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azadi

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Reply with quote  #31 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
The Holy Family were political refugees. Notice, three things, though. Firstly, they were actually refugees and fleeing death, not economic migrants. Secondly, they went to the nearest country/province. They didn't move through others first without claiming asylum. Thirdly, they stayed temporarily and then went home. I could even add a fourth - they lived in a pre-welfare age, which does make a difference. I think there are social, cultural, and economic reasons against mass immigration, but one important reason is the welfare state. It's very hard to combine open borders and a modern welfare, as even Bernie Sanders agreed until quite recently.

Anyway, as I said, your argument is simplistic in the extreme. Simply claiming Christ's teachings are simple is hardly convincing. Christ taught us to care for the downtrodden, certainly. But that doesn't mean he thought we should entirely do away with the state and its role, nor did he see any difference between the role of the state and the role of the individual. We are talking entirely about the duties of the state, not the individual. I agree the individual should give to help refugees and the downtrodden, at home and abroad. Christ, though, said, in fact:


"Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."



The apostle goes even further and notes even the right of the state to put criminals to death (and this is one of the proof texts for the Orthodox and Catholic affirmation of the licit nature of the death penalty):

13 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

Saying that Jesus' teaching are always simple and literal would force us, for example, to say no one should ever be punished because he tells us never to judge and always forgive. Do you really think Jesus wants us to just open the prisons? I have in fact met people who argue that. It's an absurd mangling of Christ's teaching. Christ taught turning the other cheek. That doesn't mean he taught pacifism as a philosophy of state, and so on and so on. I have met people who interpret the same range of Christ's actions and words to affirm some kind of pacifistic anarcho-communism. There are single verses that can be interpreted, in a simplistic and myopic fashion in such a way, but as a holistic interpretation of Christ's message, it's a huge stretch. The Fathers and the Church certainly do not interpret him in this way. What you are offering is not Christ's message, but a counterfeit, modern sentimentalism in its place. Indeed, as Matthew pointed out, the idea that Christ is always nice is a misconception. Christ could be harsh to sinners. I also sometimes scratch my head when people imply Christ was this kind of hippie and it was Paul that brought the stern side back to the faith. Actually, Jesus often seems to be talking to the Saint and setting out the saintly path. For example, when he talks about looking at anyone with lust counting as adultery. It is Paul who sets out, often, how us non-saints are to live up to Christ's teaching. Of course, Paul is also no sentimentalist, and modern sentimentalists tend to ignore him and most of the rest of the Bible.

Anyway, part of my point is that your approach is unworkable. There are billions of people in the developing world who would love to come to Europe. The European economic, welfare, and social systems simply wouldn't survive that. In the Nordic countries, as Nima Sanandaji points out, one of the reasons they rolled back their welfare programs somewhat in recent decades is because of an increase in the immigrant population - and he's talking pre-2015 even. Immigrants in those countries tend to draw from the system at a higher rate than natives. It is also the case that what made the systems work, with their high levels of taxation, is a combination of a traditional reluctance of people to draw from the system unless absolutely needed, which isn't shared to the same degree by migrant populations in those countries, and a social solidarity formed by a shared culture and a sense that they are all paying into the system. Obviously, I'm talking about issues raised by high, but somewhat manageable levels of mass immigration. If you just open the borders to half the world, these countries will likely just collapse, at least as we know it. We have to remember, Merkel basically did that. She basically just said, "Come, one and all, if you want."

This kind of movement also does hurt developing countries. It tends to lead to a drain of people and talent as they move to developed nations. The more motivated and talented are highly likely to be overrepresented amongst the migrants.

Finally, obviously you are aiming to integrate Christian principles into your understanding of how the state should act. I agree with that approach, as it happens. However, someone who starts from a secular position wouldn't agree. There are obviously various secular political philosophies, but from an important one, the Aristotelian, the point of the state is to serve the common good of its citizens. This is its primary purpose. It may have duties to non-citizens, but these are secondary to the good of its citizens. In particular, it wouldn't sacrifice its very existence and stability for non-citizens.

I also wonder whether you are consistent in your Christian political philosophy. Would you allow purely Christian reasons for the state to oppose social liberal sacred cows, say by restricting or outlawing abortion? Or would you resort to a strict secularism then ? Not that I accept there are no good non-religious arguments against abortion and other socially liberal shibboleths, but t for the sake of argument)?

Distinguishing between real refugees and economic migrants is indeed very important. Most of the African immigrants, who cross the Mediterranean Sea, are fleeing poverty rather than persecution. Germany ought to refuse to grant asylum to economic migrants, who claim to be refugees.
Pallavicini

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Reply with quote  #32 
Quote:
Originally Posted by azadi
 Perhaps Hungary isn't a lost cause to monarchism. 


Or feudalism, apparently. The communists nationalized Hungary's farms and now vast swathes of national farmland is being distributed to Orban's family and friends.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/03/world/europe/eu-farm-subsidy-hungary.html

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Wessexman

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Reply with quote  #33 
Where's Henry George when you need him?
Pallavicini

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Reply with quote  #34 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wessexman
Where's Henry George when you need him?


Brooklyn, but keeping a low profile.

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