10 November 2003

Europeans and Americans

Here's Mark Steyn with a rather pessimistic assessment of Europe's future, citing statistics similar to the ones to which I alluded a few days ago:

Europe is dying. As I’ve pointed out here before, it can’t square rising welfare costs, a collapsed birthrate and a manpower dependent on the world’s least skilled, least assimilable immigrants. In 20 years’ time, as those Dutch Muslim teenagers are entering the voting booths, European countries, unlike parts of Nigeria, will not be living under Sharia, but they will be reaching their accommodations with their radicalised Islamic compatriots, who like many intolerant types are expert at exploiting the ‘tolerance’ of pluralist societies.

How happy what’s left of the ethnic Dutch or French or Danes will be about this remains to be seen. But the idea of a childless Europe rivalling 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. That’s the Europe that Britain will be binding its fate to. Japan faces the same problem: in 2006, its population will begin an absolute decline, 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? Possibly. Will Germany if it’s populated by Algerians? That’s a trickier proposition.

It's always a rather dicey business to write about immigration and declining domestic birthrates, because such talk is likely to incur charges of racism. But one need hardly be a biological determinist (skin colour is, after all, merely skin deep) to recognize that culture matters and that ultimate religious allegiance impacts culture.

The tragedy of what Americans these days are calling the "old Europe" is that post-war secularization has sapped its willingness or ability to maintain itself over the long term. This has considerable implications for foreign and defence policies. As I've written before, Europe and Canada will have to carry their own weight within the zone of peace created by NATO if they hope to have a say to counterbalance Washington's. At this point there is little will to do so, which gives our collective complaints about American imperialism a hollow ring.

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