Liberals only give up liberal policies out of horror

Italy allowed unrestricted immigration from EU countries, and repealed laws that had allowed authorities to remove immigrant criminals. The only immigrant criminals who could be removed were those who posed a “menace to the state,” i.e., terrorists. Those who merely posed a “menace to society,” i.e., ordinary criminals, could not be removed. Among the immigrant groups pouring into Italy were gypsies from Romania, who brought a vast crime wave: since last January Romanians have made up 75 percent of those arrested for murder, rape, and robbery in the city of Rome. According to the Daily Mail, “Romanians have been blamed for 76 murders in the last 18 months, half of all rapes and a surge in people trafficking and prostitution.” The crime wave culminated when a 24-year-old Romanian gypsy sexually attacked and murdered the 47 year old wife of an Admiral early this past week. Here I’ll let ANSA, an English-language Italian news site, pick up the story:

Italy was set Friday to start expelling European Union citizens considered a menace to society.

The move came amid a crime wave involving many immigrants from new EU member Romania—and after a deadly assault on a navy officer’s wife that shocked the nation. [Italics added.]

Giovanna Reggiani, 47, died Thursday night after two days in a coma….

The alleged aggressor, a 24-year-old Romanian gypsy (Roma) named Nicolae Romolus Mailat, was arrested on suspicion of homicide and robbery. A hearing Friday is expected to charge him with murder and robbery.

Reggiani suffered “massive” head injuries consistent with blows from a blunt object such as a rock, police said.

… An emergency decree allowing the expulsion of potentially dangerous EU immigrants was issued Wednesday night and signed by President Giorgio Napolitano on Thursday night.

Violent crime including rape and murder had shot through the roof as a result of the gypsy immigration. Gypsies—just one immigrant group—had been charged with 76 murders in Italy over the last year and a half. And then when a gypsy murders a more prominent type of person, suddenly the country is “shocked,” and instantly gets rid of the policy that had prevented the deportation of criminal immigrants. Under liberalism, ruinous liberal policies can never be eliminated on the basis of reason, since that would imply there was something wrong with liberalism. They can only be changed on the basis of a pure wave of emotion, the sudden, spontaneous forming of a consensus that things have gone too far and something must be done. Such waves of emotion that arise from time to time may fix the worst excesses of liberalism, without bringing liberalism itself under question.

Nevertheless, if a collective sense of horror is the only thing that will get the Eloized populations and governments of Europe to start acting with sanity, so be it. As we can see from this article in the Independent, proper liberals are repelled by the strong action Italy has taken against the gypsies. So I guess Italy must be doing something right.

Outcasts: Italy turns on its immigrants in wake of a murder

These are the first victims of a brutal Italian crackdown on immigrants. As thousands await deportation without trial, are we entering a new era of intolerance across Europe?

By Peter Popham in Rome
Published: 03 November 2007

They sat forlornly on the banks of the Tiber yesterday while the shantytowns they had called home only hours before were demolished. Already outcasts from the mainstream of Italian life, now they have been banished from whatever impromptu shelter they had found. And the city rejoiced at their misfortune.

Three small kittens and a hungry-looking mongrel are the last remaining inhabitants of the Roma squatter camp on the northern outskirts of Rome. The camp is yards from Tor di Quinto station on a commuter line from central Rome, but, screened by trees and creepers and huddled in a narrow gully, it is invisible until you part the creeper and step inside. Then you find the first of a line of flimsy huts, put together from scrap wood and fabric and cardboard but neat and cared-for. Inside some of them have rugs on the floor, tiny gas cooking stoves, dressers with ornaments, a double bed, a broken down chair; outside is a mouldy old sofa, a moth-eaten beach umbrella shading an old coffee table: la dolce vita for Italy’s poorest and most marginal residents.

The camp is empty because on Wednesday a naval captain’s wife, Giovanna Reggiani, 47, returning home from a shopping trip to central Rome, was attacked and robbed near here, and dumped in the gully. Last night she died in hospital. It was a vicious crime, and fed into a mounting national mood of anger and exasperation about immigration. Suddenly Italy’s political system, normally so sluggish, sprang into life.

Within hours Italy was doing what millions of people around Europe—whipped up by populist politicians and a xenophobic media—would like to see their own governments doing: taking quick, dramatic and draconian action to teach the immigrants a lesson they won’t forget. [cont.]

David G. writes:

Regarding your posting of the Italian response to their crime and immigration dilemmas—at least they are doing something that for once precisely identifies immigration as the source of their problem. After discussing Bush’s statement that we are fighting terrorists in Iraq so we won’t have to fight them here, I have asked many people, including Iraq war veterans, the question, “How would they get here?” It amazes me, truly, that even brave, warrior types can just assume that whoever comes into this country comes here as an unstoppable force of nature such as a windstorm or a sunny day for that matter.

Here’s another recent example of the liberal problem in dealing with open immigration:

I watched a documentary this week put out by the Simon Wiesenthal Center entitled, Ever Again, which is play on the words Never Again, meaning that while the Jews will never allow another Holocaust, anti-Semitic force are at it ever again.

For 74 minutes we are exposed to a variety of painful observations, replete with film footage of neo-Nazis and egregious imams and their minions from the streets of Paris, London and Belgium. But much is made, justifiably so, of the fact that the new anti-Semitism in Europe has a leftist orientation that is summed up in the equation Anti Racism=Anti Semitism. It is evil, but it is genius.

In other words, if you are progressive, if you are in favor of human rights, then anti Semitism is a logical place to find yourself. It ends with Edmund Burke’s warning “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” Yet in those 74 minutes never once does anyone ask , “Why do we allow Muslims to continue coming here?” Nor does the film question the refugee policies that allowed them into England in the first place. [LA replies: The first Muslim immigrants in Britain were not refugees but Commonwealth immigrants with British passports.]

It seems that the reason for such a paucity of inquiry lies in their liberalism which seems to say, “We have to allow these people in, because if we didn’t, we’d be Nazis, too.”

Incredible that the Wiesenthal Center, of all institutions, has handcuffed their fellow Jews to that fatal ideology. It seems that not even horror can erode the fundamental liberal beliefs in diversity, open borders and pluralism as inherently good social doctrines.

I think it better that the Wiesenthal Center eschew Burke for the moment and first take up Thoreau, who said, “It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants. What are you industrious about?” Mere exposition of problems such as rampant crime and anti-Semitism is not enough. Appeals to humanistic “good men,” while valid, are not enough either. We have to be industrious about getting to at least part of the source of those problems i.e., non-discriminatory immigration, and take the first step which is shutting off those points of entry (legal and physical) from which these social problems either find their beginnings or are enhanced thereby.

If Italian officials really are “taking quick, dramatic and draconian action to teach immigrants a lesson they won’t forget,” they have it all over the “humanist” and even the warrior responses out there. That’s being industrious about something that is worth being industrious about.

LA replies:

“…I have asked many people, including Iraq war veterans, the question, “How would they get here?” It amazes me, truly, that even brave, warrior types can just assume that whoever comes into this country comes here as an unstoppable force of nature…”

What David G. is pointing to is the fundamental, all-encompassing, unexamined, never-to-be-examined framework of the modern West: the rule of non-discrimination, particularly in its most important expression, which is immigration. This is the reason for the Usual Suspects syndrome. No matter how alarmed people are by Islamic extremism, the idea that it has only gotten into our country or that can only get into our country by our allowing Muslims to enter and remain in our country cannot even be conceived. The thought cannot be formed. To think of non-discriminatory immigration in this relation would be to think of it in a critical light; and to think of it in a critical light would be to create the possibility that maybe it’s not a good idea. Which is impossible for the majority of modern Westerners, even the brave, warrior types.

The essence of the modern liberal belief in non-discrimination is that it is an extreme ideology—meaning an extreme reversal of reality—that is not recognized as such. Non-discrimination is seen as simply identical with goodness, identical with the sunlight by which we perceive the world, with no alternatives possible, because the only alternative is the reign of Chaos and old Night. Therefore non-discrimination cannot be an object of critical thought. A society could be mortally threatened by non-discriminatory immigration, and no one would be able to articulate to himself that this was happening.

Which takes us back to the Italian situation. Only a terrible crime leading to a sudden mass wave of emotion, not a reasoned debate leading to a rational rejection of an insane policy, could get the Italians to take steps against just one especially troublesome immigrant group.

Sage McLaughtlin writes:

You title your most recent post “Liberals only give up liberal policies out of horror.”

Isn’t this one of liberalism’s secrets to success? Ordinary reactions to things, even to obviously horrible things, are mere “sentiments,” and bad ones at that. People are told that if they have a visceral, emotional sense of outrage at being displaced and victimized by foreign vagabonds, then that only proves that they are in the grips of an irrational prejudice. Precisely because the reaction is a deep and visceral one, it is dismissed as unthinking hatred. The liberal line on conservatives’ warnings about the disaster that awaits us if we follow liberalism has always been that conservatives were attempting to frighten people, excite their base emotions, and take advantage of blind, irrational hatreds.

The quote from the Independent you’ve provided is a classic specimen of this rhetorical device. If people get emotional about a topic—say, seeing their wives and daughters raped and murdered by masses of uninvited foreigners—and if their democratically elected representatives act upon it, then it must be the work of some dark corner of the conservative limbic system. Liberals on both sides of the Atlantic have come to view the actual workings of a free democracy as the seething, wild, and ultimately dangerous machinery of the unenlightened. Thus their drooling adoration for the power of the unelected and the unaccountable leftist vanguard, especially judges and EU bureaucrats. In the end, of course, it is liberalism that results in the raw assertion of power, and which eschews the possibility of reasoned debate—because it is liberalism that insists on the power of the human will to construct reality, and which denies any transcendent reality to which Man can appeal.

But that’s further along the trail than is necessary. Bottom line: Liberals can see no rationality at work in their adversaries’ protestations, precisely because liberalism relies upon blind sentiment and the assertion of the individual will as the final arbiter of reality.

LA replies:

Yes, but if the feeling gets strong enough, as in this case, then suddenly a new consensus forms which does not directly reject the liberal belief but simply charges past it. When this happens, other liberals, like the author of the Independent article, shake theri heads, but they cannot stop it.

James W. writes:

“Already outcasts from the mainstream of Italian life….”

By choice. In every country, culture, and century. By choice. They successfully resisted every effort everywhere to mainstream them. Without exception.

No gypsy child is permitted to attend school. It is understood that were they to become literate, and form other associations, they could not keep them within the tribe in every case.

The families see to their marriage by the age of twelve, although they are not joined for a time after that. It is not negotiable, because they are business arrangements.

A gypsy will typically have five or more drivers licences from different states, with as many identities. Once bails are set, they merely assume other identities and avoid that state.

I’ve known many gypsy traders, and some musicians. One violinist, now passed, was as great a violinist as lived in his era, and actually made his living in classical music, although he could play anything. He was even concertmaster of the Baltimore Symphony for one year. He could read music, but not language. He spoke at least six, and could do no more than sign his name, and tell California from New York on a street sign. He hardly paid a tax in his life but for the occasional witholding job, and died with the IRS after him. They never would have gotten him.

He was as mainstreamed as it gets.

And yes, they are raised to scam. Legitimate work is only a way in to a better score. They do not consider themselves outcasts. They consider us marks. Who could deny that?

Vincent Chiarello writes:

For one who has lived and worked in Rome, and has spent a good amount of time visiting much of Italy, allow me to comment about some of the points raised on your recent thread.

The presence of nomadic gypsies in Rome—called “zingari”—is not of recent vintage, for they have lived in shantytowns at the edge of “the Eternal City” for decades. During the years I served at the U.S. Embassy to The Holy See, (1989-92), gypsies were an unwanted presence to be sure, for they taught, literally, their young children to be highly skilled in the art of theft, particularly pickpocketing. I knew a visiting U.S. diplomat whose wallet was stolen twice in the course of a three day visit to Rome by gypsy street urchins! Still, such unhappy experiences were not very common for those who were careful and observed a few precautions.

Having said that, and I could regale you with similar stories, it has to be noted that physical harm resulting in personal injury from these larcenous acts by gypsies during this period was negligible. What has changed is not only the numbers of gypsies, but their origins, for those who have entered in the past decade from Eastern Europe are far more aggressive in their criminal ways. The latest spate of crime by gypsies is orchestrated not by “zingari,” but by “rumeni,” whose background is not only distinctly Eastern European, but specifically from two countries.

While it is irrefutable that Italy’s organized crime syndicates have for generations carved out “spheres of influence” in various regions of the country, the ebb and flow of Italian city life has been dramatically changed by the introduction of thousands of Rumanians and Albanians, who have entered Italy through a EU open borders policy, knowing that there is a non-enforced EU deportation policy. When combined with the existing North African population, often complicit in drug trafficking, or the Albainian crime families, this additional Romanian gypsy cohort is a recipe for disaster, and most Italians know it. Rome was, until recently, one of the safest cities in the world, but, with the unfettered gypsy and other immigration from Eastern Europe, that has dramatically changed. And it will worsen still if the Italian government, now headed by a Leftist coalition, does not take effective action. The attack on Giovanna Reggiani should hasten that action, but will Italy’s decision to deport “menaces” to their society assume a constant character? Given the nature of the EU’s control over Italian immigration policies and practices, I wonder how long these deportations will last. I believe that Italy, unlike some of its Western European neighbors, knows the mortal dangers posed by unlimited immigration by Eastern European and Maghreb residents into the peninsula. However, it does not take a Tarot card dealer to tell you that effective action on this front must be forthcoming immediately, or it may be too little and too late.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 04, 2007 04:00 PM | Send

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