Programming note: Tomorrow, Tuesday, I'll be hosting another of our global get-togethers, Clubland Q&A, in which I take questions from Mark Steyn Club members live around the planet. That's at 4pm Eastern in North America, but do, as they say, check local listings for your particular time zone.
Sunday was not just Father's Day but the 65th anniversary of the June 17th 1953 Volksaufstand - the people's uprising - in East Germany. Over a million people in hundreds of towns marched against Soviet puppet Walter Ulbricht under banners declaring "We want to be free, not slaves." Russian tanks put down the rebellion, with some difficulty, and that was that - for thirty-six years.
Bertolt Brecht, East Germany's playwright (and lyricist of our Sinatra Song of the Century #95), wrote a mordant and droll poem on the events - "Die Lösung"(The Solution):
- After the uprising of the 17th of June
- The Secretary of the Writers Union
- Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
- Stating that the people
- Had forfeited the confidence of the government
- And could win it back only
- By redoubled efforts.
- Would it not be easier
- In that case for the government
- To dissolve the people
- And elect another?
It took 62 years and Walter Ulbricht's fellow East German, Angela Merkel, finally to "dissolve the people and elect another", with her decision to fast-track Germany's demographic transformation and admit one and a half million young male Muslim "refugees".
Yet the people have "forfeited the confidence of the government" in almost every developed nation except Japan, and around the western world the state has been busy dissolving them and electing another through mass immigration.
Their job is almost complete - to the point where the citizenry are increasingly dissolving themselves and signing on with their successors. Ouest France reports on a Frenchman born in the Loiret who converted to Islam:
Au mois de mai, un attentat visant «un club libertin» a ainsi été déjoué avec l'interpellation d'un homme «converti à l'islam et radicalisé» à Châteauroux (Indre), selon une source proche de l'enquête.
«Un engin improvisé a été découvert le 13 mai à son domicile et l'homme a reconnu avoir voulu en faire usage contre un club libertin», a précisé cette source.
In May, an attack on a 'swingers' club' was thwarted with the arrest of a man who had 'converted to Islam and radicalized' in Châteauroux (Indre), according to a source close to the investigation.
'On May 13th an improvised device was discovered at his home, and the man admitted that he wanted to use it against a swingers' club,' said the source.
I went to a Muslim swingers' party. We all toss our detonators in the ring and swap each other's virgins.
Still, it's striking the way so many chaps who "convert to Islam" mysteriously "radicalize" near simultaneously: you'd almost get the impression it's a two-for-one deal.
These stories are the more obvious signs of the dissolution of the people: One of the livelier members of the new people is affronted by an obvious provocation - a satirical magazine, a Jewish school, a pop concert, a swingers' club; it's an ever longer list... But we think we know how to handle that: increase the budget of the security services, more surveillance, more databases, more manpower swooping down in the nick of time...
But, in between such stories, the softer, slyer, suppler dissolution continues unseen and largely unreported. My sometime editor Mary Wakefield has an interesting if rather agonized column about how the dwindling numbers of non-Muslim pupils in certain English schools can't seem to make any Muslim friends:
Quite by coincidence and on separate occasions, in the past month I've met two (non-Muslim) women whose children have had trouble at Muslim-dominated state schools. The kids made friends easily in their first term, said the mothers, but as the months went by it became harder to stay pals. Their schoolmates never invited them home, nor would they come round for playdates or parties. The friendships faded away and the kids were left confused. One of the two mothers I met had decided to move house: new catchment area, new start. She felt guilty, she told me, because she'd been keen her son have friends of all faiths. But he was one of only two non-Muslim boys in his class, and he was lonely.
So there's now only one non-Muslim boy, who presumably feels even lonelier. Although I'd wager he'll go too - and, to invert Rupert Brooke, there's yet another corner of an English field that is forever foreign.
When you raise the topic on Brit-mum websites, says Mary, the general reaction is that the real problem is your Islamophobia. But she detects at the equivalent Muslim websites a certain infidelophobia:
Sound Vision Foundation is a popular website specifically designed to help Muslims living in the secular West. It seems to be the very opposite of an extremist outfit, offering practical tips for liberal Muslim parents in Britain and the USA. It has a motto in rainbow colours: 'Helping tomorrow's Muslims today.' But Sound Vision is quite clear about the importance of restricting your child's friendships with non-Muslims.
Miss Wakefield sympathizes:
It's hard to ensure the survival of a religious community in a secular country.
Au contraire: You don't have to be a French swingers' club when the revert walks in for a blow job to appreciate that it's hard to ensure the survival of a secular community in an increasingly religious country - especially when that new religion is both universalist and self-segregating, and increasingly assertive about imposing its mores on the public space, whether via dancing policemen or Halal Airways.
While we're noting anniversaries, today marks the 78th anniversary of Winston Churchill's speech to the House of Commons on June 18th 1940, a few weeks into his premiership and at a very dark hour, It was for the most part informative and businesslike, save for his thanks to Britannia's lion cubs:
We have fully informed and consulted all the self-governing Dominions, these great communities far beyond the oceans who have been built up on our laws and on our civilization, and who are absolutely free to choose their course, but are absolutely devoted to the ancient Motherland, and who feel themselves inspired by the same emotions which lead me to stake our all upon duty and honour. We have fully consulted them, and I have received from their Prime Ministers, Mr Mackenzie King of Canada, Mr Menzies of Australia, Mr Fraser of New Zealand, and General Smuts of South Africa-that wonderful man, with his immense profound mind, and his eye watching from a distance the whole panorama of European affairs-I have received from all these eminent men, who all have Governments behind them elected on wide franchises, who are all there because they represent the will of their people, messages couched in the most moving terms in which they endorse our decision to fight on, and declare themselves ready to share our fortunes and to persevere to the end. That is what we are going to do.
And he concluded with a famous rhetorical flourish:
What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'
What remains now of "Christian civilization" in England? Or of "our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions" - such as, say, Church of England primary schools in which all but two boys are Muslim. There are many communities "far beyond the oceans ...built up on our laws and on our civilization", but in the ancient Motherland Bertolt Brecht's words seem more pertinent than Churchill's.
And which men in a new Britain will still say "This was their finest hour"? For when you lose your future, you also lose your past.
Unremitting mass immigration is an existential threat. If your local politician doesn't get that, elect another.
~We had a busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with a look at the surprising number of Mark Steyn Show guests in the news. Our Saturday movie date was Munich, Steven Spielberg's travesty of a great George Jonas book, and our Song of the Week bellowed out the all-time great World Cup anthem. We also celebrated Father's Day with a stirring contemplation of impending paternity. If you were attending to your own dad over the weekend, or enjoying the ministrations of offspring, we hope you'll want to check out one or more of the foregoing.
Thank you so much for all the Mark Steyn Club subscription renewals this last month. As our second year begins, I know very well that I would not be here without the support of our members around the world, for which we are all profoundly grateful. For more information on the Steyn Club, see here - and don't forget our limited-time Gift Membership.
Oh, and do give a thought to our inaugural Mark Steyn Club Cruise from Montreal to Boston this September. We'll be attempting some seaboard versions of The Mark Steyn Show, Tales for Our Time, our Sunday Poem and other favorite features. If you're minded to give it a go, don't leave it too late, as the price is more favorable the earlier you book.
Catch you on the telly tonight, Monday, with Tucker live across America at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific - and around the globe tomorrow for our Clubland Q&A at 8pm GMT.