Streetwise Professor

September 12, 2015

The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions, German Refugee Policy Edition

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Professor @ 5:37 pm

Germany has opened the floodgates for refugees-and others impersonating refugees-into the country, and into Europe. It is a colossal blunder that will not end well, and which reflects Germany’s political defects.

Merkel’s motives are rooted in German historical neuroses and romanticism. Germany is at pains to prove that it has overcome its Nazi and racist past. As one German historian put it:

“We want to prove that we are good people. Even if no one wants to be reminded of this, the good that we do has to be seen in relation to the crimes that we initiated,” Arnulf Baring, a conservative German historian, wrote in the Bild tabloid this week.

Furthermore, Merkel and others in German (especially in the governing and culture classes) have a romantic view of refugees, more likely to see them as waifs (like the drowned boy in the photograph that marked, and arguably contributed to, the inflection point in the refugee crisis) and women fleeing war.

Other Germans advance more pragmatic justifications: Germany is aging and in demographic decline, and needs a new supply of labor to replacing the retiring and the dying. (Many in Sweden, also very open to the refugees, make the same argument.)

All of these reasons are daft, and ignore much grittier realities. Expiating past guilt seldom results in current good. Further, the romantic view of the migrants is at odds with the reality. They are disproportionately young and male, which is to be expected: young men are more able to withstand the rigors of the trek from Syria (or Eritrea or wherever), and often have little to hold them at home. Indeed, those with the fewest attachments are likely to be misfits, meaning that the migrants are being sampled disproportionately from the less desirable part of the distribution.

Furthermore, they are likely to be fertile ground for recruiting by Islamist radicals. Already German security services are leaking that Islamist recruiters are descending on refugee centers. Germany, which already has an Islamist problem (and has had so for years: witness Mohammed Atta), has just made it that much worse.

As for the labor argument, it is a damning indictment of EU labor markets and labor mobility (and capital and goods markets for that matter). It is not as if Europe as a whole lacks idle labor, and a well-functioning labor market with mobility would match those unemployed and underemployed Europeans (e.g., young Spaniards–or Greeks!) with German employers. If the grandiose European project were in fact working, Germany wouldn’t have to import gastarbeiters qua refugees to replace its retiring workers.

Moreover, this argument reflects an ignorance of, and arguably a disdain for, Germans working in factories and services. Labor is not an undifferentiated mass. Germans are much more productive than the refugees are, and are likely to be, for generations to come. Education, skills, and yes, cultural attributes mean that the refugees are a poor substitute for German labor. Looking at it in a completely mercenary way, those who think that the refugees are going to be productive enough to be taxed enough to support a growing population of pensioners are deluding themselves.

Merkel’s actions also betray the elitism and undemocratic tendencies that characterize the EU generally and Germany in particular. This was not a decision taken after any democratic deliberation whatsoever, and many Germans are decidedly unhappy about it, especially in Bavaria and the Rhineland. (The security services are furious too: why else would they leak so soon about Islamist recruiting?)

And if many Germans are unhappy about Merkel being charitable to refugees at their expense, smaller European nations are furious because the immigrant wave will hit them as well. Denmark-long a thorn in Germany’s side-hit back immediately, stopping passenger rail traffic and closing major freeways into Germany in order to stem the immigrant tide.

German statements that other European countries should accept refugees because Germany’s resources are not unlimited add insult to injury. “Hey Germany, salve your conscience on your own Euro, not ours.” This is particularly rankling given that Germany is far richer than many of the countries it wants to take more refugees, and given that many of these countries believe that the Euro has enriched Germany at their expense. But the German leaders have a tin ear on these issues, and are apparently oblivious that this reinforces every negative perception about them and their dominance of Europe.

The EU is doing its part as well, including issuing a diktat to nonmembers Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland that they accept asylum seekers. Or else:

[The EC]  notes all four countries will have to accept Dublin “and its development without exception.” They will have no say or input in amending Dublin, nor will they have any say on the Commission’s relocation plan.

“They do not take part in the adoption of any acts amending or building upon the Dublin acquis”, it says.

This is going to end very badly. It will impose a substantial economic burden on Germany (and other European nations) in the near to medium term with little or no long term benefit to compensate. It will exacerbate Europe’s jihadi problem. It will reinforce already strong beliefs that the EU is remote, dictatorial, and indifferent to popular concerns. It will drive many moderate Germans (and moderate Europeans) into the arms of the far right because they will (correctly) believe that the governing class is indifferent to the impact of the wave of immigrants on them, and will dismiss their concerns–when they are not insulting them for being racists because they don’t accept the migrants with open arms.

They don’t want to pay for Angela Merkel et al‘s masturbatory do-goodism. They are willing to help, but don’t want to be inundated by alienated and culturally alien immigrants; they want a reasonable, measured response that takes their economic and security concerns into account; and they don’t want to be dictated to by their self-appointed betters. But it looks like none of that is going to happen. It is more likely that the exact opposite will. There will be a price to be paid for that. And it is likely to be a steep one, both in Euros and in social and political peace.

 

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29 Comments »

  1. There is a ‘to’ missing in this sentence….;))

    “those who think that the refugees are going to be productive enough to be taxed enough support a growing population of pensioners are deluding themselves.”

    Comment by Wilhelmus Janus — September 12, 2015 @ 6:09 pm

  2. The fact that you would characterize Merkel’s help to desperate people who are, quite literally, fleeing for their lives as “masturbatory do-goodism” is, frankly, shocking.

    It is shocking not only because of your blithe disregard for human life, or your utilitarian calculus based on dubious assumptions, but because you ascribe malign motivations to her without a whiff of evidence or justification. To accuse her of insincerity, despite the obvious political risks, and to suggest that her motive is one of self-gratification rather than genuine concern for their lives, is the height of scurrility.

    In a Rawlsian world, where you were behind a veil of ignorance not knowing if you were a professor living safely and securely in America, or a father escaping the abattoir which is Syria to save the lives of his kids, you would never have written this.

    Comment by Ratiocination — September 12, 2015 @ 6:22 pm

  3. Btw, you might want to amend your article by the most recent Diktat, from the UN.
    (hadn’t seen the one towards CH/IS/NO/LI though, thanx)

    Also, while searching for a matching link/tweet….

    http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-18519395?SThisFB
    (him being from Goldman-Sachs, you might even have a few kind words to spare on his career?….;))

    ….I found that the UN itself is the largest contributing factor to the refugee crisis, by recently cutting aid/food to the camps in Turkey/Libanon by 30%.

    https://twitter.com/GerrySimpsonHRW/status/640048017446449152

    VVP says ‘thanx!’
    (under the risky assumption that he hasn’t ordered it himself)

    Btw, if this isn’t a Perfect Storm, what is?

    PS: thank god the UN still had funds for a committee to critize Dutch Black Pete….a committee existing *solely* of countries persecuting gays.
    (and that a very similar cultural phenomen/festivity in *Iran* was declared ‘UN-protected’ should surprise even less)

    WJ says: no sexual orientation, abberation or anomaly can be as perverse as the UN itself.

    Comment by Wilhelmus Janus — September 12, 2015 @ 6:45 pm

  4. 1.great blog post! Why is no one else writing so insightfully on this?

    2. Makes me wonder if Germany’s & EU’s national security decisions are being made by their own Ben Rhodeses & Tommy Veitors (“men without chests”)

    3. Typo? “Expatiating past guilt … ” —-> Expiating?

    4. Are the Russians devious enough to have aligned these forces & provoked this crisis at this precise time in order to fulfill their strategic goal of fracturing NATO?
    a. the “optics” of the press coverage of the refugee crisis (esp.the drowned Syrian boy) seems too pat & almost cinematic.
    b. Hungary is a compromised state
    c. Timing of Rusdian deployments to Syria (for whatever purposes, stated or unstated)
    d. Timing just before UN General Assembly ….
    Things that make you go “hmmmmmmm?”

    Comment by Mudak — September 12, 2015 @ 7:13 pm

  5. It should also be noted that ‘Gutmensch’ is a German word.

    (and no, its origin is NOT WWII/Nazi/MeinKampf, as a *staggering* bunch of Germans believe, including way too many journalists….a very sick & persistent Godwin)
    (said rats made me check/read Mein Kampf for the very first time)
    (which made them even sicker rats, because they could & should have done that themselves first, before writing crap like that)

    10-15 years ago, no German understood Pim Fortuyn or Theo van Gogh either (but their turks came from the (higher-educated)cities, while ours (Dutch) came from retard rural Anatolia (and the maroccans from the retard Rif mountains, while France got the higher-educated (French-speaking) coastal/city population).

    (Belgians were as much in denial back then, but are no longer)
    (Corbyn’s friend Abou Jahjah is Belgian, and so where the two maroccan/tunesian assassinators of Massoud in Afghanistan, clearing the way for 9/11)

    Comment by Wilhelmus Janus — September 12, 2015 @ 7:14 pm

  6. @Ratiocination/#2: read #3 @ #5.

    These refugees do NOT come straight from Syria, but were *very* safe in Turkey and Libanon.

    Until the UN-bastards started cutting aid/food to the camps recently.

    Note: Aylan did NOT come from a camp, but from an appartment, where his family had been staying for 3 years already.
    Also: Papa Aylan was NOT a paying passenger, NOR captain-ad-interim when the original captain fled(?!), as he wanted us to believe, but he was organiser & captain of the rubber dingy from the very beginning (which he navigated as a total moron, according to his other passengers).

    Btw, for every goddamn child, woman or family in focus/foreground, try finding another one among the hundred or even thousand people in the background. You won’t find any.

    Hook, line, sinker.

    Suckers rule the world, and definitely run the media.

    Comment by Wilhelmus Janus — September 12, 2015 @ 7:25 pm

  7. @Ratiocination. Whatever. If you are paying attention, you will realize that large numbers of people not fleeing for their lives are using Merkel’s response to the Syrian situation as a Trojan Horse to get access to Europe. If she really wants to help Syrians, this is not the way to do it. Support for operating and protecting refugee camps in Turkey and Jordan, for instance, and assistance to those governments (especially Jordan).

    And if utilitarian calculus offends you, well you better take that up with the myriad Germans-Including those in Merkel’s government, per the link in the post-who rationalize allowing opening the floodgates as a way to provide labor to be taxed to pay for German pensioners because Germans are not reproducing in sufficient numbers. Sounds pretty utilitarian, and decidedly un-Kantian (“Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end”) to me.

    I am more than aware that the world is a tragic, fallen place, full of horrors. I am also aware that the do-goodism of the Merkels of the world tends to make things worse, not better. Like the title of the post says: the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Apparently you haven’t figured that out, despite all the evidence. Consequently, your shock matters to me not one whit.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — September 12, 2015 @ 7:25 pm

  8. @Mudak/#4: it’s not so much about NATO, it’s about creating exchange for Donbass/Krim.

    Merkel has just become his highest level Useful Idiot.

    And definitely not coincidence/short-term planning either: VVP has been sponsoring both far-left *and* far-right in all of Europe, for this very purpose.

    And why you would think VVP & his crypto-communist kleptocrat cronies are *not* devious enough for this, I can’t grasp….what contrary signs have you seen over the last decade?

    Comment by Wilhelmus Janus — September 12, 2015 @ 7:30 pm

  9. @Ratiocination: If you can stand more shock, here you go. Garfinkel is less blunt than I am (most people are!), but he by and large says the same thing.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — September 12, 2015 @ 8:25 pm

  10. @ the Professor:

    I’m neither surprised nor disappointed that my shock “matters to me not one whit.” The displacement of four million Syrians apparently matters to you not one whit, so a blog post isn’t going to move the needle.

    Your argument is replete with errors of fact (Merkel is not “self-appointed” – she is the elected leader of Germany), logic (Mohammed Atta resided in Germany for a time, therefore Germany has had an Islamic problem for years?), history (the same fearful nativist arguments have been expressed since the Irish first came to America, and have consistently been wrong), and discourse (speculating on motivation is not only unsubstantiated, but irrelevant; whether a course of action is just or unjust does not depend on the motives of the actor).

    Your argument boils down to this: cast aspersions on the motivations of Merkel and others, minimize the severity of the problem, and posit a parade of horribles certain to afflict those who acted with mercy and compassion.

    Those fleeing Syria are bona fide political refugees by any standard, and have a very legitimate fear of persecution or death. Ditto for many of those fleeing Iraq and Libya. Are there economic migrants among those who are seeking asylum? Sure. So what? Your suggestion is that Western (and Arab) countries should consign a large number of refugees to near certain death because some number of those seeking asylum are not in mortal danger, but merely want better lives for themselves and their families?

    The fact that there is domestic opposition in Germany and elsewhere is not a reason to deny asylum. Merkel’s job is to lead, not to put her finger in the air to see where public opinion is. Faced with a clear moral obligation, she acted decisively and boldly. You characterize this as masturbatory do-goodism. Shame on you. Since you are so dismissive of leaders who accept those who are fleeing Assad, you would have been equally dismissive of the leaders who accepted those who fled Hitler, Mao, Stalin, or the millions of migrants after World War II.

    My grandparents escaped Russian pogroms in the early twentieth century, and one grandmother came here illegally. They came up against the same nativist fears which you expressed: American politicians fretted about the demise of the “English-speaking race,” worried about social unrest, and predicted economic doom. The generations which followed my grandparents contributed much to the country in hard work, taxes paid, business formation, and military service. Not that we are unusual: the pattern throughout history is that immigration initially causes social unrest and costs money, but in the long term is the nutrient which enables a society to prosper and grow, with America being the best example.

    The refugee crisis in Europe is something which can and should be absorbed, as the Economist explains:

    http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21664136-europe-should-welcome-more-refugees-and-economic-migrantsfor-sake-world-and

    Virtue is not virtue when it requires no effort. Virtue is virtue when you do something difficult or unpleasant in response to a moral imperative. We will all be judged some day. Your argument for passivity in the face of an enormous humanitarian disaster, and your overblown fears of imminent doom, are (to paraphrase John Kenneth Galbraith) nothing more than the fulfillment of man’s oldest pursuit: finding a moral justification for selfishness.

    Comment by Ratiocination — September 12, 2015 @ 9:31 pm

  11. Disregarding the merits of swp’s argument, just want to point out the claim that all immigrants necessarily come from the dregs of society. This is quite a revealing claim to make.

    Comment by aaa — September 12, 2015 @ 10:26 pm

  12. Dear Ratiocination,

    A very small number of Jews came to America from the Progroms. Bismarck took in millions of Jews that escaped the Pale of Settlement, when Germany was ascending, in Russia only for Hitler to murder them in the Holocaust. Merkel takes in millions of Arabs only for ..X.. to do exactly what next?

    There was no big hostility towards Jews from the protestant majorities of these countries at the time. In Germany relationships with the Catholics and in the United States with the Irish were much more problematic. Protection of Jews has been a cornerstone of standard Protestant traditionalism.

    I fear the erosion of tradition will lead to catastrophe. Most of Europeans, East or West, Leftist or Right feel the same. We do not want to march with far-right so we wait for a more palatable political party and then we vote it into power. We did so in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands.

    It is not virtuous for a civilisation to commit suicide. Nor is it virtuous to hold people hostage to faulty emotional arguments. Emotion would be better spent by dedicating to rebuilding a better Iraq, Syria & Afghanistan etc.. But since neither the globalist nor leftist have any thoughts or feelings about the future of these nations or even regions we are left with solutions that only make the problem worse and spread it into Europe.

    The Syrian war has been going on for 3 years and the civil unrest for 4 years. This removes the sting out of your argument that we are suddenly faced with an unexpected crisis. There are camps for people in Jordan, Turkey and in Lebanon – the upkeep, upgrade and maintenance of which costs nothing compared to the cost of accepting them in Europe. Europeans lived in worse camps after the Second World War for many more years.

    There is no humanitarian crisis. All of the migrants could be safely and soundly kept in camps in the Asia Minor and the Middle East for a dozen or so billion dollars. Which is absolutely nothing in terms of money. What we have is a crisis of ethics, leadership, economics and of civilisation.

    It is far more likelier that the political decision has been made inside the upper echelons of the UN & the EU coordinated with Putin, Iran and Saudi Arabia that for Assad to remain in power millions of Sunni Syrians with hundreds of thousands of Salafists will be exported to Europe since the Europeans have no-one to defend them because all of our leaders believe in globalism or some pseudo-leftist let´s-be-friends-with-Putin crap.

    Many people in Eastern Europe escaped to the West in much more dire circumstances. And we got treated like dirt: even though we were blond or brown haired just like our hosts, came from societies just as affluent at the time and in many cases thought for the Allies or as pro-Western partisans.

    Actually migrants who fought for the Axis not to speak of Germans themselves got treated better – either because they were thought to be better soliders, spies or scientists or god knows why, go figure. This mirrors how the most violent are even today most popular: Assad, Putin, Salafists and their supporters get a free pass. There is no plan to remove them or their influence but what we do get is a media always emotionally quilt-shaming Europeans and suffocating us until we do the desired suicide that is requiried of us. Because removing dictators requiries courage and ethics that you do not have. Easier for you to quilt-shame. What is that you spoke of in terms of the difficulty of doing the right thing again?

    The poor boy that drowned that people used as a quilt-shaming tool on a geopolitical level turned out to be killed because his dad was a smuggler.

    And there are many more samples of cynically using imagery to manipulate. Too bad that narrative triumphs logic, ethics and common sense.

    Whatever the case, Eastern Europeans will never accept the influx of immigrants you support. We, having been real victims of dictatorship can understand that one of the worse tools of dictators is the forced removal of people and ethnic cleansing that our leaders force down our throats.

    The pressure will not work in Eastern Europe nor in the West. Why?

    There is no cultural connection. In fact, life in modern Islamic societies is pretty boring and without any culture to speak of at all. You are making it seem like we are accepting people from the Golden Age of Islam or from the time of Marco Polo rather über-violent and uneducated masses.

    What of the future of Europe? I imagine that Eastern Europe will now shortly overtake the West in terms of prestige (people in Asia and Africa despise the migrants and the weakness of those who accept them), economic output and will become a desirable location for natives of Western Europe to hold property and to do business in. Donald Rumsfeld was laughed at for talking of an Old and New Europe but the stupidity of the globalist and of the left will surely prove him right – the West will stagnate in corruption, lack of will to fight and to work and dirty deals with dictators.

    What of the future of Syria? The young men are fleeing the war they should be fighting and not even thinking how to with emotion and ideas rebuild their country afterwards. The whole concept of Syria as a country, not to mention as a nation, seems to them more foreign than moving to the West.

    Nothing shows how deluded people are in the West than comparing the Syriand and Ukranian wars. The Ukrainians choosed to do the right thing as best possible and fight together: the communists, the far-right, the moderate majority and to rebuild their society, they fought the Russians to a draw.

    Yet the Ukranians are treated like dogs or ignored, while they do good (but not great) work: sacrifising lives, principles to form a national compromise and unity after a successful overthrow of a dictator. Syrians did not overthrow Assad, do not really want to fight him and yet they are to be rewarded? U wot m8?

    Comment by R — September 13, 2015 @ 1:35 am

  13. Here is another take on all the poor, huddled masses yearning to fill the labor pool in Germany:

    http://takimag.com/article/questions_about_the_hegira_to_germany_steve_sailer/print#disqus_thread

    Questions About the Hegira to Germany

    On the other hand, you may have some questions. Such as, if these are civilian war refugees, where are all the women, children, and elderly? Why are the incoming masses instead so heavily made up of young louts with smartphones? One of my readers, Lot, looked at a half-dozen photographs of the new arrivals and estimated, “Overall, these migrants are more male than the United States Army.”

    When Jean Raspail prophesied a million migrants invading Europe in his 1973 novel, The Camp of the Saints, he assumed they’d be pitifully malnourished Calcuttans. So why do the colonizers showing up in Europe in 2015 seem generally to be less your tired, your poor, your huddled masses than your strapping fellows, such as the narcissistic bodybuilder on Finnish TV? This refugee documented his trek across the weight rooms and swimming pools of Europe on his Facebook account, and then memorably assured the prime minister of Finland, “I look big, but I’m 17.”

    —————————————————————–

    Did the Wanderings of the Peoples, a process precipitated when the ill-fated Emperor Valens invited the Hun-harassed German barbarians to cross the Danube in 376 A.D. in order to refill his treasury with their tax payments, work out well for the Roman Empire?

    Is it a tradition for Muslim settlers to trek en masse like this to a welcoming destination? In fact, it’s the oldest Muslim tradition. Year one of the Muslim calendar is set to the hegira of 622 A.D., in which Muhammad encouraged his followers to emigrate in small groups from unfriendly Mecca to trusting Medina.

    And is it really good for the Jews of Europe for Berlin to pay for vast numbers of anti-Semitic Muslim youths to colonize the Continent? How did the hegira work out for the Jews of Medina? (That’s a rhetorical question: The Prophet eventually had 700 Medina Jews executed.)

    Comment by elmer — September 13, 2015 @ 9:37 am

  14. Here’s an immigrant from an earlier era : https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Koval

    Comment by Mudak — September 13, 2015 @ 9:39 am

  15. @aaa-I did not say “all.” That is a grotesque mischaracterization of what I said. I said that the refugees were disproportionately male (the UN estimates about 70 pct) and that these males were likely to be disproportionately unattached and aggressive, i.e., not drawn at random from the entire distribution of males. This is pretty widely understood, and is clearly a problem. There is also clearly a mismatch between the dreamy left’s image of the refugees and the reality.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — September 13, 2015 @ 9:48 am

  16. Not difficult to find a couple billion people in the world that have a more difficult life then these migrants so keep those borders open Mutti. This is just the warm up. Children die from horrible circumstances every day in much of the world but just aren’t featured on Huffington Post nor in NYT. Their parents do not even choose to put them in life threatening circumstances.

    Comment by pahoben — September 13, 2015 @ 2:36 pm

  17. I am sure all of those men are consumed with the thought of working their way up to a job on a German manufacturing assembly line.

    Comment by pahoben — September 13, 2015 @ 2:49 pm

  18. 1. My reference was to “self-appointed betters,” that is, people, holders of elected office or no, who hold themselves out as moral arbiters, and as morally superior. Merkel was elected Chancellor of Germany, not Pope. Further, those to whom I referred are largely unelected by anyone to do anything.

    2. I used Atta as an example of a much larger problem. Contrary to your suggestion that Atta was little more than a tourist who stayed in Germany for a while, he was deeply involved in the Hamburg Cell. Post-911 it was widely reported that Hamburg in particular, and Germany in general, was a hotbed of terrorists. This is one reason why the NSA was particularly focused on spying on Germany. If you follow these things, you know Germany has had an Islamist problem for years, and still does.

    3. Insofar as nativism is concerned, Germans and other Europeans should have a voice in whether their governments open the floodgates. What Merkel did, and what Junker and the EU are trying to do, is to impose their views on reluctant citizens. What is particularly egregious about Merkel and Germany is that they are demanding that other countries-whom did not elect them, by the way-accommodate German policy. Or Else. The proper response is “Fuck you.”

    4. You assert Merkel had a moral obligation. I see. Now you are playing moral arbiter. That’s an assertion of your moral judgment masquerading as an argument.

    5. “Those fleeing Syria are bona fide refugees.” That begs the question of where and how these refugees should be cared for. You present a false dichotomy: these individuals either remain in Syria to be slaughtered, or they are admitted en masse into Europe. Those are not the only two options. Another option is to handle them the way refugees have been handled in their millions for decades: in refugee facilities in safe areas close to where they fled from. Indeed, there are millions in Lebanon and Turkey, and almost a million in Jordan. Their lives in these places are not ideal, but they are not in the “Syrian abattoir.” In fact, those that are inundating Europe right now are not coming from Syria directly, but instead they are coming mainly from camps in Turkey. They would have stayed there-well outside the Syrian abattoir-had not Merkel made the rash decision to let them all in. It is clear that Merkel’s decision was the catalyst. The refugees were staying in Turkey, etc., until she said “come on in.” Contrary to your assertion that failure to let them into Germany would consign even the Syrians to “near certain death,” these particular refugees were not at risk of death where they were. Those who are still in Syria who could become refugees could also be saved from “near certain death” in refugee camps on Syria’s borders.

    6. Many of those who are flooding into Germany are not refugees from Syria, but are migrants who are taking advantage of Merkel’s decision.

    7. I started out by stating that Merkel’s decision was a blunder. I wrote that last night. This morning it is clear that it is being recognized in Germany as a blunder, even by the government. The German government has closed the border with Austria, and is talking about suspending the Schengen Treaty. That is, because of an ill-considered decision, it risks destroying one of the legitimate beneficial achievements of the European project. Well played. Well played. The Moar Europe crowd has just hulled Europe well below the waterline.

    8. You might want to read your history to see how DPs were handled post-WWII. No country in Europe, or the world, did what Merkel was trying to do. They were put into Displaced Persons Camps, sometimes for years. The process for admitting Vietnamese refugees, or those fleeing Cuba in the Mariel Boatlift, were completely different from what Merkel was trying to do.

    9. Motives matter because they help to evaluate the reasonableness of decisions. Decisions made because of historical complexes, romantic beliefs, delusions of grandeur, an inflated sense of moral superiority, and/or self-gratification are likely to be defective, and indeed, destructive. German behavior post-WWII has been marked by all these things-I am hardly the first or only person to point this out (many Germans have as well)-and Merkel’s decision is a pronounced example.

    10. I do not argue for passivity. I say that Merkel’s particular decision was a stupid way of handling a horrible situation. Your inference that this means I argue for passivity is another manifestation of your false dichotomy. And as for “finding a moral justification for selfishness”: (a) I don’t have a personal stake in what happens in Germany, so my opinion has nothing to do with selfishness; (b) who’s questioning motives now? I thought they didn’t matter? (c) Your smug superiority just makes me laugh.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — September 13, 2015 @ 6:54 pm

  19. If military history proves anything, it us that wars end when one side is defeated and exhausted. Lebanese Civil War was bitter and long–ended when all sides were exhausted. Thirty Years War maybe the closest analogue here–same end–Europe exhausted and suffering under destruction not equaled ttil 1945. WW I ended with a German Army in France, 27 years later, WW II ended with a shattered Germany being occupied by Russians in Berlin.

    Send every refugee back, let ’em fight it out. I’m actually heartened by economic refugees in America. They see a future here and have proven willing to work got it. The same cannot be said of these refugees from Africa and ME.

    Comment by The Pilot — September 13, 2015 @ 8:46 pm

  20. Tribalism and natavism have been main constituents of human societies since there have been human societies. Now tribalism is chic on the left in some cases (Liz Warren and Cherokees as an example) but strictly evil for Judeo Christians or Europeans. Just another ridiculous ideological initiative by the left to ensure we move to a global hard landing that will never allow their egotistically foolish dreams to be realized over the long term. Another idea that is too inconsistent with human biology to ever offer a long term global mechanism for reorganization of human society.

    Please open the EU’s borders on humanitarian basis and allow all to migrate that wish to migrate. The dissolution of the current ideological lunacy will be enjoyable to watch.

    Based on Ratiocination’s (funny user name) historical analogy (the left so loves purported historical analogies that in now way satisfy the logical tests for valid analogy) it would seem his claim could be re phrased as-what could ever be worse then the Irish (okay maybe has has a valid point with that).

    Comment by pahoben — September 14, 2015 @ 3:05 am

  21. “Germans are much more productive than the refugees are, and are likely to be, for generations to come.”

    I thought the Wirtschaftswunder was based in part on the practice of allowing unlimited Gastarbeiter to immigrate to Germany to keep wages costs down.

    Now that wage costs are getting out of hand again they need more cheap labour. Unemployed Spaniards and Frenchmen are no good, they’re not cheap and anyway they come to Britain. So it has to be unemployed soi disant “Syrian refugees”. Of course in a Schengen world they can now go anywhere they want.

    Comment by Green as Grass — September 14, 2015 @ 6:13 am

  22. Professor,

    I have two male cousins making the journey from Syria to Germany now. The last we heard, they have made it as far as Athens. Regarding the prevalence of young males in these groups of refugees, many of them are escaping Assad’s mandatory draft, as my cousins are. Young Sunni men believe they stand no chance of living in Assad’s army. Rather, they suspect they will simply become cannon fodder and meat shields. My cousins in particular are both college-educated and speak decent English. I agree with your concerns that accepting hundreds of thousands of refugees/migrants will undoubtedly lead to social/economic problems for Germany down the line. I simply hope that those Syrian refugees who are truly hardworking and committed to seeking a better life for themselves are able to do so.

    Comment by WB — September 14, 2015 @ 7:33 am

  23. I see that the bienpensants are still flogging the meme of “It’s all our fault for interfering in the Middle East”.
    But since Sykes Picot we have interfered very little in Syria. Even at the height of WW2 it was a backwater.
    So it’s not all our fault. It’s all their fault.
    Pity poor Lebanon, once more to be destabilised by massive unwanted population flows.

    Comment by James Harries — September 14, 2015 @ 7:51 am

  24. @WB-I definitely sympathize with, and your cousins. I understand that they are fleeing conscription into a brutal war. The Germans need to adopt a more controlled and selective approach, and they now realize that.

    The main downside of limiting entry to people like your cousins is that they will be lost to Syria if the country ever returns to peace, and will need the educated and civilized to rebuild.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — September 14, 2015 @ 1:53 pm

  25. I believe this is a huge blunder by Merkel who has made very little mistakes during her tenure. She is likely supported by the elite consensus in Germany right now, but it will spark a populist reaction. I predict the Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) will become a larger party and begin the long path towards becoming a significant political player that similar anti-immigrant parties in the Nordic countries have done (Sweden Democrats, Danish People’s Party, and Norway’s Progress Party).

    Merkel has enough of an incumbent advantage she won’t pay any price until the next Bundestag election at which point the level of anger against the CDU will become known. At that point, either AfD will grow larger or the policies of one or both of the CDU and SPD will turn anti-immigrant.

    Comment by Chris — September 14, 2015 @ 2:01 pm

  26. On July 22 2011, I read Anders Behring Breivik’s 2083: A European Declaration of Independence and figured it was mostly the ramblings of a deranged lunatic. The events of the past few days however, lead me to believe that he might have been on to something. Whilst I still believe he is a psychopath and would never condone his actions, flinging open a country’s borders to all and sundry is never a good idea. The “refugees” all seem to have Nike shoes, label clothing and iPhones and seem quite happy to transit multiple safe countries (where there is no threat posed to them at all) in order to enter the “welfare cashcows” of Germany and Sweden. The taxpayers of Germany must really be fed up, recently bailing out Greece and now having to pony up the money for a tidal wave of refugees who demand food, water, shelter and Internet. Unfortunately this will probably conjure up a groundswell of people who think along the lines of Breivik and may resort to similar actions.

    Comment by Crankshaft — September 15, 2015 @ 12:22 am

  27. “My cousins in particular are both college-educated and speak decent English. I agree with your concerns that accepting hundreds of thousands of refugees/migrants will undoubtedly lead to social/economic problems for Germany down the line. I simply hope that those Syrian refugees who are truly hardworking and committed to seeking a better life for themselves are able to do so.”

    “The main downside of limiting entry to people like your cousins is that they will be lost to Syria if the country ever returns to peace, and will need the educated and civilized to rebuild.”

    Questions: where were these people, or people like them, when Assad was building his dictatorship? (yes, I know, he inherited his position from his father)

    Why don’t the Syrians try to build a better life for themselves in Syria? After all, there are millions of Syrians, and only one Turkey Neck Bassad.

    In this regard, see comment by R:

    Nothing shows how deluded people are in the West than comparing the Syriand and Ukranian wars. The Ukrainians choosed to do the right thing as best possible and fight together: the communists, the far-right, the moderate majority and to rebuild their society, they fought the Russians to a draw.

    Yet the Ukranians are treated like dogs or ignored, while they do good (but not great) work: sacrifising lives, principles to form a national compromise and unity after a successful overthrow of a dictator. Syrians did not overthrow Assad, do not really want to fight him and yet they are to be rewarded? U wot m8?

    Comment by elmer — September 15, 2015 @ 8:44 am

  28. >>Merkel has just become his highest level Useful Idiot

    Actually she has been masterfully playing this role for longer than I care to remember. Had it not been for Merkel’s stubbornness in not allowing NATO membership action plan for Ukraine and Georgia, the Russian war against Ukraine and probably even waragainst georgia would never have taken place.

    Comment by Ivan — September 18, 2015 @ 1:55 am

  29. >>The proper response is “Fuck you.”

    So far, that has been more or less the response coming from New Europe. But EU bureaucracy and Germany do have leverage in this part of the world, so not sure this will last

    Comment by Ivan — September 18, 2015 @ 6:11 am

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