Organizing Principles

Germany is trying to figure out some sort of an organizing principle to engage with immigrants and is declaring that people who leave their countries because of economic hardship will not be accepted while those who flee war will.

The organizing principle here is pity. The immigrants are classified based on which ones among them are “deserving” of more compassion. From the very beginning, an immigrant is placed into a relationship with the locals that cannot be based on equality. In order to be accepted, an immigrant will have to strive to look as pitiful as possible to “prove” he’s worthy of compassion.

As the resources that European countries can spare for immigrants diminish, immigrants will be forced to engage in ever more exuberant spectacles of misery to titillate the jaded palates of the Westerners.

6 thoughts on “Organizing Principles”

  1. I’ve thought about this more than anything else and everything I’ve read and learned seems to point in one direction: This is the EU’s way (one way at least) of hastening the end of the nation state (and the social goodies that came along with it).

    Economically it makes no sense. Large scale muslim immigration to Europe is a known quantity. And behind the feel good slogans, when you look at the numbers it’s basically been an economic disaster (AFAICT there’s not a single country where muslim immigrants and their children put more into the system than they take out). Over half the population being dependent on welfare seems to be the norm.

    Politically it makes no sense since there’s no vetting until the migrants arrive in their destination country (and they’re not held once they’re refused asylum so they can disappear into ghettos and live off the underground economy).

    As charity it makes no sense because all the data suggests to a large majority not being Syrian (70 or so percent non-Syrian is the lowest estimate I could find). The ones who are in need can’t afford to pay the transport across Turkey or the smugglers along thne way.

    That pretty much leaves planned destruction as the only remaining alternative. A steady stream of people dealing with culture shock trauma and being surrounded by things they’ve been conditioned to view as immoral will definitely weaken the social capital of any country and lead to natives and newcomers being at each other’s throats forever and needing the government to intervene in their petty disputes.


    1. What’s really bizarre is that I missed this comment and only found it through Mike ‘ s blog. I need to kill this stupid app I use.

      I think this is a very productive direction of analysis. Probably the most productive.

      It’s especially curious that many Germans are almost religiously convinced that this is a great idea. They react to any questions about it, even the very cautiously formulated ones, as if they were heresy. There’s something that’s driving them, and it’s something very powerful. Normal, regular people who turn into fanatics on this one issue.


  2. Why do you keep saying that the nation-state system is going away? There’s no evidence of that at all. (The EU is going to vanish, but who cares?)

    The borders on all the maps of the world will disappear when the human race is extinct — not going to happen in my lifetime, or in the lives of our great-grandchildren. The final event horizon keeps showing its ghost in the first false light of every dawn, but it never quite arrives.


    1. Translation: The human race and its afflictions will keep on going, and survive all of us, in reasonably good shape for generations to come. Sturm und Drang — forget it, that’s for kids.


      1. As for borders, they are already meaningless. A company picks up and moves wherever it’s more convenient and the nation-state is impotent to stop or even detain it. Capital is no longer tied to the physical spaces of factories and the need to negotiate with local work force. It moves around with lightning fast speed, making a mockery of borders. Look at Uber, for instance. It goes wherever it wants, no matter how inconvenient it is to the local, less mobile businesses.

        The power elites have become entirely divorced from any specific territory. They have a collection of passports and follow the capital wherever it goes.

        The borders have become entirely permeable to the information flows of the Internet. And the geographic borders are so risible that people all over the world fantasize about reinforcing them with physical walls.

        This is not the end of the world or anything close. It’s simple an end of a short-lived state model. There will be many more in the future, just like there were many more in the past.


  3. I’m not the one who’s saying this. 🙂 There has been a consensus among philosophers, analysts, presidential advisors of all political stripes, etc since about the late 1980s that the nation-state model is being eroded.

    There was a great series of posts about this a little over a year ago:


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