Monday, April 10, 2006

Is Paris Yearning?

What a dismal picture. The Knight-Ridder reporter finds a young Frenchwoman sitting on a curb in Paris, outside a barricaded university, watching protest marches stride by.

"We are united by a hatred, and a fear, of where France is heading. We cannot see a future where we will be able to live as well as our parents. We are all afraid of the future, and we are not alone."

Further down, a Dutch think-tank expert elaborates:

"Europe hasn't been this desperate since the postwar period. People are feeling lost in an ever-growing European Union. They feel that economically they've already lost to China, and they have no idea where they fit into the world anymore."

It's sad. I take no pleasure in this, for all the years I've listened to Europeans piss on America. Europe is us, it's where we're from. It's roots. Sometimes I think the best of them really did go into the soil in that damned war, the first one. And sometimes I think the winnowing happened when the ships sailed: those who would fight for changes and who welcomed a grapple crossed over and turned into us.

I'm reading Bruce Bawer's new book. I highly recommend it, as sad as it is. Someday I'll write a full review of it. For now, here's the short version:

Europe is screwed.

And here's the longer version:

Europe is really screwed.

Here is Bawer's view, in part from the book:

Rather than learn from the spectacularly successful history of U.S. immigration, European policymakers—who viewed America as a cruelly materialistic nation that compels immigrants to shake off their identities and fend for themselves in a dog-eat-dog economic system—pursued instead an approach they saw as humane and multicultural. (Wikan calls it “unrealistic and utopian.”) Under this approach, neither work nor integration would be encouraged (or, for that matter, particularly welcomed); immigrants would be treated generously, handled with kid gloves, and kept at arm’s length—and, it was believed, would respond with gratitude. The consequence of this policy, alas, is a generation of young European-born Muslim women many of whom are as cloistered and oppressed as their great-grandmothers were back in some North African or South Asian village, and a generation of young European-born Muslim men many of whom are unskilled, unruly, and possessed of a contempt for their starry-eyed benefactors that renders them highly vulnerable to seduction by radical Islamist teachers and recruiters for terrorism.

A prominent German scholar declares "Multiculturalism is dead."

Wednesday's edition of the populist Bild newspaper carried a blaring quote from "Germany's leading mind," a conservative historian named Arnulf Baring: "Something's gone wrong with the foreigners," he said. Baring is a respected scholar who's moved right in recent years; he likes to sound authoritarian and patriotic. In his Bild interview on Wednesday he dropped a line that you can now hear in pubs across Germany, ever since news broke last week of student violence in a heavily Turkish high school in Berlin.

There's an old bit of bathroom stall graffiti in which one hand writes "God is dead - Nietzsche," and under it another hand writes, "Nietzsche is dead - God." Certainly the second is more true than the first.

"Multiculturalism is dead - modern Europe."