Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Elephant in Styen's Drawing Room?

I like Steyn, as all my regular readers know, but I have to say there are two areas he never touches upon and I am beginning to wonder why.

He talks a little in this columnabout immigration and indicates that he ususally avoids direct questions about it. But lately whenever I read him I find myself asking questions about two other areas he doesn't seem to like to talk about.

If you believe in mass immigration, you do so because it’s a talisman of your own moral virtue. If the economic argument for immigration is reductive even when it’s not plain deluded, the psychological one is not to be disdained. On the one hand, mass immigration is the price posterity levies on old-school imperialists: “They are here because we were there,” as they say in the Netherlands. But, if like Sweden you never had an imperialist bone in your body, they’re still here: “They are poor because we are rich.” And, if you’re a small urbanized nation like the Netherlands, the “challenge” of immigration is just the usual frictions that occur when people from the countryside—in this case, the Moroccan countryside—move to the cities.

So it’s the consequence of your urban planning, or your colonialism, or your wealth, or just plain you. We’ll blame anything rather than confront the central truth—that when an old, relatively unicultural society admits in a short space of time a large, young, fecund population from somewhere else, you are setting in motion a process of transformation. Caldwell asks the obvious question—“Can you have the same Europe with different people?” and gives the obvious answer: no. “Europe is not welcoming its newest residents but making way for them.”

I'm just going to pretend for a moment that I am interviewing the Great Steyn. (Likely the closest I'll ever come).

Mark, if Islam is bad, (and I think we can agree more or less on this outrageous generalisation,) and it is the absence or failure of a robust native religion that has allowed it space to grow in the dry garden of European culture, is there perhaps not a logical follow-up to our criticism? Is there some native religion that could do with a little watering to revive it? If Islam is bad and we need a religion that will stand up to it, can you suggest one? (I'll give you a hint...those big tall pointy stone buildings littered around Europe...the ones they like to have concerts in lately...)Isn't it clear that there is an obvious solution to this religious vacuum problem? Why do you never mention this?

Mark, you talk a lot about the aging of the populations of the west,
In the end, that coy French euphemism for the, um, rioters of no particular socio-religious persuasion—“youths”—gets to the heart of the matter: youths are youthful, and ethnic Europeans aren’t.
and the foolishness and shortsightedness of the immigration solution; can you think of a solution for the shrinking workforce and tax pool that does not involve immigration? Anything spring to mind when you talk about the birth dearth? Anything that we might do in legislation? Anything at all?


Anonymous said...

Here's an article from March 2005 that's offers a little more on the subject:



Dad29 said...

IIRC, Steyn wrote very strongly about the 'birth dearth.'

Norma said...

I've wondered the same thing. Although I've read America Alone, I am not familiar with the rest of his writings. Could it be that he really know the answers to the questions you pose, but be just laying out the dots for his readers to connect?

Anonymous said...

I take it further - I want Steve Sailer, John Derbyshire, and their ilk to post pictures of their children's weddings and not longer than eleven months later nice pictures of their grandchildren. Instead, it's all about their children's college plans. - Karen

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

yes, Dad, but he never suggests any solution to it. He never comes out and says anything like, "if we want to save the west, we need to ban abortion and contraceptives immediately".

Too controversial even for Steyn.

Anonymous said...

Why? Because he is a neocon and not a paleocon, that's why.