and neglected 'we'. What actually binds us?
Are 'we' still a people with mutual solidarity and solidarity? Are we still a close-knit group that feels connected to a history of history, culture, political history and Western values, and forms a nation? Do we still have a culture where we feel comfortable and that gives us something to hold on to?
After the Second World War, we have been busy building the welfare state. Now that there is evidence that we are back on the road in a socially accelerated way, we are still standing.
The denial also occurs with politicians, the business community, universities and the media. One does not want to see reality and defense mechanisms come into effect. People know nothing about Islam. One is ignorant, naive and superficial. All say in unison: 'Diversity makes the Netherlands a great place', while empirical scientific research shows that it is different.
We have a major social problem and the elite is part of it by denying it. It is going great well with the Netherlands, at least in an economic sense. But: 'It's not the economy, stupid!'
Frits Bosch is a macro-economist, sociologist and author of In Holland there is a house, yes, yes … Unhappiness with the elite, which will appear on 27 August.