Friday, June 10, 2016

The Last Days of the European Union

In a couple of weeks the British will vote up or down on the European Union. Those who are older and wiser are strongly advising against such a move. And yet, the more the ruling elites say that Brexit is a bad thing, the more the general public starts thinking that it might be a great thing.

Distrust of policy elites and high government officials is rapidly increasing, and not just in Europe. The problem, in America as in Europe, is immigration…. How many aliens can the country integrate without losing its identity? It is not an idle question. If the culture is forced to make accommodations for immigrants who do not share the nation’s values, how long before it becomes radically other to what it had been?

But Muslim refugees are not the only problem. Northern European countries have had to bail out their profligate Southern neighbors, and it has obviously rankled. In America we call it income redistribution.

The Gatestone Institute reports (via Maggie’s Farm) on a recent survey by the Pew foundation:

Public opposition to the European Union is growing in all key member states, according to a new survey of voters in ten EU countries.

Public disaffection with the EU is being fueled by the bloc's mishandling of the refugee and debt crises, according to the survey, which interviewed voters in Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain and Sweden.

Public anger is also being fueled by the growing number of diktats issued by the unelected officials running the Brussels-based European Commission, the powerful administrative arm of the bloc, which has been relentless in its usurpation of sovereignty from the 28 nation states that comprise the European Union.

On the refugee crisis, these are the numbers:

Much of the disaffection with the EU among Europeans can be attributed to Brussels' handling of the refugee issue. In every country surveyed, overwhelming majorities disapprove of how Brussels has dealt with the crisis. This includes 94% of Greeks, 88% of Swedes and 77% of Italians. In Hungary and Poland, disapproval of how the refugee crisis has been managed stands at 72% and 71%, respectively. In France, 70% disapprove; in Germany the figure is 67%. The strongest approval of EU management of the refugee crisis is in the Netherlands, but that backing is a tepid 31%.

Of course, it’s not just happening in Europe. The images of Mexican and Central American refugees flooding across America’s southern border have surely been a dominant factor in our own presidential election. And, of course, the Obama administration wants to bring in more Syrian Muslim refugees. It does not, curiously, want to bring in more Syrian Christian refugees.

The situation in Europe, most recently in Germany has made clear to Americans that if we do not put a stop to it, then we will go the way of Europe.

It’s nice to think that there will always be an America or that there will always be an England, but nations and their cultures do not endure just because we hope so.

As we know, immigrant refugees have turned Sweden into the rape capital of the Western world. And Angela Merkel has not only embraced more Muslim refugees than her nation can assimilate and absorb, but when these immigrants molested hundreds of German women last New Year’s Eve in Cologne, her government tried to cover it all up. The pusillanimous Germans, like the wussified Swedes want to deal with the problem by mandating more sex education for Muslim refugees.

And, let’s not forget the Muslim men who were “grooming” underage British girls from Rotherham for years. The police authorities, who were informed of the practice, looked away. Again, young girls are being sacrificed to the gods of multiculturalism and a nation’s leaders say nothing… for fear of being called racist.

So, the progressive dream of a family of man where we will all be citizens of the world is crashing and burning. The grand illusion-- that all peoples from all parts of the world can live in peace and harmony in a multicultural paradise-- is being repudiated across both Europe and America.

Today’s test case is The Netherlands. According to the reliably leftist Guardian, the Dutch are souring on their multicultural idealism. Importantly, this article appeared in a radically leftist publication.

Joris Luyendijk explains the situation in his country:

Once a beacon of progressive politics, the Netherlands today is a traumatised, angry and deeply confused nation. Support for immigration and the European project are at all-time lows. Synagogues and Jewish schools need police protection from homegrown jihadists, and freedom of expression is under serious pressure. 

Of course, Jews are under attack in all European neighborhoods where Muslims are dominant. The point has been largely ignored by the media… because it is best not to be called racist.

The Netherlands has always been a laboratory for crackpot liberal cultural policies. Luyendijk continues:

It seems a long time since “Dutch” was synonymous with tolerance. A founding member of the European Union, the Netherlands developed from the 1970s onwards into a laboratory for social and cultural change, boldly pioneering the legalisation of prostitution, soft drugs, euthanasia and gay marriage.

Those were the days when Dutch politicians and opinion-makers would refer to the Netherlands, without any apparent irony, as a “gidsland”, or “guide country”: a small nation leading by example. Its proudest moment probably came in June 1988 when an ethnically mixed team of Dutch footballers won the European Championships, beating the all-white teams of arch-rival Germany and then Russia. It felt like the ultimate vindication of multiculturalism.

Increased numbers of immigrants and misplaced tolerance for cultural habits that are inimical to Western values have produced a backlash:

As the EU struggles to get on top of jihadist terrorism and the refugee crisis, some voters look for fresh faces promising simple solutions: torture, deportation, closed borders. And as the eurozone limps from panic to panic, people wonder whether the currency can and should be salvaged in the first place. Is “more Europe” really the answer to every crisis?

Before we dismiss “simple” solutions, we need to offer better solutions. And today’s ruling elites, in America and Europe do not seem to know what to do about any of it. In America, everyone knows that “comprehensive immigration reform” means amnesty and more immigrants. Thus, progressivism is being systematically undermined… by Islamophilia. And also by a failure to appreciate the importance of cultural differences.

When the Dutch people looked to their elites for leadership, the elites cowered in the corner:

And when a frightened population looked to its elites for leadership, those elites looked painfully incompetent – a second reason for the Dutch turn. There were the lost wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – which the Netherlands was almost alone from mainland Europe in joining, where 25 died. There was the disaster of the financial crash that took the entire policymaking elite by surprise. And then there is the Greek euro-crisis.

One ought to underscore the fact that Northern European countries have been found themselves financially responsible for their less efficient Southern neighbors.

People are fed up with the European Union because, from Greece to Spain, countries that value leisure and sloth more than work, who believe that government ought to be caring for people, have been sucking money from their richer Northern neighbors. Since these countries, especially Greece and now Italy, have become entryways for Muslim refugees, the rest of Europe is now thinking that the European Union has been a bad and costly bargain. Why do they need more parasites?

Luyendijk asks the pertinent question:

What if the European project is an edifice with fatally flawed foundations? How does an open society based on equality survive, when every year it takes in tens if not hundreds of thousands of immigrants from countries with no tradition of openness, equality or democratic debate? Especially when those immigrants consistently have more children than the native Dutch?

There was a time when mainstream Dutch politicians and opinion-makers would answer breezily that the EU was a work in progress and that successful integration would simply take a generation: why would the children of immigrants remain socially and culturally conservative if they could also be Dutch?

That self-confidence is gone and what will take its place is anyone’s guess. What seems certain is that the heady days of progressive optimism are not coming back.


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Reminds me of a Peter Drucker quote: "Culture eats strategy for lunch."

The EU was formed as a market exchange strategy, and evolved into a quasi-federal state. Elites dream of it being oh-so-much-more, but the demands of cultural identity and social cohesion may just be too much. The European elites must be disappointed in their positions as the overlords of such ignorant, foolish bigots who happen to be their citizens. Sounds eerily familiar.

Sam L. said...

The elites think they will escape the consequences of what they have done.

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: Northern European countries have had to bail out their profligate Southern neighbors, and it has obviously rankled. In America we call it income redistribution.

Is that like Minnesota getting $0.60 back from the federal government for every $1 that we give in taxes, while South Carolina gets $7.87 back for every $1?
Part of the explanation for why southern states dominate the “most dependent” category is historical. During the many decades in the 20th century when the South was solidly Democratic, its congressional representatives in both the House and the Senate, enjoying great seniority, came to hold leadership positions on powerful committees, which they used to send federal dollars back to their home states in the form of contracts, projects, installations.

Another part of the explanation is easier to discern. The reddest states on that map at the top—Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, New Mexico, Maine—have exceptionally high poverty rates and thus receive disproportionately large shares of federal dollars. Through a variety of social programs, the federal government disburses hundreds of billions of dollars each year to maintain a “safety net” intended to help the neediest among us.

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: And, of course, the Obama administration wants to bring in more Syrian Muslim refugees. It does not, curiously, want to bring in more Syrian Christian refugees.

That sounds like horrid propaganda to me. I don't even think it would be legal or moral to select refugees on a basis of their religion, although Ted Cruz apparently thinks otherwise.
Cruz has said if the U.S. does admit Syrian refugees then it should only accept Christians.

A total of 2,290 Syrian refugees have arrived in the United States since fiscal year 2011, which is when the Syrian civil war began, through Nov. 20, according to the State Department’s Refugee Processing Center. Of those, only 62 were identified in the center’s database as Christian. That’s 2.7 percent, even though the Christian population in Syria is about 10 percent.

But Cruz isn’t telling the whole story. It’s important to note that the Syrian refugees are referred to the U.S. by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

From 2013 though Nov. 17, the U.N. says it has referred 22,427 Syrian refugees to the U.S. for “resettlement consideration.” The U.N. could not tell us how many of the 22,427 U.N. referrals were Christian, and the State Department did not know how many Christian Syrians may have been rejected by the U.S. But we know the U.S. is drawing from a limited pool of applicants provided by the U.N. from a predominately Muslim country.

So what religion are the Syrian refugees admitted to the U.S.?

The vast majority are Sunni Muslims, who make up 2,128, or 93 percent, of the Syrian refugees in the U.S. The Sunnis are about 74 percent of the Syrian population, according to the CIA, but “they tend to support the rebels and oppose the Assad regime, and Syrian Sunnis have been subject to ethnic cleansing at the hands of the Alawite minority in recent months,”

This explains why Sunni Muslims are disproportionately represented among Syrian refugees in the U.S., Andrew Tabler, a Middle East expert at the Washington Institute, told us in an email.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @June 10, 2016 at 2:23 PM:

"That sounds like horrid propaganda to me."

I'm sure it does.

"I don't even think it would be legal or moral to select refugees on the basis of their religion..."

Okay, then pick one. Legal or ethical? Oh, that's right... in your mind, they're one and the same!

What do you think is the basis to select refugees? The Obama Administration is the body deciding who's been/getting targeted in a genocidal way, and thus eligible for refugee status. Amazingly, the Obamatrons think Muslims are the target, and not Christians. Christians are being targeted for extermination or slavery based on their religion. Yet the real gist of the Syrian mess is tribal mumbo-jumbo. Do we want to make the vagaries and intricacies of tribalism a criterion for refugee status? What you're effectively saying is that religion shouldn't be a basis, but an Administration's classification of refugee status based on intricate indicators of tribal affiliation should be. THAT is amoral and unethical, and hardly understandable.

And, I still haven't heard a cohesive argument for why the U.S. and Eurpoe should take all these Syrian refugees. On what basis? Why not have other nations in the Ummah take them? What makes us the first candidate, the first destination of choice? Sounds to me like it's because we have money. Well, we can send money to help out other Muslim countries who want to accept and assimilate these refugees. I suggest we use our diplomatic power to affect that kind of support. But we won't, will we?

You want to talk about propaganda? The Left says America is a racist country, and there is no remedy or redemption. Why would anyone want to send Syrian refugees to such a racist hellhole? Yet it seems Left-liberal America is pushing for all this "mercy," and we should accept all these Syrian refugees with open arms. Okay, let's locate them to Newton, Evanston, Austin, Boulder, Berkeley and Pasadena... where they will no doubt be loved and accepted by "non-racist" America. Wanna take any bets on whether that will come to pass?

Linda Fox said...

I have to agree that using religion is a valid way of sorting potential refugees into Yes or No piles. After all, much of the reason that those fleeing their country's disruption is because their religious practice makes them a target for violence. If they have the possibility of gathering nearby with those practicing the same religion, and being able to re-settle there, why bring them to the US?

I think the large nations have reached a breaking point.

The Exile said...

Ares Olympus: "Is that like Minnesota getting $0.60 back from the federal government for every $1 that we give in taxes, while South Carolina gets $7.87 back for every $1?"

Easy fix for that: repeal the 16th amendment and end Federal income taxes. Let the states keep their money. But I'm pretty sure that you wouldn't be for that.

And it's very politically incorrect for you to point out that those southern states with much higher numbers of "poor" (which is a Liberal code word for black) people are the ones receiving all of this Federal money.