Some analysts think that migration spells doom for the EU; they simply cannot cope with the numbers seeking a better life in Europe.  Of course there are those fleeing terrorism and war, and those seeking to escape totalitarian control of their lives, be it by self-enriching dictators or religious fanatics seeking to impose their own world-view on others. But the great majority simply seek a better life.  The riches of Europe contrast with the squalor and stunted lives offered in the places where they were born.

It is not just a European phenomenon. Like many of those who sailed the Atlantic in rickety ships, or who try to evade detection at America’s patrolled border today, they want what Adam Smith called, “the constant, uniform and uninterrupted effort of every man to better his condition.”  Many Europeans do not want them.  They resent what they see as the dilution of their culture. Some see the incomers as primitive, still gripped by practices that Europe has steadily risen above, things such as the lowly status of women or the intolerance of free speech and different life choices.

It is surprising that no-one has advocated a solution based on the experiences of places such as Hong Kong and Singapore, places devoid of wealth and resources to which people flocked to build up a more prosperous life. They did it through a respect for hard work, trade and ambition, with governments dedicated to fostering and encouraging their success.

Could we not take an enclave or an island within Europe, and make it a welcoming haven for migrants, with laws, taxes and regulations designed to help it to prosper?  This new country, Freedonia, or whatever they chose to call it, would take its lessons from Hong Kong’s history.  People would be free to develop and expand businesses without the heavy hand of an interfering and onerous government.

Developed nations could help it with seed money and investment, and very modest help with its infrastructure, but most of its development would be done by its inhabitants themselves.  These modest costs would be a tiny fraction of what is expended today in trying vainly to cope with the problems that immigration poses.  Migrants would not be allowed to settle in Italy or France or Germany, but Freedonia would welcome them with open arms. It might initially be cramped, but its future would be unlimited as it opened its doors to the hundreds of thousands, then millions, who sought to share its growing prosperity and to give their children a better life.  Yes, it would be an experiment, but one based on experience. Surely, in acknowledging that present policies do not work it might be time to try one that might work, and one that has worked before.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Your stumbling block is the culture of the people built the economies of Hong Kong & Singapore was hard work, trade & ambition. The culture of the people Europe’s embracing is lying around doing damn all, getting up go look for something to steal & the ambition to perpetrate the same dysfunctional shit wherever they find themselves. If you want to build a strong house you don’t start with dust bunnies & spit as your building materials.

  2. Or indeed the culture to trust no-one outside your family or tribe which must be supported through thick and thin, whether right or not. Or the dismissal of anyone’s rights or interests who are outside the tribe. Now, in small numbers that may be left behind, but we are not talking about small numbers are we? We are talking in sufficient number to create enclaves where old-country culture can be maintained. So we are basically importing shitholes. The question is how does that benefit the indigenous inhabitants.

    • It doesn’t; we are doing it because, as Richard does in this article, we are trying to see an invasion through the aspirations of the invaders (in the US, “Dreamers”). This is as backwards as hand-wringing about how much salary a worker would need to feel fulfilled. No one has the right to enter a new nation, workplace, or society, without the burden of proof that his arrival will benefit it.

  3. Why not the UK adopt some of the policies of HK and Singapore and then we can all benefit?

    It would be nice to do trials on people as Richard suggests – three equally fertile islands, one with Arabic refugees, one with Sub-Saharan refugees and one with migrants from the Pak-Afghan region, and check back and see how they’re doing in 50 years time. Policing provided by the British, common defence by the French and dispute resolution by the Germans. Totally unethical of course.

    • But wasn’t it the values imported from the UK that made Hong Kong and Singapore what they were, in the first place? Perhaps, short of importing anything, the UK might simply return to its own historical precepts.

      However, if we do set up test enclaves, they should also have an Iron Dome provided by Israel to ensure that any resulting missiles don’t bother anyone else.

  4. Perhaps the EU would like to conduct the experiment itself. On just the one island. There’s a good one just west of Britain. And since the EU’s insisting on a hard border with the civilised bit & the current residents are such staunch members of the EU & should welcome the new arrivals, seems made for it

  5. Around the time of the handover of Hong Kong, I wished the US would allocate some sizable island in the temperate Alaskan panhandle and grant two-acre homesteads to any citizen of Hong Kong who wished to start over, with whatever resources he could get out of the colony, rather than be assimilated into the tyranny of mainland China. Self-governed as it saw fit, with perhaps 10% protection money paid to the United States after a ten-year grace period. That would be a comparable “trial,” or at least a seed planted.

    As gadflies try to convert each of the nations of the world into a nondescript collection of random individuals (so nationhood becomes meaningless, and not worth fighting for, in the face of one-worlder mush), these “enclaves,” countries organized to be about something, would be the only news in the human race.