Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Weigel on Europe’s two culture wars

Stanley Kurtz recommends this article by George Weigel. I concur.

My wife and I have been telling ourselves that, once the kids are old enough, we’ll take them to Europe. I’m getting gloomier by the day about that prospect; the Europe we want them to experience may not be there, unless the movements whose rationales are articulated in this book gain traction.

To be clear about my meaning: Europe for me is not simply a tourist destination, but an essential part of my family’s heritage (intellectually, culturally, and personally--we still have family in Austria, the Netherlands, Germany, and Scotland). The great conversation in which I take part as an intellectual has been conducted on that continent for more than the past two millenia. Some of its most horrific practical fruits played themselves out there in the last century. And I fear that an insidious strain of that conversation will have an even worse effect in the future. Having failed to kill itself by killing all too many of its people (through war, genocide, and other means), Europe may euthanize itself, having lost the will to live.

Discussions - 12 Comments

The most depressing thing I’ve read in a long, long time. I’d known about many of the bits and pieces of the picture, but stunning to see them summed up thusly. The facts are simply overwhelming.

the government blamed Malmö’s problems instead on Swedish racism

And well it should.

George Weigel describes a phenomenon that I, for lack of a better descriptive word, have referred to as "benign" racism.

We are morally superior to them;

we are intellectually superior to them;

Therefore we must tolerate each and every one of their transgressions. They just don’t know any better, and we do.

Europeans and Americans who continue to refuse to hold others to the same high standards to which they hold themselves have, by their own choice, only themselves to blame for the crimes committed by their purported inferiors.

They seem to take such a practical approach to euthanasia. They must take that same practical approach to recruiters of crime in the name of religion, by separating them from those they recruit; they must separate those who facilitate crime in the name of religion from those whom they would facilitate; they must separate those who commit crimes in the name of religion from their victims or they will lose the culture wars.

Someone will come along in a minute and say THERE IS NO CULTURE WAR!!! But, to you, Brian, I say if you do separate the criminal facilitators, recruiters and offenders from each other and their victims, you will have won a war without even knowing you have fought one.

Some of its most horrific practical fruits played themselves out there in the last century. And I fear that an insidious strain of that conversation will have an even worse effect in the future.

So, Europeans (I presume you mean those who are white and Christian (or Jewish)) who do not reproduce at the rates you would prefer will be responsible for something "even worse" than the Holocaust?

I agree with what you are saying Joe, and for that reason, Europe for me is simply a great tourist destination with beautiful architecture, magnificient paintings, and great food (at least in some places). I tend to think in "past" terms about its greatness and its heritage of Western civilization.

Hey, don’t get so depressed! There’s always EPCOT! All the beauty of Europe, without the stinky foreigners!

Having failed to kill itself by killing all too many of its people (through war, genocide, and other means), Europe may euthanize itself, having lost the will to live.


On occasion I have reread postings I have made, and cringed at my own condecension, arrogance and self righteousness.


But by God Kippenberg, the intro to this article towers high above anything I’ve ever posted, or even seen.

"Europe for me is simply a great tourist destination."

I agree and what made me enjoy Rome, Florence and Paris even more in the past couple of years is the growing realization is that I needed to see them before the cease to exist.

I can’t quite conceive of what could possibly make so many of the people who grow up in such incredible places to so easily want to discard the culture there, but then I live in the United States and think the same about so many of my fellow citizens here.

Brian,

How does caring about the fate of a continent on which one’s parents were born, on which one has lived, on which one’s aunts, uncles, and cousins still live, and from which many of the ideas one takes most seriously come amount to "condescension, arrogance, and righteousness"? How does worrying about Europe’s demographic crisis (reflected in my dad’s old neighborhood in Rijswijk, outside of the Hague) amount to "condescension, arrogance, and righteousness"? How does noting that communism and national socialism (born of distinguished and impressive philosophical parents) were responsible for an horrific number of deaths and massive human suffering amount to "condescension, arrogance, and righteousness"?

The destinies of Europe and the U.S. would be extremely hard to untangle, which is enough to explain the shouting from both sides of the Atlantic.

It’s not over yet for Europe and the Europeans. Although it does look bleak. Democracies are apt to wait till the last minute before becoming active in the face of an existential threat. That characteristic of democracies stretches all the way back to antiquity. Weigel is ahead of the curve, so to speak, and ordinary Europeans aren’t aware of the demographic threat hanging over their future. As that reality becomes more known, we might see a healthy response. So none of us should be quick to write them off.

My previous comment is addressed to Brian Coughlan, not to the second Brian.

Good God, where’s Dain when you need him? He’d be eating this stuff up!

Dan is right. But, man, it’s sad to think that this and worse is how bad things have to get before the Europeans wake up.

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