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The strange death of Europe : Immigration, identity, Islam (2017)

by Douglas Murray

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4031648,004 (4.2)4
This book is not only an analysis of demographic and political realities in Europe, but also an eyewitness account of a continent in self-destruct mode. It includes reporting from across the entire continent, from the places where migrants land to the places they end up, from the people who appear to welcome them in to the places which cannot accept them.… (more)
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This is a well researched argument that the mass immigration into Europe (originally post-colonial, and recently and to a much greater degree, refugees and economic migrants from Islamic countries and Africa) is destructive.

Unfortunately, while the causes are clear (a combination of post-war guilt, especially in Germany, and some weird form of self loathing, combined with exploitation, and on the migrant side, rational economic self interest in both the welfare state and superior economic opportunities), enabled by politicians who were largely acting counter to the wishes and consent of the populace, the solution is unclear -- simply extrapolating from current trends goes nowhere good.

(My takeaway is I'm glad to be in the US where the immigration argument is almost entirely a question of economics, fairness of the queue, and to a lesser degree domestic politics, vs existential risk and fundamentally altering the character of the country. Also, thankful that Eastern Europe exists and has chosen a much more reasonable path.) ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
With a title like that I probably can't blame the author for having an agenda but the worst you can say about this book is that it cherry-picks facts... but they are still facts. There are lots of people angry about the book but what are they angry about exactly? Or are they just angry about reality? I don't share the bleak outlook and general fear of change but hey, I'm an immigrant so it's not like I can claim impartiality. I think the first hand experience of the immigration crisis has exposed the author to too much misery and he just can't see any possible futures that don't involve further escalations of current problems. ( )
  Paul_S | Dec 23, 2020 |
For short version, read Introduction and Conclusion

Mixed feelings about this one.
Working around the title, is Europe dying? No, I wouldn’t think so. Is it struggling? For sure.

First of all, huge part of the book is about UK with UK data and less about Europe, although Britain was and is at the front of immigrations issues. It mentions European data and even other countries like Portugal, but it all eventually ends in figuring out where did the English go wrong on managing their borders.
Murray is an author I find to be very honest and here continues to lay down his opinions clearly and brilliantly. Unfortunately (of fortunately) I find some of the data debatable. Its ultimately a conservative text regardless of attempting intellectual honesty. It will tell everyone on the right exactly what they want to hear or be confirmed while raising very legit concerns, but inadvertently shows there is much more at play when it ties with today politics. It also goes perfectly well with his next book, Madness of Crowds and can prompt the reader to try to do some very legitimate associations.
Murray writes an alarmist piece but I don’t consider it totally unfounded either.

I mean, (1) today’s political correctness and social justice battles seem to be a rushed and clumsy political way of inserting the immigrants properly in society, because nations failed to do so in the years of wide open borders; (2) it also shows due to quality of life and increased education, immigrants keep the lower tier workforce steady; (3) but after decades, many are established, grown and their contributions to the country demand legalities and rights that are deserved, to the point “native Europeans” became, apparently, a minority in its own turf, although not meaning everyone else a Muslim or budist.

Madness of Crowds shows feminism in the UK for example, is minimal where numbers are concerned, so the power of political correct authorities have, albeit ridiculously high, wouldn’t ever represent the entire foreign population. In fact, it is the native elites doing all the noise.

If the book’s objective is to warn us of Europeans killing Europe, then certainly sends the message, but also raises something more obscure: Is Europe losing a geopolitical conflict against foreign regions, or is it pure naivete of native political institutions letting foreign influence gain the high ground?

This is pretty much the gist of the book. Now I’m going for some musings about the themes. You can skip it or keep that steel armour up. Or jump to the Conclusion.

LET’s BE REALISTIC HERE

From refugee crisis, multiculturalism and Brexit, European countries and its institutions have a lot on their plate. But what else can it do? As a non- British economically conservative individual, I’ve no delusions british conservatives only have british interests in mind, so why would I support it?
It'll be my fellow countryman living there paying for it, our economy and our emigration suffering. Unless there are boons for being centuries old allies in the deal, I can get behind it, but nations don’t have friends, only interests.

Other countries don’t have the luxury of a “Petrodollar” so they have to rely on tourism, specially when they either don’t have natural resources or there are forces not letting them be explored for various legitimate reasons; others are in geographically sensible areas which need policies for easier access and even protection, otherwise would be up for grabs.
Europe can provide the means and arms to guarantee these countries the opportunity to be productive and grow protected. Being in Europe and not being in the Union, means you either: (1) Russia’s beach, (2) America’s puppet, (3) Isolated. There is and always will be only one Switzerland. They can remains neutral and keep their wits about them because taking it by force would be too much of a strategic and logistic hassle and the view is too nice not to peacefully enjoy it.

Meanwhile, Portugal relies on massive street cred and diplomacy to retain its historical empire and even then, instead of mass genocides, opted to bear so many gifts the natives couldn’t leave without them. Probably why they get good rep and territory while not having an outstanding army. It is to this day how it survives, so being Europe’s beach isn’t so bad. They need the tourism and the population is so old, they need anyone willing to stay and breed. The young, highly educated and fertile end up leaving or with no incentives to have more children.

ISLAM

This book also stirs all sorts of emotions in me, wanting to punch a wall. I swear even my cat can see it in my face when I’m hearing it at home.

The things police and juries are willing to NOT DO to avoid being called Islamophobic or racist, are outright disgusting, while women and female children get trafficked and abused; justice system fears the repercussions of harming political correct pressure and media mask these by diverting attention to other minority causes. Not all Muslims are bad apples, but the good ones get death threats by fellow Muslims when they speak against rape, while the foreign gangs on European soil are not dealt with because it might hurt some people feelings. Their feelings take priority over the lives of real victims.
Instead of having foreigners learn western ways to belong and contribute to the community, we have them keep to themselves leading to, at best: functioning apart from society; at worse: complete segregation. All while women and children get to be victims. So much for defending women. The average person gets caught in the middle of this and even gets the blame from elites and media.

It also pains me how fellow atheists in the social liberal branch piss on Christianity and want to completely get rid of it, while accepting and enforcing Islamic ways and laws to be “progressive”. What the hell is wrong with you? Its a humongous oxymoron that even leaves The Horseman scratching their heads.

Christianity been reformed more times than it cares to admit and you can have lots of views, sleep around and pursue science without getting stoned, arrested or scientifically denied. Women in Christian countries no longer “stay in the kitchen” and can wear skirts. Why? Because the Church and State are not only separated but because religious laws would get you ridiculed. Not having gays marry is even more about social prejudice than religious fanaticism.

Islam reforms get squashed and it always leads to the same crap.

Who are you trying to fool? More importantly, why?

Certainly good Muslims are being prejudiced because of the bad ones, but man, the bad ones are getting away with so much and its the European’s leaders fault. A westerner doesn’t have the same liberties in the East as an Easterner has in the West, meanwhile when we go there we “ought a respect it”. Otherwise we are “Insert Phobia.”

POPULATION and POPULISM

Conservatives fear the boom of Islamic children in the west. Maybe in France and UK it might be true. The growth is staggering and worrying, so nationalist movements aren’t surprising although they come loaded with suffocating estate control over markets and banks. That is blatant fascism.
Closing borders make sense, but countries relying on tourism won’t like it or survive. Extreme right movements, in reality, aren’t many or don’t even exist. Authoritarian and Nationalist would be much more accurate. France’s Le Pen policies aren’t on the right, they even pro- abortion and against free market. The Spanish Vox is probably the most textbook Extreme you'll find on the right, because it supports highly Liberalization of market and limited immigration in order to create a stronger nation along with morally authoritarian policies and populism. For the sake of Iberian Peninsula I hope Portugal catches up if these guys get there.

However, lets not be delusional about leaving the EU without giving tax payers a lot of baggage. Like Brexit, everyone wants to check out of the Hotel while keeping Room service.

In reality, reasons why countries get older and less growth has less to do with Islamization and the rise of “SoCiaL MarXIsM”, and more to do with something akin to Japan, albeit less obssessive. A mix of natural progression of quality of life allowing priorities and more opportunities in work, education and self self-fulfilment, to give a better life to kids later. In many cases, also because young people became disenfranchised with family life for various reasons that are probably much more scientific. The times of “she had eight kids and raised them all” are virtually over.

CONCLUSION

For once, you have to be European or be very attentive to everything happening here to understand what is going on. Fox news will just alarm everyone with Islam and Communism and everything else on other side will just go full Justice Warrior. No nuance, no intricacies, no source searching. I wouldn’t judge America solely on Trumps tweets, even when they’re telling. Bernie’s socialism is European right wing in some countries. We do and take things differently here.

Murray presents why Europe will not survive the coming generations. Muses about fertility rates, immigration policies, its faiths, beliefs, traditions, social policies…

Audiobook is narrated by Robert Davies and sounds like Murray, which is both weird and charming. I recommend it. Narration has spirit and is clean. Language is fluid and leaves room to absorb its content. I feel its as intellectually honest as a conservative can be. I argue that more so, although the emphasis on some data that can be debatable because of how absolute they seem to justify a stance, will certainly take the tone of the book to alarmist level.

I have to warn to keep an open mind to it. If you listen and are already ready to spread phobias and Hitlerism accusations, then the battle is already lost. Specially when the author is anything but. The concerns are legitimate. The questions and solutions must be publicly asked and proposed. Murray is excellent in putting things into perspective. He’s free from the power of taboo. For a few hours and sake of sanity, embrace it with him. ( )
1 vote Igor_Veloso | Nov 9, 2019 |
Those of us brought up in Birmingham are no strangers to immigration; we went to school with Asian kids, and it was the most natural thing in the world. They - or their parents - had come to Britain to be British, and we all grew up absorbing the same ambient values and hardly noticed that there was any difference between us. The most disturbing change that Douglas Murray documents is how immigrants’ desire for integration with the resident culture has turned into a movement to make Britain – or France, or Italy, or Sweden – conform with the values of the immigrant cultures. That this has been facilitated by politicians, police, social services and even religious leaders makes it even more insidious. This is how the phenomena of child brides, female genital mutilation, and organized sexual exploitation of minors have all become virtually unchallenged features of the British social landscape.

Murray explodes the myth of the value of diversity, as an absolute overriding objective, or that immigration was necessary from a demographic point of view, to shore up the aging and numerically declining native European populations. He deplores how Europeans have been cowed, first by the violent acts against them by some immigrants, and secondly by the fear of being branded as fascists – and now prosecuted as Islamaphobes - if they express concerns about the religious culture that has nurtured and often supports these criminal acts. Politicians, police and the press not only ignore these concerns, but rush to defend Moslems as “victims too” of these crimes. Any expression of concern by the public is blamed on “the rise of the right” and quickly condemned. Murray exposes the gap between what people think and what they are led to believe they should think: ‘What does a political class and the media do when they discover that the views they have tried to make beyond the political pale are in fact the views of the majority of the public?’

Murray attributes the failure of Europe to defend its native cultures and values to two factors: a loss of belief in its national “narratives” and the precipitous decline in attachment to religion. Belief in national values – nationalism - has become synonymous with the “far right”, and Europe, he says, is perpetually in an apologetic mode, bending over backwards to atone for colonialism and its imposition of European culture on other parts of the world. It cannot be admitted that that culture – its roots in the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome, the injection, via their incorporation into Christianity, of Judaic values of social justice and interpersonal responsibility, and its secularisation as “natural law” by the European Enlightenment – has a unique value. How can Europeans defend European culture and civilization when they now largely reject the validity of the source of the Judeo- Christian values from which they were derived? It is therefore not surprising that a culture reflecting Moslem religious and social values is on the ascendant. These values are energetically defended by the “blasphemy police” from any of the kind of “higher” criticism and rationalism that have undermined beliefs in European religion over the last two hundred years.

The author lists a series of policies that might even now make the situation more manageable. Keeping refugees in the vicinity of the country from which they are fleeing avoids the challenges of relocation in a very foreign culture, and would facilitate their return home when conditions permit. Adopting the Australian practice of processing asylum claims outside of Australia, as an immigrant once arrived, is almost always an immigrant that remains – whatever the outcome of the process. These are just examples of a range of policies and change of attitudes towards immigration and immigrants that Murray is not optimistic that the political class will adopt or encourage. He believes that politicians will continue to “ensure that Europe is the only place in the world that belongs to the world”, and he fears the consequences. He worries that people - loving the Europe that was, and not wanting to let politicians change it into a different place - may increasingly take matters into their own hands, or that a real far-right wing party may come to power in one or more European countries. This is not a comfortable book to read – which is probably the best reason for doing so. ( )
  maimonedes | Oct 30, 2019 |
Europe is committing suicide. Or at least its leaders have decided to commit suicide. Whether the European people choose to go along with this is, naturally, another matter.
When I say that Europe is in the process of killing itself I do not mean that the burden of European Commission regulation has become overbearing or that the European Convention on Human Rights has not done enough to satisfy the demands of a particular community. I mean that the civilisation we know as Europe is in the process of committing suicide and that neither Britain nor any other Western European country can avoid that fate because we all appear to suffer from the same symptoms and maladies. As a result, by the end of the lifespans of most people currently alive Europe will not be Europe and the peoples of Europe will have lost the only place in the world we had to call home.
  Maurizjo | Aug 1, 2019 |
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Europe is committing suicide.

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This book is not only an analysis of demographic and political realities in Europe, but also an eyewitness account of a continent in self-destruct mode. It includes reporting from across the entire continent, from the places where migrants land to the places they end up, from the people who appear to welcome them in to the places which cannot accept them.

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