by Federico N. Fernández*
On September 22nd philosopher and libertarian Stefan Molyneux posted a video on his Youtube channel. Under the title “Why Europe owes the migrants nothing” Molyneux dismantles many of the arguments claiming Europeans must accept whatever amount of people who come from Syria and surrounding countries under any circumstances. In the middle of the half an hour video there is a true nugget. Molyneux presents his proposal for how Europe should deal with the migrant crisis. Comprised of eight points, his proposal is a call for accountability and open debate. He also encourages European politicians to live up to their multicultural standards (see point 8 below).
His somewhat sardonic proposal needs nonetheless to be taken very seriously. Scholars on both sides of the Atlantic have been warning about the fundamental transformation mass immigration can bring to Western societies. At the heart of Molineux proposal lies the need for a robust debate regarding this issue and a call for people to responsibly deal with their decisions.
So, how to deal with the migrant crisis according to Stefan Molyneux (with my comments):
1) A referendum in every European country about how to react over the migrant / refugee crisis
It is almost obvious that the population must have a say on this matter. The Swiss ways of direct democracy can shed light on how to handle the crisis. Even more so when there is grave suspicion that political elites are completely detached from their citizens. Many people believe that multiculturalism has been a top-down imposed project which was not really deisred by the general population. In this sense, the current migrant crisis presents us with a perfect way to test in the ballot what European citizens actually think on this matter.
2) Costs of accommodating the migrants should be added to the tax bills of those who voted “yes”
This is pretty simple: put your money where your mouth is… or in this case, where your vote is. In case “yes” would win the referendum, there is no need to burden those who did not want the migrants. This, again, is an excellent opportunity to realize how many individuals are willing to stand for their beliefs. The pockets of those who said “no” need not be penalized. Moreover, if the truly interested people get involved and take care of their refugees themselves, new and better alternatives than that of the government may arise.
3) Growth of the “no-go” zones
The source Molyneux uses defines “no go” zones as “Muslim-dominated neighborhoods that are largely off limits to non-Muslims due to a variety of factors, including the lawlessness and insecurity that pervades a great number of these areas. Host-country authorities have effectively lost control over many no-go zones and are often unable or unwilling to provide even basic public aid, such as police, fire fighting and ambulance services, out of fear of being attacked by Muslim youth.” Molyneux believes that honest debate about the migrant crisis should extrapolate extrapolate how much these no go zones would grow or how many new would be set. The term no go zones has been criticized due to the excessive of some American media outlets during the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Regardless, I do not think this is crucial for Molyneux’s proposal.
4) Actual facts on immigrant crime rates –particularly rape– should be presented to the public.
The idea here is to know who you are letting into your house. An informed debate on this topic should include facts on crime. According to Molyneux, mass media tends not to disclose these numbers.
5) No witch hunts
In order to tackle the migrant crisis a robust debate must be allowed. This means that no censorship whatsoever should be applied. An mature society needs to be able to discuss important issues in the framework of unrestrained freedom of speech. It is ironic that in the name of multiculturalism and diversity dissonant voices are silenced.
6) Welfare moratorium
To avoid the wrong incentives which attract free goodies seekers instead of real refugees a welfare moratorium must be imposed on people coming from Syria and other countries affected by the ISIS madness.
7) Sponsor your migrant
People who honestly want to help the migrants and accompany then throughout their transition towards European way of life should be willing to sponsor financially and legally as many migrants as they can. Charity, as they say, begins at home. So why not invite some Syrian refugees to live with you? In many occasions the “do something!” mentality is not accompanied with actions by their supporters. Phrases like “we have to welcome the refugees” are completely empty when by “welcome” people really mean “just send them to some camp or neighborhood away from me.” The same applies to hysterical cries for solidarity which merely express a desire for a faceless bureaucracy to extract more money from (preferably wealthy) taxpayers.
8) Live among them
Molyneux’s final proposal is that political leaders of the recipient countries should, at least for a couple of weeks, drop all security and go live anonymously to the so-called no go zones. And not only that, they should be in disguise and wearing livestreaming body cameras. They should conduct a regular European life, dress how they usually dress, eat what they usually eat, drink what they usually drink and so on. The cameras will help their constituencies to witness how assimilation really works. Besides, such a commitment would show that these politicians truly believe in the multicultural project they have imposed upon their countries’ residents.
This eight point proposal, however politically improvable it might be, puts many of our preconceptions in front of the mirror. Which would the results of such referendums be? How many people are actually willing to legally and financially sponsor migrants? What would happen if, let’s say, a French leader would move to a banlieue and live there for a month or so? Answering these questions may point in the directions of what must be done.
*Federico N. Fernández is a Senior Fellow of the Austrian Economics Center (Vienna, Austria).