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A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.

Shame on Europe!

When half a year ago, I predicted in my article “Georgia Exporting Crime” that the visa liberalization would be stalled in the last moment, I was called a grumbler and alarmist. Unfortunately, usually the pessimists get it right.

This week, a whole bunch of European politicians, primarily from Germany, expressed their rejection of the visa liberalization for Georgian citizens. As Joachim Hermann, Minster of the Interior of the province of Bavaria, stated bluntly: “I can only advise against visa liberalization with Ukraine, Georgia, and the Kosovo”. After granting visa liberalization to the Balkan states, he said, crime had soared, and there would be a need for a “mechanism to prevent the citizens of those countries to abuse political asylum in Europe” (quoted after Die Welt from June 05th, 2016).

A few weeks earlier, Geert Wilders’ Partij voor de Vrijheid initiated a referendum in Holland on the question whether Ukraine should be granted visa liberalization, and a majority of the Dutch people voted against it. I had foreseen it in January: “In the wake of the inflow of millions of refugees, right-wing parties are on the rise all over Europe […]. In this political climate, which is dominated by agitation and polarization on immigration issues, national parliaments are supposed to approve the removal of visa restrictions with Georgia and Ukraine. To counter the right-wing parties, which in an opportune moment will stir up a discussion about these visa liberalizations (which so far has hardly set in), it will be very straightforward for the moderate parties to simply halt the liberalization process. For that to happen, one does not even have to cancel it formally. It will be enough to postpone the ratification of the new visa regime. “


EUROPE COLLAPSING

To grasp why Europe is behaving so treacherously, it is important to realize that the European Union is in an unprecedented existential crisis.

First of all, the European political elites, led by Angela Merkel, opened the borders for millions of asylum seekers from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and North Africa, without asking their populace whether they approved of this drastic step. The refugees bring lots of new problems to Europe, as shown most dramatically by 1,529 reported sexual assaults during New Year’s Eve in Cologne, carried out by up to 1,000 North African and Arabic perpetrators. Several hundred similar cases were reported from other German cities in the same night, and just last week, despite increased awareness and heavy police presence, 30 cases of sexual assault occurred at a festival near Darmstadt.

In the beginning of the year, Europe was shaken by the terrible terror attacks in Brussels, carried out, among others, by perpetrators who had entered Europe in the flow of refugees. The threat of similar or worse attacks is constantly looming over Europe, and a few days ago, a plan for a major terror strike in Düsseldorf was thwarted by the police. There are severe concerns regarding the security of the European soccer championship that will start at the end of this week in France, and personally, I expect the worst.

Secondly, there is the ongoing crisis in Greece. While Angela Merkel had always emphasized that the European Union would not become a “transfer union”, it is now clear that the money which was lent to Greece will never be paid back. Greek’s outstanding debt to other European countries amounts to 220 billion euro. This hits Europe in a time when many countries, like France and Finland, are struggling with extreme economic difficulties, and even Germany, which is suffering from ailing public infrastructure and many other economic problems that are hardly seen from outside, cannot easily digest the loss of its share of the debt. And from bad to worse, also in Greece nobody is happy about how the story evolved.

The European Union has become so unpopular that anti-European forces are on the raise in all member countries. On the 23rd of June, the United Kingdom will hold a referendum about its remaining in the European Union, and currently those who want to leave lead the polls.

In this situation, a huge number of Europeans are just fed up with any ideas of enlarging Europe or further opening its borders. That’s why the visa liberalization process was withheld in the last moment, and, as I think, it will not be resumed in the foreseeable future. It is not too much to say that Georgia is a victim of the catastrophe brought over Europe by Angela Merkel and her supporters.


WHAT CAN GEORGIA DO?

The problem is that Georgia has very little leverage to influence the situation. The only issue where Georgia does have some responsibility is its failure to fight Georgian crime abroad. Georgia is extremely present in German media, not with the beauty of its nature or its delicious cuisine, but only with one single topic: burglary crime. The newspapers are full of reports of Georgian organized burglary gangs, some samples of which I presented in my January article. Since then, the problem has become rather worse. As I wrote: “A small group [of Georgians] is spoiling the reputation of the 99% of Georgians who are decent and law-abiding.” In January, I also had a message for the government: “The matter [crimes committed by Georgians abroad] should be proactively addressed by the government of Georgia to make sure that the visa liberalization is not cancelled in the last moment. It would be an utter disappointment for the Georgian people, who enthusiastically celebrated the upcoming visa liberalization by illuminating bridges and buildings in blue color with golden stars.”

In the article, I mentioned a couple of policy initiatives that could have been pushed by the Government of Georgia to address the problem. For example, I suggested to reward Georgians who turn in compatriots of whom they know that they are involved in criminal activities abroad.  I also proposed to have international agreements which would Georgians who engaged in crime abroad be tried at Georgian courts according to the (much harsher) Georgian laws and let them serve their terms in the (much tougher) Georgian prisons. One could also have attempted to counter the perception that Georgians are overrepresented in European prisons – in the debate that ensued after my article it turned out that the statistics are not so clear, and apparently, some of the news about Georgian burglars seem to be based rather on perceptions than facts. However, it is unclear whether any of this would have helped.

In the end, all of this is a big disgrace for Europe. While the European political elites welcomed and even invited millions of Arabs and North Africans to come to Europe, many of whom harboring problematic intentions and holding values which are incompatible with Western freedom and tolerance, Europe will not keep its promise to Georgia! A Christian country, one of the West’s most loyal and reliable allies, full of citizens who are enthusiastic about freedom and who always felt that they belonged to Europe, will be turned away once again.

But it all won’t help. Also in future, decent Georgians who want to travel to Europe will by all likelihood have to undergo a humiliating visa application process, requiring the preliminary purchases of flight tickets, proofs of accommodation, money, and current employment, and sometimes the necessity to provide invitation letters. Shame on you, Europe!

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Simon Appleby on Monday, 06 June 2016 18:21

I dont think any European jurisdiction would be content outsourcing trials to the Georgian justice system at this stage, more reform is needed. Certainly sentencing and incarceration in Georgia could be considered.

Even a decade ago, anyone talking of UK exiting the EU was assumed to be nuts. It is now a mainstream opinion and the referendum will be a very tight race. The man likely to become the UKs next PM if they exit makes some compelling arguments as to why the EU is failing its peoples through more and more dictatorial methods that bypass democratic checks and balances.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1jvbkf87Tg

Pro-Brexit English MEP Daniel Hannan argues as to why the British people should do him out of a job and make him a journalist again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC9nDCmqjn8

Georgians already have struck a satisfactory deal with the EU, involving free trade and development assistance. Free travel would be great, particularly for making training and trading in Europe cheaper and easier. We should carefully consider if further political integration beyond that is really in our best interests, or if we are jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

I dont think any European jurisdiction would be content outsourcing trials to the Georgian justice system at this stage, more reform is needed. Certainly sentencing and incarceration in Georgia could be considered. Even a decade ago, anyone talking of UK exiting the EU was assumed to be nuts. It is now a mainstream opinion and the referendum will be a very tight race. The man likely to become the UKs next PM if they exit makes some compelling arguments as to why the EU is failing its peoples through more and more dictatorial methods that bypass democratic checks and balances. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1jvbkf87Tg Pro-Brexit English MEP Daniel Hannan argues as to why the British people should do him out of a job and make him a journalist again. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC9nDCmqjn8 Georgians already have struck a satisfactory deal with the EU, involving free trade and development assistance. Free travel would be great, particularly for making training and trading in Europe cheaper and easier. We should carefully consider if further political integration beyond that is really in our best interests, or if we are jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.
Guest - carlos on Thursday, 09 June 2016 14:01

What an ironic article. Surely you must be joking

opened the borders for millions of asylum seekers from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and North Africa, without asking their populace whether they approved of this drastic step.....The refugees bring lots of new problems to Europe, as shown most dramatically by 1,529 reported sexual assaults during New Year’s Eve in Cologne, carried out by up to 1,000 North African and Arabic perpetrators

So ALL refugees are responsible for the acts of a few. (By the way your statistics on the sexual assault are wrong)


: “A small group [of Georgians] is spoiling the reputation of the 99% of Georgians who are decent and law-abiding.”

Ahha...So with Georgians it s the other way round. ALL Georgians are NOT responsible for the acts of a few.

Why? Because you are Georgian?

What an ironic article. Surely you must be joking opened the borders for millions of asylum seekers from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and North Africa, without asking their populace whether they approved of this drastic step.....The refugees bring lots of new problems to Europe, as shown most dramatically by 1,529 reported sexual assaults during New Year’s Eve in Cologne, carried out by up to 1,000 North African and Arabic perpetrators So ALL refugees are responsible for the acts of a few. (By the way your statistics on the sexual assault are wrong) : “A small group [of Georgians] is spoiling the reputation of the 99% of Georgians who are decent and law-abiding.” Ahha...So with Georgians it s the other way round. ALL Georgians are NOT responsible for the acts of a few. Why? Because you are Georgian?
Eric Livny on Thursday, 09 June 2016 16:21

Point well taken, Carlos!

In general, I disagree with Florians position on the refugee crisis. It was quite all right for Europe to take some responsibility for the mess it had created in the Middle East (historically, not just in the last few years). The refugee crisis was born almost a century ago, when the French and the British colonial powers dissected the Middle East into artificial political entities in order to be able to divide and rule. What is going on in Iran and Syria is just a prelude to the flood that is yet to come.

Georgia and Ukraine are a totally different matter compared to the Middle East and should be treated separately. Willingly or not, consciously or not, Europe has created very high expectations in both countries, expectations of almost complete economic integration and free movement across borders. If Europe fails to deliver, it will face the consequences in the form of a political backlash (and illegal migration). While Georgia may survive as a western-style democracy, I am much more skeptical about Ukraine.

Point well taken, Carlos! In general, I disagree with Florians position on the refugee crisis. It was quite all right for Europe to take some responsibility for the mess it had created in the Middle East (historically, not just in the last few years). The refugee crisis was born almost a century ago, when the French and the British colonial powers dissected the Middle East into artificial political entities in order to be able to divide and rule. What is going on in Iran and Syria is just a prelude to the flood that is yet to come. Georgia and Ukraine are a totally different matter compared to the Middle East and should be treated separately. Willingly or not, consciously or not, Europe has created very high expectations in both countries, expectations of almost complete economic integration and free movement across borders. If Europe fails to deliver, it will face the consequences in the form of a political backlash (and illegal migration). While Georgia may survive as a western-style democracy, I am much more skeptical about Ukraine.
Florian Biermann on Thursday, 09 June 2016 20:59

Eric, if you go back that far in history and derive claims from that (i.e. the moral justification of Arabs to come to Europe, based on European wrongdoing 100 years ago), then why not going further back? Since 700, the Muslim World is constantly attacking Europe, and more than once Europe was on the verge of defeat (most notably 732 at Poitiers and 1529 and 1683 at Vienna). 1453 the Muslims took the Eastern center of Christianity. Most of the time the struggle between Europe and the Muslim world went in one direction, namely the Muslim World expanding and colonizing (with a short interruption during the crusades). With exactly the same persuasiveness, one may claim that European expansion in the 19th century was just a reaction to Muslim colonialism that happened earlier. I do not see any reason for the West to say sorry vis-a-vis the Muslim world, because the West was most of the time the victim, and Arabs have definitely no claim to resettle in Europe as historical compensation.

In this context, the refugee crisis and Ukraine/Georgia are de facto connected, whether you like it or not, because a society has just a limited capacity to deal with problems. The problems resulting from the refugee crisis, the Greece crisis, and some other less important crises that I did not mention, just exhaust the capacity of Europe.

Eric, if you go back that far in history and derive claims from that (i.e. the moral justification of Arabs to come to Europe, based on European wrongdoing 100 years ago), then why not going further back? Since 700, the Muslim World is constantly attacking Europe, and more than once Europe was on the verge of defeat (most notably 732 at Poitiers and 1529 and 1683 at Vienna). 1453 the Muslims took the Eastern center of Christianity. Most of the time the struggle between Europe and the Muslim world went in one direction, namely the Muslim World expanding and colonizing (with a short interruption during the crusades). With exactly the same persuasiveness, one may claim that European expansion in the 19th century was just a reaction to Muslim colonialism that happened earlier. I do not see any reason for the West to say sorry vis-a-vis the Muslim world, because the West was most of the time the victim, and Arabs have definitely no claim to resettle in Europe as historical compensation. In this context, the refugee crisis and Ukraine/Georgia are de facto connected, whether you like it or not, because a society has just a limited capacity to deal with problems. The problems resulting from the refugee crisis, the Greece crisis, and some other less important crises that I did not mention, just exhaust the capacity of Europe.
Eric Livny on Friday, 10 June 2016 09:56

Florian, I agree with you that historical memories (and how they are being interpreted) play an important role in explaining the present. The memory of Christian crusades is a powerful motivator of all Jihadists in the Muslim world. The Arab and Ottoman attacks on Europe have some role in explaining the intensity of anti-migration moods in Europe.

These remote events, however, have no relevance for understanding the breakdown of the Arab states and the resulting migration waves. Colonial borders and the shameless divide-and-rule politics, on the other hand, are their most direct cause! The Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 had set a time bomb that has just gone off (not in the least because of EU and US efforts to undermine unfriendly political regimes).

Few in Europe know anything about the Sykes-Picot agreement (I do know some because it was obligatory reading in my Israeli high school), yet, we now live with its direct consequences. This agreement artificially divided the Middle East into British and French-dependent and kingdoms (not democracies :-)). Lacking in popular legitimacy, these corrupt regimes fueled wave after wave of revolts and revolutions. Having been founded by colonial powers, they motivated every single movement demanding Arab unity – in the name of religion (ISIS) or secular nationalism and socialism (a la Nasser).

The crisis in Iraq, Syria and Libya are all direct results of this cynical colonial meddling. It is rather ironic that they were set off by yet another outburst of colonial interventionism (in the name of democracy building). Moreover, all the Arab oil regimes (e.g. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait) as well as Jordan will most certainly follow suit since their ruling families will completely lose their legitimacy as soon as they run out of oil and become irrelevant for the West.

So much for history.

For Merkel, the decision to accept responsibility had nothing to do with history. For her this was about two things: human rights and European unity. From the former perspective, one cannot argue for human rights around the world and ignore human suffering on your borders. From the perspective of European unity, one cannot let the burden of mass migration lie on just a few EU members - everybody have to share the weight of the crisis or, else, the EU will fall apart.

Regardless of her motivation, the current crisis is not just about moral responsibility, it is about inevitability. The whining against mass migration will not help. London and Paris have inevitably become multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-racial agglomerations. Because of French and British colonial crusades back in the 19th century, but even more importantly because of the huge global wealth and population imbalances. Such imbalances cannot be sustained by any walls or membranes, let alone by wishful thinking on the part of migration haters around the world. This is something I learned early on in my chemistry classes.

Thousands of Georgians and Ukrainians are already in Europe, legally and illegally, and will continue arriving as long as material wealth and populations remain unequally distributed. Having raised expectations for economic integration and free movement across borders, Europe simply accelerated the process. So be it.

Finally, the internal contradictions in your article (which Carlos was quick to point out) are the result of your desire to flatter your Georgian readers. Yet, as argued by Carlos, in the eyes of European migration haters, Christian Georgians and Muslim Arabs are all the same. For them anybody with a slightly darker skin and different dressing code is suspect of invading their white habitat.

Florian, I agree with you that historical memories (and how they are being interpreted) play an important role in explaining the present. The memory of Christian crusades is a powerful motivator of all Jihadists in the Muslim world. The Arab and Ottoman attacks on Europe have some role in explaining the intensity of anti-migration moods in Europe. These remote events, however, have no relevance for understanding the breakdown of the Arab states and the resulting migration waves. Colonial borders and the shameless divide-and-rule politics, on the other hand, are their most direct cause! The Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 had set a time bomb that has just gone off (not in the least because of EU and US efforts to undermine unfriendly political regimes). Few in Europe know anything about the Sykes-Picot agreement (I do know some because it was obligatory reading in my Israeli high school), yet, we now live with its direct consequences. This agreement artificially divided the Middle East into British and French-dependent and kingdoms (not democracies :-)). Lacking in popular legitimacy, these corrupt regimes fueled wave after wave of revolts and revolutions. Having been founded by colonial powers, they motivated every single movement demanding Arab unity – in the name of religion (ISIS) or secular nationalism and socialism (a la Nasser). The crisis in Iraq, Syria and Libya are all direct results of this cynical colonial meddling. It is rather ironic that they were set off by yet another outburst of colonial interventionism (in the name of democracy building). Moreover, all the Arab oil regimes (e.g. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait) as well as Jordan will most certainly follow suit since their ruling families will completely lose their legitimacy as soon as they run out of oil and become irrelevant for the West. So much for history. For Merkel, the decision to accept responsibility had nothing to do with history. For her this was about two things: human rights and European unity. From the former perspective, one cannot argue for human rights around the world and ignore human suffering on your borders. From the perspective of European unity, one cannot let the burden of mass migration lie on just a few EU members - everybody have to share the weight of the crisis or, else, the EU will fall apart. Regardless of her motivation, the current crisis is not just about moral responsibility, it is about inevitability. The whining against mass migration will not help. London and Paris have inevitably become multi-ethnic, multi-religious, and multi-racial agglomerations. Because of French and British colonial crusades back in the 19th century, but even more importantly because of the huge global wealth and population imbalances. Such imbalances cannot be sustained by any walls or membranes, let alone by wishful thinking on the part of migration haters around the world. This is something I learned early on in my chemistry classes. Thousands of Georgians and Ukrainians are already in Europe, legally and illegally, and will continue arriving as long as material wealth and populations remain unequally distributed. Having raised expectations for economic integration and free movement across borders, Europe simply accelerated the process. So be it. Finally, the internal contradictions in your article (which Carlos was quick to point out) are the result of your desire to flatter your Georgian readers. Yet, as argued by Carlos, in the eyes of European migration haters, Christian Georgians and Muslim Arabs are all the same. For them anybody with a slightly darker skin and different dressing code is suspect of invading their white habitat.
Florian Biermann on Sunday, 12 June 2016 00:44

Eric, of course there was harmful meddling of European powers in the Middle East. There was also meddling of all other European powers in Germany in the Thirty Years War 1618-1648. Would the Thirty Years War hypothetically justify or explain the emergence of something like the IS in Germany? History is not so inevitable in its consequences as you seem to believe. The situation in the Middle East is most and foremost a function of the people of the Middle East. For all the hatred, intolerance and violence, they must not blame anybody but themselves.

What you say about the inevitability of mass immigration is totally incomprehensible to me. If there was a political decision to stop mass immigration, it could be done. You may see Australia as an example or Israel at its southern border. Actually, it is much easier to stop immigration than it ever was before, given the technology we have available today. The Great Wall in China kept the invaders out for 400 years, and it was based on medieval technology.

I do not want to flatter anybody. Of course I am sympathetic with the Georgians, but most of all I am outraged that the European elites open up the borders for people who spread a culture of intolerance and will eventually bring down the West, while the Georgians are treated like pariahs.

Eric, of course there was harmful meddling of European powers in the Middle East. There was also meddling of all other European powers in Germany in the Thirty Years War 1618-1648. Would the Thirty Years War hypothetically justify or explain the emergence of something like the IS in Germany? History is not so inevitable in its consequences as you seem to believe. The situation in the Middle East is most and foremost a function of the [i]people[/i] of the Middle East. For all the hatred, intolerance and violence, they must not blame anybody but themselves. What you say about the inevitability of mass immigration is totally incomprehensible to me. If there was a political decision to stop mass immigration, it could be done. You may see Australia as an example or Israel at its southern border. Actually, it is much easier to stop immigration than it ever was before, given the technology we have available today. The Great Wall in China kept the invaders out for 400 years, and it was based on medieval technology. I do not want to flatter anybody. Of course I am sympathetic with the Georgians, but most of all I am outraged that the European elites open up the borders for people who spread a culture of intolerance and will eventually bring down the West, while the Georgians are treated like pariahs.
Eric Livny on Sunday, 12 June 2016 18:42
Specially for you, Florian, and other people who believe in walls: https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology/membranes-and-transport/diffusion-and-osmosis/v/diffusion-and-osmosis
Florian Biermann on Tuesday, 14 June 2016 09:15

Eric, do you claim that it is factually impossible to prevent immigration, or do you want to say that one should not prevent immigration? Or both?

Eric, do you claim that it is factually impossible to prevent immigration, or do you want to say that one [i]should[/i] not prevent immigration? Or both?
Eric Livny on Tuesday, 14 June 2016 11:06

Of course, I claim is that it is factually impossible to prevent the free movement of people in the 21st century. People always found ways to escape slavery, and Gulags. They did so in the darkest of ages and in the harshest climate conditions. People will always break through every wall or barbed wire on their way to freedom.

One can of course slow down migration and make it very difficult and dangerous for people to move. Yet, the 21 first century presents anti-migration policies with very serious challenges.

The first challenge is about LEGITIMACY. In Alabama of early 1960s, fellow black citizens were not allow on white people’s communities, condos, buses and schools for pretty much the same reasons you are appealing to in your article (crime, etc.). In the 21st century, when the US is ruled by a black president, the same moral question is taken to the next level. If it is no longer legitimate to prevent fellow black or Muslim citizens on white people’s buses, why is it still legitimate to prevent blacks from Nigeria or Kenia on the US buses, figuratively speaking? Morality does know national borders, no more than it knows neighborhoods or buses. It is like physics or economics (at least that’s how some think of economics).

The second challenge stems from the HUMAN RIGHTS RELIGION which White Europe and the US had cultivated in recent decades. To this day, this modern religious creed is being used and abused to gain market share (through economic sanctions) and provide legitimacy for forceful regime changes throughout the developing world. Now, however, this very religion is standing in the way of using walls against migrants and essentially forces Europe into some sort of humanitarian action on its own soil (something Europe is not very much used to).

The third challenge is related to GLOBALIZATION processes. Migration controls are essentially about preventing the movement of people across “national” borders. But the term nation - given its racial and genetic connotation - is becoming less and less convincing in the 21st century. It is less convincing given our collective realization of the arbitrary nature of national borders which have effectively locked fairly random groups of individuals into nations (Belgium is an extreme example, but any European nation of today has its genetic roots in dozens of tribes that had once roamed across Eurasia).

The notion of nation states served a good purpose back in the 19th century – helping break the old royal and imperial order and providing a political alternative for maintaining law and order in smaller political units. This purpose is no longer there. In fact, smaller groups and minorities increasingly find themselves oppressed by majorities within existing nation-states (one does not have to go very far for examples). In this sense, nation states have become TOO BIG. At the same time, nation states have become TOO SMALL to handle any of the global challenges facing humanity in the 21st century - from climate change, to decease control, to innovation, to effective taxation, to business development and global migration. All signs thus point to the fact that the nation state, as we know it today, is living its last days. (it is rather ironic to observe the futile attempts by certain societies to creates new nation states and come up with convincing national mythologies to justify their existence as such). The new political order emerging on the ruins of nation states will draw its legitimacy from its ability to solve problems, not common ancestry or genetics. It may be opposed to mass migration on technocratic grounds (too much, too fast, etc.), but it won’t be able to argue against it on the basis of religion, culture or ethnicity, as is still the case today.

Given this inevitable historical dynamic, migration haters of today are no more rational or moral than Luddites of the 19th century or White Supremacists of the 20th. They all belong in the same garbage can of history.

You resent Muslim migration into Germany because the newcomers do not readily assimilate and many of them, so you claim, are terrorists – actual or potential. But how about Chinese migration into Germany? What would be your economic or moral justification for banning Chinese or Japanese migrants from settling in the EU? And how about Chinese migration into the vast empty spaces of Siberia where they could bring into cultivation new lands without disturbing sparse local population (which settled there, at the expense of endogenous people and wild animals only a couple centuries ago).

Of course, I claim is that it is factually impossible to prevent the free movement of people in the 21st century. People always found ways to escape slavery, and Gulags. They did so in the darkest of ages and in the harshest climate conditions. People will always break through every wall or barbed wire on their way to freedom. One can of course slow down migration and make it very difficult and dangerous for people to move. Yet, the 21 first century presents anti-migration policies with very serious challenges. The first challenge is about LEGITIMACY. In Alabama of early 1960s, fellow black citizens were not allow on white people’s communities, condos, buses and schools for pretty much the same reasons you are appealing to in your article (crime, etc.). In the 21st century, when the US is ruled by a black president, the same moral question is taken to the next level. If it is no longer legitimate to prevent fellow black or Muslim citizens on white people’s buses, why is it still legitimate to prevent blacks from Nigeria or Kenia on the US buses, figuratively speaking? Morality does know national borders, no more than it knows neighborhoods or buses. It is like physics or economics (at least that’s how some think of economics). The second challenge stems from the HUMAN RIGHTS RELIGION which White Europe and the US had cultivated in recent decades. To this day, this modern religious creed is being used and abused to gain market share (through economic sanctions) and provide legitimacy for forceful regime changes throughout the developing world. Now, however, this very religion is standing in the way of using walls against migrants and essentially forces Europe into some sort of humanitarian action on its own soil (something Europe is not very much used to). The third challenge is related to GLOBALIZATION processes. Migration controls are essentially about preventing the movement of people across “national” borders. But the term nation - given its racial and genetic connotation - is becoming less and less convincing in the 21st century. It is less convincing given our collective realization of the arbitrary nature of national borders which have effectively locked fairly random groups of individuals into nations (Belgium is an extreme example, but any European nation of today has its genetic roots in dozens of tribes that had once roamed across Eurasia). The notion of nation states served a good purpose back in the 19th century – helping break the old royal and imperial order and providing a political alternative for maintaining law and order in smaller political units. This purpose is no longer there. In fact, smaller groups and minorities increasingly find themselves oppressed by majorities within existing nation-states (one does not have to go very far for examples). In this sense, nation states have become TOO BIG. At the same time, nation states have become TOO SMALL to handle any of the global challenges facing humanity in the 21st century - from climate change, to decease control, to innovation, to effective taxation, to business development and global migration. All signs thus point to the fact that the nation state, as we know it today, is living its last days. (it is rather ironic to observe the futile attempts by certain societies to creates new nation states and come up with convincing national mythologies to justify their existence as such). The new political order emerging on the ruins of nation states will draw its legitimacy from its ability to solve problems, not common ancestry or genetics. It may be opposed to mass migration on technocratic grounds (too much, too fast, etc.), but it won’t be able to argue against it on the basis of religion, culture or ethnicity, as is still the case today. Given this inevitable historical dynamic, migration haters of today are no more rational or moral than Luddites of the 19th century or White Supremacists of the 20th. They all belong in the same garbage can of history. You resent Muslim migration into Germany because the newcomers do not readily assimilate and many of them, so you claim, are terrorists – actual or potential. But how about Chinese migration into Germany? What would be your economic or moral justification for banning Chinese or Japanese migrants from settling in the EU? And how about Chinese migration into the vast empty spaces of Siberia where they could bring into cultivation new lands without disturbing sparse local population (which settled there, at the expense of endogenous people and wild animals only a couple centuries ago).
Florian Biermann on Thursday, 09 June 2016 20:40

Carlos, where did I say that ALL refugees are responsible for anything? You just invented that. I spoke about the consequences of the mass immigration, not about responsibility. The consequences of the refugee crisis are in my opinion just catastrophic, which is of course a subjective judgment based on my personal preferences.

This is where I got the numbers from: http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/koeln-silvesteruebergriffe-die-ermittlungsergebnisse-a-1085716.html

It says there were 1,527 reported reported cases.




Carlos, where did I say that ALL refugees are responsible for anything? You just invented that. I spoke about the [i]consequences[/i] of the mass immigration, not about [i]responsibility[/i]. The consequences of the refugee crisis are in my opinion just catastrophic, which is of course a subjective judgment based on my personal preferences. This is where I got the numbers from: http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/justiz/koeln-silvesteruebergriffe-die-ermittlungsergebnisse-a-1085716.html It says there were 1,527 reported reported cases.
Guest - Carlos on Friday, 10 June 2016 03:44

You did not say it. You imply it. Throughout the article.
Take another example, In the beginning of the year, Europe was shaken by the terrible terror attacks in Brussels, carried out, among others, by perpetrators who had entered Europe in the flow of refugees No. Most of the attackers were French and Belgian citizens. Your whole article implies that Muslims or Arabs are dangerous but Georgians are good people.
About the statistics

only THREE were refugees.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/cologne-only-three-out-of-58-men-arrested-in-connection-with-mass-sex-attack-on-new-years-eve-are-a6874201.html

And then you complain about Georgians being discriminated against! To those who make generalisations about non-EU foreigners you are all the same. Dark-skinned foreigners who want to come to paradise. They don t discriminate between Georgians and Syrians. They want EVERYONE who is not EU out.

You did not say it. You imply it. Throughout the article. Take another example, In the beginning of the year, Europe was shaken by the terrible terror attacks in Brussels, carried out, among others, by perpetrators who had entered Europe in the flow of refugees No. Most of the attackers were French and Belgian citizens. Your whole article implies that Muslims or Arabs are dangerous but Georgians are good people. About the statistics only THREE were refugees. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/cologne-only-three-out-of-58-men-arrested-in-connection-with-mass-sex-attack-on-new-years-eve-are-a6874201.html And then you complain about Georgians being discriminated against! To those who make generalisations about non-EU foreigners you are all the same. Dark-skinned foreigners who want to come to paradise. They don t discriminate between Georgians and Syrians. They want EVERYONE who is not EU out.
Florian Biermann on Sunday, 12 June 2016 00:03

Carlos, keep to what I write, not what I (in your opion) imply.

I have clearly written that the Brussel terrorists were among others refugees. Two or three had entered Europe as refugees. The others were Belgian and French citizens, and they demonstrate the failure of immigration policy of the last decades. This failure is now perpetuated by again opening up the borders for huge numbers of people who hate freedom, democracy, and tolerance, and who want to impose their medieval vales on the West.

Perhaps the perpetrators in Cologne did not arrive recently, but they have the same cultural and religious background as the new refugees, many of whom come from the Maghreb. In addition, German newspapers are full of reports about refugees who harass girls and women in pools. If you continue to deny facts because they do not agree with your ideology, you provoke me to post some ugly links here.

Of course, there are problems with other nations as well, and the Georgians are scolded more than enough for burglary. Yet, compared to the problems caused through the recent refugee influx, the problems of Georgian immigration are totaly overblown.

Carlos, keep to what I write, not what I (in your opion) imply. I have clearly written that the Brussel terrorists were among others refugees. Two or three had entered Europe as refugees. The others were Belgian and French citizens, and they demonstrate the failure of immigration policy of the last decades. This failure is now perpetuated by again opening up the borders for huge numbers of people who hate freedom, democracy, and tolerance, and who want to impose their medieval vales on the West. Perhaps the perpetrators in Cologne did not arrive recently, but they have the same cultural and religious background as the new refugees, many of whom come from the Maghreb. In addition, German newspapers are full of reports about refugees who harass girls and women in pools. If you continue to deny facts because they do not agree with your ideology, you provoke me to post some ugly links here. Of course, there are problems with other nations as well, and the Georgians are scolded more than enough for burglary. Yet, compared to the problems caused through the recent refugee influx, the problems of Georgian immigration are totaly overblown.
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