Must Read of the Year

Mom, you need to read this. The rest of you should too. My friend Brian Bennett sent it to me. It’s a Mark Steyn column. It is one of his best.

Permanence is the illusion of every age. In 1913, no one thought the Russian, Austrian, German and Turkish empires would be gone within half a decade. Seventy years on, all those fellows who dismissed Reagan as an “amiable dunce” (in Clark Clifford’s phrase) assured us the Soviet Union was likewise here to stay. The CIA analysts’ position was that East Germany was the ninth biggest economic power in the world. In 1987 there was no rash of experts predicting the imminent fall of the Berlin Wall, the Warsaw Pact and the USSR itself.

Yet, even by the minimal standards of these wretched precedents, so-called post-Christian civilizations–as a prominent EU official described his continent to me–are more prone than traditional societies to mistake the present tense for a permanent feature. Religious cultures have a much greater sense of both past and future, as we did a century ago, when we spoke of death as joining “the great majority” in “the unseen world.” But if secularism’s starting point is that this is all there is, it’s no surprise that, consciously or not, they invest the here and now with far greater powers of endurance than it’s ever had. The idea that progressive Euro-welfarism is the permanent resting place of human development was always foolish; we now know that it’s suicidally so.

To avoid collapse, European nations will need to take in immigrants at a rate no stable society has ever attempted. The CIA is predicting the EU will collapse by 2020. Given that the CIA’s got pretty much everything wrong for half a century, that would suggest the EU is a shoo-in to be the colossus of the new millennium. But even a flop spook is right twice a generation. If anything, the date of EU collapse is rather a cautious estimate. It seems more likely that within the next couple of European election cycles, the internal contradictions of the EU will manifest themselves in the usual way, and that by 2010 we’ll be watching burning buildings, street riots and assassinations on American network news every night. Even if they avoid that, the idea of a childless Europe ever rivaling America militarily or economically is laughable. Sometime this century there will be 500 million Americans, and what’s left in Europe will either be very old or very Muslim. Japan faces the same problem: Its population is already in absolute decline, the first gentle slope of a death spiral it will be unlikely ever to climb out of. Will Japan be an economic powerhouse if it’s populated by Koreans and Filipinos? Very possibly. Will Germany if it’s populated by Algerians? That’s a trickier proposition.

Best-case scenario? The Continent winds up as Vienna with Swedish tax rates.

Worst-case scenario: Sharia, circa 2040; semi-Sharia, a lot sooner–and we’re already seeing a drift in that direction.

Read the whole thing here. It’s well worth your time if only because it is so thought provoking.

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Erick Erickson

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2 Comments

  • We have our own problems just around the corner, too. Within the next 20 years, Texas will be merged with Mexico. And California will probably become part of Mexico, as well. A friend of mine just told me that the joke in Florida is who will be the last person to carry the United States flag out of Florida.

    This is whhere democracy, liberalism and imperialism leads. The horses are out of the barn is an old adage, and it is too late to turn back the hands of time. We had it all here in the United States from sea to shining sea with vast agricultural land and workers that worked with pride on a production lines. But now the manufacturers are closing their doors and outsourcing to India and China, and the middle income class is being wiped out. Welcome to the New World Order. Sorry to be a dooms day person in this new year. All we can do is live our lives the best we can, and pray for our children and our future grandchildren.

    Looking at Europe is the same as looking in the mirror because we have made the same mistakes.

    Happy New Year all!

  • The horror of the Bushitler Junta is that you know that they are trashing the planet just so there’s nothing left for the meek to inherit. Why, I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t learn that there’s a plan afoot to start launching the last clean parts of the planet to Mars and Pluto where the RethugliKKKans will keep them from the rightful inheritors of the planet!

    XPM