[-empyre-] Welcome to February 2016: Across borders and networks: migrants, asylum seekers, or refugee? The Numbers Now and The Number Then

Babak Fakhamzadeh babak.fakhamzadeh at gmail.com
Mon Feb 8 13:21:01 AEDT 2016

Hey Ricardo, all,

It's true that the numbers related to the current refugee crisis
surrounding Syria are not as excessive as during the second world war.
In relative terms, with Europe at about 550 million inhabitants around
1940 compared to 730 million now, the scope was even bigger, then.

Yet, there are also significant differences such that just looking at
the numbers is not fair to either event. During the second world war,
Europe itself was in turmoil, whereas surrounding the Syrian refugee
crisis, the turmoil is wholly happening outside of Europe's borders.
Second, the differences between Syrian refugees and, say, the average
Dutchman (which of course doesn't really exist), now, is probably
bigger, and occurring on a wider scope, than the differences between,
say, the Czech and, say, Polish middle class during or close to the
second world war. It's simply easier to reconcile oneself with others
who are more similar than with those who are more different. That's
not a matter of being racist, it's human nature. To go beyond that, to
step over that prejudice, if you will, takes effort and has to be done

As you suggest, Ricardo, there might be a greater neo-liberalist plan
to profit from all this, but that also doesn't automatically mean that
the crisis is fabricated in order to make a profit. It seems to me
there's a lot of opportunism and incompetence at work. As well as
convenient negligence by the media, but all these are other stories.

But, none of this says anything about what the not-so-distant future
might bring. Will western Europe's xenophobic flames be fanned by the
relatively large influx of non-Europeans?


Babak Fakhamzadeh | babak.fakhamzadeh at gmail.com | http://BabakFakhamzadeh.com

Ask me for my PGP public key to send me encrypted email.

On Sun, Feb 7, 2016 at 1:22 PM, Ricardo Dominguez <rrdominguez at ucsd.edu> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Hola Tod at s and Babak,
> I look forward to our dialogue about how the history of "kinopolitics" (the
> politics of movement)
> will re-produce segmentation and segregation or integration and citizenship
> (Echoes of Rome)?
> Or perhaps some other unexpected social formations will happen beyond these
> histories
> (my anti-anti-utopain tendencies speaking here).
> Of course the processes of integration vs. segregation does seem to depend
> on where the
> movement and flows starts and to lesser degree where it ends.
> If you look at numbers of recent flows of communities into the E.U. starting
> from World War II to the
> present moment the numbers flowing are worth considering.
> The movement of migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees was over 15 million
> between
> 1939 to 1945, while right now Syrians leaving the wars zones number around
> 4.1 million
> since 2010. One can add a few million more flowing away from other conflict
> zones north
> to the E.U. and these current numbers are not even close to reaching the
> numbers of migrants,
> asylum seekers, or refugee that occurred during WWII:
> https://newint.org/features/2016/01/01/global-refugee-crisis-the-facts/
> (The link to an infographic that might be useful to consider.)
> So the "crisis" is not about the "numbers"-but about the social imaginary
> anchored on to
> the bodies that moving that are activating violent atavistic response
> (racist politics) that
> neo-liberalism(ism) can profits from via private detention centers and
> prisons and
> corporate controlled border gates.
> So it is not about the numbers or the facts of crossing-but the where they
> coming
> from that is the "crisis."
> Ricardo
> On 2/7/16 2:29 AM, Babak Fakhamzadeh wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Hi all,
>> We've got quite a big topic on our hands, making it harder to single
>> out a particular angle or narrative. Perhaps not an unreasonable
>> starting point is the current refugee crisis in Europe. As Renate in
>> the opening email hints at, Rome was at its peak when it actively
>> incorporated the peoples, barbarians perhaps, on their frontiers,
>> Caesar himself extending Roman citizenship to the Gauls and others.
>> Europe has been a continent of immigrants, virtually all 'native'
>> Europeans originally descending from immigrants coming in from the
>> Eurasian plains(, with perhaps only the Basques being the exception).
>> So, in many ways, the recent new arrivals coming in from the direction
>> of the Middle East are just the latest in a long line of immigrants.
>> Yet, the negative European backlash is strong. Perhaps driven by the
>> recent and, also strong, undercurrent of xenophobia in many European
>> countries, the 'otherness' of the Syrian arrivals is emphasised and
>> their presence actively resisted.
>> Now, I wonder, my question to us on the list, what are the
>> consequences of the arrival of this sizeable group of immigrants going
>> to be, for Europe, over the next 5 to, say, 10 years? Will the whole
>> issue simply fizzle out and the immigrants simply be integrated? Will
>> the EU fall apart? Will some countries secede from the Union? Will
>> some countries turn into virtual police states?
>> And, why?
>> And, related, how are those countries that do take in larger number of
>> immigrants going to deal with making sure their integration is not
>> going to be botched in the same way that Germany, Holland and France
>> botched the integration of specifically Turkish and Moroccan
>> immigrants in the 1960s and onwards?
>> Looking forward to the responses :)
>> Babak
>> --
>> Babak Fakhamzadeh | babak.fakhamzadeh at gmail.com |
>> http://BabakFakhamzadeh.com
>> Ask me for my PGP public key to send me encrypted email.
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