All over the Western world, ethno-nationalist sentiment is ascendant. In France, Marine Le Pen has a very good chance of taking the presidency in the next election. (Even if she doesn’t, the likely winner will be the conservative Catholic François Fillon, who is himself an immigration restrictionist.) In Austria, where my daughter lives, a presidential election this weekend may install the Freedom Party’s Norbert Hofer, another man of the Right. In Holland, it looks like Geert Wilders, despite being on trial for “hate speech”, is in the strongest position to be the next Prime Minister. The persecution of Mr. Wilders has, apparently, backfired: it has aroused in the common people of the E.U. an ardor to resist the increasingly totalitarian control of language that has been, all over Europe and in Canada as well, the only way to clamp down on noticing, and speaking about, obvious things — and one obvious thing in particular.
What is that Obvious Thing? Simply this:
Allowing mass Muslim immigration is the stupidest and most irreversibly self-destructive thing that any Western nation can do.
The evidence of this is now completely overwhelming, everywhere in Europe. I have a friend, for example, who is a distinguished scholar of European politics. He has taught at the Sorbonne, the top Ivies, and elsewhere, and is a fellow at several major European think-tanks. From his resume, and his positions as both a member par excellence of Europe’s intellectual elite and an influential voice in the shaping of public policy, you would assume that he is “all in” for accelerating multiculturalism in the E.U. — but he has, in private conversations, agreed with my formulation of the Obvious Thing.
If even a member of this global Brahmin clerisy — who live, everywhere, in well-secured isolation from the practical consequences of public policy — is willing to confess such apostasy, then something is cracking. You can be sure that for hundreds of millions of the ordinary people of Europe, the Obvious Thing has now assumed the self-evident certainty of natural law, and that they are adjusting their sense of social, political, and familial obligation accordingly. The old postwar intellectual order, so plump and comfortable until so recently, has now gone bankrupt, in just the way Hemingway described: “Gradually, then suddenly.”
In America today we had another public demonstration of the Obvious Thing: a mass attack by a Somali Muslim at The Ohio State University. The perpetrator was one Abdul Razak Ali Artan, now deceased.
Why, you may ask, would this young man run his car into a crowd, and then stab people with a butcher’s knife until he was shot dead? It’s a poser, I admit — and NBC News informs us that “officials” have not yet “determined a motive”. (What a relief it is not to have to rely on “fake news”!)
Helpfully, however, Mr. Artan gave us the answer himself, shortly pre-mortem: having reached a “boiling point”, he wished us all to know that the Ummah was “not weak”.
Duly noted, Abdul — and increasingly so, I’m glad to say, both here and abroad. I do believe that noticing is now back in fashion, and not a moment too soon.