To tackle the issue of migration especially at a time where political correctness dictates to everyone how to address the issue, is, from this perspective, quite a brave endeavor. Hannes Hofbauer addresses the matter in his book “Kritik der Migration – Wer profitiert und wer verliert” from a historical perspective. Historically, because he does not focus on the time since 2015. He looks at the phenomenon of migration over the centuries and he identifies concerning the causes of such migratory movements, repetitive causal connections. His contemplation opens up an honest view on this historical phenomenon in its manifold manifestations. Due to his extensive knowledge of details, Hofbauer gets to results that may often astonish the reader.
Already the flap text makes clear what this book is about. As with almost all political issues, spin doctors have developed a narrative to make migration appear in a positive light. Thus, migration is equated with mobility, that in a highly technical world must be nothing but advantageous for the persons in question. Just this connection of migration and mobility conceals that the human being is seen as a work nomad, his value only depends on his manpower and is only seen from a usability perspective. Thus a human being degenerates into an exclusive function of the market spanning the globe. That such a work nomad is uprooted familiarly, socially and culturally is merely an inevitable consequence of a forcefully implemented market scenario.
Voluntarily, no one becomes a work nomad, since Hofbauer clearly states that sedentariness was and is the norm of human social life. He estimates, that cross-border migration lays between 0.6% and 0.9% of the world’s population over the past decades. There were also voluntary migrations. However, these served after completion of the apprenticeship as further training abroad with masters of their trade, sometimes in other countries. However, in the context of forced migration, a reference to journeymen in the last few centuries can only be described as infamous.
The statements of an Italian migration researcher, whom Hofbauer lets speak as pars pro toto of the migration advocates and propagandists, are as infamous as they are enlightening. Massimo Livi Bacci writes in his book “Short History of Migration” in 2015: “To move spatially is an essential characteristic of man, a component of his capital, an additional ability to improve his living conditions”. Western states have been exploiting colonies for centuries. Western industrial nations, or more precisely industrial corporations, are actively preventing people in developing countries from improving their living conditions. And then, for the maltreated man, migration, leaving his family, his home, his culture, should be the solution. The derivation of migration from the ability of man to move spatially is outrageous enough; but calling this so-called “essence of human nature” as “an integral part of his capital,” reveals the market-ideological and capitalist-functional view of man.
Hofbauer makes a point not to mix asylum and migration. Asylum is not about migratory movements for economic reasons that secure livelihoods, but about the reception of politically, racially or religiously persecuted persons. There is no binding right to asylum under international law. Even the Geneva Refugee Convention of 1951 does not have an explicit right to asylum, but it obliges the signatory states (by 2018 145 out of 193 states) to grant recognized asylum seekers social security.
Based on his thesis that there will be a migration movement as long as there will be a consciously induced global social inequality, Hofbauer goes through history and points out this recurring fact. Using the terms pull and push factors, he describes the unworthy living conditions in the countries of origin and what seems so attractive in the target countries. One has to say “appears”, because once arrived in the destination country, the inhuman exploitation goes on. This time, however, with the effect that wage dumping affects the workforce in the target countries.
By 1973, 14 million foreign workers had migrated to Germany. The author Klaus J. Bade, quoted by Hofbauer, speaks in his book “Europa in Bewegung. Migration vom späten 18. Jahrhundert bis in die Gegenwart” (Europe in Motion. Migration from the late 18th century to the present) of the fact that “the employment of foreigners could extremely increase the flexibility of the cost factor labour”. As a result of this flexibilisation of the cost factor of labour, real wages in Germany fell by 1.6% between 1992 and 2012. At the same time, the German social security funds were heavily burdened by the German skilled workers, who had become too “expensive” and were now made redundant and released into unemployment. Thus, the German state used taxpayers’ money to finance corporate profits.
The destruction of the subsistence economy by war, environmental disasters and economic wars is by far the greatest cause of migration in history. If people can no longer provide themselves and their families with the food they need to survive, migration is the only option that remains besides starvation. In all European countries, the industrial revolution drove people from the countryside to the cities. Increased productivity in agriculture meant that fewer workers were needed. As concurrently wages were falling, rural families were deprived of their livelihoods. They were left with the choice either to move to the industrialising cities or overseas, where white settlers were just beginning to deprive the indigenous population of arable land in North America and Argentina. “In today’s terminology, the consequences of the agricultural revolution of the early 19th century would be called the push factor and the conquest of America the pull factor.”
In 1815 the eruption of the Tambora volcano on Java led to an extreme environmental catastrophe. The temperature drop following the eruption led to an agricultural crisis throughout Europe. Food prices rose immeasurably and hunger spread. People emigrated, as far as they could, mainly overseas.
The EU, awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, subsidises the production of agricultural products in its countries with more than one billion US dollars a day in co-operation with other Western industrialised countries. What for? They are waging an economic war just against the developing countries. The unrivalled cheap agricultural products flood the markets in the developing countries, ruin the local farmers after a very short time, force them into ruin and thus ensure that with the disappearance of the farmers, the knowledge about cultivation, rearing and care in agriculture that has been passed on over generations also dies out. Now these countries are on a drip feed of the industrial nations and are thus forced to serve the interests of foreign corporations. On the one hand, their raw materials are being plundered, and on the other, the people themselves, who are regarded as human resources by this market elite, are being plundered, as the cheapest workers in their own country or as low-wage workers forced to migrate to the so-called pull countries.
Professionals from Poland work as working nomads in Western Europe. As a result, Poland is faced with a striking lack of qualified employees. The IMF and the World Bank are urging the Poles to recruit the missing workers from Ukraine, while Ukraine is to get the workers from Kazakhstan. And so on! This applies to all countries that allow large companies, acting like to spread in their countries and to subordinate the state system. The IMF and the World Bank are taking on advisory functions.
The consequences for the emigration countries are obvious. The youngest and the most capable leave the country, leaving behind areas with a blatantly unbalanced age structure, areas that will sooner or later no longer be able to survive in dignity. Young medical personnel in particular are leaving Eastern European countries for the West in tens of thousands. Similar things are taking place in Africa.
This applies to all countries that allow large componanies, corporations acting autocratically to spread in their countries and subordinate the state system. The IMF and the World Bank are taking on advisory functions here.
But also the immigration countries face insoluble problems, the extent of which today many politicians do not yet want to admit or even ideologically blinded strive for. Let us just take the educational task of schools. Which country will still invest in schools and education when the immigration of labour allegedly will make an expensive school system superfluous? Germany is following precisely this path with its new Immigration Act. It neglects the education of the next generation and buys human resources all over the world. However, this has nothing to do at all with the humanistic educational tradition of Wilhelm von Humboldt.
With the large migration of Islamic migrants from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and other Muslim countries, a direct connection to the wars of the Western War Alliance can be observed. In addition, however, as Hofbauer expressly points out, there was the fact that at the end of 2014 the UN had stopped hunger aid especially for over 1.5 million Syrian refugees without any ado.
Only the size and the background orchestration are new. Germany’s Chancellor, in complete disregard of her oath of office and of constitutional law, not only abolished Germany’s national borders, but also suspended the Schengen regime and the Dublin order, all on her own. Merkel thus forced her policies on the states along the refugee route. With her “Wir schaffen das! (We can do it!)” the Chancellor created a so-called welcome culture, readily taken up by many people in Germany. These people volunteered for the care of refugees and migrants, saw the realisation of humanity and charity in the welcome culture, but nobody lost a single word about the unspeakable cycle of shooting, exploiting, escaping and helping.
Where as, others saw it as an opportunity to generate a lot of money within the framework of a newly emerging “social industry”. The provision of housing alone has burdened and continues to burden municipalities with horrendous sums, even where the rented housing has vacancies, since the contracts with the operators have been concluded for twenty years. If one lists all the costs for the migrants, one very soon reaches 47 billion euros, that is 15% of an annual German federal budget.
Hannes Hofbauer discusses many more points. If you want a profound introduction and analysis of the migration problem, we recommend this book. Hofbauer’s book is easy to read, but difficult to digest, as long as you have a heart that makes you aware of your own responsibility. His book is an appeal to initiate processes of change through enlightenment. An appeal not to put up with. Each of us can make our own contribution. This is something every reader should be aware of. •
ew. It has long been a “proven” practice of companies and states, especially industrialsed countries, to save themselves the costs of training skilled workers. Bayer Leverkusen, for example, closed its affiliated training company in the 1980s and left the training to small and medium-sized companies. If, for example, they had then trained chemical workers, which caused horrendous costs for the training company, Bayer Leverkusen recruited them by offering a “better” hourly wage. The bottom line was an effortless gain for Bayer Leverkusen. But how long can and do the training companies that have been damaged in this way continue to maintain this practice?
What is practised between companies also happens between states: 75% of doctors trained in Mozambique worked abroad in 2000. In the southern Sahara, 28% of well-trained professionals worked abroad. In the last decade, Ethiopia has lost 75% of its skilled workers due to the push and pull factors. The assertion frequently made by Western politicians and entrepreneurs that this phenomenon is a form of development aid because the skilled workers working abroad would transfer a lot of money to their countries of origin is, of course, far too short-sighted. It is true that in some developing countries the remittances of their relatives from abroad account for up to 15% of their budget, but the loss of development work at home is out of all proportion.
It has long been known from the USA that they buy the necessary brains and the necessary professionals in the face of their own ailing educational system all over the world. In the meantime, Germany has overtaken the USA in recruiting skilled workers abroad. The Goethe Institutes around the world, which have such a good reputation, play a decisive role in this.
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