European countries ruled the world for centuries. Since WWII the fall from grace has accelerated. Now it remains to be seen how Britain’s EU exit, and mass immigration, pan out.
- The biological extinction of Europeans From Sputnik news, 31 July 2017
- The Strange Death of Europe By Jon Hobrook, critique, 27 May 2017
- France’s moral bankruptcy By Adam Creighton, The Australian, 17 April 2017
The biological extinction of Europeans
The biological extinction of Europeans From Sputnik news, 31 July 2017
Some European countries, namely Italy, Germany, France and the UK, are facing the so-called “substitution of nations,” where the national ethnical majority is disappearing physically and biologically, and is being substituted by migrants, according to a recent report. Sputnik Italy discussed the issue with Daniele Scalea, the author of the report.
The recent report of the Italian-based Machiavelli Center of Political and Strategic Studies (Centro studi politici e strategici Machiavelli), “How immigration is changing Italian demographics” has revealed that a number of European countries are facing the “biological and physical extinction” of their national ethnicities.
Ethnic majorities in such countries as Italy, Germany, France and the UK, are gradually turning into ethnic minorities, while being “substituted” by incoming migrants.
Migration is drastically changing the habitual course of life in Italy, he told Sputnik. The reason for the influx of African migrants into Europe is not wars or catastrophes, but an explosive demographic increase on the African continent, from 9 percent to 25 percent of the global population throughout the last century.
While Europe, which accounted for over a fifth of the entire world population in 1950 (22 percent), is expected to make up just 7 percent of the world population in the year 2050, the percentage of the African population will make a sweeping rise from 9 percent to 40 percent.
Italy’s fertility rate is less than half of what it was in 1964, the analyst explained in his report. It has dropped from 2.7 children per woman to just 1.5 children per woman currently, a figure well below the replacement level for zero population growth of roughly 2.1 children per woman.
As of the first half of this year, Italy had over 5 million foreigners living as residents, a remarkable 25 percent growth relative to 2012 and a whopping 270 percent since 2002. At that time, foreigners made up just 2.38 percent of the population while 15 years later the figure has nearly trebled to 8.33 percent of the population.
Moreover, even the children being born in Italy are overrepresented by immigrants, whose birthrate is considerably higher than native Italians, the study revealed. It is “unsurprising,” therefore, that Italian regions with the highest fertility rates are no longer in the south, as was usual the case, but in the Italian north and in the Lazio region, where there is a higher concentration of immigrants.
If current trends continue, by 2065, first- and second-generation immigrants will exceed 22 million persons, or more than 40 percent of Italy’s total population.
By comparison, it was only in the not far-off 2001 that the percentage of foreigners living in Italy crossed the low threshold of 1 percent, which reveals the speed and magnitude of demographic change occurring in Italy, a phenomenon “without precedent” in Italy’s history, the study asserts.
An added concern brought forward by the report is the high concentration of immigrant populations from just a few countries of origin, which has often resulted elsewhere in the formation of “closed, homogeneous communities that fail to integrate with their host society,” or what Pope Francis has termed “ghettoization.”
“Traditionally, African migration took place only within the continent, in other words, Africans have been migrating from one African country to another. However for the past decade, there has been a tendency to migrate outside the continent,” Daniele Scalea told Sputnik.
He further explained that it happens due to sweeping demographic growth on the continent (from 9 percent to 25 percent of the global population.) The migrants have more financial (money for long-distance travel) and cultural (ability to evaluate their chances and become participants of more developed economies) opportunities, which enable them to search for a better life in Europe and not in a neighboring African country.
There are certain reasons why the streams of migrants are pouring into Europe: Europe is rich, it is easy to reach and its population is aging fast, thus young Africans are able to find their place among aging Europeans with low fertility rates.
Unfortunately, Italy is not alone in its demographic turmoil. Extrapolating from current trends, British citizens will no longer be the majority of the population in the United Kingdom around 2065.
In Germany today, 36 percent of children under five are born to immigrant parents, which presages a significant demographic shift in the next generation in that country as well. France is also in a similar situation.
“We are witnessing what I would call a “substitution of nations.” Ethnic majorities are becoming minorities in their own countries, physically disappearing, and it disturbs the native population,” Daniele Scalea told Sputnik.
“The European peoples will soon get anxious about this issue, as we are currently witnessing their physical and biological extinction. Europeans don’t have many children, and thus there are more and more people of other nationalities in Europe,” he explained.
The idea of multiculturalism partially facilitates this process. Migration has always been welcomed in Italy and it was hard to find a community where all the people had come from the same country. The situation however is changing now. The top 10 foreign ethnicities in Italy make up more than 60 percent if the total number of migrants.
France, Germany and the UK are in a similar situation. Turkish migrants dominate in Germany,
Pakistanis – in the UK, Algerians – in France. The Italian society will soon consist of different communities, each with its own culture, rules and ways of existence. It will ruin the Italian society.
“There are only two ways of development. If we continue with the policies of the leftists, by viewing as positive the idea of multiculturalism and the erosion of national native ethnicities, the European civilization will cease to exist and Europe will become a territory, occupied by various ethnicities, which belong to various civilizations,” the analyst explained to Sputnik.
However there is another way: radically reconsider the migration policy, ban the entrance of migrants into Europe and toughen the assimilation of those who have already come.
This will prevent migrants from residing only with their compatriots and speaking only their native language, without assimilating into the European society. Migrants should learn the language of their country of residence and acknowledge the fundamental European values. This will enable them to become real Italians, Germans and French, Daniele Scalea concluded.
The Strange Death of Europe
The Strange Death of Europe By Jon Hobrook, critique, 27 May 2017
In The Strange Death of Europe, Douglas Murray argues, as the title suggests, that Europe is in its death throes. He reaches this conclusion by weaving together two arguments. First, there are too many migrants, especially of the wrong sort, entering Europe. Secondly, they are coming at a time when Europe ‘has lost sight of what it is’. Hence, he argues, ‘the movement of millions of people into a guilty, jaded and dying culture’ cannot work.
The likelihood is that Murray’s supporters and critics will lock horns over the too-many-migrants argument, while ignoring his contention that European culture is guilty, jaded and dying. This would be a shame because the first argument can only be understood in the context of the second. If the nations of Europe had a strong belief in liberal democracy, then immigration would not be a problem. Strong European nations would recognise the importance of their political ideas, nurtured from Classical Antiquity, through Judeo-Christian traditions, to the present day. Strong European nations would see that immigrants from around the world, who do not hold liberal political values, would need to embrace a European political perspective.
European nations with a strong belief in liberal democracy would expect immigrants to assimilate, a process whereby immigrants would come to endorse the political ideas of their new society. Assimilation focuses on the political and public spheres and disregards religious and cultural differences in the private sphere, so long as these private practices do not conflict with the ideals of liberal democracy. A nation that assimilates its immigrants will have an integrated community. A nation that does not assimilate its immigrants will have parallel communities. Assimilation requires effort and determination from the host nation and the immigrant.
But Europe is no longer composed of nations with a strong belief in the political ideas of liberal democracy. Since the Second World War, therefore, these weakened nations have struggled to assimilate their immigrants. Indeed, in the postwar era, Europe’s political and cultural elites have either ignored the issue of assimilation or championed its absence. Many postwar immigrants have assimilated into European societies, but they have done so despite the attitude of Europe’s leaders. Moreover, there are many immigrants who have not assimilated and, with the passage of time, the problem of parallel communities has grown. Parallel communities tend to draw more immigrants towards them in a cycle that makes the problem bigger and harder to address.
In the immediate postwar decades, Europe’s leaders eschewed the one issue that would have enabled them to address the immigration issue: assimilation
As Murray explains, ‘The result was that what had been Europe – the home of the European peoples – gradually became a home for the entire world. The places that had been European gradually became somewhere else. So places dominated by Pakistani immigrants resembled Pakistan in everything but their location.’ In these parallel communities, assimilation has not happened and the political ideas of liberal democracy rarely exist.
Although it is not a periodisation used by Murray, it is convenient to view the issue of assimilation in three stages: the immediate postwar decades; the era of multiculturalism, which endured for 30-odd years until 2010/11; and the past few years.
During the 1950s and 1960s, West Germany, Sweden, Holland and Belgium instituted guest-worker schemes to meet labour shortages. Britain and France also relied on immigrants to fill labour shortages, but with their stronger colonial ties they often granted their immigrants the right of citizenship. But what none of these countries had expected was that the migrant workers would, even when their work was done, want to put down roots in their new countries and bring their families with them.
In the immediate postwar decades, Europe’s leaders eschewed the one issue that would have enabled them to address the immigration issue: assimilation. They did not do as America’s leaders had done in an earlier era – project a strong and confident view of liberal democracy that they expected their new entrants to embrace. Whereas America’s melting pot gave rise to the motto, ‘Out of many, one’ (E pluribus unum), Europe’s postwar approach to immigration gave rise to this unspoken view: ‘Out of many, many.’
The weakness of European political culture in the postwar era was evident in the absence of any notion that it was even possible to expect immigrants to endorse liberal democracy. Immigration, in the absence of assimilation, inevitably meant that parallel communities developed. And having discounted the possibility of assimilating immigrants, Europe’s leaders were left with two options: either curtail immigration and encourage repatriation or ignore the problem. Enoch Powell’s infamous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech in 1968 was an attempt to do the former. He warned that Britain was ‘mad, literally mad… to be permitting the annual inflow of some 50,000 dependants’. He said this immigration was ‘like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre’.
Powell was immediately relieved of his position in the shadow cabinet, and his political career was over. But instead of giving rise to a debate about how to assimilate immigrants, the sidelining of Powell gave political leaders an easy way of silencing any debate on immigration: dismiss it as racist, or – and this amounted to the same thing – dismiss it as Powellite.
When the problem of parallel communities could no longer be ignored, European societies entered the era of multiculturalism, an era that advocated an acceptance and celebration of cultural difference. Those who advocated a desire to see immigrants embrace liberal democracy were dealt with harshly. In Britain, the experience of Ray Honeyford in criticising the problem of parallel communities was telling. In 1984, Honeyford, the headmaster of a Bradford school, published an article noting the refusal of some Muslim fathers to permit their daughters to participate in dance classes, drama or sport, and the silence of the authorities on this and other cultural practices, such as taking children back to Pakistan during term time. He also argued for pupils to be encouraged to speak English and understand British culture.
The race-relations industry, which Honeyford had also criticised, organised a campaign against him and the Muslim mayor of Bradford claimed that, for his ‘cultural chauvinism’, Honeyford should be sacked. ‘Raycist’ Honeyford, as his critics dubbed him, was forced into early retirement for challenging parallel communities at a time when British politicians had abandoned any notion of assimilation in favour of its antithesis: multiculturalism.
In this second era, which started in the 1980s, European politicians made a virtue of their political weakness by implicitly recognising that their belief in liberal democracy was so lacking that they would promote the politics of difference, dressed up first as ‘multiculturalism’ and then as ‘diversity’. In this era, there were few Ray Honeyfords who were intellectually strong enough to challenge the problem of parallel communities in the face of politicians who furnished a race-relations industry with money and prestige to celebrate cultural difference.
But bad political ideas that go unchallenged by the political class will eventually be challenged by the public. And so it was that the advocates of multiculturalism generated a public backlash. In 2006, the Dutch justice minister, Piet Hein Donner, caused significant anger in the Netherlands when he suggested that Muslims could change Dutch law to Sharia by democratic means. There was at least equal public outrage in Britain when, in 2008, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, suggested that the adoption of elements of Sharia law in the UK ‘seems unavoidable’. Murray notes that ‘it suddenly seemed as though some of the absolute bases of Western civilisation were being offered up for negotiation’. In the early 2000s, stories that the Sikh and white working-class communities had been telling for years about the organised grooming of young girls by gangs of Muslim men started to be taken seriously by the media and police. But the sharpest cause of concern over parallel communities was the increasing tally of Islamist terrorist attacks involving people born and brought up in Europe.
Bad political ideas that go unchallenged by the political class will eventually be challenged by the public.
The political leaders of Germany, Britain and France eventually responded. In October 2010, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, gave a state-of-the-nation speech in which she said, ‘Of course, the approach to build a multicultural society and to live side-by-side and to enjoy each other has failed, utterly failed’. That was why, she insisted, ‘integration is so important’ and immigrants in Germany must follow the laws and constitution of Germany and speak German.
In February 2011, Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron, gave a speech in Munich critical of ‘the doctrine of state multiculturalism’ by which ‘we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream’. A few days later, the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, also pronounced multiculturalism to be a ‘failure’, saying: ‘The truth is that in all our democracies we have been too preoccupied with the identity of those who arrived and not enough with the identity of the country that welcomed them.’
After six decades of allowing and encouraging immigrants to live separate lives, the public had forced Europe’s leaders to change the narrative on immigration. Murray points out how extraordinary it was that it took 60 years of immigration before Europe’s political leaders even stated that immigrants should speak the language of the country they entered. And, just as striking, that during those six decades ‘such a demand would have been – and was – attacked as “racist”’.
In this new era, the gulf between the people and their leaders can no longer be ignored, but it still exists. Despite European leaders recognising that multiculturalism has failed, they lack a political perspective that can solve the immigration issue. The problem remains unresolved because, as David Cameron had recognised in his Munich speech, ‘We’ve failed to provide a vision of society to which they [immigrants] feel they want to belong’. In the absence of a vision, immigrants will continue to have little to assimilate into, and political leaders will fall back on lightweight reasons in favour of immigration, such as short-term economic expediency, misplaced guilt about global hardship, or simply the moral affirmation that comes from appearing to be nice.
The vacillation of Europe’s leaders was epitomised by Merkel’s response to the migrant crisis in 2015: ‘We can do this’ (‘Wir schaffen das’). But Merkel could not claim to be speaking for the German people, since the German public did not support more immigration, least of all an influx of one million asylum seekers in a year. Neither did she have any idea what ‘this’ referred to. But what mattered was that, as Merkel put it, ‘The world sees Germany as a land of hope and chances. And that wasn’t always the case.’ This was Germany’s chance to atone for the Second World War and to portray itself as a country that people would migrate into rather than flee from.
In the absence of ‘a vision of society’ that can command popular support, Europe’s leaders will continue to stumble from one migrant crisis to another because the immediate emotional claims of a migrant will tend to trump the collective interests of a nation. The European public continues to have a sense of these collective interests, but they are mostly unknown and unarticulated by Europe’s political class.
Liberal democracy has many political foundations such as the separation of church and state, free speech, the equal rights of women and gays, democracy and the rule of law. Yet these ideas are alien to many immigrants, particularly Muslims, who come from different political cultures. Only a nation with a strong political culture that believes in these ideas can challenge those who do not accept them. A nation with a strong belief in liberal democracy would appreciate the need to assimilate immigrants to its political values, and it would not accept the existence of parallel communities. Least of all would it celebrate cultures with backward views on politics, religion, free speech, equal rights and so forth.
Murray is a compelling writer who, in The Strange Death of Europe, has compiled an array of evidence and argument in support of his claim that ‘the movement of millions of people into a guilty, jaded and dying culture cannot’ work. As his colleague at the Spectator, Matthew Parris, says, he ‘writes so well that when he is wrong he is dangerous.’
In my opinion Murray’s conclusion is not wrong, but there is a difficulty for anyone tackling subjects as contentious as immigration, identity and Islam. And that is the relationship between cause and symptom. Immigrants are not the cause of Europe’s woes, and parallel communities are a symptom of Europe’s political weakness. Immigrants have never been required or incentivised to assimilate; indeed, since the 1980s, the politics of multiculturalism has incentivised them not to assimilate. Easy though it is to blame the immigrant (a mistake often made by the populist parties of Europe), those who criticise postwar immigration must never lose sight of the fact that the easy target is the wrong target.
When reading Murray’s excellent book, it is worth remembering that, of his two arguments, it is the second that is causative of the first. In other words, it is because Europe is dying that immigration has become a politically fraught issue. The target of our anger has to be, not the immigrant, but our political leaders who, over six decades, have had so little belief in liberal democracy that they have never expected immigrants to assimilate to the political values that made Europe such a desirable place to live.
Jon Holbrook is a barrister He is giving a lecture on the Legal Subject as part of The Academy on 15 July 2017. Follow him on Twitter: @JonHolb
The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, by Douglas Murray, is published by Bloomsbury Continuum. (Order this book from Amazon(UK)).
France’s moral bankruptcy
France’s moral bankruptcy By Adam Creighton, The Australian, 17 April 2017
If I were French I would vote for Marine Le Pen in next week’s presidential election. Not to do so would be to endorse the political and economic elites that have sapped the life out of industry, put the Fifth Republic on track for bankruptcy, forced taxpayers to bail out parasitic banks, and left the country exposed to Islamist terrorism.
More of the same? No thanks. France’s global rank on Cato Institute’s annual Human Freedom Index, for instance, has dropped from 20th to 31st since 2008 (Australia is sixth).
Le Pen’s popularity has surged since the global financial crisis. Thomas Piketty, France’s most famous economist, blames inequality and unemployment. “If we do not manage to fight these via effective progressive policies then you will always find politicians who will successfully try to divide the workers between nationals and foreigners, or some other ethnic or religious division,” he told me last week.
Details of the National Front’s policies — a populist cocktail of protectionism and nationalism — matter far less than the damage her victory would do to France’s cosy status quo, which has hooked France’s fortunes to an increasingly stagnant and unpopular EU. Indeed, it would be a victory far more consequential than Donald Trump’s November win in the US, where congressional gridlock and a recent bout of bomb-dropping on the Middle East sadly point to a continuation of the past.
Le Pen’s promise to give the French a say on staying in the EU is reasonable, given that the last time they were asked their view, in 2005, their answer (no) was largely ignored. Her suggestion France should withdraw from the euro and redenominate its debts in French francs would cause a financial crisis that would make 2008 seem mild, but it would be the price to pay for longer-term prosperity.
The French government has debts equal to more than €2 trillion ($2.8 trillion), 120 per cent of its national income — more than three times Australia’s share. The collapse in value of those debts from “Frexit” would wipe out many highly leveraged banks, prompting the rethink of how banking is structured that the world deserved, but never got, after the financial crisis.
France’s 62-year project of tying Germany down in the EU has left France with too high an exchange rate (while Germany’s is too low), permanently throttling its competitiveness.
France’s bloated governments spend almost 60 per cent of the national income every year (Australia’s spend about 33 per cent), and tax a little bit less of it, a recipe for eventual bankruptcy. The jobless rate has risen steadily to more than 10 per cent since the financial crisis, despite repeated promises by French presidents to curb it. And that is the official figure, where working more than one hour a week counts as employed. Youth unemployment is now entrenched above 20 per cent, more than double Germany’s rate.
Australia has been a beneficiary, actually — Sydney’s eastern suburbs, for instance, are teeming with young French people. The number of French-born residents in Australia has grown more than 6 per cent a year since 2006, to more than 42,000, many multiples faster than immigration from Greece, Spain or Germany.
It’s depressing to see France, the first modern state, one of the great scientific and cultural fountainheads of Western civilisation, which under Charles de Gaulle wrenched itself back to pre-eminence after a couple of near-death experiences, in such a funk.
Economic decline and Islamic terrorism have fuelled a domestic industry of gloom: Eric Zemmour’s 2014 book The French Suicide has been a bestseller. Michel Houellebecq’s novel Submission shows how a Muslim could win the French presidential election in 2022 — not especially gratifying in a country whose development hinged on the repelling of the Arabs in 732 by King Charles Martel. Almost 10 per cent of France’s population of 65 million is Muslim, more than any other sizeable Western country. France is losing its large Jewish population, among its historic strengths, at a rapid rate.
Whatever the verdict in the final-round ballot next month, the National Front and parties like it in Europe will continue to benefit from the moral bankruptcy of Europe’s economy, starkly revealed in the continuing “bailout of Greece”. More than 80 per cent of the (€227 billion) public funds that have gone to Greece since 2010 have been used to repay loans to foreign and Greek banks. The bailouts were about “protecting German banks, but especially the French banks, from debt write-offs”, noted former German central bank chief Karl Pohl at the time. That is, highly paid bankers who enjoyed the short-term profits from lending to Greece managed to shove the long-term costs on to ordinary French and Germany taxpayers, an act of extreme socialism. How can anyone respect this economic system? Sensing danger from Le Pen, the big French banks have refused to lend to her party (they have lent to other campaigns).
The brilliant conservative and Spectator columnist Charles Moore conceded in December he was “cheering” for the populist right. “It may sound Marxist to say this, but I do think the elites have constructed a world order which serves their interests, not those of their subject populations,” he wrote, pointing to the “banking crisis resolved in the interests of bankers”. More and more commentators of right and left — an increasingly meaningless distinction, anyway — are concluding the same.
The polls suggesting Le Pen commands only 25 per cent of the vote would seem an underestimate. Just as Hillary Clinton’s winning of the Democratic candidacy proved a gift for Trump’s campaign, Le Pen’s rivals are almost stereotypical reflections of the past. Francois Fillon, the “centre right” candidate, was former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s prime minister. He is embroiled in a scandal over whether he embezzled public funds in office. The supposed favourite to win, former investment banker Emmanuel Macron, was economy minister under the loathed incumbent, President Francois Hollande.
Even if Le Pen loses, it is only a matter of time until she wins. Polls show her strongest support comes from people under 40 and its highly unlikely Macron or Fillon will do anything to disrupt the status quo.
- Speech by Geert Wilders at the Europe of Nations and Freedom Conference By Geert Wilders, 22 January 2017
- The EU Vs. The Nation State By George Igler, The Gatestone Institute, 30 December
- doug-casey-on-the-collapse-of-the-eu From Zerohedge, 14 October 2016
- how-the-financial-troika-destroyed-greece-economy By Michael Hudson, Counterpunch, 5 October 2016
- why-the-eu-is-doomed By Alasdair Macleod via The Mises Institute, 19 September
- EU, adopt the brace position By Charles Gave, Chairman, Gavekal, August 3, 2016
- Is Europe Doomed By Vassalage To Washington By Paul Craig Roberts, 28 July 2016
- Brexit, Britain voted for the parliamentary democracy it invented By Dominic Lawson, The Times, 27 June 2016
- Brexit, Remainers are not pro-EU, they’re anti-democracy By Tim Black, Spiked Online, 25 June 2016
- Mises, Why Brexit Is Better For Britain By Thorstein Polleit, The Mises Institute, 21 June 2016
- It’s not the economy, stupid, it’s a fight for democracy By Frank Furedi, Spiked Online, 11 June 2016
- The EU is truly ‘Europhobic’ By Brendan O’Neill, Spiked Online, 14 May 2016
- Brussels attacks, Europe is at war By Tom Steinfort, The Australian, 24 March 2016
- Europe’s civilisation death wish By Mark Christian, The Australian, 13 February 2016
- Paris attacks, the fall of Rome should be a warning to the West By Niall Ferguson, The Australian, 16 November 2015
- The death of Europe is in sight From The Wall Street Journal, 23 October 2015
- Why Europe failed, Part 8 By Oliver Hartwich, 14 September 2015