Sweet Music

‘The days are bright, and filled with pain…’ wrote Jim Morrison back in the nineteen sixties, in a song called Crystal Ship, which like so many others at the time was considered a metaphor for drugs.

I feel as lost now as folks did back then, when Morrison wrote ‘they’ve got the guns but we’ve got the numbers.’ In the States, a number was a synonym for a joint, a spliff, or a doobie, so once again there was a play on words—but the real concept in ‘Five to One’ was that we have a fight on our hands, and it is a fight to the death.

2018… One hundred years after the end of the First World War, and the Western World is busy embarking on the same disastrous ship of nationalism and bigotry that marked the greatest disaster of the twentieth century, perhaps the greatest catastrophe in human history.

This time led by the US, by the UK, and endorsed by countries in Eastern Europe. Bizarre marriages of convenience, such as the Italian government, and always the fallacy that immigration is controllable by hoisting the drawbridge.

If you clearcut the forest, there will come a day when the torrential rains turn into a hundred-year flood. So you build a dam downstream to avoid the mudslides and the raging waters, to keep the towns and villages safe. But the water slowly rises, until it tops the parapet…

If you daisycut the countryside, that torrential flood will come, but it will be a flood of people banging on your door. If your policy is to ignore a world of corrupt rulers—breeding grounds for parallel authority, murder, and chaos—it’s just a matter of time before it comes to you.

The job of civilized nations is to change things for the better—in a connected world, that means change at a broad scale, and Western nations have the money and power to do it. So what can we do? Understand.

  • First, understand that building walls to keep people out is not the answer. Why? Because there will always be ways around the wall, over it, under it, or through it;
  • Second, understand that proxy wars in other nations generate refugees who will come to safe havens—to all intents and purposes, they come to the West;
  • Third, understand that economic deprivation will displace people, and they will try to enter your door;
  • Fourth, if gang violence and murder are rife, citizens will flee—they fear for their families—and the poorer, underprivileged communities, who are most at risk, will be the bulk of immigration;
  • Fifth, recognize that developed nations need immigrants. Some, like the US and Canada, were built by them, others need them now to do the jobs the locals will not accept.

Having recognized these five conditions, which like the Doors’ song result in only one outcome—immigration, what should Western policy be? Perhaps more importantly, what shouldn’t it be?

The first step is to break down immigration into its three key components: (i) people running from war (pre, during, and post); (ii) people running from dysfunctional government, gang violence, etc; (iii) people running from economic hardship.

There is considerable overlap in these components—gangs and parallel economies derive from war and dysfunctional government, which themselves generate poverty for all, and great wealth for a few.

In decades of travel to the world’s remotest corners, I’ve only ever met a handful of folks who were keen to leave their home, provided the basics were in place—by that I mean safety, jobs, health care, and education.

Mass migration, like a high fever, is a sign that things are desperately wrong. But thankfully, they’re not desperately wrong everywhere.

Europe does not receive many immigrants from Kenya, South Africa, or Jordan, when compared for instance with Syria and Senegal. The same analysis can be made for the US, where the main intake from the south is from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua—not Costa Rica or Brazil. And just about every would-be immigrant I see on the US news seems to mention MS-13.

To regulate immigration—since by definition it cannot be stopped, and it’s not even desirable to stop it altogether—both the originating countries and the underlying motives need to be understood, and the problems attacked at the source.

Music, sweet music, that’s the only thing that shuts the madness out.
Music, like nations, is founded on diversity.

Here’s an example: last week I was talking to a guy from Moldavia—you may not even know where that is. He’s an immigrant, and like most, left behind parents and extended family. His mother has cancer—like the good son he is, he traveled to visit her in hospital before her operation.

“I had to pay everyone,” he said. “I stuffed fifty euros in the pocket of the cardiologist. Then more doctors came. Even the cleaning lady, I had to pay her to keep my mother’s bed clean.” His son studies computer science. Between bouts of studying, he’s an immigrant too. When he takes an exam, the only way to get it graded is to pay the professor—not bribing him to get a good mark, nothing as despicable as that. Just bribing him to get any mark.

If this kind of thing is happening in your country, then you’re probably reading my article in transit to the US southern border, or bobbing toward the gateways of fortress-Europe.

The India Road, Atmos Fear, Clear Eyes, and Folk Tales For Future Dreamers. QR links for smartphones and tablets.

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