At the Watchers’ Council,
Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week’s question: Is There A Refugee Crisis? If So, How Would You Solve It?
The Razor : I would argue that there isn’t a refugee crisis, there is a European identity crisis and that’s what is causing all the trouble.
The end of World War 2 and resulting institutions in Western Europe like the EEC built a myth of a European identity. This myth papered over the differences between the Germans and the French, and tried to portray Europe as one entity. The European Union was the culmination of this myth. Like all myths it contained a seed of Truth: there are commonalities between the EU countries. But it ignored the deep cultural, social, economic and historical differences between nations. As the citizen of a relatively young country like the US I’m a bit amazed that countries that are a millennia and a half older such as France and Germany sought unity, completely ignoring their unique characters.
The root of this error, I believe, is the pernicious fallacy that “people are people” and the assumption that everyone is just like us, they just look different, speak a different language or worship a different god. It is a fallacy based on ignorance, and worse, is rooted in elitism whereby the believer assumes s/he knows enough to make an accurate judgment with only a cursory understanding of the facts.