Sunday 17 June 2018

What the papers say - I have found four plums

In his upcoming book on US immigration, my brilliant friend Reihan Salam — himself the son of Bangladeshi immigrants — makes a bold argument: America must either restrict immigration or risk civil war as rising inequality and racial tension combine.
I hope Salam is right that the American melting pot can somehow be salvaged. But I have no such hope for Europe. No one who has spent any time in Germany

since Merkel’s great gamble of 2015-16 can honestly believe that a melting pot is in the making there. Anyone who visits Italy today can see that the policies of the past decade — austerity plus open borders — have produced a political meltdown.
Fusion may still be an option for the United States. For Europe, I fear, the future is one of fission — a process potentially so explosive that it may relegate Brexit to the footnotes of future history.

Niall Ferguson in today's Sunday Times in an article headlined 'The EU melting pot is melting down'

Today, liberalism appears to be dying in much the same way that Soviet Communism did a generation ago. It is collapsing on its periphery, shedding its colonies and facing a crisis of faith at home. History has gone into reverse in the realm of the old Warsaw Pact, first with Russia, now Hungary, Poland and the former East Germany rejecting liberalism—just as they did Marxism three decades ago. The exotic American orchid of liberal democracy, having taken root in such unlikely climes as postwar Germany and Japan, has failed to flower where the Iron Curtain once cast its shadow.
[I am less hopeful and fear that modern liberalism will roll over Eastern Europe in the next few years, as the older generations die and more and more graduates educated arts faculties in the West return.]

The story is the same elsewhere: a new sort of decolonization is taking place from the Eastern Mediterranean to South Asia. States that until recently aspired to Western-style modernity on their own terms now find little need for the secular models of liberalism or socialism. They have taken up instead the old cause of faith and nation.
Bitter rivals though they may have been, liberalism and Communism sprang from a common nineteenth-century vision of human destiny: of a future that was secularizing, scientific, materially prosperous, progressive, universal and inevitable. This, for all its variations, was the vision of Vladimir Lenin and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, David Ben-Gurion and Jawaharlal Nehru, Woodrow Wilson and the architects of the European Union. The decline of liberalism is not a surprise twist to history, seen in this light. It is only a continuation of what destroyed the Soviet order—a long awakening from the utopian reverie of scientific truth wedded to power.

Daniel McCarthy reviewing Patrick J. Deneen's Why Liberalism Failed here.

Analysis by the Heritage Foundation found that asylum seekers were involved in 32 of 194 Islamist plots that have targeted Europe over the past four years, resulting in 357 deaths and 1,678 injuries. 

A recent survey of the publishing industry in America discovered that 79% of its staff were white — which is almost exactly in keeping with the demographic of the country. And that 78% were female — which, um, isn’t. The people who did the survey did not give a monkey’s about the male-female disparity — they were worried about the other statistic and thought more black and ethnic minority people should be employed. They didn’t explain why.

Rod Liddle in the Sunday Times


  1. Plums right enough - that idea of decolonisation is really helpful as a way of conceptualising the rejection of Western liberalism.

  2. Since when did the "melting pot" concept ever apply to Europe? I thought it was distinctly American.

  3. Great little gems. Have you checked out the review of The Suicide of the West over at Imaginative Conservative? I think you would find it interesting.


  5. States that until recently aspired to Western-style modernity on their own terms now find little need for the secular models of liberalism or socialism. They have taken up instead the old cause of faith and nation.

    That would be encouraging, if true. Unfortunately I don't think it is true. I think it's wishful thinking. I would love to believe that liberalism is dying. In fact all the signs are that it is becoming increasingly more powerful and more virulent.