July 12, 2005


Back to first principles (Bill Murchison, July 12, 2005, Townhall)

Modern Europe lacks a first-order purpose. That lack discloses itself in the London explosions.

Europe is full of second-order purposes: enjoyment, economic security and vacations. What does Europe exist to affirm? It's doubtful if Europeans know any more.

Not Christian transcendence. In most of Europe, Christian practice barely exists. The famous, now dormant, European Union constitution lacked any acknowledgement of the historical fact of the continent's Christian past. No, no, not secular enough.

Accordingly, the European population base is in grave decline. As Robert Samuelson wrote recently in the Washington Post, "Europe's birthrates have dropped well below the replacement rate of 2.1 children for each woman of childbearing age. For Western Europe as a whole, the rate is 1.5. It's 1.4 in Germany and 1.3 in Italy."

It is what happens when those second-order purposes -- enjoyment, etc. -- choke out the older, nobler ones -- justice, reverence, etc. "Me First" is Europe's reigning principle. The first-order purposes require inconvenient sacrifices: me second, third or fourth. Who cares to change a diaper? Pay for a nanny? Send the kids, or the kinder , through college? Down goes the birthrate.

With what consequences? Not the smallest is the disappearance of a population base requisite to funding future retirees' benefits. We know something of this in America due to the Social Security debate. The case is much harder in Europe, though, than in America. That can mean bring on the immigrants: Start them paying into the system! But Europe has long been doing this. It has meant, in practice, the creation of a very large population of European Muslims -- 4 percent of Britain's population, 10 percent of France's. It would be one thing if these were happy immigrants assimilating themselves happily into the larger society. As the Wall Street Journal notes this week, the larger reality is the self-distancing of European Muslims from their neighbors. [...]

The evil purposes of murderous bombers are just the present problem. Evil itself is the original and enduring problem -- one that, as Europe for centuries maintained and preached, reflects humanity's willing breach of its relationship with God.

Is it back, now, at last, to first principles for Europe?

No. They're perfectly content to die off, though they would prefer natural causes.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 12, 2005 12:00 AM

How about recruiting Chinese or Vietnamese immigrants ?

There are what, 100 million unemployed Chinese kicking around China ?

The Chinese have a long history of being successful, productive immigrants. They haven't assimilated much in the past, but that may well be because of racism in the host countries. Certainly in the U.S., post-WW II Chinese immigrants have avoided the ghetto.

The British have a history of working well with Chinese - at least, after subjugation.

Since being middle class in rural China means having in-home running (cold) water, a boombox, and a motorscooter, it shouldn't take too much enticement by the Western European nations in order to bring 'em in by the boatload.

Right now, thousands of Chinese are willing to become indentured servants for a decade, in order to get to America. They ought to be willing to live in Italy for free.

The Vietnamese have roughly the same story, only they're much poorer.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 12, 2005 4:08 AM

Where's daniel duffy when you need him?

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at July 12, 2005 5:11 AM

"the British have a history of working well with the Chinese"

Well yes, if they can dope them up on opium. Your solution, Michael doesn't save the "English" culture or people though. Yes there will be a political entity on the British Isles, but there is going to be one there anyway even if the English die off. So what is the point of allowing "Chinese" to have another geographical area, for their culture to flourish. All this elaborate fantasy of immigration to and fro doesn't seem to resolve anything, other than the British people finding out that they are apparently superfluous.

Posted by: h-man at July 12, 2005 6:54 AM

All this because the fools thought they could have a cafeteria civilization, as though one could enjoy the material fruits of the West while lapsing spiritually into paganism.

Music. It was the music. Before the cultural shift popular music was what it always had been, a less formal version of our civilization's fine music. This has been largely replaced with the beats and discords of the jungle.

The result has been classical anomie. Real conservatives had seen it coming for a long time, but for the most part did nothing, having been cowed into silence by the lie that valuing one's cultural core would be "racist."

Then too, there were economic factors. Every dollar the state took, it took from the family. Ironic, is it not: the welfare state was set up largely "for the children." All the mommies went to work to support it, and the result was that there were no more children.

Pacificists and queers had something to do it. (Remember Mort Sahl's line, "Are there any groups I havn't offended yet?) Pacifists because having children is a commitment to hold and defend what you have taken, now and in the future.

Importing Chinese is only a temporary pallative, if all we are doing is bringing in bodies to do the work. What we need are men who understand that their role is to fight and women who understand that their role in to bear. Immigrants only delay the inevitable.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 12, 2005 7:20 AM



Posted by: oj at July 12, 2005 7:36 AM


The third generation will be British, just as Americans with immigrant grandparents don't feel any kinship towards the ancestoral homeland, and usually don't know the ancestoral tongue, even if they're of Mexican descent.

Lou Gots:

The upper socioeconomic half of Americans don't seem any more inclined to reproduce than the bottom, so I question how much higher taxation had to do with the decline in fertility.

Working females certainly did have something to do with it, but that's an offshoot of greed and American consumerism, not of a need to pay the tax collector.

Jazz and swing have inspired plenty of jungle passion in their time, so it seems a bit forced to chastely label them as "classical", and their offspring, rock, as being "of the Devil".

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at July 12, 2005 9:53 AM

OJ - Really, I'm banned? Whatever for?

Ali - So what do you need me for? It's not as if OJ ever let reality or facts interfere with his strongly held prejudices.

Posted by: daniel duffy at July 12, 2005 10:19 AM

The British aren't, why would they be?

Posted by: oj at July 12, 2005 10:29 AM


Violating the rules, repeatedly.

Posted by: oj at July 12, 2005 10:31 AM

daniel: That's part of the charm.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at July 12, 2005 10:37 AM

OJ - Which rules?

Posted by: daniel duffy at July 12, 2005 10:53 AM

OJ: History is not linear. Things will change, and dramatically at that. The only real question is how much blood will be shed.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 12, 2005 1:01 PM