Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Online Workshop Part 2: Can Eurabia Still be Averted?

Historian Bat Ye'or, who first coined the term "Eurabia", thinks that Europe's ties with the Arab-Islamic world are now so firmly entrenched and established that Eurabia is an irreversible fact. Europe will cease to be a Western, democratic continent, and will become an appendix to the Arab world, a civilization of dhimmitude employed to spread Jihad and further the cause of Islam on a global basis, while the original, non-Muslim population are held hostage in their own countries out of fear of Muslim violence. Do you think this is true, or can Eurabia still be reversed and Europe salvaged?

I must admit there are certain parts of Europe that do seem to be beyond hope, or very close to it. ALL of the largest Dutch cities are projected to have a Muslim majority within a generation, as will several English, French, Belgian, Scandinavian and Spanish cities. I forsee several possible scenarios:

1. Eurabia.

The EU continues its transformation into a continent-wide organization with clear totalitarian leanings, and a very pro-Islamic stance. Europe's fate is sealed when Turkey is allowed into the Union, and becomes its largest member. Freedom of speech will be shut down, and any criticism of Islam banned. Eurabia will become a global center for Jihad activities, as the dhimmi taxpayers and infidel Western technology give a boost to the Ummah. For this reason, the Americans, the Israelis, the Indians, the Russians and maybe even the Chinese will have to crush Eurabia by brute force, as it will represent a grave security threat for them.

Muslims will be heavily concentrated in the major cities, and the dhimmi native population will retreat into the countryside. I believe something similar took place in the Balkans during Ottoman Turkish rule. The old nation states will thus slowly die, as their major cities, which constitute the brain and "head" of its culture, are cut off from the rest of the body. Europe's decline into Eurabia will be speeded up by the fact that millions of educated natives with the means to it will move to the USA or other nations. This trickle of Eurabian refugees wil eventually be slowed down by the authorities in the now totalitarian Europe, as it will erode the tax base. Native Europeans will simply be banned from leaving. There will be no war in Western Europe, as its civilization is already dead and very few will bother fighting for it. The only violence will be sporadic Islamic terror attacks to induce fear, and occasional Muslim mob assaults in European streets to remind the dhimmis who is boss. It is conceivable that the center of European civilization will move from Western Europe to Eastern Europe, but even Eastern Europe will be put under severe pressure from Muslims, both in the Middle East and in the West.

2. War.

Personally, I think this alternative is at least as likely as the above. It also contains several sub-scenarios, partly depending upon when the eventual war starts, and partly on whether there is still some Western pride and resistance left in Europe underneath the self-loathing and Multiculturalism:

The Pakistanization of Europe.

Muslims aren't numerous enough to control the entire continent. In the event of war, there will be mutual ethnic cleansing and Muslims will seize parts of Western Europe. For instance, a belt stretching from parts of Germany via Belgium and Holland to France, but maybe even regions within certain nation states. All of Europe will not be lost, but some parts will, and many others will de deeply damaged by the fighting. Much of our cultural treasures will burn. How things will go from there is difficult to predict. Perhaps this new "Pakistan" in the heart of Europe will be the source of constant instability and the staging ground for Jihad incursions into infidel areas, just as Pakistan is to India now. Perhaps we will see a slow reconquest of this area, possibly taking generations or even centuries.

Reconquista - The Second Expulsion of the Moors

Muslims strike too early, before they are ready to seize control over major chunks of Europe. It is possible to view the Jihad riots in France in this light. They overestimate their own power, and underestimate the strength that, despite everything, is still left in Europe. Once a full-blown civil war starts in one country, it can, and probably will, spread to other countries. We are now witnessing an example of this, as smaller "sympathy riots" have been staged by Muslims in Belgium, Holland, Germany and Denmark. Given the European Union's borderless nature, it is unlikely that war will be limited to one nation only. This will create a domino effect, and Muslims will be expelled from Europe yet again, after major bloodshed and millions of dead across the continent.

Global Civil War

Europe has been the primary staging ground for one cold and two hot world wars. It could become a major battlefield in an Islamic world war, too. A world war is already simmering, with Muslims clashes against Russia, Europe, Israel, China, India, the USA and Southeast Asia. Once the fighting starts in Europe, it could spread outside the continent and ignite a world war. This is the scenario that DP111 calls a "global civil war". It would become the worst and most destructive war in human history, involving nuclear weapons on both sides. It could completely destroy the Middle East and North Africa, deeply damage Europe, the Indian continent, and parts of Southeast Asia, and inflict serious casualties on the USA, Australia and Africa. Its secondary and economic ripples will be felt on all corners of the planet, uncluding the ones least involved in the actual fighting, such as Latin America and East Asia.

3. A Second Renaissance - Western Rebirth in Europe

Although I must admit that I find this scenario to be the least likely at this point, we should discuss the possibility of whether the Islamic threat will force the West to rethink its values and regain its strength. Can this be done, and how would this take place? Is it possible to avoid both major war and Eurabia or is this wishful thinking by now? The growth of Eurabia is closely tied to the growth of the EU. Perhaps we could derail Eurabia by dismantling the EU?

“Eurabia” Defined, by Andrew G. Bostom

This political agenda has been reinforced by (and now mirrors) the deliberate cultural transformation of Europe. Euro-Arab Dialogue Symposia conducted 20 to 25 years ago, i.e., in Venice (1977) and Hamburg (1983), included recommendations, below, that have been successfully implemented, accompanied by a deliberate, privileged influx of Arab and other Muslim immigrants, in enormous numbers:

• Coordination of the efforts made by the Arab countries to spread the Arabic language and culture in Europe and to find the appropriate form of cooperation among the Arab institutions that operate in this field. • Creation of joint Euro-Arab Cultural Centers in European capitals which will undertake the diffusion of the Arabic language and culture. • Encouragement of European institutions either at University level or other levels that are concerned with the teaching of the Arabic language and the diffusion of Arabic and Islamic culture. • Support of joint projects for cooperation between European and Arab institutions in the field of linguistic research and the teaching of the Arabic language to Europeans. • Necessity of supplying European institutions and universities with Arab teachers specialized in teaching Arabic to Europeans. • Necessity, when teaching Arabic, of emphasizing Arab-Islamic culture and contemporary Arab issues. • Necessity of cooperation between European and Arab specialists in order to present an objective picture of Arab-Islamic civilization and contemporary Arab issues to students and to the educated public in Europe which could attract Europeans to Arabic studies.

In the wake of the continuing French intifada, Bat Ye’or’s analyses have profound implications for Western Europe - which may be incapable of altering its Eurabian trajectory; her research may be even more important for the United States if it wishes to avoid Europe’s fate:

Th[e] Eurabian ethos operates at all levels of European society. Its countless functionaries, like the Christian [devshirme]-janissary slave soldiers of past Islamic regimes, advance a jihadist world strategy. Eurabia cannot change direction; it can only use deception to mask its emergence, its bias and its inevitable trajectory. Eurabia’s destiny was sealed when it decided, willingly, to become a covert partner with the Arab global jihad against America and Israel. Americans must discuss the tragic development of Eurabia, and its profound implications for the United States, particularly in terms of its resultant foreign policy realities. Americans should consider the despair and confusion of many Europeans, prisoners of a Eurabian totalitarianism that foments a culture of deadly lies about Western civilization. Americans should know that this self-destructive calamity did not just happen, rather it was the result of deliberate policies, executed and monitored by ostensibly responsible people. Finally, Americans should understand that Eurabia’s contemporary anti-Zionism and anti-Americanism are the spiritual heirs of 1930s Nazism and anti-Semitism, triumphally resurgent.


At November 15, 2005 7:53 PM, Blogger Imperial Knights of Bacchus said...

It is indeed scary, yet interesting times we have ahead of us. I think it in many ways can be compared to the years before the Second World War. Nazism and Islam have a lot in common. They new each other then, and know each other now.

Like in the pre war years, socialists and others are fooled by a belief of mutual love and respect. “Peace in our time”. We, who sees the danger of Islam, are ridiculed.

Instead of writing a long reply here on your online workshop, please considered these two posts on my blogg as replies to you: “Civil war ahead?”, and “Have we lost our continent?”. If you find any of it useful, please feel free to copy and paste.

Imperial Knights of Bacchus

At November 15, 2005 9:37 PM, Blogger simulev said...

"The EU continues its transformation into a continent-wide organization with clear totalitarian leanings, and a very pro-Islamic stance"

Sweden has a diffrent approach, and take the lead, as usual:


At November 15, 2005 10:17 PM, Blogger oskar said...

@ Fjordman:

Just thought you should check out the editorial in Sweden's largest daily newspaper (Dagens Nyheter) on the subject of immigrants, integration and islam:


At November 15, 2005 10:31 PM, Blogger heather said...


If I had to vote on the most likely scenario, I would vote for number two, while much preferring number three.

It would be great to dismantle the EU as it exists today, since it doesn't seem to function very well. However, it seems unlikely at this stage of the game. A case in point is the existence of the UN. It began with good intentions, but has disintegrated into a corrupt body of evildoers--yet who (besides the US) is in favor of getting rid of it?

At November 16, 2005 2:55 AM, Blogger TheKaffir said...

This stuff is so depresssing. But let's look at what you Norwegians could do. Maybe the first steps should be economic. Before starting a war, why not simply stop the welfare checks and social benefits. And, Norway could use its oil wealth. Suppose you guys put 10 billion to voluntarily resettle 95% of Norway's Muslims in Algeria, Morocco or elsewhere. That could avert a civil war. Let the few Muslims who are integrated into Norwegian culture stay.

At November 16, 2005 6:31 AM, Blogger ik said...

Nice writing - one minor quibble though - about the Pakistanization, From British India there were 2 Pakistans created West Pakistan (present Pakistan) and East Pakistan (present Bangladesh). There was also an attempt to create a South Pakistan (present Andhra Pradesh state - then called Hyderabad state) but it was put down militarily.

The point I am trying to make is that there could be several mini-Pakistans created all over the place. In fact present day Kosovo walks,talks and looks like (a duck oops!) a mini Pakistan

La cites and zones in france sound suspiciously like Muslim "mohallas" in India althoug the situation is not as bad as France.

Once of the Aspects of "Eurabia" not covered as yet as far as I know is the situation like it is for Kashmiri Hindus in India.

Half a million Kashmiri Hindus live in refugee camps in New Delhi near the centers of our government and everybody ignores them - and this is in a country which is ostensible a Hindu majority country!. The votes of 150 million Muslims are more important than half a million Kashmiri Hindi refugees who have no political power.

You might see similar situations in Europe - for example the French living in refugee camps in Paris near the city centre and the French leader go around spouting Arabic/Urdu poetry - and the regular people in France ignore them because it is too unpleasant to face reality. (called PBUL's - please behead us last)

At November 16, 2005 6:35 AM, Blogger ik said...

Since terms are very important in this issue - Here is a word going around in Indian circles - feel free to use and circulate it

Immigrants from the Muslim 'Ummah' -

At November 16, 2005 10:20 AM, Blogger The Moai said...

Great site, Fjordman - I have linked to you.
The Moai

At November 16, 2005 11:23 AM, Blogger France Sucks said...

Bat Ye'or is a zionist jewish bigot and everything should be taken into context this way. I could also say that the USA has become the United Jewish States of America with convincing arguments. Put her tirades where they belong: In the garbage.

At November 16, 2005 11:46 AM, Blogger Bjoern said...

Predictions about the future have always been worthless. The more certain you are of how things will "inevitably" turn out, the more reality will surprise you. It's hard enough to predict how human activity will affect the climate over the next decades. Climate scientists know much about how the current climate works, and there's still reason to be skeptical about the accuracy of their predictions. In comparison, the mechanisms of society are much more complex than the climate, and barely understood at all. And still you think you can predict the future? At least climate scientists build models, and test those models on old data, which isn't nearly enough (it's relatively easy to predict data you already have) but at least they're trying. You're just guessing.

- Bjørn Stærk

At November 16, 2005 12:40 PM, Blogger Fjordman said...

Bjørn: You can never predict the future withy 100% certainty, no, but you can outline some very plausible alternatives. Wherever Islam has moved in elsewhere, it has either destroyed the original culture, or been forcibly expelled, such as Spain and by the Sikhs in Punjab. I see noe reason to expect any diiferent outcome in Europe, which leads me to believe that one of the two first scenarios will happen within the coming generation.

At November 16, 2005 1:45 PM, Blogger oskar said...

For all the talk about the muslim 'invasion' of Europe, the state which has done the most to promote muslim states in Europe is actually the US:

Exhibit 1: Bosnia
The US supported the Bosnian muslims throughout the war, allowing Iran to supply them with arms and jihad fighters, the same way it had allowed Pakistan to support fundamentalists in Afghanistan a decade earlier.

Exhibit 2: Kosovo
The US supported the muslim albanian KLA guerillas in Kosovo and, after three months of terror bombing of Serbian cities (bridges, power installations, roads, etc., the military was actually quite unscathed as the US planes didn't dare fly low enough to allow for precision bombing), they occupy Kosovo. Since then they've stood idly by as the remining christian population of the province is driven out and churches burned. Now the US is the strongest supporter for Kosovo to become Europe's second independent muslim state.

Exhibit 3: Turkey
The US is a strong supporter of Turkish membership of the EU, putting quite a lot of pressure on the EU members states to allow its ally into the fold.

At November 16, 2005 1:51 PM, Blogger Fjordman said...

Oskar: You're right, US policy towards Islamic nations has many flaws. Too many.

At November 16, 2005 2:13 PM, Blogger Bjoern said...

"You can never predict the future withy 100% certainty, no, but you can outline some very plausible alternatives."

You can? What makes you think so? History gives us very little data. 1400 years is a short period of time, and it's a matter of interpretation whether to see Muslim history as a large number of short events (ie. we have a little sample data to make predictions from) or a small number of long events (ie. we barely have any sample data at all. )

And that's apart from the fact that the context has changed. The world is not the same as it was. That doesn't mean things will turn out well, (that would also be a prediction), it just means we have little relevant sample data.

Forget 100%, I won't give you (or anyone) even a 1% chance of making an accurate prediction of the next 50 years that is more specific than "there will be war, peace, good times and bad times".

- Bjørn Stærk

At November 16, 2005 3:04 PM, Blogger sissyblue said...

Oskar, What a great observation! How weird is that?

At November 16, 2005 3:57 PM, Blogger ThBadMonkey said...

Bjorn, your an idiot. Ever hear of :History repeats itself.

The Iraq war outcome WAS predicted by Steve Sailer of VDARE.com and he was accurate.

Human behavior is very predictable. If you study crime, education, etc, you can draw statistics between ethnic groups, for example.

It seems to be 'predictable' that you will say something equaly mentaly-retarded withing the next couple of weeks on Fjordmans blog, for another example...

At November 16, 2005 4:36 PM, Blogger Thomas the Wraith said...

The future of Eurabia as I see it is close to what you call "the Pakistanization of Europe." I see it as more of a Continent-wide Yugoslavia scenario with several cities becoming larger and more horrible Sarajevos. Muslims will find themselves, as in Serbia, victims of nationalims and revived fascisms far more terrible and ruthless than Islamism can imagine.

Perhaps some areas will be completely cleansed of Europeans and run along Taliban-like codes but these will not survive long amid a Continent gripped by the fury of war and national/religious passions. They will lack the economic base to wage an effective war. Their lines of supply from Islamic countries will be tenuous at best.

This will result in the collapse of the EU and perhaps the UN as well. Turkey may wage war against several European nations and/or Russia.

In any case there will be unspeakable atrocities. This comflict will make the past few years seem like a Golden Age.

At November 16, 2005 4:53 PM, Blogger Pastorius said...

I don't understand Bjoern's point. I understand that he is saying we can't predict the future based upon history or demographic trends, or ideology, but if we can't use these, then how do we find policies to deal with anything?

Are we just blind men feeling an elephant in the dark, Bjoern? And, if that's how you see the world, then, what is truth at all? Are you a Postmodernist who believes that there is no truth?

I don't get it.

The Bad Monkey gives an example of someone who predicted the Iraq was. Now, here's someone who predicted the riots in France: Daniel Pipes.

And, I have been predicting that Europe will likely resort to Fascism in order to beat back the Muslims. My prediction is more longterm, and is not likely to happen for 10-20 years, but we do see that it people in Europe are beginning to turn to Fascist idealogues for answers.

Questions for you, Bjoern: How is it that Winston Churchill and G.K. Chesterson were able to look at the ideology of Communism (which is kind of a nice idea in theory) and predict that it would lead to murderous totalitarian states?

And how do we deal with any problem that comes up anywhere? We always look at the history, the ideas, and the demographics.

Seriously, Bjoern, could you help me out here? I really don't understand.

What is your proposed solution? Or, do you not even see a problem?

At November 16, 2005 4:59 PM, Blogger Thomas the Wraith said...

It will start, as these things always do, before anyone is ready. Everyone, the Islamists, the proto-dhimmis, the neo-nationalists, the sleepwalking middle class, thinks they have more time than they do. It may start more or less by accident, like WWI, through the act of a fringe player unaware of the forces involved or the stakes of the game.

As WWI began with the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, this war (which will be just as important and culturally destructive) may begin with the murder of a symbolic but politically unimportant figure.

There are many possible targets, from the Queen of England, a beloved figure in the English speaking world, to the Patriarchs of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Patriarchate is based in Istanbul. These figures have deep symbolic meaning for millions of Orthodox Christians, especially in Russia and Greece, but of which border Turkey. Last year Islamist threw a grenade over the wall into the Patriarchate without causing any damage. Of course the assassination of the Pope by Muslim terrorists would be the ultimate spark that lights the fire.

But it need not be a religious figure. Look at the response to the murder of Van Gogh, a minor and polarizing figure known only in Holland. Now imagine the reaction to the murder of a famous footballer or actor known throughout Europe.

Or a reverse scenario is possible. A nationalist or rightist murders a prominent Islamic figure, sparking a wave of Islamic terror across Europe. This leads to a crackdown by authorities or if not, a backlash that brings rightists to power.

Another possibility is a mega-attack, a chemical weapon or simply a massive suicide bomb or wave of bombs that succeed beyond the bombers plans and kills thousands and/or destroys symbolically important targets, a cathedral, a museum, the Chunnel. The fearful public then demands harsh goverment action. Some governments act; others are paralyzed and are incapable of taking action causing citizens to defend themselves.

The Islamist are not centralized. They cannot control the actions of their diverse cells or lone fanatics. Sooner or later someone will go too far and ignite nationalist responses that will sweep away the existing systems.

Hang on kids. It's going to be a bumpy ride.

At November 16, 2005 6:24 PM, Blogger Zach said...

Regarding, Bjorn the question is not if environmental or human systems are more complex, the question is about the level of modeling abstraction one is concerned about. It is very easy to predict the environment at a high level of abstraction; basically, 10 years from now it will be more or less the same as it is today. In practice, trying to predict essentially very small environmental changes (+/- .1 degree, etc) requires a low level of abstraction and extremely high model complexity. This however, is deceptive in suggesting the complexity required to predict the likely progress and effects of large Muslim populations in the West.

Fjordman is not trying to predict if a crowd of angry Muslims will riot down the street of city X in the year 2011 at 3:21AM on July, 23. He is concerned rather with predicting a social system (the West) at a high level of abstraction regarding the Muslim problem. Specifically, is this group growing? How large can we expect them to be in X years? What happens when different groups with very different backgrounds and views come into competition for the same resources? These are rather simple questions to answer; are the result certain? Of course not. But we live in a fundamentally stochastic world. We make choices based on incomplete information and on what we believe to be the most probable outcomes in a situation. To go back to the old leftist trick of objecting to anything one disagrees with which is not 100% certain is absurd. Nothing in life would ever pass that test.

This is really a question about how much risk one is really willing to assume. Bjorn is willing to assume a large amount of risk (basically by just hoping for the best, it seems to me). Many of us are not willing to accept such high risk "wait and hope" strategies.

At November 16, 2005 6:48 PM, Blogger TheKaffir said...

Bjoern says:

"Predictions about the future have always been worthless. The more certain you are of how things will "inevitably" turn out, the more reality will surprise you."

The Kaffir's Response

No, you can build models to predict some things. All insurance is based on such models. The projections being made are realistic.

Suppose, for example, we know that there are 500,000 girls below the age of 15 in Sweden and that 100,000 of those girls are Muslims. If the Muslim birth rate equalled the Swedish birth rate, at some point in the future 20% of the population of Sweden will be Muslim. But if there are 100,000 Muslim girls below 15 and 400,000 Swedish girls below 15 and, when they grow up, the Muslim girls have a birth rate of 4 children per woman and the Swedish girls have a birth rate of 1.3 children per woman, there will be 400,000 Muslims and 520,000 Swedes produced by those women. And, in the next generation, you will have many more Muslims than Swedes.

At November 16, 2005 7:41 PM, Blogger Thomas the Wraith said...

Mark Steyn wrote about the recent Muslim riots, “As France this past fortnight reminds us, the changes in Europe are happening far faster than most people thought.” In a contradiction I’m sure he’ll appreciate, I think Steyn is at once too pessimistic and not pessimistic enough concerning Europe’s future in the Eurabian Civil War. He’s too pessimistic in that I do not believe that Europeans will submit to Islamization or flee the Continent in the face of ongoing conflict. Europe may have endured 2 or 3 generations frozen in an arctic multicultural wasteland but this is too weak a force to fully deface two dozen centuries of Western civilization. The European spirit sleeps inside the glacier. The heat from ten thousand fires will one day awaken it.

And this is why he is not pessimistic enough. The Eurabian Civil War is currently one sided. The Islamofascists are fighting against a vapor with the illusion of substance, a mist enveloping a somnambulant society. Sooner, far sooner than many believe, Europe will awaken and show itself for what it has always been: an aggressive, xenophobic, ethnarchy, jealous of its traditions, proud of its homogeneity, subject to enthusiastic waves of mass violence and enthralled by its angry gods (whether it’s Christ the Crusader King, Siegfried, Santiago Matamoros or some mutant deity as yet unborn). Elsewhere I have described this as neo-nationalism. The blinkered and stunned media will describe it as a backlash but it will only be the assertion of Europe’s true nature. The strengths that allow Islamofascism to succeed in its struggle with brittle, liberal democracies will prove of little use against a resurgent European nationalism. (Just imagine how a modern day Richelieu or Bismarck or Franco would have responded to the Madrid bombing. Reconquista indeed.) This is, of course, bad news for those of us who grew up in and care for liberal democracy and enjoy the freedom and prosperity it provides. European neo-nationalism will most likely be hostile to US interests and downright anti-Semitic. But European civilization existed long before the dawn of liberal democracy and will exist after its sunset. We currently languish in the twilight. The Islamists delude themselves that it is the dawn of the Muslim Age of the Restored Caliphate rather than the darkness into which they will be cast.

None of this will be pretty. The violence will be up-close and quite personal. Europe’s neo-nationalist future will be one filled with paranoia and fanaticism and blind, desperate struggle. Much of value will be lost. You may say that I am naïve; that Europeans have already submitted in the minds; that they are proto-dhimmis waiting, however reluctantly, to convert. But I say that thousands of years of ethnic fervor, cultural pride, fierce localism and passionate Faith are not erased in two or three generations. Civilization is more durable than that. However the civilization that endures is not the faithless, hedonistic, pre-packaged multicultural slop that we have known for 60 years. It is something else entirely.

Cross-posted here.

At November 16, 2005 8:49 PM, Blogger Bjoern said...

thbadmonkey: Ever hear of :History repeats itself.

Yeah, ever tested it? If history repeats itself, it's more like themes repeating themselves in a symphony than a turning wheel. We're the same humans we were 1 000, 5 000 or 50 000 years ago, so the basic themes are the same, but randomness and complexity means the ways they interact changes. The human lust for power is the same in Western societies as it has always been, for instance, but it no longer manifests as tyranny.

Human behavior is very predictable.

Well, human ignorance is. The specifics of irrational thinking are pretty well known, one of the most important of which is seeing patterns where there are none. What happens when you place ten humans together, or 6 billion, is however not predictable. Hari Seldon hasn't shown up yet, and never will. (We will at best get an idea of how the dynamics of society operate, but that will never give us predictive powers. Compare to weather forecasts.)

Pastorius: but if we can't use these, then how do we find policies to deal with anything?

We guess.

Are you a Postmodernist who believes that there is no truth?

Not at all .. I'm just aware of our limited abilities in finding out what that truth is. Science does not equal certainty. Good science acknowledges that the world is big, complex and uncertain, and in fact certainty itself is best seen as a manifestation of our limited rational abilities. And I'm not making this up or guessing, there's hard science behind it. My recommendation to you is to learn more about two very interesting fields: Complexity theory, and cognitive psychology. I swear this isn't a postmodernist trick to Keep The Truth Down. We really can't predict the future. Even our ability to understand the present and the past is severely limited, especially to the degree that we abandon the methods of science.

The Bad Monkey gives an example of someone who predicted the Iraq was. Now, here's someone who predicted the riots in France: Daniel Pipes.

People make predictions all the time. Some of those necessarily come true. Those are the ones we hear about. This is called survivorship bias, and the best way to illustrate it is that you start out with 1000 people, and tell them all to flip a coin. Then you tell the people who got tails to leave, and the rest to throw again. Again you tell those who got tails to leave, and ask the rest to throw again, etc. Eventually you'll be left with a small number of people who have gotten heads an "improbable" number of times in a row. But that doesn't make them any more likely to get heads in their next throw. There's nothing special about these people, their existence is a statistical necessity.

I'm not saying that the predictions you mention are completely random, only that in a world where a very large number of pundits make predictions every day, there will inevitable be pundits who because of pure randomness get many predictions right. And since predicting the future in any relevant detail is impossible, (really!), there's no reason to put your bets on these people.

And that's assuming they really did get their prediction right, and didn't adjust it after the fact.

How is it that Winston Churchill and G.K. Chesterson were able to look at the ideology of Communism (which is kind of a nice idea in theory) and predict that it would lead to murderous totalitarian states?

When did they make these predictions? Before or after 1917? If before, they were probably guessing. Or are you saying they had access to a science of social and political dynamics that is lost to later generations?

What is your proposed solution?

Humility. Awareness of our own (well-documented!) limitations.

zach: This however, is deceptive in suggesting the complexity required to predict the likely progress and effects of large Muslim populations in the West.

Well, I have more respect for your approach than I have for that of (for instance) "thomas the wraith" in the comment above you, who just imagines scary scenarios and confuses that for insight into the future. Fjordman's approach is not as bad as that, but it has the same flaws: Focus on vivid scenarios (Eurabia, war, reconquista, world war, renaissance) rather than on any actual attempts at large-scale social modelling.

I also disagree that it is easy to predict Europe and Islam's futures even on a large scale. You correctly point out some trends that will influence that future, demographic trends being the most reliable, (which is comparable to climatologists pointing out that rising emissions of greenhouse gases will somehow influence our climate). But that alone doesn't tell us what the end result will be. We need to build models for social dynamics to make such predictions, and we just don't have that.

I agree that there will be some sort of conflict between European values and Islamic values, and that Islamist terrorism will play a part in our future. That's basically just acknowledging the trends we see today, no real predictions are involved. But the outcome or size or form of that conflict is unknown. It's simply beyond us, and the least we should expect from anyone making such predictions is that they base them on some limited understanding of social dynamics. Fjordman merely extrapolates current trends until they turn into interesting and easily imaginable scenarios.

Here's a challenge for anyone who believes that meaningful predictions can be made about our future, even at the levels Fjordman operates on: Climatologists test their models on the past, they take a starting point, say 1900, and see if they've built a model that predicts the climate changes of the 20th century. That's a minimum requirement. So what I want people here to do is to take everything you know about the world of 1900, and predict the next hundred years of Islamic history in broad outlines, (without hindsight knowledge, of course.) Remember to keep in mind that the 20th century had plenty of opportunities of turning out differently than it did, so your prediction needs to take this into account.

At November 16, 2005 11:30 PM, Blogger CarnackiUK said...

Pastorius' mention of G.K. Chesterton reminded me of a little-known fantasy novel by Chesterton
called 'The Flying Inn'. In this novel - written almost 100 years ago - Chesterton postulates a
(then) future Britain where an attempt is made to impose Islam on the English by a mixture of
da'wa, stealth invasion and collusion by a treacherous political and business elite.

One of the first things the pro-Islamist government does is to close all pubs and ban alcohol.
The soldier hero keeps the spirit of resistance alive by going around the country with a
clandestine 'pub' and supplying the workers with their beer etc. Eventually there is a popular
uprising and the workers defeat the Turkish/islamic army that has been secretly landed in Britain.

The book is written in a whimsical, humorous style, not very realistic to the modern reader, but
the treacherous politician (George Galloway anyone?) and the whining victimhood and taqiyya of the
muslim preacher character have a familiarity and resonance today which GKC could hardly have
imagined in his worst nightmare.

Worth tracking down for an amusing read - and compelling evidence that imaginative people can have
an impressive insight into possible futures.

BTW Fjordman, I have really enjoyed your blog - always informative and often inspiring - and I
shall miss it when you move to other things. I especially like discussions like the present
workshop about our less than wonderful future prospects in Europe. Such discussions may clarify
what we can do on a personal and collective level to minimise the catastrophes ahead (a pity that
the more popular blogs like LGF don't often take such a constructive stance.) I'm sure there will
be many like myself who will miss this site and also the masses of obscure news items that daily you
launch into the blogosphere. Can you recommend any other European sites that may help fill the large
gap left when you 'retire' (I already read - and recommend - the Brussels Journal and Non Passaran)?

At November 16, 2005 11:40 PM, Blogger Papa Ray said...

An observation, if I may, then I'll move along.

I make no predictions as such about the future, it appears that you guys have that under control.

I will just state a fact.

Islam is it's own worse enemy.

Thats all I need to know.

Papa Ray
West Texas

At November 17, 2005 12:30 AM, Blogger Pastorius said...

Listen Bjoern,
Last time I wrote to you, I was condescending and sarcastic. I then apologized when I realized you weren't simply a moonbat. But now, you are being condescending with me. Actually, I must admit, I'm not sure if, by Complexity Theory, you mean Chaos Theory, or complexity as it relates to computations, in which case I don't think the field of study you are referencing backs up the point you are trying to make.

I can assure you, though, I understand that there are many forces at work in any given situation. However, we are talking about macro-trends in society. In order to do so, we must generalize. It's like how in mathematics, Einsteinian physics is needed to analyze the world of atoms, while Newtonian physics will suffice for apples falling out of trees.

If you insist that we account for every sparrow falling, before we make any assertions about macro-trends in civilizations and cultures, then we will never be able to get anywhere.

(By the way, I am a former lefty. When I first began to change to whatever it is that I presently am, one of the first things I noticed is that my liberal friends would often attempt to shut down an argument by telling me things are more complex than that. That we need to understand the subtelties. That we need to be nuanced. Those are liberal dodges, unless they are resolved with a specific list of nuanced details, which you are not doing, my friend.)

Your answer to me ("we guess") is a pretty meaningless answer. At best, it is simply saying that when Fjordman makes predictions they would better be termed guesses. But, then, that is hardly an argument against what Fjordman is doing then, is it?

At November 17, 2005 2:51 AM, Blogger ACCP said...

By a strange and mysterious event bjoern and I are sent back to the 1930's.

PCCA - bjoern, Nazi Germany are a dangerous, totalitarian , aggressive regime with empire building aspirations. We should prepare for the worst.

bjoern - You can't predict the future. Nobody can. Also if we prepare for the worst, we will only incite them.

PCCA - All the evidence points in that direction. We must think of protecting ourselves and protecting against this foreseeable possibility.

bjoern - It may not happen. You are just scare mongering. Let's just try and get along.

PCCA - bjoern, they are invading. Pick up your weapon.

bjoern - Don't shoot back you will only make the Nazi's even more angry. We can't possibly stop this from them winning now anyway. It's a waste of time. Think of yourself.

You never know they make statues of you one day, bjoern. Well, the Muslim majority anyway.

At November 17, 2005 4:26 AM, Blogger Zach said...

Back at Bjoern...

Fjordman is largely just linearly extrapolating the situation out, you are correct about that. He is not assuming any real feedback in which the majority or politicians anticipate the situation and react to avoid the worst case scenario. Humans are good at trying to predict or anticipate the future so that they can plan and avoid bad scenarios. This means that linear extrapolations rarely come true when they are undesirable, since most people can figure it out before hand and react. However this mechanism requires that people actually look ahead and not be in denial. There is however legitimate concern about this, since we have seen it before as in the case leading up to WWII when many people, especially in countries which had significant resources to deal with the problem, preferred instead to go for "peace at any price".

In other words, there is the paradox that the future is rarely as bad as we imagine it, but only because we imagine it (I will lead it as an exercise for the reader to figure out why the left prefers to discourage thinking about the future or consequences, and likes to demonize jeremiads). When people start rationalizing that "it will all work out in the end" so to speak, because somebody else will worry about it, it is free-riding (this is basically what the peacenik crowd does). When enough people start to have that kind of attitude, or are in just plain denial, then the mechanism fails completely.

In any case, as I noted, humans are good at anticipating and prediction, despite complexity and emergent behavior. Why is this? Well one reason is that there are strategies for dealing with uncertainty and complexity, such as encapselment. Without the ability to organize, simplify, and encapsule, we would not have the ability to create either advanced societies or complex physical systems. That these exist is a self-evident rebuttal. The fact is that as important as complexity theory is, it is no reason for throwing up one's hands.

One way of thinking into the future is with contingency planning, where one thinks about things that might happens, and then develops different solutions/plans/models based on these different cases and assumptions. For example, in the cases of the large Muslim population in Scandinavia (note I am not talking about all of Europe or the world -- encapsulement!) there are some key factors which may or may not change:

- demographics
- assimilation or lack there of and value differences
- average IQ and education level
- trend towards radicalization
- public awareness or apathy

Depending on how these factors trend in the next 10-20 years, we could be looking at very different scenarios. For example, good assimilation, away from radicalism, poor education, and general public apathy may result in a scenario where there is some public grumbling about the immigrant's social and economic contributions, a general poor economy as average incomes drop, etc, but no fundamental drivers for real social unrest.

However not all of these factors are equally likely, or change on the same time scale. We have fairly good estimations on the demographics I think. IQ and education are not likely to make huge changes between a second and third generation of immigrants. Public awareness is probably by far the most volatile. That leaves the question of assimilation and radicalization which both seem to be trending the wrong way to a serious degree. Do you have any reason to believe this is going to change? Personally I doubt that they will.

When given a certain set of these fundamental conditions or assumptions as above, we can apply a few simple rules of self-interest and generally come up with a fairly sound result. This is, after all, fundamentally what economics does, except economics is primarily restricted to the bounded case where power is money, not where power is power, be it resource control, violence, state coercion, etc.

A few simple rules that I try to go by are that 1) groups tend to follow their own interest over the long term 2) different groups tend to have different and conflicting interests 3) resource scarcity tends to create or increase group cohesion and clashes (for example when power comes up for grab in cases of demographic or majority inversion).

You seem to be implicitly doing this to some degree when you said:

I agree that there will be some sort of conflict between European values and Islamic values, and that Islamist terrorism will play a part in our future. That's basically just acknowledging the trends we see today, no real predictions are involved. But the outcome or size or form of that conflict is unknown. It's simply beyond us, and the least we should expect from anyone making such predictions is that they base them on some limited understanding of social dynamics.

This brings us back to the fact that humans spend quite a lot of their time and effort on reducing uncertainty in their environment. The fact that we can't passively predict the future does not mean that we can't devise strategies (such as Steve Sailers buyout plan) which do significantly reduce our potential risk exposure.

There is another side to this. You are right about not being able to fully know what size or form the conflict might take. But society and particularly liberal democracy is only so stable. At some point, at some level of uncertainty, it will essentially either collapse or cease to function in any meaningful way. When that happens there is a new race to the bottom, an attempt at finding a new stable strategy/order, a power equilibrium, etc.

Thus there is not likely to be a great deal of anything in the middle for any length of time. The linear region, where things are "a little broke", where there is some terrorism, etc, can only last so long. Our developed societies and complex orders can't handle that much uncertainty for too long, and more to the point, neither can most people handle the sociological strain of too much uncertainty. Our desire to create order, to reduce uncertainty kicks in invariably. Now what form this might take, either in perhaps surrender or something else, may be unknown. But fundamentally, Western civilization at this point is bi-stable. There is only so much uncertainty and internal disruption that our societies can take before something breaks.

At November 17, 2005 4:49 PM, Blogger Thomas the Wraith said...

These riots, in short, are early battles in a continent-wide turf war.

It's a war authorities can't afford to lose. By accepting separatism, Europe is becoming a house divided against itself.

As all Americans know, a house divided against itself cannot stand.

At November 17, 2005 5:44 PM, Blogger truth serum said...

You can look at the here and now to make a reasonable guess at what Europe's future might be by looking at what is happening to the non-Muslims in Nigeria. Consider it the canary in the coal mine, if you will.



I think all of us here on Fjordman's blog take Bjorn much to seriously.

He chastises many here for being Islamophobes, when he himself has admitted that he has not even studied Islam very much.

I quote him from his own blog, "I don't know much about Islam, it's just one of the many subjects I'm interested in and read about, but it doesn't take much reading of non-polemical books to figure out that the Islamophobes don't understand Islam."

He has it totally backwards I'm afraid. We understand and he doesn't. The Islam we talk about doesn't not fit into his ideal. He just doesn't like what he is hearing. Truth is sometimes hard to accept and it takes one time to mentally adjust.

Many of us posters here have taken the time to study. I know I have.

Anyway, Bjoern apparently only wants us here on Fjordman's blog to provide him fodder for own webb site.

If you decide to go to the link provided below, be sure you read all the comments. It seems that most agree with us here at Fjordman's and disagree with him. I found that quite interesting.


He should spend less time trying to defend his own opinion based on ignorance and go do some studying.

He could start with Robert Spencer's "Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades." Before it's dismissed on it's title alone, one should go to Amazon.com and read the readers reviews. You will get insight into the content of the book. It has been on the New York Times best sellers list for several weeks now.

PS. Spencer also has a webb site. jihadwatch.org, which is where I found the link to Fjordman's blog.

At November 17, 2005 8:41 PM, Blogger Bjoern said...

Pastorius: Actually, I must admit, I'm not sure if, by Complexity Theory, you mean Chaos Theory, or complexity as it relates to computations, in which case I don't think the field of study you are referencing backs up the point you are trying to make.

Well, complexity and chaos are related. Chaos refers to a situation where small changes in input can lead to large and seemingly random changes in output. Complexity refers to systems where interactions between a large number of entities lead to unexpected emergent behavior. So you often see them together, but they're not really the same.

I didn't mean to be condescending, but I was taken aback by your assumption that because I don't think one can predict the future like Fjordman does then I must be a postmodernist who doesn't believe in truth. It's one thing to believe that truth exists, another to believe that it is always easily within our grasp. Your analogy with Einstein and Newton also indicates that you haven't grasped the magnitude of the problem you're trying to solve. Einsteinian physics are simple. I don't mean that they are easy to understand, but they're non-complex. To predict the future we can't just input a few variables into a mathematical formula. At least that approach would require us to "account for every sparrow falling", as you say, (and that's leaving aside the fact that the universe is also fundamentally unpredictable.)

What we must do instead is to build a model and simulate the future. If you can build me that model and show that it uses knowledge of social dynamics to predict the past in a roundabout way, then I'll listen to your predictions of the future. It's not enough to merely extrapolate current trends as Fjordman does. That's not prediction at all, it's divination.

my liberal friends would often attempt to shut down an argument by telling me things are more complex than that. That we need to understand the subtelties. That we need to be nuanced.

Yes, we often do. Like you, I'm on the right, (at least by Norwegian standards). But if your brilliant political insight is that things are usually not complex, that we usually don't need to understand subtleties or be nuanced, then I'm with your liberal friends.

At best, it is simply saying that when Fjordman makes predictions they would better be termed guesses. But, then, that is hardly an argument against what Fjordman is doing then, is it?

The problem begins once your vision of a desperate future convinces you to take desperate measures today. In a previous thread I asked readers of this blog what precisely those desperate measures might be. The answer I got were disturbing.

ACCP: By a strange and mysterious event bjoern and I are sent back to the 1930's.

I notice that you don't take me up on my challenge. I also notice that you attribute opinions to me that I don't have. That's one way of winning an argument, pretending your way out of it.

Zach: In other words, there is the paradox that the future is rarely as bad as we imagine it, but only because we imagine it

But we imagine so many futures, and the horrible ones tend dominate our imagination. Predictions of doom are among our favourite hobbies.

In any case, as I noted, humans are good at anticipating and prediction, despite complexity and emergent behavior.

I find that a very surprising claim. You're saying that humans are good at predicting the future? On what basis?

Without the ability to organize, simplify, and encapsule, we would not have the ability to create either advanced societies or complex physical systems.

But that does not give us the ability to understand the complex systems we're part of. That's why Hayek argues against central planning: It assumes knowledge no one person has. Society is more like a vast, distributed system of knowledge, only parts of which are apparent to any one individual - or even to any individual at all, much knowledge is implicit in the structure of society itself. The free market works precisely because it exploits all that distributed knowledge, without requiring anyone to hold it all in their head.

We certainly have ways of dealing with this complexity, heuristics that allow us to make fair-enough decisions quickly. What we don't have is an innate ability to make predictions about our future, and part of what gets in our way are the same heuristics that get us through everyday life. Heuristics that lead us to greatly exaggerate small risks, and undervalue great risks. Heuristics that make us worry more about the future we can imagine easily than a future that is less esthetically pleasing.

A few simple rules that I try to go by

This is all very well. I would advice you to put these rules to the test, to make sure you're not a victim of confirmation bias, but at least you've thought this through, and you have an awareness of the difficulty of applying these rules to future trends. Which is why I'm surprised that you would come to the defense of people who seem more driven by apocalyptic visions than interested in making a serious attempt to understand the world we live in.

truth serum: He chastises many here for being Islamophobes, when he himself has admitted that he has not even studied Islam very much.

Yes, there's so much I don't know about Islam. It took me years just to get to a point where I'm reasonably confident that I know what it is that I'm ignorant of. Perhaps I've been reading the wrong kind of books. I've been reading books that make me aware of how little I know, when perhaps I should have been reading books that built up my self-confidence.

At November 18, 2005 12:25 AM, Blogger Pastorius said...

So, until we build a model, then we really can't do a whole lot. Is that it?

You say you asked the commenters on this blog what they propose, and the answers were disturbing. Two questions:

1) Are Fjordmans proposals disturbing to you?

2) What do you propose?

The reason I questioned whether you were a postmodernist is because if one can't understand trends in society, unless he accounts for all variables, and ponders how they may interact with each other, than one can not ever reach any conclusions.

And, once again you are being condescending to me, with your comment about my "brilliant political insight." I am not against being nuanced, or recognizing subtelties. I was merely observing that people often use those words to shut down the conversation, which seems to be what you are trying to do.

Nuance is simply recognizing specifics; the component parts that go to make up a process, or situation. The truth is, all things, whether they be situations, processes, or objects are made up of an infinite amount of component parts. That's why we can't account for every sparrow falling. At what point would you be satisfied that someone has listed enough specifics to have "created a model."

At November 18, 2005 2:48 AM, Blogger Zach said...

Re Bjoern

We certainly have ways of dealing with this complexity, heuristics that allow us to make fair-enough decisions quickly. What we don't have is an innate ability to make predictions about our future, and part of what gets in our way are the same heuristics that get us through everyday life.

You seem to be using "prediction" in the sense of absolute certainty. I just realized that, hmm. Well I am not sure that anything in reality could be "predicted" if one uses this definition, but so be it.

Anyway, at the core of the issue, we both seem to agree that in the future the Muslim population in Europe is likely to lead to some level of conflicting values, and as you said, some terrorism. In fact, there is nothing about this that is "predicting". This terrorism and unrest has already reached Europe. What are things going to be like in 10-20 years at this rate? Forget doomsayers, can you show that they will be any better? Or, as you say, we can't "predict" the future. Then we don't know what the future holds, and we have high uncertainty, right?

But here is the point Bjoern. We do have strategies for hedging both risks and potential risks. Neither you nor I can say for sure if an underclass Muslim living in the West who is on the edge today will be violent or peaceful 10 years from now. But I can tell you with almost complete certainty that a Muslim on the edge who is not living in the West 10 years from now, and is restricted from getting here, can't commit violence against us here. As best I can tell you seem to be holding some kind of "innocent until proven guilty" view, such that unless we can predict with 100% certainty that in the future we will be facing massive Muslim violence, that our hands are tied. If this is your opinion, fine. But let’s let everyone make up their own mind about how much risk (or potential risk, if it makes you happy) they will accept and what solution they wish to take.

At November 18, 2005 6:19 PM, Blogger Thomas the Wraith said...

bjoern - you claim that I 'just imagine scary scenarios.' The question is not whether my imaginings are scary. The question is are they plausible. Islamists threatened the Queen of England just this week. They have repeatedly threatened the Pope who they regard as the chief of blasphemers. Islamists in Turkey have threatened the Orthodox Patriachate in Istanbul and lobbed grenades into their compound. There is a very good chance that Islamists will attempt to assassinate one or all of these figures. They may not success but I believe an attempt is likely.

I do not consider this far-fetched or implausible. Do you? If so why? Are these idle threats? What prevents extremists in the UK from such an attack?

More importantly, how do you imagine people will respond to such attempts? Will every single one of the billion Catholics around the world shrug off an attack on the Pope, hold peaceful rallies and ask for more understanding and tolerance? Or will some become enraged and seek vengence?

Islamists have made their plans clear for anyone who wants to read them. Are they serious? Do they have a history of following through with their plans? Are they sincere in their fanatical beliefs?

I believe the answers to all these questions is YES. I believe the statements of our enemies should be the starting point for predicting the future. If they go through with their plans (which they have a history of doing) what will be the likely response by the targeted groups?

This is not science-fiction. The threats are real. The responses, from passive resignation to mass vengence, will also be real.

At November 19, 2005 5:42 AM, Blogger El Cid said...

As an america with strong ties to Europe, my wife is Polish, I believe that we face the greatest crises since the rise of the Nazis.

Fjordman, many in America observe the growing clouds with alarm, but most of all with desire to fight.

The second scenario seems the most likely to me, the burning of France is happening to soon and has galvanized many in the Muslim-Free world.

I have watched night after night the flames and destruction and think that the Muslims Ummah has acted too soon. When they committee some new horrible act of terror the Eurabian civil war will start.

Mark my words. there are many in America who will stand by Europe just as we have done in the past.

It is true the smug and unrealistic superiority complex of the Muslim Ummah is their own worst enemy, just as it was for the Nazis.

Hold on to your hat rough waters ahead, but together, Europe and America, we can win!

At November 19, 2005 3:07 PM, Blogger Cosmophant said...

Regarding Bjoern's comments in this thread, I can only say that they are embarrassingly idiotic. I start believing that far to much time has been spent trying to reason with him. He starts looking like a big joke to me.


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