Geoffrey Fox

Reflections & Inquiries

A new country for refugees?

2015.07.24 - Tags: , ,

A Silicon Valley mogul wants to solve the global refugee crisis by creating a new country – The Washington Post

It’s a bad idea, but at least it’s an idea! The European Union isn’t even daring to think about the problem. OK, so a new country for hundreds of thousands of dissimilar people — and where do we put it? The last time we tried that it was called “Israel,” and we finally (after much debate) planted it in lands already occupied, and you know how brilliantly that has worked — this is not a practical solution. But destroying people-trafficking ships in the Mediterranean isn’t a solution, either. Or blocking entry to France by refugees at the train station in Milan. Or building higher walls along the Texas border, or repulsing refugee ships in Indonesia.

We all know that what generates mass migration and intensifies all the violence in our current World War III is the combination of the deterioration of survival capacity (droughts, global warming, pollution) and the growing and ostentatious inequality of living chances in different countries and different sectors of the same countries. So at least some percentage of the budgets of the better-off countries has to go toward addressing these problems, instead of building ever greater defenses against the desperate seekers of refuge! And meanwhile, we’re all going to have to take more of these people in, and combat racist and xenophobic reactions at home. None of this is easy, or immediate. But it is at least the beginnings of a plan.

Refugees in the Stazione Centrale, Milan