The mass drowning of eight or nine hundred—nobody knows precisely—illegal immigrants in the Mediterranean last Sunday triggered a lot of commentary about these boat people, most of it stupid. Here are some of the grosser stupidities.
They’re just seeking a better life.
Who isn’t? I guess there are some Lotus eaters among us who are perfectly happy with their lives and seek nothing better, but I doubt they’re a majority. Most of us, most of the time, want something we don’t currently have, in hopes it will make our lives better.
It’s a matter of methods. Al Capone rose from Brooklyn street urchin to be the boss of a major crime syndicate, presumably because he sought a better life. Should we admire him for that?
These boat people are self-selected as the bravest and most enterprising of their stock.
Then their home countries need them more than Europe does.
They are the poorest of the poor.
For economic migrants, the decision to leave is generally a conscious choice by relatively well-off individuals and households to enhance their livelihoods … Clandestine travel costs anywhere from US$5,000-$35,000. Many of these migrants are petty entrepreneurs who sold their businesses or property in order to pay for the expensive trip.
I think even that writer may have put some lipstick on the pig. Petty entrepreneurs, sure; but in sinkhole Third World countries like Niger or Eritrea there are other classes of people who can get their hands on a few thousand dollars. There are minor government functionaries—cops, for example—with jobs that allow them to squeeze bribes out of their fellow citizens. There are also, of course, criminals.
Sure, their countries are crappy places, but these are people who haven’t been doing too badly in them.
It’s all white people’s fault.
Those drowned illegals…
… were killed as a direct—and deliberate—act of government policy. EU policy. And British government policy. [Dan Hodges, Daily Telegraph.]
We are guilty! All guilty!
(I note again the tragic decline of the Telegraph, which used to be a conservative newspaper.)
Europe wouldn’t be fussing about the boat people if they weren’t black and brown.
To the degree that’s true, it speaks well of the Europeans’ good sense.
The clear lesson from the experiences of the United States, Britain, and Europe over the past few decades is that if you live in a nation populated by white Europeans, with a centuries-long participation in, or inherited attachment to, European civilization, do not permit mass settlement by
- Sub-Saharan Africans, or
Unless you have vast, fertile empty spaces that need cultivating, you shouldn’t be allowing mass settlement by anybody; but blacks and Muslims in quantity are particularly poisonous to social harmony.
To permit mass settlement by blacks who are also Muslims is to pass beyond the bounds of mere folly into homicidal insanity.
Europe needs lots of young people to shore up its cratering demographics.
The only places where fertility is not cratering are (a) sub-Saharan Africa and (b) a handful of the most backward Muslim nations like Yemen and Afghanistan.
If we exclude (a) and (b) as sources for mass immigration, as—see previous item—we certainly should, it’s a demographically cratering world. Given the fact that it’s also a finite world with finite resources, this is probably a good thing. At any rate, it’s a thing we should figure out how to cope with by some means other than demographic Ponzi schemes.
It’s our fault for messing with their countries.
Their countries shouldn’t have given us occasion to. As a proud First Worlder, I reserve my country’s right to go and mess with nations that might possibly pose some danger to mine; and I set the bar for “possibly” way low.
While the Bush 43 administration was gearing up for war in Iraq I attended a dinner with a roomful of defense and intelligence types at Bill Buckley’s house. “You don’t really think Saddam’s trying for nukes, do you?” I said to the guy sitting next to me. “I doubt it,” he said, “but why take a chance? If there’s a one percent probability of us losing a city, we should take out the sumbitch. Make that zero point one.”
Memo to Third World: Don’t tug on Superman’s cape.
Note please that I’m a To Hell With Them Hawk. I’m not endorsing GWB-style missionary wars. Nor …
We should give lots of aid money and help to fix their home countries. It worked for Germany and Japan.
I’m down with this if it means we get to drop two nukes on them first.
Taking them in is the least Europeans can do after all those centuries of colonialism.
European colonialism was a great blessing to the Third World, back when our relative numbers and technological superiority made it realistic.
Many honest Indians have acknowledged their debt to Britain. Nirad Chaudhuri had a portrait of Winston Churchill in his sitting room. At this very moment there are black people all over Africa on their knees praying to their gods for the white man to come back and rule them again.
Traveling around China thirty years ago I noticed that the people most likely to greet one in a friendly fashion were older people from the treaty ports who had grown up under European colonialism and looked back on it nostalgically. The round-eyes may have been snooty and smelt like sour milk, but they were better than rapacious warlords and corrupt mandarins.
And if the topic is historical wrongs, Europeans have plenty to say. There were, for example, those centuries of slave-raiding across the Mediterranean from North Africa. Prof. Davis, in his 2003 book Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters, reckoned the total number of slaves taken from the early 1500s to the late 1700s, as one to one and a quarter million. Reparations!