Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Strange Death of Europe

In my review of Michel Houellebecq’s Submission,   I asked:  Can a novel wake up a civilization?  And my answer was - I certainly hope so.  

But perhaps a non-fiction book can do even more? The reaction Submisson created in France when it was originally published is now being matched by Douglas Murray’s non-fiction The Strange Death of Europe. Not only it is on The Sunday Times bestseller list but the interview with the author got 96661 hits in one day!   

What is it that Douglas Murray has done right? To quote Orwell -   in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.  Douglas Murray has told the truth eloquently and with the knowledge of the subject unmatched by anybody else, so that after having read the book one can only say – this is so clear, how come no one had done this before? 
Murray shows that the utter mess Europe has got itself into through massive immigration is not the result of some conspiracy, but of politicians never fully understanding the consequences of their actions and then once realizing that something was amiss, doing everything but confronting the truth, constantly lying to everyone and themselves, in order to safeguard their own short term goals, even if it ultimately meant the death of the whole continent, or at least Western Europe.

The ‘tiredness’ felt by Europeans who have lost faith in their own values creates a passivity and  a vacuum easily filled by immigrants whose belief system is completely incompatible by the values Europeans once used to have.

To me living in Israel this European passivity and the belief that nothing can be done is truly   shocking. Despite all its daily problems, we here feel we are alive and masters of our own fate despite the opprobrium by the rest of the world.  

There were times in the book that I gasped and asked myself, how is this possible? Here is one of them:

In the meantime elected officials and bureaucrats continue to do everything they can to make the situation as bad as possible as fast as possible. In October 2015 there was a public meeting on the small city of Kassel in the state of Hesse. Eight hundred immigrants were due to arrive in the following days and concerned residence had a meeting to ask questions of their representatives. As a video recording of the meeting shows, citizens were calm, polite but concerned. Then at a certain point their district president, one Walter Lübcke, calmly informs them that anybody who does not agree with the policy is ‘free to leave Germany’.  You can see and hear on the tape the intake of breath, amazed laughter, hoots and finally shouts of anger. Whole new populations are being brought into their country and they are being told that if they don’t like this they are always free to leave? Do not politicians in Europe realise what could happen if they continue to treat European people like this?

How come Eastern Europe is different? Having lived in the USSR and Yugoslavia, I knew the answer.   

"Why is Eastern Europe so different? Why has its attitude throughout the migrant crisis, towards borders, natural sovereignty, cultural cohesion and many other points  besides been so much at odds  with that of Western Europe? "

"Chantal Delsol noticed the seeds of this difference in the mid-1990s. Spending time in Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, she saw that Eastern Europeans 'increasingly considered us as creatures from another planet, even while at a different level they dreamed  of becoming like us. I later became convinced that it was in these eastern European societies that I should seek some answers to our question -- the divergence between us and them led me to the belief that the last fifty years of good fortune had entirely erased our sense of the tragic dimension of life'. That tragic dimension of life had not been erased in the East. And nowhere have the consequences of this been more clearly displayed than in the attitudes of Eastern European leaders, with the support of their publics, to the migration crisis." 

Douglas Murray is not very optimistic about the future.  The last chapter, What will be, is pretty bleak. I, on the other hand, am a bit more optimistic. It seems that the awakening has finally begun and this book is the perfect vehicle to help it accelerate 


Update July 14

I just got a link to the trailer for Darkest Hour (2017) where Gary Oldman plays Winston Churchill   during the 1940  War Cabinet  Crisis  between May 25 and May 28 when Churchill stood up to Lord Halifax and saved the West.  Boris Johnson writes about this decisive day in his book The Churchill Factor. 

Churchill on May 28, 1940:

"I have thought carefully in these last days whether it was part of my duty to consider entering into negotiations with That Man [Hitler]. But it was idle to think that, if we tried to make peace now, we should get better terms than if we fought it out. The Germans would demand our – that would be called disarmament – our naval bases, and much else. We should become a slave state, though a British Government which would be Hitler's puppet would be set up – under Mosley or some such person. And where should we be at the end of all that? On the other side we have immense reserves and advantages. And I am convinced that every one of you would rise up and tear me down from my place if I were for one moment to contemplate parley or surrender. If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground."

We have reached a very similar point today.

And here is my comment after having seen the movie and read the book:

Update Sept 6 , 2017

Week 18 on the Sunday Times bestseller list