A few weeks ago, Peter Sutherland made it clear to the House of Lords that he believed European countries must be forced to become multicultural through further opening their borders to mass immigration from Africa and Asia. Earlier this week, we had the first release of data from the 2011 census that revealed that the officially recorded population of England and Wales had grown at the fastest rate over any 10-year period since the census began in 1801, with this rise being fuelled predominantly by an historically unprecedented wave of immigration and higher birth rates amongst the immigrant-descended population. Yet, despite economic crisis, permanent mass unemployment, a housing shortage and increasing social Balkanisation, Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Internal Affairs, has reiterated her belief in an interview with Le Monde that “Immigration will be necessary for Europe”.
In the interview, conducted in Brussels and published on 10 July, Malmström elaborated upon her earlier comments that immigration to the EU constituted “not a threat, but an opportunity” and should be considered as “a factor of growth”. Moreover, she has described the Arab Spring as an “historical opportunity”, but was critical of the manner in which the EU had reacted, believing that popular hostility to being flooded by a human exodus from North Africa had “led to a deterioration of our relations with these countries”. In her evaluation of the outcome of the Arab Spring she naively interprets it as expressive of “reclaiming liberty and the rights of man”. Quite how that squares with the Muslim Brotherhood coming to power in Egypt, Islamists winning elections in Tunisia and dominating post-Qaddhafi Libya, it is difficult to say, for by any rational and objective set of criteria Islamism sets itself in direct opposition to the notion of such rights, for Islam recognises the supremacy of its ‘divine’ Sharia over all manmade law.
Although it may be wise to follow Zhou Enlai’s cryptic comment about the impact of the French Revolution (was he referring to 1789 or to 1968?) by stating that “it is too soon to say” what the eventual outcome of the Arab Spring may be, what seems to have happened thus far is that one form of authoritarianism has been substituted for another. Particularistic national authoritarianisms have been traded for a religious variant, with a limited national colouration and universalist aspirations. Malmström appears incapable of grasping this primary fact, this incomprehension seemingly rooted in her inability to see beyond an economistic reductionism which fails to take into account the centrality of people’s cultural identities, as well as their economic situation. Her thinking, if perhaps not strictly speaking Marxist, is certainly in this respect Marxisant.
This blindness to the salience of culture, and to its deep civilisational underpinnings which find expression in structuring distinctive worldviews and psychologies, thus leads individuals such as Malmström to view human beings as interchangeable economic units, not as distinctive beings imbued with integral identities without which there can be no meaningful sense of self. Although the Mediterranean world may have been unified politically and to a considerable extent culturally during late Antiquity, it no longer is so, and has not been since the arrival of Islam in the Seventh Century. To ignore the fundamental differences that have grown since this time is myopic in the extreme, and whereas recognition of this difference is well understood in the Muslim world, it is systematically denied by those of a PC multiculturalist bent in Europe.With Malmström, the spirit of Euromed is very much alive and kicking.
Ignorance of the centrality of culture is leading to the adoption of disastrous demographic and economic policies for native Europeans. Le Monde, unsurprisingly gave Malmström a sympathetic platform, formulaically referring in pejorative fashion to “the rise of populist and xenophobic forces” in northern Europe, with the interviewee singling out Geert Wilders for special opprobrium. Malmström peddles the official EU line that is familiar to all in Britain today that mass immigration is “necessary” because of our ageing societies. This assertion is false. We have permanent mass unemployment and it should be our aim to match the unemployed with the vacancies in our economy. Where they lack the requisite skills, they should be trained. Moreover, as Greece knows much to its cost, many immigrants possess no skills, and come in search of only what they can take by way of benefits, wishing to assert their “human rights” without taking on any national responsibilities.
Malmström’s opinions are therefore far from unusual amongst members of the EU’s governing oligarchy, but we should take note of what she says because of her influential position and consequent ability to shape policy. I close therefore with her words on the need for the “new immigration”, the implications of which I ask you to reflect upon:
Yes, but the reality is there. The role of the Brussels Commission is also to encourage politicians to take this into account. To envisage the problems in the long term, and to rise above national contingencies. Besides, the academic world considers what I say to be perfectly commonplace …