Stairway To Hell

Mark Steyn weighs in on Manchester, here. A longish excerpt:

A few months ago, I was in Toulouse, where Jewish life has vanished from public visibility and is conducted only behind the prison-like walls of a fortress schoolhouse and a centralized synagogue that requires 24/7 protection by French soldiers; I went to Amsterdam, which is markedly less gay than it used to be; I walked through Molenbeek after dark, where unaccompanied women dare not go. You can carry on, you can stagger on, but life is not exactly as it was before. Inch by inch, it’s smaller and more constrained.

And so it will prove for cafe life, and shopping malls, and pop concerts. Maybe Ariana Grande will be back in the UK – or maybe she will decide that discretion is the better part of a Dangerous Woman’s valor. But there will be fewer young girls in the audience – because no mum or dad wants to live for the rest of their lives with the great gaping hole in your heart opening up for dozens of English parents this grim morning. And one day the jihad will get lucky and the bomb will take with it one of these filthy infidel “shameless” pop whores cavorting on stage in her underwear. You can carry on exactly as before, but in a decade or two, just as there are fewer gay bars in Amsterdam and no more Jewish shops on the Chaussée de Gand, there will be less music in the air in western cities. Even the buskers, like the one in Manchester’s Piccadilly Gardens today serenading a shattered city with “All You Need Is Love”, will have moved on, having learned that it’s a bit more complicated than that.

I am currently reading Douglas Murray’s fine book, The Strange Death of Europe, which lays out, unsparingly, the central illusion of the last half-century – that you could demographically transform the composition of hitherto more or less homogeneous nation states on a scale no stable society has ever attempted, and that there would be no consequences except a more vibrant range of local restaurants.

Then this:

As I asked around Europe all last year: What’s the happy ending here? In a decade it will be worse, and in two decades worse still, and then in three decades people will barely recall how it used to be…

Mr. Steyn is exactly right. It is, sadly, the brevity of human lifespans that makes such decline so easy. The world is new, and therefore normal, to each generation; it is only the old who can see clearly the value of what has been, and is being, lost and forgotten. But they are old, and weary, and soon they die.

European civilization is old, too, and soon will do the same.

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4 Comments

  1. Bluefin Tuna says

    It is, sadly, the brevity of human lifespans that makes such decline so easy. The world is new, and therefore normal, to each generation; it is only the old who can see clearly the value of what has been, and is being, lost and forgotten. But they are old, and weary, and soon they die. European civilization is old, too, and soon will do the same.

    The general pattern of European history for the past several centuries-the last two especially- has been extremely long periods of relative peace and stability, punctuated by sudden and largely unexpected explosions of bloodthirsty fanaticism, war, and slaughter. While it’s possible Europeans will let themselves be boiled slowly like the proverbial frog until they politely euthanize themselves at the end, it’s worth the imaginative effort of viewing the likely near future of Europe as it must have appeared in 1910 to those born and raised during the Belle Époque. Only a few short years separated this Germany from this Germany, this Finland from this one, and this Dublin from this.

    Three-quarters of a century after the last major European conflagration, Muslim terrorists are like hikers carelessly discarding matches and cigarettes in a forest that hasn’t burned in many years. Modern Europeans look pretty pathetic and useless on the surface, but despite their idiotic belief systems, they still carry the genes of their great-grandfathers who fought at Verdun. As the Irish say, Briseann an dúchas trí shúile an chait.

    Posted May 24, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Permalink
  2. Jason says

    One anecdote to historical amnesia, I would submit, is to have a good relationship with a grandparent. I was fortunate in being fairly close to my Oma, who both because of her longevity (she lived a century) and my mom’s having me at a young age (the beginning of her third decade)I knew for over three decades. Obviously such dinosaurs can connect youths to earlier ages, to the past.

    Posted May 24, 2017 at 6:20 pm | Permalink
  3. Malcolm says

    BT,

    You are certainly right about the swiftness with which Europe (and everyplace else, more or less) has descended into war, again and again. History abounds with examples of diverse and commingled populations that have got along well — until they didn’t. And it isn’t as if Muslims are currently well-integrated into European society.

    So yes, there may still be an explosive reaction. If it comes, it will not be pleasant. What is so unfortunate is that things have gone so far so fast that there seem only to be two likely futures: an awakened Europe finally stirred to sanguinary rage, or an exhausted and emasculated Europe slowly crushed under the relentless weight of Muslim demographics.

    It is inexpressibly tragic that it didn’t have to be this way; had Europe simply not been infected with what I’ve called the ‘cultural immunodeficiency virus’ in the postwar years this all might have been avoided. But that infection was due in turn to the horrors of Nazism, and to the sort of re-education that was given postwar Europe in reaction to those horrors — an ideological transmogrification that can plausibly be laid, in part at least, at the feet of the Frankfurt School in exile. In that sense this crisis in Europe is the final unwinding of the great arc of the European wars of the twentieth century, and the ultimate revenge of Europe’s Jews for the Holocaust.

    Posted May 24, 2017 at 7:19 pm | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says

    Jason,

    You are right — but one effect of women deferring childbirth till later and later in life, as happens in most advanced societies, is that it spreads out the generations, which means that fewer and fewer adults have living grandparents, and almost none ever know their great-grandparents.

    Posted May 24, 2017 at 7:22 pm | Permalink