Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Book review: America Alone by Mark Steyn

America Alone by Mark Steyn is a warning cry of the end of Western Civilization in Europe.  This focuses on Europe become Muslim.  Mark warns that because most people with European roots have few or no children, while on the other hand the Muslim immigrants are having large families, over the next couple decades Europe will shift from a Western civilization to a Muslim civilization.  There is great power in having lots of people. 

This concern floats around a lot today, but I don't think it was as popular back in 2006 when Mark wrote the book.  Mark says one big cause of this problem is most countries in Europe have stopped worrying about primary issues like defense, a hard value, and instead have focused on touchy-feely issues like welfare, softer values.  In 2006 he predicted that the European Union would dissolve by 2020.  Given the current economic situation I believe it will happen sooner.

Mark writes that Hilaire Belloc wrote in 1912 that the long term cost of welfare in the infantilization of the population.  Mark believes that one of the reasons the European people have stopped having children is that the cradle to grave welfare discourages people from having children. 

Mark also believes that the complete tolerance of all divergence life styles is a huge mistake.  He believes that Europe should stand up to the constant cries by many Muslims in Europe to be allowed to practice Sharia.  To drive home his point he tells how almost two hundred years ago the British responded to cries for multi-culturalism.  A General Sir Charles Napier said:  "You say that it is your custom to burn windows.  Very well.  We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them.  Build your funeral pyre; beside it my carpenters will build a gallows.  You may follow your custom.  And then we will follow ours."

Mark writes well.  It is a quick read.  Mark makes good points.  If you would like to learn more about the Muslim situation in Europe this seems like a good place to start.


Robert M. Lindsey said...

I'm a big fan of Steyn's writing. He's very witty and personable while at the same time very insightful and pointed.

Henry Cate said...

I think I've caught a couple of his columns, but I don't think I've read any of his other books. If I do come across one I would give it a try.

I wonder about Europe. In finance they'll often say that past performance is no guarantee of future performance. This is doubly true for most human trends. I think Europe is going to be confronted by a culture clash, I hope it doesn't get violent.