Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Europe's Death Cult

Mark Steyn is simply outstanding on the social and demographic issues happening in Europe that we have covered often in this space.

his response to a thread on Austinbay, he just knocks it out of the ballpark.
Progressive secular welfarism is a great life - but only for a generation or two. After that, it’s a death cult.
To do it justice, you have to read it in full.
First, it’s true that the Central and Eastern European nations are markedly more America-friendly than the western ones. However, their long-term prognosis is not significantly different: they face the same deathbed demographics - right now, the only European country breeding at replacement rate is Muslim Albania.

Declining population isn’t necessarily a problem - my own New Hampshire town, for example, survived a 130-year population decline from 1820 to 1950, caused by the opening up of the west, the collapse of the sheep industry and the big mill towns down south. But New Hampshire’s entire social structure wasn’t founded on a welfarist model dependent on continuous population growth to sustain state benefits. For the states of Eastern Europe, one of the consequences of joining the EU, adopting the Euro and ratifying the European Constitution is that they’re also assuming collective responsibility for the cost of the unsustainable welfare burdens of Greece, France, etc.

There are two ways you could deal with this - either reform of the welfare states or massive immigration higher than America at its pre-World War One immigration peak. No European politicians have the courage to address the former (openly), so they’ve signed on to the latter (silently). In the end, the idea of using the Third World as your surrogate mother isn’t a long-term solution either: in 2020, a skilled educated Indian, Chilean, Chinaman, Singaporean will be able to write his own emigration ticket anywhere on the planet. Is it likely he’ll want to choose a part of the world where the basic tax rate will be 60%?

That means Europe will be almost wholly dependent on the Muslim world for immigration - and one of the features of super-tolerant anything-goes post-Christian Europe is that it radicalises hitherto moderate Muslims. Look at the number of Islamist terrorists who are creatures of the Euro-Canadian welfare systems - Richard Reid the shoe bomber, Zac Moussaoui, Ahmed Ressam, even Mohammed Atta’s political character was formed in large part by his time in Germany. A senior Dutch cabinet minister told me in 2003 that what really scared him was that young Dutch Muslims were more Islamist and less assimilated than the grandparents who’d arrived in the early Seventies.

There are two likely longterm outcomes of all this:

a) Europe will simply become Muslim, as is already happening in secondary Scandinavian and Benelux cities;

b) New opportunist political movements will take advantage of the situation and of the silence of the centre-left EU political establishment, as is already happening in France, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Germany, Denmark. Europeans will see their declining economic fortunes, increasing crime, unaffordable welfare systems, etc, within the context of their demographic transformation, and some will react in the traditional European way - ie, violence, massive destabilisation, etc. Will this work in the long run? I doubt it. Like the “Take Back Vermont” campaign of five years ago, once you’re talking about taking it back you’ve already lost it.

There may be smart politicians in individual nations - Slovakia, Lithuania - who understand this. But, given that anyone who has the right to live in one EU country has the right to live in all - ie, a Swede is entitled to live in Greece and vice-versa - it’s unlikely that they’ll avoid the destabilising effects of their neighbours.

More to the point, we’re already seeing the start of a continent-wide equivalent of the “white flight” from US cities in the Seventies: the Netherlands is now a net exporter of its own people.

So: you tell me how we get to the happy ending.

Progressive secular welfarism is a great life - but only for a generation or two. After that, it’s a death cult.

More of my take on Europe here, here, here, and here.
Hat tip

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