In terms of figures, the illegal border crossings have been for a long time what they have always been, in some cases significantly below. That is the reason why Salvini, Kurz, Seehofer, Orban, Le Pen, Wilders etc. want to count nationally: a person who travels through Italy and Austria to Germany then appears 3x in the European statistics and if they travel through Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary to Austria they appear 5x. If there was a European regulating of migrants with an ordered distribution, the number of border crossings to be counted for Austria would lie de facto at zero, all the soldiers and millions in cost would not matter.

What is annoying is that the Syrians and Iraqis were left in the lurch for years before so many of them set off on their way in 2015. I was in the region several times in 2013, 2014 and the first half of 2015 and tried to draw European attention to the situation. I succeeded, if it was spectacular. If it was very spectacular then the foreign minister Sebastian Kurz, between ZiB2 and the Morgenjournal, made a million euros of immediate aid available. But structurally nothing happened until the pressure was so great that it all flew open.

Now it is not much better: the emergency situation in the camps is scarcely diminished, suicide attempts even by children are par for the course in some of them. Europe has built walls but has not eliminated the cause.

And secondly: the racists in the Union are not stopping here. Because no refugees are coming anymore, they are turning against migrants and their children. No matter how long you have already lived here, no matter what passport you have, you are the target of hate. After “close the Balkan route” comes “foreigners out”.

The antidote? I believe it is always about a perspective, for the right extremists as well as for the Islamic men (and we are talking primarily here about a men’s problem). In the 30 years since the fall of the Iron Curtain, Austria has experienced a 27x economic growth. But does my generation have the feeling that they were able to build something up in these 20 “success” years? My parents’ generation built houses and saved and if they started at 25 they counted on being in a better position at 55. My generation scarcely knows this feeling and the next not at all. What has grown in all that time is only the large fortunes. And then in these 30 years there was a single big recession in growth, exactly 10 years ago after the Lehman bankruptcy. And who was saved? Precisely these big fortunes from the little ones. This generation is supposed to have faith in the state, society, social cooperation? Where from? And the young men of Turkish or Arabic origin, they see a generation of parents who have only worked hard and are still poor and who are looked down upon and must read “Daham statt Islam” (Home instead of Islam) on giant posters. They should integrate into a society that treats them like that and does not offer them pride and certainly no progression?

No, it will not work like that. And especially not if we cannot grow anymore due to ecological reasons, if we must economise on resources. Then the pressure on the non-super-rich 95 percent will increase even further.

It will be about redistribution, about coherent redistribution and about breaking the power of the banks, stock markets and corporations. It will not be a discussion in which we must convince them, it will be a power struggle, hopefully a democratic one, but a power struggle all the same. It is not only about the sober economic question, it is especially about perspectives and hope.

For this reason, this hate is currently also especially a men’s phenomenon: women of my generation had better perspectives than those of every generation before, owing to the great feminists who fought for it. This is why right extremists and Islamists share antifeminism: they must share influence with women who are not at the stove. This is the reason for the big anti-feminist backlash. One should therefore support the women’s popular petition. It is all linked to the fight for a better world. The right can lead us back into war of everyone against everyone and perhaps they will do that because it brings short-term advantages. In the long term it is always us progressives

Posted by Michel Reimon