Strange perspectives on the challenges facing Europe

Summary: Massive immigration, continuing today, has initiated large-scale changes to EU society. Here are some unconventional perspectives on these new challenges and Europe’s responses. This is the third post in this series.

“The health of a people comes only from its inner life — from the life of its soul and its spirit.”
— Words on a granite memorial stone in Berlin marking where Walther Rathenau “fell on this spot by the hand of a murderer.”

This is the voice of global capitalism. Money and people should flow freely.

Open the EU's borders

Europe’s borders didn’t just open. It was a plan.

For example, see the 2012 BBC story “EU should ‘undermine national homogeneity’“, quoting Peter Sutherland. He was a Chairman of Goldman Sachs, BP, and the London School of Economics Council — and the UN’s Special Representative for Migration.

“He told the House of Lords committee migration was a ‘crucial dynamic for economic growth’ in some EU nations ‘however difficult it may be to explain this to the citizens of those states.’ An ageing or declining native population in countries like Germany or southern EU states was the ‘key argument and, I hesitate to the use word because people have attacked it, for the development of multicultural states’, he added.

“’It’s impossible to consider that the degree of homogeneity which is implied by the other argument can survive because states have to become more open states, in terms of the people who inhabit them. Just as the United Kingdom has demonstrated.’ …

“'{we of Europe} still nurse a sense of our homogeneity and difference from others. And that’s precisely what the European Union, in my view, should be doing its best to undermine.’”

For more evidence about the intentions of Europe’s leaders, see Europe’s elites use immigration to reshape it.

Europe’s elites want to go beyond nations, so that nothing limits them

Fredrik Reinfeldt is a libertarian economist. He was chairman of Sweden’s conservative Moderate Party from 2003 to 2015 and Prime Minister from 2006 to 2014. As prime minister, in 2014 he called Sweden a “humanitarian superpower” and as his people to “open their hearts.” Afterwards he said…

“What does the word ‘enough’ mean? Is Sweden full? Is the Nordic region full? Are we too many people? We are 25 million people living in the North. I often fly over the Swedish countryside. I would recommend more people to do the same. There are endless fields and forests. There’s as much space as you can imagine. Those who claim that the country is full, they must demonstrate where it is full.”

Reinfeldt has even questioned the right of Sweden to enforce its borders…

“What is Sweden as a country? Is this nation owned by those who have lived here for four generations, or by those who invent some borders? Or is this an open country made up of people who arrive here, in midlife, perhaps born in another country? And it is what they make of Sweden that is Sweden.”

Reinfeldt is wrong. The ancestors of most ethnic Swedes have lived there for hundreds or even thousands of years, not just “four generations.”

Strange Death of Europe
Available at Amazon.

A conservative reads
The Strange death of Europe

David Pryce-Jones at National Review reviews The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam by Douglas Murray. He has a common view among conservatives: it was “right and proper” for Europe’s leaders to admit the refugees, but whines about the consequences (assuming that there were untried and unmentioned but certain to work policies).

“Europe almost committed suicide by means of the two world wars, but managed to survive both times. Douglas Murray holds that a third attempt at suicide is under way. The context is rather straightforward. The order of the Muslim Middle East was always fragile, and hideous power struggles and Islamic rivalries have shattered it beyond recovery. Either fleeing from chaos or taking the chance to better themselves, Muslims numbering in the millions have come to settle in Europe. The initial humanitarian impulse of Europeans to come to the aid of the victims and the dispossessed was only right and proper. …

“The governments of Western Europe decided to admit these migrants more or less unconditionally, taking the simplistic view that they would integrate naturally, the way migrants are supposed to do. As far as is known, nobody in authority had the vision to ask whether it was wise to introduce a minority whose very strong religious faith and culture have a long history of opposition to Christendom and risked keeping them separate from the natives, to put it no more strongly. The failure to set any effective limit on admissions meant that the authorities were giving free rein to a mass movement with which they were already unable to cope. …

“The Labour government of Tony Blair employed a bureaucrat who could have been speaking for every administration in Europe when she said about the task she had been given, ‘There was no policy for integration. We just believed migrants would integrate.’ To welcome into the house people who will then make it unlivable is the stuff of some grim fable of moral instruction.”

Another perspective on Europe’s problems: it’s madness.

“Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad.”
— Paraphrase of a line in Sophocles’ “Antigone” (620-623).

Many have asked why Europe’s elites threw open its borders so recklessly, admitting millions of people from radically different cultures (even failed states) into nations with so little ability to assimilate immigrants — putting their social stability. Bill Bonner has an answer. He writes about finance at The Daily Reckoning and author of The New Empire of Debt: The Rise and Fall of an Epic Financial Bubble. He is a doomster and perma-bear, but has interesting insights. From his column “Corrections”, March 2001

“Men do stupid things regularly and mad things occasionally. And sometimes, the impulse to self-destruction is so overwhelming it overtakes an entire nation. …The best a person can hope for when he goes mad is that he runs into a brick wall quickly …before he has a chance to build up speed. That is why success, in war and investing, is often a greater menace than failure.

“…people seem to make such obvious and moronic errors that it seems as if they were driven to it by some instinct of self-destruction — like lemmings periodically exterminating themselves in a march off the cliffs. What’s more, this diabolical instinct seems to report for duty at the very moment when the future seems the brightest — that is, when it is most needed! Just when men are most proud, most confident, most expansive in their ambitions and hopes …that is when they make the most lunkheaded judgments.

“And who but Mother Nature herself would design such a world? Men are encouraged to apply all their strength, will and intelligence to a given situation. They see it yield before their efforts, thereby flattering their pretensions. And thus puffed up do they strut their way towards a humiliating destruction.”

Other posts in this series about Murray’s book

  1. Martin van Creveld calls out the cowards in Europe.
  2. Warning of the “Strange Death of Europe.”
  3. Different perspectives on Europe’s elites project to remold its society.

For More Information

The Gatestone Institute, a far-right advocacy group, is one of the few reporting about this problems of immigrants in Europe. As always with such sources, whether Gatestone or Wikipedia, follow the links to the original sources.

Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Also see these posts about rape, about Europe, about immigration, about woman and gender, and especially these…

  1. Torching Utopia: Sweden tries mass immigration.
  2. Europe’s elites use immigration to reshape it.
  3. Stratfor: How immigration will change German politics, which will change Europe.
  4. Sociologist Wolfgang Streeck explains the politics of the migrant crisis reshaping Europe.
  5. Stratfor: Is the West Being Overrun by Migrants? — By the famous sociologist and historian Ian Morris.
The Crisis of Multiculturalism in Europe: A history
Available at Amazon.

If only Europe had a better people…

This is a deeply researched look at The Crisis of Multiculturalism in Europe: A History by Rita Chin (2017). It does so from the ruling liberal perspective, concluding with the usual “those darn proles, if only they would do as they are told.” From the publisher…

“This is a history of modern European cultural pluralism, its current crisis, and its uncertain future.

“In 2010, the leaders of Germany, Britain, and France each declared that multiculturalism had failed in their countries. Over the past decade, a growing consensus in Europe has voiced similar decrees. But what do these ominous proclamations, from across the political spectrum, mean? From the influx of immigrants in the 1950s to contemporary worries about refugees and terrorism, The Crisis of Multiculturalism in Europe examines the historical development of multiculturalism on the Continent.

“Rita Chin argues that there were few efforts to institute state-sponsored policies of multiculturalism, and those that emerged were pronounced failures virtually from their inception. She shows that today’s crisis of support for cultural pluralism isn’t new but actually has its roots in the 1980s.

“Chin looks at the touchstones of European multiculturalism, from the urgent need for laborers after World War II to the public furor over the publication of The Satanic Verses and the question of French girls wearing headscarves to school.

“While many Muslim immigrants had lived in Europe for decades, in the 1980s they came to be defined by their religion and the public’s preoccupation with gender relations. Acceptance of sexual equality became the critical gauge of Muslims’ compatibility with Western values. The convergence of left and right around the defense of such personal freedoms against a putatively illiberal Islam has threatened to undermine commitment to pluralism as a core ideal. Chin contends that renouncing the principles of diversity brings social costs, particularly for the left, and she considers how Europe might construct an effective political engagement with its varied population.

“Challenging the mounting opposition to a diverse society, The Crisis of Multiculturalism in Europe presents a historical investigation into one continent’s troubled relationship with cultural difference.”

 

13 thoughts on “Strange perspectives on the challenges facing Europe

  1. I have to say that the reactions you mention in these posts to muslims and migrants are no longer the norm; the public mood has shifted and politicians are changing to accommodate them. Most new migrants tend to be stuck in Turkey, or in refugee camps in Italy and Greece from which I doubt they’ll come out (legally at least). Here are a few examples:

    The Swedish policy on immigration has changed radically from what you mention: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4396224/Sweden-never-mass-immigration-PM-says.html. “Stefan Löfven pledged to change his country’s liberal attitude” – he’s the current Swedish PM.

    As a practical implication, Sweden has declared Afghanistan a safe country of origin and is deporting migrants: https://www.thelocal.se/20170807/refugee-children-protest-swedish-deportations-to-afghanistan. I think the same will happen to Syrians as soon as the civil war there is mostly over.

    Same thing for the Dutch position on immigration: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/01/23/dutch-pm-tells-immigrants-act-normal-or-go-away/?utm_term=.2e9d0764c299. Mark Rutte was the sitting Dutch PM and has won the last elections.

    A bit older, but interesting since it’s from the muslim mayor of Rotterdam (telling conservative muslims to leave Europe): http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2907941/Moroccan-born-mayor-Rotterdam-tells-fellow-Muslims-not-appreciate-freedoms-living-West-pack-bags-f-live-TV.html. Illustrates that older muslim immigrants are not necessarily happy with the current mass immigration wave, either.

    The muscled reaction of German police at Cologne following sex attacks by migrants: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-35502223. German Police is now profiling groups of muslim youths, which would have been considered openly racist in 2015 (when the problem would have been hidden). This is interesting because it’s a practical admission of a problem with muslim immigrants, which you wouldn’t find in 2015. There was no report of incidents in 2017.

    While the problem doesn’t seem to be over just yet, I think that we’re seeing a reaction from the middle classes to years of lower income and living conditions, attributed in part to mass immigration. I think it’s a “slow but deep” change, the kind which will have effects in the next decade.

    1. JP,

      “the public mood has shifted and politicians are changing to accommodate them. ”

      First, immigration flows are still large. EU leaders have slowed them. Second, the migrants that have come are there. The point of this post is assessing the wisdom of what has already been done. Now come (as said in the summary) “has initiated large-scale changes to EU society”.

      (2) As for the articles you cite — nice use of Google. They are fragments that show almost nothing. That’s the problem with using Google to find stray stories that “support” your view.

      (a) Sweden’s PM said they will not repeat the 2015 inflow. Nothing about slowing immigration from current high levels.

      (b) There are some deportations from Sweden to Afghanistan. We don’t know how many, or what that is as a fraction of overall immigration. The only numbers the article gives is that 34% of the migrants in 2016 from Af had their application for asylum rejected — before appeal. It does not say how many of these were deported.

      (c) Bold rhetoric from Dutch PM before the election. He said nothing about policy changes.

      (d) Bold rhetoric from a Dutch mayor.

      (e) You must be kidding about the Cologne event. If there were fears of problems at festival in the US, and then there were 22 sexual assaults at it — Americans would be calling for the police chief to be fired. Not congratulating him (or her) for a “musculed reaction.” If it happened for a third year in a row, there would have been fireworks. Also, you set the bar pretty low by applauding that the success in the third year (no reported assaults). What’s happening in the poor neighborhood of Cologne, where assaults don’t make headlines?

    2. JP,

      I suggest watching for actual policy changes. Such as Macron in France. His rhetoric has been pretty, covering the full range from migrants are an opportunity — not a crisis — to wanting good migrants, not bad (nobody can quite figure out what that means, or how he plans to implement it). Plus the usual tough-on-crime rhetoric.

      As always, watch what they do — not what they say.

    3. Larry,

      First, I’d love to learn how to reply under your comments, but I can’t make it work. Sorry about that.

      “As for the articles you cite — nice use of Google. They are fragments that show almost nothing. That’s the problem with using Google to find stray stories that “support” your view.”

      My view comes from living in northern Europe for the last two years, close to all this (including a large Syrian refugee shelter) and seeing a large overreaction to the immigration problem. It’s difficult to show you my view without writing a long personal account, so I linked to articles which caught my attention *when they happened* and which I think illustrate my point: yes there is a problem, something is being done, and reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated.

      I’m sorry if it didn’t work as I intended, but they are not stories I came up with yesterday; they’re snippets to show you what I think is part of a trend.

      Cologne: I’ve looked for equivalent incidents in the US, and found the Seattle Mardi Gras riots in 2001 which seem to have had the same scale; maybe this helps you understand the incidents better. It’s very difficult to control a carnival which runs through an entire city.

    4. Larry

      “I suggest watching for actual policy changes.”

      I agree. I think we are seeing big policy changes in accepting new immigrants and refugees. The policies for handling immigrants already inside are also changing, but slowly; there is a vocal opposition from the “left chic” (the one concerned with identity issues, I don’t know the name in English) and a certain fear of appearing racist, so integration policies have focused on fighting radical Islamism – e.g. limitations on full veils, interventions in radical mosques, limiting religious symbols in public schools (including headscarves in France)… But I think integration policies are becoming broader. For example:

      “(c) Bold rhetoric from Dutch PM before the election. He said nothing about policy changes.”

      In fact, the Dutch PM made his “be normal or be gone” comment in support for a recent policy change; specifically, a high-profile case where a potential bus driver (muslim) didn’t get this job because he would refuse to shake hands with female passengers on religious grounds. 5 years ago this policy would have been considered too racist to implement.

      As for France and Macron… I don’t think he would have won if he wasn’t running against Le Pen, who ran an anti-immigration platform but was too close to fascism in a country which was occupied by the Nazis. I think that the association between anti-immigration, right-wing and fascism has limited the adoption of stronger anti-immigration policies in western Europe. Eastern Europe doesn’t seem to have the same problem, though.

  2. An interesting series or posts. I think in response to the earlier comment by JP, these events are largely ignored by the mainstream media, and minimized, or even excused by the mainstream politicians. Unfortunately, since provocations are ignored, people who point them out get labeled as “extreme right wing” and then are vilified as Nazi’s, or worse. Thus everyone who is critical of the wave of migration, or the rather massive influx of Muslims into the heart of Europe becomes painted with the same brush, rather than eliciting a better response from those in power to actually do something about it (assuming even that it is not too late).

    In that light, i would question your characterization of The Gatestone Institute as far right wing. It is indeed more “conservative” whatever that means these days, but as it has been pointing these issues out for several years at least, getting painted with that brush, it turns out that it has been correct, not only about the facts, but about the results of the facts. Which, if one is in search of the facts, should make them mainstream, or accurate, not at all far right. (full disclosure, i have read their stuff, but have no affiliation).

    The result of the brushwork, sadly, is that the failure to deal with these issues HAS in fact empowered the far right politicians and parties, and now, rather than having real discussion and attempts to deal with the issue, we are seeing polarization, anger, and a growing potential for violence.

    1. Barry,

      I agree with most of what you said, but this is a misunderstanding of terms.

      “if one is in search of the facts, should make them mainstream, or accurate, not at all far right.”

      Left and right are descriptive terms of politics, putting them on a one dimensional spectrum. They don’t refer to being accurate or inaccurate, which is a completely different metric.

    2. Barry,

      I would replace “these events are largely ignored” with “these events have been largely ignored until now”. It’s difficult to ignore migration issues when right-wing (largely anti-immigration) parties get voted into many parliaments, when Brexit is to a large extent a reaction to immigration, when Le Pen gets close to the French presidency on an anti-immigration platform…

      So far the reactions to these events have been more words than policies, but I think the policies are coming, because I think (I hope) that the ruling elites have realized that either something is done, or they will lose control of the situation to anti-immigration parties. Even Merkel has admitted that multiculturalism has failed.

  3. I’m starting to think of a system of government as like the operating system of a computer. It has exploits that a hacker can find and use to take control. Immigration is a kind of hack. Your Windows box is plugged into Windows Update, so a vulnerability will hopefully be patched is a timely manner. But there will always be another zero day exploit that someone can find. Attacks on computers are open source, so any vulnerability will eventually be found, and used, and shared.

    Systems of government are a lot harder to patch than operating systems. Even if your computer is plugged into regular updates, you still have to do some things yourself, take certain precautions, or eventually the hackers, the botherders, or whoever will own your computer. With a government, there is no automatic update to plug into, and it all falls to the citizenry.

    So much for my analogies. If the Europeans won’t even defend their women, they’re not likely to start cleaning the malware out of the hacked and compromised governments. Maybe we run an airlift (Kind of like the babylift, if you remember that one) and evacuate as many women as possible before nuking the entire site from orbit.

    Just remember that the same sort of hackers who did this to Europe are beavering away at our our government and our society as well. So let this be a warning, because the hackers will eventually succeed here if we let them.

    1. Man Who Laughs,

      “If the Europeans won’t even defend their women”: a quick look at rape statistics puts Europe rape rates below those in the US (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_statistics#/media/File:(A)_Rape_rates_per_100000_population_2010-2012,_world.jpg). Would you make the same comment about Americans?

      (Yes it’s Wikipedia but I couldn’t find the US equivalent of Eurostat, sorry; it’s easy to check the data though)

      There is the idea that we’ve been under-reporting rape in Europe for the sake of political correctness. I don’t believe this is widespread, since (i) it would be easy to uncover in time, and (ii) much smaller lies (e.g. imprecise CVs) have cost politicians their jobs.

    2. JP,

      “a quick look at rape statistics puts Europe rape rates below those in the US”

      Life is about rates of change as much as levels. Europe’s levels are inherited, as are America’s. America is attempting to deal with its rape rate – since 1970 it has dropped by 80%.

      The problem with Europe is that the have low rates of rape and are allowing them to rise.

      That’s why people point to Europe and say they have the problem.

    3. “The problem with Europe is that the have low rates of rape and are allowing them to rise.”

      I completely agree with this comment. I’d add that the problem with Europe is that we have low levels of violent crime and are allowing them to rise; the immigrant ghettos in the UK and France are becoming like American gangland ghettos (or like they used to be in the 1990s; we have a distorted view of US reality); and so far little has been done except pretending there isn’t a problem, or that immigration is not a major factor.

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