Have I lied about Steyn?
From the big anti-Auster thread that Steve Burton has unleashed at What’s Wrong with the World, and that I have not read, a reader has sent me comments by Ilion Troas, a person who became so crazed and hostile in e-mails to me some time back that I had to cut him off, a fact he naturally characterizes as my refusing to respond to any criticism of myself. (To see how I actually handle criticism of myself, see this.). Ilion writes that what is objectionable about me is not that I am mean but that I am dishonest, or rather that I am both mean and dishonest.
The point of this thread is not whether Mr Auster is correct in saying that pundit/pundette So-and-So does or does not, has or has not, explicitly called for a legal halt to and/or roll-back of Moslem immigration into western nations.But in fact, that’s exactly what Steyn has said. He has said, in numerous ways, at numerous times, that (as I characterized his statements) “as Westerners give way to Muslims, we must make friends with them and try to win them to Western ways so that they will be nice to us after they’ve taken over.”
Start by reading Steyn’s statement to Hugh Hewett and my commentary on it in my February 2006 article, “What Steyn really means when he says we’re in a war.”
Then see my January 2006 article, “Mark Steyn’s dishonest article on the European crisis.” At the end of my article, I quote him saying:
“What do you leave behind?” asked Tony Blair. There will only be very few and very old ethnic Germans and French and Italians by the midpoint of this century. What will they leave behind? Territories that happen to bear their names and keep up some of the old buildings? Or will the dying European races understand that the only legacy that matters is whether the peoples who will live in those lands after them are reconciled to pluralist, liberal democracy? It’s the demography, stupid. And, if they can’t muster the will to change course, then “what do you leave behind?” is the only question that matters.I then discuss the meaning of that passage:
First he says that Europeans are demographically doomed, and that the only hope for the survival of European culture is that the Muslims who follow the Europeans will somehow have assimilated into Europe even as Europe is dying . This is a ludicrous expectation—and not backed up by anything else in the article. Also, it is immediately thrown into confusion by the next sentence: “It’s the demography, stupid.” He’s just said that it’s not the demography, it’s the culture—that even if Europeans themselves die out, they can pass on their culture to the Muslims. So the statement, “It’s the demography, stupid,” is not only wrong in itself (since, as I showed earlier, the declining European population is not the cause of the Muslim ascendancy, and a reversal in the European demographic decline would not by itself reverse the Muslim ascendancy); it also flat-out contradicts the sentence that precedes it. So, is it the demography, stupid, or is it the culture, stupid? It’s evident that Steyn, stupid, has no idea, and is trying to have it every which way he can. Such is the intellectual poverty and confusion of this article, which intelligent people are calling “brilliant.”…As another piece of evidence that Steyn has said that even as Islam is taking over the world, we must liberalize Islam, here in its entirety is my September 2004 entry, “Steyn articulates global neocon nightmare”:
Mark Steyn may be a brilliant critic of the left, but he is no friend of our historic civilization. Writing in the Telegraph, (“All the good things they never tell you about today’s Iraq,” 9/19/04), he gives a frightful new twist to the neoconservative vision:And here, finishing off this tour de Steyn, is yet one more quotation and discussion of him, from VFR in December 2005:
In a selection of my past blog articles on Mark Steyn that I posted yesterday, I just came upon a statement by Steyn about Europe and Islam that may be the most damning thing—about himself—that he’s ever written. In Steyn’s article, written last February, he doesn’t merely express indifference to the prospect of an Islamized Europe (which he has done many times before), and he doesn’t merely express Schadenfreude at the prospect of an Islamized Europe (which he has also done many times before); no, he speaks of an Islamized Europe as a positively good thing for the United States.As readers read the above passages, I hope they remember that according to Steve Burton, the reason I’ve written all these things about Steyn is not that I am appalled by them, but that I secretly agree with them. According to Burton’s interpretation of my “real” motives, the closer another writer’s positions are to my own, the more I am driven to attack him, so as (presumably) tto avoid having to share my territory with anyone. Given his reductive view of my motives and thought processes as a mindless drive for power and self-aggrandizement at all costs, maybe Burton ought to be writing at an evolutionary biology website rather than a traditional conservative one. .
Getting back to Ilion Troas at WWWW, he quotes a Steyn article in which Steyn makes a statement about immigration:
Underpinning those words is the realisation that most of the Western world is very demographically weakened. Immigration adds to the gaiety of the nation, improves the choice of restaurants and makes pasty-faced white folks feel very virtuous about their multiculti bona fides, but a dependence on immigration is always a structural weakness, and should be addressed as such. At a time of unparalleled prosperity and peace, the majority of developed nations have chosen, in effect, to give up on the future. Howard’s ministry was one of the first governments to get this and, in contrast to the dismal Euro-fatalism above, to try to do something to reverse it.Now that is very interesting. To the best of my memory, it is the first criticism of immigration I have ever seen Steyn make. Apparently Ilion is presenting it as proof that my criticisms of Steyn for not criticizing immigration have been dishonest.
But a couple of caveats.
One, as I said, I haven’t seen this article before.
Two, this article appeared in December 2007. Almost all my numerous entries and articles criticizing Steyn’s writings on Islam were written between 2004 and 2007, that is, before this Steyn article was published.
Three, in this passage, Steyn is not actually calling for ending or reversing Muslims immigration, but praising John Howard’s government for “trying to do something to reverse” the “dismal Euro-fatalism.” In other words, Steyn is praising Howard government for its tough tone toward Muslims. Also, in the context of Steyn’s writings on Islam, when he says that “dependence on immigration is always a structural weakness, and should be addressed as such,” that is not a call for passing legislation to reduce or end Muslim immigration; it is a call for increasing native birthrates so that Muslims will somehow magically go away.
Finally, this one paragraph hardly cancels out oceans of electrons by Steyn in which he talked about Islam as a fatal threat to the West while he remained absolutely silent on the subject of the immigration of Muslims that had brought Islam into the West, as well as silent on the idea of reducing or ending that immigration. Nor does this one paragraph cancel out his gleeful predictions of the Islamization of Europe, his absurd calls for Europe to assimilate the Muslims even as they’re taking over Europe, and his absurd position that the only thing the West can do to save itself from being taken over by Muslims is to outbreed them.