A World Without Compassion: The Syrian Refugee Crisis

As the population of the planet has risen over the years, so has the conflict between people. The human population is a combination of complex social relations. Such relations have given rise to catastrophic world wars in the past, and given birth to the war present in the Middle East today. Social relationships such as patriotism, class differentiation, and the growing need for resources are what fuel international conflicts and civil unrest. The role and implications of these social relations is evident through the ideology portrayed through newspaper cartoons. The three-selected cartoon each represent the one of the three social relations. They make apparent the connection between the social relations within the human population and the recent refugee crisis and immigration issues arising in the western world.

Figure 1.0: In this illustration, the faces of the enemy (japan and Germany during World War 2) are engraved into mount Rushmore along with the settlement of their people on American soil. This relates to concept of patriotism as the people outside of the country are considered inferior and are viewed with negativity.
Figure 1.0: In this illustration, the faces of the enemy (japan and Germany during World War 2) are engraved into mount Rushmore along with the settlement of their people on American soil. This relates to concept of patriotism as the people outside of the country are considered inferior and are viewed with negativity.

Patriotism and class differentiation has something in common, they both make apparent which side is superior or inferior. Looking at Figure 1.0, the caricature of Adolf Hitler and Funiaro Konoe is shown engraved into the stones of Mount Rushmore. The artist clearly makes it evident who the “enemy” is and brings home the feeling of patriotism to the American people. Using words like “our” to describe America and the word “those” to describe other countries, the artist illustrates which side the American people are on, and arouses negativity towards the enemy. Alongside exaggerated physical features of the two men and their assumed followers on American soil in the background, leads people to develop a negative view of the other side. This introduces and gives rise to class differentiation as seen in Figure 2.0, where people from different countries and race are seen as inferior individuals.

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Figure 2.0: United Nations is sending solar panel to presumably a poor village in India. Class differentiation is evident here as the illiterate Indian is seen inferior (representing third world countries) and the Solar panel representing the developed nation are seen superior in term of literacy.

Today, after many years of the world wars, some countries have started to show some compassion for one another but unfortunately the ideology to that of during the war stands in their way. In the cartoon, United Nations has sent solar panel to presumably some village in India. The way this situation illustrated by the artist is how class differentiation and its connection with patriotism is made. United nations, an organization composing of One hundred and ninety countries has sent a product of modern technology to a group of illiterate Indians. Since the world wars people have developed hatred toward people in different countries than their own, as a result the artist draws the Indian as poor, illiterate, lower class people. It further conveys the idea that it is useless to support people of lower class, or in this case to help illiterate people in a third world country. And this is where the current refugee crisis and immigration issues can be introduced. People from war-torn countries who are seeking help are viewed as violent terrorists similar to the situation presented in Figure 2.0. Now many developed nations are denying support, as it will be “useless” to help violent, illiterate, and lower class people. In addition since the United States was at war with the refugee’s home nation, inevitable they are viewed as “the bad guys” and their religious beliefs, cultural behaviors and the physical appearance is exaggerated negatively in the media, which further adds fuel to the fire.

Figure 3.0: The need for more resources is arguably the root of most international conflicts. In this drawing, the artist conveys how Mexican immigrant are taking away resource that belong to the American people such as jobs, free education, health care and etc.

Now looking beyond patriotism and class differentiation, the need for natural resources arises. The purpose behind patriotism and the development of different classes is a human’s need for more resources. For example the reason behind the world wars and the war in Middle East today is due to the need for natural resources that area holds. In order to win wars and gain more resources, patriotism is needed, where class differentiation is a byproduct as evident in Figure 1.0, and 2.0. Looking at the Mexican immigration problem in the US, citizens fear that Mexican immigrants are taking away their resources such as jobs, health, food, etc. away as illustrated in Figure 3.0. Since patriotism and class differentiation are into effect, Mexican illegal or legal immigrant are given a lot of hate and are seen as inferior, lower class people. And even in the drawing the clothing they wear is very stereotypical of a Mexican individual conveying the negative perception of a Mexican from the eyes of an American. As a result of these relations it has lead many people to protest against the immigration of any person from country for that matter. Not only are people against the immigration of Mexicans who presumably simply want a shot at a better life, but the entrance for refugees of a war torn country is also denied.

World war one and world war two were both unique incidences where every nation was blood thirsty, and also it was a time where national patriotism grew to new heights. The whole ordeal was a product of the human tendency to gain more resources. This fundamental need has given birth to social relation such patriotism and class differentiation within the human population. The effects of these relations can be used to explain most international or national conflicts such as the immigration of Mexicans into the United States and the protest against the entrance of refugees in the western world.

Constructive criticism of this article is welcomed!

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