Broadcasting live from somewhere in North America . . . (suburban Atlanta, actually):
In The American Conservative, Theodore Dalrymple has an excellent review of The Last Days of Europe: Epitaph for an Old Continent, by Walter Laqueurof. As Dalrymple puts it:
"He [Laqueurof] sees Europe, once the home of a dynamic civilization that energized the rest of the world, declining into a kind of genteel theme park—if it’s lucky. The future might be grimmer than this, of course: there might be a real struggle for power once the immigrants and their descendants become numerically strong enough to take on the increasingly geriatric native population."
Once again, the "demographics as destiny" theme rises to the fore. Dalrymple has always been astute on the particular difficulties posed by large-scale Islamic immigration into Europe, as well as the slow, corrupting influence of Europe's increasingly insupportable cradle-to-grave Nanny state.
"This suggests—and Laqueur has no hesitation in so saying—that there is a problem peculiar to the integration of Muslims in Western countries, at any rate, when they are in such large numbers that they are able to make whole areas their own. Imbued with a sense of their own religious superiority, which considers a Muslim way of life better than any other, they are ill-prepared to adapt constructively to Western society.
Yet adapt they do, though not necessarily in the best way. The young men of the second generation adopt many aspects of American ghetto “culture,” which in conjunction with Islamic teaching and tradition, enables them to dominate women in a way that is to them extremely gratifying. This prevents the women (who, as Laqueur tells us, and I can confirm from personal experience, are vastly superior morally and intellectually to their menfolk) from achieving all they might in an open society. In turn, the cheap and unconstructive satisfactions of domestic dictatorship discourages Muslim men from real achievement and engagement in the wider society around them."
Dalrymple goes on to say:
"The third threat comes from the existence of the welfare state and the welfare-state mentality. A system of entitlements has been created that, however economically counterproductive, is politically difficult to dismantle: once privileges are granted, they assume the metaphysical status of immemorial and fundamental rights. The right of French train drivers to retire on full pension at the age of 50 is probably more important to them than the right of free speech—especially that of those who think that retirement at such an age is preposterous. While Europe mortgages its future to pay for such extravagances—the French public debt doubled in ten years under the supposedly conservative Chirac—other areas of the world forge an unbeatable combination of high-tech and cheap labor. The European political class, more than ever dissociated from its electorate, has hardly woken up to the challenge.
If by chance you are unfamiliar with Dalrymple's writings go here, to the archive of his work published in City Journal. A Prophetic and Violent Masterpiece, and What is Poverty, are good places to start.