The inevitable immigration backlash

This is just the beginning. STRATFOR is the first to pick up on what will soon become a continent-wide theme, and no multiculti mantras or bureaucratic Eurobabble are going to dispel it.

STRATFOR can forecast with some certainty that as the economic recession worsens, tensions between native populations and immigrants in Europe will come to the forefront of what is likely to be a restive summer. This is by no means a novel or modern phenomenon. Europe’s geography and the concept of the modern nation-state both lead to a certain logic of violence against minorities that may have been tempered by the taboo of the Holocaust immediately after World War II but is now coming out in the open. Anti-immigrant sentiment is no longer just for fringe right-wing youth groups; it forms the ideological underpinning and electoral platform of some of the most successful parties in some of Europe’s most advanced economies (Switzerland and Austria being cases in point).

Xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment is obviously not exclusive to Europe. The United States, Australia, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Kuwait and others all deal with social unrest caused by immigration and manifestations of xenophobia. Europe, though, does have a particularly long and storied tradition of anti-immigrant social unrest, and unlike the East Asian countries, for example, already has immigrants in large numbers within its territories….

Because European ethnic and cultural identities are so entrenched by geography, however, these migrants who are at some point necessary for economic development eventually come up against established identities that at best tolerate them during times of plenty, but turn on them as soon as resources become scarce. For example, neither migrant community just mentioned above exists in any significant numbers now. The bottom line is that foreigners — and often their descendants — are not trusted because they do not belong to one’s own group, the idea being that they cannot be relied upon to place the interests of the host society and culture before their own self-interests or that of their own homeland, culture or religion. Unlike states built through immigration, such as the United States, Australia and Canada, European ethnic identities are today firmly established in the minds of the population.

As I have repeatedly written, I expect forced expulsions of social undesirables to take place in a number of European countries, probably beginning with the Scandinavian nations. The prospect for the worst violence is France, followed closely by the UK, although the Italians have already begun resorting to it. Regarding Italy, if the Mafia and the Camorra are clever enough to align themselves with this popular sentiment, it could easily become another Sicilian Vespers, with the EU, the Romanians, and the Africans representing the French.