The decline of Marxism and the rise of Islamism in the Third World

A reader sent in this fascinating article which links the rise of Islamism with the fall in popularity of Marxism. It looks at the differences between migrants in Australia today compared with migrants after World War Two. It also highlights the fact that the majority of?refugees on the boats to Australia are not actual refugees but instead economic migrants who would not be accepted as migrants due to their lack of marketable skills and education. Finally it points out the danger of Islamic Terrorism to the West and the need to curb immigration in order to protect Australia.

Many, perhaps most, of the difficulties and malaise currently being experienced by the West, including Australia, stem in large measure from two factors: the unprecedented increase in population in the Third World, and the replacement of secular, universalistic ideologies, especially Marxism, by religious fundamentalism.

..The statistics of population increase throughout the Third World in recent decades are simply staggering. Although everyone is aware that there has been a worldwide population explosion, and that this has occurred primarily in the under?developed world, in all likelihood few know just how astronomical this increase has been. Here is a table of the populations of various randomly selected Third World countries in 1950 and today (numbers in millions):

  • 1950????? 2015??? % increase
  • Afghanistan???????????????? 8.2?????? 26.6???? ? 324
  • Bangladesh????????????????? 45.6???? 158.5?? ? 348
  • Brazil?????????????????????????????? 53.4???? 204.1?? ? 382
  • Cambodia????????????????????? 4.5?????? 15.4???? ? 342
  • China?????????????????????????????? 563????? 1369??? ? 243
  • Congo (Kinshasa)????? 13.6???? 71.2???? ? 524
  • Egypt??????????????????????????????? 21.2???? 88.3???? ? 417
  • Haiti?????????????????????????????????? 3.1?????? 10.9???? ? 352
  • India????????????????????????????????? 370????? 1269??? ? 343
  • Iran???????????????????????????? ? ? ?? 16.4???? 78.2???? ? 477
  • Liberia?????????????????????????????? 0.8?????? 4.5?????? ? 560
  • Nigeria????????????????????????????? 31.8???? 183.5?? ? 577
  • South Africa???????????????????? 13.6???? 54.0???? ? 397
  • Venezuela???????????????????????? 5.0?????? 30.6???? ? 612
  • Zimbabwe???????????????????????? 2.8?????? 13.1???? ? 468


These extraordinary rates of increase, which have occurred in virtually every Third World country, have taken place even in states which have experienced local man-made and natural catastrophes…

The main reason for this phenomenal rise in population has been the availability of Western medicine?the one form of ?Western imperialism? whose ?shackles? are never to be ?thrown off??as well as the integration of the economies of most Third World countries into the international economic system. Without the West, no Third World nation could have supported more than a fraction of its current population.

While this great rise in numbers has occurred everywhere in the Third World, it is probably in Africa where it has been most marked.

…As a general rule, the rate of population growth in the Third World has been inversely proportionate to economic development and per capita income, with the highest rate of population growth almost always occurring in the poorest, most backward countries. Of the fifty-two countries in the world whose population increased by 2 per cent or more a year from 2005 to 2010, thirty-two are in Africa (headed by Liberia, whose population increased by 4.5 per cent a year, despite its genocidal civil war), while ten are in the Islamic world. At the other end of the scale are most Western countries, as well as the states of the former USSR and Japan, whose populations have hardly increased at all or, in some cases, have actually declined.

…This vast array of the dispossessed is probably greater in number today than at any time in the past, while communication and ease of transport are greater now than at any time in the past.

…Throughout Europe (and to a much lesser extent here, because of our stricter immigration rules) whole areas of many major cities have been flooded with Third World immigrants, making these areas virtually unrecognisable to those who had lived there before. This has been facilitated by most governments, but in particular by left-wing governments, keen to prove their anti-racist and politically-correct credentials, while using the (automatically left-wing) votes of the immigrants as an increasing component of their electoral base, which (as with the Labour Party in Britain) would otherwise be constantly declining. In Britain, there are apparently now nearly three million Muslims, as well as several million others from the Third World. In size, this wave of immigration has no historical parallels: for example, in 1930 there were only 300,000 Jews in Britain, after?at the time?relatively heavy immigration from eastern Europe. Similar post-1950 migration waves exist in most European countries, with their governments unable or unwilling to halt them. Indeed, Western Europe may become the first place in history to commit suicide through political correctness.

These demographic trends would be alarming enough, but they have occurred alongside what is arguably the most important political transformation of the recent past, but one whose importance is virtually unnoticed: the virtual end of widely held belief in secular, universalistic ideologies, especially Marxism, and their replacement as popular causes, everywhere but in Western Europe and in most other Western countries like Australia, by a religious fundamentalism and extremism that is deeply engaged in politics. The end of communism in Europe and its effective end in most of Asia have led to the end of Marxism everywhere as an ideology attracting new or young supporters in either the West or the Third World.

In the West, the Left by and large has transmigrated to some variant of the Green movement, which has many of the radical ideological aspects of previous Marxism, but without its hard edge and rigour or its central direction from Moscow or from a local communist party. But in the Third World (and, to a lesser extent, in the United States), the vacuum left by the end of communism has given fundamentalist religion a new lease of life, most obviously and violently in the Islamic world. Whereas fifty or sixty years ago most disaffected students and youth throughout the Islamic world would have embraced some variety of Marxist insurgency, usually mixed with a strong dose of anti-colonialist nationalism, and with Islam present, if at all, as a subsidiary loyalty, now most turn as a matter of course to one or another variety of Islam, each generally more extreme than the next, in a kind of Dutch auction of barbarism.

…The central place of fundamentalist religion, and religious violence, in the contemporary world is, of course, strongly associated with militant Islam, the source of most murderous violence and terrorism today. In the past, there were successful and unsuccessful attempts to introduce Western liberal reforms into Islamic states, most obviously by Kemal Ataturk in Turkey. Much less well known were the efforts by King Amanullah Khan in 1929 to introduce far-reaching reforms, including the emancipation of women, into Afghanistan, of all places; for his pains he was immediately deposed by conservative tribesmen and clerics. The Marxist regime which held power there between 1978 and 1992 also attempted to institute the same range of reforms, in the context of Marxist repression, but was also overthrown. Arab nationalist dictators like Nasser and Saddam Hussein also imposed many secular reforms, sometimes with persisting results, sometimes not. Today, however, the importance of fundamentalist religious ideologies in the Islamic world is clearly greater than ever.

Islamic terrorism is most apparent in the Muslim world, both as a result of Sunni?Shi?ite rivalry and as a means of persecuting non-Muslim minorities. But it has been brought to the West by the tidal wave of Muslim immigration during the past forty years or so, a major component of Third World immigration to the West.

…Bearing all these points in mind, what can one say about Australia?s approach to immigration? By and large, it has been fairly sensible compared with Europe, and its points-based system has often been recommended for copying elsewhere. The Australian points system effectively prohibits the migration here of those without education, marketable skills, job offers or family connections, and thus?in theory?rules out unskilled and semi-skilled would-be migrants from the Third World (or elsewhere). Generally, of course, Australia?s post-1945 immigration is seen as a model of success.

But it is far from perfect. We arguably admit far too many migrants. In 2013-14, Australia admitted 190,000 migrants (up from 100,000 in 2003-04) and 13,500 refugees, a number which is due to rise to 20,000. In contrast, the United States, whose population is thirteen times larger than Australia?s, admitted 990,000 legal migrants in 2013 and only 58,000 refugees. If Australia allowed in the same per capita number of immigrants as the United States, it would have let in only about 76,000 migrants and 4400 refugees; both figures appear far more reasonable, given the current state of our economy. The negative impact of high levels of immigration on, for example, the cost and availability of housing here, is discussed all too infrequently, and seldom or never by prominent politicians.

Australia?s generosity stems in part from nostalgia for the very successful immigration of the post-war decades, when there was a consensus that Australia had to ?populate or perish?. But those days are over. After the Second World War, Australia was one of only a handful of countries which had already industrialised but was not laid waste by the war. The world wanted what it produced, and Australia was crying out for unskilled and semi-skilled labour for its factories, mines and farms. Protected by high tariff walls, for decades Australian unemployment rates seldom exceeded 1 per cent. Today, it goes without saying, all that has changed. Australia has no tariff protection, little manufacturing industry, competition from every corner of the globe, and an unemployment rate stubbornly stuck at over 6 per cent.


Old-style New Australians: A migrant family enters their hostel accommodation for the first time in 1965

In those days, too, an immigrant family settling in, say, Carlton in Melbourne, often worked literally down the street or a ten-minute tram ride away in the Melbourne CBD. Today, poorer immigrants and refugees are forced to live in remote, under-serviced ghetto-like suburbs such as Dandenong in Melbourne, on the outer fringes of now vastly larger metropolitan areas, often unemployed?and perhaps unemployable?for years on end. (Recent refugees to Australia remain unemployed on average for four years?which means that half are unemployed for even longer.) Unskilled and semi-skilled jobs are scarcer than in the past and ought, as a matter of elementary fairness, to go to Australians who need the work, not to those brought in from abroad, except in limited and controlled numbers.

Refugee immigration here still remains in the wake of the first Rudd government. In an act of sheer folly, that government mandated onshore refugee processing, thus facilitating the birth of a new and vast industry: people-smuggling. This demented policy was reversed by the second Rudd government, but not before 50,000 illegal immigrants entered Australia and 1200 died at sea. Under the present government, the number of unauthorised boat arrivals has declined from 50,000 to zero, once it was made absolutely clear that any such arrival would be sent to Papua New Guinea, Nauru or Cambodia, and that none would be allowed to settle here. This decline in such numbers to zero is prima facie evidence that the overwhelming majority were not refugees but economic migrants, attempting to come here to better themselves.



…During the Second World War, European Jews ?who, after 1940, were forbidden to leave Nazi-occupied Europe, prior to genocide?who managed to escape had to spend the war years in unpleasant places like Mauritius and Shanghai. Despite this, every Jew in Nazi-occupied Europe would have given literally all they had to escape to Mauritius, Shanghai or anywhere on earth beyond the reach of the SS. Not one would have declined to leave Europe because their destination would not be New York. So, if they are in mortal danger, why are today?s boat ?refugees? so reluctant to migrate to Papua New Guinea and Nauru? The evident inference is that they are not in mortal danger, but want to come to a wealthy First World country like Australia in order to better themselves and their families.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to migrate to Australia for its economic benefits and the promise of upward social mobility for oneself and one?s family?I have personally twice been an economic migrant for these reasons, and so have millions of other people?provided that the migrant stream is carefully controlled, the pace not set by smugglers, and that would-be migrants do not lie about their status. So why did so many do exactly that rather than apply to come here as ordinary economic migrants? In many cases, because they know that they have a zero chance of success: they have no marketable skills or requisite education, let alone a job waiting for them upon arrival, and would certainly be denied admission as ordinary migrants. In contrast to the barriers set up for would-be economic migrants, refugees to Australia need have no skills of any kind, or speak English, or even be literate.

…It is not generally realised just how widespread deception actually is among would-be migrants. According to official government statistics, of those who applied to come to Australia as refugees under the Special Humanitarian Program in 2012-13 (the most recent year for which there are statistics) 78 per cent were refused admission: their claims to being ?refugees? were invalid.

…Like every other Western nation, Australia is faced with an entirely new danger from Islamic terrorism, almost always the product of a revived Islamic fundamentalism. It is self-evident that Islamic terrorism presents a clear and present danger to Western democracy that must be suppressed by any means. While with a few prominent exceptions Australia has been free of this plague, we currently have a Muslim population of nearly 500,000, ten times as many as forty years ago, a figure which has escalated astronomically in the same way as in Britain and Europe.

There is, of course, no unified Muslim community, which is composed of people from a wide variety of national cultures from the Balkans to Indonesia. (In fact, most Arabs in Australia are probably not Muslims, but Lebanese Christians and Egyptian Copts.) Most Muslims here are, like anyone else, simply minding their own business, while it must be stressed that the vile and barbaric aspects of Islamic fundamentalism?honour killings, female genital mutilation, systematic discrimination against women, and so on?have no necessary relationship with Islamic terrorism. Nevertheless, the clear and immediate threat posed by Islamic fundamentalism is one central reason why Third World immigration here, fanned by an ever more astronomical population of the impoverished in the underdeveloped world, should be carefully controlled and curtailed; any would-be immigrant from the Third World who presents the slightest threat to our security ought to be automatically barred from coming.

Although there is an apparent consensus among the two main parties as to the dimensions of our immigration policy, the organs of the Left, such as the Greens, the Fairfax press, the ABC and various left-wing groups, are constantly pressing for more open borders, regardless of the impact of any such policies on Australia, and regardless of their electoral poison. As usual, the sheer perversity of the Left, with its permanent zeitgeist towards national suicide, is its most notable feature.

What then can be done about the population of the Third World, its endemic poverty and, in many cases, hopelessness? Realistically, Australia can do virtually nothing to ameliorate conditions there beyond what it does at present with its foreign aid, aid workers, and the provision of training and medical care. Australia has no control over the internal affairs of any Third World countries, with the possible exception of some local neighbours with which we have traditional ties, such as Papua New Guinea. Nor is there any obvious international solution to the problems of the Third World. Australia can, basically, only put up the drawbridge and hope for the best.

William D. Rubinstein, formerly a professor of history at Deakin University and at the University of Wales, has written widely on many topics.