Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Is Europe Dying?

The demographics are unmistakable: Europe is dying. The wasting disease that has beset this once greatest of civilizations is not physical, however. It is a disease in the realm of the human spirit. David Hart, another theological analyst of contemporary history, calls it the disease of "metaphysical boredom"-boredom with the mystery, passion, and adventure of life itself. Europe, in Hart's image, is boring itself to death. And in the process, it is allowing radicalized twenty-first century Muslims-who think of their forebears' military defeats at Poitiers in 732, Lepanto in 1571, and Vienna in 1683 (as well as their expulsion from Spain in 1492), as temporary reversals en route to Islam's final triumph in Europe-to imagine that the day of victory is not far off. Not because Europe will be conquered by an invading army marching under the Prophet's banners, but because Europe, having depopulated itself out of boredom and culturally disarmed itself in the process, will have handed the future over to those Islamic immigrants who will create what some scholars call "Eurabia"-the European continent as a cultural and political extension of the Arab-Islamic world. Should that happen, the irony would be unmistakable: the drama of atheistic humanism, emptying Europe of its soul, would have played itself out in the triumph of a thoroughly nonhumanistic theism. Europe's contemporary crisis of civilizational morale would reach its bitter conclusion when Notre-Dame becomes Hagia Sophia on the Seine-another great Christian church become an Islamic museum. At which point, we may be sure, the human rights proclaimed by those narrow secularists who insist that a culture's spiritual aspirations have nothing to do with its politics would be in the gravest danger. It need not happen: there are signs of spiritual and cultural renewal in Europe, especially among young people.


At June 08, 2005 2:10 PM, Blogger AbbaGav said...

I hope your closing sentiment is right. If you have details that show where that revival is coming from in the younger generations, I for one would appreciate knowing about it. Thanks.

At June 09, 2005 10:20 AM, Blogger Jude the Obscure said...

David Hart - theological analyist - when did they ever get it right?
All theologists ever did was try to prevent the 'mystery, passion and adventure of life'. Everyone now is talking about depopulation. Have they forgotten the governmental impetus to reduce the birthrate after the postware baby boom? Europe did not depopulate itself from boredom. War weary Europe liked itself and was caring for itself. If the politicians had been statesmen they would have realised OPEC's demands for immigration from Muslim countries was a future problem. They accepted a short term solution for a long term problem. Europe will not die. Many of Europe's sons may though, and so it goes, and so it goes...

At June 10, 2005 12:44 AM, Blogger PD111 said...

Birth rates have gone up and down through history, depending on social, political, scientific/technological, and even fashionable dictates. The availability of statistics round the clock, now allow rates of change to be predicted, but which have no real basis for the long term. Our problem these days is that we react instantly, to what after all, are natural cycles.

The reaction to this alarm of a de-populating Europe, has had the effect of justifying the immigration of muslims into Europe. The additional reason given, was that muslim immigrants would be wealth producing, and will generate the resources required for a retired and ageing population. A more preposterous suggestion is hard to conceive. The very thought that muslims would form the basis for wealth production, is laughable. If Muslims were indeed wealth producing, they would have done so in dar ul-islam itself. The reality is now dawning, that muslims are the single greatest drain on the welfare budget of any nation, quite apart from the pressure on police, security, and prison resources. Oh, and I must not forget to mention, how much I enjoy the intrusive security at airports.



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