PART III: An Existential Threat?
These two critical errors identified in Part II (among others) helped the Christchurch shooter rationalize a truly heinous response to what he perceived as an existential threat from an outside culture. Now it’s time to ask a very uncomfortable question: Is there an existential threat to Western civilization rooted in Muslim immigration, or was the shooter completely wrong about that as well? And if there is a threat, what is the nature of it?
Before examining this, it is important to recognize that major threats to Western civilization exist from within the West itself. Western intellectuals have long-since forsaken the Enlightenment, and have been vulnerable to and even accomplices of efforts to undermine its values. In the 1980s, Soviet KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov explained in detail his scheme for the KGB process of ideological subversion and takeover of target societies in the West. He outlined the four stages of attack: demoralization, destabilization, crisis, and normalization, and boasted that the Soviets didn’t have to actually do much, but could get American intellectuals to implement the KGB’s subversive tactics for them. “You cannot subvert an enemy who does not want to be subverted,” he quipped. The work of so-called journalists like New York Times reporter Walter Duranty, who earned a Pulitzer for spreading Soviet disinformation, comes to mind. Of course, the Soviet Union has since died, but the effectiveness of Bezmenov’s techniques was only possible because American intellectuals were asleep at the wheel, or maybe even intentionally driving us all into a ditch. Although no longer explicitly pro-communist, Marxist ideology is alive and well in America. Decades ago, Bezmenov even spoke about “social justice introduced by Marxist-Leninism.” Sound familiar?
According to professors Joshua Dunn of the University of Colorado and Jon Shields of Claremont McKenna College, as of 2016 eighteen percent of social scientists in the United States self-identify as Marxists. Compare that to the number who self-identify as conservative (five percent) and the prevalence of anti-Enlightenment ideologues among American intellectuals becomes painfully obvious. Today, few intellectuals talk about Marxism explicitly (although many do, especially on college campuses). Instead, Marxist collectivist ideology has been rebranded as “intersectionality,” the core belief system behind the modern social justice movement. You may not have heard of intersectionality, but you’re nevertheless surrounded by its ideological byproducts. It’s why razor companies make ads about toxic masculinity. It’s why children’s Halloween costumes are now subject to approval from self-appointed cultural appropriation police. It’s why late night comedy sucks. It’s why Twitter bans everyone from radical feminist Meghan Murphy to gay provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos. It’s why a 52-year-old male can identify as a 6-year-old girl and stroll into the same bathroom that your daughter uses. It’s the kernel upon which Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s politician.exe software runs. There is nothing noble about intersectionality; it’s the same tired old collectivism that fueled twentieth century communism around the world and left almost 100 million people dead, their starved and murdered bodies gleefully strewn across Eastern Europe and Asia by the most “woke” Marxists on the planet.
Intersectionality simply tweaked where to draw the boundaries between groups. Instead of using socio-economic class like the classical Marxists, intersectionality’s primary method of categorizing people utilizes a hierarchy of perceived oppression based on attributes such as: genetics, ethnicity, medical status, mental health, and sexual proclivities. It seeks to turn Western culture into a frenzied race to see who can get away with advertising (or manufacturing) her victimhood status most loudly, which is rewarded — not coincidentally — with unchecked political power. They call this “progressivism.”
The sad truth is that Western culture has rotted from within. The Bill of Rights was an attempt to codify the Enlightenment idea of individual autonomy over group allegiance, and support for these rights can be a good litmus test for the health of Western culture. Take a look around you at the rhetoric coming from politicians, the media, celebrities, universities, and almost anyone with significant cultural influence. For the most part, individual rights aren’t even considered. Worse, the word, “right” has been redefined to mean “stuff we can force other people to give you.” Not only are services like healthcare, education, and welfare (both corporate and personal) not “rights,” they are antithetical to the entire concept of individual rights because they are granted to one person by violating the rights of another. Few people seem to care about this anymore, neither on the left, nor the right. (As author Michael Malice once noted, “conservatism is progressivism driving the speed limit.”) Even the sanctity of freedom of speech is eroding. According to a 2017 Gallup/Knight Foundation survey, “college students prioritize promoting an inclusive society that is welcoming of diverse groups over one that protects citizens’ free speech rights, 53% to 46%.” An “inclusive society” sounds nice, I guess, but it’s not worth forfeiting the very soul of Western civilization.
Without a principled defense of individualism over collectivism, the West has no chance of defending itself against toxic cultures. And yes, there are toxic cultures — or at least cultures that embody philosophic principles that are toxic to Enlightenment values. Any belief system that subordinates the individual to the state, group, or some other authority is fundamentally toxic to Western civilization. Islam is one such belief system. This doesn’t mean that Muslims are evil people or that they should be treated differently from Christians or atheists (or murdered in cold blood, obviously). Marxism is incredibly toxic to the West, too, but that doesn’t mean you should run around shooting sociology professors. People are not their belief systems. To true defenders of Western civilization, people are individuals rather than fungible members of a collective.
So let’s return to the Christchurch shooter’s mindset. Although his manifesto contains a barrage of accusations and slurs against Muslim immigrants, his primary contention is based on an assumption that is probably true: the population of many European nations will very likely be majority Muslim within the next few decades. To him, this takeover of the West is an “attack” by an enemy with whom his society is at war, whether or not everyone else realizes it. After opening with the Dylan Thomas poem, Do not go gentle into that good night, the first three sentences of the shooter’s manifesto are: “It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates.” “If there is one thing I want you to remember from these writings,” he continues, “its [sic] that the birthrates must change. Even if we were to deport all Non-Europeans from our lands tomorrow, the European people would still be spiraling into decay and eventual death.” He goes on to cite data to buttress this assertion. Some of that data is solid (assuming we can trust Wikipedia), while some of it is unsubstantiated and exaggerated (I’ll only use accurate data below). Nevertheless, the narrative is generally true, which is:
In order for a population to sustain itself, there must be a minimum birth rate of about 2.1 children per family. The birthrate, or total fertility rate (TFR), in the European Union was a paltry 1.58 in 2015. It’s particularly low in countries like Spain (1.33) and Italy (1.35), but even in countries like France, where the rate is higher (1.96) it’s still well below the minimum replacement rate. Despite this, the population of France and other European nations is growing and projected to continue to grow. This is largely due to immigration, much of which comes in the form of immigration from Muslim-majority countries, and the presumed higher TFR of those immigrants. Think of it this way: France’s 1.96 TFR is a combined measurement of the TFR of native French and the TFR of the recent immigrant population in France. Conveniently, France does not collect statistics that would allow us to accurately determine how much of that 1.96 TFR is coming from native French vs. immigrant French. What we do know is that globally, Muslims have the highest fertility rates of any group, clocking in at a TFR of 2.9. Assuming some of that cultural behavior crosses the border into France along with the immigrants, we can pretty confidently guess that the TFR of native French is below 1.96, while the TFR of French Muslim immigrants is higher than 1.96.
All this adds up to the conclusion that much of Europe is in the midst of a potentially massive demographic shift. Most intellectuals and media pundits condescendingly dismiss this idea as a crazy “conspiracy theory” that only white nationalists believe. Their intention is to make the topic so radioactive that normal people are afraid to have a real discussion about it for fear that they’ll be labeled racist. But while it’s true that race-obsessed fascists like the Christchurch shooter disseminate exaggerated — or even fictitious — numbers in an attempt to generate hysteria over alleged white genocide, it’s also true that looking at widely available and uncontested statistics like TFR and immigration trends makes the prospect of Muslim-dominated portions of Europe look less like a conspiracy theory and more like an eventuality.
It’s clear that almost no one seriously believes that there aren’t at least some significant changes happening in Europe due to Muslim immigration. Even Germany’s pro-immigration leader, Angela Merkel, knows it. She’s known it for years. “Our country is going to carry on changing,” she told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily almost 10 years ago. “For years we’ve been deceiving ourselves about this. Mosques, for example, are going to be a more prominent part of our cities than they were before.” Average Europeans know it, too. In a 2017 Chatham House survey (hardly a right-wing institution), 55% of Europeans agreed with the statement: “All further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped.” It’s not just something only xenophobic white folks believe, either. Muslim leaders know and openly talk about demographics. “There are signs that Allah will grant victory to Islam in Europe without swords, without guns, without conquest,” Muammar Gaddafi boasted back in 2006. “We don’t need terrorists, we don’t need homicide bombers. The 50+ million Muslims [in Europe] will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades.” A quick DuckDuckGo search will reveal that many modern day imams are just as optimistic about this as was Gaddafi.
You might feel pressure to shy away from a discussion like this for fear of being labeled, “racist,” which would be a healthy reaction if this were about race. But it’s not. There is a legitimate concern that transcends race and needs to be discussed out in the open, instead of being left to fester in the dark corners of the Internet until it erupts in the form of another live-streamed mass murder. That concern is the impact of Islamic ideology on an Enlightenment-based culture and political structure. On average, one can reasonably assume that native French people are more likely to push the culture (and politics) of France in the direction of traditional “Frenchness,” which presumably includes some respect for both individual liberty and moldy cheese. On the other hand, Muslim immigrants, on average, can be reasonably expected to push the culture (and politics) in a direction that aligns better with Muslim values. The same is true for all Western nations. Of course, just as being a non-Muslim doesn’t guarantee that a person will vote to uphold Western values (such as the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, etc.), practicing Islam is no guarantee that a person will vote to destroy those values, either. Except that in nations with a majority Muslim population, they certainly tend to do just that. And an anti-individualist voting pattern is exactly what one would expect from adherence to a religion that doubles as a political ideology with strictly enforced behavioral and social codes, especially in a society that no longer defends, respects, or teaches the principle of individualism. It’s not Muslim immigrants per se that threaten Western civilization; it’s the ideology of Islam and the cultural and political impact of adherence to it. There are plenty of non-violent, healthy, ways for an Enlightenment-based culture to address this concern, but they all start with having a rational conversation about it. Because the shooter is a collectivist who lacks an understanding of the philosophic foundations of the West, this option was lost on him.
The fact that the West is not having a serious conversation about the fundamental incompatibility between Islam and the Enlightenment only serves to elevate the paranoia of potential ethno-nationalists. Indeed, Western institutions’ willful blindness to any problems related to Muslim immigration helped convince the Christchurch shooter that an international conspiracy to wage a war against the West had secretly begun. His manifesto includes more than a page of links to Wikipedia entries describing various cases of child rape and sexual abuse crimes perpetrated by groups of Muslim immigrants, beginning with the infamous decades-long Rotherham atrocity. He presents these anecdotes as if they are equivalent to statistical realities and concludes that they represent a dangerous pattern of Muslim aggression. Ordinarily, this would be an easy claim to prove or disprove; we’d simply examine religious or birth origin data of convicted criminals, controlling for other factors like sex, age, socio-economic status, etc. But we can’t do that because European governments have refused to collect this data, or in some cases they were collecting it previously but stopped years ago when it began to suggest politically incorrect trends. This lack of transparency makes it look like European governments and accomplices in the media are hiding something, which lends more credibility to the shooter’s assumptions about crime rates than it does to those who’d like to use data to disprove him. Instead of collecting actual data and then having real discussions with concerned Europeans about Muslim immigration, political and intellectual leaders simply yell, “xenophobe!” or “racist!” But name-calling is only a temporary scare tactic that loses potency the more it’s used, and it accelerates radicalization among those most vulnerable to ethno-nationalist ideology.
Western civilization — embodied by the idea that the rights of each and every individual override the whims, desires, or needs of the group — is in fact at risk of vanishing. The primary reason for this is that the very people our society relies on to protect it — professors, journalists, politicians, and other intellectuals — spend most of their energy actively poisoning it. To add insult to injury, the world’s fastest growing religion is one that doesn’t exactly look like it’s on the verge of its own Reformation and subsequent cultural Enlightenment. Today’s Islam has a near unwavering track record of rejecting the separation between church and state and instead offers its adherents an amalgamated set of political and religious beliefs. This results in the pseudo-theocracies with barbaric laws we see today, like Brunei and its recent rule that punishes gay and adulterous sex by stoning offenders to death. An influx of immigrants with this rival politico-religious ideology leaves many natives with a vague sense of dread that something terrible is about to happen, but thanks to the West’s philosophic suicide most of them have no idea what that might be or what they should (or shouldn’t) do about it. The dangerously unstable among them have only a collectivist understanding of the world, leading them to choose the most primitive sort of group with which to identify: race. Once someone’s world has devolved into a battle between tribes, anything can feel justified. Even murder.
There is something worth fighting for in the West, but it’s not whiteness, Catholicism, or German food. Western values rooted in individual autonomy aren’t just different from Marxist values, or fascist values, or Islamic values. They’re better. Joining the battle to save Western civilization means rediscovering this, understanding it, and not being too ashamed or afraid to say it. It’s not a battle to be fought with guns, but with words. Preventing future violence requires unfettered discourse, not censorship, silence, or lazy clichés. To be clear, the war isn’t between Islam and Christianity, or between the left and the right, or between Democrats and Republicans. It’s a war between individualists and collectivists, and it’s time for you to pick a side.
If you enjoyed this article, please consider clapping for it.