In recent discussions here and elsewhere, the “Europe is doomed” meme has expanded to include the entire culture: “Western Civilization is doomed.”
The Cassandras may be right. Doom may be on the way.
I’m no prophet, so I can’t say.
Back in 1985 William F. Buckley gave a speech to an audience that included President Ronald Reagan. An excerpt from the speech is apropos here:
A year before National Review was founded, I spent an evening with Whittaker Chambers, and he asked me, half provocatively, half seriously, what exactly it was that my prospective journal would seek to save. I trotted out a few platitudes of the sort one might expect from a 28-year-old fogy, about the virtues of a free society. He wrestled with me by obtruding the dark historicism for which he had become renowned. Don’t you see? he said. The West is doomed so that any effort to save it is correspondingly doomed to failure.- - - - - - - - -
I drop this ink stain on the bridal whiteness of this fleeted evening only to acknowledge soberly that we are still a long way from establishing for sure that Whittaker Chambers was wrong. But that night, challenged by his pessimism, I said to him that if it were so that providence had rung up our license on liberty, stamping it as expired, the Republic deserved a journal that would argue the historical and moral case that we ought to have survived: that, weighing the alternative, the culture of liberty deserves to survive. So that even if the worst were to happen, the journal in which I hoped he would collaborate might serve, so to speak, as the diaries of Anne Frank had served, as absolute, dispositive proof that she should have survived, in place of her tormentors — who ultimately perished.
I’m with WFB on this one.
Since the correctness of apocalyptic prophecies will not be determined within my lifetime, I’ll dedicate the rest of my days to describing the culture of liberty that deserves to survive, to exhorting people to pay attention, to cajoling the reluctant to make an effort to reverse our civilizational decline, and to deterring the preemptive surrender of our leaders to Islam.
If a large enough proportion of the West believes that we are doomed, then we are indeed doomed.
But the converse is also true. Indigenous Europeans still outnumber the colonists by at least ten to one, except possibly in France. In the United States the situation is similar. If a large enough proportion of us decided that we would not tolerate the eradication of our cultures, then our cultures would not be eradicated. It’s as simple as that.
The process begins here, and in many thousands of similar virtual locations. It begins in small street gatherings and conversations in local pubs.
It begins neither in the learned journals nor in the halls of the academy. Ministers of government and television personalities are not part of the process of change.
Change occurs when ordinary people in large enough numbers get fed up with those who supposedly speak on their behalf.
The system in our cultures is chaotic, and like any chaotic structure it can flip into a new state without any warning. It is inherently unpredictable.
All the predictors of doom, all those who are absolutely certain that Western Civ is done for: you know this because of… because of what, exactly?
Because you have the gift of prophecy?
Because you have inside information?
Because you are smarter than the rest of us?
Because your powers of reasoning and calculation are superior to those of any supercomputer, and can project the behavior of chaotic social systems generations into the future?
Or do you just know it? In other words, is it a matter of faith?
If so, I’ll match you: my faith for your faith.
I won’t be around to find out who’s right, so you young folks among our readers will have to pay attention.
Wait thirty years and see if that loopy old Baron Bodissey was right.