March 11, 2016

A LOUSY POLITICAL CLASS BEGETS LOUSY POLITICS, WHICH BEGETS LOUSY SITUATIONS: An Avoidable Catastrophe: How Europe’s infectious institutionalization of irresponsibility is perpetuating the migrant crisis.

Europe’s migration crisis has mostly been covered from the “human interest” perspective, with the perverse proliferation of tragic images and emotive narratives amplified by social media. This collective content stream has made it seem primarily a humanitarian crisis. But that is false.

Instead, what we are seeing is the unending monetization of human misery, a phenomenon as complete as it is cynical. By necessity, it has been complemented by an infectious institutionalization of irresponsibility–something that has not failed to affect geopolitics. This is why the ramifications of the migration crisis are so serious for Europe, America, and many other countries.

Countless reports have shown ways in which migration is monetized. Everyone gets something: the human trafficking networks that provide transport; the criminal networks that sell forged (and real) travel documents; the governments and humanitarian NGOs that receive handsome donations from both public and private funds; the media that attract huge audiences (and advertising revenue) by publishing images of human despair; the clever villager who sells a bottle of water for fifty cents extra.

Another money-generating scheme—and one that has been particularly associated with the Islamic State–is antiquities smuggling. Slovenian police recently discovered three small figurines dating from 3000 BCE in a migrant camp. They had been smuggled in from the Middle East on the “Balkan route” from Greece into Macedonia, Serbia, and Croatia. While there are no reliable figures for the amount or value of cultural treasures exported via illegal migration, one thing is clear: the end destination. Such valuable antiquities inevitably reach the private collections of wealthy people, most often Europeans and Americans.

When virtue-signaling is elevated to a top priority, it’s a safe bet that actual virtue is considerably more scarce.

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