Steyn on Europe
President Trump's speech in Warsaw was a remarkable statement from a western leader in the 21st century - which is why the enforcers of our public discourse have gone bananas over it and denounced it as "blood and soil" "nativism" (The New Republic), "racial and religious paranoia" (The Atlantic), and "tinpot dictator sh*t" (some comedian having a meltdown on Twitter). Much of the speech was just the usual boosterish boilerplate that one foreign leader sloughs off while visiting the capital of another. But that wasn't what caused the mass pearl-clutching. This was the offending passage:
I'm not certain we do put "faith and family" ahead of "government and bureaucracy", not in Germany or even Ireland, but we did once upon a time. Nor am I sure we still "write symphonies", or at any rate good ones. But Trump's right: "The world has never known anything like our community of nations" - and great symphonies are a part of that. I'm not sure what's "nativist" or "racial" about such a statement of the obvious, but I note it's confirmed by the traffic, which is all one way: There are plenty of Somalis who've moved to Minnesota, but you can count on one hand Minnesotans who've moved to Somalia. As an old-school imperialist, I make exceptions for sundry places from Barbados to Singapore, which I regard as part of the community of the greater west, and for India, which is somewhat more ambiguously so, but let's face it, 90 per cent of everything in the country that works derives from England.
But otherwise Trump's statement that "the world has never known anything like our community of nations" ought to be unexceptional. It's certainly more robust than Theresa May's and David Cameron's vague appeals to "our values" or "our way of life", which can never quite be spelled out - shopping, telly, pop songs, a bit of Shakespeare if you have to mention a dead bloke, whatever... For his part, The Atlantic's Peter Beinart preferred the way Trump's predecessor expressed it:
I wish that were true. It would be easier if it were. But it's not. These values are not "universal": They arise from a relatively narrow political and cultural tradition, and insofar as they took root elsewhere across the globe it was as part of (stand well back, Peter Beinart!) the west's - gulp - "civilizing mission". Alas, left to fend for themselves, those supposedly universal values have minimal purchase on millions upon millions of people around the planet - including those who live in the heart of the west. Bush's bromide is easier to swallow because it's a delusion - as we should surely know by now, after a decade and a half of encouraging Pushtun warlords to adopt Take Your Child Bride To Work Day. In contrast to Bush's happy talk, Trump concluded his laundry list of western achievement on a sobering note:
That, I think, is also true. Were a catastrophe to befall our world - an EMP strike or a widespread nuclear exchange, a sudden devastating virus or a zombie apocalypse - we could not rebuild the modern world in anything like the time-frame in which we originally constructed it. The technological reason is obvious: The industrial revolution was powered by comparatively easily extractable coal and oil. We extracted it and used it to develop the skills to get at the less easily extractable stuff. A global calamity would put us back to Square One, but with resources we could only reach at Square Twelve. That goes for more basic human resources, too: We have lost a lot of the skills of our ancestors, because we assumed they were no longer required. And in a less quantifiable way it applies to artistic achievement, too. So, in a fairly routine stop on a foreign tour, Trump has introduced a rather profound warning:
It will never come again. Is there a "racial and religious paranoia" to this? Even the Globalist Kingpin himself, Klaus Schwab, founder of Davos, sees it as basic demographic arithmetic:
As I commented at the time:
And if a billion people move to the west what chance those "universal values"? Even the crappy Cameronian ones like lousy pop concerts, which in Sweden are already being canceled and boycotted because of the, um, lively interaction between vibrantly diverse non-universal values. As Trump continued:
Indeed. In Sweden, the most "enlightened" and "progressive" social democracy on earth, under a self-proclaimed "feminist government", cannot muster the will to defend the right of its women to enjoy an evening of music in the park unmolested. It's a small pleasure, but illustrative, as Trump grasped, of an existential question:
For some people this all rang a vague bell. As David Smith observed of Trump's speech:
And he didn't mean it as a compliment. World Net Daily drew the same comparison:
America Alone is not just about demography - a youthful Islam versus a geriatric west - but about whether that demographic inertia derives from a civilizational ennui; from a lack of will, to use Trump's word. As I write in the book's prologue:
Hence those young men walking into Sweden and watching the government respond by simply surrendering the country's summer social traditions. None of this has anything to do with driving Isis out of Mosul or the Taliban out of Helmand. America Alone page 156:
Trump in Warsaw:
As I said, a remarkable speech. Of course, at the press conference afterwards, the A-list hacks, like CNN's drama queen Jim Acosta, were all obsessed with the "Russia investigation", but in fairness The New York Times at least reported the story under the headline "Trump, in Poland, Asks if West Has the 'Will to Survive'".
That's the question - the one that matters. Angela Merkel won't ask it, nor M Macron or Mrs May or M Trudeau. But Donald Trump did - and then answered it:
I am nowhere near as confident of that answer. But he raised the question at a time when no other western leader will. It is a measure of our decay and decadence that the question is necessary, but in an age of cultural relativism a statement of the obvious is daring and courageous: Ours is the civilization that built the modern world - as even the west's cultural relativists implicitly accept, if only because they have no desire to emigrate and try to make a living as a cultural relativist in Yemen or Niger. We built it, and, if we do not maintain it, and defend it, then, as Donald Trump says, it will never come again.
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from Steyn on Europe, July 7, 2017
No black detail is too absurd for today's world. And so it happens that the first named victim of the towering inferno in North Kensington is Mohammed Alhajali, a Syrian refugee who arrived as a teenager with his brothers in London four years ago and somehow wound up being housed in a flat in Grenfell Tower. Launching a fund to raise money for his funeral, Kareen el Beyrouty, director of the Syria Solidarity Campaign, declared that "Mohammed Alhajali undertook a dangerous journey to flee war in Syria, only to meet death here in the UK, in his own home. His dream was to be able to go back home one day and rebuild Syria." Which is apparently a lot safer. His friend and fellow Syrian refugee Abdulaziz Almashi tells the BBC that "Syria is a ...
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