Does Europe Absolutely, Positively Need Immigrants?

Birthrates in Western Europe have dipped so
low that they threaten to shrink the populations
and undermine the European equivalents of Social
Security. Europe`s Great and Good are
increasingly looking to massive immigration by
young Third Worlders to maintain the current
proportion of workers to pensioners. As reported
in VDARE earlier, the French Minister of the
Interior is proposing the European Union admit
75 million immigrants. []
A recent United Nations report asserts that to
maintain the same ratio of retirees to workers
as at present, over the next 50 years Italy
would have to take in 113 million immigrants –
and Germany 182 million! []

But is it wise to bet the continent on one
radical and permanent change without individual
nations first experimenting with other options?
The decline in birthrates in Europe certainly
deserves a serious response. But it is by no
means clear what it should be – nor that it
should be the same for each country. Logically,
each country should experiment. Just as
centralized control of economic innovation
fails, so does centralized control of political

However, flooding the historic nations of
Europe with vast numbers of Third Worlders
appeals to Europe`s leftist-centrist ruling
class because it wants to swamp native patriots
who currently resist its transnational
ambitions. The appeal of transnationalism to
ambitious European apparatchiks: fewer
democratic checks on their power.  In a
republic where everyone speaks the same
language, citizens can effectively monitor the
government`s performance. In a multilingual
polity with an activist state such as the E.U.,
however, it becomes impractical to follow what
is going on. Thus, power flows to a multilingual
elite.  Hence the hysterical response by
the European ruling class when the people of
Austria threw out a cozily corrupt regime and
democratically replaced it with a new government
favoring cutbacks in immigration.

Republican nations turn into polyglot
empires. It happened to Rome. It`s happening to
Europe today. And to America tomorrow?

Some possible responses that individual
European nations could consider:

1. Let the population decline.

Americans are always yammering about how we
"need our space." Thus new houses in
America are 50% bigger than three decades ago,
and there is twice as much retail space per
capita. Well, there are a lot of Europeans who
would like to live large too. Some European
countries like France are not terribly crowded.
But others like Greece and the Lowland states
are packed.

And birthrates are remarkably unpredictable.
Once the lebensraum per capita reached a level
closer to America`s, Europeans might start
having more children again.

How could these smaller cohorts of young
workers pay for Baby Boomers` retirements? Well,
the same UN report also noted in passing,
"In most cases, the potential support
ratios could be maintained at current levels by
increasing the upper limit of the working-age
population to roughly 75 years of age." So,
being overrun by Third Worlders is hardly an
economic necessity. Over the next half-century,
health care breakthroughs and less need for
physical labor might well extend the average
European`s productive years by another decade.

But even with a more moderate increase in the
retirement age, Europeans could generate far
more wealth per worker. All they`d have to do is
get off their duffs.

Their unemployment rate is typically 4 to 10
percentage points higher than America`s. Also,
Europeans work far fewer hours than we do. They
enjoy 5 or 6-week government-mandated vacations.
And many are not allowed to work more than 35 or
37 hours per week. In the Mediterranean, many
government and unionized workers literally sleep
through their official jobs so they can work all
evening in their family`s tax-evading gray
market firm. In Scandinavia, absenteeism is
rampant. Furthermore, internal migration is
limited. For instance, although booming Northern
Italian firms are desperate for workers, the
government subsidizes Southern Italians to stay
where they are in thumb-twiddling make-work

On those increasingly rare occasions when
Europeans do show up for work, many are
enormously productive. They tend to be mature,
intelligent, and well educated. In a surprising
number of Europeans, the welfare state has yet
to fully grind down a traditional work ethic
that contrasts rather favorably with America`s
get-rich-quick ethic. Britain was "the sick
man of Europe" until Margaret Thatcher
unleashed its productivity. Equally brave
leaders could do the same for the rest of

2. Take in more foreigners, but choose
them carefully

Europe is currently filling up with illegal
immigrants and "asylum"-seekers. The
general lack of internal border controls within
the European Union means that any weak link in
the E.U.`s external border lets in floods of
outsiders who then spread throughout the E.U.
Italy, with its long coastline and its
incompetent and corruptible civil service, has
become the prime gateway for illegal immigrants.
But many move on quickly since Italy is less of
a sucker for hard luck stories than the Northern
welfare states.

With control of their borders, individual
states could pursue more rational. more
selective immigration policies. They could then
choose to admit only those immigrants most
culturally compatible or likely to pay the most
in taxes relative to what they consume in
government handouts. By being more selective,
Canada has brought in on the whole a more
productive and assimilable type of immigrant
than most of the European states. (It`s set the
numbers too high, but that`s another
matter.)  The Europeans have acquired large
numbers of poorly educated Moslems, who huddle
in sullen and resentful enclaves. Trust me,
admitting even more Islamic peasants isn`t going
to jumpstart Europe`s economies.

Many European citizens naturally feel that if
they need immigrants, why not first try to bring
back their overseas relatives? The Mediterranean
countries, with their huge diasporas, might well
consider instituting a Law of Return modeled on
Israel`s. Many Italian immigrants, for example,
ended up in ramshackle South American republics
like Argentina, which still have high birth
rates. Although life in Argentina is improving,
a lot of 3rd generation Italians in the slums of
Buenos Aires just might be tempted to move to
their ancestral homeland.

3. Have more babies.

The ultimate test of any civilization is: is
it self-reproducing? Or does it contain a fatal
flaw condemning it to extinction? It would be a
terrible irony if the West`s great heritage of
individualism inevitably destroys Western
Civilization by leading to self-indulgence so
great that people can`t be bothered to have
enough children to carry on their lineage. At
this point, the best that Western Europe can say
in its own defense is that it has not yet begun
to fight. Here are some ways to not go gentle
into that not-so-good night.

* Crack down on street crime and/or encourage
the growth of suburbs and gated communities.
Europeans tend to live in urban apartments and
traditionally let their kids play on the
streets. This worked fine until the recent crime
wave. Now, lots of Europeans figure that if they
want kids, and don`t want them mugged, they`d
better buy a suburban home far from the bad
elements. The U.S. has already gone through this
transformation, which is why the extraordinary
increase in the murderousness of African
Americans during the crack epidemic of 1985 to
1995 had so little tangible impact on whites.
Europe lags the U.S. by a few decades in
crime-proofing itself.

* Give huge tax incentives to couples who
have babies. Offer larger breaks to mothers who
have children in their twenties rather than
their thirties.

* Start a campaign telling citizens it`s
their patriotic duty to have more kids. Most
Europeans are probably too self-destructively
sophisticated to respond to this, but the Greeks
might, since the Turks give them somebody to
hate and fear.

* Start affirmative action for mothers, just
like many nations offer favoritism to veterans.
Offer mothers a G.I. bill guaranteeing them free
education and retraining.

* (This is radical). Cut way back on
retirement subsidies. Tell young people that
they`ll have to rely far more on their on their
children to support them in their old age.
Impossible? Well, that`s how the entire human
race did it until Bismarck invented government

Experiment with different social systems. For
example, the Swedes are committing race suicide
more slowly than many other European nations.
Perhaps lavishly funded feminism works. Or try
the opposite tack. Outlaw abortion. Cut back on
female employment by getting rid of most of the
government pink-collar jobs.

Hell, try legalizing polygamy. Just try

It`s your survival that`s at stake.

[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and

movie critic

The American Conservative
His website
features his daily

August 8, 2000