Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Great Migrant Invasion

Clearly, the migration of Middle Eastern and African refugees into Europe is an extremely important historical event. Anatomy may not be destiny, but demographics often are.

European cultures have been trying to assimilate those who come from foreign cultures, with mixed success. America has always done better, though today’s multiculturalism has made the task more daunting.

One suspects that much of the problem lies in the numbers. If a manageable number of immigrants from culture X arrives in a new nation, it will be obliged to assimilate. It need not dispense with all its old ways but it will feel pressured to become part of the new culture. If a large number of immigrants from culture Y arrives in a new nation, it will reproduce the old neighborhood in the new neighborhood, will feel at home and will feel less pressure to assimilate.

Also, some cultures are more adaptable than others. Some immigrants avoid all forms of assimilation because they believe it a betrayal of their ancestors. If the new culture does not accommodate their behaviors, they will blame the new culture. Other immigrants embrace their new culture because they are happy to have found a home.

Today, Europeans are suffering a mass invasion of migrants from the Middle East. David Goldman, for one, is not sympathetic to the Europeans’ plight. After all, he notes, they could have sent troops to the Middle East to put an end to ISIS and even to the war in Syria. But they see themselves as peace loving peoples, so they did not. They are reaping the whirlwind:

 The Europeans, to be sure, are a pack of cynical hypocrites. If they had cared about Syrians, they might have sent a couple of brigades of soldiers to fight ISIS. But not a single European will risk his neck to prevent humanitarian catastrophe. The last time European soldiers got close to real trouble, in Srebrenica in 1995, Dutch peacekeepers stood aside while Bosnian Serbs massacred 8,000 Muslims.

We like to think of all migrants as peace loving people looking for a better life. And yet, how many of them possess the skills to become part of advanced industrial economies? They have been fighting wars for years now and have become brutal and brutalized. Like it or not they are bringing social pathologies:

The social pathologies that this brutal and brutalized population bring Europe will change Germany in a predictably nasty way. Even worse, the open door policy will attract an order of magnitude more such refugees, as the Interior Minister of the State of Bavaria, Joachim Herrmann, warned yesterday. To no avail: Germans have spent the past seventy years feeling badly about themselves and are determined to take this opportunity to feel good about themselves.

Goldman believes that Germany is on a guilt trip. It believes that it has been given an opportunity to atone for its past:

The refugees have given the Germans the sort of frisson of good feeling that one gets from adopting a stray puppy. This one redemptive act, they seem to believe, compensates for the country’s criminal behavior during the middle of the past century. It is one thing to take in one stray, however, and quite another to find a pack of hungry dogs baying at one’s door. At that point one calls the dog-catcher.

Among the triggers of this mass migration is Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal... the one that major European powers signed on to. Now that the deal has elevated Iran into a major power and provided it with the funds to wreak havoc across the region, the war between Shia and Sunni looks to be unstoppable:

The international recognition of Iran as a major regional power in the P5+1 nuclear deal will persuade the Sunni states to use whatever instruments are handy to contain Iranian power, including ISIS and assorted al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. Iran’s $150 billion windfall under the nuclear deal will allow Tehran to increase its support for the Assad regime in Syria, for Hezbollah in Lebanon, for the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and other Shi’ite elements that it has cultivated as cat’s paws. The Sunnis will respond in kind. Turkey, meanwhile, will redouble its efforts to crush the nascent Kurdish state emerging on its border in Iraq and Syria. Europe supported the P5+1 deal in part because it was the path of least resistance, and in part because it hoped to make money once the Iran sanctions were lifted. It will pay a big price for its sloth and cynicism.

For his part, Bret Stephens takes a more philosophical look at the situation this morning in the Wall Street Journal:

How did this happen? We mistook a holiday from history for the end of it. We built a fenceless world on the wrong set of assumptions about the future. We wanted a new liberal order—one with a lot of liberalism and not a lot of order. We wanted to be a generous civilization without doing the things required to be a prosperous one.

Europe decided that peace and love were their guiding principles. They attacked the so-called militarism of the USA. They were anti-war, no matter what. They decided to adopt socialism light, and become the most benevolent of states. They ignored the fact that they could indulge this luxury because they were an American military protectorate.

Stephens writes:

In 2003 the political theorist Robert Kagan wrote a thoughtful book, “Of Paradise and Power,” in which he took stock of the philosophical divide between Americans and Europeans. Americans, he wrote, inhabited the world of Thomas Hobbes,in which “true security and the defense and promotion of a liberal order still depend on the possession and use of military might.”

Europeans, by contrast, lived in the world of Immanuel Kant, in which “perpetual peace” was guaranteed by a set of cultural conventions, consensually agreed rules and a belief in the virtues of social solidarity overseen by a redistributive state.

But then something changed. America elected a president who adopted the Kantian view, who aspired to turn his nation into a European welfare state, and who eschewed the use military force.

Stephens explains:

These differences didn’t matter much as long as they were confined to panel discussions at Davos. Then came the presidency of Barack Obama,which has adopted the Kantian view. For seven years, the U.S. and Europe have largely been on the same side—the European side—of most of the big issues, especially in the Mideast: getting out of Iraq, drawing down in Afghanistan, lightly intervening in Libya, staying out of Syria, making up with Iran.

And, of course, liberal elites believe that we are all citizens of the world, that nationality does not matter, that all cultures are of equal value and that when someone, somewhere is hurting, we must rush to help. They do not believe in fighting and defeating evil; they do believe in humanitarianism for all.

Victor Davis Hanson explains this aspect of the problem:

Westerners are hoist on their own petards of “fairness” and “equality” in the age of globalization and instant communications: If Sudanese or Oaxacans are deprived of free annual check-ups or are in need of climate-change instruction, then Brussels and Washington are just as culpable for their plight as if they had shorted their own Slovakians or Alabamans.

Elites who are exempt by virtue of their money and influence from the consequences of living among millions of displaced Africans, Arabs, or Latin Americans berate ad nauseam their less-well-connected, supposedly illiberal fellow citizens. But note that no elite Westerner wants to face the cause of the malady: namely, that the failure in the Third World to adopt Western ideas of consensual government, equality between the sexes, free-market capitalism, individual liberty, and transparent meritocracy logically leads to mayhem and poverty.

Now, we are expecting that people who have never adopted Western ideas, who have been acculturated in anti-Western and anti-Judeo-Christian thought are going to become immediately Westernized.

The elite radical intellectuals who hate Western civilization are not unhappy. This new migrant invasion that will spell the end to the West.


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

"And, of course, liberal elites believe that we are all citizens of the world, that nationality does not matter, that all cultures are of equal value and that when someone, somewhere is hurting, we must rush to help. They do not believe in fighting and defeating evil; they do believe in humanitarianism for all."

Very good, but let's take it a step farther. They do NOT believe "in humanitarianism for all." They want to be nice, but they haven't a clue on how to make it work. Global stability takes a lot of work, and we cannot be the sole merchants of peace and justice. Some people don't want it. In terms of the liberal elites' bleeding-heart humanitarianism, we know they cannot possibly believe this, and their actions speak volumes. They don't rush to help. They just complain about the human condition and believe that it is someone else's fault. They watch PBS "Frontline" episodes and declare themselves experts, enraged by human cruelty and corruption. In doing so, they are professional critics who can't do anything about the problem. We get all these "NO WAR" signs everywhere, and then we get elitist complaints about the displaced, saying "Not in my neighborhood." We say Iraq is a bad war, so we must leave. So we do it, chaos ensues, and we just say "No war." It's emotional, self-righteous voyeurism with a holier-than-thou outlook. That's why I don't listen to Leftists anymore. They are cowards. 99.7% of homo sapiens are not pacifists... true pacifists. They say they abhor violence, but everyone has their limits when pushed. The desire to avoid pain and the will to live are profound instincts. Lefties somehow think themselves exempt from this human truth. They're not. They're liars, and they know it. Perhaps that's why Leftism, hate and self-loathing all go hand-in-hand.

"The elite radical intellectuals who hate Western civilization are not unhappy."

And that's more of it: cowardice. People do not understand how precarious civilization is. We are Roman farmers with a power grid. If our modern conveniences fall apart, the strong, ignorant and wicked will reassert themselves. No one will have any practical use for these intellectuals. They'll be executed. That's why the Christian life is so powerful, as it stands in the way of that kind of barbarism. But Christianity is backward, superstitious and wicked, the radical intellectuals say. Everything is an abstraction, until you're dead.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I am most interested in Bret Steven's mention of the Kantian view, which so many sophisticates seem to think is such a great ideal. Like most of Kant's thinking, it's nonsense. It relies on the "[guarantees] of social conventions." The intellectual class has become so abstract in this multicultural madness that social conventions no longer exist. We don't assimilate people anymore because every assimilation standard is proof of a vast, right-wing conspiracy of bigotry and privilege. So we politically pander to the immigrant's most base, lazy desires. We patronize them by utilizing phony accents to show we "get them." We've lost standards. Standards are now the enemy. A standard is a disguised assertio of some bigoted worldview that will leave the marginalized to fend for themselves. Nonsense! It gives them a clear guide to strive for.

We have created our much-vaunted core value of tolerance as a substitute for love. Tolerance is a form of indifference. Love takes work. The French tolerate the Muslim ghettoes, where law enforcement doesn't dare go. We have to recognize the power and limits of government. Until we do, we will continue to fail. Government cannot love. Government can coordinate and scale relief aid or use military assets to destroy the forces of evil, but we have to recognize it first. The Obama presidency has featured a retreat from the world as its central policy goal, so that others will step in and handle their own problems. We now see that there are no "others." No one cares. Human evil is real. And it's high time that we grew up and come to realize that no one cares about us -- the United States -- either.

In that sense, we should concentrate on our interests, and that includes global stability. We should continue to be a generous people and stand for a noble ideal of life and liberty... as we once did. That's who we are. But we cannot do it all ourselves. ISIS is really making a mess of things. Letting Libya crumble is now a humanitarian nightmare. We can all sit around and pretend that we can retreat from the world, but it is a fallacy. We cannot retreat far enough. We're on a planet with a whole lot of other human beings. Ignoring things won't work.

"This new migrant invasion that will spell the end to the West."

Yes, perhaps it will... if we allow it to go on as we have in the past 50 years, where we use indiscriminate tolerance to prove how wonderful we are. It's the easy path, the way we kick the can down the road. Hopefully we'll grow up and see the limits of how we've been carrying on.

Ares Olympus said...

It is certainly an amazing event, and you do have to wonder if it could have predicted who would have acted differently.

Here in Minneapolis, we have a large Somali refugee population, and that's causing some strife, and now some are trying to become leaders, and coming into conflict with the old democrats, even with claims of voter fraud, just like the GOP likes to claim when they feel threatened.

I like to see things from many points of view, and so I have equal attraction to ideals of walls as ideals of bridges. I believe in law, as in lawful immigration, but sometimes laws don't meet people's needs, and a period of lawlessness can arise until laws catch up to reality. I'm rather terrified by the sheer weight of the mass of humanity, and can as easily see our presence on earth as a cancer than as benevolent dominion over the earth.

Unlimited migration threatens to make humanity into a plague of locust who will slosh around from every trauma-inducing civil war region into another to seed hostility and hatred into a new overwhelmed region where local resources can't meet the demands of the people.

I tend towards thinking the future of humanity might be the squatter cities, and there's strange unexpected arguments there. If you allow people to move freely, they want to live in cities, but if their income doesn't support city expenses, they'll build their own slums outside the city domains, and be free from the burdens of regulations that libertarians hate, and innovation of necessity can make small scale civilization.

It is hard to imagine how Germany can take in 500,000 people per year for many years, and give them a place, but since their reproduction rates are low, and their population is aging, and they want to retire someday, perhaps a population boost will make the difference, however chaotic, and however risky to the cultural future of the German heritage.

Still the numbers are unreal, and you have to imagine some sort of "temporary housing" is going to be created for these new people, and its not going to end up as temporary, and its in fact going to grow and become the "squatter cities" of Europe, and reproduce the same effects you see in China and India and other places with more people than wealth to manage from the top-down.

It is all curious how it'll end up. Europe fell into a 1000 year dark ages while the Muslim empire expanded, and for a few centuries they had all the top intellectuals and scientists, and that ended when some clever Muslim leader decided to take the Quran literally and helped them slide back into the darkness. At least that's the "History of Science" version I remember.

Carl Sagan was afraid humanity could easily fall back into superstition, and he was a humanist, and saw all religions as containing fundamentalistic cores that could encourage people to turn their backs on reason and science. So Christianity looks just as vulnerable to a long backslide.

Or others might say humanity took a wrong turn at the industrial revolution, when we escaped the limits of a solar economy and gained a century of wealth and affluence on a 100 million years of stored solar energy. So if science only tells us how to burn through our wealth as fast as possible, perhaps Sagan was wrong, and when our wealth is gone, Religions will be the force that defines limits on human behavior, and necessary limits of survival.

Anyway, I admit I'm glad to live in the middle of a continent that isn't yet attractive enough to bring massive waves of refugees. History is much safer to watch from a distance.

Ares Olympus said...

p.s. Here's an opinion article from Robert Perry, putting blame squarely on the Neocons.

The attraction of the Neocon position is nonpartisan, and like any other ideology, it imagine good intentions can control outcomes, and its never disprovable because when things don't go as planned, it just means they didn't do enough of what they wanted.

The Washington Post’s neocon editorial page editor Fred Hiatt on Monday blamed “realists” for the cascading catastrophes. Hiatt castigated them and President Barack Obama for not intervening more aggressively in Syria to depose President Bashar al-Assad, a longtime neocon target for “regime change.”

But the truth is that this accelerating spread of human suffering can be traced back directly to the unchecked influence of the neocons and their liberal fellow-travelers who have resisted political compromise and, in the case of Syria, blocked any realistic efforts to work out a power-sharing agreement between Assad and his political opponents, those who are not terrorists.

In early 2014, the neocons and liberal hawks sabotaged Syrian peace talks in Geneva by blocking Iran’s participation and turning the peace conference into a one-sided shouting match where U.S.-funded opposition leaders yelled at Assad’s representatives who then went home. All the while, the Post’s editors and their friends kept egging Obama to start bombing Assad’s forces.

The madness of this neocon approach grew more obvious in the summer of 2014 when the Islamic State, an Al Qaeda spinoff which had been slaughtering suspected pro-government people in Syria, expanded its bloody campaign of beheadings back into Iraq where this hyper-brutal movement first emerged as “Al Qaeda in Iraq” in response to the 2003 U.S. invasion.

It should have been clear by mid-2014 that if the neocons had gotten their way and Obama had conducted a massive U.S. bombing campaign to devastate Assad’s military, the black flag of Sunni terrorism might well be flying above the Syrian capital of Damascus while its streets would run red with blood.

But now a year later, the likes of Hiatt still have not absorbed that lesson — and the spreading chaos from neocon strategies is destabilizing Europe. As shocking and disturbing as that is, none of it should have come as much of a surprise, since the neocons have always brought chaos and dislocations in their wake.
Instead of negative repercussions, the Iraq War backers – the neocons and their liberal-hawk accomplices – essentially solidified their control over U.S. foreign policy and the major news media. From The New York Times and The Washington Post to the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute, the “regime change” agenda continued to hold sway.

It didn’t even matter when the sectarian warfare unleashed in Iraq left hundreds of thousands dead, displaced millions and gave rise to Al Qaeda’s ruthless Iraq affiliate. Not even the 2008 election of Barack Obama, an Iraq War opponent, changed this overall dynamic.

Rather than standing up to this new foreign policy establishment, Obama bowed to it, retaining key players from President Bush’s national security team, such as Defense Secretary Robert Gates and General David Petraeus, and by hiring hawkish Democrats, including Sen. Hillary Clinton, who became Secretary of State, and Samantha Power at the National Security Council.

Thus, the cult of “regime change” did not just survive the Iraq disaster; it thrived. Whenever a difficult foreign problem emerged, the go-to solution was still “regime change,” accompanied by the usual demonizing of a targeted leader, support for the “democratic opposition” and calls for military intervention. President Obama, arguably a “closet realist,” found himself as the foot-dragger-in-chief as he reluctantly was pulled along on one “regime change” crusade after another.

priss rules said...

Goldman is full of crap.

Did Europeans play a key role in messing up the Middle East?

When US and UK cooked up a plan to mess up Iraq, France and Germany, the two main powers, refused to go along. Problems in Iraq spilled over into Syria.
And then, who toppled Gaddafi in Libya? Again, most Europeans had nothing to do with it. Bernard Henri-Levy called for it, and US again provided the material for the dismantling of Libya. And then, the mess in Libya poured into Syria as well.

Why should Europeans fight ISIS when it was the US that led the way in dismantling the Middle East?

How about stop the meddling? And new revelations seems to indicate that there were intelligence reports that the trouble in Libya will spill over into Syria.

One thing for sure, European leaders don't control US foreign policy.

priss rules said...

Of course, Putin foresaw all this. He warned against messing up Libya. And Russia sent key aid to Syria, which is why Assad is still in power. Otherwise, all of Syria would have been overrun by ISIS.

But US wants Assad toppled and has worked with allies such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey that directly aided the rebels. US also undermined Ukraine by engineering a coup there of a democratic government.

Europeans didn't do this. Americans need to change their foreign policy. Putin is not the enemy. Assad is not the enemy. If US and its allies had left Assad alone, he would have crushed the uprising quickly --- like Israel crushes Palestinian uprising quickly --- and there would have been peace. Imagine if foreign powers armed all the Palestinians in Israel and West Bank with all sorts of trucks and arms. Israel would be falling apart too.