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Samizdata quote of the day – Albanian edition

Why leave Albania – parts of which are beautiful – for an unprepossessing bedsit in a dispiriting London borough? The experts I sounded out, friends and a friend of a friend, interestingly don’t focus primarily on the economy to explain the exodus – because it really is an exodus of the younger generation. Rather, it’s to do with Albania being a failed state: the absence of the rule of law, the sense that the place is being run by a corrupt coterie for its own benefit, the hopelessness about the prospects for change, the narco-economy. One recent paper put the number who’ve left the country since the advent of Edi Rama, the socialist prime minister, in 2013, at 700,000. If Rama wants to know what’s really behind the exodus of Albanians, he could do worse than look in the mirror.

Melanie McDonagh

39 comments to Samizdata quote of the day – Albanian edition

  • She was scared of the traffickers: terrorists, she called them. Certainly she wasn’t going to shop them; they’re here and if anyone gives them trouble, it would be tricky for their family back home.

    In my old post Humanitarian Combat Fatigue, I described the illegals as migrants but also as a complicit commodity (so, in a sense, I was agreeing with the OP article that they are “not just) migrants”. That old post has a link to an older example of the “huge nexus of organised crime and asylum seeking”.

    The absurdity of the UK’s juristocratic-cum-bureaucratic-determined immigration practices are well illustrated by the arrival of visibly (in every sense while they cross the channel) illegal Albanians who very demonstrably (in logic) protect (by silence when it is not more) organised criminals whose details they blatantly know, who originate from a country that is part of the Schengen agreement, i.e. that these same jurists and bureaucrats are not even formally treating as a place to which you could not return people.

    After WWII, many Germans recognised that Hitler’s victory would have been a disaster for Germans, not just for Nazi Germany’s official victim categories. Those German soldiers waiting on the far side of the channel in 1940 were not just dangerous to our freedom, they were also victims whom the Nazis were depriving of their own. But they were complicit in it; they would obey orders to take from us the freedom they had already lost (and then some).

    It is unwise to allow illegals to stay even a while if they refuse to inform on (i.e. break with; show some will to cease obeying) the people traffickers who brought them (instant return to Albania if they don’t).

  • rhoda klapp

    Rather, it’s to do with Albania being a failed state: the absence of the rule of law, the sense that the place is being run by a corrupt coterie for its own benefit, the hopelessness about the prospects for change, the narco-economy.

    So they decided to come here?

  • Steven R

    the absence of the rule of law, the sense that the place is being run by a corrupt coterie for its own benefit, the hopelessness about the prospects for change, the narco-economy.

    Allow me to introduce you to any city in the United States.

  • JohnK

    How long before Britain becomes a failed state? Where do we go?

  • Fan of Slackwire Clowns

    JohnK:

    When does a Failing State become a Failed State, and who makes the call?

  • Kirk

    What makes a “failed state” in the first place, pray tell?

    The citizens of said “failed state”.

    So, when those rats desert the sinking ship that they built, crewed, and then rode into the rocks, why should any other non-failed state take them in?

    The failure didn’t just “happen”; it generally isn’t imposed from without. It’s an internal thing, purely the fault of the members of said “failed state”.

    This is why I say that accepting refugees from such locales is an exercise fraught with risk; Minnesota ain’t managed the feat of converting Somalis to “Minnesota Nice”; instead, they’ve actually converted Minnesota over into Somalia.

    There is no “magic dirt”. You look at a failed nation-state, and the reason it failed has rather more to do with the people that live there than anything else. Taking them in, and allowing them to retain their failed “culture”? That’s just… Incredibly stupid and short-sighted.

  • JohnK

    Kirk:

    True, but no-one ever asks if we want them.

  • Steven R

    And that’s just it. We didn’t lose a war and the invaders set up shop. Our leaders just opened the borders or looked the other way when illegals came by the millions and said we were the problem if we didn’t bend over backwards to accept the newcomers because of bigotry, racism, Islamophobia, or whatever. And when we did replace the leaders nothing changed. By the time we saw it was a problem the damage had already been done. And in some cases, like Sweden and Germany, the powers that be have even convinced the locals to welcome people who have nothing in common with citizens and no wish to assimilate to welcome the newcomers with open arms.

    In some ways we’re too civilized. We no longer express our disapproval of our betters by breaking out the tar and feathers and torches and pitchforks. We no longer tell bums they aren’t welcome in our town by beating them in the streets and telling them to take their problems elsewhere. Obviously mob justice is no justice at all, but it got the point across to elected officials that there are limits to just what common people will and won’t accept.

  • Kirk

    The reason we collectively allowed the “leadership” to inflict all these former residents of failed states on the rest of us was quite simple: Weaponized “compassion”.

    I’ve lost all sympathy or credence in anything the varied and sundry numpties and luvvies inflict on me in the course of arguing for their humanitarian causes. I’m even of a mind that they ought to be paying a prohibitively expensive tax rate on their overseas efforts, like “feeding the hungry”. It’s like allowing your idiot neighbors to put out food for the bears; you feed ’em, they become self-destructively damaging to the locale. If you’re going to do anything, it should be limited to helping the starving topple their incompetent governments and trying to teach them modern agriculture. Anything else? You’re just prolonging the agony; it’d be kinder to show up with guns and just shoot them all in the head, humanely.

    The unfortunate fact is, these places would be just fine if they were left the hell alone; no modern anything. Giving them modern medicine and the rest, before they’re ready to accept the rest of the package that goes with modern civilization? They can’t adapt, piecemeal. It has to be an all or nothing proposition, and if you’re going to enable a population explosion without also mandating a wholesale updating of their cultural and political practices to go along with it…? You’re just another bastard who’s only feeding their own ego.

    It’s a sad set of facts, but they’re all true. God help us. I don’t like it any better than anyone else, but the fact set is there to be observed, and I see no way around any of it. You either have the entire package, or you shouldn’t even bother. Giving modern technology to a culture with a 7th Century social zeitgeist is just a recipe for disaster.

  • Paul Marks

    Many years ago, I offered to go to Albania – it was a Conservative Party adviser thing, but I was rejected.

    I doubt I would have done any good – most likely I would have ended up dead in a ditch somewhere having offended the wrong people (which would have been a less cruel fate than the last 32 years – but enough self-pity).

    As for why illegal migrants come to Britain – they come to Britain to work in vicious criminal gangs. And the French government, which has been given 300 million Pounds to stop them, waves them in.

    The illegal migrants and the Albanian government are much the same sort of people.

    No doubt there are many good people in Albania – but this is not about them, they have not been in charge since the 1930s (since the time of King Zog) – since then anyone who showed moral decency had a high risk of being murdered by the occupation forces during the war, or the Marxist regime after the war.

    Solzhenitsyn once answered a question about the lack of strong-minded decent men in the average Russian village – he pointed out that such men had existed, but the Soviet regime murdered them, so they did not often breed. Whereas the “activists” in the village, morally the most despicable people there, did normally get a chance to breed.

    The selection pressure seems to have been even more extreme in Albania – and the environmental, cultural, factors (the “Social Justice” criminality) would also have had a terrible effect. So, whether it is “nature or nurture – or a bit of both” is something that I would not like to guess at. If I had to guess I would guess it was more nurture (more the cultural environment) than nature (than genetics). But it makes little difference when one of them has a knife at your throat.

    Letting them into the United Kingdom is barmy – “border control” is not about taking people to court to try and deport them after they have arrived (that is a mug’s game – especially with a legal system like ours), border control is about not-letting-them-in-in-the-first-place.

    And if the United Kingdom has to leave the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Refugee Conventions in order to have real border control against the vicious criminal gangs – good, excellent.

    It is much the same with the United States – in such countries as Honduras no property is safe, because gangs of armed men can take your land (or your stuff, or your life) off you, whenever they feel like it – that is the real reason Honduras (and other such countries) are poor – there is no security of property for ordinary people.

    Letting M19 and other vast “social justice” criminal networks into the United States (they now have thousands of armed supporters inside the United States) was madness, or it was deliberate evil – but only Donald John Trump did anything to oppose it, and he was opposed by the Corporate State establishment at every point.

  • Roué le Jour

    We fucked up. We trusted them.

  • JohnK

    Paul:

    You are right, we need to leave the ECHR and the UN Refugee Convention. And you must also know that there is no chance whatsoever of that happening. The international power elite will not permit it. They did not permit Liz Truss to abolish a £2bn tax rate, they will not permit this. So we are doomed.

  • Steven R

    Paul Marks wrote: It is much the same with the United States – in such countries as Honduras no property is safe, because gangs of armed men can take your land (or your stuff, or your life) off you, whenever they feel like it – that is the real reason Honduras (and other such countries) are poor – there is no security of property for ordinary people.

    They don’t even need to be armed in the US. Go away for a long weekend and come home to find squatters in your house and the police do nothing because it’s a civil matter. Yeah, you’ll win eventually but it will cost thousands upon thousands to run through the legal system to win, not to mention time, and the inevitable cost of replacing stolen goods and repairing the house.

    And of course there is adverse possession, where someone owns a piece of real estate and someone else uses it without being run off and after a while the courts say the user has the legal right to it despite not owning the property or paying taxes on it.

    And then there is the sticky issue of right of ways and easements.

  • Kirk

    Ah, Steven… You’re just observing the wrong people.

    Acquaintances of the family reportedly had “squatter issues” up at their inherited summer cabin. Nobody is really too sure what happened, but the squatters just up and vanished one dark night. Cars included, which is odd because someone should have noticed them leaving, given the terrain and the single road going in, up there.

    Several old mine shafts, though. One of which got closed off with explosives shortly after, for “Safety reasons…”

    Again, it’s down to culture. You get the government you deserve, and if you won’t tolerate the “rule of law” going bye-bye, because of numpties and luvvies surreptitiously doing away with it all, well… Don’t be really surprised at what happens when things return to a state of nature. People aren’t going to like that, no sir, they will not.

    Somalia and Central America are what they are due to the people who live there. The current immiseration of the American commons is not something I’d bet on lasting for very long, because of the nature of the people involved. You start playing the games the Democrats and their flying monkey minions are, and all you’re really going to do is effectively destroy-by-discrediting the current political/governance setup. The result of that is going to be a whole lot of lost jobs and some seriously unhappy numpties and luvvies who thought that they had captured the “high ground” and would forever remain in charge.

    Reality is, it quits working, and then the people route around it. Cops and the courts cease doing their jobs, the mob will do it for them. Mark my words; they’ll be begging to bring back everything they did away with in very short order, likely less than a generation.

  • Stuart Noyes

    People leaving countries with problems don’t make them any better.

  • Kirk

    And, arguably, it makes the problems in those countries worse.

    Can anyone imagine the likely outcome of history, had all those anti-authoritarian Germans stayed home in Germany?

    How much of what Bismarck et al. got up to can be laid at the foot of all those dissident voices having left the scene?

    “Voting with your feet” has the unfortunate corollary that you’re enabling the tyrants you fled to have free rein.

    I would personally prefer that the US was handing the illegals coming north the tools to go home and deal with their oppressors properly. And, to some extent, that has happened with returning Mexican expats that show up with money and other resources to counter the current power structure. This sometimes does not work out well for the former expats, but it’s disturbing enough that I’d hold it out as an argument for talking to the Mexican government about securing the border on their side. From what I’ve heard, there are a lot of Mexican oligarchs who’re just a little disturbed about the notions many returning expats have about what they’re owed by the ricos and the government…

  • bobby b

    Imagine if all of those people who had the money and the will and the basic gumption to pick up and move their families to another country, with a different language, had instead stayed home and worked to change what they’re fleeing.

    Those countries’ corrupt rulers love it when people flee to the US. Removes pressure for them to reform. The people they most fear leave them to their plunder.

    Roy Beck got it right:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPjzfGChGlE

  • Kirk

    On the flip side, the whole thing can be looked at as being a case of the oppressed fleeing to sanctuary, only to return and clean things up. I’ve got a German-descent Jewish friend who frames WWII that way… His father was part of the post-WWII work done by the US and others to turn Germany away from the authoritarian mess it was.

    YMMV, as to whether or not that was a good thing. Certainly, the de-Nazified didn’t think it was.

  • Paul Marks

    JohnK – you may be correct, we shall have to see whether the borders of the United Kingdom are secured or not.

    But it is not just the United Kingdom which looks like it may be “doomed” – observe the United States where a campaign of lies (claiming that voting Republican would “end democracy”) has had an effect.

    Conditioning, “brain washing”, has an effect (otherwise the Collectivists would not bother to do it) – with the education system and the media, and the corporations, under the control of the Collectivists it takes a very strong mind to reject the conditioning.

  • Paul Marks

    Still – today is the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Collectivists and their evil “Social Justice” can be defeated – basic liberties can be restored and government rolled back.

    We must fight on.

  • A self-revealingly prejudiced article in Unheard nevertheless brings itself to admit half-way through what everyone knows: the Albanians are recruited and sent by traffickers specifically to work in the UK’s hard-drug trade; the said Albanians know this and are fine with it.

    Like those German 1940s soldiers I mentioned, some are victims as well as perpetrators but all are very complicit.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes Niall – but not just the drug trade, many other forms of criminality as well.

    Bot one must remember that it is not just people of certain ethnicity who commit crimes – for example “Katie Hobbs” sounds Anglo Saxon to me (certainly more Anglo Saxon than “Paul Marks”) and this person is in charge of the election system in Arizona and was, at the same time, a candidate for Governor.

    Some questioned why Katie Hobbs refused to debate or really campaign – did the lady not want to win?

    Of course, the lady wanted to win – it was just that the rather bent State offered her another road to “winning” the election.

    I am afraid the days of the “High Chaparral” (if anyone other than me is old enough to remember that television series) are long gone – Arizona is a corrupt place now, like several other States.

    I would not be astonished if elections in Albania are less dishonest than elections in Arizona or Pennsylvania.

  • Kirk

    Honesty in elections, I am afraid, is inversely proportional to the amount of power at stake in them. More power there is available to the office holder, less honesty you’ll find in the elections for them.

    The root of the problem, I fear, is not the elections or the electoral process: It’s the amount of power we invest in the surrounding matrix. If the Governor of Arizona wasn’t a powerful and influential figure, then nobody would bother corrupting the election thereof.

    It’s entirely in accordance with Hobbes. If you don’t want corruption in governance, then don’t put all that power in the government; it will inevitably attract the wrong people who will equally inevitably prove to be abusive and incompetent.

    Government, I conclude, is a game you only really win by not playing it. The writers of that trite 1980s movie, War Games, got that much right.

    Although, I rather doubt they understood that at the time.

  • Paul Marks

    Kirk – no Sir.

    There is nothing inevitable about election corruption – it can and should be prevented. Some sort of pretend mathematical principle “honest in elections is inversely proportional to the amount of power at stake in them” is false.

    As for Thomas Hobbes – he did not believe that human beings even existed, so (of course) he had no interest in limiting the power of government. If humans are just flesh robots then it does not matter if there is tyranny or not – as “freedom” is not (to Hobbes) moral choice (because there, to him, no moral agents), “freedom” (to Hobbes) is, for example, like water gushing out after a dam has been blown up – it has no moral significance at all (because water does not choose to gush out – and, according to Thomas Hobbes, humans do not make moral choices either – humans, to him, are not beings).

    The bizarre misinterpretation of Thomas Hobbes as some sort of liberal seems to have started with a few Radicals at the start of the 19th century (the “Philosophical Radicals” of the Westminster Review group – which, in turn, grow out of the Bowood Circle in the late 18th century) – a full reading of the works of Thomas Hobbes, including how he redefines words (sometimes reversing the meaning of words) refutes the idea.

    As for an example of a State has cleaned up its elections in recent years – Florida is such an example.

    No more ballot harvesting, no more mass mail-in ballots with no clear proof they came from actual voters, and-so-on.

  • Kirk

    @Paul Marks,

    Let us see if the “reforms” in Florida last. I fully expect to see the full weight and power of the Federal government come crashing down on them, complete with prosecution and imprisonment.

    I fear that your touching belief in the perfectability of man and his institutions is well at odds with reality. I’ve observed, carefully, throughout my life that the only things that remain more-or-less honest are those things that nobody really cares about. You didn’t see a lot of election corruption here in the US so long as the power and authority of the offices in question didn’t grow too great; once it passed a certain level of potential, then the corruption set in.

    I’d speculate that you have two ways of curing the problem, and neither one of those include retreating into fantasy-land. One, you could remove the power from the position, rendering it of no interest to the corrupt. Two, you could alternatively make those offices so unattractive as to render them useless for the power- and wealth-hungry to vie for.

    Personally, I think that either of those options would work a lot better than trying to clean up the effectively uncleanable. So long as the incentive exists for the power-hungry, you’ll have electoral corruption. Sad fact, but there it is. You don’t want your affairs decided by the corrupt, then don’t put your affairs into their hands in the first damn place.

    Honestly, I find the whole thing repugnant. About the only way I see cleaning up politics is to remove the power from it all, or to make it unpleasant enough to keep the ego-freak power-hungry away. Maybe by subjecting them to 24/7 monitoring? Requiring full forensic accounting of their financial affairs, after they leave office?

    Alternatively, just do away with elections, period. Go to a system wherein legislative office is like jury duty; if you’re a legally registered voter, your name goes into a pool and they select randomly from that pool. Selectees get evaluated for conflicts of interest or vulnerabilities, and then bang, zoom, if they don’t have any crippling ones, they’re the legislator for this term. Auditing required, and if they can’t show honest sourcing for their money, off to prison for taking bribes, assumption of guilt before innocence.

    Not nice, certainly, but the only really effective way to end corruption in elections: Don’t have them in the first place.

  • Paul Marks

    Kirk – I do not believe in the “perfectibility of man”.

    But nor do I want rigged elections.

    You say that you have bad feelings – welcome to the club, I do as well. Very bad feelings – possibly worse than you can imagine Sir.

    But I do not give up – or when I do, I get back off the floor and struggle on.

    By the way – you are never going to do major things like “take power away from government” (reduce the size and scope of government) if you are not prepared to make elections straight.

    Kirk – you could have the most wonderful set of policies, and lots of people could vote for you.

    But if the election is not straight – you fall at the first fence.

    Kirk – I must be polite, so I will stop here. But you are not exactly being a great help Sir.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    It’s ironic to see Americans criticise people for leaving corrupt and oppressive regimes to start a better life.

    That’s most of the ancestors of the US, apart from the descendants of slaves.

  • Surellin

    Albania hasn’t really changed since the reign of King Zog.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    The absurdity of the UK’s juristocratic-cum-bureaucratic-determined immigration practices are well illustrated by the arrival of visibly (in every sense while they cross the channel) illegal Albanians who very demonstrably (in logic) protect (by silence when it is not more) organised criminals whose details they blatantly know, who originate from a country that is part of the Schengen agreement, i.e. that these same jurists and bureaucrats are not even formally treating as a place to which you could not return people.

    This is the conduct that enrages even libertarians such as myself: the cocky flaunting of illegality by people who have come from a place that has a border-free agreement with the EU and certain other nations. Interesting, is it not, that these folk could, under Schenghen, have gone to several affluent countries, without risking their lives in a dodgy rubber boat provided by crooks, but instead came to the UK. It is as if the idea of the UK as some sort of post-Brexit hell on earth isn’t true.

    There has to be some sort of consequence, such as being made to work without benefits for a period of time, or some other tough rite of passage, that will get back to those thinking of coming to the UK and will impress on them the notion that the UK taxpayer is not a soft touch.

    On a separate point, the outflow of these young men (I see relatively few women or kids in the photos) represent a fairly big chunk of the total adult population. They will soon find that the cost of living in the UK is far higher than in Albania, or wherever else they originated from. Some may, given the raw economics, want to return, or send money back home if they can.

  • Paul Marks

    Johnathan Pearce – vicious gang members, whether they are landing in Kent or crossing over the southern border of the United States, are not nice people just trying to get a better life.

    Unless by a “better life” you mean a mixture of government benefits and the proceeds of crime.

    A nation that has no real borders, will not remain a nation.

    Up to 1965 the United States was fairly careful about who it let in (what sort of nation that would make it) – the post 1965 experiment has not been a great success; it has been a horrible failure.

    Unless the new policy (the “Teddy” Kennedy Act of 1965) was intended to do harm – in which case the new policy has indeed been a success – in that it has done terrible harm.

    And it is continuing to do terrible harm.

    Returning to the British case – the problem is not incompetence. The bureaucracy is not honestly trying to enforce the borders – keep the migrants OUT.

    The bureaucracy, and the establishment generally, does not believe in keeping the migrants out, it does not believe in defending the borders.

    This is not innocent incompetence – this is a deliberate policy (or rather “Policy”).

    The establishment hide behind the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Conventions on “refugees” to push the policy (or rather Policy) they want anyway – mass migration. The destruction of Britain is the aim – it is deliberate.

    Once they are allowed in the country XYZ tactics (such as “no benefits for a period of time”) will not work, they have to be kept out – they must not continue to be allowed in.

    If the present “Policy” continues – that is the end of Britain.

  • Paul Marks

    If a nation cannot (or will not) do basic things – such as make sure elections are straight and defend the borders (keep the mass migrants out – prevent them entering in the first place) there is no hope at all that a nation will do difficult things – such as reduce government spending.

    People who write about a new health system (changing the NHS), a different welfare system, or whatever, fail to grasp that if a nation cannot even defend its own borders there is no hope (none) that it will achieve anything else.

    Whether it is the border of Arizona or the shore of Kent – the first thing is to defend the borders, then we can talk about other things.

    And if we can defeat “Policy” (the policy of the international establishment) on mass migration – then we can defeat them on other things as well.

  • Martin

    There has to be some sort of consequence, such as being made to work without benefits for a period of time, or some other tough rite of passage, that will get back to those thinking of coming to the UK and will impress on them the notion that the UK taxpayer is not a soft touch.

    When they’re coming to work for sex and drug traffickers I don’t think telling them they can’t have welfare for a few years will deter them much

  • the outflow of these young men (I see relatively few women or kids in the photos) … (Johnathan Pearce (London), November 10, 2022 at 8:31 am)

    It’s a very basic point about migration that if young men dominate then you are looking at economic migrants. If they were genuine refugees then we would be seeing the women and kids and older men whose absence Johnathan correctly observes.

    It is also a basic point that more crimes are committed by young men than by the other missing groups. The illegals’ effect on our crime rate, relative to their numbers, will be greater than merely the crime rate in Albania would suggest – and that, of course, is additional to the fact that they are brought in on terms which require them to obey the criminal trafficking organisations’ UK-based branches/allies.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    vicious gang members, whether they are landing in Kent or crossing over the southern border of the United States, are not nice people just trying to get a better life.

    It is quite possible that two things can be true: some of the illegal immigrants are vicious gang members (boo!) and some are deluded, or cynical or desperate who want a better life and prepared to work for it, and have got into bed with some lowlifes. It is not as if this has not happened before.

    the post 1965 experiment has not been a great success; it has been a horrible failure.

    Those who came into the US from Cuba, or Vietnam (remember the “Boat People”?) have been a success, so much so that they often outperform the established population in the second or third generations.

    they must not continue to be allowed in.

    Once they hit the beach at Dover, they are “in”. So let’s talk about what can be done to stop this. One approach is for the UK government to moor large, floating “holding vessels” in UK territorial waters, or just off the edge of them, and for all these young men to be held there until such time as they can be then transported back to whence they came. By the time they land on the UK shores, it is too late because they have to be put up in hostels or camps of some sort and sooner or later, they have to be allowed to stay here assuming they cannot be returned home. Many of these young herberts refuse to carry any ID, to try and bamboozle those seeking to figure things out. In these cases the burden of proof should be on these men to prove whom they claim to be, and then they should be kicked back.

  • Steven R

    Jonathan Pearce wrote:
    It’s ironic to see Americans criticise people for leaving corrupt and oppressive regimes to start a better life.

    That’s most of the ancestors of the US, apart from the descendants of slaves.

    It isn’t people fleeing tyrants that bothers me. It’s people hopping the borders just to put their hands out to the welfare system. It’s people who show up and refuse to assimilate and want to be catered to. It’s people being brought over by Big Business only to pay them less than Americans are making because it’s cheaper than paying Americans. It’s people who arrive and want us to do the things they fled from in the first place. And it’s criminals who put down roots only to continue engaging in their criminal enterprises.

    And yeah, at 350 million people, we’re getting pretty full and it’s time to start telling some people who want to live here “no, sorry, you bring nothing to America. Best of luck elsewhere.”

    “Give ue your tired, your poor…” is a poem on a statue. It isn’t a mission statement for America.

  • Kirk

    I don’t mind immigrants coming to America to be Americans, who’re people that have made that choice to become that which they weren’t.

    What bothers me are people that come to the US with the idea that they’re going to retain their identities as “other”, live here, and benefit from it all.

    You want to know why South America is the mess it is? That mentality; the Spaniards and (to a lesser degree…) the Portuguese came to the Americas with the idea that they’d show up, rape the place, get rich, and go home again. They didn’t commit. They didn’t build; they came to exploit and leave.

    That’s precisely what all too many immigrants, legal and illegal, are doing in the US today. And, it’s having the same effective result.

    If you’re going to commit, welcome to America. If you’re not? Go the f*ck away. It’s really that simple. I don’t care where you came from, or who you were; if you’re willing to be an American, and willing to pay the price, you’re welcome to stick around. If you’re coming here so as to make your fortune and bugger off with the loot? Get. OUT.

  • Paul Marks

    Kirk – even the Progressive “Teddy” Roosevelt hit on a key reason for the poverty of Latin America, unclear and insecure property rights in land. The mess that he called “Spanish Law” – but he did not just mean that difficulty in removing tenants (a problem in Spanish law – going back centuries, part of the infamous “Spanish practices” of compulsory guilds and endless government licensing and regulations), but even basic knowledge of who owned what.

    American courts are supposed to have been “racist” and ignored “Spanish land grants” in Texas, California and so on – but often (not always – but often) these “Spanish land grants” were incredibly vague – totally unclear, the land was not surveyed, there was no clear indication of who owned what.

    That may not suit Hollywood films and Harvard lectures (where the “Anglos” must always be depicted as evil), but it is the truth – not “my truth” the truth.

    Even today, many Latin American countries have uncertain private property rights in land – it is unclear who owns what and armed men can take the land away from you (and your life with it). If not even land ownership is clear and secure it is pointless to expect much other economic development.

    Uruguay (in spite of its other problems) is an exception to this rule. In Uruguay private land ownership is generally clear and secure.

    Yes, I know (it has been pointed out before) that this means I agree with the Economist magazine on something – as I have said before I cannot disagree with them on everything (in spite of hating them very much) if they say that water is wet – I am not going to say that water is dry.

    By the way – I think I hate the Times (of London) even more than I hate the Economist magazine. The Times has gone horribly downhill and become a Corporate State rag – parroting “liberal” left talking points on everything.

    I fear that Mr Murdoch has got old – and is losing his grip on News International.

    Although I think I remember once reading that he had made some sort of agreement not to “interfere” with the contents of the Times (its editorial line. columnists, and so on) – in which case there is no point in owing it (ownership without control is not real ownership) and Mr Murdoch should sell the Times – as he sold the (awful) British “Sky News” as he had no editorial control over it.

  • Paul Marks

    Johnathan Peace and Kirk – it depends, “it depends”.

    It depends on the opinions of the people who are arriving – for example the Hispanics who go to Florida tend to be good people, and the Hispanics who go to California (like many of the Anglos already there) tend to be Big Government types.

    I suspect it is not that the people take on the political philosophy of the place (the conventional explanation) – I think people are actively choosing where in the United States they would like to go.

    The United Kingdom is best understood as “California – but with bad weather”, it is very Big Government place – people choosing to come here are likely to be coming for benefits and public services.

    Although as they wait several hours for an ambulance (perhaps bleeding to death) they might reconsider their decision.

  • Paul Marks

    As for the invaders, wherever they are from, the British should not allow the boats to land – they should take the boats back to France. If the invaders deliberately sink their boats – then the invaders should be picked up from the sea and taken back to France (having never touched land in the United Kingdom) – if the French government objects to that, they should be told that they should not have let the invaders in the area in the first place.

    The fact that neither Johnathan Pearce or the British government think like this, shows that the British have lost the will to survive. There is, perhaps, no shame in that – all things come to an end at some point, perhaps (perhaps) this is just the natural time for Britain to come to an end.

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