Duly Noted – Immigration and Its Challenges


About resentful migrants and their hosts.

There are countries with a tradition of taking in immigrants. Among them are the USA, Canada, and Australia. Newly, there are countries that are forced to accept masses of entrants that have not received immigrants until recently. The former group attracted newcomers drawn to them by the “opportunity” offered as welcoming present. That meant that entrants could seek personal betterment on the terms of their receiver’s successful system.

Only recently have the latter category of countries, located mainly in the wealthy western part of Europe, become “fashionable”. Individually, the inflow secures entry by claiming to be “persecuted”. The choice of this zone correlates with the easy access to a generous welfare system. These benefits, conceived for the contributors of the system, extend assistance for “being there” and for applying.

The “unlimited opportunities” opened by traditional immigrant countries extend a right to build that “city on the hill”. The implication is to go unhindered from “rags to riches” – or to stay in rags. This approach has been replaced by sharing the receiving community’s existing wealth. “Rags” are not an option and the “riches” are not assumed to be a goal to be achieved by exertion. A comfortable “something” between these extremes is guaranteed, regardless of the applicant’s personal record. Institutions to disburse what contributing citizens have created, and see to it that, ignoring inputs, all are served.

With that said, we can summarize. In one instance, we have a system of individualistic equalitarianism. It accepts that those who put themselves under the system are, by choice or by ability, different in decisive ways. Accordingly, dissimilar degrees of success are assumed to come about. Meanwhile, it is expected that the chances provided will make the deserving stand out. Europe’s approach is more suspicious of achievers and distrusts the self-made man. President François Hollande’s declared dislike of the “rich” is illustrative. Immigration is not viewed as the beginning of a career that excels, but as a license. Once nationalized one is to vote “correctly” in exchange for sustenance upon request. “Creative individualism” is the adjective that fits the first case. “Collectivist participation” is the attraction of the European approach, which makes one think of the “S” word. That is the source of the theory behind a praxis that cuts the umbilical cord between performance and benefits.

The host’s approach to immigration has an impact on the collective success of immigrants. The pledge of a socially accepted minimum will discourage striving. The guaranteed lower middle class life corresponds to a living standard above that of the elites of some “old countries”. The promise sets in motion a selection process that predates immigration and which is often achieved by falsely invoking the protections due the persecuted. It is alleged that, ultimately, every people gets the government it deserves. If applied here, it seems that host countries get the immigrants they deserve.

No matter which national case we examine, immigrants will be diversely successful. Evidence from the cases you might know, indicates that success and failure is stratified. Inconveniently, in violation of PC dogma, this correlates with ethnic backgrounds. More accurately, the differences reflect “culture”. Officially, we are told that all cultures are “wonderful” and “equal”. Nevertheless, once PC is ignored, the results become revealing.  All this provokes a question: is individual migration across an ocean an advantage over moving in a group across a symbolic line drawn across the land?

Without implying personal merit, your columnist must admit to “membership” in a high achieving group. His countrymen have benefited their hosts. Once a knowledgeable person told the writer that, the physics of the 20th century are “Hungarian Physics”. Put that down to an exaggeration. Nevertheless, it is true that Teller (the father of the H-bomb) and Szilárd, another “Hunky”, were aware of the nascent Nazi nuclear bomb. So they drove Einstein, who acted as their “poster girl”, to a meet Roosevelt. The encounter convinced FDR to launch the Manhattan Project that secured the survival of the Free World against Stalin’s hordes.  

What makes an immigrant successful? The criterion is his will and ability to contribute to his chosen society while he improves his own lot. Doing so has much to do with the knowledge that is brought along. Even more important is an imported attitude. The useful and deserving settler is aware of several matters. It begins with awareness of the defects of the system that made him into a refugee. Experience will convince him of the benefits of a good system. Such an individual will want to re-launch his life. He will do so by accepting the order that made his chosen society superior to the one of his origin. Note: doing so does not require the abandonment of traits that make a person unique. At the same time, joining by choice a new order obligates one to accept its norms.

Those that truly flee oppression are conscious of the retrograde features of the system into which they were born. They render a judgment by leaving it, and by entering a new home, and they acknowledge the superiority of its system. The consequence is that such persons are aware of a moral obligation to their hosts. Therefore, they willingly obligate themselves to adjust to the conditions they find. These “conditions” will be perceived as prerequisites of individual and collective success. The problem of some new immigrants is that they insist on living the life they have allegedly fled while they also demand to share the benefits of their new country. In doing so, they refuse to adjust, decline to exploit new opportunities, and contemptuously rebuff the values that have created the wealth of those that harbor them. Frequently, this senseless but also arrogant attitude involves a repudiation of the duties that are implicitly accepted when applying for admission. This can go so far that, invoking “human rights”, the demand is articulated that the hosting society must adjust its economic, political and social order to their imported – and failed – system.

We need to remember here that success is man-made. The realization of personal goals depends on a context defined by attitudes, institutions and laws. Rejecting these implies that one has opts for failure. Seeing this, one is made to ask why those that raise such demands have left their great home and its wonderful way of life. The claim suggests that, the order they had left is perceived as representing moral standards that are superior to those of the new society in which they, of their own volition, seek membership. The resulting lawlessness, the implied insults and the abuses of (unearned) rights have expectable consequences. These are to the detriment of legitimate and reasonable immigrants. The provocations and the crime rate of the allegedly persecuted that feel free to act as insolent colonizers, provoke inchoate anti-foreign attitudes. Those that flee misery in the search of generous welfare services abuse not only their protectors but also ignore their enlightened self-interest. Therefore, the disillusioned response to the abuse is an expression of belated social self-defense.


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