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.

The dying Left 1

We wrote yesterday that a century of Leftism is coming to an end. (See the post immediately below, End of an atrocious era). The death throes can be seen in France, where the Socialist Party is about to lose power.

This is from PowerLine, by Paul Mirengoff:

The French Socialist party held its primary [on January 22] in the race to succeed Francois Hollande as the party’s standard bearer. Hollande’s presidency has been such a disaster that he declined to stand for re-election.

Former education minister Benoit Hamon came in first with around 36 percent of the vote. He will face former prime minister Manuel Valls, who captured around 31 percent of the vote.

Hamon is a left-winger. He represents what the BBC calls “the angry, radical wing of the Socialist party.” Apparently, his central policy idea is a guaranteed minimum income.

Valls is a centrist by French Socialist standards, anyway. As prime minister, he tried to implement a somewhat pro-business agenda. He also declared that France is at war with radical Islam and stated that if Jews flee France in large numbers, “France will no longer be France” and “the French Republic will be judged a failure.”

Unfortunately, Hamon has a very clear edge in the run-off. The third-place finisher, left-winger Arnaud Montebourg, is backing him. Combined, Hamon and Montebourg received more than 50 percent of the primary vote.

Valls has characterized the run-off as a choice “between an assured defeat [in the general election] and possible victory”. He’s right, I think, that defeat is assured if Hamon is the Socialist candidate. But it is probably a reach to say that victory is possible under Valls.

The big question is whether the Socialist candidate can finish second in the general election and thus make the runoff against against Francois Fillon, the closest thing to a Reagan-Thatcher conservative, at least when it comes to economic policy, ever nominated by a major party in France. Standing in the way is Marine Le Pen of the National Front party, a right-wing ultra-nationalist outfit. As far as I can tell, most observers expect that it will be Fillon vs. Le Pen in the runoff.

The bigger story here may be the collapse, at least for now, of socialist parties throughout Europe.

So Mirengoff cautiously allows for a resurrection of Socialism. We concede that its specter may haunt the world for ages yet, but we do not foresee it reigning again.

He quotes an article by Alissa Rubin in the New York Times:

The collapse of the establishment left in France is hardly a unique phenomenon. Across Europe, far-right populist parties are gaining strength, including in France, while the mainstream left, which played a central role in building modern Europe, is in crisis.

From Italy to Poland to Britain and beyond, voters are deserting center-left parties, as leftist politicians struggle to remain relevant in a moment when politics is inflamed by anti-immigrant, anti-European Union anger.

In Italy, constituencies that used to routinely back the center-left Democratic Party are turning to the new anti-establishment Five Star Movement, which is Euroskeptic and anti-globalization

Rubin quotes a professorial view:

Wherever you look in Europe the Socialists are not doing well, with the exception of Portugal,” said Philippe Marlière, a professor of French and European politics at University College London. …

And Mirengoff comments, “Europe is in a state of tremendous flux and possibly a state of crisis.”

It is definitely in a state of crisis. At this critical moment in their history, Europeans have to choose between letting the socialist parties (a category that includes the parties calling themselves “conservative”) continue in power, which means the preservation of the European Union and the Islamization of the continent; or saving their nation states, their identity, their culture, their law, their heritage, their traditions, their liberty – in short, their civilization – by supporting the populist parties indiscriminately labeled “far-right” by the establishment and the media.

The outlook is brightening for the populist parties since Donald Trump won the US presidency. His success has invigorated them. Chances are they will soon win power in France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy … and eventually even in Portugal.

Already the world begins to change 26

The corrective effects of Donald Trump’s victory on the wider world have started.

The first thing it is doing is striking fear into the hearts of  those who need to be made to fear.

Who are they? They are the Powers that rule us.

They are Leftist intellectuals. They are commonly referred to as “the elites”. Thomas Sowell calls them “the Annointed”. Donald Trump calls them “the Establishment”.

They have silenced the voice of the people by creating the undemocratic European Union. They do their utmost to impose their orthodoxy by suppressing freedom of speech.

Most of the press and the mainstream media are their lackeys.

And now, inspired  by the British exit from the EU by popular vote, and even more by the triumph of Donald Trump, the suppressed are emboldened to speak out, to protest, to challenge the power of Their power.

They know it, they fear it, and they admit that they fear it.

Reuters, one of the leading media lackeys, “reports” the parties and organizations that pose the threat  – without recognizing that some of them are  corrective movements. The word “populist is applied to all of them, and considered enough to condemn all of them.  But in this article the groups cited make a very mixed bag. All they have in common is that they threaten the monopoly of power that the Establishment now holds.    

Back in May, when Donald’s Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election seemed the remotest of possibilities, a senior European official took to Twitter before a G7 summit in Tokyo to warn of a “horror scenario“.

Imagine, mused the official, if instead of Barack Obama, Francois Hollande, David Cameron and Matteo Renzi, next year’s meeting of the club of rich nations included Trump, Marine Le Pen, Boris Johnson and Beppe Grillo.

A month after Martin Selmayr, the head of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s cabinet made the comment, Britain shocked the world by voting to leave the European Union. Cameron stepped down as prime minister and Johnson – the former London mayor who helped swing Britons behind Brexit – became foreign minister.

Now, with Trump’s triumph over his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, the populist tsunami that seemed outlandish a few months ago is becoming reality, and the consequences for Europe’s own political landscape are potentially huge.

In 2017, voters in the Netherlands, France and Germany – and possibly in Italy and Britain too – will vote in elections that could be colored by the triumphs of Trump and Brexit, and the toxic politics that drove those campaigns.

The lessons will not be lost on continental Europe’s populist parties, who hailed Trump’s victory on Wednesday as a body blow for the political mainstream.

“Toxic politics”? “Toxic” because they are “populist”. “Populist” simply means “of the people”. But the Establishment and its media lackeys use it to imply the will of a rabble, a frenzied mob, driven by foaming irrational hate to do violence for no reason but a sheer lust for destruction – the very thing Leftist mobs do so often under the banners of, for instance, the Black Lives Matter movement.   

“Politics will never be the same,” said Geert Wilders of the far-right Dutch Freedom Party. “What happened in America can happen in Europe and the Netherlands as well.”

Geert Wilders’s party “far right”? Read his latest speech here. He is proud of the Dutch tradition of freedom, tolerance, impartial justice. He is a patriot, a defender of the nation-state of Holland. That  does not make him a Nazi, which is  what Reuters, and all those for whom Reuters speaks, mean to imply by the label “far right”.  

French National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen was similarly ebullient. “Today the United States, tomorrow France,” Le Pen, the father of the party’s leader Marine Le Pen, tweeted.

Aligning Marine Le Pen with her father Jean-Marie Le Pen is again an attempt to apply the “far right” or “Nazi” smear. She did take over the leadership of the originally neo-Nazi Front National from her father, but changed it into a tolerant conservative party, expelling members who held pro-Nazi, anti-Semitic views.

Daniela Schwarzer, director of research at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), said Trump’s bare-fisted tactics against his opponents and the media provided a model for populist European parties that have exercised comparative restraint on a continent that still remembers World War Two.

Again the implied smear: Trump “with his bare-fisted tactics” is corrupting the people of Europe hitherto restrained from active “populist” political action -“restrained” because they “remember World War Two” – ie. they have an impulse to be Nazis, and now are likely to break out in full Nazi form, inspired to it by Trump. Implication: Trump is a Nazi.

“The broken taboos, the extent of political conflict, the aggression that we’ve seen from Trump, this can widen the scope of what becomes thinkable in our own political culture,” Schwarzer said.

The “taboos” are those imposed  by the Establishment. They are the locks on the lips of the people. That is the suppression of free speech.

Eyes on Austria next:

Early next month, Austrians will vote in a presidential election that could see Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party become the first far-right head of state to be freely elected in western Europe since 1945.

The Austrian Freedom Party was founded by a Nazi, an erstwhile SS officer, but moved away from its Nazi roots. It formed an alliance, temporarily , with the Social Democratic Party. What does it stand for? Pretty well everything. It is a “liberal” party, a “social welfare” party, but it favors “privatization”  and low taxes.  It has been described as “right-wing populist”, national conservative”, and “national liberal”. It calls itself libertarian, and holds individual freedom as one of its highest principles. It is strongly anti-establishment and against Muslim immigration into Austria.  

Now to Italy:

On the same day, a constitutional reform referendum on which Prime Minister Renzi has staked his future could upset the political order in Italy, pushing Grillo’s left-wing 5-Star movement closer to the reins of power.

So here’s a rebel movement against the Establishment that even Reuters cannot smear with the label “far right”. It calls itself a “left-wing” movement. But it also calls itself “populist”, “anti-establishment”, “anti-globalist”, and against the undemocratic European Union. One thing it also believes in that puts it decidedly on the left, is Environmentalism.

“An epoch has gone up in flames,” Grillo said. “The real demagogues are the press, intellectuals, who are anchored to a world that no longer exists.”

He dares to say it!

On to Poland and Hungary, where the Muslim invasion is not welcomed by their governments. That alone, of course, in the eyes of the Establishment makes them “right-wing”. Yes, they are nationalists, and nationalism now, in the age of the EU, of the Establishment’s preference for “open borders” and globalization, is the very essence of “Far Rightism”.

Right-wing nationalists are already running governments in Poland and Hungary.

But that’s Eastern Europe, where they are inclined to be more nationalist because of their years under the heel of International Communism, aka the Soviet Union.

In Western Europe, the likelihood of a Trump figure taking power seems remote for now.

Because –

In Europe’s parliamentary democracies, traditional parties from the right and left have set aside historical rivalries, banding together to keep out the populists.

Banding together, as in certain ways Republicans and Democrats have been doing for the last eight years in Washington, D.C., to safeguard their power. They are the Establishment in America against which Trump is leading a movement of the people.  

But the lesson from the Brexit vote is that parties do not have to be in government to shape the political debate, said Tina Fordham, chief global political analyst at Citi. She cited the anti-EU UK Independence Party which has just one seat in the Westminster parliament.

“UKIP did poorly in the last election but had a huge amount influence over the political dynamic in Britain,” Fordham said. “The combination of the Brexit campaign and Trump have absolutely changed the way campaigns are run.”

UKIP leader Nigel Farage hailed Trump’s victory on Wednesday as a “supersized Brexit”.

As new political movements emerge, traditional parties will find it increasingly difficult to form coalitions and hold them together.

Now a look at Spain:

In Spain, incumbent Mariano Rajoy was returned to power last week but only after two inconclusive elections in which voters fled his conservatives and their traditional rival on the left, the Socialists, for two new parties, Podemos and Ciudadanos.

Podemos is a left-wing party, and Cuidadanos a “liberal-progressive, postnationalist” party – so also left-wing. Their inclusion in an article about the fear of the European Establishment is because they too are “populist”.

After 10 months of political limbo, Rajoy finds himself atop a minority government that is expected to struggle to pass laws, implement reforms and plug holes in Spain’s public finances.

The virus of political fragility could spread next year from Spain to the Netherlands, where Wilders’s Freedom Party is neck-and-neck in opinion polls with Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s liberals.

That was a bad segue. What is happening in the Netherlands is not, and will not be, a result of anything that is happening in Spain. But Reuters is now taking a wide view over Western Europe.

For Rutte to stay in power after the election in March, he may be forced to consider novel, less-stable coalition options with an array of smaller parties, including the Greens.

In Europe, the Greens are a mainstream movement, forming mainstream political parties.

In France, which has a presidential system, the chances of Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front, emerging victorious are seen as slim.

The odds-on favorite to win the presidential election next spring is Alain Juppe, a 71-year-old centrist with extensive experience in government who has tapped into a yearning for responsible leadership after a decade of disappointment from Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy.

But in a sign of Le Pen’s strength, polls show she will win more support than any other politician in the first round of the election. Even if she loses the second round run-off, as polls suggest, her performance is likely to be seen as a watershed moment for continental Europe’s far-right.

It could give her a powerful platform from which to fight the reforms that Juppe and his conservative rivals for the presidency are promising.

In Germany, where voters go to the polls next autumn, far-right parties have struggled to gain a foothold in the post-war era because of the dark history of the Nazis, but that too is changing.

The trick of the Left to label Nazism a “right-wing” movement continues to stick. The Nazis were of course National Socialists. Their rivals for power were the International Socialists – the Communists. (Then Nazi Germany made a pact with Communist Russia. Both invaded Poland. Later the two totalitarian Socialist countries fought each other.)

Reuters does not mention PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West). It was started in Dresden in October 2014, and now is not only a significant force in Germany, but has branches in other European countries, including Britain. It is a nationalist movement, and it is, above all, against the Islamic invasion of Europe, so of course the press always labels it “far right”. The report deals with another movement, as strongly against Muslim immigration, which participates in elections as a political party:

Just three years old, the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD), has become a force at the national level, unsettling Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives, who have been punished in a series of regional votes because of her welcoming policy toward refugees.

The AfD is specifically against Muslim immigration. The Left does not like to mention the word “Muslim”.

Merkel could announce as early as next month that she plans to run for a fourth term, and if she does run, current polls suggest she would win.

But she would do so as a diminished figure in a country that is perhaps more divided than at any time in the post-war era. Even Merkel’s conservative sister party, the Bavarian Christian Social Union, has refused to endorse her.

So all over Europe there are populist movements rising against the undemocratic Leftist Islam-favoring Establishment. They dare to be opposed to big government, statism, collectivism, redistribution, open borders, world government, mass Muslim immigration, a globalized economy, and the elitist class that dictates the direction of the world towards those goals, and for which the  retention and augmentation of their own power is the only thing that genuinely matters to them.

The populist movements have been timid or “restrained”. But now that America has voted for a populist leader, they will swell in number, become more demanding, perhaps appeal to a majority of voters, perhaps take power as ruling government parties. And they will defy the “taboos”. They will bare their knuckles. They will speak freely, even against Islam. They may go so far as to withdraw their countries from the EU; close borders; stop and even reverse the tide of Islamic immigration; resist globalization.

They may overthrow the Establishment, chuck the corrupt Clinton-type cabals out.

They really are much to be feared.

They are the hope of the West.