In a recent episode of the Peikoff.com Q&A on Ayn Rand podcast, Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute, responded to the question, “What do you think about the immigration crisis in Europe?”
Brook began his response by noting the demographic composition of the migrant inflows, and the significance of their backgrounds. “It is very crucial and very important,” Brook said, “that this migration is almost overwhelmingly of Muslims at a time when the West is at war with Jihadists, and at war with radical Islam, and at a time when you cannot really differentiate between what I would consider a moderate Muslim and a radical Muslim.”
Being that Brook advocates Ayn Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism, which extends into metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and most relevantly politics, Brook then began to explain how an Objectivist government would respond to the migrant crisis, contextualizing the nature of the West’s ongoing war on terror and what Objectivism would bring to the table. “An Objectivist government first of all would’ve declared war,” he said, referring to a foreign policy strategy against radical Islam detailed further in such Objectivist literature as Winning the Unwinnable War, edited by Elan Journo. “If there was an Objectivist government anywhere in the world,” Brook continued, “the whole situation in the Middle East would be very different, so this migration probably wouldn’t be happening.”
He then went on to explain the rationale behind an Objectivist immigration policy re Muslims. “But more importantly [an Objectivist government] would basically ban the immigration of Muslims into the country, basically as an act of self-defense, and in particular in Europe where terrorism attacks [are committed] by Muslims who are not coming in from the outside but either have lived in the West for many years or grown up in the West and where radical mosques exist,” Brook said.
He continued: “I think the burden of proof has to be on anybody coming in to try to prove that they are moderates, that they are truly not at risk of becoming radicals and becoming a threat to Europe. So point one is we’re at war and the West is at war, and Europe is at war, and the biggest problem Europe has, and the biggest problem the United States has in this context, is we won’t declare war and we won’t identify the enemy and therefore we can’t even figure out who’s okay and who’s not, who it;s okay to let into your country, and who’s not okay to let into your country, who you could monitor and who you should monitor, so we first, if we’re going to have any kind of rational immigration policy in this regard, we should first define who the enemy is and be willing to act against that and be willing to discriminate against that enemy in the sense of not letting them into the country.”
Brook then surveyed why Muslims find the West so attractive, pinpointing how certain countries basically incentivize high migrant inflows through lax border policy and an easy to abuse welfare state. “Second, a lot of these immigrants are coming because of the welfare state, and it’s no accident that they want to go to Germany and Sweden and places like the Netherlands who have the most lucrative welfare benefits for immigrants, for refugees, and where basically they can live off the state,” Brook said. “They don’t even have to have a job, they don’t have to work, and that’s absurd, it’s absurd to allow people in who are going to go on the dole automatically and it’s just accepted.”
He continued: “The Europeans of course cannot do away with the welfare state: they believe it’s metaphysical, believe it’s just part of their character and part of their nature, so to accept hundreds of thousands of new people into your country who are going to immediately start sucking on the tit of government, immediately start becom[ing] welfare recipient[s], is absurd and suicidal and should be stopped; they need to be able to control their border in this regard and need to be able to stop this until one, they declare the enemy, and b) they start unwinding the welfare state or at least eliminate the welfare state for anybody entering the country, and of course I’m not sure all these people would want to come into the country if the welfare state was eliminated.”