The limitations of anti-abortion conservatism

(Note: John Zmirak has replied to this article, and I have posted a reply to him.)

After a blog entry by John Zmirak at Taki’s Top Drawer that seems to consist mainly of name-dropping, Zmirak’s commenters get into an unproductive wrangle about whether it’s ok to like white racialists such as Jared Taylor. Zmirak then makes this comment:

The subject of abortion is relevant because it is the most fundamental issue of our time—and would remain so if the last white couple contracepted themselves out of existence. Combined with contraception, it is the reason that Europe will soon be a Moslem enclave. But that doesn’t matter, does it? Let’s focus instead on measuring IQ scores, measuring heads with calipers, concocting conspiracy theories, and accusing each other of betrayal. Cripes, what a sad bunch you racialists are.

Now I agree with Zmirak that abortion is bad and that a society that allows mass abortion is doing something very evil, sick, and self-destructive. But Zmirak doesn’t merely say that abortion (combined with contraception) is a fundamental issue, which it certainly is. He doesn’t even stop at saying that abortion is the most fundamental issue of our time—a grandiose overstatement in my view, but I’ll give Zmirak a pass on it due to his Roman Catholicism. No, Zmirak goes so far as to blame the Islamization of Europe solely on abortion and low birth rates.

Thus Zmirak looks at the Islam threat, and, in somewhat the same manner as those who keep proposing non-Islam theories of Islamic extremism (see my cumulative list), he sees it as simply a confirmation of the one issue that is already closest to his heart, which in his case is anti-abortionism.

The truth, of course, is that even if there had been no legalization of abortion, the forces that opened Europe to Islamization would still have been in play. There would have been the ascendancy of modern liberalism after World War II, with its belief that discrimination is the greatest evil and non-discrimination the highest good. There would have been Europe’s opening to Muslim and other Third-World immigration after the war, driven by liberalism and by guilt over colonialism. There would have been the Suez Crisis, which broke Western unity and made the French look to an entente with the Muslim powers. There would have been the formation of the European Union, and, with it, the Eurabian project aimed at the cultural Islamization of Europe.

So the Islamization of Europe is not a result of abortion and contraception. The Islamization of Europe is a result of liberalism. Abortion and contraception are also results of liberalism. True, the unsustainably low European birthrate is a factor in Europe’s openness to Muslim immigration, but that is all. The argument that Europe’s low birth rate produces an urgent need for immigrant workers, an argument we hear constantly, is undercut by the fact—which we also hear about constantly—that vast Muslim immigrant masses in France, Britain and elsewhere are living permanently on the dole and in public housing, simmering stew pots for jihadism. Obviously, Europe has taken in and is hosting far, far more Muslims than were needed to fill slots in the economy left vacant by low native birth rates.

Zmirak’s argument demonstrates the intellectual myopia of that branch of conservatism that defines conservatism as simply opposition to abortion. One fruit of that wrong-headed idea is the popularity among many conservatives of John McCain, an aggressive liberal on most issues who for the last 20 years has kept relentlessly presenting himself as a “proud conservative,” based almost solely on his opposition to abortion.

Another oddity in Zmirak’s comment is his blanket hostility to racialism. It’s true that the racialists Zmirak criticizes are material reductionists, people who focus inordinately or exclusively on material racial differences and often seem to lack any moral vision, a criticism with which I agree. But Zmirak, unfortunately, makes no qualification, he attacks all racialists: “Cripes, what a sad bunch you racialists are,” suggesting that Zmirak is dismissing any notion that race matters.

This is most strange because, in the initial blog entry, Zmirak highly praises Peter Brimelow, as the “author of the prophetic immigration book Alien Nation.” Of course, the main theme of Alien Nation is that America’s post-1965 immigration policies are rapidly turning America into a nonwhite nation. Zmirak in the past has also highly praised my 1990 booklet The Path to National Suicide, the main theme of which is that the post-1965 immigration policies are rapidly turning America into a nonwhite nation. Brimelow and I are both racialists in the sense that we care about the white-majority character of America and the West and are deeply alarmed by its steady erosion due to continued mass non-Western immigration. But Zmirak, in unqualifiedly dismissing “you racialists” as a “sad bunch,” is dismissing the racialist Peter Brimelow, whose racialist book Zmirak just highly praised.

Zmirak years ago differentiated between the moderate racialism of The Path to National Suicide, which says race is important but also looks at race in a civilizational and religious context, and the type of racialism that reduces all issues to race. He needs to introduce into his current writing the same kinds of distinctions and nuances he has made in the past, namely that there are different kinds and degrees of racialism, and also that abortion is not the sole cause of the West’s openness to Third-World immigration.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 21, 2008 09:00 AM | Send

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