January 5, 2006

BETWEEN THE LEMMINGS AND THE SEA (via Brian McKim):

It's the Demography, Stupid: The real reason the West is in danger of extinction. (MARK STEYN, January 4, 2006, Opinion Journal)

The design flaw of the secular social-democratic state is that it requires a religious-society birthrate to sustain it. Post-Christian hyperrationalism is, in the objective sense, a lot less rational than Catholicism or Mormonism. Indeed, in its reliance on immigration to ensure its future, the European Union has adopted a 21st-century variation on the strategy of the Shakers, who were forbidden from reproducing and thus could increase their numbers only by conversion. The problem is that secondary-impulse societies mistake their weaknesses for strengths--or, at any rate, virtues--and that's why they're proving so feeble at dealing with a primal force like Islam.

Speaking of which, if we are at war--and half the American people and significantly higher percentages in Britain, Canada and Europe don't accept that proposition--then what exactly is the war about?

We know it's not really a "war on terror." Nor is it, at heart, a war against Islam, or even "radical Islam." The Muslim faith, whatever its merits for the believers, is a problematic business for the rest of us. There are many trouble spots around the world, but as a general rule, it's easy to make an educated guess at one of the participants: Muslims vs. Jews in "Palestine," Muslims vs. Hindus in Kashmir, Muslims vs. Christians in Africa, Muslims vs. Buddhists in Thailand, Muslims vs. Russians in the Caucasus, Muslims vs. backpacking tourists in Bali. Like the environmentalists, these guys think globally but act locally.

Yet while Islamism is the enemy, it's not what this thing's about. Radical Islam is an opportunistic infection, like AIDS: It's not the HIV that kills you, it's the pneumonia you get when your body's too weak to fight it off. When the jihadists engage with the U.S. military, they lose--as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq. If this were like World War I with those fellows in one trench and us in ours facing them over some boggy piece of terrain, it would be over very quickly. Which the smarter Islamists have figured out. They know they can never win on the battlefield, but they figure there's an excellent chance they can drag things out until Western civilization collapses in on itself and Islam inherits by default.

That's what the war's about: our lack of civilizational confidence. As a famous Arnold Toynbee quote puts it: "Civilizations die from suicide, not murder"--as can be seen throughout much of "the Western world" right now. The progressive agenda--lavish social welfare, abortion, secularism, multiculturalism--is collectively the real suicide bomb. Take multiculturalism. The great thing about multiculturalism is that it doesn't involve knowing anything about other cultures--the capital of Bhutan, the principal exports of Malawi, who cares? All it requires is feeling good about other cultures. It's fundamentally a fraud, and I would argue was subliminally accepted on that basis. Most adherents to the idea that all cultures are equal don't want to live in anything but an advanced Western society. Multiculturalism means your kid has to learn some wretched native dirge for the school holiday concert instead of getting to sing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" or that your holistic masseuse uses techniques developed from Native American spirituality, but not that you or anyone you care about should have to live in an African or Native American society. It's a quintessential piece of progressive humbug.


Yes, but here's the hard part for us on the Right to deal with. While it would obviously be preferable for Europeans to get their heads out of their own keisters and experience a Great Awakening, the Islamicization of Europe is more likely its best hope, so long as we can Reform Islam. Secularism is clearly a dead end and it's taking native Europeans with it. It is clearly an inferior "civilization" to that of Islam and its lack of confidence is thoroughly deserved. Meanwhile, an Islam that resembles Judaism and Christianity more closely should be able to form the basis for decent liberal democracy in a post-European Europe.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 5, 2006 9:04 AM
Comments

[T]he smarter Islamists [...] figure there's an excellent chance they can drag things out until Western civilization collapses in on itself and Islam inherits by default.

There's a much greater chance that Arab societies will collapse before the West does, since they're almost completely dependent on a wasting commodity to sustain their teeming masses.
Once the oil revenues drop substantially, for one or more of a variety of likely reasons, it'll be all chaos, infighting, and starvation, (think Somalia, only less pleasant) unless they shape up now, meaning become more Western.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at January 5, 2006 9:35 AM

[T]he smarter Islamists [...] figure there's an excellent chance they can drag things out until Western civilization collapses in on itself and Islam inherits by default.

There's a much greater chance that Arab societies will collapse before the West does, since they're almost completely dependent on a wasting commodity to sustain their teeming masses.
Once the oil revenues drop substantially, for one or more of a variety of likely reasons, it'll be all chaos, infighting, and starvation, (think Somalia, only less pleasant) unless they shape up now, meaning become more Western.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at January 5, 2006 9:36 AM

The Caliph lives in Washington.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 5, 2006 9:44 AM

Michael,

You have to seperate Islamic & Arab. The current Islamic ideology is much bigger than "Arab," who, prior to Islam, were desert Nomads.

I'm one of those who hopes that OJs "reform Islam" is possibility, but actually believes they are the "Borg."

The Steyn peice points out just how close "Islam" is to every world "hot spot."

Posted by: Bruno at January 5, 2006 10:06 AM

Oh please, your hatred of secular humanists is so great you'll side with islam against them? Here's a newsflash for you: Islam isn't reformable and, as soon as muslim barbarians become an existential threat to Europe, the Europeans will do what the Serbs did- exterminate them and bulldoze their corpses into mass graves.

The decadent veneer of PC is as thin as paper. The European muslim ghetto populations get away with their continuous criminality and provocation because the mainstream European culture doesn’t for one second dream that it’s really under threat. In 2050 with 30-40% of Europe muslim, they’ll wake up to that fact that they’re about to go under, ‘elect’ themselves another Milosovitch or Hitler, and go to war.

White Europeans were the pre-eminent practitioners of industrial age genocide in the 20th century, and they'll be the pre-eminent practitioners in the latter part of the 21st too. The fact is that muslims are the most pathetic, disorganized and ineffectual war fighters on earth, and whitey is the planet’s most lethal all time heavyweight champion.

Posted by: Amos at January 5, 2006 10:19 AM

Bruno:

Arabs aren't the only Muslims, but they control all of Islam's Holy Places, which are a bigger deal to Muslims than the equivalent currently is to Christians, and الوهابية, Wahhabism, started there.

Arabs are at the heart of Islam, and if there were no Muslim Arabs, then Islam would be less aggressive worldwide.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at January 5, 2006 10:27 AM

You have to want to live before you will go to war to survive. Europe, having rejected the former, will not have the stomach for the latter.

Posted by: Jay at January 5, 2006 10:30 AM

Amos: That is what we're trying to avoid. It's worth some effort, isn't it.

The stuff about Islam is just nuts. There's no reason it can't reform and come to terms with secular government just as Judaism and Christianity did. Your letting a vanishingly small percentage of all Muslims and a relatively small group of Muslim countries blind you to the vast majority who get along fine in the modern world. Just go to the medical licensing board for your state or country and, if they have a database of M.D.s, run the name "Mohamed" and see what comes out.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 5, 2006 10:41 AM

I have to agree with Amos. I see nothing Islam is doing to reform itself, in fact, what I see is quite the opposite. The fact that there are doctors with the name Mohamed, means nothing. There is a famous boxer with the name Mohammed Ali, but he is hardly the face of Islam.

Posted by: AllenS at January 5, 2006 11:04 AM

Can't reform, won't reform cannot be reformed from outside. islam (never will I capitalize that accursed word, even at the beginning of a sentence) must be wiped from the globe completely...

Posted by: M. Murcek at January 5, 2006 11:13 AM

I agree with David that the majority of Muslims are reasonable people and can be accepted as neighbors.

However, that individuals are capable of accepting civiized values by diffusion does not mean that we are not confronting a gravely disordered quack religion which has established itself and maintains itself by terror. When they stop persecuting those who convert from their system and start allowing other religions to compete with them we consider them otherwise.

We should all be hopeful that the process of education now in progress may continue. For this to be possible, jihad must be deterred as Communist world conquest was deterred. This means that the other side must believe that it cannot win, that we will meet them with one, two or many Iraqs, and , if they press the matter with one, two or many Hiroshimas.

Posted by: Lou Gots at January 5, 2006 11:20 AM

how was communism reformed ? oh, that's right it wasn't.

Posted by: toe at January 5, 2006 1:06 PM

communism wasn't Abrahamic--it had no basis in Truth.

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2006 1:22 PM

Bruno, I was making the Moslem/Borg comparison to my husband last night. Moslem men have been bred for many hundreds of generations to be brutal beasts mindlessly following their collective orders. For the past four or five decades, that imperative has been to push Israel into the sea, not to seek compromises for peaceful co-existence.

I seriously wonder if there are Moslems in sufficient numbers who are intelligent enough to see that reform is the only way for Islam to survive.

Posted by: erp at January 5, 2006 2:21 PM

which part of islam is Abrahamic ? the forced conversion part, the wife beating part, the paederasty part, the hand chopping part ?

Posted by: toe at January 5, 2006 3:12 PM

I don't agree w/David and Lou because of 1 thing - we don't know.

They are the significant minority here, very little power.

When they have more voting strength in Europe, we will see. Wasn't there a vote that most want their barbarous law in Britain?

We've been having this discussion over at Bjorn Staerk's place and I and others have told them the same thing.

When they become a significant minority, you will know.

The only slim hope we have is what happened in Canada, and the women say no way, we want to vote, fairer divorce laws, etc.

Was it Malaysia which just reinterpreted their divorce laws and the hubby can grab the 1st wife's wealth and didn't have to prove he can support 2 or more wives?

Posted by: Sandy P at January 5, 2006 3:35 PM

"an Islam that resembles Judaism and Christianity more closely should be able to form the basis for decent liberal democracy in a post-European Europe."

Or maybe an Islamicized Europe would be, I don't know, Islamic? with all the wretchedness that comes with that? It seems much more likely.

Larry Auster has been writing about Steyn's essay, see link below and the rest of his site as well:

http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/004833.html

Posted by: Carter at January 5, 2006 3:35 PM

Via David's Medienkritik:

Interesting article by Daniel Pipes:

Two Germans vs. Islamism

The interior ministers of two German states have recently advanced important measures for containing radical Islam. They bear close attention across the West.

In Baden-Wurttemberg, Heribert Rech of the ruling Christian Democratic Union party has overseen the administering of a 30-topic loyalty test for applicants to become naturalized citizens. Following an intensive and sophisticated study by the Baden-Wurtenberg government of Muslim life, it developed a manual for the naturalization authorities explaining that applicants for citizenship must concur with the "free, democratic, constitutional structure" of Germany.

Because survey research finds that 21% of Muslims living in Germany believe the German constitution

irreconcilable with the Koran, the written yes-no questions of yesteryear are history for Muslim applicants for citizenship. As of January 1, 2006, immigration officers who suspect Islamist leanings are instructed to probe further. Personal interviews will now last an hour or two and will be given to an estimated half of naturalization applicants....

Posted by: Sandy P at January 5, 2006 4:50 PM

David, why would they reform? What is the impetus? If they can dominate Europe without reforming, then why would they?

I don't know if they can or can't reform, but reform has to be driven from within, to meet the goals that the reformers see as not being met by the current faith. Reform for the Muslim is to purify Islam and make it more truly Islamic, not to water it down to make it more western. That's not reform, it's capitulation.

What you are overlooking is that Wahabiism is a reform movement. Reformers are revolutionaries, they are not lets-all-get-along-iaries. I think that reform is the last thing we want Islam to go through. We want Islam to be contaminated by our culture, to be weakened, secularized, and enfeebled. That is not reform.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at January 5, 2006 5:15 PM

Robert:

Because they can't provide a decent quality of life. Taking over is thin gruel.

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2006 5:28 PM

Quality is for the afterlife. This life is about duty to God. For an Abrahamian, you really don't understand your own tradition very well.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at January 5, 2006 5:40 PM

The faith wouldn't endure if it didn't improve our lives. Islam has failed on that score and so will be rather easily reformed. Indeed, Islam will be easier than Christianity and Judaism were because the failure is an indictment of the umma.

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2006 5:47 PM

Faiths shrivel when life improves, they thrive on the "thin gruel" that has been human existence for the last 10,000 years, minus 100. All the things that make life better lessen the need for Godly intervention.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at January 5, 2006 6:52 PM

where democracy thrives, islam will shrivel. bush is knowingly "salting the earth" to kill this pernacious religion.

"it's just that simple" - denny craine

Posted by: toe at January 5, 2006 7:10 PM

But we're not talking about middle eastern majority islam are we? In Iran and Afghanistan where islam has ruled, and had a chance to utterly discredit itself, it's allure as a political model may decline with democracy.

In the west it will operate as a minority and it's radicals, leaders and assorted loony-tune mullahs will be able to continuously sell their ignorant constituents on the idea that as soon as glorious islam sweeps away decadent western law, a golden age will ensue. Islam will get harder and harder in the west, as it's populations get more and more violent, marginalized and unemployable, all funded by the working tax payer.

As long as they can operate with the protections liberal democracy grants them, they will be able to terrorize their fellow, non-muslim citizens in a myriad ways big and small, as the Algerian trash did on that Paris train, and the Lebanese muslim scum have done here in Sydney for years. But as soon as they get their wish and overthrow the rule of law they will be washed away in a second European holocaust as the immense store of hatred they have built up against them from half a century of vicious and cowardly provocation is unleashed. We saw a taste of this in the Cronulla riots.

Muslims continuously delude themselves that they can fight. I have no idea where they get this stupid notion, I think it is just go ingrained in their hateful culture that they can just not let it go, no matter how many times they get beaten. It’s led them to utter disaster many times, it will again in the coming century.

Posted by: Amos at January 5, 2006 7:41 PM

Properly assimilated, Muslims make good Americans. If Europe isn't up to the job, that says more about Europe than about Islam.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 5, 2006 7:50 PM

Yes, there's nothing to assimilate them to. Rationalism/secularism is a nullity.

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2006 8:00 PM

Robert:

Faith thrives in America which thrives. It shriveled in Europe which dies. Islam will replace Europe's secularism and Islamic Europe will do just fine.

Posted by: oj at January 5, 2006 8:02 PM

America also thrives cos we don't think like Europeans do.

Socialism doesn't work, they will not return to their glory days, there will be a greater brain drain.

It's all mutated monarchy.

They will live well and perceive themselves to do well cos they leech of their inferiors. that dhimmi tax is going to be huge.

Posted by: Sandy P at January 5, 2006 8:42 PM

There was a blurb today in the foreign roundup in USA Today which told of several Taliban who invaded a schoolmaster's house and beheaded him in front of his family (in Central Afghanistan). It is one in a number of murders of schoolmasters and teachers by the nutjobs who hate.

In light of that, what does 'reform' mean? That the US kills them? That Hamid Karzai kills them? That the people themselves fight back and start beheading all Taliban?

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 6, 2006 2:01 AM

The Taliban and al Qaeda don't matter. It's mainstream Islam that has to be Reformed to place greater emphasis on Creation, Messianism, and differentiating Caesar from the Pope.

Posted by: oj at January 6, 2006 7:52 AM

OJ:

I'm no expert, but the Koran doesn't talk about those things, now does it? Are you planning to issue Revision 1?

Posted by: jim hamlen at January 6, 2006 1:40 PM

Of course it talks about Creation. Shi'ism has the other elements too. Sunni Islam will have to be Reformed.

Posted by: oj at January 6, 2006 1:53 PM

Faith thrives in America which thrives.

The faith that thrives in America is a shadow of its former self. When was the last heresy trial held? The last witch burned? Christianity used to have that kind of power, it doesn't anymore. America thrives because Christianity's secular power has been eviscerated.

Islam is where Christianity used to be, in the seat of secular power. For Muslims to thrives, Islam will need to be likewise eviscerated. I guess that is what you mean by "reformed".

Posted by: Robert Duquette at January 6, 2006 4:21 PM

We've got witches in custody now, in the form of Islamicists and 2 million people in our prisons. We're as Puritanical now as any people has ever been. The culture is so thoroughly Christianized that even unbelievers are forced to kowtow to a Founding they can't derive themselves.

There are no states in the Islamic world that are as influenced by Islam as America is by Christianity.

Posted by: oj at January 6, 2006 4:34 PM

You may have 2 million people in jail, but they're not there for badmouthing Jesus. I don't see what punishing rapists, thieves and murderers has to do with America being a specifically Christian state, all societies prosecute felons. And the islamists are not in pokey for defying the church, they're there for the same reason the other killers and criminals are.

Posted by: Amos at January 6, 2006 10:03 PM

OJ has to maintain the fantasy that we're a theocracy. We may be a majority Christian culture, but it is a Christianity that is much enfeebled from its former status. It can't, and frankly has no will, to fight heresy. Christians have traded the security of theocracy for the freedoms and prosperity of modernity.

Islam will only be "reformed" whem Muslims are likewise willing to trade in their security blanket for the goodies of modernity.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at January 7, 2006 11:45 AM

the majority of people in american prisons are there for moral crimes. so sadly, oj is right on this one.

Posted by: toe at January 7, 2006 10:15 PM

toe, morality isn't religion.

Posted by: Robert Duquette at January 8, 2006 12:09 PM

But there is no morality without God, nor need for any.

Posted by: oj at January 8, 2006 12:14 PM
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