THE DEATH OF CIVILIZATION

First Things | 5/14/2014 | John Waters
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World leaders’ interventions in the West’s current migrant controversy are rarely helpful. In February 2017, Pope Francis, speaking on the 104th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, seemed to issue an unqualified injunction to admit and assist migrants. He urged the nations of Europe to “welcome, protect, promote and integrate,” extending citizenship “free of financial or linguistic requirements, and . . . offering the possibility of special legalisation to migrants who can claim a long period of residence in the country of arrival.” Europe would then be “responding to the Lord’s supreme commandment—we may all learn to love the other, the stranger, as ourselves.”

But one month later, speaking to reporters on a flight back to Rome from South America, the pope said that governments have the right to exercise prudence on the question, regulating migrant flows when the number of arrivals becomes unsustainable. “This means you have to ask yourself first: How much space do I have? Second: You have to remember it’s not just about taking them in, but also integrating them,” he said.

Pope - Vacillation - Matter - Problem - Migrants

The pope’s vacillation on this matter reflects a more pervasive problem: The more migrants Europe admits, the more refugees will risk their lives to avail themselves of such “solidarity.” Thus “compassion” causes the problem to grow rather than diminish.

The self-accusations ricocheting around the West of late are rooted in residual guilt concerning the imperial/colonial history of the white man in the world. Right now, Western civilization’s history serves as an apparently insurmountable barrier to its survival—because of guilt, but also because of lazy thinking of various kinds. One is the kind that students exhibit when they demand the removal of colonial statues. Another is seen in those who respond that there is nothing concerning in this history: It made civilization possible, and is therefore unambiguously good....
(Excerpt) Read more at: First Things
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