Migrants and the Shape of the World to Come

I originally wrote this for Calvin-in-Common

Also this from another conservative pundit. http://theweek.com/articles/574295/appeal-trump-why-immigration-may-defining-issue-21st-century

While most of us worry about global climate change, the not-disconnected-anxiety people-who-love-people aren’t paying attention to is the question of what will become of the unskilled poor in the age of the creative class. While the “haves” of the world pour themselves into raising one or three uber educated elites in an attempt to out-compete the global blue collar labor market the population of Africa is set to balloon. http://www.citylab.com/design/2014/09/africas-population-will-quadruple-by-2100-what-does-that-mean-for-its-cities/380507/

What Europe is seeing is of course the first fruits of this explosion (with some acute mid-east refugees on top) and it seems possible that this invasion might remake Europe culturally, politically and religiously as much any previous invasion has. Hasn’t European history always been the history of invasion/migration and response? The EU seems like a pretty fragile instrument as they can’t figure out what to do with Greece economically and England insures that migrants don’t make their way up the Chunnel. http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/migrants-in-calais-risk-everything-to-reach-england-a-1047803.html

Immigration in the US is socially less volatile and is part of our tradition but a quick look at this chart will show how the US hasn’t seen this level of immigration since before WW1 http://www.migrationpolicy.org/programs/data-hub/charts/immigrant-population-over-time?width=1000&height=850&iframe=true

“Futurists” imagine that “haves and have nots” will increasingly mean more than luxury goods, it may mean power, influence, longevity. http://edge.org/conversation/yuval_noah_harari-daniel_kahneman-death-is-optional

HARARI: Death is optional. And if you think about it from the viewpoint of the poor, it looks terrible, because throughout history, death was the great equalizer. The big consolation of the poor throughout history was that okay, these rich people, they have it good, but they’re going to die just like me. But think about the world, say, in 50 years, 100 years, where the poor people continue to die, but the rich people, in addition to all the other things they get, also get an exemption from death. That’s going to bring a lot of anger.

Change is hard and as the pace of change picks up people hole up, put up walls, stock up on guns, use increasingly rudimentary metrics to figure out friend from foe.

Makes me think of the premise of the movie Elysium. You just need to watch the first minute of the trailer. Haves and have nots. Trump is promising to build a wall. That is what people want.

The trailer lies of course. Most of us who are middle class live in Elysium, not “earth”.


About PaulVK

Husband, Father of 5, Pastor
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