“The Visigoths, severed from their brethren but saved from the brunt of the Mongol assault by the mere fact that they lived further west than the Ostrogoths, desperately sought protection by appealing to Rome for asylum. There, they ran up against an impermeable shield of customs stations at the Roman border, a veritable wall of imperial disdain which was by then standard policy when barbarians began wailing and waving their hands. Thus squeezed between scorn and the spear, the Visigoths panicked and not a few tried to push their way into Roman territory. Facing a surge of frantic immigrants, the Roman Emperor Valens had little choice but to relent and let them in.
Once inside the boundaries of Rome, the Visigoths found safety but at the same time a new and in many ways more dangerous foe. As new-comers to Roman civilization, they were ill-equipped to live in a state run on taxes and mired in the complex language of legalities, and thus made easy prey for unscrupulous, greedy imperial bureaucrats who cheated and abused them…they demanded fair treatment and, when their pleas went unheard, they embarked upon a rampage.
The Emperor Valens called out his army, a threat meant to intimate the Visigoths into returning to their designated territory and tithe. But like the truant step-children they were, the barbarians remained disobedient. Left with no other recourse but corporal punishment, Valens met the Visigoths in combat at the Battle of Adrianople (378 CE) in northeastern Greece the Visigoths defeated and massacred the Roman legions sent to keep them in their room. Worse yet, Valens himself was killed in the course of the conflict.”
The desperation of the Goths is reflected in this day and age by the mass of refugees fleeing several conflicts and disasters in the Middle-East and Africa and trying to get to Europe or anywhere safe including Australia. The blunt refusal to take any “boat people” may not be the best solution for the Australian govt’. Also risky is any expectation of uncontrolled “open border” policy that creates a propaganda exercise for a surge of refugees to Australia’s shores.
The above quote is part of a broader study in why the Roman Empire in the West had to fall so Europe could arise. The Roman Empire was a colonizing state that controlled with arms , ruled with fear and milked with impunity via a capitalist system of the wealthy controlling production and distribution. The 1-3% that held the greatest wealth also held the greatest influence over political policy and ruled the masses with disdain that eventually destroyed itself in the most dramatic way.
Divide and rule was perfected in the Roman strategy…populations would be shunted from one side of the empire to the other so there would be little sympathy to local customs and cultural mores, thereby polarizing those groups of peoples to compete against each other. Likewise, soldiers from western provinces of Gaul were sent to hold the eastern provinces of Palestine..and vise versa. Rule and profit by division worked well while these 3% held absolute control of the military . Once those trained , foreign generals like the Germanic ; Alaric the Goth became isolated , they gathered their loyal soldiers about themselves and using their trained skills, turned them against the empire itself.
Australia is itself a colony, with all the states separate colonial developments before federation. The nation still shows signs of that early colonial independence and attitude, with some states threatening succession even now! The colonial mentality and its governance by an elite is in evidence still. The divide and rule program very much in practice still..The use and abuse of cheap immigration labour a desire if not also a common practice. The playing of ethnic groups against each other for political purpose still in operation.
We are continuing the practice that failed the Roman Empire so spectacularly and only insanity could desire a success where they failed so miserably! Australia has to develop a new way, a better way to confront this twenty-first century phenomenon of the surge of asylum seekers that have swept across the globe from east to west and west to east. If we continue to believe and practice a “raise the drawbridge” policy, we will be open to the legitimate criticism of demanding an unrealistic isolationist existence in a region of realistic inclusion. The added reality of climate change with rising sea levels and drying cropping areas in the delta regions of Sth East Asia could bring a avalanche of climate refugees who have little sympathy with a resource rich, land rich, population poor nation just over that stretch of water.
Australia needs to engage much, much more cooperatively with our northern neighbours to create a regional safety net for any temporary shifts of population as required after any disasters , natural or sociological, to allow a safety-valve result rather than an uncontrolled explosive conflagration. To consolidate our “authority” over the land of this continent, we also need to very quickly complete a treaty with the indigenous peoples and to bring those peoples completely into the political process and policy making of this nation. For THEY are the measure of integrity of antiquity of ownership of the nation and can then allow equal rights legitimacy for us who migrated here from everywhere else, to claim a equal right of rule over the land. We have to allow equal partnership with an agreed treaty with the original inhabitants of this land…it only stands to reason.
Rome had to fall so that a Democratic Europe could arise..We here in Australia must learn from the hard experience of Europe and begin to implement attitude and social change to create a more homogeneous governance with this multicultural population, or risk the result foreseen in history of the demise of our ideal of social order and civil governance.