If you have time today, you might want to read about something that happened one hundred years ago. On July 17, 1918, V.I. Lenin (you might know him as the fellow from the Johnny Socko song) ordered the execution of the Romanovs. The details are recounted in dispassionate fashion at Wikipedia but they are enough to curl your hair: one of the children had an entire pistol magazine emptied into him before being bayoneted a few times, after which he was shot in the skull because he was still alive. When the stripped and mutilated bodies were delivered to a gang of Bolsheviks for disposal, they were enraged because they had expected to be able to rape the Romanov daughters before killing them. Failing that, they decided to use their fingers on the dead bodies.
When I read the Twitterati screaming for the triumph of “politics is personal”, that’s what comes to mind for me: a group of “resisters” abusing a dead woman’s body because someone told them she was a class enemy. These are forces which should not be released lightly. We think of America as a place where political discussion has always been relatively polite and reasonable but that’s only because our high-school history books omitted thousands of incidents where things got out of hand in the worst way possible, from the Memphis Massacre to the Bonus Army. I see a lot of people on Reddit and elsewhere, members of both the Blue and the Red tribes, who are very comfortable with the idea of destroying people’s careers and lives because of their particular stance on a political issue. That’s all well and good until the person you’ve destroyed decides that the shame of not being able to feed his children is too much and that the only possible answer is to come to your house and remove your face with a butter knife before committing what they call “blue suicide” nowadays.
Civilization is a veneer that we would do well to keep in place as long as humanly possible. David Brin, who is about as liberal as they come, wrote The Postman as an answer to post-apocalyptic fiction and a reminder that we are all better off because the mail gets delivered every day. As a parent, I would agree.
On the other hand, there might well be a breaking point at which it’s worth reconsidering the whole enterprise, or at least the Terms Of Service associated with said enterprise.
The nice people at Reason have just written a piece decrying the end of German infatuation with open borders. They look at the abject failure of immigrants to integrate with German society, find work, or even obey basic laws as a failure of German policy, arguing that Germany needs to throw out its labor rules and minimum-wage laws in order to allow immigrants an economic foothold in the region. And you know what? Strictly speaking, they’re not wrong. In a country where nearly every wage must be a living wage by legal fiat and it’s almost impossible to fire someone, why would any sensible employer choose a refugee over an actual German-speaking ethnic German? Suppose that you were an American who owned a McDonald’s in Iowa. You have to pay your fry cook $20/hour and guarantee his job. Instead of an “undocumented” Mexican, wouldn’t you rather have a Vassar graduate for that work? ‘Cause you could certainly get one at that wage.
I agree with the author of this piece that no good will come from bringing in a million people who have absolutely no common ground with the people they are replacing, and then preventing them from working. The elephant in the room that Reason chooses to ignore is why the migrants need to be there in the first place. At least until the end of the piece, where they toss in a monstrous hand-wave and hope you won’t look too closely:
Migration is still a must for Germany’s future, thanks to worrying demographic patterns. Without a lot of new workers, the aging population and its shrinking taxpayer base will lay ruin to the country’s generous welfare system.
That pair of sentences contains a lot of assumptions which deserve individual analysis:
- Migrants sourced from unstable areas who have no usable skills will, in fact, be taxpayers;
- Those “taxpayers” will have no issue with supporting an aging class of people to whom they are not bound by class, clan, religion, or philosophy;
- The retention of a “generous welfare system” is more important than any possible negative effects from open borders;
- There is even the slightest justification for retaining a German state in its present form.
There’s a lot of very comfortable racism embedded into the whole idea that you can bring a million-plus African men (yeah, they’re mostly young men, even if you allow the ridiculousness of calling 16-and-17-year-old male refugees “children”) into Germany and those men will be absolutely loyal and servile to the current system. That’s never happened. Not once in human history has anything like that happened. Why should it? Why should the refugees have any patience with, or respect for, the German system? From their perspective, it’s a bunch of old-ass infidels looking for a free ride in retirement.
Put yourself in their place. You’re leaving your home, whether it’s because of an actual war or, more likely, because there’s no work. You are allowed to enter Mexico, which for some reason in this alternate universe has a thriving economy that is aging out. You have a million American men marching behind you. Are you just gonna put your nose to the grindstone to cover retirement benefits, or are you going to change things around until you have your own churches, your own choices, and your own government? Once that happens, and you have a firm grip on the levers of power, then what use would you have for those old Mexicans?
We actually know the answer to that question because it’s how the United States acquired California in the first place — and it’s how Mexico is currently taking it back. Demography is destiny. German babies are increasingly named after the Prophet. If you think a generation of Mohammads will have any interest in paying the nursing-home costs of childless old German do-nothings, you’re nuts.
Let’s take a look at my final assumption: There is even the slightest justification for retaining a German state in its present form. It’s on my mind because my son and I have been talking off and on about German history for a while now. We started with the Roman invasions; we are currently at Bismarck and the first unification. Something that I’ve been careful to make plain is that Germany is not just a set of lines on a map. It is a group of related peoples. Losing much of Prussia to the Polish state after World War I didn’t magically make those people not Germans. Ten years ago, I worked with a stereotypically German fellow named Felix who told me he was a Frenchman from France.
“Hmm, let me guess,” I said, “you’re from Alsace-Lorraine.” I was right — and when I pressed him on the matter he admitted that he didn’t feel much enthusiasm for France.
There is nothing sacred about the German borders. They have been re-drawn at least five times in the past 130 years. Germany isn’t a set of lines on a map. It’s a group of people. Those people have been pushed to the limit of their generosity regarding open borders, and they have decided to call time on the matter. Could that impact their future welfare benefits? Possibly. But those benefits are lost anyway. There aren’t enough Germans to pay them and there aren’t any Africans who have an interest in paying them.
The real question is: what comes next? Should the refugees be repatriated? Should the borders change yet again, perhaps to cut an Asian-African nation out of whole cloth on soil that used to be German? I don’t have the answers. All I can offer is that the process needs to be well-thought-out, impersonal, and civilized. Every single appeal to emotion will return five more in the opposite direction. One side has a dead boy on a beach; the other has thousands of rape victims. All of that has to be put aside. The alternative is to have personalized politics, which always leads to civil war. In this case, it would also be a jihad, because the majority of the refugees don’t believe what the Germans do (which, more than ever, is… nothing.) If you’re not up to speed on what happens during a jihad, then take it from me: it makes the Russian Revolution look like the Russian Tea Room.