This book details how the world is becoming increasingly Muslim and that America is one of the few bastions of freedom left. Birth rates across Europe are declining. Europe is full of socialist states that have high taxes to fund the social security pensions that the old expect. But with low birth rates, these states are forced to rely on immigrant labor and taxes for their benefits. The only people immigrating to Europe are Muslims. Muslims birth rates are exploding. Europe needs the immigrants, so they cow tow to aggressive Muslims who want infidels dead with laws and regulations that force women into burkas, etc.
One part of the book that really hit me (especially after the Political Sciences course I just took) was an exploration of Dick Cheney’s post 9-11 quote, “One of the things that’s changed so much since September 11 is the extent to which people do trust the government-big shift-and value it, and have high expectations for what we can do.” But wait…three of the planes hit their targets because the aircraft were operating under 1970’s hijacking rules from the government. Meanwhile on Flight 93, the passengers said, the government’s not up here with us, we gotta take these punks out. What succeeded on 9-11 was municipal government and people – the firefighters, cops and rescue workers. What failed was big government – CIA, FBI, INS, FAA, and a host of other alphabet agencies. The solution is not MORE government, but less government in a sense* because our government was inherently designed to be as slow and clunky as possible to prevent passionate people from forcing a issue through the legislature that would adversely affect us later on. Thank goodness for that, because otherwise we would have legalized the 11 million illegal immigrants already in this country and we’d have a fully funded guest-worker program that would be destroying our country (while a different issue entirely, it illustrates the point, no?).
Another interesting point was about a 2004 Wired article about Hans Monderman, a highway engineer in northern Holland who had an epiphany: build roads that seem dangerous and they’ll be safer. For instance, if you approach an intersection with all these rules and regulations and signs telling you how to behave, even if you follow everything, you still could get in an accident. But if an intersection has absolutely nothing (no lights, no signs, etc.), you have to figure it out for yourself, so you approach it cautiously and with an eye on what everyone else is doing at the intersection. A town in Denmark did this with their most dangerous intersections and cut traffic accidents at those intersections to zero (no data provided on this, but that’s biased writing for you).
Also discussed is the softening of the state. Many of Europe’s governments are handing the car keys to Muslims piecemeal, such that there will be no formal treaty of surrender signed between Islam and Britain, it will just come about because of the newest law. The same kind of thing is happening in America, as Steyn illustrates with cheese. In France, there is a distinctive cheese every 20 miles. Meanwhile in America you can’t taste the difference between American, Swiss and cheddar (except for the fact that if you get Swiss, you’re paying for cheese AND air – all those holes). No longer do our enemies have to attack us in all out war, they can merely disrupt our life at the margin and we look for the quickest route back to normalization. “There are some fellows rampaging through the streets because of some cartoons? Why, surely the most painless solution would be if we all agreed not to publish such cartoons” (pg. 198). You thinking about the McDonald’s hot coffee lawsuit too?
The real problem is multiculturalism – that as a concept it fails. Who wants to be multicultural? Western civilizations. You didn’t see Native Americans wanting to be multicultural. I love one of his examples: after 9-11, every Western leader visited a mosque. But to any previous society, that would have been absurd. Pearl Harbor just got bombed? Quick, order some sushi and get into the matinee of Madam Butterfly! Modern multiculturalism is a nullity – a non-culture.
Solution for dying socialist European countries: embrace uber-natalism. If you’ve got four dependents, your taxable income is divided by 5. Therefore an employed man with an annual salary of $50,000, a wife and three kids only pays taxes on $10,000 while an employed bachelor pays taxes on all of it.
In Germany, standing while urinating is frowned upon. Voice alarms are being installed on toilets that warn the user if the toilet seat is lifted. WTF?!?! Not sure where it’s gone since then – no news reports more recent than 2004 on the issue.
A lot of what is said makes sense to me – now if only we can get more people to read it, we might actually get somewhere.
* The one thing I can’t figure out in all this is how. One of the things Steyn complains about is that Amazon does better data mining than the government. But he is against (since 9-11 at least) anything that shifts individual judgment of free citizens to government programs. If someone denied access to the US at one checkpoint can drive 10 miles east or west and gain entry at that checkpoint, are we allowed to fix that problem with a national database that those checkpoints are all hooked into?