Mark Steyn Interview: Money quote (for Atlas) (minute 7:47, Part II)
Pamela: Hi this is Pamela from Atlas Shrugs.....
Mark Steyn: Hi Pamela. Big fan of yours
From Steyn? I can die and go to heaven now. My day, month, year is made. Totally
Here's the audio in two parts, anyone who wants to convert to MP3? UPDATE: Ewin did.
Mark Steyn (!) conducted an interview with a group of us - one of One Jerusalem.org's Newsmaker interviews. The sagacious Stein is one of the most important voices of our generation. His latest book America Alone: The End Of The World As We Know It (if you haven't read it buy it.) His book and his writings are a warning to America and the free world. His message echos Paul Belien's exhortation against the welfare state.
Someday soon, you might wake up to the call to prayer from a muezzin. Europeans already are.
And liberals will still tell you that "diversity is our strength"—while Talibanic enforcers cruise Greenwich Village burning books and barber shops, the Supreme Court decides sharia law doesn’t violate the "separation of church and state," and the Hollywood Left decides to give up on gay rights in favor of the much safer charms of polygamy.
The future, as Steyn shows, belongs to the fecund and the confident. And the Islamists are both, while the West—wedded to a multiculturalism that undercuts its own confidence, a welfare state that nudges it toward sloth and self-indulgence, and a childlessness that consigns it to oblivion—is looking ever more like the ruins of a civilization.
Europe, laments Steyn, is almost certainly a goner. The future, if the West has one, belongs to America alone—with maybe its cousins in brave Australia. But America can survive, prosper, and defend its freedom only if it continues to believe in itself, in the sturdier virtues of self-reliance (not government), in the centrality of family, and in the conviction that our country really is the world’s last best hope.
Steyn argues that, contra the liberal cultural relativists, America should proclaim the obvious: we do have a better government, religion, and culture than our enemies, and we should spread America’s influence around the world—for our own sake as well as theirs.
On Iran, Stein has written;
If we’d understood Iran back in 1979, we’d understand better the challenges we face today. Come to that, we might not even be facing them. But, with hindsight, what strikes you about the birth of the Islamic Republic is the near total lack of interest by analysts in that adjective: Islamic. Iran was only the second Islamist state, after Saudi Arabia—and, in selecting as their own qualifying adjective the family name, the House of Saud at least indicated a conventional sense of priorities, as the legions of Saudi princes whoring and gambling in the fleshpots of the West have demonstrated exhaustively. Hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue—though, as the Royal Family has belatedly discovered vis-à-vis the Islamists, they’re somewhat overdrawn on that front. The difference in Iran is simple: with the mullahs, there are no London escort agencies on retainer to supply blondes only. When they say “Islamic Republic,” they mean it. And refusing to take their words at face value has bedeviled Western strategists for three decades.
According to Stein, it is the intersection of the East and West that is at issue. In his travels through Europe that he found the most hostile Muslims in ........ France.
In once homogeneous Western cultures they have become, in a generation, bi-cultural. History was on the march very quickly in Europe.
The Democrats were so condescending on Iraq somehow George W. has squandered the good will of France and Germany. But it wasn't so, if you were in Chirac's position with an enormous population of Muslims under 20 and unemployed, he had little choice.
No responsible political party at this time should be proposing entitlements. Exactly what Paul Belien said in our VLOG interview here.
Rogue countries observe Kim Jong Il and think if he gets away with it, why can't I? So psycho states ...........
Even our friends in the world begins to doubt America's will. Reasonable countries will conclude America is not a reliable leader. America will not survive as a beacon of liberty.
He believes the current global conflict with Islam has its roots in history. We must contain its worst elements. Islam has changed dramatically over the last four decades. Jihadism has gone mainstream.
"Demography is a critical component to the fall of the West."
"How hard a nut multiculturalism to crack is a major problem."
I asked Steyn if he thought it was possible to get elected in America on an America is alone, no welfare state platform. I told him his warning echoed Belien against the welfare state but people vote with their wallets and could such a platform survive a jihad loving, welfare loving media. Condi Rice was vigorously pursuing a multilateral foreign policy which runs counter to what is necessary.
STEYN: " On that last point for example, I agree with you. There are certainly elements in the Bush administration that agree with you on that too. That in fact, the State Department, the sort of striped pants permanent bureaucracy has succeeded in miring the second term of this administration in generally pointless diplomacy. But I don't believe there isn't any downside to running against the the United Nations. Unless you happen to be on certain of the coastal regions of America and certain Ivy League college towns, you could run on an anti-UN platform and be elected almost anywhere in this country. You would be demonized by the New York Times as some Neanderthal but I don't think the American people would mind. I think they'd be broadly supportive of that.
But the point to understand here Pamela is that you can't suddenly introduce some these things six weeks before an election. You've got to .....some of these things need to be out there and you've got to be planting the seeds for them and changing the people's minds beyond the political process really.
You've got to be changing people's minds on a lot of the conventional wisdom on welfare, conventional wisdom on multi-culturalism wherever they raise their heads.
The advantage that America has is that a lot these countries are going to be going over the precipice before America and it's hard to argue that Europe is the way we ought to go when every time you switch on the evening news there's buildings in flames and "youths" as they call them hurling Molotov cocktails into police stations.
"What is pathetic about this Bush hatred is its pathetic parochialism This pathetic idea that there aren't any questions is ludicrous. "
Ann of Boker Tov Boulder asked a wonderful question because Steyn gave the most interesting and achievable objectives . She said that it was all so depressing and what did Steyn see as a best case scenario?
Best case scenario would look something like this; Certain European countries, mainly European countries, will see whats happening in other parts of the continent and take steps not to be sucked down with the European Union.
The best case scenario in the Middle East would be if we succeed in establishing a place for politics in the Middle East that is outside the mosque. At the moment, because of the repressiveness of the Mubarak sand the House of Saud, the only political space for politics is inside the mosque. If you can create some democratic space outside the mosque there's a chance you can midwife not perfect countries but more moderate countries that would greatly kind of lower the kind of jihad fever.
Best case scenario for Canada is it decides to get real and join the anglosphere and stop pretending to part of the European Union in the wrong hemisphere and decides to be more like Australia.
The best case in America is we accept that in a two party system it would be helpful to have two sane parties. And the Democratic party decides that the outmoded European ideas are absolutely useless. That is wants to take at the minimum a kind of Tony Blair line on national security but at the same it also wants to go to self reliance and traditional notions of American liberty when it comes to domestic issues.
Turn back the jihadists tide. Latin America which is being subverted by the jihad at the moment, becomes a beacon of restored Christendom. We effect regime change in Iran and we basically secure Israel in an environment in which we stop fetishizing the Palestinians in this death cult of depravity.
We are highly unlikely to win on all those fronts so one or two or four or more of those can be chipped away.
How fookin brilliant is that?
Other bloggers on the call included the IRIS blog, Avi Green of Tel Chai nation, Pastorius of Infidel Bloggers Alliance, American Thinker, Warren Cozak, Jerry Gordon of Israpundit, Wizbang, Tigerhawk, Rick of Jewish Current Issues, John Hawkins Right Wing News, Omri at Mere Rhetoric who wrote a great post here
His read of the emergence of European multiculturalism is casual: "we need more plumbers, but we're certainly not going to do that work... we'll bring in kind of violent unassimilated immigrants, and to make ourselves feel better about their violent unassimilated we'll celebrate our tolerance for it". The causality between demographics, cultural exhaustion, and the welfare state is probably impossible to untangle, but his description is certainly how it happened on the ground - and it's certainly why journalists and authors find it so hard to criticize the "youths" that are rioting now.
On the other hand, he's not trading on any simplistic nostalgia for a Europe that never existed. We're not dealing here with a simple Huns-at-the-gate scenario: political Islam is not just barbaric primitivism. Rather, it is the intersection of the East and West, the Muslim world and the Christian world. In several places he alluded to the standard academic trope for this, which is that it's the intersection between the developing world and modernity - people driven by an ancient ideology who now have access to planes. It seems like he's still marked by the shock of traveling to Europe and the Middle East after 9/11 and discovering that France's Muslims were far more hostile and alienated than the people that he met in the Arab world. Osama Bin Laden might have lived in a cave, but the Hamburg 9/11 terrorists and the French gangbanging rioters live in apartments and have televisions.
He's also quite skeptical about the potential for secular values or secular movements to form a bulwark against political Islam as it spreads across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He took time out to criticize the anti-theism of Chris Hitchens and the New Atheism of Richard Dawkins as empirical failures (he didn't use either of those labels, although that's what he was alluding to - Hitch's anti-theism is well-known, and Wired just posted an essential article on New Atheism). They might be sound in theory, but they're simply not appealing enough to form the basis for an ideology that can provide a backbone to the people who'll be fighting the good fight for the next two or three generations. As he said, "history is on the march very quickly in Europe"
Listen to it all.................
UPDATE: Check out TIGERHAWK's most excelent review of Steyn's new book here.