March 3, 2016

VIRTUE-SIGNALING IS NOT A POLICY: The Moral Rot at the Heart of “Refugees Welcome.”

Chancellor Faymann may just be acting politically to defend a policy that polls well, rather than having had a moral epiphany. But his comment cuts to the heart of the moral and intellectual hypocrisy of the “Refugees Welcome” policy: the pro-refugee factions, which see themselves as humanitarian paragons, have nonetheless managed to devise a program which in reality boils down to “if you survive the trip here, you’re welcome to stay.” . . .

If you don’t want to use ships and ferries, then feel free to fly the refugees. A direct, one-way plane ticket from Istanbul to Berlin this Friday can be found for as little as $44. People smugglers, on the other hand, will charge between $800–$1300 (and up) for a seat on a rubber raft from Turkey to Greece. Then there’s the $335-435 charge to get between certain countries in the Balkans and southern Europe. And at each leg, there’s a chance of death—by drowning, by suffocating in a truck.

So if it’s true that “refugees welcome”, why not just let them fly? Because an increasingly restive German public would go ballistic—but also because even the supporters of Angela Merkel’s policies know that Germany does not have the means to house and feed, much less employ and integrate, the numbers that would then come. Yet until recently, speaking of restrictionism was taboo among the German and European elite; even now, movement toward embracing deterrence—toward sending real signals that the journey north won’t be worth it and so not to come—progresses only slowly and haltingly in Berlin and Brussels.

Right now, a series of do-gooder decisions have turned the journey from Syria and Africa to northern Europe into the Hunger Games. Is that really what moral policy looks like?

Virtue-signaling is never about real world consequences. And the more people virtue-signal, the less virtuous they tend to be.

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