The nothingness of Steyn, cont.
Am I being too tough on Mark Steyn when I say that he has no ideas on how to save the nations of Europe from the mortal peril in which he insists they are caught, and, worse, that he doesn’t even want to save them from that peril? To answer that question, take a look at Steyn’s Mailbag, the one place in the whole universe where the world-bestriding columnist replies, however glancingly, to the comments and questions of mere mortals. Start with the letter from Jake Knight. Knight adores Steyn’s article at Opinion Journal (based on his article in The New Criterion which I’ve discussed), but is also alarmed by it and concerned that Steyn doesn’t offer any solutions. So Steyn is constrained, finally, to offer his solutions. Here they are (are you ready?):
Steyn says that Europe must increase its birth rate (he means of course the birth rate of white Europeans, though he will never say that), and reverse the leftist social engineering that dominates European society. That’s it. He doesn’t suggest doing a single thing about the Muslims themselves, who, of course, are a big part of the subject here. Remember his title, “It’s the demography, STUPID”? Well, what about the Muslims’ demography, STUPID? On Muslims’ demography, Steyn hears nothing, sees nothing, and says nothing. His great plan to save Europe from Islamization is to increase the native fertility rate (which even if it were upped to a very high three children per woman would still not equal the Muslims’ birthrate), and reduce the size and scope of the European nanny state. How do those two measures stop the Islamic takeover of Europe? They don’t. Yet he speaks of them as the clincher for “national survival,” which Europe must urgently adopt.
The reader who told me about this exchange thinks that Steyn’s lack of any policy toward Muslims is “a calculated tactic in order not to offend the left too much, so that he can be allowed to continue in the near-mainstream press.” I doubt it. The theory assumes that Steyn is a serious fellow who has made a calculated decision to cover up his serious views in order to survive professionally and politically. I think he’s profoundly unserious in everything he says, that he doesn’t even believe in defending our civilization and people, and, in fact, that he is callously indifferent to the prospect of their destruction.
Here’s proof of what I just said. In response to correspondent Seye Bassir who accuses him of being a European or racial supremacist, Steyn says: “Look, it’s a matter of complete indifference to me whether, say, there are any Belgians around in a hundred years’ time.” The sheer crassness of the statement, the nonchalant contempt for an existing European country and people, and thus for the embodied historical world we inhabit, overwhelms. It is pure Steyn—this man without a country who keeps himself floating somewhere above the stratosphere, belonging nowhere himself, untouched by such human concerns as nationhood. And let’s make it clear that his dismissal doesn’t stop with Belgium. We can infer, especially from the random way he chose the Belgians as an example of a European people to whose continued existence he is indifferent, that he is equally indifferent to the continued existence of the Dutch, the French, the English, the Germans, and all the other peoples of Europe. He has certainly given us no reason to conclude otherwise.
This is the postmodern pied piper to whom thousands of lost conservatives are looking for guidance in our civilizational crisis. They are lost, because they still accept liberal premises about the world, as does Steyn.