The West at sunset 7

The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray is soon to be published. This, you will find at Amazon, is what the book is about:

The Strange Death of Europe is a highly personal account of a continent and culture caught in the act of suicide. Declining birth rates, mass immigration, and cultivated self-distrust and self-hatred have come together to make Europeans unable to argue for themselves and incapable of resisting their own comprehensive alteration as a society and an eventual end.

This is not just an analysis of demographic and political realities, it is also an eyewitness account of a continent in self-destruct mode. It includes accounts based on travels across the entire continent, from the places where migrants land to the places they end up, from the people who pretend they want them to the places which cannot accept them.

Murray takes a step back at each stage and looks at the bigger and deeper issues which lie behind a continent’s possible demise, from an atmosphere of mass terror attacks to the steady erosion of our freedoms. The book addresses the disappointing failure of multiculturalism, Angela Merkel’s U-turn on migration, the lack of repatriation, and the Western fixation on guilt. Murray travels to Berlin, Paris, Scandinavia, Lampedusa, and Greece to uncover the malaise at the very heart of the European culture, and to hear the stories of those who have arrived in Europe from far away.

This sharp and incisive book ends up with two visions for a new Europe – one hopeful, one pessimistic – which paint a picture of Europe in crisis and offer a choice as to what, if anything, we can do next. But perhaps Spengler was right: “civilizations like humans are born, briefly flourish, decay, and die.”

Spengler? Oswald Spengler. Author of The Decline of the West (published in 2 volumes, 1918, 1923), more lyrically titled in German, Der Untergang des Abendlandes – literally, The Going Down of the Eveninglands – which might raise an image of a crimson Western sunset.

There is a brightness of crimson fire accompanying the decline of Europe. It is caused by the explosion of bombs as the hordes of Islam surge over the continent and the warriors of Islam’s holy war blow up Europeans and the shrines of their culture.

Spengler’s theory is that successive civilizations rise and fall, and the civilization of the West is falling. One falls, another rises. It will not, however, be another civilization that follows the death of Europe, but the barbarism of Islam.

The Amazon blurb for The Strange Death of Europe includes the “self-distrust and self-hatred” of Europeans among the causes of their civilization’s “eventual end”.

Who dares to say that the culture so many Europeans apparently despise IS the best, the highest, intellectually, morally, governmentally, and physically ever achieved in the history of the human race?

Well, we say it.

It is the best intellectually as a result of the confluence of two streams: the culture of classical Greece and Rome, and the values enshrined by reason in the Enlightenment. (NOT so-called “Judeo-Christian values”; NOT Christianity whose darkness covered Europe for a thousand years before the new dawn of Greco-Roman culture was followed by the bright day of the Enlightenment.)

It is the best morally and governmentally because it recognized that the individual person mattered more than his tribe; it therefore held individual freedom to be the highest value and protected it by law; established equality before the law; taught tolerance and abolished the age-old practice of slavery. Yes, there was slavery before it was abolished. Yes, there was still much injustice. And some Western tribes betrayed their civilization, most notably the Germans with their attempt at eliminating the Jews. But the Constitution of the United States enshrined the values of freedom and equality before the law, making the best hopes of humankind possible to achieve.

It is the best physically because most people live prosperous, safe, healthy, comfortable lives in the West. Anyone who doubts that the standard of living of Europeans and Americans is far higher than that of most Africans and most Asians cannot have travelled in those realms of hardship.

It is the best not only because of its own great cultural achievements, but also because it has recognized and been hospitable to the best ideas, techniques, works, discoveries and inventions from everywhere else.

But Western thinkers see no glory in their inheritance. They blame themselves for having carried their values, their culture, and often their prosperity, to those realms of hardship, the Third World. They see “colonialism” and “imperialism” as national crimes; crimes so terrible as to require the penance of national self-destruction. 

Such thought inspired politicians to facilitate the end of their civilization by surrendering to Islam.

They welcome the Muslim “refugees”; they give them houses and education and medical services and money; they let them off when they commit crimes; they suppress all criticism of them; and still the newcomers shoot their European hosts, run them over, stab them, torture them, rape them, and blow them up with nail-bombs.

The political leaders simply cannot understand why. What more could they do for them? Will even giving them the whole of Western Europe be enough?

Mark Steyn writes about the Muslim nail-bombing of a concert audience in Manchester, England, on May 22, 2017:

Angela Merkel pronounced the attack “incomprehensible”. But she can’t be that uncomprehending, can she? Our declared enemies are perfectly straightforward in their stated goals, and their actions are consistent with their words. They select their targets with some care.

For a while, it was Europe’s Jews, at a Brussels museum and a Toulouse school and a Copenhagen synagogue and a Paris kosher supermarket. But Continentals are, except for political photo-ops on Holocaust Memorial Day, relatively heartless about dead Jews, and wrote off such incidents as something to do with “Israeli settlements” and “occupation” and of no broader significance.

So they moved on to slaughter 49 gays in a nightclub in Orlando – the biggest mound of gay corpses ever piled up in American history and the worst terror attack on American soil since 9/11. But all the usual noisy LGBTQWERTY activists fell suddenly silent, as if they’d all gone back in the closet and curled up in the fetal position. And those Democrats who felt obliged to weigh in thought it was something to do with the need for gun control …

So they targeted provocative expressions of the infidel’s abominable false religion, decapitating a French priest at Mass and mowing down pedestrians at a Berlin Christmas market. But post-Christian Europe takes Christianity less seriously than its enemies do, and so that too merited little more than a shrug and a pledge to carry on.

So they selected symbols of nationhood, like France’s Bastille Day, Canada’s Cenotaph, and the Mother of Parliaments in London. But taking seriously assaults on your own nation’s symbols would require you to take your nation seriously, and most western citizens are disinclined to do so. As the great universal talismanic anthem of the age has it, “Imagine there’s no countries/It’s easy if you try…”

So the new Caliphate’s believers figured out that what their enemy really likes is consumerism and pop music. Hence the attacks on the Champs-Élysées and the flagship Åhléns department store in Stockholm, and the bloodbath at the Eagles of Death Metal concert in Paris and now at Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” tour. …

“Carrying on exactly as before”, as The Independent advises, will not be possible. A few months ago, I was in Toulouse, where Jewish life has vanished from public visibility and is conducted only behind the prison-like walls of a fortress schoolhouse and a centralized synagogue that requires 24/7 protection by French soldiers; I went to Amsterdam, which is markedly less gay than it used to be; I walked through Molenbeek after dark, where unaccompanied women dare not go. You can carry on, you can stagger on, but life is not exactly as it was before. Inch by inch, it’s smaller and more constrained.

And so it will prove for cafe life, and shopping malls, and pop concerts. Maybe Ariana Grande will be back in the UK – or maybe she will decide that discretion is the better part of a Dangerous Woman’s valor. But there will be fewer young girls in the audience – because no mum or dad wants to live for the rest of their lives with the great gaping hole in your heart opening up for dozens of English parents this grim morning. And one day the jihad will get lucky and the bomb will take with it one of these filthy infidel “shameless” pop whores cavorting on stage in her underwear. You can carry on exactly as before, but in a decade or two, just as there are fewer gay bars in Amsterdam and no more Jewish shops on the Chaussée de Gand, there will be less music in the air in western cities. Even the buskers, like the one in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens today serenading a shattered city with “All You Need Is Love”, will have moved on, having learned that it’s a bit more complicated than that.

I am currently reading Douglas Murray’s fine book, The Strange Death of Europe, which lays out, unsparingly, the central illusion of the last half-century – that you could demographically transform the composition of hitherto more or less homogeneous nation states on a scale no stable society has ever attempted, and that there would be no consequences except a more vibrant range of local restaurants. Mrs May [amazingly the Prime Minister of Britain] declared this morning on the steps of Downing Street that she had held a top-level security meeting …  I’ll bet the mood around the table was one of fatalism and resignation, outside a few micro-adjustments to the budget of counter-terrorism agencies and the number of CCTV cameras and the amount of security checks at “sensitive” “high-value” targets like department stores, and theaters, and restaurants and football grounds and pubs and chip shops … 

But the arithmetic is not difficult: Poland and Hungary and Slovakia do not have Islamic terrorism because they have very little Islam. France and Germany and Belgium admit more and more Islam, and thus more and more terrorism. Yet the subject of immigration has been all but entirely absent from the current UK election campaign. Thirty years ago, in the interests of stopping IRA terrorism, the British state was not above preventing the internal movement within its borders of unconvicted, uncharged, unarrested Republican sympathizers seeking to take a ferry from Belfast to Liverpool. Today it declares it can do nothing to prevent the movement of large numbers of the Muslim world from thousands of miles away to the heart of the United Kingdom. It’s just a fact of life – like being blown up when you go to a pop concert.

All of us have gotten things wrong since 9/11. But few of us have gotten things as disastrously wrong as May and Merkel and Hollande and an entire generation of European political leaders who insist that remorseless incremental Islamization is both unstoppable and manageable. It is neither – and, for the sake of the dead of last night’s carnage and for those of the next one, it is necessary to face that honestly. Theresa May’s statement in Downing Street is said to be “defiant”, but what she is defying is not terrorism but reality. So too for all the exhausted accessories of defiance chic: candles, teddy bears, hashtags, the pitiful passive rote gestures that acknowledge atrocity without addressing it …

What’s the happy ending here? In a decade it will be worse, and in two decades worse still, and then in three decades people will barely recall how it used to be, when all that warmth and vibrancy of urban life is but a memory, and the music has died away, and Manchester is as dull and listless as today’s Alexandria. If Mrs May or Frau Merkel has a happier ending, I’d be interested to hear it. If not, it is necessary not to carry on, but to change, and soon – before it’s too late.

Is it not already too late for Western Europe? Its sun is sinking fast.

  • Cogito

    Jillian, your unswerving defence of Western civilization is inspiring.
    I’m cruising up the Rhine at the moment, heading toward Cologne this morning. The presence of monstrously large minarets in Rotterdam a bit unnerving, but the utter lack of burquas in Amsterdam was refreshing. Thus is purely anecdotal of course.

  • liz

    Just when you think you’ve got one civilizational disaster licked, another one rears its ugly head. Hillary’s defeat on the centennial of Marxism allowed us to hope for the return of freedom and the end of the Socialist era.
    But if it’s to be replaced with Islam, there’s no point in celebrating.

  • We’ve lost Europe. I do a lot of business in Asia (mostly Japan) but I recently told Mrs. Animal that I won’t take on any work in Europe. I don’t think Europe is safe any more. It’s a shame; I was stationed in Germany in the Army, and I loved the place. I’d love to see Heidelberg again, but… no.

    As much as anything, ethnic Europeans are committing cultural suicide. They aren’t even having babies, and their increasingly restive Muslim minorities are breeding like rats. When the end comes, they will nobody but themselves to blame.

    Incidentally Japan – another country, culture and people I love – are falling into the same demographic trap. The difference there is that they aren’t actively importing a hostile population to supplant them; Japan will remain Japanese until the end.

    How far behind is the United States? That question has us stepping up our search for a house in Alaska.

    • How’s the search going? Any definite plans yet for the move – or have you moved up there to search?

      • We have the luxury of a little time; we’re planning to be moved permanently in 2-4 years. We want to find the right place.

        We have a couple of possibilities at the moment. We’ll probably fly up in June or July to look at a few places.

        • You’ll visit Alaska in the winter too, of course? Know the worst as well as the best of it? You’ll need your fur, Animal friend!

          • We have been there in the winter and you’re right, a good winter coat is in order; but I grew up in northeast Iowa and am familiar with long cold winters. In Alaska it’s the short days that take some getting used to.

            There are compensations; in summer I’ve been out fishing in low-hanging but pleasant sunshine at 10:30 at night.