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Christopher Caldwell's Reflections on the Revolution: Read The Book—Ignore The Pamphlet!
Christopher Caldwell, who writes
Times, has written Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West, a marvelously insightful and even
courageous book about Muslim immigration to
Read the book—ignore the pamphlet.
As his title itself makes clear, Caldwell believes Europe is in a revolution in which nothing less that the survival of the West is at stake. In what is the book's most memorable passage, he asks "whether you can have the same Europe with different people" and tells us "the answer is no".
Caldwell points out that in 1950
there were practically no Muslims in
Europe absorbs 1.7 million newcomers every year—roughly as many as twice the number America takes in—and almost all are Muslims. At current rates, by mid-century, a fifth to a third of most European countries will be foreign-born.
As Caldwell points out,
became a multiethnic society in
a fit of absence of mind".
This Third-World influx more or less repeated itself in all the larger European countries, but until the 1970s most Europeans still thought all the foreigners would go home.
They didn't. Instead, they brought
Caldwell argues persuasively that it was a unique set of circumstances that opened the continent to a religion that had been Europe's sworn enemy for centuries: post-war rebuilding, the Cold War compulsion to be nice to poor countries, and—perhaps most important—racial guilt over Nazism, Caldwell notes that hypersensitivity about the Holocaust made it easy to blacken defenders of Europe as "Nazis," and that Muslims quickly learned to use this powerful weapon. At the beginning of Alien Nation, Peter Brimelow called this phenomenon "Hitler's Revenge".
These were elite concerns, however. Like Americans, ordinary Europeans would have rejected mass immigration out of hand if they could have voted on it.
Caldwell points out that immigrants did not come because they wanted to be Europeans; they wanted to remain Turks or Moroccans or Bengalis but with a European standard of living. They also showed up just when militant Islam was on the upswing, which shackled their minds even more tightly to their home countries.
The result is an indigestible mass
of underclass foreigners who are more alienated from
And how have European governments reacted to open rejection? By petting the immigrants and gushing about the equality of all cultures. In 2008, British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith stopped using the term "Islamic terrorism" and started talking about "anti-Islamic activity" instead. The famous Macpherson Report of 1999 defined a "racist" incident as one the victim—or anyone else—thought was "racist". British and French welfare programs started paying extra benefits for multiple Muslim wives and their children. Dutch and British public health services have even paid for "hymen reconstruction surgery" so Muslim brides could fool their husbands.
In 2006, despite warnings from free
European Union researchers on anti-Semitism who were supposed to publish a report in 2003 found, of course, that almost all perpetrators were Muslim immigrants. But they couldn't bring themselves to say so. They dithered for a year and finally "balanced" the report, according to Caldwell, by issuing a disingenuous press release saying most of the perps were disaffected whites.
Caldwell notes that the more wildly violent Muslims become, the more theologically learned European (and American) leaders pretend to be. Politicians across the continent assure people that the bomb-throwers are "poorly educated in extremist madrassas" and that violence is "un-Islamic". No less a boob than George Bush posed as an expert in comparative religions by telling us that Islam is a "religion of peace".
European elites are afraid that straightforward condemnation will encourage "nativism" and "extremism". Whenever Muslims riot, steal, throw bricks at firemen, or wreck housing projects, politicians blame themselves for not doing enough.
Caldwell is right to attribute this lick-spittle mentality to a devastating loss of confidence. European leaders, he writes, "have tended to treat immigration to Europe as something immigrants are simply entitled to, part of an outstanding debt that Europe owes the rest of the world for centuries of economic exploitation".
For similar reasons, European
politicians made it matter of pride to let in any
brown-skinned vagabond who could pronounce the word
The Dutch were notoriously easy
touches, and at one time
This book is very good on just how different Islam is from Christianity, and why that causes trouble. First, Muslims know they are right and everyone else is wrong. They have a muscular, intolerant faith that shocks limp-wristed Euro-Christians. That is why the "interreligious dialogue" Christians always crave usually means "discussing how Christians can make life easier for Muslims".
Caldwell reports that Muslims are very keen on freedom of religion—but only so long as it means they can open sharia-law courts and build giant mosques; Euro-imams have openly proclaimed their goal of stamping out any but The One True Faith once they get power.
By contrast, Europeans act on principle. When the French decided they couldn't have Arab girls wearing veils to school, they felt compelled to ban yarmulkes and "large crucifixes" as well. Italians and Germans couldn't ban veils without taking down classroom crucifixes that may have been up for centuries.
Europeans therefore cannot bring themselves to combat alien practices head-on. When the Danes got sick of Muslims fetching brides from the old country, they had to ban young spouses rather than illiterate Third Worlders. By forbidding the import of marriage partners under the age of 24, the Danes mostly stopped the practice, but they had to pretend they had an underage-spouse problem rather than an immigration problem.
Measures like this bother people who shouldn't be bothered. If the authorities step up surveillance on fire-breathing imams, they think they have to keep tabs on other people, too. If they cut back on welfare because of immigrant chiselers, they have to change the rules for everyone. Although it came to nothing, one Swedish bureaucrat, shocked to discover female genital mutilation was going on in her country, argued for mandatory checkups for every Swedish girl.
Surprisingly, Caldwell falls for
the silly idea that you can't have free flow of capital
without free flow of people—the
Koreans have proven the two are unrelated. But he is
good on arguments against
Caldwell can turn a graceful phrase when he writes about how imperceptibly societies change as the ethnic mix shifts. Here is a sentence worth pondering: "When people start doing out of fear what they previously did out of conviction or generosity, they often do not notice the transition."
This is good, too: "One moves swiftly and imperceptibly from a world in which affirmative action can't be ended because its beneficiaries are too weak to a world in which it can't be ended because its beneficiaries are too strong."
Practically all of VDARE.COM is devoted to taking the stuffing out of stupidity of that kind, but suffice it say that any group with Hispanic rates of crime, illegitimacy, welfare use, poverty, school failure, and radical disaffection is nothing like Grandma's generation.
How can a man who sees so clearly
what is happening across the Atlantic pretend that none
of the following applies to the
"For all the lip service paid to diversity, people tend to flee it."
"To express misgivings about immigration was to confess racist inclinations."
"Immigrants and their children were at liberty to express politically their wishes as a people, in a way that European natives were not."
Europe is "not dealing with an ordinary immigration problem at all, but with an adversary culture."
After the 2005 French riots "there was a desire, verging on desperation, to explain the riots as being due to some misconduct of the majority society."
"Europeans fear their individual countries are slowly escaping their political control, and they are right, although they can seldom spell out precisely how."
Europeans live in internal exile, "cut off by economic and cultural changes from the world they thought they would inhabit."
Immigration "means importing not just factors of production but factors of social change."
"In no country in Europe does the bulk of the population aspire to live in a bazaar of world cultures."
Whether out of ignorance,
cowardice, or—could it possibly be?—conviction,
There is worse.
And what about people who are
actually trying to defend Europe against the threat
That is a contemptible trick. And it doesn't even work.
In his defense,
This book is like a piece of Camembert that is just good enough to pick up and eat after it falls into the dirt. You eat it very carefully.
Jared Taylor (email him) is editor of American Renaissance and the author of Paved With Good Intentions: The Failure of Race Relations in Contemporary America. (For Peter Brimelow's review, click here.)