Refugees are people usually in need of safety, sustenance and sometimes freedom. Naturally good-natured, well-intentioned people want to help by allowing refugees into their country. They think of their own heritage which, especially for North Americans, nearly always includes a legacy of ancestors from overseas coming here and working hard to build a better life for themselves. Most people with that heritage consider it hypocritical not to welcome refugees. However, there are two huge differences between immigrants of the past and today’s refugees.
One difference is that yesterday’s refugees needed to be, or become, self-reliant. There was no welfare state to promise free housing, free food, etc. There was private charity, both institutional (usually from churches) or individual, but there was little to no state assistance. Immigrants did not represent an economic loss to others but an economic gain as they proved to be a willing and hard working labour force and eventually a new source of investment capital. They did not “steal” other people’s jobs or tax money. They created jobs and quickly became another source of tax revenue for government to squander.
Today the state confiscates property from taxpayers (everyone) and pays for the transportation, housing, food, education, health, etc. needs of refugees. This is wrong. Threatening violence to one group to extort money (taxes) and then using that money to do good to others is not a recipe for social harmony. State welfare is based on force, violence. Private welfare is based on charity. The willfully blind don’t see the obvious difference. You are not being charitable if you (or state agents acting on your pseudo-authority) force others to provide for these refugees. Neither is the person whose property is confiscated. State welfare takes charity out of the equation entirely. When one voluntarily, charitably, helps another, a bond is created. State welfare creates resentment all around. Those who receive demand more. Those deprived resent those who received and those whose idea of charity is to be oh so willing to give away other people’s money.
The other difference is that refugees of the past shared important values with those who received them. It’s not a matter of being European, or white, or any of those red-herrings skillfully abused by the left to instill guilt. It is that they were Christian, per se, either, but that they shared the Judeo-Christian values of respect for the life and freedom of others – they rejected violence, both by individuals or groups, as a legitimate means to an end. This is not the case with most Muslims.
This point is illustrated by the Turkish soccer fans booing and shouting “Allahu Akbar” during the minute of silence for the French victims of the Paris terror attacks. I had to listen to it myself before I would believe that it was not just a small but vocal minority. Instead a distressingly large percentage of Muslims generally support ISIS. Yes, it is true that not all Muslims are violent extremists, but it does seem that a large portion of them are.
In the Book of Mormon there was a great military leader named Moroni. Captain Moroni famously led his troops with a banner that proclaimed that they were fighting in defence of their lives and freedom. When he succeeded in subduing those who had committed aggression against his people he gave his former enemies a choice – renounce violence or die. That is the choice immigrant refugees should face. Renounce the initiation of violence as a means to an end.
But renouncing violence doesn’t just mean promising not to strap a bomb to your body and boarding a bus. It also means promising not to support the state in threatening violence to extort money from others (taxation) or to compel what the state condones as good behaviour. Understood in this way renouncing violence, and being held to that renunciation, would mean that admitting refugees would be neither a safety concern, nor an economic one.
But what good is an oath from a terrorist – s/he would just lie. Agreed. This suggestion is not offered as a practical way for the state to solve its current Syrian refuge problem. My suggestion is meant to highlight the fact that violence is the necessary basis for the existence of the state. Do you want to solve the state’s problem of how to forbid violence by others while preserving its own violent existence? If you do, then you’ll get no help from me.
I refuse to accept the premise of my statist enemies. I am no longer a reformer but a (non-violent) revolutionary. The only way for the state to survive is to control people, all people. The only way for us to have peace, harmony and prosperity is to replace the state with voluntary organizations that respect the individual liberty of nonviolent people while imposing quick and effective countermeasures against those who initiate violence. As nation states fail to provide for both the security and liberty of their captive citizens and as technological progress provides a means for such voluntary organizations to develop as viable alternatives, we will have both the incentive and the opportunity to opt out of the nation-state system and build a peaceful and prosperous new society. In the meantime we are in for a lot of chaos – a mess caused by the inherent contradiction of depending on an institution whose existence depends on violence to eradicate violence.
So yes, let the refugees come. Border guards leave your posts. The sooner that everyone who supports the state in any way stops, the faster we can build a society based on peace rather than violence.