As some of you may know, I have had fairly extensive experiences in several theatres/chapters of the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe. What follows is an outline of my experiences. It leads up to my assessment of the problem, why I think open borders and territorially-defined nationalism will eventually become obsolete, and why I am opposed to the deportation of the so-called ‘DREAMERS’ from the US.
I have met, befriended, and lived alongside many refugees. I am also, however, very sober, I believe, in my assessment of the situation.
One thing that stood out to me about many/most migrants was their often delusional optimism of the life that awaited them in Europe. This is, in my opinion, part of why the ongoing refugee crisis is so enormously dangerous.
The vast majority of single male migrants (whom I believe to be the majority of migrants) are what I would describe as sexual/economic migrants. Basically, they are under the impression (often quite falsely, sometimes somewhat correctly) that the doors to Europe are literally wide open—that they just have to show up and will be awarded a European wife, money and a place in society. The reason this is so dangerous is that, even if they come to Europe with the full intention of embracing secular liberalism, once they find themselves isolated at the fringes of society (and this is inevitable for many of them), they will feel they’ve been duped by the Western media and, therefore, turn to nothing other than its perceived binary antithesis—radical Islam.
For example, while hitching in eastern Turkey, I got a ride by this super cool dude who was stoked to talk to me because he was an agricultural scientist who spoke very good English (by Turkish standards) and was a closeted Dawkins-reading atheist. He invited me to crash at his place, where I met a Somalian dude who was working for the Turk to save up money to continue his journey to Europe. This guy spoke even better English than the Turk, although he was still by no means a native speaker. This guy was excited to talk to me because his dream was to eventually get to the US. I was like “You sure you want to go there? I don’t think it’s so awesome. You have no terribly employable skills, and will be lead an isolated life, dependent on welfare and at the margins of society.” He was incredulous to hear this, and cheerfully responded that he would “be an English teacher” and that he “already knew what the West and the US were like from watching TV”. I’m sure this guy was a fish out of water back in Somalia, but I can imagine things being as bad or worse as an asylum seeker in the West. I remember also meeting, two years later, another Somalian working the night shift at a hostel in Athens, leading a sort of life in limbo (at least in his head) because he was denied admittance into Germany or wherever. Given the gulf between expectation and reality, as well as the gulf betweentheir native culture and the culture of the West, it is hardly surprising when I hear of Somalis freaking out and stabbing random Europeans.
That said, about 95% (98%?) of the migrants I met two years later on Lesvos speak little/no English.
One year ago I arrived on Lesvos, one of the eastern-most Greek islands, just a short boat ride from Turkey. It was a spontaneous idea I had hike in Athens after realizing that I’d have a week off from work. I showed up with literally no idea of the situation or where to go. I just started hitching, and my first ride was a trio of “no borders, solidarity activist” girls with shaved heads. They took me to Moriah aka “Afghan Hill”, which was where all the non-UN-designated refugees would wait for up to 7 days to get their papers to move on to the Greek mainland. They’d show up in the middle of the night after all the photo-op, type-A volunteers would pick them up from the beaches, and then a shuttle bus would dump them off, confused and often wet. We’d give them tents and sleeping bags and food and whatever and, most importantly though usually most lacking, information.
The place was like a filthy hell hole. Most of the people here were random freelance volunteers like me, not Mercy Corps or UNHCR or whomever. I was one of a couple other people who would camp at the improvised volunteer camp. For me it was great because it was I could just hang out and get free food. For me, it was largely recreational (and extremely illuminating and, of course, on an individual level I did want to help all the migrants, and hope that they succeed) rather than a matter or virtue signaling or ideology. At one point, I made a big plywood sign that read “Lesbian Heroes”, which I was trying to make stick as the named or our ragtag group of random freelance volunteers. Of course, some of the upstart humanitarian careerists (or those who wanted to put this shit on their resumes) were trying to co-opt the improvised nature of our setup, and came up with some name “Better Days for Moriah”.
You have no idea how much money was wasted on tents, for example, that would be used once and then trashed. The migrants came from very different material realities.
One recurring problem was that local gypsies would come, pose as migrants, and take whatever we would give them, and then re-sell the goods to arriving migrants outside of our camp.
One nonstop frustration, when giving out goods—particularly shoes—was just how picky many of the migrants were, trying to get (what they thought were, lol) the most stylish sneakers, often purposely destroying the current sneakers in order to induce us to yield to their necessity.
Nevertheless, to be fair, the ability to ‘fit in’ using western styles of dress is pretty important. Nevertheless, it should not be a priority on their parts. As mentioned, the average migrant spoke pitiful English, which struck me as utterly bizarre. (And, lol, to be honest, the migrants sense of style seemed to be comically out of touch with how one should actually dress in order to fit into western society.)
One guy I befriended on Lesvos was from a Parsi-speaking region of southern Pakistan, named Sharouk (“Shah”). Early on I grabbed him from the other side of the cordon we set up, and he basically became our translator. He would also camp out in our little outpost surrounded by the sea of refugees. He was a cool dude, and I became very good friends with him during the week or so that our stays there coincided. He reminded me of a good Israeli friend of mine. I should try to look him up to see if he got status in EU.
Funny thing, I just woke up from a deep slumber and realized why Shah reminded me so much of my old friend from Israel, Da’el, so much–they were both the runts of the liter. They were both slightly short, maybe 5’5″, and were very stoic and proud even if they were never the center of attention. They knew they’d have to fight for everything they’d get in life. I pieced this together because Da’el, who is maybe even a little bit shorter than his twin sister, once told me that he was situated strangely in the womb, unlike his twin sister who was situated in a way more conducive to proper development. Shah, with that same look in his eyes, once told me what sounded like a bizarre bumblefuck Pakistani wives’ tale. He said that it is a biological fact that whenever there is an odd-numbered litter of babies born, one of them will always be a runt who is rejected by his mother. (This is contra-indicative of Da’el being one of a pair of twins, but the self-morbidifying line of thought is very parallel.)
On that note, I should mention that I met a contingent of Israelis a couple weeks later, at the Macedonian border (December 2015) who were horrified by the idea that these people were flooding into Europe, and that so many Europeans were rejecting the integrity of their ancestral homelands and rejecting the idea of secure borders.
Soon after first arriving, I heard a rumor about a rape. The girl who told me soon left, and I never hears mention of it again. It’s true that I felt very comfortable around almost all of the refugees, even when they’d be disrespectful or obstinate (they came from so many different backgrounds that there was hardly any sense unity among them; they would most often bend over backwards in obeisance to us volunteers.) After all, they saw us (usually) as the masters of their fate, though some (and this hearkens to cultural/socio-cognitive differences) would mistake our kindness servitude for weakness and submissiveness and be demanding, trying to take a foot when you offer an inch.
Nevertheless, if there had been a rape, I would not be surprised if other volunteers, or the UNHCR careerists in the neighboring compound, would have been hush-hush about it, or even actively cover it up, be it because their livelihoods or even just their personal narrative of righteousness hinges on the integrity of the moral melodrama which sees only dead babies on beaches.
Nevertheless, as with Sharouk or this 14 year old child prodigy from a Turkic region of Afghanistan (IE he looked straight up Chinese, bashed Islam, spoke perfect educated English and could have complex intellectual conversations), there is also the consequence of the migrant crisis forging much-needed intercultural bridges. The ones who do flourish in Europe–and many will–will be eternally grateful for the volunteers who helped them and the Europeans who welcomed them into their countries. They will enhance cultural and economic ties with the Muslim world and enhance mutual understanding. After all, on a fundamental level, misunderstanding–made possible by poor understanding of suffering cultural contexts–is the bane of human cooperation. This is the root of conflict, most definitely Muslim animosity toward secular humanism.
For most migrants, their multi-year odyssey of migration is the major event of their lives. They will either be eternally grateful, and build much-needed cross-cultural bridges, or they will start shooting native Europeans.
One particularly heavy episode for me was when this old Iraqi man, who looked just like Saddam Hussein, was brought to me because he got separated from his family. I walked around with him for what seemed like forever outside of the UN compound to try to find someone who spoke both English and Arabic. He was sort of disoriented and helpless, with a distraught, almost childlike-tearful look in his eyes and would pat me on the shoulder as if to make sure that I was still there with him, like I was his only tether in an alien world. Finally I found a Muslim British girl from some Muslim charitable org (forget its name). And she took over. I remember they let him to the compound, and he sat there, somewhat relieved, while people apparently looked for his family. Later, I talked to the girl and she said rather nonchalantly that his family probably abandoned him because he was not classifiable as part of a UN-sanctioned family unit.
Not long later, I relayed this heavy realization to another guy from the British Muslim contingent. It was late at night, and we were under the oppressive stadium lighting of the compound and immersed in the din of confused new arrivals, and he asked me if I’d ever listened to You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon. He casually recited some of the lyrics to me, and I realized how relevant they were to the migrant situation, and how these lyrics which had for so long seemed like an inane backdrop in my life (my name being Al) were actually deliberate and meaningful.
The heavy hearted profundity of this was offset a moment later when the Muslim Brit stated matter-of-factly, and rather insidiously IMO, “this is what Europe gets for [insert vague, paranoid accusation of culpability for terrorism on its own soil]”. For me, this epitomized the dual extrema of human emotion, love and hate.
After 2.5 weeks on Lesvos, most of my original friends had since migrated to other islands or the Turkish side of the Aegean or the Macedonian border. The media was mostly concentrated on Macedonia, and it was then sort of a flashpoint, with violent protests breaking out, tear gas and batons and so on, so that was where I went. Right as I was arriving, Greek police had set up elaborate roadblocks. Through the middle of the night, I walked through maybe 10 km (including getting lost, et c) of sometimes very dense vegetation and marshes, and having to escape from police that were guarding the roadway. Eventually I got to the camp. Interestingly, that night I aided a group of Moroccans to sneak across the border.
For me, there’s a meaningful difference between individuals I encounter in real life and abstract policies for groups. This is an essential component of humanism, which is a quintessential moral tradition of Western civilization; it a from within this tradition, and only within this tradition, that a persuasive refutation of antiracism can be lodged.
I theoretically support open borders. I see their disappearance as an inevitable historical development. Rather than lines on maps–or even walls–it is cultural boundaries that are the true, essential arbiters of population dynamics and socioeconomic zones, self-imposed evolutionary pressures, entry requirements, cooperation strategies and so on. I think that we—and the stewards of the hegemonic antiracist morality—must choose between closed-borders universal socialism and open-borders laissez faire apartheid. Such an apartheid would also necessarily entail the end of all compulsory universal resource-pooling. I feel that the latter is more pragmatic and morally tenable, and that it is perfectly acceptable, IMO, if public policy will cease to be predicated on dogma of people of all ethnic origins being interchangeable blank slates.
I realize that the required technological and political structures to make this possible are not yet in place, and that for the time being we do need borders. Nevertheless, cultural apartheid, rather than “sealed borders” is what really allows for insularity to flourish; I feel that we on the alt-right are addicted to the less palatable-for-the-polite because we cannot stomach that which violates our taste for idyllic, picturesque homogeneity. This epitomizes an inability to adapt to changing circumstances—one which is costing us dearly. We try to style ourselves as respectable folks, trying to get our looks right as though it were a Vedic fire ritual. But what if respectability comes less from the ties we wear, and more from our cognitive capacity for seeing the humanity in those who are ostensibly alien?
At this point, the best that white nationalists can achieve is to maintain the status quo. There will never be a white ethnostate—not in the US at least. Forced population migrations will never be permissible, and this sort of obsolete territorial ethnonationalism will never win over the imaginative, high intelligence types you need to win a war—and war is an implicit corollary of putative white ethnostate in the US. You’re welcome to try, but you won’t have me in your hand of cards.
In any case, we currently lack the necessary preconditions for any such white ethnostate. Until we wean the moral public off of the dogma of racial sameness, then, open borders will continue to be championed by the influential in our society as a moral imperative. Therefore, we must first disrupt this tenuous dogma and end the war on ‘white racism’; we must first secure equal rights and equal protection under the law for white people–things we are currently denied. Once we do this, then those of us interested in controlling immigration will have a leg to stand on.
After all, this dogma—this naked emperor stoking the ire of an 800-pound gorilla that will soon break out of this cage—is the root of the problem. The consensus on the alt-right–that “pathological altruism” is the problem–is severely flawed. Were it the case that we were the same, then I would wholeheartedly welcome all migrants into the West. Therefore, I think we need to adjust our orientation, crop from the frame all that is derivative or moot, and worry only about weaning the public conscience off of this dogma.
Here’s a video in which I argue that white nationalists are fighting a losing war if they think that the ethnic solidarity they yearn for can ever be achieved through the building of walls:
So, I ask: Do you really care about saving the white race? Do you care enough to leave your ideals and sensibilities at the door?
The Abolition of National Borders:
The “non-obvious” of Marcus Aurelius is, in the context of 2015, is that my position regarding race and the unsustainability of antiracism is 100% compatible with the notion of open borders. In fact, my position necessitates the abolition of borders.
Why? Because the unquenchable divisive furnace of human evolution is such that inequality can either be determined along the lines of physical borders, or else an apartheid-like distribution of peoples in a borderless society. There will always be inequality (it is written in the book of nature). What we, as the driving force behind cultural evolution, must choose is whether this inequality is local (IE: apartheid) or abstract (IE: with impenetrable boundaries between different societies on Earth). Inequality can either be abstract, or concrete—either “over there” or in everyday social relations with the people whom we rub shoulders with, our bosses and our morlocks.
This is the choice we, all humanity, must make. We must make a compromise: either pure socialism with big fences, or cultural (laissez faire) apartheid (IE: no affirmative action or wealth re-distribution—albeit without violating the rights of individuals or a basic safety net of human dignity).
Which path should we, as advocates attempting to end the war on racism, choose?
We should ride the wave of history, and put all of our effort into one choice rather than both. For the time being, it appears to me that the walls between nations are coming down.
And then, one day, all egoism will be breed out of the human genepool. On that day, our name will be one, and we will be one. The future will belong to those who can–and, critically, are willing to–make themselves useful to others.
This is why I will forfeit my ticket to Kyrgyzstan and instead go, in a few days, to the Macedonian border and try to help the people cross into Europe, illegally if need be.
Or else maybe I’ll go to the Turkish beaches of the border with Syria, if it turns out that there is not much to do at the Macedonian border.
And by “apartheid”, I’m not suggesting that equality under the law be reduced. In fact, I think it should be increased. I simply mean social apartheid—that people have the freedom of association and of disassociation if they so desire. Like James’ “right to segregation”. People should have the right to choose to what extent their tax money is distributed. The socialist aspect of government should become more amorphous and not so concretely defined by physical borders.
What follows is something I wrote after leaving Lesvos, en route to the Macedonian border back in early December of 2015:
Man, my mind is blown right now. Like, I’m writing stuff but I feel like I’m not here, like I’m not even thinking. (I’m in a hostel, just got off a long night on the ferry.) After spending days amidst huge, writhing masses of brown and Asiatic people, a nonstop flow of people.
A couple nights ago, I found this old Iraqi man who looked just like Saddam Hussein around the age that Hussein was when he was hanged. The man was confused, sort of in a state of shock. A few other Iraqis (they were all Kurds, I think) brought him to me and said that he lost his family. Spent like an hour going to the different compounds for Syrians and Iraqis, asking about his family. The guy spoke zero English, and he was in very much in a state of shock, kept grabbing my shoulder. Utterly confused, although smiling hopefully periodically. Eventually I found some Arabic-speakers in one of the compounds and left him there, behind barbed wire at like 8PM. In my head, I figured that his family must be in one of the compounds, and he just got separated from them somehow and that he’d get re-connected with his family. Maybe that his family got moved to the camp a few KM down the road for Syrian and Iraqi families (like, maybe he just didn’t fall into the “family” classification”).
Saw him a still sitting there a couple hours later. Then I spoke with another volunteer who suggested that maybe his family literally just dumped him there and moved on to Europe without him.
Then later that night I met this random guy, Pakistani-British volunteer, to whom I introduced myself as Al. He then started to recite, under the oppressive floodlights outside the barbed wire at like 11PM, the lyrics to Paul Simon’s “You Can Call me Al.” I’ve long been made aware of this song since was a little kid, but it was never anything but a mere nuisance to me, and the lyrics always seemed to me like random gibberish. But then as Amir was reciting these lyrics, I realized just how much sense the lyrics make. In fact, I thought he was bullshitting the lyrics to make it fit with working at that apocalyptic wasteland host to a writhing mass of Third World refugees.
The cup is half full, and it’s half empty.
More comments of mine regarding ‘open borders’:
Ah. My views preserving demographic status quos and embracing multiculturalism are complex. I think the US must be a multicultural society, although this must be a) WITHOUT the ongoing war on ‘white racism’ and b) allowing for insular ethnic enclaves to form–yes, whites absolutely included–be they geographic or cultural. As it currently stands, whites de facto lack this right unless they veil it in religion without the religion being unmistakable as a proxy for race.
However, whether this should mean allowing white demographics in the US to slip further, I don’t know. Either way, I’m absolutely against population expulsions and somewhat biased against strict borders.
Countries should be allowed to preserve their status quo, and this is all the more true for Europe. No European countries were founded on the ideal of multiculturalism like the US was.
Perhaps there can be ‘international zones’ in major cities and their environs.
Nevertheless, I think that borders can become more permeable if we allow peoples greater degrees of self-determination, insularity, and exclusive rights over their wealth.
Regardless, questions of immigration and territoriality are moot until antiracism is dumped.