Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Welfare Balkanization

My mother-in-law says the Civil War was God’s punishment for slavery. There’s something to that thesis. Looking back, the slavery debate’s degeneration into incivility and war seemed to be propelled by a supernatural force, by men operating not under their own power, but the compulsion of bewitching pride. The sequence of events that led up to the war, the especially bloody nature of the fighting, and the two sides pitting the country’s finest against each other, one side for an inhumane and obsolescent economic “institution”—all required a perfect, unrandom, orchestrated national and spiritual disunion. When you read how both sides hardened bitterly to the point of secession and war, you begin to understand what it means when the Bible says “the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart” (Exodus 9:12).

I’m tempted to posit supernatural punishment is befalling Europe with this immigrant crisis, for its abandonment of Christianity for secular humanism. Secular Europe isn’t just vacant from a below replacement fertility perspective, but also from a cultural perspective. It at once gave up the selflessness to personally minister to others and the implicit bonds of faith on those who receive charity directly. Real charity represents both a barrier to people who would take advantage and a draw to those open-minded to salvation in Jesus’ blood. The welfare state model made charity an official policy, removing the moral agency of the giver and the recipient. This enabled immigrants to not care where the money came from, and therefore to abuse it, and natives to not care where the money goes, as long as they don’t have to confront poverty in their daily lives. The impersonal giving of the secular welfare state assures no mixing of the poor and middle classes, and therefore no reconciliation of the home culture and the immigrant culture. Multiculturalism, the hallmark of post-World War II liberalism, is made possible by de facto segregationist welfare policies.

People of Turkish descent comprise 3 percent of the German population but 6 percent of welfare recipients; Turkish nationals comprise 2 percent of the population but 8.4 percent of means-tested, long-term unemployment benefits, according to a 2009 study. Turks were three times more likely to receive long-term unemployment benefits than native-born Germans. Turks lag behind other immigrant groups in Germany in terms of education, employment, and dependence on welfare. Their failure to integrate bodes ill for the 500,000 Syrians, Turkey’s southern neighbor, that Angela Merkel invited to the country.

The refugee appellation the media has granted the Syrians rings with irony as, weighed down with smartphones, Instagramming their journey, they pass through non-war-torn Turkey and the non-war-torn Balkans to reach the cushy welfare states of Europe. There’s a reason Syrians want to apply for “refugee” status in Germany. Germany’s welfare system offers a higher standard of living than less liberal countries like Serbia and Hungary. Syrian immigrants are less fleeing war than seeking to create their own cultural and economic space in the welfare state.

“The reality is that Europe is threatened by a mass inflow of people, many tens of millions of people could come to Europe. Now we talk about hundreds of thousands but next year we will talk about millions and there is no end to this.” –Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán

Secularism is a death cult, embracing abortion and euthanasia, so it’s unsurprising that it can’t rouse the energy to defend itself. A proper response to the Syrian immigrant crisis is to curtail all immigration, then to reform welfare and honestly assess where multiculturalism has gotten Europe and its citizens.

Related: “Liberal scrooges” and “What’s left of Europe.”

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