We live in a thriving democracy. We enjoy the benefits of an open and tolerant society, our system of government is transparent. The highest positions and the highest honors are accessible to those who display enough merit. The process of political decision making is the result of the pressures and needs of our civil society, which is the driving force behind the direction of the development our country is taking for its future. There is wealth and work in abundance and prosperity is easily accessible for anybody who wants to work and some of it even for those who do not want to work. Isn’t it egoistic to want to keep all these priviliges only for ourserves?
Others have not been as lucky as we are. It is our moral duty to help the wretched of the earth. It is not their fault if there were born in the wrong place at the wrong time. If we are really a humane and progressive society, which we undoubtedly are, we need to show it by opening our country to those who want to enjoy the fruits of our prosperity. Hopefully we will contribute in improving the world, by virtue of the example of our superior organizational model.
A society that welcomes change probably offers a more fertile ground for innovation, which in the long run is a key factor when it comes to economic progress. And, yes, I know, importing talent from abroad is fine and can benefit your country economically. But how does this mean that importing millions of people, who barely speak the language of the country and probably will never really master it, will benefit your country economically? Don’t we have the right to feel a bit duped, when politicans and the media tell us that the masses of refugees who have entered Europe are all future doctors, engineers, scientists and computer whiz kids? Anybody who has eyes and lives in a medium-sized European city knows this is not the case.
I understand that many European countries have a severe demographic problem. In the end, somebody will have to pay for the pensions of an increasingly aging population who has been used to have it good forty years long. But I don’t see how eradicating your own culture will make your country thrive demographically. People arguing for the necessity of transforming our countries into progressive utopia seem to wilfully close their eyes before the failed experiments of the past. Why should this time everything be so very different? Young utopian globalists, driven by the best of intentions, do not seem to realize that our supposed prosperity did not come from nothing, but was the product of a culture that evolved over centuries, and this culture developed relatively slowly. The word Leitkultur, dominant culture, has become almost a tabu in Germany; it evokes in many sensitive and liberally oriented young Germans some associations with the horrors of the Nazi era and the Nazi ideology. I don’t know anybody who would like to be associated with Nazis in Germany, this would be the end of somebody’s career as a student, as a respectable thinker, it would possibly involve the loss of your job and probably of many friends too. Now, sometimes it seems as if building an “open” nation was the most important task our society has. There are no other problems. We are problemless utopia. We are having a good time. We are progressive and tolerant and would be ashamed not be so.
Open countries all resemble each other. So there cannot be an “Open Germany”, like there cannot be an “Open America” or and “Open France”. An “open” country will by definition not be a unitarian nation anymore. If you renounce your culture in the name of tolerance or some other superior ideal of humanity, which still exists only in your imagination, you may be putting your very culture that gave you all these nice things in danger. The idea of having an “open” nation, that is to say, an open border nation contradicts the very idea of nation itself; a functioning state cannot be conceived without the protection of borders. The belief in the unity of different nations in a border-free world is certainly a noble one, grounded in a strong faith in the unity of all human beings, but appears to have little grounding in some of the very easy but less pleasant notions about international relations. In an ideal world, a drive towards a global society would be an admirable belief; in our fragmented world, torn by conflicts and where inequality reigns, it looks more like a childish fantasy.
One of the most active evangelists of the “refugee welcome” culture I know is a journalist, who a couple of years ago, lived in Berlin for a while. I remember when he was looking for a flat he abhorred the idea of ending up living in neighborhoods like Neukölln or Wedding, Berlin’s “multicultural” neighborhoods, where the immigrants and the poorest of the poorest Germans live. Now, after some years he and people like him would like to transform the whole of Germany into a larger Neukölln. He and people like him do not need to live in Neukölln anyway.