Europe Clashes Over Immigration
Switzerland’s Primal Scream
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  • bigfire

    You mean the TOP UNELECTED PEOPLE at EU in Brussel isn’t the one best to guide European subjects? What will they think of next, election?

  • free_agent

    There’s much talk of people’s economic interests, but what of their social interests? If the immigrants are somehow coming into the social pecking order above the natives, the natives won’t like that, even if the natives have higher incomes because of it. And that’s not an irrational or emotional position, but a statement of people’s fundamental social goals, maximizing their social status.

    • qet

      I would go even further. It may not even be a matter of social “rank” or status. People are entitled, and by itself it suggests no nefarious or suspect motive, to resist change. Change is necessary and so is resistance to change. Human beings want to be able to exist in social conditions at least approximating, and at least for a time, a stable equilibrium. The facts here demonstrate that the Swiss response is not amenable to the all purpose utility knife charge of wealthy and privileged caucasian people hating poor dark-skinned minorities. People from other cultures bring those cultures with them when they relocate and that understandably causes consternation to the native inhabitants. People dislike consternation so they seek to stop it. I see no reason to ascribe moral fault here, and as for whether the action is adverse or short-sighted from a macro-economic standpoint, well, so what?

      • Anthony

        Who makes “all sweeping utility charge of wealthy and privileged caucasian people hating poor dark-skinned minorities (such a fallacy of presumption and reflective of the hidden costs of sterotypes).

        • qet

          Please see my reply to free_agent above. I see that I was not clear in making my point. My fault.

      • free_agent

        You write, “wealthy and privileged caucasian people hating poor dark-skinned minorities”.

        I know a lot of privileged caucasian people who have no problem with poor dark-skinned immigrants — but upon close examination, those people are not inconvenienced or threatened by immigrants like that. (They do face competition from well-educated Indians with H-1B visas, but those people speak English well, so the natives aren’t fretting about multiculturalism.) My observation is that people who fear immigration all seem to have very concrete reasons for fearing it — generally, economic competition, fear of cultural domination, or loss of class-status of their neighborhoods if too many poor immigrants move in.

        • qet

          My point with that language is only that whenever resistance to immigration is observed in a Western country where the immigrants are largely from non-Western, non-East Asian countries, the standard response of the left is to claim that it is motivated solely by white people’s (wealthy and otherwise)hatred of racial/ethnic minorities. The facts here don’t lend themselves to such a facile narrative. So I agree with your point, and you are agreeing with mine, regarding the basis for resistance to large-scale immigration.

  • Pete

    So Mead kiddies, tell me, in your opinion would it wrong to vote to ban “packs of foreign welfare leeches” from coming into a given country?

  • Kavanna

    Multiculturalism, open borders, democracy — pick any two. Another case for the political science textbooks.

  • Bruce

    I think WRM or his intern nails it when he/she states that this was basically a “screw you” to the EU. When in doubt, the best default is to vote against what the EU wants. If the Swiss want to preserve their culture, among other things, let the bureaucrats scream.

    • Corlyss

      Switzerland is not a member of the EU. I’m all in favor of their doing what they are doing, but seriously, with 3 recognized national languages, what exactly IS their culture they are so desperate to preserve, other than “European” in the broadest sense of the word. I guess the only virtue I would ascribe to them uniquely is their love of independence conferred by their unique geography, which has bred their obnoxious inability to stand for anything. I mean, they could have been Andoria for all their cultural impact. Remember Harry Lime’s crack about the cuckoo clock?

      • Kavanna

        They want to preserve their peculiar multiculturalism and their democracy. That excludes open borders (see below), QED.

        (Yes, Switzerland is not a full member of the EU. It is a member of the EEA, a free trade zone.)

  • Corlyss

    “The measure does not outlaw immigration per se but merely seeks to curb it.”
    We should be so lucky. This vote is what happens when you have a culturally homogenous people.
    OF course if the EU states could vote on internal EU immigration, they would reject it as well, or, as you so delicately put it, “seek to curb it.” The trouble with letting in the illiterate and clannish is suddenly menial jobs are beneath your own population, and you’re stuck having to rely on aliens to do the blue collar jobs. The problem with 50 years of education policy living the mantra that every child is college material and should be groomed as such is pretty soon you get generation after generation of people whose only skill is to sit on their butts receiving welfare because they clearly AREN’T college material and therefore are both unprepared for good jobs and unwilling to do scut work or to accept that that’s all they’re good for . It’s as if those are the only two options the Modern Administrative State recognizes: incapable, and college degreed.

    • Anthony

      Well stated Corlyss, all of it (but especially “the trouble with letting….”).

  • The parallels with America ought to be widely recognized. In America the States created the federal government and gave it specific, limited powers. America became an economic powerhouse. The federal government began abusing the powers it was given – and took – is taking – ever-more. In Europe, the States created the EU and gave it many, probably too many, powers. And now they cannot control it – any more than in America we can control the federal government. So they begin to rebel. First around the periphery. In the US, Arizona passed a law that did nothing more than mirror federal immigration law that the federal government has refused to enforce; the federal government sued them, squashing the sovereignty Arizona, nor any American State ever relinquished (under international law, sovereignty only can be relinquished through formal written documentation. No American State ever has relinquished its sovereignty. In Switzerland – this. Liberty WILL prevail. THe Left can help, accept or hinder. But the Left will NOT win.

    • Corlyss

      “the States created the federal government and gave it specific, limited powers.”

      And thereby hangs some of the most contentious American history and more than one Constitutional crisis in the real meaning of the word. Was it really “the States?” Was it really “We the people?” I doubt the question will ever be finally decided as long as we struggle with “our Federalism.” It’s pretty obvious the States as conceptual partners in this American experiment went into a near-permanent vegetative state over the civil rights battles of the 60s, and are only now laboring purposefully to re-establish their rights vis the Federal Government. It’s equally obvious that 2.5 of the three branches of the Federal Government have nothing but contempt for the idea that the states, or anyone but minorities, women, and gays, can put any meaningful restraints on the Feds’ accretion of powers both large and small, and maybe not even them.

      • The ratification of the Constitution created the federal government. Ratification was by the States, not the People. The STATES created the federal government. The biggest change was caused by the 17th Amendment when the Senators stopped representing the States – whose legislators appointed and could recall them for any reason – but began representing the “people” instead, and who have no ability to recall them.

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