On this Labor Day in the North American half of the free world, I have been asked why I haven't said more about the migrant tide engulfing the European half. The easiest response is that I've been saying the same stuff since 9/11, and at book length in America Alone, and the question has always remained the same - whether the west can muster the will to turn away from the suicidal delusions of multiculturalism. To judge from the appalling stance of Angela Merkel (which I discussed last week on the radio with both Glenn Beck and Hugh Hewitt), the answer remains a resounding no.
Almost five years ago - February 9th 2011 - I wrote a piece here at SteynOnline called "Fortress Europe?" That was The Guardian's headline: all I did was add the question mark. The Guardian was reporting from the Greek-Turkish frontier - or "Europe's border", as a German member of the 175-strong Frontex security team described it:
In 2009 some 3,600 migrants managed to slip across the frontier not far from this market town; in 2010 that number shot up to 36,000, helping explain why Greece has become the favoured port of entry for 90% of illegals pouring into the EU.
"They come at all hours of the night and day," said Orestiada's police chief, Giorgos Salamangas, in his icon-bedecked office. "And they're coming not just from the Middle East and Asia but all of Africa, places I have never heard of before."
The Guardian being The Guardian, they seemed entirely unaware that "Fortress Europe" was a rather odd kind of fortress. For one thing anyone can stroll into it:
The influx has shattered the rhythm of life in one of Greece's most isolated regions. Farmers in the main, the locals speak of the fear they have felt at suddenly encountering thousands of bedraggled men, women and children from the likes of Afghanistan and Iraq, Algeria and Morocco, India, Palestine, Congo and Somalia.
"It's been an unbelievable caravan of humanity. I must have seen at least 10,000 of them pass," said Giorgos Liakides, who runs a little mini-market in Nea Vissa, the first village after the border. "You wake up and find them on your doorstep, and at night when you go to water the fields you find them hiding in the bushes. We understand their plight, we are human as well. But we're afraid. None of us ever used to lock our doors before; now we worry all the time."
Mostly economic migrants, those who do get in readily hand themselves over to Greek police, eager to elicit the documents that will allow them to stay for up to 30 days in the EU member state.
In theory, they are meant to be deported after that, but in practice many just blend into the back streets of Athens before attempting to sneak into another European country by train, boat or bus.
They're not "sneaking" any more. As I commented in my own column:
What does the future hold for Chief Salamangas and Giorgos Liakides? According to the UN, global population is supposed to peak at about nine billion in 2050, then level off and start to decline. If you're one of those eco-fetishists who think of humanity as a species, then that nine billion is the number to watch, up from six billion at the turn of the century. But, if you don't think of the world as one unified global parking lot, you're less interested in the big number and more in its constituent parts: On the road to that nine billion, almost all the increase in global population will come from Islam and sub-Saharan Africa ...countries which have done a cracking job of killing almost all human progress of the modern age. In the first decade of the 21st century, Niger, which is over 90 per cent Muslim, increased its population by almost half â€“ from just over ten million to just over 15 million. In 2000, half a million of its children were estimated to be starving, but hey, that's no reason not to add a few million more. Its population is predicted to hit just under 100 million by the end of this century â€“ in a country that can't feed a people one-tenth that size. Is it likely that an extra 90 million people will choose to stay within Niger?
That makes the question sound rather speculative, but it's not. In 1950, Europe (excluding Russia) had almost twice as many people as the whole of Africa. Now the positions have reversed - and then some. Africa is getting on for almost thrice the population of Europe (excluding Russia). And, as those ISIS-controlled Libyan ports have figured out, the Mediterranean is little more than a slightly wider Rio Grande. As I wrote in February 2011:
Sub-Saharan Africa will double its population between now and 2030. They're poor and getting poorer. Excepting South Africa, the Dark Continent's per capita income averaged $355 in 2004, but is expected to fall by almost 20 per cent to $290 by 2030. Good for the planet? Well, it depends how you think about it. A few years ago, a Unicef report found that more than one billion children in the developing world were suffering from the most basic "deprivations" â€“ lack of food, lack of education, lack of rights. Yet by 2020 each of them â€“ or at any rate the half who are girls â€“ will have had an average of three children each. Who in turn will lack food and education and much else, and will be at higher risk of many genetic disorders. It would be asking an awful lot for untold millions of them to remain in the teeming, disease-ridden shanty megalopolises into which Africa's population is consolidating - rather than to, say, head for the lusher fields of Giorgos Liakides' village.
Here's the question for "Fortress Europe": What's to stop that vast "caravan of humanity" just walking in and taking it the way Robert Mugabe's thugs took any Zimbabwean farm that tickled their fancy? The Camp of the Saints is looking more prophetic every day.
Four-and-a-half years on, they're "walking in and taking it" - and Angela Merkel can't even see it.
Oh, but they're refugees! From the Syrian civil war!
According to the United Nations, 49 per cent are non-Syrian. As to whether they're refugees, well, usually, refugees flees as families. Yet here, from those UN statistics, is the breakdown of those "refugees":
13 per cent children
12 per cent women
75 per cent men
That's not the demographic distribution of fleeing refugees, but of an invading army.
~In my interview with Hugh Hewitt, I was a little surprised to find that mein host was apparently unaware of The Camp of the Saints:
HH: I don't know the novel, Mark. What is it?
MS: It's Jean Raspail. It's called the Camp of the Saints, and the saints are the refugees basically from Africa and other parts of the developing world that wash up on the French coast â€“ the Cote d'Azur â€“ on the topless beaches of southern France, and the French intellectual class and political class have no idea what to do about it. They can no longer muster the argument to defend the integrity of French soil, and in the end it ends with the government collapsing and the saints just swarming ashore from the beaches and taking over France.
Bob Belvedere, who knows the novel so well and loves it so much he's named his website after it, writes to correct me:
Actually, 'the camp of the saints' is located in the village on the French Coast where the Old Professor lives and where the last, true Westerners gather over the course of the story's unfolding, where these 'relics' make their last stand, knowing full-well that they shall perish in the effort:
'Next day, at lunch, RomÃ©gas added two more settings. Then the source of the reinforcements dried up for good, and the Western World numbered twenty, period.' [Chapter Forty-Nine]
I had always understood that M Raspail had intended the title in a double sense. The invaders are sanctified by the political, media and academic class - as they are today and as we saw very vividly in the global media prostrations before the martyrdom of the Syrian child. Only in the ruins of civilization do we understand that the true saints are those last surviving members of "the Western World". But I haven't read the book since the spring of 2002, and Mr Belvedere reminds us of the title's origin:
And when the thousand years are ended, Satan will be released from his prison, and will go forth and deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, and will gather them together for the battle; the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up over the breadth of the earth and encompassed the camp of the saints, and the beloved city. [Revelation, 20:7-9, as translated in the novel]
Angela Merkel thinks that anyone who sets foot on Europe can become a European. But not in these numbers. In 1950, Europe had 22 per cent of the world's population and Africa 9 per cent. By 2050, the relative demography will be inverted: Europe will have 7 per cent of the world's population and Africa 25 per cent. Why stay in the latter when Frau Merkel is incentivizing the appropriation of the former?
~Tomorrow, Tuesday, I'll be on Hannity, coast to coast on Fox News at 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific. Hope you can join us.