The Migrant Responsibility of the West
Colonialism and imperialism were two of the most destructive institutions in history. The West now faces the consequence of that choice to dominate every continent on earth.
The Migrant Responsibility of the West
By Greg Lepore /

In this year alone over 250,000 migrants have arrived at the gates to Europe exhausted, aching, and in need of assistance. Those who arrive have scaled mountains, traversed deserts, sailed across treacherous seas in deteriorating rafts or endured hundreds of miles of darkness strapped inside the engine compartment of a tractor-trailer. Many die during the journey or are forced to abandon their efforts. Those that survive ask primarily for one thing: the promise of a brighter future.

The current migration crisis strikes Europe at a time when the stability of the region is in question. Regardless, migrants continue to come. They come because as unstable as Europe is, it remains exponentially more stable than the regions from which they are fleeing, regions afflicted with extreme poverty, inequality, violence and war.

The tasks involved in dealing with the current migration crisis are enormous, and nations across Europe are struggling to provide relief to those that end up on their shores.  In fact, the tasks have proven so enormous that we have begun to see much of Europe turn its back on migration relief efforts. Some states argue for a migrant quota. Some argue for military action against smugglers and traffickers. Some argue for shutting down their country’s borders completely. Very few argue for increased relief efforts.

Karma is often described as something spiritual, but in practice it refers to cause and effect. A choice produces a consequence, a good choice a good consequence and a bad choice a bad consequence. In both cases, the consequence cannot be reversed. The former European powers, namely the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Belgium, made a collective choice at the beginning of the 16th century to dominate every continent on the planet. Now they are realizing the consequence of that choice.

Colonialism was one of the most destructive institutions in history from the point of view of the colonized. Strong ethnic groups were torn apart and opposing ethnic groups forced together. Entire societies were taught through observation that exploitation was necessary to acquire wealth. A social hierarchy was instituted in which one was either very rich or very poor, never in-between. A military presence was constant, and social upheaval was dealt with through violence. European colonizers created and upheld a culture of brutality, oppressiveness and dysfunction in an effort to retain complete control. When colonialism began to fade, this ruthless culture remained.  

The colonized became convinced through targeted propaganda that their cultures were inferior and that Europe was and always would be the promised land. Entire societies adopted European languages and customs. They learned European history, ate European food, and adopted European dress, forever merging their ancient cultures with the cultures of their European colonizers.

Imperialism was an extension of colonialism, the only difference that the European powers retained control of their colonies from afar rather than from within. Retaining control from afar was difficult, especially once former colonies gained their “independence”. In order to keep control, newly freed countries continued to be exploited through economic manipulation, and political processes were hijacked to institute leaders who were pro-European puppets. Countries who attempted to break ties with Europe were often invaded either directly or covertly. Most new nations were never able to establish themselves as strong, independent and stable states.

The former European powers, responsible for both colonialism and imperialism, are directly responsible for the failures of many modern nations in Africa and the Middle East, the two regions from which most migrants escape to Europe today. To refuse entry to those migrants whose countries were repeatedly ravaged by Europe is a vehement example of hypocrisy. To engrain a culture of brutality in a society and then ignore that society’s pleas for help, to repeatedly meddle in the political and economic affairs of a nation and then claim no responsibility for that nation’s shortcomings, to teach a man to be European and then refuse him entry to Europe, these are all vehement examples of hypocrisy.

We must not forget also a history that thus far has been overlooked in the migrant debate: the role of the United States. The imperial legacy of this modern power remains by far the strongest still felt today by those in the Middle East. Heavily supporting the creation of Israel, the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, and the 2003 invasion of Iraq are just three of the most well-known instances of America manipulating, and destabilizing, the Middle East. History will show though that the US in one way or another has had a hand in nearly every major Middle East crisis since the beginning of the Cold War.

This begs the question: how involved should the US be in the search for a solution to the migrant crisis? To those who contend that America already has its hands tied with the South American migrant crisis, one must ask: how involved should Spain and Portugal be in the search for a solution to the United States’ migrant crisis?

Europe has a tremendous responsibility to accept into its borders the thousands of desperate migrants that arrive everyday.  More than acceptance, though, these migrants deserve the chance at a brighter future, something they never had access to in their old countries, something that was ripped away from them hundreds of years ago when the first Europeans showed up in their backyards. Europe has no choice but to expand its migrant relief efforts, and just like Spain and Portugal must play a part in resolving the United States’ migrant crisis, the US must lend a hand in resolving Europe’s migrant crisis. The West made a collective choice to dominate the world by any means necessary. Now it must face the consequence of that choice.

4.6 ·
What's Next
Trending Today
Noam Chomsky Has 'Never Seen Anything Like This'
Chris Hedges · 14,740 views today · Noam Chomsky is America’s greatest intellectual. His massive body of work, which includes nearly 100 books, has for decades deflated and exposed the lies of the power elite...
Your Lifestyle Has Already Been Designed (The Real Reason For The Forty-Hour Workweek)
David Cain · 9,412 views today · Well I’m in the working world again. I’ve found myself a well-paying gig in the engineering industry, and life finally feels like it’s returning to normal after my nine months...
25 Mind-Twisting Optical Illusion Paintings by Rob Gonsalves
Dovas · 8,993 views today · The beautiful and mind-bending illusions in Canadian artist Robert Gonsalves’ paintings have a fun way of twisting your perception and causing you to question what in his...
Forget Shorter Showers: Why Personal Change Does Not Equal Political Change (2015)
11 min · 6,495 views today · Would any sane person think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday; or that chopping...
No Moral Superpower: Arundhati Roy, Edward Snowden, and the Crimes of Empire
Jake Johnson · 3,409 views today · When Arundhati Roy was preparing, in 2014, for a trip to Moscow to meet Edward Snowden, she was troubled by two things. One of them was the fact that the meeting was arranged...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 3,052 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
The Empire Vs. The People - Police Attack and Arrest Peaceful Protestors at the Dakota Access Pipeline
6 min · 2,671 views today · On October 22, just before dawn, hundreds of people, including many families, gathered and prepared to march toward the Dakota Access pipeline construction site near Standing...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 2,400 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
These Incredible Stories Remind Us of Our Better Selves
36 min · 2,277 views today · #WhoWeAre is a campaign to share the stories of people whose actions show us compassion and to send a message of empathy, hope and optimism. These videos will automatically...
The Burden of the New Story
Adebayo Akomolafe · 2,273 views today · The 'new story' - that longed for milieu when all is right with the world and things are set straight - seems to be taking its sweet time coming. Why?
Men Loving Men
Bianca Vivion · 1,989 views today · When my father was seven he and his best friend Phil cut their index fingers open and placed them together to create a “blood pact” that they would always be brothers. To this...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,702 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
And After the Election, The Reaction
Ret Marut · 864 views today · Could there be any better illustration of the shortcomings of representative democracy than this year’s Presidential campaign? For months upon tiresome months, the whole world...
Writers Tom Hayden and Naomi Klein Talk About Journalism and Activism
27 min · 824 views today · Author, Activist and Former California State Senator Tom Hayden talks in depth with the author of No Logo and The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein, about the state of the fourth...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 681 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
#Hypernormalisation - Why Heathrow Plan Is Proof We Exist in a Catastrophic Fantasyland
Matthew Adams · 655 views today · The British government recently gave the green light for Heathrow airport’s third runway. It was heralded by its supporters as a vital boost for jobs and growth – and proof...
F*ck That: A Guided Meditation for the Realities of Today's World
2 min · 649 views today · Just acknowledge that all that sh*t is f*cking b*llshit — you're here now, in this place, with your inner stillness. Take in a deep breath ... now breathe out. Just feel the...
'The Climate of Fear Is Unacceptable' - Ken Loach on I, Daniel Blake
6 min · 638 views today · Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or-winning film I, Daniel Blake tells the story of a man who is denied disability benefit after a heart attack and who is then subsequently caught in a...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 620 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Three Massive Mergers - Millions for One Bank and a Disaster for Food, Water, and Climate
Wenonah Hauter · 548 views today · In addition to advising on all three mega-mergers, Credit Suisse is playing a big role behind the scenes of the Dakota Access pipeline.
Load More
Like us on Facebook?
The Migrant Responsibility of the West