Monday, January 11, 2016

Amy Davidson Defends Angela Merkel

Nearly all rational human beings understand that Angela Merkel is responsible for what happened in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. They understand that Merkel’s open door policy to refugees created the conditions that led to mass sexual assaults on women in Cologne and in many other German and European cities. See yesterday's post, especially the remarks of Ross Douthat.

Of course, these events have damaged any one of a number of leftist narratives, so naturally, leftist thinkers are crawling out to defend Angela Merkel. Among them, Amy Davidson of the New Yorker.

Davidson rushes to defend Merkel’s indefensible policy. As you read her column you will see that she cares more about the plight of the refugee rapists than she does about their female victims.

Why does Merkel need defending? Because she is the most powerful female executive in the world today. Defending Merkel is defending girl power. Not only because she is a woman but because her foolish policy manifests womanly values, values in stark opposition to the patriarchy. Obviously, Margaret Thatcher would never have received the same solicitude, but she was conservative and thus, a traitor to the cause.

This suggests that the girl power narrative is about promoting leftist policies.

Merkel needs defending because Davidson does not want anyone to think that Merkel was weak and squishy, so overcome by sentimentality that she did not even think about the consequences of her policy.

Davidson believes that Merkel’s policies were more humane. That means that the policies were based on empathy, compassion and sentimentality...not on national interest or the best interests of the citizens of Germany.

She writes:

Merkel has been the conscience of Europe with regard to the plight of displaced Syrians, arguing that Europeans will be defined by the humanity of their response, and not by their ability to exclude others. By the German government’s count, more than a million refugees entered the country in 2015. For Merkel’s critics, New Year’s Eve in Cologne was the inevitable result, proof that her policy was doomed to fail.

Note well, Davidson is suggesting that Europe as a civilization will be defined by how many unassimilable refugees it allows into its midst. Does she believe that the weaker you are the more moral you are.

One hesitates to mention it, but if you do not distinguish between those you allow in and those you exclude from your country, you do not have a country. When making such policies one should reflect seriously on what one is doing and on the potential consequences.

Fashionable leftist thinkers believe that we are all human beings and should all be treated the same way. For them, all cultures are equally valid because we all have a common humanity. This can only be determined on biological grounds. And yet, if you define yourself primarily as a member of the species, your membership that is based on your biology, not your behavior. Thus, you have written yourself out of your community, your nation and even your family. And since you do not need to do anything, to behave in any particular way to belong to the human species, this supposed humanitarianism is really a way to rationalize amorality.

Note that Davidson cannot bring herself to condemn or to express any anger at the men who assaulted women in Cologne. While saying that she is not excusing what they did, she is offering a series of excuses for what they did. She is offering empathic understanding instead of anger. Note also the use of the word “obviously.” It is almost ironic; it tells us that she needs to qualify her remark about excusing the abuse. And note also that she makes a moral equivalence between the actions of those who assaulted German women and the West’s responsibility for the breakdown of Muslim civilization:

Neither the cultural backgrounds of the male refugees nor the fact that they are traumatized, desperate, and angry is, obviously, an excuse for abusing women. By the same token, the bad acts of a few dozen, or even a few hundred, men are not an excuse for abdicating responsibility in the face of a human tragedy that has engulfed millions. 

Here, Davidson’s rhetoric denotes weakness, passivity and fear. She does not direct any ire at the poor, downtrodden, desperate, traumatized refugees. She even manages to say that they are angry.  She wants us to understand their state of mind. She is more concerned with the mental health of the human monsters who assaulted the women than she is about the women themselves. She shows no real sympathy for the victims.

She tries to dismiss their behavior, suggesting that it does not amount to a failure of Merkel’s policy, by saying that these men are a minority of the asylum seekers. If you were a victim would you find that to be a consoling thought?

Davidson seems nonplussed by the dozens or hundreds of women who were assaulted and the thousands that have been raped in these feminist nations.

As for responsibility, why does Europe or America bear responsibility for Middle Eastern refugees and why are Western nations duty-bound to welcome them in?

Again, this suggests that we are responsible for all human suffering, and, that we are morally depraved if we do not allow all victims of human terror into our countries, regardless of the consequences.

Davidson also defends Merkel against those who suggest that these foreigners can never do more for the country than increase its criminality. On what evidence does she make this claim? Does she believe that the Muslim immigrants in Sweden or France or Germany have happily assimilated into their local cultures?

The opposite view, which so far Merkel has been right to reject, is that foreigners can never really do anything for a country but increase its level of criminality. (Practically speaking, in the long term, an infusion of immigrants may bring real economic benefits to Germany, an aging, shrinking country.) At the protests for women’s rights on Saturday, many of the marchers’ signs called for an end to both sexism and racism.

Have Muslim immigrants brought real economic benefits to France or to Great Britain? It is true that Germany is an aging country and that Germans are not replacing the people who are dying off.

The counterargument says that, having a rapidly aging population and an insufficient number of replacement children, the country does not really need more people who are going to fill up the prisons or go on the dole.

Anyone who thinks that they are going to solve this by marching against sexism has been smoking the wrong kind of cigarettes.

As for what the marchers were protesting on Saturday, it takes a special kind naivete to suggest that such marches will do anything more than make the participants feel better. One notes that there were also anti-immigrant marches from the extreme German right and that these marchers had a very different goal in mind.

David Warren explains it clearly and succinctly (Via Maggie’sFarm):

No: mass rape and sexual assault on Europe’s (non-Muslim) women was a done deal, from the moment each European government bought into the idea of replacing their aging labour forces, to pay for their welfare entitlement programmes, by throwing their doors open to young male immigrants from the Middle East. “They” were invited to do “our” work for us. (Sounds like too good a deal, no?) Of course, they might have other ideas; and the specific idea of a Muslim occupation of Europe goes back nearly fourteen hundred years.

That such young men would, so very often, forsake work for welfare, came as something of a surprise to the liberal, tolerant, smarming elites. And more, that they would justify this on the immemorial religious ground, that while Muslims must submit to Allah, Infidels must submit to Muslims. Including sexually, in the case of Infidel women.

In the meantime, The Daily Mail sent reporter Sarah Malm, a young blond Swede to Cologne to feel out the mood on the streets. It’s always a good thing to do some real reporting on the ground:

This is Saturday night. In the wake of violent protests earlier in the day, there are thousands of uniformed police officers on patrol. But still, there are no women walking alone.

Malm offers this brief interview with a couple of young women:

Later in a bar I bump into Michaela and Svenja. They are happy-go-lucky twenty-somethings who have moved to Cologne in the past year. I ask them if they've changed their ways after New Year's Eve. At first they, like all other women I have spoken to in Cologne, say no, nothing has changed since the 'sex mob' attack on 31 December.

'We're all good,' Michaela said.

'A bunch of idiot rapists are not going to tell us where to walk, what to wear and what to do at night,' Svenja added.

But then Michaela points out that when they had gone out the night before, she had not wanted Svenja to go home by herself. She made her stay the night at her friend's house instead. There it is again. No women are walking alone.

She adds:

In every city across Europe, perfectly safe women won't walk down their own street at night without keys sticking out between their fingers.

It might be only a dozen or a hundred bad Muslims, but women across Europe are afraid. They cannot go out alone any more. They might as well be living in Cairo. So much for women’s liberation.

Finally, defenders of Merkel and the feminist authorities in Germany and Sweden have resorted to the strategy that all ideologues use. They suppress the facts that make it appear that their policies are not working.

The German press has been complicit in this. In that it was taking a cue from Sweden. Witness this report about the way the Swedish press refused to cover a similar scene of mass sexual assaults at a concert in Stockholm last August:

STOCKHOLM The Cologne sex assault on New Year’s Eve, where groups of Arab and North African men groped more than a hundred German women, has shocked Europe this last week. But a very similar incident, with a large number of perpetrators and victims, took place in the Swedish capital last summer. That incident however was silenced by large Swedish newspapers and media companies, despite repeated attempts from police officers to contact journalists. This is how leading Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter tried to cover up a politically inconvenient sex assault story.

In specific detail:

On Saturday August 15th, the nationally acclaimed and outspoken feminist artist Zara Larsson headlined the youth festival ‘We Are Sthlm” with a crowded concert in Kungsträdgården in central Stockholm. Thousands of young people were in attendance to take part in the event during the last summer nights of the year.

But for an unknown number of young girls the festival soon became a nightmare. Hordes of young men pressed against young girls, fondled and tried to cop a feel over and under skirts, pants and shirts. There were severe sexual assaults happening right in front of the stage, where artists such as Larsson and rapper OIAM performed.

During a single night police and security guards had to intervene against around 90 younger males, but even adult men took part in the abuse, says an eye witness to Nyheter Idag. The eye witness has professional experience from working at the Stockholm Police Department as a psychologist.

There you have it, the humanitarian left at work. If the story does not fit your ideology, you must suppress it. So much for freedom, so much for objective truth, so much for the women these nations are sacrificing in the name of political correctness.

[Bloomberg reports on the same story about Swedish police failing to report rapes and sexual assaults.]


Marsh said...

Another excellent post, Stuart.

I wonder if you'd consider writing a piece about all the people in Germany, who aren't really buying into the left's propaganda, but are being gaslighted so much that they no longer believe what their gut tells them.

Also, how can one break threw to them?

Marsh said...


Dennis said...

Why am I reminded of whistling past the grave yard? This was planned.

Anonymous said...

I remember walking around the Grande Place and the neighbouring streets in Brussels about 15 years ago and seeing the groups of idle Muslim young men all over the place. I knew it would all end badly back then. All conservatives who value Western civilization could understand the threat posed by large unassimilable Muslim populations. The Left cannot see this however because they do not value the particular achievements of the West and instead see it as a vast racist, sexist, homophobic, capitalistic plot. They despise Christianity and have no understanding of the pillars of our civilization and culture. Well, let's see if their understanding increases as their countries become Islamic hellholes. My belief is that many will just put blinkers on and insist that it is paradise.

Sam L. said...

Those Muslims are unassimilable because they refuse to be. They are both willing to wait and willing to hurry up their takeover of Europe. Because, after all, who is going to stop them?

Marsh said...

Exactly, Sam. No one.

AesopFan said...

"Because, after all, who is going to stop them?"
Besides which, Europe is PAYING them to stand around and un-assimilate.

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: Fashionable leftist thinkers believe that we are all human beings and should all be treated the same way. For them, all cultures are equally valid because we all have a common humanity. This can only be determined on biological grounds. And yet, if you define yourself primarily as a member of the species, your membership that is based on your biology, not your behavior. Thus, you have written yourself out of your community, your nation and even your family. And since you do not need to do anything, to behave in any particular way to belong to the human species, this supposed humanitarianism is really a way to rationalize amorality.

Jonathan Haidt noted this view, calling it "A Culture of Dignity" in a recent review, although I think it is unfair to call this view as failing to identify moral behavior. Rather it simply asserts that as sentient beings, we're all responsible for our own behavior, and the status of our parents neither raise nor lowers our personal status. And its actually held in our criminal justice laws - no one is above the law, and all have right to due process when accused.
B) A Culture of Dignity
The prevailing culture in the modern West is one whose moral code is nearly the exact opposite of that of an honor culture. Rather than honor, a status based primarily on public opinion, people are said to have dignity, a kind of inherent worth that cannot be alienated by others. Dignity exists independently of what others think, so a culture of dignity is one in which public reputation is less important.

Insults might provoke offense, but they no longer have the same importance as a way of establishing or destroying a reputation for bravery. It is even commendable to have “thick skin” that allows one to shrug off slights and even serious insults, and in a dignity-based society parents might teach children some version of “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” – an idea that would be alien in a culture of honor. People are to avoid insulting others, too, whether intentionally or not, and in general an ethic of self-restraint prevails.

When intolerable conflicts do arise, dignity cultures prescribe direct but non-violent actions, such as negotiated compromise geared toward solving the problem. Failing this, or if the offense is sufficiently severe, people are to go to the police or appeal to the courts. Unlike the honorable, the dignified approve of appeals to third parties and condemn those who “take the law into their own hands.”

For offenses like theft, assault, or breach of contract, people in a dignity culture will use law without shame. But in keeping with their ethic of restraint and toleration, it is not necessarily their first resort, and they might condemn many uses of the authorities as frivolous.

People might even be expected to tolerate serious but accidental personal injuries…. The ideal in dignity cultures is thus to use the courts as quickly, quietly, and rarely as possible. The growth of law, order, and commerce in the modern world facilitated the rise of the culture of dignity, which largely supplanted the culture of honor among the middle and upper classes of the West….

Anonymous said...

A good journalist will visit with those members of the accused group to get their perspective on what really happened in Cologne and why.

Think "strong and independent" lefty Amy will bravely venture forth alone into Muslim neighborhoods to interview these immigrants to get their story?

Dollars to donuts says "no way!"

n.n said...

After defeating the combined resources of The United States of America, Germany, etc., the terrorists precipitated a refugee crisis, which progressed to a global humanitarian disaster.

I guess that progressive morality did not prepare German women to assimilate the cultural proclivities and sexual peccadillos of the imported alien populations. Germany will need to accelerate establishing a Planned Parenthood office on every corner, in every neighborhood, if they intend to contain the population bubble, and proceed with their anti-native policies, including uprooting millions of people in the wake of an insurmountable terrorist threat.

Dennis said...

The terrorists are using the same tactics that the Russians, the Nazis, Islam, et al. It consists of moving large number of your adherents into a country where you quickly change the culture, suggest that your people are being treated badly and need to move to protect them, create enough cells to slowly undermined the host country's ability to protect its citizen, et al. If one has just a small understanding of history it should be easy to discern, but with a dumbed down educational establishment built on feelings logic and understanding fall by the way side.
n.n, The more one can get the host country to abort their future citizens the more one can replace those aborted citizens with the people who will destroy the host country's culture and legal foundation. I wish that people would spend more time analyzing the strategic implications of what the Left, Progressives, terrorists, feminists, et al are trying to put in place. NOTE, how easy the aforementioned groups fit together? Sorry about the use of et al, but the lists are so numerous and I know I will miss some.