Fireworks to threaten, not to welcome

Curator's Note

In Finland, a jewel in the European crown, protestors welcome war-weary migrants with fireworks – not to celebrate, but to terrorize. It is a rude welcome, revealing the real Europe behind its cosmopolitan, secular-rational, social-progressive façade. It is not a land of opportunity, but one in crisis, clenched in fear.

The Euro currency is threatened by both European welfare state policies and German demands for austerity. As such, there is no clear way forward. Germany, in particular, faces dangerous political opposition to its economic policy demands and lending, which many Greeks and others call predatory. The German showpiece corporation, Volkswagen, admitted this week to cheating emissions standards on its diesel fuel cars. In its commercials, Volkswagen show their engineers wearing wings, symbolizing what “angelic” work they do for humanity. Behind the camera, and paid actors – a cynical, win-at-all-costs company.

Similarly, German Chancellor Angela Merkel tried to pose as a humanitarian on the migrant crisis, but this was only a cynical ploy. Merkel wanted other European nations to share the burden, and threatened to us economic power to force them to. Why? Not because she is suddenly “Saint Merkel,” but because she fears Germany being stuck with most of them. Europe’s rude welcome should not surprise us. It cannot take care of its own problems, let alone those of the migrants. There is a solid and growing anti-immigrant bloc in Europe, which sees this migrant crisis as an opportunity to bank of its formula of Islamophobia, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism. It is a potent mix, a firework lit to explode in the coming months. One spark, one Charlie-Hebdo-type attack, and greater explosions will likely follow.

The migrant crisis comes at the end of the revelry phase of the European party. It is now more the 3-in-the-morning, time-to-call-the-police time of night. Unfortunately, there is no European sheriff (Merkel’s pretentions notwithstanding), no European police force to establish order in such challenges, and no European ideology that anyone believes anymore. Truth is, there are no real Europeans. There are, however, plenty of Germans, French, Hungarians, etc. The cosmopolitan dream has faced real challenges, and died. The celebratory fireworks have long burned out. Now the fireworks are turned sideways to wound, not welcome.

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