Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Fukuyama on the Europeans and European Islam

In an update and expansion of a WSJ piece he wrote more than a year ago (which I discussed here), Francis Fukuyama recommends that Europeans take a look at the traditional American example of civic education:

America may have something to teach Europeans here as they attempt to construct post-ethnic forms of national citizenship and belonging. American life is full of quasi-religious ceremonies and rituals meant to celebrate the country’s democratic political institutions: flag-raising ceremonies, the naturalisation oath, Thanksgiving and the 4th of July. Europeans, by contrast, have largely deritualised their political lives. Europeans tend to be cynical or dismissive of American displays of patriotism. But such ceremonies are important in the assimilation of new immigrants.

He suggests that European corporatism--which recognizes different publiccly-supported and semi-autonomous religious communities (or, in the Dutch case, "pillars")--makes it difficult to resist Muslim demands for similar treatment.

While the traditional groups may have arrived over time at a peaceful and mutually respectful modus vivendi, it’s not clear that recent Muslim arrivals have come to the same place. And it’s perhaps not insignificant that in most cases, the different communities have something significant in common (e.g., language and, broadly understood, religion [though Fukuyama does note that the French treat the Jewish community through the Consistoire Israelite, which has provided Nicolas Sarkozy a template for dealing with Muslims]).

I’d raise a further issue as well. To the extent that the U.S. has what some have called an "Anglo-Protestant monoculture," can American means readily be adapted to circumstances where that doesn’t obtain? And while I can see how American Catholics and Jews have in many cases adapted a kind of "protestantism" for themselves, does that mean that others will as well?

I’m also at least somewhat conflicted about this whole approach, since I think that a watered down "Anglo-Protestantism," without more, tends to subjectivize and individualize us in ways that are ultimately antithetical to moral, political, and religious (not to mention philosophical) seriousness. Is this the price we have to pay for getting along peacefully, or is it possible to insist upon some more robust and serious moral, political, and religious identities can coexist peacefully without giving up what matters. I think in this respect of the late proud orange-wearing Scottish-American Calvinist Wilson Carey McWilliams, some of whose best friends were similarly proud and serious Catholics.

Discussions - 14 Comments

Careful, Joe. Even the merest suggestion that Muslims might not "fit in" to Euro societies will bring opprobrium down on you (courtesy of our troll-patrol). And not letting them in, or worse, repatritriating to their respective homelands...perish the thought, Adolph.

Civic education, and hence, assimilation (for any group of immigrants), requires, does it not, a common language? The Dutch are leading the Americans on this charge, requiring that would-be immigrants (from nations deemed "unlikely to assimilate", no less--that is, Turkey and Morocco) to pass extensive Dutch language exams. This is particularly important for preventing the ghettoization so typical in European countries. First generation immigrants may feel strong ties to their homeland, but if they can communicate with their new neighbors (and this is particularly important for Islamic women) they have a shot at absorbing some cultural values apart from mere consumerism.

Why no lawmakers are pushing to make English the official language of the U.S. is a mystery to me. So long as there is no official language, and Mexican immigrants aren’t compelled to learn or speak it, there’s no way they’re going to assimilate in significant numbers. It’s a ghettoizing trend fraught with sociological consequences that should trouble us all.

It seems to me that the Europeans *have* done this sort of thing and in the late 19th and 20th centuries it helped create some pretty nasty nationalisms, blood and soil type. I’m not sure that the Europeans are in a position historically to do anything differently - after all, you can’t just decide that you want to have American-style civic identity and make it happen with some cool new songs and a catchy phrase.

It’s just more of the integration nonsense. Many refuse to consider the past. There AREN’T any societies where muslims are a significant minority that AREN’T racked by violence. Moreover, there AREN’T any countries where muslims are the MAJORITY that have anything remotely like respect for the hallmarks of Anglo-Americana, such as respect for minorities, respect for legal procedure, parliamentary procedure, religious freedom, etc.....

The policies that have brought into 20 million plus muslims over the last 20 years needs to be reversed. Policies need to be contrived that result in muslim EMIGRATION from Europe BACK to their country of origin. If policies resulted in 20 million coming, then policies can be created that see 20 million departing.

Those that say that the clock can’t be turned back, don’t know what their talking about.

Welfare should end, free health care should end except for children and in situations of emergency, free education should end. It’s not that difficult. Such policies will see the ghettos emptying out, the cars will stop burning nightly, fewer women will be gang raped, and the fear that overstretches a whole continent will begin to dissipate. And the foreign policy of Europe won’t be as sharply anti-American as it has become of late, coincident with the massive influx of islam.

But before any of that can happen, there has to be an understanding of the CENTRALITY of jihad to islam. Islam doesn’t exist, in fact, it might be safe to suggest that islam can’t be MAINTAINED without jihad. Without the fear of immediate execution, many a muslim would opt for the door, leading away from islam. Islam has grown by force, maintains itself by force, and would be wholly adrift without that force component.

It’s really rather sad.

And Michael Simpson is right to observe that these radical lefty policies of multiculturalism and unchecked muslim immigration ARE CREATING the groundwork for the rise of a genuine party of REACTION, which he properly identifies as a true "blood and soil" party of the right.

What is past is once again prologue. As NAZISM was the REACTION to the creation of the Communist menace, what will be the reaction to the radical policies of present day Europe.

It should give us all cause for concern.

dain, your thoughtful, well-reasoned arguments, which clearly come from the most gracious and Christ-like corners of your soul, have convinced me to totally overhaul my views on immigration. We really should have shut our borders long ago. To help me pinpoint exactly when, could you tell me when your family first came to the U.S.?

Craig, you’re in a war.

Did the United States welcome Italian immigrants during the Second World War?

Did the United States welcome German citizens during the Great War, and later, during the Second World War?

When we fought the Spanish, did we simultaneously welcome Spanish immigration?

Notice that ALL of those would be immigrant groups I mentioned were Christian, heirs to the glories of the West.

But islam is NOT of the West, now is it. Muslims carry with them, whether they will or no, countervailing assumptions about the good, countervailing ideas about how society should be ordered, countervailing ideas about where power in civil society is to be found. Now don’t they?

A adult takes wisdom from the mistakes of others.

Europe, for various reasons, decided to open the doors to those who were NOT of the West, who were not Christian, and have been historically hostile to the Christian West. The fruit of that decision we can now see, and learn from.

MI5 is now breaking up major terror operations MONTHLY. 20 years ago, they had but to worry about the nonsense of the hammerhead Irish. And the occasional Western terror group, such as Baader-Meinhoff, Direct Action, the Italian Red Army. But nothing like the threat they’re dealing with now.

Our best friend, our dearest ally, the best friend ANY NATION IN HISTORY EVER HAD, is under the gun, and they live now in some desperate whirlwind of activity, desperately trying to thwart the latest savagery from killers. Killers they let in, and now, know not what to do with.

It breaks my heart to know that London, the city of Wellington, of Nelson, of Churchill, of Dickens and Shakespeare, is so compromised by an entity wholly hate-filled and hostile to it.

During the Blitz, there was a world famous photograph taken of St. Paul’s, wreathed in smoke, surrounded by flames, but standing, an icon of order, civilization, decency, in a word Christianity. It captured perfectly the essence of the struggle, between the Christian powers and the neo-Pagan, decent and tolerant, fair-minded Britain, and dreadful and militaristic Germany.

Today, a battle no less momentous, no less decisive, no less fraught with peril goes on.

Islam and Europe are in a millennium long duel to the death. To the death.

A vision is going to inform the future, our future. It will either be the vision that flowed from Europe, that flowed from the British people, the "Mother of ALL the Parliaments." Or it will be the irrational vision of the prophet, captured and codified in the koran, distilled through generations of islamic scholars into the shariaa. Few things in history have been created that have been such an insult to the mind and dignity of men and women, "formed in the image and the likeness," as the shariaa.

Since you direct a question to me, I’ll answer it, troll-boy. The last immigrant ancestor I could trace came to the United States in the year 1800, from Canada. The other side of my family has been here since the 1750s, and some longer than that. And your not-so-subtle suggestion, that as a "nation of immigrants" we somehow have an obligation to have open borders, is nonsensical. The United States is NOT a nation held together by a set of ideas...it’s a nation that has been held together by an Anglo culture and sense of common destiny. Morons like yourself are undermining this cultural adhesive, but it is our children who will reap the whirlwind.

I don’t think you read my comment, dain bramaged. We certainly don’t have an obligation to have open borders, and as I said, we should have put a halt to immigration a long, long time ago. I now think the gate should’ve been shut at the end of 1739. Yes, it’s arbitrary, but it always is when you have to make the call on when enough is enough. My sympathy to your clan that they came a bit too late. (That year of closure recommendation is subject to change should you try something like "A-ha! Gotcha! My 100% certified-pure-white family arrived in the early 1730s!") I’m sure that a genetic line as superior as yours would’ve thrived regardless of nationality or birthplace. Thanks for responding to me, though, bramaged.

I don’t think it’s helpful to conflate our immigration problems with that of Europe. For it means we’re comparing Hispanic Americans to muslims. And that’s something I’m not willing to countenance.

Our difficulties with immigration are sheer numbers, combined with the rise of multiculturalism and the concomitant collapse of the idea of the traditional melting pot.

But I have no problem with immigration per se. The numbers are a bit daunting, 2,000,000 per annum. But we conduct some studies to find out what the proper number should be to augment our economic growth. Some like Michelle Malkin often harp on the criminality introduced through our open border. And that’s surely a problem. But Hispanics aren’t bringing with them any level of criminality that other Ethnics hadn’t introduced before. The Black Hand, Asian Triads, the Irish Brotherhood and IRA. This isn’t new.

But islam, jihad, muslim terror, THAT’S in a different ballpark altogether.

We need to distinguish muslim immigration and business investment from all other immigration and commercial activity.

Well, when will I learn the lesson to ignore trolls? Here I answer his question and all I get back is stupidity and insults. Typical. Rest assured, Craig Scanlon or whatever your name is du jour, I’m now quite done with you. Call me names, ask me questions, whatever...I’ll take no more notice of you that I would a small pile of canine feces beside a stop sign. Just something to step around.

Dan, I’m not so sure that the Islamic/Hispanic comparison is so off base. The way I see it, both are issues of state sovereignty, of a nation’s right to control its borders and to protect and promote its civic values. Both are issues of integration. State sovereignty certainly doesn’t preclude the right to keep would-be terrorists of any religion or nationality outside one’s borders, but I happen to think legions of young men and women growing up without fathers and joining gangs are pretty terrifying. The jihad card has been overplayed. Any president who wants to talk about holy war and the necessity of the Patriot Act but isn’t concerned with who has crossed the border and who’s here now is completely disingenuous.

I said I agree with you that the borders shouldn’t be open, and I complimented you on your genetic excellence. What gives?

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