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>A state just eliminates its minorities entirely, leaving a monocultural nation-state. This could be by actually killing them (the Turkish solution to the Armenian minority, the German solution to the “Jewish question”), or by expelling them or making conditions such that they will leave.
Well, remember that historically speaking, expelling minorities is fairly common and was what the Germans first attempted, well before they turned to genocide. So it seems like not that bad an option.
>A state forcibly integrates its minorities into the majority culture. This was what the Russian Empire and later the USSR at various periods tried to do with “Russification”, what Turkey has tried with “Turkification”, what Franco unsuccessfully tried to do with the Basques, etc.
>The state non-forcibly encourages minorities to join the majority culture, either by economic incentives or otherwise. I see this as what the U.S. generally does, though it isn’t official policy. However this is much harder to do if there are strongly established communities that don’t like the majority culture. Even harder to do if those communities are strong majorities in some areas.
America ought to be seen as a shining success in this regard. There is no modern day ethnic tension between different strands of European immigrants, for example. Even racial tension between blacks and whites is rare enough to be non-existant, at least compared to, say, Kurds and Turks. It’s ridiculously successful.
>Generally I find #3 and #4 more palatable than #1 and #2.
I disagree with this only halfway. It’s really bizarre and inexplicable to me, how you would rather see bloody wars for independence instead of relatively peaceful, but mandatory, cultural assimilation as in option 2. I do agree that 3 is better than 1 and usually better than 2, but I think 3 and 2 are far less distinct than you might believe and it is not as black and white an issue as it may seem. Forced assimilation is a very relative thing. Is it force, to make law that all public schools must be in the national language? This is a very contestable point already. Is it forced assimilation to require fluency or at least competence in the national language to gain citizenship? In some cases, I definitely think using state power to intentionally shape the national culture is preferable to letting the melting pot do its own thing naturally. I do have to admit though that the American example is a strong argument in favor of methods closer to 3 than to 2.
The latter part of 1 should be basically a last resort. The former is basically a concession of outright total failure. There should never be a reason for a militarily secure country facing no immediate external threats to be so threatened by an immigrant group that it has to kill them; so basically I think genocide, *committed by the state*, is a very rare thing that tends to happen in very desperate wartime conditions.
I guess the only argument I would really make is that any of these four options are preferable to a permanent multiculturalism. By permanent, I mean that I could support a state that makes temporary multicultural policies to support ease of transitioning for immigrant groups. I would not support any policies that support what amounts basically to balkanization within a country, as a permanent trend.