While it is widely believed (except on the political Left of course) that getting welfare benefits tends to corrupt spirits and cause people to become lazy and decadent Mark Steyn points out that one group in the West has turned the welfare state into a source of enormous opportunity.
As an idea, the multicultural welfare state is too weak to have any purchase on us: that, indeed, is its principal virtue in the eyes of its few fanatical zealots - Polly Toynbee, Baroness Kennedy, etc; politically speaking, it's an allegiance for those who disdain allegiance. Most of us give a shrug of indifference and go back to watching the telly, like Susan Moore. A few look elsewhere, like those Tipton Talibannies. On the Continent, they're just beginning to wake up to the looming iceberg of unsustainable welfare systems. But, like the Sun's Shop-A-Sponger Hotline, they're missing the point. It's not the cost, it's the system itself. The cradle-to-grave welfare society enfeebles the citizenry to such a degree you can never generate enough money.
Happily, not all recipients waste their time on the dole: Muhammed Metin Kaplan set up his Islamist group, Caliphate State, while on welfare in Cologne; Ahmed Ressam, arrested in Washington State en route to blow up Los Angeles International Airport, hatched his plot while on welfare in Montreal; Zacarias Moussaoui, the "20th hijacker" currently on trial in America, became an Islamist radical while on welfare in London; Abu Hamza became Britain's most famous fire-breathing imam while on welfare in London; Abu Qatada, a leading al-Qaeda recruiter, became an Islamist bigshot while British taxpayers were giving him 10 times as much per week as Susan Moore. It was only when he was discovered to have £150,000 in his bank account that the Department for Work and Pensions turned off the spigot. If only the Susan Moore-ish super-spongers were as purposeful as the neo-Moorish super-spongers.
Perhaps the Europeans are on to something with their continued toleration of illegal Muslim immigrants, Muslim asylum seekers, and continued legal Muslim immigration. The Euros have to know that their welfare states are robbing their nations of vitality. So what did the clever, urbane, and sophisticated European elites do in response? They looked around and found an immigrant group that would not be corrupted by the modern social welfare state. That is certainly a stroke of genius. It is obvious that the American Right has been far too harsh about the deficiencies of Europe. We have no bold stroke of genius to compare to that.
The venture capitalists and self-made entrepreneurs should admire this curious strain of immigrant entrepreneurial initiative in pursuit of the jihadist market. It takes a lot of personal drive and a definite willingness to take risks to be able to develop and execute terrorist plots while living in a Western welfare state. It would be only too easy for Muslims in Europe to just sit around watching the telly or getting involved in illicit drug use. But these jihadists turn their backs on the temptations of the idle and decadent life. Imagine what they could do if they turned their attention to proselytizing amongst Europe's tens of milions who are living off the dole. Islam could give these lay-abouts and bums a new sense of purpose and direction. Rather than sleeping in late every day and hanging out listlessly while having illegitimate neglected babies the bums-turned-converts, fired up by a clear message of the hate of infidels provided by the unambiguous words of the Prophet, could fill their days with prayers and weapons training and their nights with plotting and building bombs.
I am surprised that mass immigration advocates in the United States are not pointing to the entrepreneurial spirit of immigrant jihadists to promote the virtues of immigration. The willingness to work against tough odds in the face of considerable resistance should appeal to Panglossians of the utopian capitalistic variety. At the very same time, the jihadists on welfare should get more support from good Leftists because, again, the Jihadists on the dole show that welfare does not have to result in laziness and decadence. If the non-Muslim poor could only be stirred to some great purpose they would demonstrate to all welfare skeptics that the nanny state does not have to rob its charges of drive and ambition.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2004 February 25 11:43 PM Civilizations Decay|