Refugees: What’s the problem?
Once again, the news that several human beings are heading down under with the express aim of making a new home for themselves somewhere in Australasia has talkback callers on both sides of the Tasman in a frenzy.
So what’s the problem?
Is New Zealand so small and our outlook so mean we would begrudge ten human beings the new life they seek in our land—ten people who will have demonstrated, if they succeed, more get up and go in their little fingers than most talkback callers have acquired over their whole lives? Apparently so.
Would NZers rather condemn these ten to death than offer them the chance of a new life here ? Apparently they would.
On days like this, I find myself ashamed to be a New Zealander.
Once again, just a very few people have revealed the xenophobic tribalism underneath the skin of so many Australians and New Zealanders who as recently as the Sydney Olympics and the Rugby World Cup were flatulently talking up their “friendliness” and their “hospitality.” What a crock.
Their xenophobia now lies exposed.
Because it seems nobody wants these people down under. They’d rather they just “go away.” Go where? Blank out. Seem the only place apparently for these human beings to “go” is to die. For those eager to remove the welcome mat, this is what they’d like to blank out: the death sentence they wish to bestow on other human beings yearning to breathe free.
This is the sort of human beings they have become.
This is not a small problem.
People everywhere risk their lives to escape their impossible existences, and all around the world the barriers to them are up. People-smugglers 'assist' them, and the victims they smuggle are so desperate they willingly submit to the risks of dealing with thugs and swindlers, of suffocation in airtight, hermetically sealed containers, of setting sail on fragile craft, and of braving stormy and shark-filled waters. They subject themselves to unimaginable risks to escape intolerable lives, and so often are left to die like so much unwanted cattle.
How bad are people's lives that they risk suffocation, drowning and shark attacks to escape the horrors of their former homes? And what of our culture, our politicians, and ourselves when people risk their lives in this way, and we willingly condemn them for having the temerity to interrupt our own comfortable existence?
Many Australasians no longer value other human beings it seems—they are just so many problems they wish would go away. Wherefore this new inhumanity?
As author Robert Heinlein suggested, successful immigrants demonstrate just by their choice and gumption in choosing a new life that they are worthy of respect. So God damn you if the only two words you can find to put together when talking about people who leave their homelands to seek a better life for themselves and their families are ‘illegal aliens.’ Or ‘boat people.’
I submit the responsibility for this dark heart lies with the Welfare State and the tribal mentality it fosters. New Zealanders’ wish that these refugees would just 'go away' and stop bothering them exposes the dark underbelly at the heart of the Welfare State.
"How so?' you ask. "Isn't the Welfare State a model of benevolent charity?" It is not. It is the Welfare State that condemns these people to die.
A VISIT TO YOUR local W.I.N.Z. office is enough to tell you that by its very nature, the Welfare State dehumanises people—viewing them as nothing other than either a mouth to feed or a wallet to plunder. What’s happening with the xenophobic anti-refugee outpouring is that even the people with the wallets can no longer see the world in any other way than one begging for their alms, and are naturally upset at the prospect of many more mouths being fed at their expense.
Reflect that the Welfare State is not voluntary charity, it is not any kind of charity at all. It is compulsion, forcing every person to be responsible for every other person whether they like it or not. And like it or not, those who pick up the cheque for New Zealand's welfare state resent that forced imposition. They submit begrudgingly to the moral cannibalism of being forced to be “their brother’s keeper,” but resist the imposition of new members to the tribe—and are blinded by the Welfare State mentality to the possibility that new New Zealanders who have braved many dangers to get here would more likely be producers, not parasites.
So, once again, the dehumanising moral bankruptcy at the heart of the Welfare State lies exposed on a small ship floating off Darwin—just as it was when 460 refugees on the Tampa lay floating off Christmas Island surrounded by Australian guns, Prime Ministerial invective, and the loudly-expressed wish by many Australians that their navy just get on and sink it. (It was then, with the Tampa, that the Welfare State acquired a new symbol: Australian commandos pointing guns at sick women and children.)
There is a better way to deal with immigrants and refugees than with guns and a death sentence.
Libertarians have always maintained that peaceful people should be able to cross borders freely as long as they forswear any claim on any existing welfare state--I suggest that this philosophy of libertarian self-responsibility offers a simple solution to the current impasse.
NEW ZEALAND CURRENTLY ACCEPTS 750 refugees annually, housing them, feeding them, and watering them - nannying them - to ready them for New Zealand life. Most refugees have already shown sufficient gumption to escape the horrors of their own homes, and most immigrants quickly demonstrate that such nannying is unnecessary by achieving such spectacular success in their new land it frequently shames their former hosts.
So why this enforced imposition on both the taxpayer and the immigrants? It's as if the government fears we might pick up diseases from them - 'diseases' perhaps like the hard work, enterprise, and initiative that successful immigrants so frequently display. To be sure, we must bar known criminals and terrorists, but that doesn’t necessitate such overly expensive and bureaucratic immigration procedures.
I say, why not simply let people look after them voluntarily?
This shouldn’t be difficult. Every time an issue like this comes to light, many charitable New Zealanders and Australians raise their voices in support of the embattled minority; so why not take these calls literally?
I suggest the easiest solution is for Prime Ministers Key and Gillard to announce that between them they will accept whoever arrives on our shores, but only as long as a sufficient number of charitable Australians and New Zealanders can be found to take full responsibility for them until they are on their feet. Ten people, in this case, who will offer their own voluntary welfare and 'naturalisation services' to help these people start their new life.
Who could possibly, or reasonably, object to that?
Finding a sufficient number should not be a problem. Even the numbers gleefully posted every week by xenophobes like new-Australian Andrew Bolt, who reckons Gillard’s Government has encouraged refugees to head towards Australasia, number only in their hundreds--a “flood” of 1500 souls at most trying to “pour” into a country of 20-million people and a thousand-million empty acres.
And given the initiative refugees will have already shown in getting down here, I would expect that getting on their feet will not take them very long.
This solution demonstrates the stark contrast between generosity and enforced charity, and the simple benevolence at the heart of the libertarian philosophy.
Compulsory 'charity' is a misnomer - it dehumanises both taxpayer and recipient. But when charity is voluntary, people are set free to be benevolent again.
The Welfare State is a killer for benevolence, for the human spirit, for open immigration, and a literal killer for immigrants and refugees braving dangerous waters and the integrity of unscrupulous people-smugglers.
Why not set these people free through the generosity of benevolent New Zealanders—while taking a good hard look at what the welfare state does to people.
And I suggest that the simple libertarian philosophy be adopted with all immigrants: that we allow all peaceful people to pass freely just as long as they make no claim at all on the welfare state.
Until it is completely dismantled, that is.
Immigration plus Welfare State equals Police State - George Reisman
Fighting terrorism requires legalizing immigration - James Valliant
The solution to 'illegal immigration' - Harry Binswanger
America's Real "Assimilation" Dilemma – Robert Tracinski
- Bloodstains on the Refugee Red Carpet – Peter Cresswell
- Welfare State Leaves Boat-People to Die – Peter Cresswell
- The Inhumane Immigration Policy of our Welfare State – Julian Pistorius
- Open immigration, Si! Open borders, No! - Sixth Column
- Stand in Line . . . and Wait! – Not PC
- Immigration and Individual Rights – Craig Biddle
- The New Colossus (1883) - US Department of State