09/10/2017
Texts in English
Václav Klaus: Rhodos, Social Mobility and Migration - A Fundamental Disagreement


I am sorry to be forced to say very brutally at the very beginning of my today´s presentation that I don’t agree with almost every sentence in the “notes for the panel” prepared and sent us in advance (as well as with the introductory statements of the moderators). Both are explicit pro-migration stances.

These – not new, among public intellectuals regretfully quite frequent – attitudes are based on an aprioristic, politically correct, progressivist assumption (I would say a prejudice) that migration is a positive social phenomenon, that it is normal to migrate. I disagree, it is normal not to migrate. It is normal to accept the country one was born in, to identify oneself with it and to take it as a highly respected homeland. Migration is only an extreme solution of one´s existential problems.

I would like to be well understood. I don’t speak about an individual migration, about this slow, non-disruptive, sufficiently humble and non-aggressive procedure known for centuries and millennia. This is not the topic of our discussion here now. We are supposed to speak here, this afternoon, about something else, about the not so slow and not at all humble mass migration, about the contemporary – as politically correct considered – artificially stimulated and managed “wholesale” migration.

When I looked at home at the – probably by the staff of the Forum – prepared “main points for panel discussion”, I didn’t believe my eyes. There are questions as “what forms migration should take”, “how to get the most out of one’s immigrants”, or “how to manage migration” there. No, the only relevant question is “how to avoid migration” or “how to minimize it”.

The mass migration is a negative phenomenon for both the countries the migrants move in and the countries they move from. The migration brings about rapid changes in the ethnic composition of countries. It creates substantial cultural, social and political conflicts, shocks and tensions. It undermines the – for centuries and millennia gradually developed – habits, customs, behavioral patterns, ways of life, which define particular, evolutionary formed societies.

I can’t accept the politically correct, but empty rhetorics stressing “mutual respect”, “the acceptance of the identity of ‘the others’”, warnings against a “widespread xenophobia”, etc. We should insist that the current conflict about migration is neither a conflict between humanism and xenophobia, nor between solidarity and egoism, as is argued by some, especially European and American politicians and media. It is either a belief in freedom and in a nation state or the absence of such a belief.

Mass migration can be justified or defended only by the failed doctrine of multiculturalism. We should say loudly that this is a blind alley, a wrong way. For countries to function, they need a minimum (which is not low) degree of homogeneity and unity, not a maximum of heterogeneity (and diversity). The ideology of multiculturalism tries to deny this. (Let´s distinguish the spontaneous, evolutionary risen multiculturality in some parts of the world from the aggressive and constructivist ideology of multiculturalism.)

I live in Europe which has a specific history and – in addition to it – it has new specifics connected with the EU institutional arrangements. The current migration wave to Europe has been made possible by the fact that the EU borders have been open and unprotected for a long time and remain open even after all what has been happening since 2015. The inability, lack of will or even an intentional behaviour of key European politicians not to protect these borders serve as a strong motivation for migration to continue. The European politicians probably still believe in the half-baked and ill-conceived utopian idea of Schengen which has proved to be fundamentally wrong and untenable. Borderless society can´t exist.

I am not just from Europe. I am from the Central Europe which has a long experience with communism. This is something which sharpened our eyes. The people in the Central and Eastern Europe do not forget communist experiments, similar in nature to the current migration project – including an unauthentic solidarity forced from the outside, the calls for self-sacrifice in the name of the future, and the attempts to create a new species, a new, truly European, man. What is happening today is not far from these failed ambitions.

I am from a small Central European country. We should never forget that there is a huge difference between small and big countries when discussing migration. For small countries the danger of mass migration is something else than for big countries (or large empires). The big countries should be aware of that.

In addition to it, we shouldn´t mix supply and demand sides of migration. The current migration wave has not been primarily caused by the failure of countries of the Middle East and Northern Africa. Its apparent unstoppability is a by-product of the already long existing European crisis, of the systemic defects of European policies, of the built-in defects of EU institutional arrangements, and of the ideologic confusion and prejudices of European political elites. I consider the current policies of the German and Brussels establishment to be a bigger threat to the future of Europe than the migrants themselves.

To conclude, my criticism is not aimed at the migrants. It is aimed at the present day Europe, embodied in its temporary organizational form, called the EU. The very causes of the current migration crisis can be found and fixed only in Europe. Gatherings like this one can come up with the much needed arguments and thus contribute to a more rational and reasonable behaviour of European politicians. I used the term “migration project”. I want to emphasise it again. The current migration is not the outcome of a spontaneous, respect deserving human behaviour, it is the consequence of an erroneous project of multicultural political elites.

Václav Klaus, Rhodes Forum, Society Panel, Rhodes, Greece, October 6, 2017.



* My arguments are more developed in „Migration, Not Labor Markets, is the Issue of the Current Era” IIASA speech, 2016, in “The Refugee Global Challenge (and Its European Specifics)” Tel Aviv University speech, 2016, and in a small book written together with J. Weigl with the title (in English) Europe – All Inclusive, IVK, Prague, 2017.


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