Europe is too tired to fight, perhaps too tired to live

Article author: 
Larry Kummer
Article publisher: 
Fabius Maximus
Article date: 
12 April 2018
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

Excerpt from The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, by Douglas Murray, Excerpt from Chapter 13 – “Tiredness.’:

Summary: Europe is burning their culture, deliberately and fecklessly, by allowing in so many migrants from very foreign cultures (worse because Europe has difficult assimilating immigrants). This is the third post about one of the best books describing this tragedy.

The facts of the loss of belief and faith across a continent are frequently commented upon and indeed taken for granted. But the effects of this are less often considered. Rarely if ever is it recognised that the process described above meant one thing above all: Europe had lost its foundational story.

And the loss of religion to Europe did not just leave a hole in the moral or ethical outlooks of a continent, it even left a hole in its geography. Unlike, say, the United States, the geography of Europe is of a collection of towns and villages. Leave a village and you will eventually stumble upon another. And in any low-built area the first thing you will see is the church, placed at the heart of the community. Today, where these hearts of the communities are not wholly dead and converted into housing they are dying, and the people who still congregate in them sense that they are in a dying movement. …

Where once there was an overriding explanation (however many troubles that brought), now there is only an overriding uncertainty and question. And we cannot unlearn our knowledge. Even someone who regrets their inability to connect with the faith that used to propel them cannot believe again simply in order to regain the propulsion. And as Europe learnt from philosophers such as John Locke, it is not possible to ‘force’ faith. Nevertheless, our societies go on, largely avoiding addressing these and other gaping questions or pretending that they do not matter. …

What else did these conflicts and the clash of ideologies destroy? If not the last vestiges of religion then certainly the last refuge of the idea of a merciful God. If this had not been achieved in the mud of Flanders then it was completed in the trial of God as described by Elie Wiesel at Auschwitz {in Night}.

The Jews could continue their traditions as a people and could believe in the people even if they had lost faith in their God. But Christian Europe had lost faith not only in its God but in its people as well. Any remaining faith that man had in man was destroyed in Europe. From the period of the European Enlightenments onwards, as belief and trust in God had waned, so belief and trust in man had partially replaced this. The belief in autonomous man had accelerated after the Enlightenments that had stressed the potential wisdom of mankind alone.

Yet those who let reason be their guide now looked as ridiculous as everyone else. ‘Reason’ and ‘rationalism’ had led men to do the most unreasonable and irrational things. …

So it was that by the end of the twentieth century Europeans could be forgiven for possessing or inheriting a certain weariness. They had tried religion and anti-religion, belief and non-belief, the rationalism of man and a faith of reason. They had originated nearly every one of the great political and philosophical projects. And Europe had not just tried them all and suffered them all, but – perhaps most devastatingly – seen through them all. Between them these ideas had left hundreds of millions of people dead, not just in Europe but around the world wherever versions of these ideas were tried.

What could anyone do with such regrets, or such knowledge? An individual responsible for such mistakes would have either to deny them or to die of shame. But what does a society do? …

What is the effect of people coming into Europe in very large numbers who have not inherited the doubts and intuitions of Europeans? Nobody knows now, and nobody ever did. All we can be certain of is that it will have an effect. Putting tens of millions of people with their own sets of ideas and contradictions into a continent with its own set of ideas and contradictions is bound to have consequences.

The presumption of those who believed in integration is that in time everybody who arrives will become like Europeans, a presumption made less likely by the fact that so many Europeans are unsure whether they want to be Europeans. A culture of self-doubt and self-distrust is uniquely unlikely to persuade others to adopt its own stance. Meantime it is possible that many – at least – of the incomers will either hold fast to their own certainties or even, quite plausibly, attract Europeans in the generations to come with these certainties.

It is also plausible that many of those who come will enjoy the lifestyle, will take part in the aspirations and the fruits of the economic uplift so long as it continues, and yet despise or disdain the culture into which they have come. …

Surveys of social attitudes consistently show migrant communities from outside Europe to have views on the social liberalism, not to say libertarianism, of Europe that would terrify Europeans if those views came from within their own communities. The liberalism of modern Europe also provides these arrivals with some ostensible justifications for their stance. The Muslim father does not want his daughter to become like Western women, because he sees some Western women and knows what they do. He does not want his daughter to become obsessed with consumerist culture when he sees all that it produces. That which he would refute is in the society all around him.

Perhaps in time, rather than become more like the society into which they have moved, such people will become more entrenched in their own ways precisely because of the society into which they have moved. At the same time the evidence to date suggests that it is unlikely Europeans will much defend their own values before such people.

In a country like Britain it has taken decades for opposition to female genital mutilation to be mainstream. Despite being illegal for three decades, and despite more than 130,000 women in Britain having suffered this barbaric treatment, there have still been no successful prosecutions for the crime. If Western Europe finds it so difficult even to confront something as straightforward as FGM, it seems unlikely it will ever be able to defend some of its subtler values in the years ahead. …

The lack of questions and discussion about the change that is happening in Europe may in large part come down to this: it is better off not to ask the questions because the answers to them are bad. Certainly that would help explain the otherwise extraordinary levels of opprobrium heaped on dissenting voices in the era of mass immigration. In particular it explains the adamant belief that if the people shouting fire are silenced or stopped then the problem they are identifying will go away. After the offices of Charlie Hebdo were fire-bombed in 2011, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius attacked the magazine. ‘Is it really sensible to pour fuel on the fire?’ he asked. Nobody asked him, in reply, who had turned French society into a fire.