Sunday, September 7, 2008

Re, Europe's future, catastrophic or apocalyptic

Rolf quoted me to say, “Berlinski isn't unique or even the first to describe an impending Eurabia. As to which cities are soon to have Muslim majorities, Fallaci thought Amsterdam and Rotterdam are close.”

Rolf then wrote, I couldn't care less what Fallaci thinks, if she has some actual facts to back up what she thinks I might be interested. Judy already pointed out Amsterdam demographics, but all you really need to know is that

Netherlands has a population of about 16 million and less than one million Muslims to know Fallaci is clueless.

Rolf then quoted me to say, “According to Daisy Sindelar a recently Dutch government study predicted that not only would Amsterdam and Rotterdam soon have Muslim majorities but also The Hague and Utrecht."

Rolf then wrote, “I am not going to bother to look up the actual Dutch study, but here is a rough guess: Some statisticians were being silly. Let's say Amsterdam Muslim population grew 10% one year. This could be any random occurance, but I'd suspect change in classification. Now annual growth of 10% leads to 17 times the starting number over 30 years. The report most probably mentioned that something like this is an unrealistic assumption, and as usually happens with qualifications in general, it was never mentioned in the journalistic account. Or Sindelar just made up the numbers.

“In general, here is a brief and free bull-shit detector to reporting on Europe:

“- Rise of Far Right in Germany: It is worrying, but the numbers say they got less than 5% support. Just formulated Rolf's Law of Polls says that any movement, including People's Movement to Eat Babies, will have low single digit support in polls.

“- Eurabia. Yes, assimilation and millitant Islamism is a concern. But once again the numbers: there are about 450 million people living in EU and about 15 million of them are Muslims. If for some bizarre reason all the Muslims were classified as one nationality, they would barely be in top ten.

“- Unemployment is caused by high taxes. Nice theory in paper and true in some cases, but in international comparisons the nations with highest unemployment actually have the highest taxes. But the correlation overall is weak. Best expert on European unemployment writing in English is Oliver Blanchard of MIT. He says that we don't really know what causes unemployment, but generally speaking protecting employment in general and not particular jobs seems to help.

“- European economic model. There is no such thing. There are at least five different models inside EU:

Anglo-Saxon (Ireland), Rhineland (Germany), Mediterranean (Italy), Nordic (Denmark), Eastern Libertarian (Estonia).

“- European social model. As in all Europeans receive plentiful government support against hardships of life

as opposed to ruthless USA. USA despite all still has a well-fare state, and benefits in most European

countries really are not that great. Sweden is an exception, not the norm.

- Lack of millitary spending. EU combined is something in excess of 200 billion Euros (I estimate %2 of GDP). That ought to be enough in peace time.

- Moralism. That people in general are lazy or violent for example is true in some cases, unverifiable,

tautological and unhelpful.

Lawrence responds:

You Europeans obviously don’t agree about these matters.

1) One view has it that the Muslim take-over of Europe is in progress and Europeans who say otherwise are in denial or sleeping. This view is consistent with the viewpoint of those who take Militant Islam in the Middle East as a serious threat.

2) The other view is that Militant Islam is not a serious threat in Europe or in the Middle East. Gilles Kepel and Olivier Roy champion that view. There are merely a few well-educated but alienated young European Muslims called Jihadists who are stirring things up. Roy even challenges the trend information I recently posted. He argues that sure the Islamic birthrate is very high at the beginning but as time goes on and Muslims become integrated or assimilated their birthrates become the same as those of the ambient society. As Fukuyama indicated recently, he embraces the Kepel/Roy viewpoint and largely as a result has applied this viewpoint to the Middle East and distanced himself from Neocons who adhere to view number one.

I suppose there is nothing inherently wrong with mixing and matching. We non-Leftists believe here in the U.S. that there is a serious Islamist problem in Europe. Muslims who come to the U.S. however are not a problem (with very few exceptions) because they readily assimilate. They become indistinguishable from other Americans. But while we understand that to be true in the U.S. we aren’t at all sure about you Europeans. Your Muslims seem to go berserk at the drop of an insult. You don’t seem to be assimilating them as well as we do here in the states, and if they remain in distinctly Islamic enclaves, we think, they shall be growing at a more rapid rate than the ambient society. To us it looks as though you may have big trouble looming on your horizon of denial.

Oriana Fallaci shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. She represents the fear that European society is doomed. I understand that her books are very popular in Europe. Perhaps she is wrong but her fear is real -- and it is shared. And it is that fear that Berlinski addressed in her book – a fear like that of a fear-biting dog that rends someone who may or may not have intended him harm.

If you have a whole city full of Oriana Fallacis and they become convinced that Amsterdam, for example, is being taken over by a Dutch-hating group of aliens called Muslims, they may react violently. Berlinski was, I believe, suggesting that as a serious possibility.

Ralph Peters said, “Europe, history’s killing continent, remains the most unpredictable stretch of the globe.” I didn’t gather that he was suggesting that the common European “prediction” about pervasive and ongoing peace was what he had in mind. I think he was suggesting that Europe is still the killing continent regardless of what you Leftists believes and that more killing will be going on there sooner rather than later.

How are you doing with the Iranians by the way? And you sure stirred up those Russians by accepting those Eastern-block nations into the EU. Are you sure 2% of your GDP is a large enough military budget. Yeah, it’s peacetime as you say, but you do live on the “killing continent.” How long do you really think it’s going to be before your next war?

Lawrence Helm

No comments: