The Suicide of the West

I find Mark Steyn’s argument in this piece to be persuasive. Steyn has often written on the perils of low birthrates in Western countries, but this is probably the best and most comprehensive article I’ve read yet. Steyn argues that Toynbee’s observation, “Civilizations die from suicide, not murder” will again be proven true by Western civilization primarily by not obeying the very first commandment: be fruitful and multiply. As Steyn sees it, islamofacists only have to play a waiting game before they inherit the world by default. They are breeding, and we are not. Eventually, the numbers will tip precipitously in their favor.

Liberals in general will probably argue strenuously against Steyn, and Steyn points to the irony of this. It is the abortion fanatics who are promoting the killing of their future voting base. It is the multiculturalists who are championing tolerance of the cruelest intolerance. It is the radical feminists who are protesting a President who is seeking to break the regimes that truly oppress women. It is the socialists who are seeking to undertake the basic responsibilities of human existence, thus enslaving the meek hoi polloi to a State that cannot defend itself. It is the extreme environmentalists who want to preserve a world for a future that may be very empty of humanity.

And remember what the stakes are. The modern Western world, despite all its flaws and failures, has done more to better this world than any other civilization, and it deserves to be preserved even at high cost. We must recognize that the survival of our civilization is at stake because the enemy wants to destroy us utterly. As Zarqawi put it just recently, one of the conditions for the end of the jihad is, “. . . instal [sic] sharia (Islamic law) on the entire Earth and spread Islamic justice there (…). The attacks will not cease until after the victory of Islam and the setting up of sharia.”

Steyn does spend some time detailing the failed prophecies of doomsayers of the 1970s, so it is natural to wonder if Steyn’s warnings might also fall in the same category. However, I find it hard to argue with the hard numbers of declining birth rates and the unforgiving demographic arithematics that may be at play by mid-century. But even if you don’t agree with Steyn’s conclusion, it’s worth a read.

9 thoughts on “The Suicide of the West”

  1. Hmmm, this sounds a lot like what I said a while ago about America being unwilling to go to the lengths necessary to win a war.

    However, I think he over emphasisizes birth-rates and such, just because they’re out-breeding some groups doesn’t mean that other groups are going to be displaced, and I think even if that were the case, his time frame is WAY off. Outside of ethnic cleansing and acccidental mass-plagues, most areas of the world have maintained pretty consistent cultural/societal/racial groups. There’s usually a mixing and so forth, but that’s no different than the Gauls mixing with the Celts who mix with the Romans who mix with the Goths who mix with the Franks who mix with Danes and so on to create modern “homogenous” French people. Most “races” are mongrel at best, and to say that one is going to displace the other through just breeding is a little reactionary. More likely, there will be an intermingling of cultures and marriage and so forth and a dual culture will emerge, like Mulatos, that will eventually be the norm.

    And freaking news flash, Islamic society has been invading Europe for CENTURIES. What about Spain, post Reconquista, or Austria/Hungary post Ottoman control? I think you can safely say that a society can choose what social elements its going to embrace. Of course, that involves being bad and discriminating and being racist, so I guess it won’t happen anymore.

  2. Fluger, as always, your thoughts, bolstered by your knowledge of history, are appreciated.

    I part of Steyn’s point is that integration like in the past isn’t happening. Europe is facing declining birth rates in post-Christian populations, but an influx of Muslim immigrants and babies. However, in many of these countries there is little to no integration of the Muslim population with the larger population, and extreme multi-culturalism encourages Muslims to keep their own ways. I think this would explain why 60% of British Muslims want Sharia law and France had those riots late last year.

    Though a possible counter-point to the “extreme tolerance” and non-integration of European countries may be when France enacted that strange law forbidding Muslim head pieces, which not only seems ridiculous but also counter-productive.

    I’m no history guy, but it does seem to me that history probably would go more towards your argument if modern European societies deal with alien elements in a largely similar manner as the pat. However, it seems to me that modern Europe deals with alien elements entirely different than how it did in the past.

    It’s hard to imagine the status quo being upset. What Steyn is predicting is a sea change that seems like crazy talk right now, but things can happen very fast. It’s not like Europe has a history of being a politically stable continent.

  3. What is meant by integration then? And how long has it been going on for? I think it’s too quick to say that traditional White/Christian Europe isn’t going to meld with Muslims of various cultures. This is like making seasonal predicitions for home runs after 1 month of baseball. So Muslims haven’t melded well for the first 25 years or whatever? What about long term? How long did it take for Quechua and Spanish cultures to mix in present day Bolivia? Or Celtic/Pictish/Gallic/Norse cultures to mix in England? This is a matter of centuries not decades.

    How long has this increase in population gone on for? The influx of Indian culture didn’t really begin until the turn of last century (i.e. 1900) into England, and it took a while to set its roots and truly become part of the culture. English culture now has a LOT of Indian elements to it, the two are now almost inseperable in Britain. My good friend in Bolivia, Paul Hulford, was half Indian/half English. That kind of relationship isn’t all that weird over there anymore, and I would imagine it will get less weird.

    Why is it bad that Muslims want the world to be Muslim? Isn’t that the same as Christians wanting the whole world Christian. Of course we do! Of course they do! We think we’re right, and our way of life is superior! So do they!

    Also, I think it’s patently absurd to label all of Islam out to get us. Islam is no more unified than is Christianity. Does no one recall the ’80s when Iran and Iraq were at war? Just because there are Islams fighting Christians in one place and Islams fighting Buddihists in another doesn’t mean that Islam is out and out militant (though unlike Christianity which has LOADS of passifist doctrine built in, Islam does specifically lean toward violent “evangelism” if you will) and in cahoots all over the world. In most of the cases were there is a conflict with religion on opposite sides, religion is simply an extra motivator added to a mix of problems that have more to do with socio-economics than anything else. Warfare existed well before ideologies, ideologies just make it easier to escalate.

    I’m not subscribing to politically correct nonsense, I don’t believe in relative truth and such. I believe that the relationship I have with God is real and the only way to fully realize a meaningful life; however, I’m not so big a fool as to denounce others who are (in my opinion) misguided. As Sun Tsu said. “In war, you must know your enemy and yourself.” I’m willing to look at someone else’s perspective, but only to better know how I can convince them better.

  4. Also, a lot of the immigrants out of Muslim countries are leaving because they don’t agree with the fundamentalist Islamic government. I work with 3 Iranians and all of them hate Muslim culture when it comes to being authoritarian. They’re all non-religious, but still maintain lots of Iranian culture that has elements of Muslim culture. Perhaps the influx of “Muslims” into Europe should be a sign that people are rejecting that lifestyle, like Irish leaving a poor Ireland in the 1800s or Latvians moving to a rich Ireland now?

  5. I wonder if you ever thought about the question if this Islamic war against the US is only exaggerated due to fear of the really young societies in the Arabian world. Western societies will be overaged (at least in 15 or 20 years) and can therefore act only defensively anymore.

    As I read your posting and thought about it, this came to my mind..

  6. this whole argument about who is going to outbreed who is really offensive. this is common in white supremacist propaganda–the KKK has always claimed that other races are going to breed us out, and that the white man will become a minority. just because the debate is about Muslims doesn’t make it ok! good grief…

  7. I don’t know about offensive Leigh, considering that statistically speaking, Streyn has somewhat of a point given census numbers and whatnot. But those numbers are inflated due to the fact that most of the areas that are being counted as Islamic or whatever are Third World countries that are just recently getting the beginnings of proper sanitation and health care. When you have a society that has for years had to have numerous children to combat infant mortality, and suddenly those children keep living, you’re going to have a population explosion on your hands. When you combine that with poor land that doesn’t support such large numbers, you get tension that leads to either conflict or flight. The reason that “Muslims” are leaving the middle east and the fact that there is an increase in population are one in the same.

    I also think its pretty out of touch to be so deragotory of low population increase. Do you think China came up with their family policies on accident? No! There is every reason to try and maintain a constant population, because, despite what many people think, there is a finite amount of resources available in the world and we can’t just keep filling up space with people. The reason 1st world countries are tailing back their populations is because they don’t need any more populations. Proper population management is crucial in societies that have extremely limited arable land or other forms of food production; which is the big reason why we have so much strife in so much of the world, the poor land (and by poor land I mean land that is poorly suited to supporting human life) is getting filled up and the people there need some way to alleviate that pressure or they will starve.

    Too bad its so late at night, otherwise I’d be less rambly, but this article pissed me off, and I keep mulling over it.

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