Greedy Goblin

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Immigration and the end of social democracy

Five years ago (damn I'm getting old) I wrote a post how social democracy is theoretically bad. Social democracy is a political ideology that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice (justice in terms of the distribution of wealth, opportunities, and privileges within a society) within the framework of a capitalist economy, and a policy regime involving welfare state provisions, collective bargaining arrangements, regulation of the economy in the general interest, redistribution of income and wealth, and a commitment to representative democracy.

My counter-argument was simple: as there is no statement among the ideas of social democracy that declares aliens lesser humans (actually it's explicitly condemned), if we take social democracy seriously, we must redistribute our wealth to Africans and other impoverished people. Which is reductio ad absurdum, since such redistribution would need like 90% taxes and leave all of us at the brink of starving. This isn't an exaggeration, the average GDP per capita in the planet is 10875, between Lebanon and Gabon. That's how everyone would live if perfect social justice would be reached (actually, we'd live much worse, but that's for another time).

However my statement had no practical consequence, as the impoverished weren't here to demand what's rightfully (according to the social democracy) theirs and there were no local people insane enough to demand it for them in their absence. So this fundamental error could simply be ignored. But recently something changed:

An unprecedented immigration wave hit Europe. They come in barges through the Mediterranean sea, they come trough the Turkey-Greece border, they come in every possible way. There are already millions arrived and more millions are on the way. There are literally billions at home, no different from the already left who will surely hit the road when they learn that their relatives or friends arrived into the social democratic wonderland where you can get food, health care and shelter for nothing.

This swarm will perform the reductio ad absurdum: Europe either gives up the social democratic idea or be reduced to failed states. There is no possible way for the 100M European taxpayers to be able to finance 2B welfare recipients. "Build a fence and keep them out" seems straightforward but it's directly conflicting not just with social democratic ideas but with basic human rights: many of the immigrants are asylum seekers who are running from mortal danger.

There are only two ways out of this:
  • Anti-social capitalism: they can enter and find asylum but they receive no welfare, equally to locals. Everyone, regardless of color, religion or gender must provide for himself trough work or find an individual who support him for personal reasons. Those who fail to provide for themselves can starve to death. Those who commit crimes to get resources must be punished harshly (including the right of the attacked person to defend himself with deadly force). Those who rise up against the order to loot and pillage must be destroyed by military force.
  • National-socialism (yes, Nazism), since only this ideology believes in redistribution among "us" and not to "them". Only a Nazi regime can upkeep the current status quo (taxpayers finance welfare recipients), since aliens are shot down on the borders like animals (as Nazis consider them animals).
Signs of the second "solution" are already showing, right wing extremist parties are rising rapidly, since only they offer protection from the swarming alien leeches (while they'd also stop alien productive people and give welfare to "aryan" leeches). Please note the tragic situation: right-wing extremists are better than social democrats in this desperate situation as they would "only" let aliens die (by locking them out and forcing them to stay in war-ravaged failed states), while trying to upkeep social democracy will cause our states to fail too, letting nearly everyone to die.

Obviously I'd prefer the first option, reduce welfare for everyone, integrate immigrants into the workforce and force leeches (aliens and inbreed equally) to work or let them starve.

PS: MoA keeps running when Goons show up with a fleet! Also, the new doctrine of Goons will surely make the hellcamp work.


Marek Zaborowski said...

I think, there is a third way. I would call it "above-rationalism" solution.

As data suggest, social-democracy and people participating in their communities have a great impact not only on well-being, by on almost every other "good" factor also. Just look on Scandinavia way from post-war destruction. So we shouldnt abbadon these ideas blindly, simply because the "ideas" that stand after them are wrong (and I do agree with Gevlon on this one. Helping someone simply because it is "right", not because it is "reasonable" is simply wrong.).

Why I suggest is: threat people as investments. Obviously, a kid that we educated, taken care of them, which is eager to work and be a productive citizen for our country is worthy a healthcare or help, when he fails or some tragedy happens. Supporting him in his dire time may be a good investment. Now, supporting someone that just want to leech is a terrible idea and in that iteration social democracy is bound to fail.

Nazism suggest to judge people by their nationality or race. Above-Rationalism suggest to judge them, by their potential. Current models suggest that we should help everyone or none (communism vs capitalism) and there is often metioned "third-way", which is nazizm (we help, but only "ours"). I opt for "fourth-way", we help these, that could turn out profit from.

Now things becomes tricky, as we knows most of people are not rational and that models heavly rallies on it. People would need to understand that we would help and finance RnD and free Unis, since its turns out profitable (few great inventions can turn 3 world country, into 2 if not tier 1) but in the same time we have to close down our mines, since coal become inefficient fuel source. But instead they would mostly claim, that this is "unfair" and "politicans are biased" (even more problematic, they really can be).

Anyway, Gevlon, I would like to interest You with the fact, that "socialists" policies and mechanisms can have rational backbone and You shouldnt disregard them simply because of flawed ideology they are attached too. Its like people would try to disregard capitalism based on guilds age. I agree with You, that UE countries failed because they acted irrational, but its not like capitalism is the only rational choice out there. Like China chairman said before he insisted reforms that railed China on 10% GDP growth "It dosent matter if a cat is black or white, what is matter if it cathes mices".

maxim said...

You have correctly identified the problem.

I should point out that this problem is not exactly new. In XX century alone, a somewhat similar failure of world order happened on the eve of WW I. Back then we also had multiple ethnicities that were vying for supremacy, and leaders thinking of ways to protect their powers.

However, i must point out that you have an exceedingly binary view of possible solitions, painted mostly by your bias towards asociality and against sociality.

Post-WW1 world found its temporary solution in communism. It served both as an example of relatively peaceful coexistence of multiple ethnicities and as a boogeyman, compelling the european bourgois elite to not just amass wealth for themselves, but also share with what would later become "middle class". When some of the bourgois elite inevitably went full-on original Nazi, it put a red flag on Reichstag and told the world something to the effect of "Nazis come and go, people stay".

Giving everyone access to a pretty comprehensive basic education was probably the most important Soviet innovation, that upon getting codified in USSR's constitution spread across the entire world like wildfire. Trust me, even an asocial like you wouldn't want to live in a world where that innovation is reversed.

The elephant in the room is, of course, that USSR ultimately failed. In the end of the day, it was a secular project and didn't really have the kind of fire that makes other organizations tick for centuries or even millenia. It lasted for three generations - as secular projects oft do - and then the people simply moved on. If you know russian, google "koster Makarevich" for a pretty good description of what happened in song version :D

A more specific and down-to-Earth reason for USSR failing was that it ultimately painted everyone with the same brush too much. Its ideology proved too inflexible to adapt to individual differences and to adopt individual ambition. So the instant the public perception of Soviet achievements shifted from overawe towards the promise of the new world to "momma i don't wanna go to school today", individual ambition simply tore the system apart: corruption and betrayal within the party ranks, disgust and dissident symphatisation outside.

However, we now live in the age of Internet. Individuals have a significantly more powerful set of tools to both manifest individuality and coordinate their individual ambitions into collaborative projects. If we take that and revisit the Soviet project with intent of indentifying and correcting its failures, a third alternative that is not strictly reduceable to either angosaxon police state, or nazi internal clique circlejerk can potentially arise.

Gevlon said...

@Marek: there is a problem with that, people are free to waste our resources. While we can support certain activities like studying, we can't force them to not just waste time and smoke weed in the free college. The only measure we can use for usefulness is usefulness itself. This is capitalism, where we measure people with their production.

Socialism had a racional backbone: if we support everyone equally in a population where majority is hard-working, we support lot of hard-working people. Now machines can do the hard-working part, we need intelligent people. There is no need for too many menial workers anymore.

@Maxim: I support "free" basic education and job training as it can only be used to become more productive. That's the only part I'd keep from the welfare state.

maxim said...

Measuring people by money is not the same as measuring people by their production
A very successful CFO once told me about transition to capitalism in Russia - "We hoped that money are going to win over evil, but evil and money made deals right under our noses"

I understand that capitalistic purists want to pretend money is adequate measurement of production, but that dream is proving to have as much holes as communist dream once did

Chris K. said...


The problem is that a vast majority of the immigrants never integrate into society. They live within their own cultural group, most of the time never bothering to learn even the language, let alone 'become investements' for the countires hosting them. This is even more pronounced when they live in countries that pay wellfare to unemployed immigrants.

This is not something new either; during the 19th-20th century countless people migrated to the US and it took multiple generations before those families considered themselves 'American'. Even today, people still define themselves as Italian-American or Greek-American, and most of them have never even met someone from Italy or Greece. However, since the US lacked the wellfare to support everyone that wanted to move in, they were forced to work and became the cogs that transformed the country into a superpower.

There are of course a lot of people (usually the younger crowd) that come to Europe with dreams of doing something for themselves (start a business, work, start a new home) but they are the exception, not the rule.

Anonymous said...

The problem is, you are mixing refugees with immigrants.

In Europe (Or at least in the UK), the majority of immigrants come with a view to working.

Refugees and asylum seekers are generally subject to different welfare rules, and are forbidden from working, even if they are highly qualified.

Perhaps that is where we need to start changing things, why are we preventing skilled workers from getting a job?

Gevlon said...

It's practically impossible to separate immigrants and refugees, because it's impossible to check their background, due to their countries are failed states. Back in the day, refugees came from dictatorships where administration worked, therefore they had papers, their stories could be verified (and had to be to filter out spies).

Now any Middle Eastern looking guy who speaks Arabic or Farsi or Kurdish can claim that he escaped from Islamic State controlled land and you can do nothing about it. Same for Africa and Boko Haram.

Also, we can call every single one of them immigrants since they came from safe countries in the immediate sense. I mean there are 2K/day!!! immigrants appearing in Hungary, despite none of them were in danger in Serbia or Romania or Croatia where they came from.

Anonymous said...

Oh no, Gevlon, you are supposed to be a rational guy, but you apparently hopped on the immigration hysteria train fuelled by the retarded hungarian government.

Sure, mass immigration is a huge issue, but you should know better than echoing that "they are safe in Serbia, why would they keep moving westward" idiocy.

Anonymous said...

Na. Here look at the wikipedia definition you quote/paraphrase.

"Social democracy aims to create the conditions for capitalism to lead to greater egalitarian, democratic and solidaristic outcomes"

All the system intends to do is increase the rate of change, or lead, with regard to what we define to be egalitarian outcomes. Your entire work up pre-supposes that this rate of change must be as fast as we can mathematically make it. Which doesn't follow at all. The rate is what ever the society wants it to be. Say 0.02% of GDP, or whatever they prefer.

Bobbins said...

Its ironically that the main country that has screwed up the middle east and Libya, USA doesn't seem to be taking any significant refugees from these conflict areas. Perhaps if the Americans felt more of the consequences of causing wars which has killed millions of civilians things would be different, however it is rather sad that America's interference is often seen by themselves as beneficial.

Gevlon said...

The reason they are moving westward from Serbia is that they want freebies. Otherwise they'd stop at the first place they are not being chased. You know Serbia is a country where lot of people make their living. But it's not good enough for them. Then they come to Hungary, but it's not good enough for them either. They "deserve" to be in the richest countries in Europe. Sound like leeches to me.

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure that's right when the unemployment rate in Serbia is somwhere between 15% and 20%:

And it doesn't make sense anyway... or are all immigrants to the US which come from Germany for example, leeches too?

Germany is definitely a country where a lot of people make their living, but still some people think they can do better in a different country and why shouldn't they be allowed to try?

Until someone actually arrives to a country, requests welfare and shows no sign of looking for a job, he cannot be called a leech.

Marek Zaborowski said...

About culture and integrity, like I said I think that it is rationality vs sociality problem.

I will give another example, with which I am quite familiar since it is happening in my country. Currently, most of the Young, educated people here emigrate to UK, Netherlands, Scandinavia and so on. We are only 36kk population and in recent years more than a 1kk of people emigrated, its very rational from their standpoint. They got language, wish to have jobs (when in Poland we lack these) and well-being and income is superb in "old" Europe. So the objective conclusion is that, there wouldnt be enough Young people to support old ones or take care of a country in general, at least from "pure" Polish nationality.

But now, that we have war in Ukraine, war that Ukraine gonna lose sooner or later a lots of young Ukrainians runs to us and we give them cottage. Now they gonna propably replace "hole" in Younger generation and become integral part of our society of tommorow.

Now problem starts with rationality vs sociality. From rational standpoint it is terrible, that our brightest kids runaway from our nation, but its good that new "blood" comes to fill the void, rather than leave our country desserted. Yet, lots of people gonnna threat Ukrainians as 2nd category citizens, often fueled by hate based on our mutual history. Ofcourse Ukrainians wouldnt ignore that either and I think in 50-60 years we gonna have terrorists attacks in Poland.

The rational solution would be to welcome them with open arms and introduce them to meritocratic system. Dont throw full social on them, but also introduce them some extra help, as they have to fight with prejudice of many people. Put some faith in people, much like a trader put a faith on his commodity that he wish to trade with. It can turn out very profitable, but it also can be wasted money. The trick is, to have a positive balance at the end of day.

99smite said...

As I cannot remember hearing of any recent elections in Eruope, I cannot agree to the statement that far right extremist parties were gaining power and influence.
Yes, the FN has gad prety good results in France, but that was not related to these immigrant waves, it is related to the poor success or rather massive failure of the current socialist government and the failure to respond to the islamist threat.

I hope that the European governments will have calculated very soon that it is much cheaper and way more efficient to drop daisy cutters on IS installations than spend that money on fugitives...

And, btw, communism was never peaceful! who made up this myth? Must have been commies...

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: If you emigrate to a country without having a position beforehand, you are either a purposeful leech or a really dumb person (who will not be able to support himself). I mean I speak English, have degree in engineering, yet I wouldn't dare to move to the USA or even the UK with "let's see how it goes". I'd first secure a job or at least a series of job interviews with a ticket back in case they all fail, to make sure I won't end up in a foreign country with no job, no money, no friends, nothing. I bet 99% of the Syrians and Iraqies don't speak German a bit. Note: it's not a bet from my ass, the immigration handling officers and volunteers in Hungary use Arabic translators or English. Since speaking German is pretty common in Hungary, I'm sure it would be used more often if the immigrants would know a word.

@Marek: this is why the children of the immigrants become terrorists. The immigrants themselves are grateful for their chance, but their kids take their citizenship granted and don't accept the discrimination coming from nationalists. They neither accept second class citizenship, nor they try to earn first class. The trap is that neither Poland, nor Germany can treat the immigrants decently, because the elite cannot control the "little guy" who will do just as you said: treat them as second class citizens.

Unless we have a plan how to remove sociality in a generation, the only solution is to only accept fully assimilating immigrants: people who are ready to learn the language and culture, therefore perfectly fit in. If the little guy can't tell they are immigrants, they can't be discriminated.

Marek Zaborowski said...

I think You mean 3rd generation of immigrants. Seconds mostly like to assimilate as much as he can, while first is still "recalls" his home country.

I think, we taught "little people" to not kill, steal, fight over each other, we even taught them that bribing is bad and hygene is important. Ofcourse we still have examples of all these, but they are punished harshly. From Your own system, lv 1 needs to be punished for bad behaviour, lv 2 needs to be punished for not following group rules.

Thus, a rational gov would make a system that do precisly that: punish by law discimination and tries to educate and introduce new "group rules" to the people. In some countries it is happing, but... The more panick is in the country, the less rational the society becomes.

So when I would love to see rational gov across the worlds... I know that it is "safer" to put a bet onto new wave of nazism.

Gevlon said...

@Marek: The problem with punishing discrimination is that it's hard to catch. I mean a restaurant owner who openly says "we serve no niggers" can be punished. The guy who don't invite immigrant kids to his birthday party (despite he invited everyone else in the class) can not. Same for getting a job, if the manager looks out for pretenses and reject them based on corporate bullshit like "I didn't see proper motivation in their application" is also OK. Just think how hard it is for women to break the glass ceiling.

Marek Zaborowski said...

I agree on punishing. But I would also touch very important aspect of education. Firstly we try to rise "patriots" and then we are shocked that they grew xenophobic. In education systems of many if not everyone, there is a strong propaganda aspect. We teach kids to feel proud from being X nationality, having Y history, living in Z country. When it is completly irrational to feel proud from said things. You didnt choose X nationality, You didnt make Y history and You also didnt choose the Z country, but Your parents did. Feeling proud from it, something that should be feeled only from our own, personal achievments, its completly irrational and is backbone of discrimination. Same with Your example, in our culture (European) feeling proud from being man and not a woman has a very, very long history.

Like I got propably some mongols bloods (who dont from Eastern Europe, ha!) since my grand-grand-grand-grand-...-mother was raped by mongols invaders. Should I feel proud from Temujin counquest? Obviously not! Even more I should condemn them. Then why I am turtored to feel proud from Poland winning wars or burning down Moscow? Becaue that makes me a good soldier material for current leaders, I geuss. Sad story.

Anonymous said...

Or you can take another approach to this problem. A humane one (and by the way, the most rationnal too).

Let's them go in :)

A typical migrant is someone educated, in the middle class of the country of origin (they need to be this, because paying the passage, circa 3k€, is not easy when your median income is less than 10k €).

They can be a useful resource, with more benifit than detriment. My governement is currently investing circa 28k € by immigrant in order to sort them out, and take them back to their country of origin. Let's them work, pay tax, and live in our country, and put the budget of immigration control in better education / police / justice / army (take your pick).

By the way, europe (EU) is ~500M inhabitants. We can, without risk, absorb, as much as 5M migrants (Based on past data, for example France 1962, which has taken up to 800k immigrants following the end of the war in Algeria. By the way, this is as much as the number of births this year, based on INSEE data).

Let's just say that even the worst estimate in migrants number doesn't match the asylum capacity of EU. We can allow them in, and be better with them than letting them die at the door.

Anonymous said...

Another solution would be for the European Union to more strictly control its outer borders and only accept immigrants, including refugees, who are willing to integrate into Western society, and also enable immigrants to apply for asylum from abroad. Deport all illegal immigrants who arrive after new rules come into place.

Also I don't think capitalism is a sustainable solution for a number of reasons.

First of all it has only been around 200 years since we started to industrialize, and that's also when capitalism as we know it began. Since then we've consumed most, as in more than half, of the Earths natural resources, started the sixth mass extinction, ruined the environment and initiated what seems to be irreversible climate change that will not play in our favor. The infinite growth in consumption that sustains capitalism is simply not sustainable.

Secondly, due to advances in robotics, automation and artificial intelligence, it will only take a matter of decades before most jobs are performed by machines. Machines don't require healthcare, pensions, vacations, workers rights, social benefits, coffee breaks or anything like that, they can work 24/7, they don't make mistakes, they are the perfect workers and it's only a matter of time before they are also more economically viable than even the cheapest slave laborers in some third world shithole.

This leaves most humans without any source of work or income, which in turn means the capitalist economy would also collapse because people are buying decreasing amounts of goods and services, which ironically requires corporations to cut costs further to remain profitable, meaning more automation as it becomes increasingly viable.

daniel said...

the really bad truth is that indeed noone's hindering most people to stay in their country and build it up. i havn't heard of general conditions in e.g. serbia being so bad that whole countrysides are starving to death; neither does the political situation seem so bad that one has to be afraid to be killed by the mob because one voted for the other party during the last elections.

on the other hand, syria is totally fucked, and most civilians do not want that war, nor did they in any way encourage it - they should find shelter in europe for it's time. which is something that worked very well with kosovarians. and i am ashamed of my government that we didn't let them in years ago.

the sad thing about asylum seekers from really really failed states is, they are so fucking poor, they even can't pay the voyage to europe. those that can, and "lost" their passport during the travel - uhm, well ... maybe...

Anonymous said...

Europe and the US have been creating troubles all over the world, including the middle east. They wanted Gaddafi removed and took action. Now the face some consequences for their actions. Turkey has been sponsoring IS and attack the only group that was winning from IS, the Kurds. In return they have received millions of refugees and some bombings.

The problem that Europe has with refugees is not too big. Even if Germany would get 800.000 refugees this year, which I really doubt, and that would be 40% of all refugees to Europe, it would mean about 2 mil people comming to Europe. Of that group at least half is send back. For example, Balkan people are not allowed to stay in Germany anymore and they made up about half off the people trying to enter Germany last year. That would mean 1 mil people would stay in Europe a year. Europe has more than 500 mil people. An additional 0.2% is not a problem. That countries like Poland don't want to take in refugees is.

A lot of refugees will come and try to set up a good life for their children. Not being allowed to work the first couple of years doesn't really help. Most people will find work, integrate at some level and their childrens children will be mostly integrated. Some will return to their country when they can, some will not.

The arguments about those people costing money, not being productive etc are rubbish. The same can be said about large groups of the original inhabitants. About 5% of those original people are scum, leaching etc. Why not kick them out? Just because they are of your tone of skinn or of the same religion? i'm sure that you don't feel alike to them.

I know a lot of refugees and other immigrants. The ones I know are hard working and trying. And no, they don't eat the same food, listen to the same music or have the same culture. But Gevlon, although we both originate from Europe, we don't either. So let's stop talking crap. The things that have to change are us stopping fucking up the world, give 3rd world countries a chance of development (by stopping dumping our shit over there and opening up our markets for their goods), divide the load of immigrants over Europe, let immigrants work or study from the first day they enter Europe and stop being xenophobic.

Don't forget, our forefathers have all been immigrants at some point in history.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous with the let them go in mentality.
Ask anyone who has "let them go in", like the French who are plagued by algerian, moroccan and other north african arabs, how well the areas populated by those people are doing?
They are hotbeds of prostitution, drugs, theft, and all around mindless assault.

Or ask me, a Lebanese who has now more Syrians and Palestinians in Lebanon than Lebanese.
Ask about the crime rate that has gone way up, about the common areas that are no longer safe for girls or even couples, about the jobs that are lost because the Syrian refugee will work for half the minumum wage and bosses think only of the bottom line, the neighborhoods that are unlivable because their standards for higiene are a lot lower than the rats that infest our current garbage dumps, about the garbage problem that we haven't had since the war in the 1970s, about the rent that is so expensive because 12 Syrian workers can afford to rent a 1 bedroom appartment for a sum that a normal couple could never afford.
Ask about the Palestinian camps that are the staging grounds for terrorist attacks into the country, from within the country.

Anyway, your idea is so wrong, it's obvious that you're either one of the potential refugees, or you live in a country that has never been invaded by swarms of them.

Anonymous said...

@an 2 sept. Indeed we have not been swarmed in Holland. Not like Libanon. But people are talking like we have been. That is what I oppose. And no, i'm not a refugee or potential refugee.