The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Altogether Different

Whether it's the economic immigration that occurs daily on our southern borders or the immigration caused by a humanitarian crisis driven by failed states in the Muslim crescent, the West is groping with the mass, illegal flows of people who want a safety net for themselves and in some cases, their families. That safety net includes the ability to escape violence, the chance at a better economic life, the assurance that the state will provide a variety of entitlements and assistance.

None of this would be a problem except most western countries are financially stressed by too much spending and weak economies (i.e., a weak job market) in part, precipitated by the blue governance model that ironically, is also a champion of the immigration. In addition, there is concern among those who are not members of the elite political class that too many immigrants, introduced without proper controls, will change things in ways that may not be good for citizens who have lived in towns and cities for generations.

The massive flows of mainly Muslim immigrants from Syria, Libya, and other countries are creating concern and debate in Western Europe. On the one hand, humanitarian assistance is the right thing to do. But if that assistance accelerates inevitable changes to demographics, is it possible that those changes could lead to the destruction of centuries old cultures and society? With that in mind, is it still the right thing to do?

Many on the Left fight for the preservation and protection of "indigenous people." They argue that nothing justifies the destruction of indigenous cultures, and would resist, possibly with violence, any attempt to move large numbers of "white people" into lands currently occupied by indigenous people today.  It seems that the "indigenous" culture of Western European regions does not deserve the same protection. 

Peggy Noonan discusses the pivotal questions that Europeans are asking:
Reading the popular press of Europe you see the questions. Do we not have a right to control our borders? Isn’t the refugee wave a security threat? ISIS is nothing if not committed to its intentions. Why would they not be funneling jihadists onto those boats?
The Left often accuses those who ask these questions of "racism." The elites of the political class cluck their tongues and lecture the citizens of their country on the proper approach to humanitarian assistance, to the need to integrate hundreds of thousands of people with different cultural mindsets into the fabric of their countries. In the background is the continuing specter of Islamic terror, now incubating in at least some immigrant neighborhoods throughout Europe.

Noonan (as she often does) get to the core of the issue:
... The gap between those who run governments and those who are governed has now grown huge and portends nothing good.

Rules on immigration and refugees are made by safe people. These are the people who help run countries, who have nice homes in nice neighborhoods and are protected by their status. Those who live with the effects of immigration and asylum law are those who are less safe, who see a less beautiful face in it because they are daily confronted with a less beautiful reality—normal human roughness, human tensions. Decision-makers fear things like harsh words from the writers of editorials; normal human beings fear things like street crime. Decision-makers have the luxury of seeing life in the abstract. Normal people feel the implications of their decisions in the particular.

The decision-makers feel disdain for the anxieties of normal people, and ascribe them to small-minded bigotries, often religious and racial, and ignorant antagonisms. But normal people prize order because they can’t buy their way out of disorder.

People in gated communities of the mind, who glide by in Ubers, have bought their way out and are safe. Not to mention those in government-maintained mansions who glide by in SUVs followed by security details. Rulers can afford to see national-security threats as an abstraction—yes, yes, we must better integrate our new populations. But the unprotected, the vulnerable, have a right and a reason to worry.
Immigration is an abstraction for the elites. It's easy to use the topic as a fulcrum for moral preening, if you and your family are isolated from the massive flow of people. It's altogether different if isolation isn't an option.