Yesterday, a riot took place in the small town of Geldermalsen, Holland, and put paid to the building of an asylum centre for 1,500 Syrian refugees. We can make a shrewd guess that this is a working class town where many of its inhabitants, like many indigenous people in Europe, are worried for their jobs when they hear that 4,000 immigrants a day are still entering Greece and Italy and given rail rickets for northern Europe.
Working-class people, who are human, and quite as capable of being altruistic in practice and principle as the middle-class people with secure jobs who have been helping refugees were, on this occasion, overcome with a feeling of anger. This is displaced fear about heir jobs. And so were the increased number of people who voted for Marine Le Pen and her extremist right-wing NF party in France a few days ago — and, indeed, the swelling numbers of people who are joining right-wing parties all over Europe.
Really, Angela Merkel, the German leader who, on her own initiative, opened Germany’s doors to 1 million refugees and economic migrants — none of the latter being repatriated so far because they’re young , fit , resourceful young men — saying 200,00 a year could also come, should have had more political nous.
Territorial protection in early man, and its equivalent in modern man, job protection, are instincts that are just as powerful, if not more so, than generosity, another instinct. Job protection among professional people can be so sophisticated it’s hardly noticeable. Ordinary folk don’t have clever methods of expressing their opposition to new entrants when they fear competition. But both methods are quite brutal in their consequences — ‘the Devil take the Hindmost’ as we say in England.
This is also the reason why slo many Americans are flocking in support of a brutal presidential candadate.