Europe without borders threatens to end in disintegration

The piece below is a translation of an article by Afshin Ellian that appeared in the Dutch Elsevier online newsletter on 21 December. Afshin Ellian is an Iranian-Dutch professor of law, philosopher, poet, and critic of political Islam. He regularly blogs for Professor Ellian is forthright – to put it mildly – about the issue of open borders. This is a subject that is of vital concern to most Australian who believe our borders must be rigorously protected and are frustrated that the media commentary is mostly from those critical of the Abbott policy of protection. They see the policy still holding under Turnbull, but suspect the will is not there and the support is tenuous. Australians would be more confident about the security of their borders if there were more like Ellian in the media to tell of the ‘existential threat’ that open borders present. Ellian’s piece parallels the problems in Australia’s management of border protection and is in line with Abbott’s Thatcher speech. The translation is literal which results in a little clumsiness and stiffness that contrast with the well-written Dutch text.


by Afshin Ellian –

The migrant crisis of 2015 will continue without let-up into 2016. It is becoming a serious matter. That’s why people are speaking of a crisis on a European scale.

Of course, the movement of peoples is an ongoing process.

The migration and asylum flow was also happening in the last century. It began with the problem of asylum-seekers. The right of asylum was often used by people who were not political refugees. Thus the right of asylum formed a basis for migration.

In the 20th century we see a new trend: the displaced people fleeing war are no longer primarily seeking safety, but prosperity and a better future.

During the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, a considerable number of young people came to the West because their parents did not allow them to take part in the war. Entirely understandable, but it had nothing to do with the right of asylum.


The search for a better future is not the basis of the right of asylum, The right to asylum has gradually widened. Those displaced by war, although they often were in a safe land, took the decision to go to the West: again for a better life. This is also completely understandable. At the same time this movement is far from the aim of the right of asylum. In the meantime, the right of asylum has become emptied of its meaning.

The right of asylum has turned into a right of migration. This should prompt everyone to reflect.

The hard distinction between the right of asylum and the right to migrate is more than ever necessary. Otherwise the right of asylum threatens, and with it the system for people in real need, to break down completely.


The defenceless political refugees become in this way even more defenceless. Those who think in a humanistic way, should be worried about this. But humanism has been taken over by the cabaret artists and entertainers. Jeroen Pauw [a popular ABC-type] and other entertainers claim a monopoly on humanity.

Those that deviate from the norms of the entertainer are branded as an unfaithful inhumane Dutch citizen. Yes, unfaithful, because the entertainers of our time have reserved to themselves complete monopoly on humanity. The church of entertainers is without obligation and without cost. Not for everyone. That only holds for the high priests of the entertainers church.

The faith of the entertainers is based on the compulsory contribution and participation of others and not themselves. Not the high priests of the entertainers or cabaret artists but others have to make the necessary sacrifice for their commands and prohibitions.

No one in the history of the West could ever have predicted that the West’s new faith would have been formed from a specific business sector, namely entertainment. This doubtful religion is even financed by taxes. The new faith is a state subsidized religion. Like any religion maintained by force, this modern faith will come to grief through its own success.

It is comics like Dolf Jansen who via the entertainers’ church of the Dutch Public Broadcaster keep the infidels in line. Yes, comics don’t tell jokes these days. They give edifying sermon


This is no longer the revaluation of all values, but the devaluation of all values. The serious satirist makes me think randomly of Emperor Nero who with his insane jokes is suspected of setting fire to the city of Rome.

They are able as serious (jokeless) satirists to reduce the extensive world mass migration, the injustice and civil wars to simple, humanistic, coercive concepts. The satirist formulates and propagates the rules of a super-morality as the counterpart to political, economic and demographic analyses and considerations.

The priestly robe of the most inhuman humanism perfectly fits Dolf Jansen, Jeroen Pauw and other [Dutch] entertainers. Nietsche would now say: I already warned you of the coming of these people. Morality and politics as one big cabaret stage!


The comics do not absolve serious people from reflecting on the catastrophic consequences of open borders when the right of asylum becomes the right to move house. Now, for the first time the whole world is witnessing a massive movement of people in Europe.

In Africa and the Middle East one sees the pictures of the march of despair in Europe. The pictures that also display the powerlessness of the European states and the European Union intensify the migration crisis. Onward to Europe, one thinks. The question, however, remains: how many people can and may Europe absorb? The question about Europe’s borders is an existential subject.

What concerns me is not so much the displaced Syrians who need to be helped where ever and in whatever way. What is really at stake here are the borders of the continent.

Europe without borders threatens of end in disintegration. Satire can turn overnight into a drama.