This article was first published in Blogcritics.
Why the recent flood of migrants from the Third World to Western Europe was such a shock to media, public and politicians? After all, there had been warning voices predicting it. There had also been plenty of evidence that the stream of migrants from troubled places on Earth was a permanent phenomena, and gathering steam.
Now, the same dominating section of media found the prime culprit of the problem: the civil war in Syria. But there have always been wars in the Middle East and Africa in the past, and the number of refugees amounted to millions. However, none of the West European countries had to deal with the similar influx of them.
There has never been a shortage of advocates who were in favour of accepting refugees and other migrants. Recently they became more vocal than ever. Their argument is that not helping people in despair is morally wrong. After all, the memory of the Third Reich is still fresh, when Hitler’s regime made Jews run from Europe to elsewhere, but no state gave them even a temporary refuge.
This comparison is not only factually, but also morally wrong. Jews did not flee a war zone: they fled genocide. Jews had no means to fight the Nazi regime. They were unarmed, without any support, absolutely helpless against the powerful Germany oppressive machine. During the war with Germany though, Jews serving in allies armies and in guerrilla units proved to be fierce and dedicated fighters against Hitler’s army.
If you look at the pictures of Syrian refugees showing a few women and children on the forefront, you’d find that the majority of them at the background are young men. Why they do not fight, but rather run to Europe? It is their obligation to defend whatever their affiliation is: there is plenty of help from outside world to Syrian fighting factions. Of course it is dangerous: of course it is safer and easier to become a refugee and live on a fat European subsistence. In fact, they should not be considered refugees, because they had choices, albeit difficult ones.
Actually, in strictly legal terms most of them are not refugees: they do not flee a dangerous zone. Many of them migrate from refugee camps in Turkey, Jordan and other places. They are looking for a better place to settle, but it does not mean that European Union, as well as the U.S. and Canada, are bound by any convention to accept them. The 1951 Convention Article 1 (D) explicitly “excludes individuals who, at the time of the 1951 convention, were already receiving protection or assistance from another UN organ or agency.”
Advocates of unlimited migration to Europe are quick to explain that it is logical for the most able people to undertake a dangerous trip to Europe first, and then to help their families reunite with them in Europe. Great! They leave their families in a war zone, ostensibly facing death, while they enjoy whatever comfort and safety is there in Europe. Their families, even if not perished, would wait long time, perhaps years, until their cases were considered. And the humane, kind Europe would have to accept large families of the applicants, whereby exacerbating the migrants crises. As stated in Economist in the article Merkel at her limits, “those granted asylum have the right to bring family later.” Sure thing that the human flood we now witness is the tip of the iceberg.
The reality is that the problem of massive migration from the Third World to the Western Europe is created by European self-distracting liberalism. This problem is, as it should now be clear to the whole political spectrum, a permanent component of European life. It is not only just the current influx of migrants, as it may seem, but its future as well.
Western Europe had to deal with much, much larger number of real refugees and displaced persons in the past, particularly after the WWII: there were total of more than 40 millions refugees, of which 12 millions were Germans. They all were true refugees, with no choice other than to flee genocide. It was a terrible burden on Germany and, perhaps to no lesser extent, on some other European countries. But 10 years later there were no refugees in Europe: they all became undistinguishable from the local population. The explanation is obvious: the refugees were people of the same culture and mentality, and had similar education and set of skills as the locals. They simply morphed into the indigenous population.
The contemporary migration from the Third World is fundamentally different. Only a small part of it integrates into the local societies. Their descendants fair no better. According to statistics, their unemployment rate reaches in some places 60 percent. They rely on government subsistence in much greater extent than the indigenous population. The more generous and humane their host country is, the more severe the economical burden of the new immigrants on the county’s economy. Crime among migrants is rampant. In many instances Muslim population demonstrates intolerance to the local culture and beliefs. The greater is the migrant’s population, the more severe are problems associated with them. As everything in nature, the limit will be reached at some point when the society would not be able to exist the way it used to, and all its moral and economic foundations will collapse.
The number of newcomers has already reached the size which strains social and economic resources of Western civilization. There are no conditions to create more jobs for migrants, as their skills are very low, or none. To support them, the productive part of society has to work harder, and get less for its work. The cruel reality is that money is not made by humanitarian ideas: it is the result of intellectual achievement and hard work of the society. Financial burden, along with the fast growing criminality among newcomers and their insistence on supporting their customs make the life of a host country a misery. Another few years of unrestricted immigration, and the whole European society will share the poverty and the way of life of the poorest.
A big part of contemporary migrants are not refugees in political terms: they run from poverty in search of a better life. Quite an understandable desire, and it deserves compassion and help from those who are better off. After all, it is morally wrong and against humanitarian spirit of Christianity – the core of Western Civilization – not to do so.
But there are about 4 billion (or more) unfortunate people around the world, who live in appalling poverty, and mostly in the countries with oppressive regimes. They are all potential migrants. The more they hear stories of generosity of the Western World from their fellow-nationals, the greater number of them resort to dangerous trips to developed countries. These people do not travel to Russia, Eastern European countries, or China. Their destinations are Western Europe, the U.S., Canada and Australia.
There are some among our politicians and human rights activists who advocate for unrestricted immigration or a lenient policy toward it. But you would be surprised to know that none of them is willing to sacrifice their own well-being in favour of their ideology and beliefs. They want the whole society to bear the burden of their ideas. It is easy to become a humanist at somebody’s expense. It is much harder to face the reality and make a tough, painful choice.
The dilemma for developed world, and particularly for Western Europe, is profound, and could shutter its moral foundation. They can stick to its Christian morality and the spirit of humanity, and accept all people in despair – hundreds millions of immigrants from the Third World. This is a sure way to destroy developed societies and become no different from the countries of immigrants origin. Another choice is to stop the immigration no matter how cruel the consequences would be. This is a terrible dilemma from the moral perspective: hundreds of thousands of migrants would die in the journey for a better life. Which of the choices is better? One thing is clear: the time of political correctness, be it in words or in actions, is over. Any decision would be painful, but the reality should be expressed to the indigenous population in no unambiguous terms: there are terrible choices. None of them is good. But they have to be made now, as time is running out.