An identity crisis that led to cultural suicide.
Multiculturalism isn’t working out in Europe, at least for the Europeans.
One after another, leaders of the major powers have expressed misgivings over multiculturalism. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, compelled by the million-selling “Germany Does Away With Itself,” started the denunciations in October by declaring that multiculturalism has “failed, utterly failed.” Multiculturalism is a “failure,” concurred French President Nicolas Sarkozy last week. “We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him,” he explained on a nationally-televised interview. Former prime ministers of Spain and Australia have issued essentially the same verdict.
The most forceful denunciation of multiculturalism from a European leader came from British Prime Minister David Cameron, who also calls it a “failure.” “We will not defeat terrorism simply by the action we take outside our borders,” he acknowledged at a Munich security conference earlier this month. “Europe needs to wake up to what is happening in our own countries.”
Indeed, alarm bells have included London’s July 7, 2005 subway attacks that killed 56, the assassination of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, and honor killings in such unlikely locales as Denmark and Germany. But after each homegrown atrocity Europe’s leaders kept hitting snooze. Only recently has expressing alarm at the Islamization of Europe even been considered within the bounds of legitimate political discourse. And still beyond the pale seems a discussion of what native-born Europeans, rather than the continent’s newer arrivals, are doing to undermine the survival of their civilization.
Cameron emphasizes the importance of transforming indigenous Muslims into Englishmen, or, in the more inclusive vernacular, Brits. He doesn’t quite grasp how Muslims have already transformed England into a place more resembling their mother countries. The adopted homeland can change the immigrant population through assimilation. Last-call soccer hooligan Arabs with cockney accents and Oxford-educated Muslim gentlemen attest that newcomers are capable of absorbing the best and worst of English culture. But the homeland can be changed by the immigrant population, too. Women wearing masks, arranged marriages, Sharia law separate from the law, and the de facto suppression of speech are a few of the ways in which European cities differ from themselves just a generation ago.
But before Muslims changed Europe, Europeans did.
European women stopped having babies. The birthrate is below replacement level in Sarkozy’s France (2.01 children per woman), Cameron’s England (1.95 for England and Wales) and Merkel’s Germany (1.38 children), which boasts its fewest number of births per woman since right after the Second World War.
The homelands of Adam Smith and Frederic Bastiat now regard social welfare as official state ideology. The least educated and skilled part of the workforce in Britain, France, and Germany can count on generous incomes because of the social safety net that punishes success and rewards failure. Charles Martel fought Muslims to keep them from taking over Europe. His progeny offer them the dole to entice them inside.
Leading European states have trashed their national identities. In the wake of the destructive nationalism of the 20th century, and the advent of the European Union, Europeans increasingly regard themselves as Europeans rather than Frenchmen, Germans, or Englishmen. Without currency, religion, a shared history, or even a language to bind, these nations have become unbound. Even as benign a symbol as the Cross of St. George, the national flag of England, is dubbed a banner of racism. Given that European nations are embarrassed to stand for what nations traditionally stand for, e.g., religious or ethnic identity, is it any wonder that they are undergoing such a horrible identity crisis?
Cameron’s plan for assimilation includes a common curriculum for students, newcomers learning the English language, and a ban on hate-filled preachers and organizations. This imposes obligations on the immigrant. What about the responsibilities of the larger society? A Europe unwilling to breed, unwilling to stop rewarding idleness through government give-outs, unwilling to curb immigration from societies unlike their own, and unwilling to take pride in their own cultures will become a Europe unlike the Europe we have known.
“Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream,” remarked Cameron. “We’ve failed to provide a vision of society to which they feel they want to belong. We’ve even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values.”
Europe’s values have increasingly come to mean a social welfare state, porous borders, reproductive suppression, and an internationalism that regards expressions of national pride as uncouth if not bigoted. If Europeans wish to abolish the Muslim Bantustans within their midst, it is their own values they may want to first rethink.
Daniel J. Flynn is the author of A Conservative History of the American Left (Crown Forum, 2008), Intellectual Morons (Crown Forum, 2004), and Why the Left Hates America (Prima Forum, 2002). He has appeared on Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, Sky News, PBS, CSPAN, and other broadcast networks. He writes a Monday column for Human Events and blogs at www.flynnfiles.com.