As the migration crisis in Europe unfolds, every sector of the society has something to say. Some of them make some sense, others make no sense whatsoever.
There are however two disrupting factors in this: government censorship and false allegations. And the two pretty much create each other.
When you are at a point when your house can be raided by the police for the crime of expressing politically incorrect opinions online, it becomes an act of bravery to express even more politically incorrect opinions, whether they’re right or wrong.
It’s part of the human nature: What’s forbidden tends to usually become attractive in the minds of many (perhaps most) people. We didn’t listen to Radio Free Europe back in Communism because we absolutely loved their programme. In fact, half of it was actually quite bad. But because it was forbidden, we wanted to listen more of it.
When talking about an issue becomes forbidden, it creates the right amount of incentives for downright mythology to emerge. And the current crisis unfolding in Europe (particularly in Germany) is no exception to this rule.
Case in point is the case of the 13 year old Russian girl who told everyone that she was kidnapped at a subway station in Berlin and taken to a house where she was gang-raped by three men “from southern countries” and then released her after 30 hours in captivity.
The only problem is that the three men don’t seem to exist. Nor is there any evidence whatsoever that “Lisa F.” (as the 13 year old was referred to in the German media) was physically abused in any way (sexually or otherwise).
There is however ample evidence that she was in trouble at school and, fearing disciplinary measures from her family, she ran away from home, lived at a friend’s house for a couple of days and then needed a convincing story to make up for the time she had been missing.
These facts didn’t stop the Moscow authorities to accuse Germany, through the voice of Russia’s Minister for External Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, of nothing less than a politically motivated cover-up.
“It’s clear that the girl did not disappear voluntarily for 30 hours,” sounded the cry from Moscow, in spite of the fact that it is indeed very clear that the girl did in fact disappear voluntarily for 30 hours.
This is not the first, nor the last such case during this crisis. In fact, considering the level of inflammation of the public opinion these days, more such cases are to be expected. All the incentives are in place to encourage more of this, for both camps succumb to emotionally-driven lines of thought.
Those of the unconstrained vision1 will keep on insisting that no crime whatsoever, not even the very obvious increases in crime rates, have anything to do with the recent migration wave.
Those of a more constrained persuasion2 will take this obliviousness of the former to forward the case that most (if not all) of the increases in crime rates have everything to do with the recent migration wave.
False allegations cut right through both types of persuasions as they compel those with an unconstrained vision to re-think their position that maybe, just maybe, reality is a bit more complicated and that human beings aren’t exactly perfect.
False allegations also compel those of a more constrained persuasion to re-think their position and understand that maybe, just maybe, the dichotomy victim-perpetrator plays out in a slightly more complex manner in real world and it’s not always the migrant that is the perpetrator of appalling violence against the nice little young girls. Sometimes it’s old women sexually exploiting young migrant boys.
Sadly, vast segments of the non-feminist sector have been disappointing, rushing to score political points against the feminist sector on the “rape culture” topic.
As fun as it may be to point out the disdainful utter hypocrisy of the feminist sector when it comes to real sexual crimes against women whose perpetrators just happen to break the racist narrative of mainstream feminism, one should resist doing so for the simple reason that forwarding a gynocentric worldview is still undesirable, even if it makes feminism look bad. This would be in addition to the reason stated in the title: by succumbing to the “look – here’s a real rape culture” narrative, one risks enabling the punishment of innocents and incentivizing more false accusers.
In other words, everyone loses.
False accusations matter. And they matter even when certain situations may put one in the position of appearing to defend the position of the “other”.
False accusations are wrong as a matter of principle. And if principles don’t matter, then we should all just pack up and go home – for it is pointless to continue to talk from an unprincipled standpoint.
1 The term is used in reference to Thomas Sowell’s characterization in the book A conflict of visions. Those subscribing to the unconstrained vision of mankind tend to believe that man is perfect and that all issues emerge from the institutions. In other words, the unconstrained vision insists that if only we get the right people in the right institutions, progress and even utopia would emerge.
2 Conversely, the constrained vision purports that man is fundamentally flawed and, as a consequence, the question is how to erect institutions in such a way that the flaws are kept in check or channeled in ways that don’t harm others while maintaining the maximum amount of freedom.