Neocolonialists and Immigration

 

Mark Steyn made a fascinating observation recently, as he is wont to do. Referring to “neocolonial condescension” in comparison with the supposed condescension of Western colonialism, Steyn noted a similar attitude among people who think all the world should be eagerly welcomed as immigrants into our great nation.

A century ago, a proud imperialist would claim the citizens of poor and war-torn nations would benefit from the Anglosphere’s legal, moral, and political examples. By imposing these models, or at least arguing for their adoption in foreign societies, Western citizens sought to aid poor peoples by exporting a superior culture.

This idea horrifies a modern multiculturalist, who denies that one culture can be objectively judged better than others (except when denigrating one’s own culture and eagerly latching on to foreign curiosities). But the presumption of cultural superiority is echoed in modern immigration arguments.

Today, rather than exporting a superior way of life, Westerners want to import anyone and everyone not already here to enjoy it. The presumption is that poor foreigners are incapable of manifesting peace and prosperity in their home countries. To want good lives for them is to remove them from the “rat-holes” they were born in and ship them en masse to our own shores.

It’s colonialism in reverse. Don’t try to make more nations of the world healthy and wealthy and wise like the good ole USA. Just get as many people as you can out of those nations… because those places are surely doomed.

To truly respect people is to place demands upon their behavior. The proper focus is to improve the world, not to concentrate people wherever is doing best at the moment.

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There are 31 comments.

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  1. MarciN Member

    Aaron Miller:This idea horrifies a modern multiculturalist, who denies that one culture can be objectively judged better than others (except when denigrating one’s own culture and eagerly latching on to foreign curiosities). But the presumption of cultural superiority is echoed in modern immigration arguments.

    Today, rather than exporting a superior way of life, Westerners want to import anyone and everyone not already here to enjoy it. The presumption is that poor foreigners are incapable of manifesting peace and prosperity in their home countries. To want good lives for them is to remove them from the “rat-holes” they were born in and ship them en masse to our own shores.

    Yes, and this is going to come back and bite us in the future. I can hear it now . . .

    • #1
    • January 19, 2018, at 3:55 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  2. Jimmy Carter Member

    I’ve stated for a long time now that if other nations were serious about Their plight and want to do something about it the solution is simple: be like America. We figured it out.

    We’ve even written the directions on how to do it for all to see. If They ain’t got interwebs, then We’ll mail it to ’em. If They ain’t got postal delivery, then We’ll send smoke signals.

    Imperialism wouldn’t work. If You want change, the change must start from within. If They don’t want to be like America, then They can wallow in Their inferiority.

    I would be more than willing to take millions of immigrants if only They would assimilate and become Americans while checking Their s-hole culture at the door.

    • #2
    • January 19, 2018, at 4:32 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  3. Vectorman Thatcher

    Aaron Miller: Don’t try to make more nations of the world healthy and wealthy and wise like the good ole USA. Just get as many people as you can out of those nations… because those places are surely doomed.

    Colonialism lifted these nations out of abject poverty into something slightly better. Great article about where we are now getting our immigrants, unlike before 1965. As the Instapundit would say, read the whole thing: What I Learned in the Peace Corps. From the article:

    So here in the States, when we discovered that my 98-year-old father’s Muslim health aide from Nigeria had stolen his clothes and wasn’t bathing him, I wasn’t surprised. It was familiar.

    ….

    We think the Protestant work ethic is universal. It’s not. My town was full of young men doing nothing. They were waiting for a government job. There was no private enterprise. Private business was not illegal, just impossible, given the nightmare of a third-world bureaucratic kleptocracy.

    • #3
    • January 19, 2018, at 5:03 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  4. Doug Kimball Member

    Steyn, a Brit, has a unique perspective on this. America was never a monarchy and we’ve never been an empire. We made a few deals with France, Mexico and Russia and we added Hawaii and a few other places – Puerto Rica, Fiji (not without the popular consent of the residents) but we’ve never been much into empire building. Alliance building, yes, but not obeisance and control. The British however, are keenly aware of Britain’s empire, weak as it may still be. The British passport is still evidence of the old empire; it allowed Styne to emmigrate (not immigrate) to Canada. But the question of the left’s obsession with open borders, diversity, immigration lotteries and all this foolishness is what needs to be addressed, understood and debunked. That’s the real issue here. The left labels anyone who is not on board with open borders and diversity as a niggardly racist (never thought you’d see those two words together; watch the ignorants’ head’s blow up.)

    This is poppycock.

    • #4
    • January 19, 2018, at 5:42 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  5. GiveMeLiberty Member

    Doug Kimball (View Comment):
    Steyn, a Brit, has a unique perspective on this. America was never a monarchy and we’ve never been an empire. We made a few deals with France, Mexico and Russia and we added Hawaii and a few other places – Puerto Rica, Fiji (not without the popular consent of the residents) but we’ve never been much into empire building. Alliance building, yes, but not obeisance and control. The British however, are keenly aware of Britain’s empire, weak as it may still be. The British passport is still evidence of the old empire; it allowed Styne to emmigrate (not immigrate) to Canada. But the question of the left’s obsession with open borders, diversity, immigration lotteries and all this foolishness is what needs to be addressed, understood and debunked. That’s the real issue here. The left labels anyone who is not on board with open borders and diversity as a niggardly racist (never thought you’d see those two words together; watch the ignorants’ head’s blow up.)

    This is poppycock.

    Niggard, derived from a Scandinavian word, nygg, means miserly or stingy. The other word does not. (I hate to see heads blow up though very unlikely here.)

    • #5
    • January 20, 2018, at 12:40 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  6. Western Chauvinist Member

    Well, now, Mr. C and I have recently been pondering just how successful the exportation of culture is through colonialism. Just because the U.S. came out on top due to her adoption of British common law and Judeo-Christian values doesn’t mean it takes hold and flourishes everywhere.

    The list of former British colonies (and protectorates) around the world is long. There seem to be only a handful that have made first-world status. Any thoughts about why that might be?

    P.S. Steyn is Canadian — born in Toronto — but educated in Britain.

    • #6
    • January 20, 2018, at 12:42 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. Doug Kimball Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    Well, now, Mr. C and I have recently been pondering just how successful the exportation of culture is through colonialism. Just because the U.S. came out on top due to her adoption of British common law and Judeo-Christian values doesn’t mean it takes hold and flourishes everywhere.

    The list of former British colonies (and protectorates) around the world is long. There seem to be only a handful that have made first-world status. Any thoughts about why that might be?

    P.S. Steyn is Canadian — born in Toronto — but educated in Britain.

    I assumed because of his accent… In any case, I believe Canadians still have free travel throughout the empire, correct, and British passports?

    • #7
    • January 20, 2018, at 1:00 PM PDT
    • Like
  8. Zafar Member

    Neither.

    • #8
    • January 20, 2018, at 2:06 PM PDT
    • Like
  9. Zafar Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):The list of former British colonies (and protectorates) around the world is long. There seem to be only a handful that have made first-world status. Any thoughts about why that might be?

    Colonialism was just not that awesome for the colonised. Seems one obvious conclusion.

    • #9
    • January 20, 2018, at 2:08 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  10. Vectorman Thatcher

    Vectorman (View Comment):
    As the Instapundit would say, read the whole thing: What I Learned in the Peace Corps.

    As a followup to the original article, Rod Dreher has some comments from the author:

    My column got 1200 comments, many from other Peace Corps volunteers, missionaries and vets. Here are some, for your interest:

    I think you missed the point of the essay–Senegal, as well as many other countries, have a clan/family-based culture. Totally unlike the West, which stresses individualism, the natural rights of man, and a Judeo-Christian heritage. Clan/family/honor based cultures are totally different and incomprehensible to ours. Such countries typically don’t develop the wealth of their own resources because their frame of reference is the family taking care of its own at the expense of others. They live that way all on their own–no white man did that to them.

    Yes, I was a PCV in Paraguay. Very much the same story. Worked 2 years in public health–get kids vaccinated, get people to put in latrines and improve wells. What did I gain? “…the greatest gift of the Peace Corps: I love and treasure America more than ever. I take seriously my responsibility to defend our culture and our country and pass on the American heritage to the next generation.

    My wife, the cultural anthropologist, sat and nodded her head as I read this article to her. As we have come to know, Democrats are out to destroy our culture and way of life for nothing more than importing voters and staying in power. Thank God for President Trump.

    • #10
    • January 20, 2018, at 2:16 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  11. Western Chauvinist Member

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):The list of former British colonies (and protectorates) around the world is long. There seem to be only a handful that have made first-world status. Any thoughts about why that might be?

    Colonialism was just not that awesome for the colonised. Seems one obvious conclusion.

    But, why not? Why have the values that made the West successful not “taken” in so many of the former colonies? Someone I know traveled in Africa 20 years ago or so. When he got back, he said the indigenous people he interacted with said they’d love to have the British back — to fix the potholes, if nothing else.

    • #11
    • January 20, 2018, at 2:45 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  12. Stina Member

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):The list of former British colonies (and protectorates) around the world is long. There seem to be only a handful that have made first-world status. Any thoughts about why that might be?

    Colonialism was just not that awesome for the colonised. Seems one obvious conclusion.

    What Zafar said.

    The difference that is Australia, Canada, and US America is that a large set of the British populace basically replaced and displaced the indigenous of those countries.

    The places where colonialism didn’t “take” were mostly unattractive to British settlers (n. Africa) or the populace was exceptionally hardy and the Brits weren’t (India).

    • #12
    • January 20, 2018, at 3:56 PM PDT
    • Like
  13. Zafar Member

    Stina (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):The list of former British colonies (and protectorates) around the world is long. There seem to be only a handful that have made first-world status. Any thoughts about why that might be?

    Colonialism was just not that awesome for the colonised. Seems one obvious conclusion.

    What Zafar said.

    The difference that is Australia, Canada, and US America is that a large set of the British populace basically replaced and displaced the indigenous of those countries.

    The places where colonialism didn’t “take” were mostly unattractive to British settlers (n. Africa) or the populace was exceptionally hardy and the Brits weren’t (India).

    Occupiers tend not to practice what they preach. Or at least that’s how it worked out.

    Perhaps colonising another people is just unavoidably corrupting? And I mean that universally – for anybody. Not specific to European colonialism but East Asian or Indian versions as well.

    • #13
    • January 20, 2018, at 4:05 PM PDT
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  14. I Walton Member

    Oh come on. Colonialism was what we called the process of invasion when we, all humans with the energy to invade, stopped killing people and just taking over. We became what Mancur Olsen would call stationary bandits in contrast to roving bandits. Folks whose hearts bleed over the poor illegals have not spent any time around the world where there are lines (well now virtual lines) in front of every embassy and consulate with literally hundreds of millions of poor energetic people who want to come here. The fact that they’re standing in a line, even a virtual one, gives them more moral authority to claim a visa or a green card than those who invaded and who are being coddled by the Democrats in hopes that they’ll become dependent clients and voters. The Democrat posturing on this issue makes me sick.

    • #14
    • January 20, 2018, at 4:55 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  15. Bob Wainwright Member

    I think Steyn’s point is conceding too much to the open borders people. The real reason they want the third world immigrants here is to get their votes for the Democracy, not to help them achieve a better life. Steyn surely knows this. I guess he’s just analyzing the way the left’s useful idiots justify their positions?

    • #15
    • January 20, 2018, at 5:22 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. Hypatia Inactive

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Stina (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):The list of former British colonies (and protectorates) around the world is long. There seem to be only a handful that have made first-world status. Any thoughts about why that might be?

    Colonialism was just not that awesome for the colonised. Seems one obvious conclusion.

    What Zafar said.

    The difference that is Australia, Canada, and US America is that a large set of the British populace basically replaced and displaced the indigenous of those countries.

    The places where colonialism didn’t “take” were mostly unattractive to British settlers (n. Africa) or the populace was exceptionally hardy and the Brits weren’t (India).

    Occupiers tend not to practice what they preach. Or at least that’s how it worked out.

    Perhaps colonising another people is just unavoidably corrupting? And I mean that universally – for anybody. Not specific to European colonialism but East Asian or Indian versions as well.

    Great, then why should we in the US let ourselves be colonized? Or invaded, if you like. That’s what has happened in Europe and that’s what’s underway here.

    The solution to the problems of everyone in the world cannot be to come to the US. People are going to have to start blooming where they’re planted.

    And yes, the OP is perfectly correct about the soft bigotry implicit in the attitude of open borders advocates.

    • #16
    • January 20, 2018, at 5:31 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  17. Zafar Member

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    Great, then why should we in the US let ourselves be colonized? Or invaded, if you like. That’s what has happened in Europe and that’s what’s underway here.

    I really don’t think that’s what’s happening in Europe. Invaders do not ask for inclusion (in this case asylum), colonisers do not apply to join a society. Calling this an invasion or colonisation seems hysterical at best. I mean there are surely other, legitimate reasons to question one’s country’s migration and asylum granting policies – we don’t absolutely have to drop our bundle to do so. (In fact perhaps it’s better to not drop one’s bundle? Jmho.)

    Even in the US the closest you could come to this is a cultural change of Spanish speakers in S Florida and parts of some other States. They still really don’t want to replace America – they want to be part of it, which is quite different.

    • #17
    • January 20, 2018, at 8:48 PM PDT
    • Like
  18. Zafar Member

    I tend to agree we you re any assumption that other countries and cultures are intrinsically irredeemable. In the end migration has to serve the receiving country – it can’t preponderantly be a favour to the world’s disadvantaged.

    Where there is legitimate disagreement is how to measure and value the impact of migration on a country.

    • #18
    • January 20, 2018, at 8:52 PM PDT
    • Like
  19. Jules PA Member

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    values that made the West successful

    The West pursued certain values, and many who shared those values came, and stayed. Whether a non-Western culture views the West’s result as successful is up to their view.

    And they are welcome to borrow ideas, to modify their own culture.

    • #19
    • January 20, 2018, at 10:29 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Hypatia Inactive

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    Great, then why should we in the US let ourselves be colonized? Or invaded, if you like. That’s what has happened in Europe and that’s what’s underway here.

    I really don’t think that’s what’s happening in Europe. Invaders do not ask for inclusion (in this case asylum), colonisers do not apply to join a society.

    Asylum is not at all the same thing as inclusion. 

    Calling this an invasion or colonisation seems hysterical at best.

    And at worst? Inconveniently accurate.

    I mean there are surely other, legitimate reasons to question one’s country’s migration and asylum granting policies – we don’t absolutely have to drop our bundle to do so. (In fact perhaps it’s better to not drop one’s bundle? Jmho.)

    “Drop one’s bundle?” Same as “losing your sh–. .?

    I dunno, I think some issues merit a bit of passion. 

    .Even in the US the closest you could come to this is a cultural change of Spanish speakers in S Florida and parts of some other States. They still really don’t want to replace America – they want to be part of it, which is quite different.

    I don’t think they do. If so, why not learn English? And why march down our streets carrying foreign flags? But that’s not even the key question: they, and people with your viewpoint, seem to be under the impression that we in the US are hoarding something that doesn’t eist, and can’t be replicated, anywhere else on the globe. I hate to buy intothat pessimistic view of humanity. But, when you talk open borders, is there any doubt which direction the immigration tide will flow?

    Or maybe, under demographic pressure, Anglophone Americans will start moving and settling depopulated areas in other parts of the globe…..oh wait: that would be “colonization”. 

    • #20
    • January 21, 2018, at 1:42 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. Zafar Member

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    And at worst? Inconveniently accurate.

    At its worst: manipulative and misleading. Wilfully dishonest.

    Wrt anglophones moving elsewhere:

    If they (you?) apply for, and get, a migrant visa to Australia they will be welcome to come here and bring their culture with them.

    We realise that means Australian culture will change – that’s what immigration means for the receiving culture. But that’s also what multiculturalism means – if we accept you, we accept your culture (within limits….)

    And no matter how many of you migrate, if we accept you, that means you’re joining us – it won’t be an invasion or colonisation, and your children will be Australians.

    • #21
    • January 21, 2018, at 2:24 AM PDT
    • Like
  22. Hypatia Inactive

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    And at worst? Inconveniently accurate.

    At its worst: manipulative and misleading. Wilfully dishonest.

    Wrt anglophones moving elsewhere:

    If they (you?) apply for, and get, a migrant visa to Australia they will be welcome to come here and bring their culture with them.

    We realise that means Australian culture will change – that’s what immigration means for the receiving culture. But that’s also what multiculturalism means – if we accept you, we accept your culture (within limits….)

    And no matter how many of you migrate, if we accept you, that means you’re joining us – it won’t be an invasion or colonisation, and your children will be Australians.

    Seriously you’re holding Australia up as a paragon? It had a “White Australia” policy till 1973. Oh and hey: What’s the history of the “abbos ” again? And, last time I checked Australia’s immigration information , you make it pretty clear you don’t intend to allow immigration withourequiring proof that the wannabe citizen can afford it.

    But okay: you seem to be saying it can’t be called invasion or colonization if people apply for permission. And implicit on that has to be a sovereign nation’s right to determine qualifications of foreigners it will admit, correct?

    See, in the US, we are being asked to endorse people entering and remaining without  legal permission, and we’re being told it is merely selfish and racist to determine and enforce qualifications.

    Heres what it comes down to: Anglo-American culture and society is the most desirable in the world, to judge by the fact that everybody wants to get in here. But at the same time, any attempt to export it to less desirable parts of the globe is cultural contamination/aggression or (gasp!) “colonization”–and that’s  the least  desirable institution in the history of the world.

    • #22
    • January 21, 2018, at 3:16 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  23. Zafar Member

    Well I don’t know you so I can’t say if you’re selfish or not, but fwiw I’m not into open borders either – though I do think how open your borders are is something a country’s people should decide together via free and fair representative elections.

    Wrt why people migrate: overwhelmingly its the economy.

    Is that a function of culture, or is culture a function of economy? I’d say both – and from personal observation, migrants from many Asian cultures feel down right culturally superior to the Western countries they move to. – for them it’s all about the economy.

    • #23
    • January 21, 2018, at 5:21 AM PDT
    • Like
  24. Hypatia Inactive

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Well I don’t know you so I can’t say if you’re selfish or not, but fwiw I’m not into open borders either – though I do think how open your borders are is something a country’s people should decide together via free and fair representative elections.

    yuh, we did that.

    Wrt why people migrate: overwhelmingly its the economy.

    Is that a function of culture, or is culture a function of economy? I’d say both – and from personal observation, migrants from many Asian cultures feel down right culturally superior to the Western countries they move to. – for them it’s all about the economy.

    ….meaning they can make more money here. And they’re confident that they will be able to keep what they make. All of which means: western cultures have developed a better, more stable economic system. So a syou would say, it’s not a “function of culture” that Western cultures want to control immigration; it’s just that no economy can support a waelfare state AND unlimited unskilled immigration.

    • #24
    • January 21, 2018, at 8:18 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  25. Vectorman Thatcher

    Zafar (View Comment):
    I’d say both – and from personal observation, migrants from many Asian cultures feel down right culturally superior to the Western countries they move to.

    As Abraham Lincoln said, calling the tail a leg does not mean that a dog has 5 legs.

    Hypatia (View Comment):
    And they’re confident that they will be able to keep what they make. All of which means: western cultures have developed a better, more stable economic system.

    • #25
    • January 21, 2018, at 9:21 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  26. Stina Member

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Hypatia (View Comment):

    Great, then why should we in the US let ourselves be colonized? Or invaded, if you like. That’s what has happened in Europe and that’s what’s underway here.

    I really don’t think that’s what’s happening in Europe. Invaders do not ask for inclusion (in this case asylum), colonisers do not apply to join a society.

    Asylum is not at all the same thing as inclusion.

    Calling this an invasion or colonisation seems hysterical at best.

    And at worst? Inconveniently accurate.

    I mean there are surely other, legitimate reasons to question one’s country’s migration and asylum granting policies – we don’t absolutely have to drop our bundle to do so. (In fact perhaps it’s better to not drop one’s bundle? Jmho.)

    “Drop one’s bundle?” Same as “losing your sh–. .?

    I dunno, I think some issues merit a bit of passion.

    .Even in the US the closest you could come to this is a cultural change of Spanish speakers in S Florida and parts of some other States. They still really don’t want to replace America – they want to be part of it, which is quite different.

    I don’t think they do. If so, why not learn English? And why march down our streets carrying foreign flags? But that’s not even the key question: they, and people with your viewpoint, seem to be under the impression that we in the US are hoarding something that doesn’t eist, and can’t be replicated, anywhere else on the globe. I hate to buy intothat pessimistic view of humanity. But, when you talk open borders, is there any doubt which direction the immigration tide will flow?

    Or maybe, under demographic pressure, Anglophone Americans will start moving and settling depopulated areas in other parts of the globe…..oh wait: that would be “colonization”.

    There was an historian who claimed the masses that stormed and pillaged Rome wanted to be Romans, too.

    The historian is from the late 19th century, I think. It’s an interesting view and not wholly inaccurate – the northern barbarians were immigrating into Roman society for decades before the visigoths made their entrance.

    • #26
    • January 21, 2018, at 10:56 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. Stina Member

    Zafar (View Comment):
    If they (you?) apply for, and get, a migrant visa to Australia they will be welcome to come here and bring their culture with them.

    That’s not true. My brother is there, married to an Aussie, and can’t work because immigration control is tight. This is after my brother played baseball for their fledgling teams for the last 6 years (even blowing his knee out and losing a shot a pro-signing here because you let players slide kleats up).

    Your immigration for Anglophone Americans is just as, if not more, tight than what we have here… except obviously your government understands how immigration affects native employment.

    • #27
    • January 21, 2018, at 11:01 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  28. Zafar Member

    Stina (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):
    If they (you?) apply for, and get, a migrant visa to Australia they will be welcome to come here and bring their culture with them.

    That’s not true. My brother is there, married to an Aussie, and can’t work because immigration control is tight. This is after my brother played baseball for their fledgling teams for the last 6 years (even blowing his knee out and losing a shot a pro-signing here because you let players slide kleats up).

    Your immigration for Anglophone Americans is just as, if not more, tight than what we have here… except obviously your government understands how immigration affects native employment.

    Does he have a permanent resident visa or is he waiting for one? If he’s married to an Australian those should be the two options (oh unless he doesn’t want one, option 3). They probably need to make sure it’s not a visa marriage.

    And you’re right: immigration from everywhere is tight with (except for New Zealand) the same rules governing entry. I think that’s a good thing, and it’s perceived as fair – so it has support.

    But also consider: there are some industries Australia no longer has because we made the choice to be a high wage (and high unemployment) economy. There is a cost to curtailing immigration – my feeling is that there’s support for more pro low skill migration in the US because you still have more of those kinds of industries? Iow you still make a lot of stuff. We really don’t.

    • #28
    • January 21, 2018, at 12:11 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  29. Vectorman Thatcher

    Zafar (View Comment):
    Iow you still make a lot of stuff. We really don’t.

    If you’re talking about mechanical stuff, such as cars, you’re correct.

    Australia still has exportable stuff, such as agricultural products (wines, especially!) and raw materials. And Vegemite. ;-)

    • #29
    • January 21, 2018, at 12:17 PM PDT
    • Like
  30. Zafar Member

    The undiscovered superfood….

    • #30
    • January 21, 2018, at 3:33 PM PDT
    • 1 like
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