America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It

By: Mark Steyn
Publisher: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2006

Mark Steyn is fond of using insulting comments and reviews of his work to sell his work. Visit his website, and you'll find comments like these:

"Dangerous Idiot Of The Week"
The New Statesman (United Kingdom)

"The leaden humorist Mark Steyn"
Paul Bailey
The Sunday Times (United Kingdom)

"It's wonderful to find a Canadian warmonger, isn't it?"
Chris Patten
European Union Commissioner for External Affairs

"This column of bigotry, homophobia and racism... typical of the slick, degrading, immoral rubbish which is being propounded every Monday in that newspaper. It is an example of the degraded level to which we are falling."
Michael D Higgins, TD for Galway West
speaking in the Irish Parliament

This will give you a quick taste for this writer's sense of humor. As fan Michelle Malkin puts it, "Mark Steyn is a human sandblaster." And there is nothing soft-soaped about Steyn's approach to making his case: he makes it in jaunty fashion, makes it again - more clearly this time - and finally, makes it yet again, this time with a no-punches-pulled seriousness that's impossible to at least consider.

The premise is short and frighteningly sweet:

1. European nations (including the US, Canada, and Australia) are for the most part either static or declining in population (other than immigrants). That is to say, Spain, for example, is no longer reproducing native-born Spanish people at a rate sufficient to replace the old folks as they die. (The US and Australia are notable exceptions, but even in those cases, it's mostly a matter of break-even.) (For example, some selected fertility rates (births per woman): 1.2, Russia; 1.3, Greece; 1.1, Spain; 1.48, Canada; 2.1, US. A stable - neither growing nor shrinking - birth rate is 2.1.)

2. As the population ages and there are fewer and fewer young, working people to support old, retired people, the financial burden on these people will become onerous at best, unmanageble at worst. This situation is exacerbated in the nations that offer state-funded health care and other pricey benefits (such as France). (For example, by 2050, public pension expenditures as a percentage of GDP will be: 6.5%in the US, 16.9% in Germany, 17.3% in Spain, and 24.8% in Greece.)

3. Immigrant population in Europe is largely Muslim. The majority of the immigrating population does not go to work (thereby promising to ease the burden on state-funded programs in the future), but instead goes on state-funded programs. The immigrant populations are likewise increasing in numbers via child-bearing at a much faster rate than the indigenous populations.

4. (Here's the part people will have the most trouble with): The Muslims have no interest in assimilating, and are not particularly fond of Western culture, values, or people. Steyn gives examples of how, rather than assimilate, Muslim populations are expecting their adopted nations to adjust to their religious and cultural demands: Muslim women (and anyone who wants to go about incognito) wear full face and body covering clothing that confounds official attempts to identify them; Muslim taxi drivers, restaurant owners, and others in a position to do so refuse to do business with anyone who possesses or has been drinking alcohol; pork cannot appear on menus in restaurants if Muslim patrons are to eat there; Muslim schools and mosques preach superiority and intolerance: the only good infidel is a dead infidel.
Steyn quotes Imam Shakir (the former Ricky Mitchell of Georgia) as saying, "Every Muslim who is honest would say, I would like to see America become a Muslim country. I think it would help people, and if I didn't believe that, I wouldn't be a Muslim."

So what is the difference between that, and what Roman Catholics traditionally believed - that the ideal state would be one ruled by Jesus Christ? Just that, at least in recent years, Catholics don't routinely strap bombs on their bodies and blow up their enemies. At least, not as a group.

Steyn refers to a Muslim school in Virginia, the Islamic Saudi Academy. "It teaches Wahhabi history, and 'Islamic values and the Arabic language and culture,' plus 'the superiority of jihad.' By the eleventh grade, students are taught that on the Day of Judgement Muslims will fight and kill the Jews, who will find that the very trees they're hiding behind will betray them by saying, 'Oh Muslim, oh servant of God, here is a Jew hiding behind me. Come here and kill him.'"

Part of Steyn's argument is that while there are undoubtedly many Muslims of moderate persuasion, if a huge proportion of the total world population is Muslim (as, given the trends cited above, it will be by mid-century), it will not take a large percentage of that population who are immoderate to create a huge problem for the non-Muslim world.

So what do we do? Steyn says not only should we reject such child-reducing strategies as abortion and late single babies or no babies for married couples, but we must find our moral and cultural pride and focus. We must get tough. Steyn quotes British author Melanie Phillips: "Minority rights doctrine has produced a moral inversion, in which those doing wrong are excused if they belong to a 'victim' group, whle those at the receiving end of their behavior are blamed simply because they belong to the 'oppressive' majority... It is impossible to overstate the importance - not just to Britain but to the global struggle against Islamist extremism - of properly understanding and publicly challenging this moral, intellectual, and philosophical inversion, which translates aggressor into victim and vice versa."

He insists that we must identify the enemy and name him. "Consider the name given to the current conflict: "war on terror." Wait a minute. Aren't wars usually waged against named enemies? Yes, but, to the progressive mind, the very concept of "the enemy" is obsolescent: there are no enemies, just friends whose grievances we haven't yet accomodated.

"...Indeed, a formal enemy is all but superfluous to requirements. Bomb us, and we agonize over the 'root causes.' Decapitate us, and our politicians rush to the nearest mosque to declare that 'Islam is a religion of peace.' Issue blood-curdling calls at Friday prayers to kill all the Jews and infidels and we fret that it may cause a backlash against Muslims. Behead sodomites and mutilate female genitalia, and gay groups and feminist groups can't wait to march alongside you denouncing Bush and Blair. Murder a schoolful of children, and our scholars explain that to the the 'vast majority' of Muslims, 'jihad' is a harmless concept meaning 'healthy-lifestyle lo-fat granloa bar.' Thus the lopsided valse macabre of our times: the more the Islamists step on our toes, the more we waltz them gaily around the room.

"As French philosopher Jean-Francois Revel wrote, 'Clearly, a civilization that feels guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction to defend itself.'"

Even if you don't credit his conclusions, the numbers Steyn quotes that I was able to validate do indeed check out. The white European culture under whose sway, good, bad, or indifferent, we have lived for several hundred years, is without a doubt, endangered.

And as Steyn himself admits, there are many white Europeans that don't feel too bad about that.

And while we may, as a people, feel guilt for things done in the name of God, man, freedom, democracy, or whatever other philosophical, moral, or religious reason, and feel that we have our comeuppance coming, there is still a question worth being asked: apart from everything else, what kind of world do I want for my children, and grandchildren? And then we'd better do what we need to do to make sure that world is available to them.


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