Refugees

Could Sovereign "Refugee Cities" Help Solve the Syrian Crisis?

With good governance and strong property rights, they could.

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European and Middle Eastern governments have reacted to the influx of the more than 4 million refugees created by the Syrian civil war in a variety of ways: Holding them in bleak desert camps, slowly integrating them into their societies, building fences, and violently turning them away. And of course, more and more European citizens are casting votes for far-right, anti-immigration political parties.

But a few observers have proposed another approach: Create new cities for the refugees.

It may seem radical or unworkable, but there's already at least one Egyptian billionaire who's willing to put his money where his mouth is and buy the refugees their own island. Telecom mogul Naguib Sawiris is Egypt's third richest man and has proposed sinking anywhere between $10-100 million into an island off the coast of Italy or Greece to act as home for hundreds of thousands of refugees.

Sawahiri envisions refugees building hospitals, housing, schools, and other infrastructure on the island. But the outstanding question remains: Who would govern the island and how?

Mark Lutter tackles those very questions over at Medium, where he draws on his experience researching "proprietary cities" to identify three potential governance models:

First, a Charter City, a different government, Canada for example, could offer to govern the refugee city. Second, a private non-profit, for example, the Greek government could create a new non-profit with the UN for the specific purpose of governing the island. Third, a private company could buy an island and negotiate with Greece for economic and immigration liberalization.

Lutter settles on the non-profit model as the most efficient and practical path forward in the short term, while acknowledging that both the Charter City model and a totally privatized city have their own distinct advantages in the long run. He also identifies two features crucial to the success of any "refugee city": Lax immigration laws to allow refugees easy access and economic liberalization to allow rapid growth. In fact, he believes that failure to scrap onerous European-style regulation would doom the idea:

Some data on Greece illustrate the importance of economic liberalization. Greece is a high income country with average per capita income of $25,000 per year, while Syria has average per capita income of $5,000. If we assume the refugee city will have similar income levels as Syria, Greek law will need to be adjusted for the lower level of income. Greece, for example, has a minimum wage of $10,000 per year. If that minimum wage is enforced for the refugee city, it will attract few refugees, as it would price them out of a legal labor market. The same logic applies to other Greek regulations.

Getting a business license in Greece takes 13 days and 2.2% of per capita income. However, given that Greece has income levels five times higher than Syria, it would take Syrian refugees 11% of their income to start a business, an income they probably have not collected since the start of the civil war. Even worse, construction permits in Greece take 124 days, a delay that is prohibitively long if a new city is to be built. Getting electricity takes 70% of per capita income and registering property takes 20 days.

I highly recommend reading the full article here to see the idea fully fleshed out. For real-world evidence of the huge impact that governance differences are already making on refugee camps, contrast Jordan's "informal city" of Zaatari—with its emerging neighborhoods, economy, and paved roads—with the same country's prison-like camp Azraq, which lacks electricity or even clean toilets. Lutter is arguing that government officials, NGOs, and private investors have an opportunity to do much better than even Zaatari has by establishing a special zone on par with China's Shenzhen, which grew from a fishing village of 30,000 people in 1979 to an international manufacturing hub of more than 18 million today. 

To learn more about experimental zones in developing countries, watch Reason TV's series "How to Grow a City in Honduras" below. And check out Refugee Cities, a non-profit working to implement some of these solutions.

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  1. Well sure if the fucking fairy God mother of all good and great things showed up, things would work out. Meanwhile, in the real world these people don’t want those things and wouldn’t support a government that gave it to them. If they wanted such things, Syria wouldn’t be so fucked up to begin with. Refugee cities would be nothing but shit holes.

    The solution to the crisis is to send their sorry asses back where they came from. It is not Europe’s responsibility to solve the world’s problems or take on every orphan of the storm. If they don’t like where they live, perhaps they should do something to make it better.

    1. The thing about dictatorships is that the people who live under them can’t do anything to make it better. Not unless they organize and form a group to fight back. Oh, wait. I think many of them did.

      1. #IBelieveInModerateRebels

        1. Um, no. But I do believe in swordfish (he believes in swordfish!).

    2. Exactly. Reason’s hand-wringing over this is getting nauseated.

      1. Nauseating, dammit…

        1. Naw, you got it right – that hands are so fatigued from the wringing that their puking.

          Just tryin’ to hel pa brothah….

          *raises glvoed fist – looks knowingly at Reek*

          Solid

          1. PS for today “their” = they’re”

            Jesus fucking CHRIST

          2. *looks at orig post – marvels at all the typos – decides to just move along now*

            1. I just assumed you were drunk.

              1. I always assume that.

    3. If they don’t like where they live, perhaps they should do something to make it better.

      Well, they tried protesting and marching. So government started shooting them.
      Then they tried fighting back, with number of conscripts deserting. So government started bombing them and bringing in foreign troops.
      Then AQI bastards who were operating out of Syria, with Syrian government blessing, decided to take over.

      I’m not a fan of the new Gothic invasion of Europe (Syrians are only about 25% of that number, anyway), nor do I have much patience for their entitled whining, but for many of them it’s run away or get murdered, raped and/or enslaved.
      Now, what I don’t get, why should this philantropist not buy an island somewhere cheaper and more Muslimy for them? Indonesia is always paraded around as so fucking enlightened, it’s made of hundreds of islands, climate is more pleasant, and there are actual resources to develop out there.

      1. Life sucks. I am sorry that is happening to them but it is not my fault nor the Europeans’ fault. It is therefore not theirs nor my responsibility to fix it.

        1. Strawman is down.

          1. Can you at least try to know what a word means before using it?

            1. Taking in immigrants =/= fixing Syria

        2. Hitler did kind of ruin “fuck off and get murdered at home” attitude in Europe to a degree, though. Now, if Europeans want to rethink it, and perhaps add a caveat that says “but if you come from a state that decolonized, fuck off into another decolonized state” or something, sure.
          Of course, most of the current crop are not Syrians, nor refugees, so not sure why Zach decided to bring them up in an article that is dealing with resettlement of Syrian refugees, who are mostly in Jordan and Turkey. Or why the island shold be in Greece or Italy, instead of a Muslim majority country.

          1. Because people like the guy who wrote that article are at heart racists who understand that no Muslim country would host such a thing and since they are not really human being’s in this guy’s view, shouldn’t be expected to.

          2. Or why the island shold be in Greece or Italy, instead of a Muslim majority country.

            There’s a certain desire to colonize Europe, to take pieces of it to add to their national pride. Ask the Pakistani immigrants in the UK or the Morrocans in the Netherlands whom, at just about any pro-Islamic immigration/rights/privileges protest you find them at, are carrying banners claiming the preeminent right of Muslims to dominate their host societies, implement their laws and preserve their national identity at the expense of others.

        3. I am sorry that is happening to them but it is not my fault nor the Europeans’ fault.

          And it’s not your responsibility, so don’t do anything. You don’t have to do anything to watch refugees enter the same land mass you live on. You have to actually do something to stop them.

      2. for many of them it’s run away or get murdered, raped and/or enslaved.

        I’m sure. But the majority of these are young single men. Who apparently left their wives, sisters, daughters and mothers behind to be raped and/or enslaved.

        Fuck those guys.

        1. I love how you assume you must understand the circumstances of these people. I mean it’s not like they could possibly be going to try and wire some money home.

        2. Again, don’t know why I’m defending these people, but no, majority of refugees back in Jordan, Turkey and Egypt, that the article is ostensibly about, are women, elderly and children. Male Syrians coming to Europe are counting on being able to bring their womenfolk over (which is why the numbers being bandied about are bullshit, and should be at least doubled).
          As for “they should be fighting”, well, why should they? Fight ISIS so Assad can come back? If there are no people worthy of US support, who should they fight for?

          1. I don’t know what they should be doing. Whatever it is, showing up on Europe’s doorstep demanding welfare isn’t it, at least not if the Europeans have any survival instinct.

            1. Looking at population ‘growth’ of Danes, Germans, French, Dutch etc, I can see why people would conclude Europeans don’t have a survival instinct. I just think they’re wrong and I’d have to be one of these migrants who got to stay ten years from now. Backlash is already starting, and, given the numbers disparity, you won’t need a large percentage of indigenous population to make their lives hell.

              1. You won’t need a comparatively large proportion of Muslim immigrants to make the indigenous people’s lives hell. The end game is a Europe that more closely resembles South Africa. A place where whites with the wherewithal are getting the hell out of.

                I know several South African whites who have fled, one of whom is a staunch ANC supporter and even goes so far as to consider herself “black”. Yet she refuses to actually live in South Africa after her uncle was brutally murdered in a farm attack. Her twisted mental contortions to justify her multiculturalist beliefs despite knowing the reality on the ground, I find to be just simply amazing.

          2. majority of refugees back in Jordan, Turkey and Egypt, that the article is ostensibly about, are women, elderly and children.

            I’m sure they need no protection or other support from their male relatives while they live in a refugee camp in those countries.

            And, as you mention, those camps are now a temporary resting place until their male relatives move them to Europe and its welfare states.

            Is it just me, or is the article basically saying, give these people their own “country” governed under UN oversight (“the Greek government could create a new non-profit with the UN for the specific purpose of governing the island”).

            Isn’t that pretty much what the Palestinians have? How is that working out?

            1. Yup. A brilliant idea that can’t possibly fail. Provided right Top Men (and Women) from NGOs all over the West are brought in to oversee them, of course. Gotta spread the graft between East and West – it’s the universal language and the bridge to common understanding!

            2. Except it would have property rights and free markets and rule of law, so the opposite of what the Palis have.

              1. While past performance isn’t always a guarantee of future results, its the way to bet.

                Neither the UN, nor the countries these refugees come from, have any kind of deep-seated commitment to property rights, free markets, or the rule of law.

                So tell me how they are going to take root in these new cities.

                1. RTFA. The have outlined three options for it. I would recommend making it into another ZEDE.

                  1. I did RTFA. I also saw that the author recommends as the only practical solution the joint UN/Greek NGO as the “governing” authority. So that’s what I was looking at, not the options that the author discarded.

                2. They also outlined that there is just such a camp in Jordan.

                  1. A “camp”, not a city with utilities, paved roads, etc.

                  2. Jordanian refugee camps might not be the model of a society that you’re looking for. Even the majority Muslim society of Jordan is terrified of allowing Syrians and Palestinians to live among them en masse. The moral imperative to absorb these people certainly doesn’t exist for the Jordanians who use refugees more as a bargaining chip than as an exercise in altruism.

      3. Now, what I don’t get, why should this philantropist not buy an island somewhere cheaper and more Muslimy for them? Indonesia is always paraded around as so fucking enlightened, it’s made of hundreds of islands, climate is more pleasant, and there are actual resources to develop out there.

        Ay, there’s the rub! Malaysia and Indonesia regularly send back their coreligionist Rohingya brothers to face persecution in Burma…that is when corrupt elements of their police forces and military are not no-shit for reals enslaving them on shrimp boats or raping every Rohingya girl above the age of I’m not even going to say because it sickens me.

        So what hope does a Syrian have for a tropical vacation?

        1. No, super-duper mega-tolerant non-Saudi Muslims are super-awesome and everything will be all right, Syrians will bring them delicious hummus and then both societies will be super-enriched, because inner struggle is the greater Jihad!

            1. Good lord, that’s a big article, so it’ll have to wait for a break, but thanks for the link! Stuff like this is why I love this board (and of course, Warty stories).

              1. NO LOVE FOR STEVE SMITH? HIM LOVE YOU. LET STEVE SMITH SHOW HOW MUCH!

                1. There’s much to be said for simplicity of STEVE SMITH, yes. But with Warty Hugeman, you never know what will happen next. Then you regret finding out.

        2. “Many of those involved in Rohingya trafficking are Rohingya themselves, according to Reuters’ interviews and the Arakan Project’s Lewa.”

          It’s refreshing to be reminded that the Middle East isn’t the only clusterfuck in the world right now.

          1. Yet, based on what the UN chooses to focus on, you’d think for the past 80 years the world outside of the Levant was a utopian paradise.

            1. I have an ex in Malaysia that I keep in touch with – let’s just say things are not getting better there.

      4. Indonesia is way too far away. The Med is right there.

        1. If proximity creates some kind of obligation for communities and tax payers to deal with these people’s problems, then by all means they should stay in the middle east.

    4. The solution to the crisis is to send their sorry asses back where they came from.

      That’s not how civilized free nations do things. Free countries have open borders, period.

      It is not the responsibility of the government’s of the world to indulge your hatred of brown refugees.

      1. That’s not how civilized free nations do things. Free countries have open borders, period.

        LOLOL No nation in the history of the world has had totally open borders. You are completely delusional and worse expect other people to suffer and perhaps die for your delusions.

        1. No nation has been totally free either. Your points are banal and insipid, as usual.

          You are completely delusional and worse expect other people to suffer and perhaps die for your delusions.

          THE IRONY THE LACK OF AWARENESS

          1. So you admit no nation in the history of the world would allow this. But you still expect Europe to, even though it is going to wreck their country’s.

            1. It’s not going to wreck their countries. Immigration never has.

              1. We agree with this noble idea,

                Signed
                Chiefs Joseph, Metacom, Geronimo, etc…
                Atahualpa,
                Santa Anna,

              2. You know what’s funny?

                Much of the trouble in Ukraine and Georgia stems from the, wait for it, mass migration of ethnic Russians into those countries under Stalin.

                Tell me again how mass migration is always a good thing.

                1. Holy shit. You’re actually equating the forced and deliberate settlement of people by a government trying to engineer ethnic majorities with free movement of people. Tell me were you always this fucking dumb?

                  1. So now, mass immigration isn’t always a good thing. Good to know.

                    Guess what, Cyto? The depopulation of the Ukraine was done forcibly.

                    The ensuing mass migration of Russians was voluntary, for the most part.

                    Learn some history. Please.

                  2. “Holy shit. You’re actually equating the forced and deliberate settlement of people by a government trying to engineer ethnic majorities with free movement of people.”

                    Not unreasonably, if so. As this shows, there are compositions of groups that are incompatible, even going beyond mere tribalism and territorialism. The natural response is rejection of one group by another. It doesn’t matter whether some external government supresses that rejection, or whether the internal government supresses that rejection. Consequences in both cases will be bad. These numbers are large enough to be problematic. There’s been a steady influx of 10.000 a day – only counting the ones registered – into Germany for a long time now. Totals for this year (registered and unregistered) will approach 2 million.

      2. And, the predictable accusation of racism.

        These “refugees” are coming for government welfare.

        Governments have an obligation to act in the interest of their citizens, not foreigners.

        You do the math.

        1. magic open borders multiplier?

        2. “These “refugees” are coming for government welfare.”

          1) Citation needed. 2) So what? Better they get it than the natives.

          1. Citation needed.

            Why else are they heading to the richer welfare programs of northern Europe?

            1. THAT’S WHERE THE JOBS ARE

              Also, I take issue with that statement. France and the southern med nations seem to have much more generous welfare states that’s most of why they’re in trouble. The Northern welfare states are shrinking.

              1. Cytotoxic knows jack shit about employment possibilities in Europe or he wouldn’t post such tiresome drivel.

          2. Better they get it than the natives.

            lel I am mstr trell

            1. He did give away the game there, sadly. Master level – revoked.

          3. Better they get it than the natives.

            That sums up the cucktarian position.

      3. Free countries with “open borders” won’t remain free

        Your “invade the world, import the world” philosophy is pure insanity.

        1. “Free countries with “open borders” won’t remain free”

          Yes they will. Only countries with open borders can be free. See ‘America, pre-20th century’.

            1. An ugly stain on America’s past. As ugly as the Muslim Exclusion Act many Yokeltarians seem to want.

              1. An ugly stain on your historical literacy there as well. Immigration controls in America began pretty much as soon as the composition of the immigrants became non-homogeneous. And even before then, racial and ethnic separatism and violence were not out of the ordinary. The unalloyed good of a multicultural society is obvious mostly in hindsight (or from the comfortable distance of a country where you could easily go your entire life without seeing a non-white person).

                1. You don’t know what ‘multiculturalism’ is. That word gets abused to no end.

                  The anti-Chinese act was eventually repealed. Controls did not become systematic until much later.

                  1. You don’t know what ‘multiculturalism’ is.

                    Yeah, that’s gotta be it. Your expertise in cultural, religious and ethnic issues in a country that is 90% white and ethnically northern european is unquestionable.

                    The anti-Chinese act was eventually repealed.

                    Uh, yeah, in 1943. After it was passed in 1882 with a 10 year sunset, it was renewed in 1892, then made permanent in 1902.

                    Controls did not become systematic until much later.

                    You mean, like, The Immigration Act of 1882, the Alien Contract Labor Law of 1885, the 1891 Immigration Act, The Geary Act, the Immigration Act of 1903, the Immigration Act of 1907…

    5. Isn’t Qatar spending ~200 billion USD on the infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup? Including building 8-10 air conditioned stadiums (and God knows how much air conditioned public spaces so that millions of visitors won’t die in 115+ F heat)? They can’t afford to take in, what, 2 million refugees, or at least pay their rent to have them live in the rest of the Gulf states?

      I mean I know why Qatar doesn’t, and it starts with “Black” and ends with “September”, but they easily could afford to. If they gave a shit, that is.

      Why the fuck is this Europe’s problem again?

      1. Oh, and 2 million refugee guess is from combining several streams of numbers from the wiki on the migrant crisis. But that leads to the question of just how do we know how many people are coming over their border? Isn’t Germany alone officially projecting 800k?

        And I’m pretty sure, like with the much smaller Mariel Boatlift that this situation reminds me of, that TPTB in the Schengen Agreement have given up hope of trying to screen the migrants to keep out anybody with a chronic communicable disease, jihadis, other violent criminals, etc…

  2. Who would govern the island and how?

    They need a governor, and we have a Trump problem. Might I make a suggestion?

    1. Send them Hillary.

      1. Send them all current Presidential candidates. Load them into a single plane and route them over the Ukraine with no notice or commercial transponder.

        1. I gotta fever, and the only prescription is more woodchipper.

          1. I have come here to chip wood and kick ass… and I’m all out of woodchippers.

    2. Sorry, CA bids one moonbeam; you think YOU got a problem?

  3. Can people start their own theme parks? With blackjack and hookers?

  4. Great! Now translate Lutter’s article into Arabic and forward it to the various sheikhs and potentates of the Gulf. I’m sure there are more than a few empty islands around Bahrain or Oman. Hell, the United Arab Emirates have made two artificial islands already!

    1. So have the Chinese! There’s plenty of room!

      Or, we give them Detroit…

      1. Or, we give them Detroit…

        Out of the frying pan into the fire.

  5. European governments have reacted to the influx of the more than 4 million refugees created by the Syrian civil war in a variety of ways:

    Bzzt. Many of them are not Syrian at all.

    But a few observers have proposed another approach: Create new cities for the refugees.

    Paid for by . . . .? And no, I don’t think philanthropic rich dudes are going to build a new city that is the equivalent, roughly, of Phoenix out of their own pockets.

    1. [T]here’s already at least one Egyptian billionaire who’s willing to put his money where his mouth is and buy the refugees their own island. Telecom mogul Naguib Sawiris is Egypt’s third richest man and has proposed sinking anywhere between $10-100 million into an island off the coast of Italy or Greece to act as home for hundreds of thousands of refugees.

      1. Did you miss the reference to “philanthropic rich dudes”, and the fact that $100 million won’t come anywhere remotely close to building a city roughly the size of Phoenix for these 4mm refugees?

        1. “$100 million won’t come anywhere remotely close to building a city roughly the size of Phoenix”

          ^ This. $100M gets you maybe a city block, tops.

        2. “At least one,” RC. Money attracts money. There is nothing to prevent others from jumping on this, and they probably will.

          1. I dunno – Gulf dudes are tight with giving out cash to others – buying themselves $10,000 bottles of Scotch, gold watches and houris…sure.

            1. The guy who offered the money was Egyptian, and he’s only the third-richest dude in the country. There are plenty of other non-gulf, rich muslims. And millions of totally not rich muslims worldwide.

              1. Well, when you get $10bb voluntarily contributed and in a bank account, not a vague promise for 1/100th of that amount, we can talk.

  6. Could Sovereign “Refugee Cities” Help Solve the Syrian Crisis?

    With good governance and strong property rights, they could.

    Syrians are well known for good government and strong property rights. What could go wrong?

    Greeks are pretty unlucky, they’re not Germans but they’re still White and Christian enough for a certain group.

    1. why we will force them to have good governance and strong property rights!

    2. You got your collectivism AND you persecution complex out in one post.

  7. Hmmm. Millions of (alleged) political refugees, mostly men, mostly idle, nowhere to go.

    I hear lots of talk of needing an army to fight Assad and ISIS.

    So, when Samad shows up in Europe for a meal, give him an AK and turn him back around.

    Two birds, one stone.

    1. I wouldn’t give him an AK until he was well out of range, myself.

      1. Ammo (and the meal) are at the border in Turkey.

    2. I’m pretty sure this process has selected for people who would like to avoid engaging in that.

  8. Why should Italy or Greece get their property stolen?

    How about sending the refugees to Dubai, they got lots of empty houses and apartments.

    Or maybe send them to Egypt, they can all stay at Naguib Sawiris house

    1. Or how about filling up one or two of those ghost cities in China?

    2. It’s not their property.

      1. You’re right.

        Its not the “refugee’s” property.

        Who does own enough land to house 4mm people? How will it be transferred to its new owners? Who will pay for it? Who will pay to build a city roughly the size of Phoenix?

        Lots of property is going to change hands, no question, under this plan.

      2. Whose property is it?

        1. Only private property is legitimate. The government of Italy or Greece has no legitimate property aside from military assets.

    3. Stolen? I think they’re talking about paying for it. And it’s not stolen if Greece or whoever decides to donate it.

      What is it with you people?

      1. Reading is an Islamocommie plot.

        1. Sug (and Tonio), to do this would cost tens, maybe hundreds, of billions of dollars. To build entirely new cities for millions of people.

          Nobody’s raising that kind of money, or getting their hands on that kind of land, purely voluntarily.

          1. No it wouldn’t. Let the people settle their with property rights and they build it themselves. Not that hard.

            1. Let the people settle their with property rights and they build it themselves.

              So, we have an empty island. We put several hundred thousand people on it.

              They build a modern city with their bare hands and no cash?

              Please. We’re not stupid.

              1. They start with slums and move up, like every fucking place with private proeprty rights and markets. You’re pretty stupid from what I’ve seen so far.

                1. They start with slums and move up,

                  Say, how are all those immigrant slums developing in France? You know, the ones where they periodically burn cars, and where the cops won’t go.

                2. It’s the Middle East, not Sim City. Christ, this man is entertaining.

              2. Please. We’re not stupid.

                But Cyto is.

                I’m also amused at the idea of economic immigrants running hospitals and schools and such. Think there are a lot of doctors in that pool?

      2. With what money? Even a hundred million won’t buy a decent sized island with water, sewage, harbor, etc. You can only get an island for that amount if its stolen from its owners

        Better the refugees go to Egypt and live with Naguib Sawiris.

        And there is still Dubai available, the refugees can be put to work finishing all those half built sky scrapers

        1. See my comment upthread. The current commitment of up to $100 million from one person doesn’t mean that others won’t or can’t contribute.

          1. So if they have more then a hundred million then move the refugees to Egypt or Dubai.

            Or if you want to create a shinning city on the hill with Syrians then they already have a place to go, its called Syria

            1. Syria is a warzone numbnuts.

              1. But now they will be welding the sword of free market and the shield of libertarianism and they shall fear no evil

              2. Because of Syrians.

      3. I think they’re talking about paying for it.

        One guy has said he might pay for an island that could house a fraction of the refugees.

        I’ll put it out there right now:

        There is no way this could happen without forcing people off their land. Any compensation would be come largely from taxpayers. The money to build these cities would come largely from taxpayers.

        No sane person could possibly believe that you could assemble enough land, or build a city on it, without government seizing much of the land and most of the money necessary to get this out of the ground.

        Does the Greek government own, in toto, an island or islands that could realistically hold a city of hundreds of thousands of people? I don’t know, but if they don’t, the current residents of that island are going to be bought off with taxpayer money, or run off by soldiers with guns.

        In our world, this cannot possibly happen without the application of force.

        1. “There is no way this could happen without forcing people off their land. ”

          Why?

          “No sane person could possibly believe that you could assemble enough land, or build a city on it, without government seizing much of the land and most of the money necessary to get this out of the ground.”

          Pretty sure Hong Kong did just that.

          1. You are aware that Hong Kong was ceded to the British after a war, yes?

            1. Not changing my point. HK was a fishing village on a rock. Didn’t even have its own source of fresh water, that had to be piped over from the mainland. Didn’t stop it.

              1. Cyto seems to think that the acquisition of Hong Kong via a war is completely consistent with his denial of my proposition that you can’t do something like this without the government seizing the land.

              2. Yeah, it did not stop the British fighting several wars and seizing the property of fishing village and seizing part of the mainland and then ruling over them without their consent. Hong Kong was created by government force.

                Also why bother with a new city when Dubai is filled with half finished sky scrappers that the refugees can finish and live in.

                1. None of this is relevant to the point: all the island needs is property rights and rule of law. I don’t see why that requires an invasion.

                  1. How does this new city-state acquire the island, Cyto?

  9. This is actually a brilliant move by ISIS and a new development in unconventional warfare. ISIS has all of these people show up wanting to fight for the Jihad. Form those people into a regular army and the Russian or NATO air force shows up and kills them all. Give them knives and small arms and set them off on foot towards Europe and they become “refugees” and give ISIS God knows how many operatives inside Europe.

    1. And, amazingly, there are stories already starting about these refugees torching their camps in Europe, demanding better accommodations, and disappearing from their assigned locations.

      If ISIS really were salting a refugee wave with thousands of jihadis, this is exactly what it would look like.

      1. That is what they are doing. They are not stupid. The only stupid people are the idiots who think this is somehow a good thing for Europe.

        1. I think you misspelled “Cyto”.

        2. Thanks for your brilliant insights Inspector Cluseau. I can’t wait for your transcripts of ISIS leaders discussing this brilliant plan only you have discovered. Or evidence that the refugees are well enough armed with knives and small arms to take over Europe.

          1. You are the dumbest person on earth. Warty thinks you are crazy. No. you are just stupid. You are incapable of understanding that everyone in the world isn’t like you and that there might be people out there who have no interest in being in any way accommodating. That is just stupidity in its purest form.

            1. Another amazing insight from area ragetard. Please, tell us how everyone who supports gay marriage is doing it to oppress Christians.

  10. Could Sovereign “Refugee Cities” Help Solve the Syrian Crisis?

    Wait, is sovereignty cool now?

  11. But a few observers have proposed another approach: Create new cities for the refugees.

    I hear China’s got several sitting empty. Oh wait, there’s no graft in that. Carry on.

  12. Well duh it would work. Mass immigration and free market capitalism have always worked in every single circumstance they have been tried and this would be no different. If Europe’s governments have a brain between them they will use the stupid Greek Bailout to get this telecom billionaire his island for a measly few tens of millions and put some Common Law courts in it and voila Hong Kong in the Med.

    1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    2. . Mass immigration and free market capitalism have always worked in every single circumstance

      :LOLOL I am not sure whether to laugh or cry.

      http://www.express.co.uk/news/…..entimiglia

      Why don’t you do yourself a favor and buy a plane ticket and run over to Europe and get to know these “peace loving” capitalist refugees.

      1. What is this supposed to demonstrate? I guess when the gun grabbers use the next campus shooting as proof that the 2A doesn’t work, you’ll be the first to agree with them and their idiotic logic.

        Face it John: you don’t know how to think. You only bloviate and you have nothing worth saying. Please go back to not posting here. You’re stupid.

    3. Damn, Cyto, why let Greece get all the bennies? Shouldn’t you be pushing for Canada to bring the whole lot over to you?

      1. He would and probably is. And he is so fucking stupid, he would think it was great right up until that bullet went through his head.

        1. Keep me out of your lurid fantasies.

      2. We’re on it! Prime Minister Elect Shiny Hair has swore up and down during campaign that he’ll get 25,000 Syrian refugees in before Christmas of this year.

        1. TORONTO ? As the Liberal government gears up to meet its promise to bring 25,000 government-sponsored Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of 2015, experts say time may be too short to effectively settle refugees and navigate security concerns.

          What security concerns?

          http://news.nationalpost.com/n…..-settlment

        2. With more than four million Syrian refugees in need, the first order of business will be identifying those to bring to Canada. Government-sponsored refugees are typically referred to Canada by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which confirms their refugee status and passes on the most urgent cases. Canadian visa officers then review their claims, and put refugees through security checks and health screenings. The process can take months, if not years.

          Boy, the more I read of this Trudeau guy, the more I’m convinced he’s not very bright.

        3. One for you, and one for you, and one for you….

          1. One for you, and one for you, and one for you….

            Wait, I can get reparations for 450 years of Muslim* occupation and have my own Syrian slave? Damn, I didn’t realize Liberals were gonna be serious about infrastructure stimulus!

            *Turkish, but I’ll take what I can get.

            1. A chicken in every pot and a Syrian in every bedchamber.

              I’ll let Trudeau have that for free in his next campaign.

        4. I’m dissapointed it’s so few.

      3. That’s the best part! Trudeau is going to let a bunch of refugees into Canada! He’s a dunce but this and MJ legalization are some of his few good points. We need all the refugees we can get.

    4. I think to get Hong Kong in the Med you need to let the Brits run it for 100 years.

      At least, that’s how we got Hong Kong, you know.

      1. Okay. Let the Brits run it, or a group that can emulate them.

        1. I thought it was going to be run by the Greeks and the UN.

        2. You need Brits from the imperial days.

    5. “Mass immigration and free market capitalism have always worked in every single circumstance they have been tried and this would be no different.”

      For a given definition of “worked”. Mass immigration into the Americas worked out well for the European immigrants, but less so for the natives.

      1. No, what didn’t work out for them was disease and slaughter at the hands of certain governments. This has nothing to do with the issue at hand.

        They are also still better off for having access to a civilization that has advanced beyond the stone age.

  13. Not up to the standards of many refugees.

  14. I haven’t read the proposal in detail, but I have the feeling that it goes something like this:

    (1) Assume an empty city that can house hundreds of thousands or millions of people.

    (2) Assume the people who move there, want to be there and have the desire and skills to build a new society for themselves based on private property, respect for human rights and the law, etc.

    (3)

    (4) Untold riches!

    1. And an impressive display of teh feelz. Well-done, RC.

  15. “And of course, more and more European citizens are casting votes for far-right, anti-immigration political parties.”

    OK – I expect this kind of thing from left-wing sources, but can we work on breaking this meme that right wing = mouth-frothing racist nationalist? Especially given that libertarians tend to get classed as “far right” by mainstream folks?

    Bernie has more in common with these people than libertarians do. “Far right” can’t mean both “free market” and “racist nationalist protectionist.”

    We need to break that link, no reinforce it.

    1. Good luck with that, Circle. Saying that because there are few of us and many actual racists on the far right. Not to mention a sizable anti-immigrant contingent here.

      1. We few…we…happy few. Ok, we very few…squabbling, very few.

      2. Then perhaps it’s time for libertarians and pro-free market types generally to work against the right wing association and let the racists have it. Then Bernie can go be right wing with the “they took our jerbs!” crowd, and we can work on a liberty coalition of some sort.

        Gotta start somewhere, right?

  16. Libertarianism is only possible with strong borders and well-managed immigration.

    Humans have a nasty tendency for tribalism and group competition. Libertarians can either stick their heads in the sand and deny that basic reality, or they can come up with a framework for working within it. But screaming “open borders! free movement!” like an autistic sperg only makes you look…well, like an autistic sperg

    1. “Libertarianism is only possible with strong borders and well-managed immigration.”

      Bzzzt. America had lots of freedom with pretty open borders. Your statement is akin to ‘we have to destroy the village to save it’.

      1. You realize America is unique in that regard? Unlike most nations we are not historically defined by our “blood and soil.” Assuming what has “worked” in the U.S. will also work in countries with long histories of ethnic and cultural uniformity is retarded. You’re thinking ideologically, not objectively.

        Most people are not liberal individualists. Ethnic conflict is a thing, Cyto. Religious conflict is also a thing. If you think dumping millions of these people into Europe with no serious regulations or controls is a good idea than you’re a complete lunatic.

        1. “Assuming what has “worked” in the U.S. will also work in countries with long histories of ethnic and cultural uniformity is retarded. ”

          Why?

          “Most people are not liberal individualists. Ethnic conflict is a thing, Cyto. Religious conflict is also a thing. If you think dumping millions of these people into Europe with no serious regulations or controls is a good idea than you’re a complete lunatic.”

          “If I make one obvious statement, then maybe he won’t notice when I jump to a contentious statement that my obvious statement doesn’t support’.

          1. “Why?”

            Do you have Asperger’s?

      2. America had lots of freedom with pretty open borders.

        And, oddly, it had these things as long as it had a frontier. I doubt that’s a coincidence.

        1. What? Are you gonna demonstrate that…at all?

        2. No. It was impossible from 1790 to what, 1865 for non-white immigrants to become citizens, nor could their children. We never had very open borders.

  17. OK, obscure SF reference here. Few years back I was introduced to works of one Christopher Anvil, and was quite impressed with his rather old-school Liberal (as in, Bastiat) take on on Campbell-style SF.

    First story in his most popular series (on Interstellar Patrol) takes place on a planet called Paradise (with an ecosystem built to murder you, as usual in Anvil’s stories), where a charitable foundation, discovering they are sitting on far too much money, built a city out of nothing, equipped it with all manner of automation, set up an administration run by a computer whose primary purpose is to see the citizens are supplied with all material comforts, then swept slums of neighbouring systems for volunteers and dumped them in the City.
    Three guesses on how things go from there….

    1. Sounds like mass migration, which I am assured is the first step on a one-way trip to utopia.

      1. It is, but what PZ actually describes is an automated welfare state.

    2. They all lived happily ever after and renamed the City, “The Culture”?

      1. Ooh, two left…

        It’s an awesome story – take a bunch of Asimovian heroes, put them in a horrible situtation with no exit, then give them a super-science device and have them work their way out with their superior intelects.

        Except in Anvil-world, every time you try to manipulate the mass with your super-device, you get completely unexpected, absolutely obvious-in-hindsight unintended consequences. One of the most Libertarian stories I’ve read, and it was published in 1966!

    3. Didn’t he also write a story about car repair insurance? Where it more or less becomes mandatory and so car repairs get more and more and more common and thus the car repair insurance keeps going up and up and up.

      Remarkable foresight, since it was clearly aimed at the concept of health insurance

  18. Repost from above:

    Is it just me, or is the article basically saying, give these people their own “country” governed under UN oversight (“the Greek government could create a new non-profit with the UN for the specific purpose of governing the island”).

    Isn’t that pretty much what the Palestinians have? How is that working out?

    1. It’s just you, RC. The rest of us caught that there were three options for governance, the first of which was letting Canada run it. The second was letting Greece run it – I know, LOL, but way better than letting them run it themselves.

      1. It’s just you, RC.

        Well, me and the guy who wrote the report:

        Lutter settles on the non-profit model as the most efficient and practical path forward in the short term,

    2. Yes. And what the Kosovars have. It would be a giant cesspool of crime and corruption. It is an idea only someone at the UN or named Cytoxic could love.

    3. Actually, as I stated, it would have property rights, markets, and rule of law. IOW the opposite of what the Palis have. If you’re not even going to try thinking before you post, don’t post.

      1. While past performance isn’t always a guarantee of future results, its the way to bet.

        Neither the UN, nor the countries these refugees come from, have any kind of deep-seated commitment to property rights, free markets, or the rule of law.

        So tell me how they are going to take root in these new cities.

        1. It’s been explained and I am tired of doing so.

  19. The only thing more consistent than every pant-shitting episode over immigration turning out to be unfounded is the idiots that shit their pants over immigration. You can set your clock by it and by these people being totally fucking wrong. I guess it comes from a basic tribal mindset that some people with unsophisticated minds (usually conservatives) lack the mental power to fight.

    I hope transhumanism and proper use of CRISPR-CAS can get rid of it because these folks are as tiresome as the CAGW crowd and right about as often.

    1. every pant-shitting episode over immigration turning out to be unfounded

      Europe is already full of failed immigrant communities. No-go zones, rape gangs, multi-generation welfare families, corruption, etc.

      Sometimes immigration works for everyone. Sometimes it doesn’t. Your fantasies notwithstanding.

      1. “Europe is already full of failed immigrant communities. No-go zones, rape gangs, multi-generation welfare families, corruption, etc.”

        The Sharia no-go zones are a myth concocted by Daniel Pipes and the Swedish ‘rape epidemic’ is likely a product of re-defining rape and Sweden’s bizarre rape definition.

        Immigration always works. Scare-mongering fantasies don’t.

        1. Ask the American Indians how well immigration works for them. Or the Armenians. Or the Kurds.

          And those no-go zones in France are quite true, as someone who tried dressing up as a Jew found out

  20. Let’s see here, I’m from a war torn country where mad men are running around killing and raping. I know! I’m going to leave this shit hole and my family behind(right next to the killers/rapers) and head to the Land of Free Shit(Europe). After I get settled I will wire(ha!) my family(dead now) and get them a ticket over here…
    Ha ha ha fooled you, I’m here to chop your liberal head off dumbfucks.

  21. I think there are some awfully utopian assumptions being made here, is really my point, and like most utopias, these assumptions are going to drive some heavy government coercion and some very disappointing results before we are done. These assumptions include:

    (1) That Plan A for governance (a UN/Greek supervised city-state) will be functional, in spite of their track records, and will support a robust regime of private property, etc. Again, in spite of their track records.

    (2) That refugees from some of the more dysfunctional societies on this planet are going to settle in peacefully to a society that is quite different from their old one (a Western liberal democratic-type society, and not a tribalist crony society).

    (3) That this new city-state can be built without coercion of current property owners or neighbors, and with entirely private funds.

    (4) That these refugees are going to start in tents and build a city on their own effort and with their own money or donated funds.

    Its a noble dream, don’t get me wrong. And if it comes up with a better way to run current refugee camps, that’s great. But if anyone seriously tries to do this (and nobody will), it will end in bloodshed and tears, I have little doubt.

    1. 1) Where did the UN come into this? Oh right you shoehorned it in.

      2) If the Irish can do it and Mexicans can do it they will too, some turbulence notwithstanding.

      3) That’s not Utopian it is totally feasible.

      4) Why not? RTFA that’s what they did in the Jordanese camp.

      “But if anyone seriously tries to do this (and nobody will), it will end in bloodshed and tears, I have little doubt.”

      You want it to so badly.

      1. Mexicans can do it

        /facepalm

  22. Here you go, Cyto. Put your money where your mouth is. Sponsor a Syrian refugee in Canada, already.

    http://www.cic.gc.ca/English/r…../index.asp

    1. Thanks I might just do that had no idea I could. Not sure about trusting the government though.

  23. “Could Sovereign “Refugee Cities” Help Solve the Syrian Crisis?
    With good governance and strong property rights, they could.”

    That’s a really convoluted way of saying “no”. Why not just say “no”?

    1. No it isn’t. I know you desperately need this to fail just as much as anti-market leftists do, and for similar reasons (shattering your assumptions) but that doesn’t mean it will.

      1. What, my assumption that a bunch of refugees from the world’s most dysfunctional and corrupt cultures, under the watchful eyes of international kleptocrats, will probably not establish a cith with good government or property rights? I mean, the property rights is at least in the ballpark of possible, if the kleptocrats and states are kept out of it, but good government? When’s the last time they something vaguely resembling good government that wasn’t imposed on them by a foreign empire?

        1. When’s the last time they something vaguely resembling good government that wasn’t imposed on them by a foreign empire?

          That’s why Cyto supports bombing the middle east into a mosaic of failed client states before buying their entire populations a plane ticket to any country that isn’t the one in which he lives. The order is important.

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