Settlers and Migrants

Duly Noted

The story of a derailment.

Let this begin with a superfluous defense against the inevitable PC-fed charge of small-minded prejudice. Your writer is a habitual migrant. Having left, entered, moved from, and then reentered several countries is part of the blame that validates the claim. Add that, the family language has been shifted in a contrarian way. By design not being the same as that of the natives, the effort was to further the careers of the children. The result is that one feels, even at home, a bit like an incurable migrant. A minor disadvantage of this practice is that your correspondent does not have insider communications with his newest, Alemanic-speaking grandchildren 

First, to a disturbing trend. In vogue is an intensifying migration. It moves folks not only across state boundaries that divide nationalities, but also over the lines that separate cultures. These divisions are expressed by preferred ways of life, perceived identity, language, but also by race, religious tradition and degrees of development. The consequence is enhanced when these traits are fused to supplement each other. When that happens, 1 and 1 is not 2 but, through a cultural multiplier, a “4”. 

Immigration from retrograde communities into developed progressive societies is normal. That it involves not thousands, or hundreds of thousands, but potentially endless millions, is a quantitative novelty. 

Since the Dark Ages and its “migration of peoples” –a time when my ancestors were not yet Europeans- we have not had anything analogous. It is not PC to add, that the inflow then has surpassed the ability of the recipients to absorb and to civilize assertive guests. Therefore, the Dark Ages got darker, civilization regressed, and life became more primitive. It took centuries to recover from the damage of dilution.

Now then, the problem of societies that are developed above the standards of their time can become that of absorption. Here we are dealing with a sensitive balance. Such entities need to take in new entrants by upgrading these while not degrading their own achievements. A positive outcome –lifting all involved- is not lawful. The Migration of Peoples has destroyed the host and thereby it reversed the process of development. The mainly –but not accidentally- English speaking targets of past immigration, have performed excellently at the dual task. First, they absorbed, integrated or assimilated their entrants. Second, at least until recently, they have done so without surrendering those features of their system that determined their identity. About that system, we may add, that it made those subject to it successful - which made it attractive for new settlers in the first place. 

That assimilation creates an amalgam that does not stifle the moving forces of the welcoming community, is not a statement of the obvious. There are instances in which entrants, fleeing misery, became a majority and then used that status to deprive the natives of their rights and of their land.  In doing so, depressed conditions were created, as the new majority continued to live by its imported tradition. This regression then moved the originally indigenous to flee to progressive locales. The point is that, not every migration benefits all parties, and the acceptance of in-assimilable can lead to the loss of sovereignty and to economic-cultural decay. Accordingly, asserting that immigration is an unqualified benefit to all, expresses either ignorance or a known lie.

Some countries wrote part their success story with the help of immigrants. This points at two matters. One is that, the right kind of immigration is of use to all concerned. The other is that, the benefits of controlled immigration are no proof that all types of immigrations further the cause of the hosting community. 

An immigration of mutual advantage supplies society with entrants that bring usable skills that are enhanced by the will to adapt. This boils down to people that want to “join” and that are enabled to “fit in”. 

Societies that absorb immigrants have middle-class characteristics. That means the presence of an order that provides performance related opportunities of mobility supported by the flexibility to develop the matching pioneering technologies. Here the “open society” and the resulting democracy will be a supporting element. 

Challenging is, albeit PC demands that it be ignored, the hostile pre-programming of migrants. Often, a strain within contemporary migration exhibits traits that depart from the above specifications; as a matter of principle, it negates and disparages the chosen host’s values and his system. This is especially applies to the “open society’s” values. Some third world ideologies are anti-“West”. Their infected carriers claim a right to immigrate because the backwardness of their homeland is equated with the guilt of those that are to harbor them. Especially difficult is the accommodation of groups exposed to radical Islamism that has declared a war on the West. It advocates salvation through the imposition of its faith. From that follows the demolition of the systems that helped the masses exposed to the modern order to escape poverty and to make the good life typical for their members. 

These kind of attitudes brought derailing change into the guest-host relationship. The question used to be whether the native majority accepts immigrants. Nowadays, the query is allowed to be, whether those accepted as refugees will tolerate the indigenous. In this light, the restrictions imposed upon “Christmas” foreshadow a widening spectrum of limitations. At first, these respond to the voluntary tolerance for those that seek asylum and who signal that, they are insulted by the ways of the majority whose system they seem to have chosen by asking for admission.  In time, this accommodation threatens to expand and to reflect the dictate of assertive minorities. 

The mention of the hostility of some immigrant groups that reject their chosen host’s way of life, calls for an extension of the argument. Wanting to set fire to the house that harbors them, is not singularly an expression of the clash of cultures and traditions. Some of the hostility is acquired and so it expresses social tensions that arise after immigration. 

Certain classes of entrants from pre-industrial cultures into post-industrial forms of life are pre-programmed for frustration even if the initial “welfare for all” as a way of life might satisfy imported original desires. 

Certain classes of asylum seekers choose to avoid settlement in compatible –by religion, ethnicity, and language- countries. Instead they choose to crash in better developed, more tolerant and generous locations. That happens, even if they lack appreciation for those that are to put them up. In doing so, they not only cross-cultural boundaries but also several identifiable stages of development. 

This means that in many instances, those that pretend to be persecuted and thus claim to be bona fide asylum seekers are, in fact, low skilled economic migrants. Their inflow creates a bountiful supply for an otherwise diminishing local lower class. This undermines the advanced middle class character of the receiving society. 

The problem created is a twofold one. For one thing, the remaining unskilled of the indigenous labor force is the product of an abandoned training system. There was a time when menial jobs matched the number of the unskilled. Today the aging low qualifiers are endangered, and they become structurally unemployed. No economic upturn in the developed economies will bring back their disappearing jobs. In the light of this, some immigrant groups are, even prior to their arrival, redundant. Their language skills, schooling, but especially their resistance to the ways of their host countries, renders their employability difficult.   

Now, then, poverty might be hard, but if it is traditional and wide spread, it can be accepted as it is tolerated in “traditional societies”. On the other hand, relative poverty in a host country that has a “progressive social order”, leads to seething hatred. This is likely even if poverty takes place on a higher level than in the “old country”. Naturally, the greater the extent of self-ghettoization, the more vigorous will be the rejection of local ways to protect ones traditional “identity”. The more this happens, the greater will be the gap between expectations and achievements. The result is separatism, an outsider role, and the inclination to blame a hostile and discriminative environment for it.  

In the light of the foregoing examination of one aspect of migration, the present’s policy regarding certain types of relocation appears to be a dead ended undertaking. The dead-end is true from the point of view of the migrant as well as the society that accepts him. The problems of the areas from which highly mobile masses exit only to resist integration at their new domicile, needs to be dealt with.  The original ailment cannot be overcome by accepting more (millions) of people and by extending more support payment to maintain them. Local problems demand local solutions. These are not only cheaper if administered at the source, but they also become more effective if, instead of posturing, the helpers attend to the roots of ailments.