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Christianity As National Suicide Pact

Here is a July 5 from the Vatican’s Migration & Refugees office:

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Translation: Immigrants make it possible to solve a problem that the current social security system is not able to face, namely the reduction in the number of Italian workers.

Italy’s unemployment rate is 10.9 percent. Its youth unemployment rate — the highest in the EU — is at almost 20 percent 31.9 percent [4]. But according to the Vatican, Italy needs more immigrants to solve its labor shortage problem.

Here is one from the day before:

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It’s a quote from Francesco Montenegro, a Sicilian Cardinal Archbishop, and head of the Italian Catholic bishops’ migration committee: “Migrants, the poor are a thermometer for our faith. Not accepting them, above all by closing our hearts, is not believing in God.”

You don’t support opening the door to the flood of migrants to your country, Italians? You don’t believe in God. So says the Vatican, by retweeting this cardinal’s comment.

According to The Guardian, the Catholic Church in Italy is ramping up in favor of mass migration. [7] Excerpts:

Gianfranco Formenton, a priest in Italy’s central Umbria region who has long preached against racism and in support of migrants, knows what it is like to clash with Matteo Salvini [8], the recently installed interior minister and leader of the far-right League party.

In response to the party’s xenophobic rhetoric in 2015 – the year more than a million migrants arrived in Europe and 150,000  [9]landed on Italy’s southern shores [9] – he put a sign up on the door of his church in San Martino di Trignano, a hamlet of the town of Spoleto, saying: “Racists are forbidden from entering. Go home!”

He immediately bore the wrath of Salvini, who wrote on Twitter: “Perhaps the priest prefers smugglers, slaveholders and terrorists? Pity Spoleto and this church if this man [calls himself] a priest.”

Think of it! If you believe your country’s borders mean something, then according to this priest, you are a racist who is not welcome in the church.

It gets worse. According to a story in Il Giornale about priests all over Italy becoming migration advocates, Raffaele Nogaro, the retired bishop of Caserta:

The two read the words spoken in an interview by Monsignor Raffaele Nogaro, bishop emeritus of Caserta, in which he said he was ready to “turn all the churches into mosques if it were useful to the cause and if it allowed to save the lives of men and women.”

Think about that. Just think about it.

Keep in mind that this is not about Syrian war refugees, but economic migrants from Africa, who have been pouring into Italy. Now that Salvini has closed Italian ports, Spain — now governed by Socialists — has become the preferred port of entry for these so-called asylum seekers. Reuters: [10]

People-smugglers in Morocco use a rights activist to contact the coastguard, advising it when boats set off for Spain, said coastguard official Oriol Estrada.

“The people traffickers know that the lifeguards are going to come for them,” said Estrada, whose vessel has rescued around 1,200 people so far this year, more than 80 percent of its total for 2017.”They call to say that a certain boat has left such-and-such a coast at a certain time with however many people. They even give the names of those aboard.”

A similar situation developed off Libya before Rome’s recent crackdown, prompting Italy’s ruling League party to accuse rescue ships of running a “taxi service”.

But in Italy, at least, bishops (including the Bishop of Rome) and many priests aid and abet the human smugglers in the name of humanitarianism.

This is suicidal sentimentality. Think of it: a retired bishop said he would turn his churches into mosques for the sake of welcoming migrants. A cardinal says to turn away migrants is to disbelieve in God. A priest orders Catholics who oppose open borders to stay away from church, because they are racist.

As an exasperated Italian Catholic friend said to me today, “This really is The Camp of the Saints.”

The Camp of the Saints, written by Jean Raspail, is a very controversial dystopian novel from 1973 that depicts an invasion by sea of France by Third World migrants, and the moral collapse of French and European institutions in advance of their landing. Three years ago, I read it, and declared it a “bad book,” [11]both morally and aesthetically, but an important one to read because despite its frank racism in parts, it tells — and tells roughly — some important truths. From my 2015 post:

Raspail, a traditionalist Catholic and far-rightist, draws in broad strokes a portrait of a France that has given up. All the country’s institutions and leaders across the board decide that it is the moral duty of all Frenchmen to welcome the armada with open arms. Raspail is at his satirical best mocking the sentimental liberal humanitarianism of the political, media, and clerical classes, all of whom look to the armada as a form of salvation, of redemption for the West’s sins. As I wrote here the other day, the scenario reminds me of the exhausted civilization in Cavafy’s poem “Waiting For the Barbarians.” A couple of years ago, Cavafy translator Daniel Mendelsohn wrote in The New Yorker about the poem and the poet’s political vision [12] (Mendelsohn’s translation of the poem is in the article). Excerpt:

Cultural exhaustion, political inertia, the perverse yearning for some violent crisis that might break the deadlock and reinvigorate the state: these themes, so familiar to us right now, were favorites of Cavafy. He was, after all, a citizen of Alexandria, a city that had been an emblem of cultural supremacy—founded by Alexander the Great, seat of the Ptolemies, the literary and intellectual center of the Mediterranean for centuries—and which had devolved to irrelevancy by the time he was born, in 1863. When you’ve seen that much history spool by, that much glory and that much decline, you have very few expectations of history—which is to say, of human nature and political will.

More:

The cardinal sins in Cavafy’s vision of history and politics are complacency, smugness, and a solipsistic inability to see the big picture. What he did admire, extravagantly, were political figures who do the right thing even though they know they have little chance of prevailing: the great “losers” of history, admirable in their fruitless commitment to ethical behavior—or merely sensible enough to know when the game is up.

Raspail blames France’s elites for this too, with reference to the problem of multiculturalism and migration. He even waylays the fictional pope, “Benedict XVI” (remember, the book was written in 1973), a Latin American (Brazilian) who sells all the treasures of the Vatican to give to the Third World poor, and who exhorts Europe to thrown open its doors to the migrant horde.

More:

Even a bad book may have something valuable to say to us. This is true of The Camp of the Saints. One aspect of the novel that I can’t shake off, though, is Raspail’s portrait of the migrants as not giving a damn about European civilization. It’s nothing personal; rather, they don’t believe they are coming to Europe as beggars who ought to be grateful for charity, but move as a mass that believes it is entitled to what the Europeans have. Europeans, by contrast, are, in the book, the ones who agonize over their civilization, whether it is worth defending, and what it means to be truly Western. The leaders in Camp of the Saints are not consciously surrendering, but rather they mask their cultural surrender with humanitarianism. They think that by flinging their doors open to the Third World masses, they are being good Westerners.

This is why the real villains in Raspail’s novel aren’t the migrants, but the European elites. He believes, it appears, that the Europeans ought to do whatever it takes to defend their civilization from the barbarian invasion. Raspail denounces contemporary France, though, as an exhausted civilization that is eager to be relieved of its burdens. To borrow a line from Cavafy, “those people, the barbarians, were a kind of solution.”

This blog used to have a German reader who wrote from time to time about how he despised Christian leaders in his country for leading the charge to open the borders to migrants. He believed that they were destroying his country. I wonder how Italians, including Italian Catholics, think about what the Pope and many of their bishops and priests are doing on the migration front. The choices these bishops and priests are making, and urging their flock to make, will affect untold future generations of Italians. Do ordinary Catholic laymen in Italy agree that being faithful to Christianity requires national and civilizational suicide? Will they come to blame the clerical class for the destruction of their civilization, and any violence yet to come?

If you were an Italian Catholic, who would you trust more to look out for your interest, and the interest of the Church in your country: Matteo Salvini, or Pope Francis? Normally it would be a crazy question, but these are not normal times.

176 Comments (Open | Close)

176 Comments To "Christianity As National Suicide Pact"

#1 Comment By Eddie Mack On July 12, 2018 @ 10:20 am

[NFR: I can’t speak for Raskolnik, but my guess is that because you are an American, acculturated here in America, he’s not talking about you. I could be wrong. — RD]

I am a black American, but his type paints all blacks (American and African) as savages.

#2 Comment By collin On July 12, 2018 @ 11:19 am

I still don’t this national suicide stuff. No longer is it that immigrants may keep unskilled wages down or they use too many state welfare programs or there is a higher rate of crime for third generation, but it is now a National Suicide Stuff. The number of African Immigrants is still low in Europe and the crime rates of Immigrants is still below the natives for the most part. (It is second or third generation migrants that crime then rises.) All this crying when Brexit Conservative government is coming apart at the seams because of Polish Immigrants were ruining British society. (Remember it was East European Immigrants that pushed Brexit vote not AFrican.)

And in terms of US national suicide, the states HRC gained the most in Texas, Arizona, and California should be the ones that move towards Trump if Immigrants hurt their states. Instead they are the ones that are against the wall the most, although because we know it will be ineffective and an ugly eyesore in 10 years.

The Christian and especially the Catholic Church has always been welcoming the poor and it is good to see in SoCal they continue proving the Churches in our neighborhoods.

#3 Comment By mrscracker On July 12, 2018 @ 12:12 pm

I saw this article online that offers another perspective:

“When Europeans once flocked to North African shores

Mass-migration goes both ways.
…Until the first half of the 20th century, it was rare for men, women and children to cross the South Mediterranean from North Africa in a bid to reach the shores of Europe and beyond.

On the contrary, Italians, French, Spanish and Greeks flocked to North Africa, fleeing poverty and overpopulation in their own countries. They sought their fortunes on fresh soil, in Maghreb and in the trans-Atlantic colonies.

North African (rather than European) countries were also a landing point, not only for African slaves forced to cross the Sahara but also, until the mid-19th century, for Caucasian, Georgian and Greek slaves, following their uprisings against the Ottoman Sultans in the 1820s…”

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#4 Comment By mrscracker On July 12, 2018 @ 12:51 pm

collin ,
I think it’s a different situation in Europe, but yes, if you’re talking about So.CA, AZ, NM or TX how does Hispanic immigration change things culturally? It seems like they’re just adding more of what has been there historically.

Goodness, it seems like half the towns & streets are named for Spanish Missions or have a Spanish name: Los Angeles, San Antonio, etc. Well, perhaps “half” is an overstatement. But where in So. CA for instance have there not previously been Spanish speaking people & culture?

Some ranches on the US/Mexico border used to originally extend on both sides. The border cut through the middle of the Spanish land grant boundaries. And Spanish land grants extended all the way up through Louisiana & into Mississippi.
I understand the troubles with illegal immigration, am not for open borders, & believe we are a nation of laws, but I don’t get the “alien” invasion worries either.

#5 Comment By Centralist On July 12, 2018 @ 12:57 pm

What makes you think that pre-colonization Africa was not “a constant struggle for limited… resources?” Why do you think the Hutus and the Tutsis hated each other so much?

They hated each other so much because the Dutch gave favor to the Tutsi making them the upper class. Any group given power is going to abuse it is our nature I do believe. The hatred was purely political shown by the high rate of intermarriage between the two groups prior and after the genocide. You should read more detailed books for Rwanda I would recommend Africa’s World War by Gerard Prunier and Shake Hands with the Devil by Gen (ret) Romeo Dallaire.

If you are going to highlight Rwanda what about Yugoslavia?

#6 Comment By cka2nd On July 12, 2018 @ 2:14 pm

JonF says: “Rod regularly points out how the Left’s rhetoric pushes some people rightward– but that’s a two way street. The excessive rhetoric of the Right also pushes people left.”

As witness the movement of otherwise religiously conservative communities of East Asians, South Asians, Hispanics and Middle Easterners. I imagine the same goes African and Caribbean blacks, too, although I don’t remember seeing the data for those communities. We’re a long way from Rudy Giuliani in the days after 9/11 and George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election.

#7 Comment By JEinCA On July 12, 2018 @ 4:27 pm

I’m sorry my Latin faithful friends but what Rod is describing above is not Christianity. What it is, is Secular, Globalist, New World Order ideology disguised as Roman Catholicism. Maybe it’s time for to resurrect the Orthodox Patriarchy of Rome and to elect an Orthodox Pope to lead Western Europe out of the darkness and into the light that is Orthodox Christianity, the faith of their anciant ancestors.

#8 Comment By RATMDC On July 12, 2018 @ 7:06 pm

James: The Culture of Fear crops up pretty much everywhere. People fear the wrong things. If you bother to do the math, and take a look at the big picture and take the long view, you’d see that these dystopian nightmares of Europe being conquered are nonsensical. Some nefarious people are fanning the flames of the Culture of Fear. Don’t believe them.

Alex: “You live in some different quantum dimension where new factories appear from the air, alongside with new consumers for their products?”

No, I live in economic reality.

Speaking of which:

“International socialism: the Young Earth Creationism of political ideologies.”

Explain.

#9 Comment By Alex (the one that likes Ike) On July 13, 2018 @ 4:39 am

E.J. Worthing,

All dictatorships are bad.

Careful here. A dictatorship (under this very name) forged an empire whose culture we today call ours. And by “we” I mean every single person of European descent. There is no European nation whose culture was not replaced by that coming from Rome and Byzantium to a complete or considerable extent. And all thanks to one man – Julius Caeasar, a dictator in perpetuity.

***

RATMDC,

No, I live in economic reality.

Is that so? Then explain where you get those new factories (years to build) and new cosumers (generations to grow, if the fertility rate is above replacement) from? Otherwise you live anywhere, but in reality.

#10 Comment By JonF On July 13, 2018 @ 8:58 am

Re: …paints all blacks (American and African) as savages.

Whenever racist ranters start pointing out episodes of Africa’s less savory past I have to assume they know nothing about European history since Europe has played host to some of history’s greatest horrors, including some still within living memory. Original Sin infects us all, and as Vergil had Aeneas ask futilely, “Is there no reason of the Earth free of our calamities?”

#11 Comment By JonF On July 13, 2018 @ 9:04 am

Er, “Region” not “reason”. Let autocorrect be anathema!

#12 Comment By JonF On July 13, 2018 @ 9:04 am

Re: There is no European nation whose culture was not replaced by that coming from Rome and Byzantium to a complete or considerable extent.

No, not “replaced”, rather fused and alloyed. Beyond the Rhine and Danube and Carpathians and across the North Sea especially native languages survived, enriched with Latin and Greek vocabulary. Greece itself obviously survived and in a sense triumphed culturally in Byzantium (and long before that they were saying “Captive Greece took her captor captive”.)

#13 Comment By mrscracker On July 13, 2018 @ 10:48 am

JonF says:

Whenever racist ranters start pointing out episodes of Africa’s less savory past I have to assume they know nothing about European history since Europe has played host to some of history’s greatest horrors, including some still within living memory…”
******************
Absolutely. And Europe did it with greater efficiency.

#14 Comment By Logical Meme On July 13, 2018 @ 11:48 am

So, are the dastardly Alt Right types who decry Christianity for engendering the pathological altruism that has led to the immigration disaster, are they still racist and xenophobic?

#15 Comment By RATMDC On July 13, 2018 @ 12:15 pm

“Is that so? Then explain where you get those new factories (years to build) and new cosumers (generations to grow, if the fertility rate is above replacement) from? Otherwise you live anywhere, but in reality.”

They don’t have to be factories! Migrants start businesses of all sorts, take over floundering industries or other economic activity, and adult migrants are consumers also.

For example, this bunch has definitely had some problems, but all things considered it’s a great story: [14]

Here’s Australia, faced with a similar situation: [15]

#16 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On July 13, 2018 @ 1:07 pm

What self-consciously Christian societies have done historically, while worth looking at, is not necessarily a good guide to determining a proper Christian theology and ethics.

It’s not dispositive, but it certainly should influence the way we think. Christians have had a lot of experience trying to think about the issues that you raise above, and if many of them have come to different conclusions than you, maybe it might be worth questioning if you could learn something from them.

In context, it’s not clear that Matthew 5:42 is referring exclusively to money. The two verses before it are “And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well” – referring to material goods beyond money – and “And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles” – which is referring not just to goods provided but also to services rendered, you might say.

Correct, but I’ll ask again, what does this have to do with immigration? Allowing mass migration isn’t really about providing people with goods and services, it’s about redefining concepts of membership and identity. It’s less akin to, say, providing labour for someone (which is what “walking a mile” means in context), or providing material goods, or providing money, than it is to welcoming someone into your tribe. As far as we can tell, Jesus took national and tribal distinctions for granted, and didn’t advocate that we all amalgamate into one human community. Yes, he advocated allowing yourself to be exploited in the name of charity. He didn’t, as far as I can tell, advocate steps that would lead to your nation and tribe (not just you personally) not merely being exploited but losing its separate identity.

If your point here is that we should treat African and Asian countries with justice and charity, I agree. I don’t agree that that requires mass immigration. In a lot of instances, allowing mass migration from country X is a really terrible thing for that country. Freedom of movement within Europe has been really bad for Eastern Europe for example, as it’s stripped the eastern countries of many of their most highly educated people. (Which was the whole reason that the old Communist bloc mostly banned emigration to begin with).

The problem is that today oftentimes I see people act as if totally open borders was the only alternative to totally closed borders; any attempts to approach immigration from a humane angle is met with the response of “you just want open borders” or even “you want to kill us all off and replace us with foreigners!” There’s a sense some people have that politics and life in general is a zero-sum game; if we provide help for people who are “not us”, whatever that “us” consists of, than “we” must be losing. This kind of person seems to believe that the best way to help yourself is to hurt The Other. Thus the focus among the right-wing of “owning the libs” and “liberal tears”, etc. And of course, there is a parallel phenomenon in the left. I reject the idea that we have to treat life as a zero-sum game, and I think that perspective is profoundly antithetical to Christ’s command to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

I don’t agree this is where most skepticism of mass migration is coming. You seem to be relying on personal experiences with “right wing” people here (and NB, I don’t consider myself on the right) rather than on evidence or logic. There’s nothing in being critical of mass migration, per se, that implies being uncharitable towards developing countries. There’s also nothing that requires seeing foreigners or ethnic outsiders as inferior or “sh*t hole” countries. Some immigration skeptics are in fact derisive and uncharitable towards, say, Africans or Central Americans. On this thread, for example, I’ve called out Raskolnik for his ignorant and callous approach to Africa, and his suggestion that colonialism was a good thing. Not every immigration skeptic shares his views, though. I certainly don’t.

For the record, you might be interested to know that a lot of the European governments and populace that are critical of mass migration also realize that economic development in Africa and the Middle East is the only long term solution to prevent mass migration from happening. Denmark for example, is both a major foreign aid donor and also one of the most conservative European countries on migration related issues. They’re starting to make explicit connexions between both of these issues.

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#17 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On July 13, 2018 @ 1:17 pm

During colonization, Africa was briefly occasionally a decent enough place to be.

You do realize that economic and social indicators in most of Africa are way up since the end of the colonial era, right? When I lived in Africa there were a few people who would point nostalgically to things like how the roads were better under the French. But I’d say that things like, say, much higher life expectancy and literacy today outweighed the quality of the roads.

Incidentally, even the worst post-colonial African genocides had a smaller death toll (proportionately) than some of the mass death episodes perpetrated in places like German Namibia, the Belgian Congo, French Equatorial Africa, etc.

Colonialism was wrong for many reasons, but one reason I object to colonialism is the same reason I object to mass migration, because I believe in self determination for ethnic groups.

“Hunter C–what a horribly inhumane response. Eliminate poverty and suffering by eliminating the poor and suffering, so that you may remain comfortable and prosperous.”

Contraception isn’t “eliminating” anyone, it’s preventing people from being conceived. Most African governments and most educated Africans today realize that overpopulation is a potentially horrific threat to the future well being of the continent. Your advocacy of continued high fertility in Africa is really irresponsible.

#18 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On July 13, 2018 @ 1:37 pm

I don’t believe morality is determined by popularity, whether historical popularity or present-day popularity. I want my beliefs to ultimately be rooted in something more timeless than that.

The problem is that if you totally discount what people of other ages thought about Christianity, you run the risk that your own beliefs are going to be rooted in, well, the preconceptions and assumptions of your own era, class, culture, etc..

You are correct that most commentators here are not making that argument, at least explicitly, although some come close, Raskolnik in particular. I suppose my perspective is colored by the conversations I’ve had with conservatives in which I express concern about the way immigrants to the US (and sometimes simply foreign-looking people in general) are being treated by the US government – the separation of children from their parents, the denial of medical care leading to miscarriages, ICE’s aggressive pursuit of deportation even for those who are in the country legally – and I end up getting the response “Well, I don’t want open borders” even though I wasn’t suggesting that.

First off, this conversation is about Italy, not the United States. I don’t think European immigration policies are a good model for the United States, or vice versa. I don’t even think that the immigration policy that works for, say, Denmark or Poland is the right immigration policy for Germany. Different countries face different costs and benefits, and in some cases the benefits of migration (for the people who want to migrate, and for the receiver countries) may be greater than the benefits. I think though that the loss of ethnic and cultural identity and homogeneity is definitely a cost that needs to be put into the ledger, even if it’s not dispositive or not always so.

If colonization is so great, maybe it will improve Europe as it did Africa.

Agreed.

I think colonization was terrible for Africa, and that colonizing powers need to make reparation for it. I just don’t think mass migration is the best solution.

As for civilization, I doubt either Northern Europe or sub-Saharan Africa is intrinsically much more of a violent or ‘savage’ place than the other. African countries are poorer than European ones today, but poverty doesn’t make you a savage nor does it make your country a “sh*t hole* country.

@Raskolnik: I would define fascism as a form of government with three features:

EJ WOrthing,

You can’t alternately expand the definition of fascism to cover, e.g. modern day Poland and Hungary when you want to draw the conclusion “Poland and Hungary are bad”, and then restrict it to the worst interwar European states like Nazi Germany when you want to draw the conclusion “Fascism is indefensible”.

If you define fascism as a country like Nazi Germany, or Tiso’s Slovakia, or Pavelic’s Croatia, no I certainly don’t think that’s a defensible form of government. If you define it as “an authoritarian state with an ethnically based conception of the nation” then yes, I think that would oftentimes be a defensible form of government. Depends on the specific degree and form of their authoritarianism, and on the means that they use to accomplish their goals. Neither ethnicity as the basis of the nation, nor nondemocratic government is inherently either good or bad.

To be clear, I don’t support everything that the anti-immigration side in Italy is doing. I think that the mayor of Venice’s threat to shoot anyone who shouts “God is great” in public is atrocious and should end him up in prison. I also think that mass migration into Europe has many more costs than benefits and should be reduced, and I hope that someday Africa and the Middle East are rich enough that some of the descendants of today’s migrants can consider returning to their historic homelands.

#19 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On July 13, 2018 @ 1:43 pm

There is no point in talking to him or to people like him. They hate us. They hate us down to their bones.

This kind of hysterical whining has got to be one of the most unintentionally comic things on this blog in a while.

No, no one here hates you. Grow up.

#20 Comment By Carl Kuss, L.C. On July 13, 2018 @ 1:45 pm

I repeat: the racist and the paganized money-grubbing European is the Hun that threatens Europe, not the refugee from Syria or from Somalia. The racist who claims he is following Charles Martel, or whoever, and therefore Jesus Christ is mistaken big-time. And please do not say that I am lacking historical culture. Western Culture is not a threatened culture at this moment; it is a dominant and arrogant culture, which has lost its Christian roots and become paganized. The refugee is a human being who must be addressed as such. He must be addressed IN HIS NEED. Either we follow the Gospel here or we turn against the Gospel. By practicing mercy the West can save its soul as yet.

#21 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On July 13, 2018 @ 1:51 pm

RATDMC,

You don’t get, do you, that people value things besides just money, and that they might be willing to sacrifice some economic growth in order to ensure ethnic and tribal survival? For a self-described anarcho-socialist, you sound a lot like the stereotypical capitalist here who think everything can be reduced to dollars and cents.

Also, as I’ve pointed out before, mass migration is a massively inefficient way to “help people” economically, because providing services to people in Europe is much more expensive than providing them to people in Africa.

As for Italian migration to the New World, has it ever occurred to you that that sort of thing was a massive catastrophe for, you know, the native peoples of the Americas? I don’t expect you to follow out your thoughts to their logical conclusions, since your typical debating style seems to be to jump to a new argument as soon as one doesn’t appear to be making much headway, but a little consistency would be great here. Was European mass migration to the New World a good thing or a bad thing in your book?

#22 Comment By RATMDC On July 13, 2018 @ 3:28 pm

“You don’t get, do you, that people value things besides just money, and that they might be willing to sacrifice some economic growth in order to ensure ethnic and tribal survival?”

I do get it, and I realize that ethnicities and tribes (perhaps not counting freely-chosen “urban tribes” based on shared interests) are the cause of countless pointless bloodshed throughout all of history. There’s no reason that people have to suffer because “those people” are different, and are thus seen with suspicion at best.

“For a self-described anarcho-socialist, you sound a lot like the stereotypical capitalist here who think everything can be reduced to dollars and cents.”

Market forces are real things. The important issue lies with who controls the means of production. Also, I don’t imagine that appealing to human rights and common decency will get far, so I look at baser reasons.

“Also, as I’ve pointed out before, mass migration is a massively inefficient way to “help people” economically, because providing services to people in Europe is much more expensive than providing them to people in Africa.”

It’s not about providing services, but providing opportunities of many kinds.

As for Italian and other *mass* migration to the New World, I was really referring to those who came after the Indian Wars were almost entirely finished. With that said, what you’re describing is a completely different venture, one of armed conquest and the (sometimes deliberate) spread of disease.

#23 Comment By Alex (the one that likes Ike) On July 13, 2018 @ 3:58 pm

JonF,

No, not “replaced”, rather fused and alloyed. Beyond the Rhine and Danube and Carpathians and across the North Sea especially native languages survived, enriched with Latin and Greek vocabulary. Greece itself obviously survived and in a sense triumphed culturally in Byzantium (and long before that they were saying “Captive Greece took her captor captive”.)

Languages? Surely. English also retained many of its Germanic features not only after a rather brief period under the Romans, but even after William’s conquest.

But culture as customs, mentality etc.? An awful lot more complicated. Christianity was too inseparable from Rome and Constantinople those days. You could not have accepted the religion without accepting the Greco-Roman culture already ingrained in it.

As an example, you can find frequent references to Greco-Roman deities or Homeric characters in European poetry of the 18-19th century. Could you say the same about Celtic, Nordic, Slavic etc. deities and epics? Well there were, but not nearly as frequent. It took more or less modern scientists to rediscover that. I seriously doubt that if two people as educated as you and me had had this discussion in the 19th century, they could have been referring to Odin, Perun, Lugus and others as routinely as we do. While Zeus and Venus were perfectly known to them.

***

RATMDC,

They don’t have to be factories! Migrants start businesses of all sorts, take over floundering industries or other economic activity, and adult migrants are consumers also.

For example, this bunch has definitely had some problems, but all things considered it’s a great story: [14]

Here’s Australia, faced with a similar situation: [15]

Huh? You mean those people coming to Italy to live on the streets like bums actually have money to start businesses and buy goods? Well, they’ve certainly got to be unknown kings and queens of Texas hold ’em. I could have never guessed.

***

Carl Kuss, L.C,

I repeat: the racist and the paganized money-grubbing European is the Hun that threatens Europe, not the refugee from Syria or from Somalia. The racist who claims he is following Charles Martel, or whoever, and therefore Jesus Christ is mistaken big-time. And please do not say that I am lacking historical culture. Western Culture is not a threatened culture at this moment; it is a dominant and arrogant culture, which has lost its Christian roots and become paganized. The refugee is a human being who must be addressed as such. He must be addressed IN HIS NEED. Either we follow the Gospel here or we turn against the Gospel. By practicing mercy the West can save its soul as yet.

I repeat: learn how Greeks and Romans managed the populations of their great civilization, one of the most long-lasting on this planet. Learn how such exemplary Christian rulers as Charlemagne and Charles Martel treated the “others”. Facts, dull and solid. Not your utterly empty claims that someone is “mistaking”. The concept of threat encompasses a liiiiiiiiiittle bit greater number of things than just a war. Terrorism. Uneployment. Crime. Unsanitariness. Should I continue the list?

So, unless you provide us with the aforementioned facts, dull and solid, you are historically ignorant. You have the right to stick to your opinion, but stop trying to make historical allusions using words like “Huns” etc. Otherwise you’ll keep on making a laughing stock out of yourself in the eyes of everyone who can tell Aristotle from Marcus Aurelius and Marcus Aurelius from Giuliano della Rovere.

#24 Comment By JonF On July 13, 2018 @ 5:59 pm

Re: As an example, you can find frequent references to Greco-Roman deities or Homeric characters in European poetry of the 18-19th century.

Well, a guy named Wagner wrote a famous set of operas based on Germanic mythology. Even today Thor (but not, say, Apollo) shows up on movie screens in his modern Avengers avatar. And in the 18th century a forger produced a huge poetic work which purported to be the ancient Celtic Homer (see: Ossianic poems) which were taken seriously as such for quite a few years until philologists began noticing some mistakes in the grammar relative to actual old Irish texts.
Slavic mythology was buried a bit more thoroughly– but at my church flea market this spring someone donated a scary book (in English) titled “The Legend of Baba Yaga”.
Oh, and The Lord Of The Rings, one of the most popular English language works of the 20th century, was strongly influenced by northern mythology– not at all by Greco-Roman themes.

#25 Comment By RATMDC On July 14, 2018 @ 12:27 am

“Huh? You mean those people coming to Italy to live on the streets like bums actually have money to start businesses and buy goods? Well, they’ve certainly got to be unknown kings and queens of Texas hold ’em. I could have never guessed.”

If they’re living on the streets like bums after risking their lives to get there, I don’t think that the fault lies with them.

#26 Comment By Alex (the one that likes Ike) On July 14, 2018 @ 4:26 pm

JonF,

Well, a guy named Wagner wrote a famous set of operas based on Germanic mythology.

As I said, there were, but not nearly as frequent. Today there are more of them, but that’s the influence of modern scientists’ researches already.

Even today Thor (but not, say, Apollo) shows up on movie screens in his modern Avengers avatar.

Apollo did it as well, in 1960s. Star Trek, season 2, ep. 2. The concentration of Greek and Roman motifs in that sci-fi series about space journeys was unusual to say the least.

And in the 18th century a forger produced a huge poetic work which purported to be the ancient Celtic Homer (see: Ossianic poems) which were taken seriously as such for quite a few years until philologists began noticing some mistakes in the grammar relative to actual old Irish texts.

And again, I’m not denying their existence, just as I said in my original comment. Though compare them not only to references, but even to the number of translations of one single Greek poem – Odyssey.

Slavic mythology was buried a bit more thoroughly– but at my church flea market this spring someone donated a scary book (in English) titled “The Legend of Baba Yaga”.

By the way, as far as I remember, the rediscovery of the Slavic pantheon happened largely due to one single scientist who worked somwhere around 1950s or 1960s.

Oh, and The Lord Of The Rings, one of the most popular English language works of the 20th century, was strongly influenced by northern mythology– not at all by Greco-Roman themes.

Yes. But, as you noted, this is the 20th century already. Tolkien himself was born in the last decade of the 19th century.

***

RATMDC,

If they’re living on the streets like bums after risking their lives to get there, I don’t think that the fault lies with them.

No, this is precisely their fault. Every person who heard the word “logic” at least once should expect such an outcome when heading somewhere that person was not invited.