The reason why it’s funny is because the tired, hungry, greedy masses are just calling Europe’s bluff about universal human rights — which includes universal pensions for everyone, free housing according to the needs of the individual, and complete autonomy in social matters.
Adding to the comedy is that many of the people fleeing are fleeing the consequences of Washington’s haphazard foreign policy in Syria, Egypt, and Libya. The idea was to spread liberal democracy to those places. It seems that, having tasted a little democracy, the people prefer the German variety which provides a big payoff in return for nothing.
It puts state administrators in a difficult position. They can’t say that mere neediness or lack of formal citizenship is not enough of a reason to lavish welfare benefits on someone, because that same principle is what the native citizenry leans on in order to justify their entitlements from the state. Practically, it’s not possible for those states to provide the same level of benefits in perpetuity to everyone in the entire world who manages to hop onto a train in the Schengen area. But it’s important for the moral mythology that binds together post-modern culture to not just pretend that it’s possible, but to do everything to demonstrate that the people believe that the state can be a savior to the world — that it can end not just war but suffering also.
Liberals consider it responsible and humanitarian to say pious things about caring for the wretched masses, even though as individuals none of them bear either the cost or the responsibility for the health of their countries. It costs nothing to say something pious about the refugees, but it’s quite risky — and in some cases illegal — to stand up and say that states can’t provide free lunches to everyone everywhere in perpetuity with no conditions attached.
The other funny part is that Europe’s relative prosperity is entirely temporary. During and after World War II, Europe itself had a European refugee crisis. Without the interest or capacity to maintain and expand a market economy or to defend itself, it won’t be capable of serving its messianic illusions about itself and its ability to rescue all the unhappy people of the world.
The drama isn’t entirely about the refugees themselves and their problems. It’s more about maintaining the culture of radical autonomy and freedom without obligations (apart from high taxes and obedience to every niggling regulation) for the native Europeans. By saying that there is no difference between a German and a Syrian, it liberates the German from the obligations which previously characterized a German — namely the preservation of kinder, kirche, and küche, the obedience to the Christian moral order.
To the state, it’s more important to demonstrate that it doesn’t discriminate between citizens and potential citizens. From its institutional perspective, they’re all just social security numbers that need benefits checks. According to the beautiful models used by the economists, all of those numbers represent rational economic actors who will respond to incentives in a way that can be meaningfully averaged over an enormous population and large periods of time. Even if people don’t really believe this in their everyday lives or through their revealed behavior, it’s more important to act as if they believe, and one way to do that is to insist on swamping the continent with barbarians.
Mr Miliband said there needed to be more “burden-sharing” and said UN rules drawn up after Britain took in thousands of refugees fleeing the Nazis should now apply to Africans and Asians, Press Association reports.
Britain was at the forefront of writing the conventions and writing the protocols that established legal rights for refugees. A lot of the legal theory came out of the UK.
“The reasons we did so were good in the the 40s and 50s and they are good today. What applied to Europeans then should apply to Africans and Asians today. We cannot say UN conventions apply to one group of people and not to others.”
Of course, it’s an entirely different situation, and there’s no reason why governments should be bound by broad brush legal analogies. But taking in the refugees is important to these states because it maintains the legitimacy of the United Nations in particular and the new international system in general. Acting to preserve that international system would, itself, undermine the principles that it runs on.
The refugees are just taking Europe to the logical conclusions of its own philosophy. The Europeans say that all people are equal and that everyone deserves dignity delivered in the form of a welfare check. So the refugees show up and demand to be treated well by the Europeans, heedless that it’s impossible, with the Europeans being obligated to act as if they believe in the impossible.
The bureaucrat-heroes of the story believe that they have to stand up to populist rumbling in order to preserve ‘European values’ which only date to the mid-19th century and mostly consists of blue jeans, bad rock & roll, Yugo-style protected manufacture, and welfare checks.
Europeans expect their continent to become a comfortable retirement village dutifully supported by Muslim immigrants. How likely is that?
— Lawrence Auster (@LawrenceAuster) August 11, 2015
What started as a noble dream of universal elevation has turned into a funny spectacle of aging Europeans dreaming of having their adult diapers changed by dutiful Syrians, who will contribute to the market economy — and the state social security system that lives off of it — in a way that they were never able to do in their home countries.
Most European countries are not going to be able to pull themselves out of the current course, in which the right thinking people invite foreigners to sack their own countries while preventing the organization of any defense.