Don’t make a moral melodrama out of the migrant crisisAnd, Class War against Euros, by Euros:
"The hyper-moralism of the sad-for-refugees narrative wrenches this large-scale movement of people from its political, global context, meaning even some of the contributing authors to the exodus from Syria (Western governments), and those who have traditionally been cagey about migration (the Labour Party, tabloids, trade unions), can assume the role of humanitarian saviours. The bad-faith depiction of this swell of humanity as a kind of politics-free natural disaster, or something whose origins lie entirely Over There, means it can be casually moralised, turned into a platform for posturing by the concerned classes.
Such moral preening is now widespread. Indeed, the value of the refugees seems to lie in the extent to which, through playing dutiful humanitarian victims, they might help Western politicians assume the role of smiling saviour and in the process repair their flagging moral authority. It’s well known that sections of the hard right have a tendency to dehumanise asylum seekers, treating the complex human beings who cross borders as an amorphous threat. Over the past week we have seen that the other side in this discussion, those who pose as friends of migrants, also play the dehumanisation game. Where the right criminalises migrants, liberals infantilise them, reducing them from moral agents who have made a decision to migrate to childlike victims in need of rescue by virtuous Westerners. The much-shared, wept-over photo of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi spoke to the new Western view of the migrant: as hapless, helpless; pathetic; children requiring our care. The hard right juxtaposes itself to the threatening migrant; the pseudo-humanitarian left presents itself as lifesaver to the childish migrant. Both sides dehumanise them, for self-serving reasons."
"It isn’t only virtue signalling we’re witnessing; it’s moral differentiation, the creation of a new dividing line between those who care about refugees (Us) and those who don’t (Them). The migrants are being marshalled to the culture wars by European observers keen to distance themselves from sections of their own societies. This is why observers talk ominously of the problem of ‘public attitudes’, by which they mean the racism, as they see it, of the masses. Why Yvette Cooper calls on the political class to avoid giving into ‘the politics of fear’ promoted by sections of the media. Why EU officials warn against the use of inflammatory rhetoric. Because in their eyes, there are good, humanitarian people who are willing to welcome refugees, and bad, fearful, isolationist people who pose a threat to refugees. They have turned refugee-friendliness into the new moral litmus test, separating the well-informed from the public and its bad ‘attitudes’.The huge culture war opportunity for the SJW Leftists is both the obvious Class Warfare of nouveau-Marxism, and blatant anti-democracy in action. The EU has been anti-democracy from the get-go, being ruled from Brussels by unelected bureaucrats. It is the perfect cauldron within which to eradicate remnants of free thought and action. Islam, which shares the anti-democracy ideology of the Left, will provide the stew in the cauldron. It will come to a boil at some point.
The refugee crisis is also being used to resuscitate the moral divide between civilised Western Europe and allegedly backward Eastern Europe. The Guardian calls on Brussels to ‘counter and denounce’ Hungary for its refusal to treat refugees fairly, warning that Hungary’s anti-refugee stance ‘enjoys support among other central European governments’. The attitudes of these nations are ‘a disgrace’. Both within individual nations and across the EU, the refugee crisis has been turned into an opportunity for moral differentiation. Increasingly, being ‘pro-migrant’ is a cynical means of advertising one’s own probity through handwringing over the attitudes of one’s own native masses and the ‘disgraceful’ policies of bovine Eastern nations. Thus are migrants made into fodder for a culture war.
Most depressingly of all, the new narrative is explicitly about evading public engagement on this issue. A democratic discussion is the last thing Euro-officials want. But if Europe is to be turned into the new home for dispersed humanity, with hundreds of thousands coming here, surely publics should get to discuss it first? Seems not. After all, ‘public attitudes’ are bad. And so we have Angela Merkel, Francois Hollande and EU officials devising quotas for each EU nation, effectively instructing us on how many refugees we must take. This highly undemocratic solution to the refugee crisis shows how utterly distrusted European publics are. Indeed, through the refugee crisis EU officials are seeking to recover their moral authority, which was called into question during the Greek financial crisis of recent months, particularly their authority to impose on nations, and their publics, preordained political set-ups. The pseudo ‘open borders’ approach among European officials is not a genuinely liberal sentiment; it is the latest expression of the EU’s long-term project of weakening national and popular sovereignty and concentrating decision-making on important political matters in the hands of elites, far from ‘public attitudes’."