This article deserves a Godwin’s Law Lifetime Achievement Award:
In Hungary, hundreds of migrants surrounded by armed police officers were tricked into boarding a train with promises of freedom, only to be taken to a “reception” camp. In the Czech Republic, the police hustled more than 200 migrants off a train and wrote identification numbers on their hands with indelible markers, stopping only when someone pointed out that this was more than a little like the tattoos the Nazis put on concentration camp inmates.
Razor-wire fences rise along national borders in Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary and France. Many political leaders stoke rising nationalism by portraying the migrants as dangerous outsiders whose foreign cultures and Muslim religion could overwhelm cherished traditional ways.
Europeans are facing one of the Continent’s worst humanitarian crises since World War II, yet many seem blind to images that recall that blackest time in their history.
This migrant crisis is no genocide. The issue throughout the Continent is how to register, house, resettle or repatriate hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees, a daunting logistical challenge. But perhaps not since the Jews were rounded up by Nazi Germany have there been as many images coming out of Europe of people locked into trains, babies handed over barbed wire, men in military gear herding large crowds of bedraggled men, women and children.
At the same time, the images may reveal a deeper truth about Europe and its seeming unpreparedness for a crisis so long in the making: While extolling the virtues of human rights and humanism, it remains, in many parts, a place resistant to immigration and diversity.
As a result, some here are reacting in ways that recall some of the Continent’s darkest impulses.
“They must be oblivious because who would do that if they had any historical memory whatsoever,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “It’s amazing, really. Certainly those images of the trains can’t help but conjure up nightmares of the Holocaust.”
Rabbi Frolich was especially struck by the lies used to manipulate the migrants.
“They tell them that the train was going to Austria and then take them to a camp instead,” the rabbi said. “I don’t think the police got instructions from the government to do it this way, but it is very similar to what happened to Jews in the 1940s.”
Oh, totally. Except that the Jews in the 1940’s already lived in Europe and had done so for nearly 2000 years. They were taken from their homes, stripped of their possessions, herded onto trains, taken to camps and slaughtered.
But except for that this is just like what the Nazis did.
The heart-wrenching photographs of a dead Syrian child washed up on the Turkish shore are fast becoming the symbol of what is framed as Europe’s “migrant problem” or “refugee crisis.” That little boy, however, would have been part of the solution to the continent’s problems, had he been allowed to reach it. The true crisis is that not enough Europeans understand that.
By 2050, fully 28 percent of the European Union’s population will have reached retirement age — or more likely approached it, because issues of sheer affordability will surely have forced it to be raised everywhere by then. In Germany, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia and Spain the proportion of potential retirees will approach a third of the population, rising from current levels of 20 percent and below.
According to the European Commission’s 2015 aging report, the dependency ratio of over-65s to the economically active 15-64 age group will increase to 50.1 percent, from 27.8 percent by 2060. That means there will be just two potential workers per retiree, down from almost four. The aging of the population shaves 0.2 percent a year off European economic growth, but it hasn’t become a full-blown crisis yet; that will happen when pension systems grow unsustainable, long after current political leaders have left the stage.
To keep the current ratio of senior citizens to the general population steady, Europe needs its younger population to increase by hundreds of millions more than the current rate over the coming decades:
There’s no way to organically increase the EU’s population so as to get an extra 42 million people by 2020, let alone 257 million by 2060: You can’t force people to make more babies. Increased immigration is therefore Europe’s only salvation from an approaching fiscal disaster. Europe needed that Syrian boy, just as it needs, and should cherish, everyone taking a leaky boat to Lampedusa, or a rusty minibus to Berlin, Lisbon or Madrid. These are almost exclusively young people, sometimes unaccompanied children, who if integrated will pay for — and care for — Europe’s retirees.
So they are gonna bring in young brown people and make them support old white people who are already wealthier than the immigrants? So who is gonna support the brown people when they get old? And what about the immigrants who don’t work but instead become financially dependent on their new host countries?
I’m just spitballin’ here, but wouldn’t it be better to change the underlying assumptions upon which all these government-run retiree programs are based?
I was gonna say some other stuff but this guy nails it:
The overwhelming majority of the 20 million are Muslim. Their presence would, according to Pryce-Jones, at least double the number of Muslims already in Europe.
Viktor Orban, the Hungarian prime minister, says: “What is at stake is Europe, the lifestyle of European citizens, European values, the survival or disappearance of European nations.” Is he exaggerating? Probably. But his underlying concern seems well-founded. Naturally, Orban is widely denounced.
In utilitarian terms, one can view the issue through the prism of this question: Should a nation’s policy be intended to produce the greatest good for the greatest number or should it be intended to produce the greatest good for the greatest number of the nation’s citizens? Under the former view, a nation would tend to let in large numbers of refugees; under the latter view, it would tend to turn them away.
If one accepts the concept of the nation state, then a nation’s elected leaders should (unless they announce in advance that they will not) opt for policies that produce the greatest good for the greatest number of citizens, with some allowances for humanitarian and other telling concerns. Private citizens are free to argue for either version of utilitarianism.
The existence of the EU adds a new wrinkle. Are members obligated to maximize the good of the Union or the good of their state? The two will rarely be identical.
Wherever the refugees end up, this is unlikely to end well for Europe. In the short-term, there will be intense human suffering, plenty of disruption and strain on resources, and tons of bad press. In the long term, Europe will be transformed, very likely for the worse. On the other hand, many refugees will find a better life in Europe.
I’ll give credit to the Left – they have done a great job of framing this issue so that anyone who disagrees with them is a nativist and a racist. They have done the same thing here with illegal immigration.
Muslims have been trying to invade Europe for the past 1400 years. They aren’t coming to assimilate. They are bringing with them a language and a culture that is incompatible with modern Western Civilization.
More than one empire fell because they were unwilling or unable to control their borders and were overwhelmed by barbarians.