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Mr. Steyn, Meet Mr. Peters


A reader:

Thanks for posting the link to Steyn’s column today, which met his usual impossible standard of entertaining and informing at the same time, though it didn’t break much new ground on his familiar theme of demography pointing to Muslim ascendency.

But then I saw this article by Ralph Peters featured at RealClearPolitics.

It’s a pretty powerful rebuttal to the Steyn thesis, the bottom line being that we should not underestimate Europeans’ historical willingness to deal savagely with perceived threats, once the Europeans feel sufficiently threatened.  So what do you think?

Me:  What do I think?  I incline very heavily toward the view of Mark Steyn, for a couple of reasons:  1)  When Europe roused itself in centuries past, it did so as a continent of belief.  What we have before us now is post-Christian Europe, and, for that matter, a post-pagan Europe; a Europe that doesn’t believe in much of anything except its own comfort.  Can Europe find its way back to belief?  That’s certainly the question Benedict XVI is asking.  I’m just not sure—and in the meantime, Europe lacks the sustaining convictions it would need to reassert itself.  2)  If there is such a thing as a civilizational tipping point, then at least certain countries have already passed it.  The French population is already ten percent Muslim.  Does Peters—does anyone—actually think the French are about to expel or otherwise reject some six million people who are, in law if not in culture or outlook, Frenchmen?

The people to keep an eye on:  Benedict and the Dutch.  The former appears to have dedicated his principal energies to the challenge, the latter to be groggily awakening to it.  History is full of surprises, of course, and some of them are actually happy surprises:  Who would have thought, in 1977, that one year later Deng Xiopeng would commit China to a gradual embrace of free markets—or that, one year after that, John Paul II would celebrate an open-air mass in Warsaw that would attract more than a million participants, demonstrating, dispositively, the failure of the Communist project in Eastern Europe?  We shall see.


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