[Paleopsych] Telegraph: Opinion: Bicultural Europe is doomed

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Thu Nov 24 03:20:55 UTC 2005

Bicultural Europe is doomed
[Thanks to Laird for this.]

    By Mark Steyn
    (Filed: 15/11/2005)

    Three years ago -December 2002 - I was asked to take part in a
    symposium on Europe and began with the observation: "I find it easier
    to be optimistic about the futures of Iraq and Pakistan than, say,
    Holland or Denmark."

    At the time, this was taken as confirmation of my descent into
    insanity. I can't see why. Compare, for example, the Iraqi and the
    European constitutions: which would you say reflected a shrewder grasp
    of the realities on the ground?

    Or take last week's attacks in Jordan by a quartet of Abu Musab
    al-Zarqawi's finest suicide bombers. The day after the carnage,
    Jordanians took to the streets in their thousands to shout "Death to
    Zarqawi!" and "Burn in hell, Zarqawi!" King Abdullah denounced
    terrorism as "sick" and called for a "global fight" against it. "These
    people are insane," he said of the husband-and-wife couple dispatched
    to blow up a wedding reception.

    For purposes of comparison, consider the Madrid bombing from March
    last year. The day after that, Spaniards also took to the streets, for
    their feebly tasteful vigil. Instead of righteous anger, they were
    "united in sorrow" - i.e. enervated in passivity. Instead of wishing
    death on the perpetrators, the preferred slogan was "Basta!" -
    "Enough!" - which was directed less at the killers than at Aznar and
    Bush. Instead of a leader who calls for a "global fight", they elected
    a government pledged to withdraw from any meaningful role in the
    global fight.

    My point in that symposium was a simple one: whatever their problems,
    most Islamic countries have the advantage of beginning any evolution
    into free states from the starting point of relative societal
    cohesion. By contrast, most European nations face the trickier task of
    trying to hold on to their freedom at a time of increasing societal

    True, America and Australia grew the institutions of their democracy
    with relatively homogeneous populations, and then evolved into
    successful "multicultural" societies. But that's not what's happening
    in Europe right now. If you want to know what a multicultural society
    looks like, read the names of America's dead on September 11:
    Arestegui, Bolourchi, Carstanjen, Droz, Elseth, Foti, Gronlund,
    Hannafin, Iskyan, Kuge, Laychak, Mojica, Nguyen, Ong, Pappalardo,
    Quigley, Retic, Shuyin, Tarrou, Vamsikrishna, Warchola, Yuguang,
    Zarba. Black, white, Hispanic, Arab, Indian, Chinese - in a word,

    Whether or not one believes in "celebrating diversity", that's a lot
    of diversity to celebrate. But the Continent isn't multicultural so
    much as bicultural. There are ageing native populations, and young
    Muslim populations, and that's it: "two solitudes", as they say in my
    beloved Quebec. If there's three, four or more cultures, you can all
    hold hands and sing We are the World. But if there's just two - you
    and the other - that's generally more fractious. Bicultural societies
    are among the least stable in the world, especially once it's no
    longer quite clear who is the majority and who is the minority - a
    situation that much of Europe is fast approaching, as you can see by
    visiting any French, Austrian, Belgian or Dutch maternity ward.

    Take Fiji - not a comparison France would be flattered by, though
    until 1987 the Fijians enjoyed a century of peaceful stable
    constitutional evolution the French were never able to muster. At any
    rate, Fiji comprises native Fijians and ethnic Indians brought in as
    indentured workers by the British. If memory serves, 46.2 per cent are
    Fijians and 48.6 per cent are Indo-Fijians; 50-50, give or take, with
    no intermarrying. In 1987, the first Indian-majority government came
    to power. A month later, Col Sitiveni Rabuka staged the first of his
    two coups, resulting in the Queen's removal as head of state and Fiji
    being expelled from the Commonwealth.

    Is it that difficult to sketch a similar situation for France? Even in
    relatively peaceful bicultural societies, politics becomes tribal:
    loyalists vs nationalists in Northern Ireland, separatists vs
    federalists in Quebec. Picture a French election circa 2020, 2025: the
    Islamic Republican Coalition wins the most seats in the National
    Assembly. The Chiraquiste crowd give a fatalistic shrug and Mr de
    Villepin starts including crowd-pleasing suras from the Koran at his
    poetry recitals. But would Mr Le Pen or (by then) his daughter take it
    so well? Or would the temptation to be France's Col Rabuka prove too

    And the Fijian scenario - a succession of bloodless coups - is the
    optimistic one. After all, the differences between Fijian natives and
    Indians are as nothing compared with those between the French and les
    beurs. I love the way those naysayers predicting doom and gloom in
    Baghdad scoff that Iraq's a totally artificial entity and that,
    without some Saddamite strongman, Kurds, Sunnis and Shias can't
    co-exist in the same state. Oh, really? If Iraq's an entirely
    artificial entity, what do you call a state split between gay
    drugged-up red-light whatever's-your-bag Dutchmen and anti-gay
    anti-whoring anti-everything-you-dig Muslims? If Kurdistan doesn't
    belong in Iraq, does Pornostan belong in the Islamic Republic of

    In a democratic age, you can't buck demography - except through civil
    war. The Yugoslavs figured that out. In the 30 years before the
    meltdown, Bosnian Serbs had declined from 43 per cent to 31 per cent
    of the population, while Bosnian Muslims had increased from 26 per
    cent to 44 per cent.

    So Europe's present biculturalism makes disaster a certainty. One way
    to avoid it would be to go genuinely multicultural, to broaden the
    Continent's sources of immigration beyond the Muslim world. But a
    talented ambitious Chinese or Indian or Chilean has zero reason to
    emigrate to France, unless he is consumed by a perverse fantasy of
    living in a segregated society that artificially constrains his
    economic opportunities yet imposes confiscatory taxation on him in
    order to support an ancien regime of indolent geriatrics.

    France faces tough choices and, unlike Baghdad, in Paris you can't
    even talk about them honestly. As Jean-Claude Dassier,
    director-general of the French news station LCI, told a broadcasters'
    conference in Amsterdam, he has been playing down the riots on the
    following grounds: "Politics in France is heading to the Right and I
    don't want Right-wing politicians back in second or even first place
    because we showed burning cars on television."

    Oh, well. You can understand why the Quai d'Orsay is relaxed about
    Iran becoming the second Muslim nuclear power. As things stand, France
    is on course to be the third. You heard it here first. You probably
    won't hear it on Mr Dassier's station at all.

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