Should Europe Open its Borders?

The UN Special Rapporteur says Europe should open its borders:

Europe needs to embrace the migrants appearing on its shores and create a meaningful refugee settlement program that will put human smugglers out of business and save countless lives, says the United Nation’s special rapporteur on human rights of migrants.

European Union attempts to “seal” borders will continue to fail and more migrants will lose their lives at sea if fleeing refugees aren’t given the right to settle where they want, François Crépeau said on Thursday from New York.

“I don’t see any other solution for Europe,” he said. “They need to open the borders.” 

François Crépeau is a law professor at McGill University. I'm sure he's a decent fellow, but his statement is the kind of thing that gives legal academics a reputation for being out of touch with reality. There are about a billion Africans, and hundreds of millions of people living in war-torn Middle Eastern countries, within a 7-hour plane ride of Europe. It's hard to put a precise number on how many of them are ready and willing to migrate to open-border Europe, but I'd say 70 million is hardly farfetched. And let's not forget that they aren't interested in migrating to Romania or Poland, their goal is prosperous, stable Northern Europe. And once they come and glimpse living standards light-years ahead of those in their own countries, they will never go back. Of course they will pine for their ancestral homelands, cook their traditional dishes, and deplore their host countries' formal manners and icy climates. But stay they will, and why shouldn't they?
If Crépeau thinks Northern Europe is ready, willing, and able to accommodate millions more poor immigrants, he is gibberingly insane mistaken. We have already seen the rapid rise of anti-immigrant parties all over Northern Europe except Germany (but watch this space). And despite the soothing sweet nothings whispered into your ear by certain commentators, these anti-immigrant parties are actually driven by anti-immigrant sentiment. When they say they don't like immigrants, it's not code for anything. They really don't like immigrants. Any European government that proposed a plan to bring a million new poorly-educated, unskilled immigrants into its borders would be ejected faster than you can say 'Présidente Le Pen.' New parties would come along that would make Europe's current anti-immigrant right look like a convention of transgendered social workers.
How exactly would Crépeau proposed to prevent this? I imagine he wants European leaders to 'educate' their voters on the need to open Europe's borders to millions of immigrants. This is the time-honored tactic known in German as Vermittlung (education or explanation). Policies which European elites favor but their voters reject -- and there are a surprising number of these -- cannot fail, they can only be failed. The fact that voters reject it is not proof that voters reject it, but that they misunderstand how wonderful / necessary it is because government officials and opinion leaders have not yet found the magic formula to convince them. While leaders search for the formula -- a process which may take decades and often fails -- elites do what they wanted to anyway.
In the case of immigration, there is no magic formula. Crépeau really should know this. Given a choice between opening Europe's borders and ruthlessly ratcheting up border controls, European leaders will mouth the appropriate platitutes about human rights and enhancing opportunity, then send out the warships to mine the Mediterranean. And in the cold hard light of political reality and modern statecraft, there is no reason they shouldn't, since that's what their voters prefer. European immigration policies certainly need re-thinking, but policy proposals that ignore reality are hardly worth taking seriously.

Bad Kaarma: 70 Years for Montana Burglar Trapper

Remember Markus Kaarma, the Missoula, Montana man who waited outside his garage for someone to come burglarize it, then fired his shotgun into the garage, killing German exchange student Diren Dede?

Well, as you might expect in America's gun-obsessed paranoid fanatic culture of cowboy-style vigilantism, he claimed self-defense under the frontier-style 'Castle Doctrine' and acquitted. He is now on a celebrity speaking tour among American gun-rights groups.

Sorry, having a bit of fun there. You didn't think I could pass up a chance to poke a little harmless fun at German Besserwisserei, did you? Kaarma was convicted of murder by a jury and sentenced by a judge to seventy (70) years in prison:

He dismissed Kaarma's claim he suffered from "anxiety" and an "anti-social disorder," saying it "doesn't excuse the anguish you have caused."

"You pose too great a risk to society to be anywhere else but the Montana State Prison. Good luck to you, son," McLean said.

"I'm sorry my actions caused the death of Mr. Dede," Kaarma told the judge before learning his fate.

He will be eligible for parole in 20 years. As a law-talking guy, I feel compelled to use this as a teaching moment. Right after the shooting, both Kaarma and his wife, apparently believing Montana law gave them the right to do what they did, spoke in detail. They described how they had been burglarized many times, got fed up, and set a 'trap' by leaving their garage door open and waiting until a motion sensor told them someone was inside. Then Kaarma fired.

When a lawyer reads about people talking so freely about their involvement in a homicide, our reaction is similar to a doctor seeing a pregnant woman down a liter of vodka. If you're ever arrested -- and I hope  some of my readers live life loud enough to risk this -- do not say a word to anyone, no matter what, until you have spoken to a lawyer. This rule applies to everyone, everywhere, no exceptions. It's the equivalent of a fundamental physical constant, one of the basic building blocks of the legal universe. By chatting so volubly about his motives and actions, Kaarma didn't just tie his lawyers' hands, he practically chopped them off.

FWIW, I should add that this penalty, like most American criminal penalties, strikes me as Draconian. It is certainly longer than he would have gotten for a comparable crime in most European countries, including Germany. 

German Parents Dismayed at American Media Campaign Against Their Son

Paul Nungesser, the German exchange student at the center of a major campus-rape scandal in the United States (the woman who accused him of rape was invited by a US Senator to Obama's State of the Union address!) has decided to come out and publicly fight for his reputation, and his parents -- from Germany -- are supporting him:

“What really struck us as outrageously unfair,” says Nungesser’s father, Andreas Probosch, a schoolteacher who speaks near-perfect English, “was the university’s non-reaction to Emma Sulkowicz's public campaign. After investigating the allegations against Paul for seven months they found them not credible, but when Ms. Sulkowicz went to the press and claimed Columbia had swept everything under the rug, why didn’t they stand by his side and say, ‘We do have a process and we followed that process and we stand by the acquittal’? Instead they declined to comment and just threw him under the bus.”

Both Probosch and Nungesser express bafflement at the practice of letting colleges handle allegations of violent rape. But if such a process must exist, says Probosch, “doesn’t [it] only make sense if people accept its outcome?” In this case, he says, “Paul went through this whole process with endless hours of hearings and interviews and cooperated in every way possible. And yet if you Google him, in half of the articles you´ll find, he is still labeled a serial rapist.”

For Nungesser’s mother, Karin, the situation is laden with additional irony as a self-described committed feminist. Paul Nungesser’s comment to The New York Times, “My mother raised me to be a feminist,” caused predictable controversy; but his mother, at least, agrees. She points out that she and her husband took an equal role in parenting and that gender issues, which were part of her journalistic work, were often discussed in their home when her son was growing up: “I think we did not just tell him that men and women are created equal, but we lived it.”

Karin Nungesser fully understands the desire to support someone who comes forward with an accusation of rape: “This is a good cause—but even in a good cause, you have to try to check the facts.” What she views as the failure to check the facts in this case appalls her not only as a feminist but as a journalist. “We can’t understand to this day why the major media never asked Paul about his side,” she says. “Going back to our own history, the media in western Germany were built upon the model of The New York Times. It was the idea of good journalism, of good fact-checking, of not doing propaganda.”

You know, I can't give legal advice and this is not legal advice, but even under American libel law, which is much less restrictive than its German counterpart, you are not allowed to go around referring to an identifiable person as a 'rapist' unless they are, you know, a rapist. No legal system worthy of the name permits citizens to falsely accuse each other of serious violent crimes. This is defamation. Nungesser was cleared of all charges by the university and Sulkowicz declined to press criminal charges against him because it was 'too draining'. So at least since December, when his name became public, she should think very very carefully about continuing to refer to him in public as a 'rapist', assuming she is still doing so. And Nungesser and his parents should consult a lawyer.

Two Truths About Greece

Boarded Doors Psirri

I've been to Greece several times and have Greek friends, so the recent election has sparked my interest. It seems to that the polarized debate over the Syriza victory is a classic case of motivated reasoning and opinion overkill on both sides. I want to make two brief, seeminly-but-not-genuinely contrary observations which you don't often see made in the same spot by the same person.

First, Greece is a corrupt, inefficient second-world country. This is something Greeks complain to one another about endlessly, but are hesitant to fully admit to outsiders on grounds of national pride. But it's the truth. Access to many jobs, including government jobs, is regulated by informal patronage networks, which often keep the best candidates sidelined. The Greek public education system varies hugely in quality and large portions of it are horribly dysfunctional, which means every parent who can afford to sends their children to private school. There is an ingrained culture of rule-breaking, tax evasion and black-market work that is only now slowly beginning to change. (Many Greeks will tell you this is a product of centuries of Ottoman rule). Kickbacks and bribes are still part of life, although apparently receding slightly. Much of the Greek economy is made up of labor-intensive, low value-added, non-export-generating jobs that generate little economic vibrancy. Greece has its own kind of license raj, in which sloth-like bureaucrats enforce pointless or antiquated regulations. Greece still doesn't have a modern, functional, reliable system of land title registration. There's only a weak culture of civic engagement and participation. For most Greeks, it makes more sense to simply adapt to the current horribly dysfunctional system, since challenging it as an individual is pointless and potentially even dangerous. This may well be changing, but the main reaction to Greek social dysfunction I witnessed during many visits in the mid-2000s was basically a sort of jovial what-are-ya-gonna-do despair.

In other words, when scolds say Greece needs massive reform, they are right. Most Greeks would enthusiastically agree with that sentiment when expressed by a fellow Greek.

Second, the troika's policies caused needless suffering among ordinary Greeks. The approach of the troika, which basically forced Greece into a round of significant austerity just as its economy was collapsing, was deliberately chosen from among a broader palette of options. Greece could have exited the Euro, of course, although that might have been even worse. Or Germany could have followed expansionary policies to increase inflation in Northern Europe while providing generous support to Greece. Germany, and Northern Europe more broadly, chose not to do so for a number of reasons, including the difficulty of selling such a policy to voters and the not-unjustified concern that it would ease the pressure for Greek reforms. But the fact remains that the EU and international institutions could have chosen policies to address the Euro crisis that would have had much less disastrous effects on southern European countries, but chose not to do so. Northern European countries consciously chose to put their own economic interests ahead of European solidarity.

The reason German politicians have looked so cynical during this crisis is that they want the world to interpret their calculated pursuit of their own economic interests as the principled, neutral enactment of strict but commonsensical policies with which every decent person must agree. In other words, like most of us, they want not only to pursue their own self-interest, but also be praised and admired for doing so. They often become angry when this doesn't happen, but they shouldn't be surprised.

A Bit of Merkel-Bashing to Start the Weekend

Schadenfreude is neither edifying nor wholesome.

But there's something satisfying seeing German politicians getting the sort of self-righteous condemnation most German journalists routinely spatter on the rulers of certain other nations:

Angela Merkel is the most monstrous western European leader of this generation. Politicians who inflict economic cruelty on a mass scale, trashing the lives of millions as they do so, do not end up in courts to face justice. But Merkel undoubtedly stands tried and convicted in the dock of history already....

All Europe’s leaders have to offer is broken societies and broken people. Over half of young people in Spain and Greece are without work, leaving them scarred: as well as mental distress, they face the increased likelihood of unemployment and lower wages for the rest of their lives.

Workers’ rights, public services, a welfare state: all won at such cost by tough, far-sighted people, all being stripped away....

That’s why Greece has to be defended urgently – not just to defend a democratically elected government and the people who put it there. European elites know that if Syriza’s demands are fulfilled, then other like-minded forces will be emboldened. Spain’s Podemos, a surging anti-austerity movement, will be more likely to triumph in elections this year. Syriza has already achieved change: the European Central Bank’s limited quantitative easing is partly a response to its rise.

And, of course, in seeing German journalists rushing to the defense (g) of policies they would condemn if those policies served the interests of a country not named Germany.

As it is always with humans, where you stand depends on where you sit. Or to cite a recent study of cognitive bias and motivated reasoning among Americans:

In one [study], we asked people whether President Bush acted rightly by using a loophole to make appointments in defiance of Senate opposition. Most Republicans said he did the right thing while most Democrats said he acted wrongly. We then put Obama’s name in for Bush with a different group of respondents and asked the same question. This time the vast majority of Republicans opposed the appointments while most Democrats said he did the right thing.

We posed a similar question about use of the signing statement—Bush’s and now Obama’s controversial practice of signing a bill while stating that he will not enforce portions of it. Again, Republicans were more sympathetic to the practice when the question invoked Bush, Democrats when the question invoked Obama.

Like the football fans, most partisans see a neutral process in a favorable light if it advances their parties’ goals and in an unfavorable light if it does not. And this is true even if partisanship is not salient. We asked another group of respondents whether they supported same-sex marriage and whether they thought Congress could either mandate nationwide recognition of same-sex marriage or prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage supporters were much more likely to believe that Congress could mandate it than ban it; opponents believed the opposite.

We call this phenomenon “merits bias”—a bias in favor of evaluating a rule or institution in terms of whether it advances one’s political goals.

The merits bias is relevant in the German case: a broad majority of non-German economists argued from the very beginning that expansionary austerity violated fundamental textbook economic laws and couldn't possibly work, but German elites convinced themselves otherwise because (1) the policies appeared to serve Germany's short-term economic interests; and / or (2) the institutions they served had already announced support for the policies.

American Moral Panics Then and Now

So, the comments are in (thanks!), and the consensus seems to be that there's no special focus on campus sexual assault in Germany because (1) Most German universities don't have traditional campuses or an insular 'campus culture' like American universities; and (2) German university authorities just aren't expected to deal with crimes between students. That's what the police are for. German universities have no 'campus police' in the American sense, just a few hired security guards.

And there's no special concern about 'campus' sexual assault in Germany the way there is in the U.S. Disclaimer: I believe sexual assault is a serious crime that should be punished. Every allegation should be followed up, preferably by specially-trained investigators. These things are self-evident to any civilized person, but in this crazy modern era, there are people out there eager to misconstrue.

That out of the way, I have three problems with the particularly American approach to campus sexual assault, which strikes me as a classic moral panic:

  • First, the debate revolves far too much around whether you immediately 'believe' personal stories of people who say they have been victimized. Most accusations of sexual assault are well-founded, but some people invent rape stories to gain sympathy or take revenge, or more commonly because they suffer from mental illness. Statistics vary from study to study, but they generally put the rate of false accusations between 2 and 8%. A small percentage, but considering  that many American states impose a mandatory minimum sentence of 5-10 years in prison for rape, caution is in order. The focus of activists on immediately believing all rape accusations creates self-inflicted wounds when some of the accusations turn out to be unfounded, as they inevitably will. As Freddie de Boer recently put it in an intelligent piece: 'By creating the expectation that all rape accusations must be presumed true regardless of circumstance, anti-rape activists have tied the credibility of their efforts to every individual accusation, and in so doing perversely undermined our efforts to end sexual assault.' His argument is more complex than this, go read the whole thing. But the point comes across.
  • Second, many universities, in response to pressure from activists, have adopted investigation guidelines for allegations of sexual assault that deprive the accused of a fair chance to be informed of the allegations against him or her and respond effectively. Twenty-eight Harvard law professors from across the ideological spectrum recently denounced Harvard's new guidelines for exactly this reason. Emily Yoffe's recent long read on one of these cases shows, in my view, a system that makes a mockery of due process. Like university administrators, the American criminal justice system is heavily influenced by public opinion, which means moral panics often translate into an urgent call to do something, and this call is heeded by elected prosecutors eager to make headlines (like this guy). From the death penalty to Satanic child abuse to life in prison for drug dealing to civil forfeiture, the list of American punitive overcorrections based on moral panics is long indeed.
  • Third, there is a class angle to this story that many people ignore. Three quarters of Americans will never go to college. Women who do not attend college are more likely to be raped than women who do. The farther down the socio-economic ladder, the wider the prevalence of sexual assault. As one recent study put it: 'Research shows an undeniable link between poverty and sexual violence.' America is focussed on sexual assault on campus because politicians, journalists, and activists almost exclusively emerge from the college-educated class. If we really want to combat sexual assault, it would probably be much more effective to concentrate resources in poorer areas, where it happens more often than on university campuses. Instead of reporters fanning out across campuses interviewing upper-middle class people like themselves, why not fan out to isolated suburban strip-malls and ask the working-class female employees how prevalent rape is in their lives? Whether their workplaces have adequate security? How long they have to walk through dark parking lots to get to their cars at night? I wager the results would be pretty sobering. But the upper-middle class college-educated journalists who shape news coverage don't seem to be very concerned about the 75% of Americans who will never go to college. Whenever class raises its fat, pimply head, an uncomfortable silence descends on the American chattering classes, with a few notable exceptions.

Are There Any Crises at German Universities?

Given my interest in public opinion and constitutional law, I've been following the so-called University of Virginia rape story with considerable interest. Briefly put, here's what happened:

  • On November 19, the US pop-culture magazine Rolling Stone publishes an explosive story about an alleged gang-rape at the University of Virginia, a prestigious state university. The lodestar of the story is an account by a 20-year-old student named Jackie, according to which she was viciously gang-raped by a bunch of fraternity members.
  • The story gains massive publicity in the U.S. According to some activists, there is an 'epidemic' of sexual assault on campus at American universities. One study concluded that 1 of every 5 female American university students will be 'sexually assaulted' before she graduates, although that statistic is based on an Internet survey conducted on just two campuses and which used an extremely loose definition of 'sexual assault'.
  • While skeptics question that statistic, which would mean that rape is more common on US university campuses than in war-torn central Africa, the President of the US, sensing a low-risk, high-reward political issue, decries the epidemic of campus rape on American universities.
  • Five days after the Rolling Stone story is published, Richard Bradley, an American editor, publishes a blog entry basically saying it's over-the-top, thinly sourced, and generally incredible:

One must be most critical about stories that play into existing biases. And this story nourishes a lot of them: biases against fraternities, against men, against the South; biases about the naivete of young women, especially Southern women; pre-existing beliefs about the prevalence—indeed, the existence—of rape culture; extant suspicions about the hostility of university bureaucracies to sexual assault complaints that can produce unflattering publicity.

And, of course, this is a very charged time when it comes to the issue of sexual assault on campuses. Emotion has outswept reason. Jackie, for example, alleges that one out of three women who go to UVA has been raped. This is silly.

  • For this, Bradley is pilloried by feminists. Until, that is, further reporting, especially by the Washington Post, shows that Jackie's story is almost certainly a fabrication, and that the original reporter, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, never spoke to several witnesses who would have cast doubts on Jackie's story. In particular, she didn't even speak to the men Jackie accused of the rape.

The story has also gotten plenty of play in Germany, as you might expect. The story and its implosion raises plenty of fascinating legal questions, but I will spare you a discussion of those.

What strikes me is this: I work at a German university every day. I am surrounded by young undergraduate students, male and female. Many of them live close together, and they most certainly have parties, get drunk, and have sex. I mean, how could they not? Yet there seems to be no hysteria about a supposed epidemic of sexual assault or rape at German universities. No 'slut walks', no pressure to reform 'campus guidelines' to punish students accused of rape, no sit-ins, no dramatic stories of sexual assault. It's possible I've missed an op-ed or demonstration here or there, but I think I'm on 100% solid ground in saying there's nowhere near the level of hysteria in Germany as there is in the USA on this issue.

Why is this? Is it because German university students are more mature and law-abiding? Is the 'campus rape' bubble a typically American 'moral panic'? Is it because many German universities don't have traditional campuses which many students live on or near? Is it because German universities aren't expected to deal with crimes between students?

Or is it because the problem exists, but German universities are covering it up? What say you, readers?

The King Must Provide All IOC Members with One (1) Comely Concubine

Oslo, Norway is out of the bidding for the 2022 Winter Olympics, in part because of the demands of the International Olympic Committee:

[T]he International Olympic Committee is a notoriously ridiculous organization run by grifters and hereditary aristocrats. Norwegian citizens were particularly amused/outraged (amuseraged) by the IOC's diva-like demands for luxury treatment during the hypothetical Games. Here's a piece in the Norwegian media about the controversy, with translation provided by a generous Norwegian reader named Mats Silberg:

  • They demand to meet the king prior to the opening ceremony. Afterwards, there shall be a cocktail reception. Drinks shall be paid for by the Royal Palace or the local organizing committee.
  • Separate lanes should be created on all roads where IOC members will travel, which are not to be used by regular people or public transportation.
  • A welcome greeting from the local Olympic boss and the hotel manager should be presented in IOC members' rooms, along with fruit and cakes of the season. (Seasonal fruit in Oslo in February is a challenge ...)
  • The hotel bar at their hotel should extend its hours “extra late” and the minibars must stock Coke products.
  • The IOC president shall be welcomed ceremoniously on the runway when he arrives.
  • The IOC members should have separate entrances and exits to and from the airport.
  • During the opening and closing ceremonies a fully stocked bar shall be available. During competition days, wine and beer will do at the stadium lounge.
  • IOC members shall be greeted with a smile when arriving at their hotel.
  • Meeting rooms shall be kept at exactly 20 degrees Celsius at all times.
  • The hot food offered in the lounges at venues should be replaced at regular intervals, as IOC members might “risk” having to eat several meals at the same lounge during the Olympics.

The German Army is a Paper Tiger. Good!


[Photo of a poster suggesting that the $100 million for one fighter could build 1 soccer field, removate 1 public swimming pool complex, build a kindergarten, and provide 900 low-cost apartments: 'We can only spend our money once!']

Jacques Shuster over at the conservative Die Welt laments the state (g) of the German Army (Bundeswehr) and blames 'all Germans' for not supporting it enough and for letting its budget be repeatedly cut. Apparently the German army has massive supply and readiness problems, leading to embarrassing fluffs (g) worldwide, for instance in rebuffing Somali pirates or fulfilling ISAF duties in Afghanistan. American troops in Afghanistan jokingly refer to those initials as standing for 'I See Americans Fighting', and German generals consistently refuse U.S. requests to send their troops from relatively tranquil northern Afghanistan to highly kinetic southern Afghanistan (g). European troop contingents very sensibly avoid engaging with the enemy wherever possible, seeing no reason to kill or die thousands of miles from home as part of anothing nation's futile war.

Which raises the question: what is the German Army doing in these places? Why does Germany need an army larger than would be required to fight off a completely inconceivable invasion or a largely hypothetical attack on a NATO member state? Former defense ministers argued that Germany's security had to be defended 'in the Hindu Kush', but that was nonsense when it was said, and events have given it the lie. All that German actions in Afghanistan have done is cost German taxpayers billions (g), create scandals, kill 53 German soldiers, and arguably increase the risk of attacks in Germany by associating the German Army with the unpopular tactics of the Americans.

There are many reasons Germans don't care very much about and don't want to spend very much on their army, including the historical hangover of German militarism. But I would suggest the main reason is that they don't see the point anymore. If you reduced the Germany Army to 1/4 of its current size -- or whatever would be just enough for a convincing deterrent to an invasion -- nobody would notice or care. Except the Americans, of course, who are desperate for tiny, ineffectual, fig-leaf contributions of troops from European countries to give their assorted misguided military adventures a tad more legitimacy. But that serves only American interests, not German, and German taxpayers can hardly be faulted for not wanting to spend billions to provide diplomatic cover to Uncle Sam.

The Real-Life 'Lives of Others'

43 Israeli intelligence officers in Unit 8200, Israel's NSA, recently signed a letter refusing further service, citing their constant surveillance of the private lives of Palestinians:

In a telling admission, one reservist said he first questioned his role after watching The Lives of Others, a film depicting life under the Stasi, East Germany’s much-feared secret police. The Stasi are estimated to have collected files on five million East Germans before the Berlin Wall fell.

According to the refuseniks, much Israeli intelligence gathering targets “innocent people”. The information is used “for political persecution”, “recruiting collaborators” and “driving parts of Palestinian society against itself”.

The surveillance powers of 8200 extend far beyond security measures. They seek out the private weaknesses of Palestinians – their sex lives, monetary troubles and illnesses – to force them into conspiring in their own oppression.

“If you required urgent medical care in Israel, the West Bank or abroad, we looked for you,” admits one.

An illustration of the desperate choices facing Palestinians was voiced by a mother of seven in Gaza last week. She told AP news agency that she and her husband were recruited as spies in return for medical treament in Israel for one of their children. Her husband was killed by Hamas as a collaborator in 2012.

 From the English Wikipedia entry on Zersetzung:

Beginning with intelligence obtained by espionage, the Stasi established "sociograms" and "psychograms" which it applied for the psychological forms of Zersetzung. They exploited personal peculiarities and penchants, such as homosexuality, as well as supposed character weaknesses of the targeted individual — for example a professional failure, negligence of parental duties, pornographic interests, divorce, alcoholism, dependence on medications, criminal tendencies, passion for a collection or a game, or contacts with circles of the extreme right — or even the veil of shame from the rumors poured out upon one's circle of acquaintances.[20][21] From the point of view of the Stasi, the measures were the most fruitful when they were applied in connection with a personality; all "schematism" had to be avoided.[20]