Of Refugees and Realities

Somewhere as a species we made a wrong turn and ventured forth down a bleak alley that leads to the veritable knife fight in a skip that modern society is becoming. Because what else are money, economics, politics, state borders and so on, but a fiction in which we collectively believe.

For all my bleating about the injuries that society obediently sustains under the trampling boots of capitalism, it's only really my toes that are trodden on by contrast to the nose-stomping that refugees have been taking in recent times. Yes, yes it is a travesty that our generation is condemned to a life of meaningless toil following all that ostensibly worthless education, but our asses are still propped by chairs in glass offices towering into the sky where we're encouraged to continue with our labours with fruit, discounted gym memberships and the threat of homelessness in lieu of actual fulfilment. At very least we have multi-storey car parks to throw ourselves from when the realisation that we've been robbed of a future hits us. We'll probably even have the gall to look quite stylish all mangled and bloodied in a crumpled heap outside of Moorgate station. Even the jobless have the comforting knowledge that starvation will probably take enough time to at least cast your vote in the next elections with a real shot at ending the Cameronian decade - although they'll be wading through the emaciated carcasses of everyone they've had to feast upon in order to do so.

And yes, there's a scandalous number of people being declared fit for work and then inconveniently dropping dead weeks later. Food banks are more popular now than Noel Edmonds was at the height of Deal or No Deal - back in those halcyon days of 2005, but has now come to represent just about everything that's wrong with the world of finance; shady men with questionable facial hair developing repetitive strain injury from constantly phoning a shadowy, unseen, unaccountable puppet master who controls the fate of the money-hungry masses with the haughty condescension of farmer talking to his pigs about bacon. All of this is happening and yes, it's all awful - especially Noel - but it pales in comparison to the plight of those desperately fleeing places where everything seems to explode, catch fire or get shot repeatedly.

Currently in daily emergency toilet-roll dispensaries such as The Daily Mail, Express and other synonymous ass-rags there is a fear stoking idiocy in the face of a perceived immigrant invasion. Apparently they're everywhere, like insects, parasites or other dehumanising metaphors but in spite of the conflicted ideologies of said propagandists, as a nation we have found ourselves rediscovering a long-lost sense of emotional decency. Whilst photos of a sea-drowned child have rocked Europe's sense of moral fortitude to its evidently rotten core, the braying voice of ignorance cannot be silenced and still - in spite of the largest number of displaced refugees wandering hopelessly towards us since World War 2 - an element of choice and even greed is being projected upon those desperately fleeing the war-ravaged lands that our media has long since learned to demonise.

They come carrying children, food, any last semblance of hope in the form of high school diplomas, photo albums, blankets, dried food and not much else, aside from a stigma which they invariably did not choose to bring with them, but rather one that we burdened them with along their way; because evidently it's not been hard enough for them already. I fear that in this age of consumerism, what with all of our commercial ambitions and values, we're prone to missing the key element of this grim tragedy that plays out across the EU - that being the quintessential humanity at stake in this escalating clusterfuck.

The arguments against admitting more refugees into our country range in syllables and spelling, but all underpin the same normative values - that of resources. For too long we've seen immigration - especially that derived from deadly conflict, misery and a level of suffering that a queue at Argos could never match up to - as an economic burden. The NHS is strapped for cash, teachers and rail workers strike over conditions and pay. The young and the old alike are forced out of their homes due to housing shortages in favour of settling them somewhere else - anywhere else - if it means that the economy can thrive. Almost everyone got a bowl of shit for breakfast on the 8th of May, but we still have bowls and spoons with which to wolf it down, by contrast to the refugees stumbling through razor-wire we might as well be intergalactic royalty.

We've learned to put the value of money ahead of all over values in the hope that we can somehow buy our way out of the shite-filled bog of problems that our world is drowning in. No amount of money will buy Aylan Kurdi's life back. No increase in GP will rebuild the shattered lives of those who travel to Europe in search of security and no new revenue stream can be found that will stop the waves lapping over the dead bodies of those who dared to find safety upon these shores. The thing that could save future refugees; just a slither of compassion from our serpentine rulers and the support Europeans everywhere who, based on their predilection for £5 coffees, clearly have enough to help.

The trouble is that people invariably live a dual reality. So desperate is our desire to be 'someone' and fulfil the old belief that we're all special little glimmering stars out to outshine the others that we're predisposed to go along with a big fat lie in order to achieve these dreams. But the dream is just that and much like waking from a dream, you're left with a bad taste in your mouth when you establish that a lie like money has actually dominated the world. We're all too willing to push the agenda of money, because it allegedly affords us all sorts of wonders that make us into whatever concept beyond a human that we wish for. Any attempt to be more than a human always results in becoming less than human. The triumph of a single-minded approach towards anything, especially with money, can only come at the loss of other elements - often with money those elements include common courtesy, decency and empathy.

The argument that economic constraints are limiting the number of people we can help is a flagrant lie, just like money itself. Refugees are human beings, which is an objective fact; much like the rest of us they are comprised predominantly of carbon, suffer from a chronic addiction to oxygen and will die if you don't feed them, which incidentally... On the contrary, money is a human concept - a subjective reality into which we all buy in with the hope of being able to cash out, but the point is it's simply not real. We invented it and have dominion over it. It's not as though money is a tidal force of nature or a higher power, it's merely a means of setting a value on the things we actually need and maintaining society in its present form. It seems to me hideously warped that we would rather place a higher value on the wholly unreal over that which can be proven on an objective basis. We're using a fantasy argument to excuse ourselves from the duties we face in the real world, in this case the millions of displaced and distraught people fleeing from the devastation of all they've ever known - which is a pretty big responsibility to hide from behind magic numbers. Given that 85% of the world's refugee population seek asylum in developing nations, it seems as though it's less a case of capabilities and more a matter of values.

Somewhere as a species we made a wrong turn and ventured forth down a bleak alley that leads to the veritable knife fight in a skip that modern society is becoming. Because what else are money, economics, politics, state borders and so on, but a fiction in which we collectively believe.

The world runs in this divergent dual reality where we both exist in the real, tangible sense and also in the immaterial world of human concepts that we all go along with in order to keep society functioning in its twisted degenerate ways. There is such a thing as a society, contrary to what the iron-warhorse Cilla Black lookalike was spouting, but whether that society is a civil society will be determined with how we collectively act in the face of the crisis that will define our generation. If we continue to put luxuriant living ahead of the needs of our fellow man then we may as well chemically castrate the whole nation now, with crop-duster planes if possible, so that however foul we behave is irrelevant because at least we'd have the decency to die out and leave little more than a skidmark across human history, which at present is probably the best footnote we can ask for.


What's Hot