Spengler: Why Western governments fall apartSpengler of the Asia Times doesn't truly understand Islam. I think he's better at criticizing the West itself:
Why Western governments fall apart
Never have the governments of the old Atlantic alliance appeared as weak as they do today. President George W Bush, his popularity ruined and his political agenda junked, is boxed into a corner, but his position seems enviable compared to that of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who just lost a decisive battle over anti-terror measures. But both appear strong compared to President Jacques Chirac, who has let France slip into civil unrest. Germany, despite last week's appointment of Angela Merkel as federal chancellor, in effect has no government, for the parallelogram of political forces neutralizes all parties. The leaders of the West seem to somnambulate through affairs of state, oblivious to the disaster around them. Only in Beijing and Tokyo do we find strong governments in powerful nations. Perhaps it is the fact that the leaders of the West mirror the qualities of the people who voted for them. That leads to a simple interpretation of the general crisis of Western politics, namely, that the people of the West, as it were, are the wrong people in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is not the leaders of the West per se, but rather the voters who put them in office, who comprise the problem. The reason that the leaders of France can offer no solution to the present crisis is that no solution exists, given the present demography and predilections of the population of France.
Mark Steyn: Bicultural Europe is doomed
Whatever their problems, most Islamic countries have the advantage of beginning any evolution into free states from the starting point of relative societal cohesion. By contrast, most European nations face the trickier task of trying to hold on to their freedom at a time of increasing societal incoherence. But the Continent isn't multicultural so much as bicultural. There are ageing native populations, and young Muslim populations, and that's it: "two solitudes", as they say in my beloved Quebec. If there's three, four or more cultures, you can all hold hands and sing We are the World. But if there's just two - you and the other - that's generally more fractious. Bicultural societies are among the least stable in the world, especially once it's no longer quite clear who is the majority and who is the minority - a situation that much of Europe is fast approaching, as you can see by visiting any French, Austrian, Belgian or Dutch maternity ward. In a democratic age, you can't buck demography - except through civil war. The Yugoslavs figured that out. In the 30 years before the meltdown, Bosnian Serbs had declined from 43 per cent to 31 per cent of the population, while Bosnian Muslims had increased from 26 per cent to 44 per cent.
So Europe's present biculturalism makes disaster a certainty. One way to avoid it would be to go genuinely multicultural, to broaden the Continent's sources of immigration beyond the Muslim world. But a talented ambitious Chinese or Indian or Chilean has zero reason to emigrate to France, unless he is consumed by a perverse fantasy of living in a segregated society that artificially constrains his economic opportunities yet imposes confiscatory taxation on him in order to support an ancien regime of indolent geriatrics. You can understand why the Quai d'Orsay is relaxed about Iran becoming the second Muslim nuclear power. As things stand, France is on course to be the third. You heard it here first. You probably won't hear it on Mr Dassier's station at all.