Thursday, May 31, 2007

Cultural Destiny

I've been using the phrase “feet on the ground” and linking it to the question of where our nation and culture are headed. “Feet on the ground” is just a short cut for saying that the direction of western civilization (i.e. all that we here in the west take for granted as a given regarding our laws, cultural mindset, and liberty) will be decided by those who actually make up the population of the west. And as the cultural markers of a population change, so changes how that society stands in relationship to truth, human dignity, law, and liberty. This isn’t theory. It is the story repeated, again and again, throughout many centuries of societies rising and falling. Our society is built upon the foundation of Judeo-Christian thought as developed over the years via the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the founding ideals of our own nation. To ignore these foundation stones or take them for granted (i.e. they’ll automatically remain our society’s underpinnings) as relates to demographics is shortsighted. This is why the immigration debate is an important one, especially in light of the U.S. birthrate being barely above replacement levels (and less so in Europe). Added to my concerns is the war being waged on a philosophical level regarding the place of truth, morality, and religion in today’s culture. Some would argue that the “old” truths and morality no longer apply in a multi-cultural and diverse society. But that leads to another discussion for another day.

That brings me to Mark Steyn who, in my opinion, is one of the clearest thinkers concerning the demographics and culture of the West, its intersection with immigration trends, and the implications for the future. These excerpts of his words from an interview entitled, Is Demography Destiny?, over at The American Spectator highlight just a few of the things he has to say on demographics, the west, and the challenges we face as a culture.

“Clearly, the West shows all the classic signs of exhaustion. Americans are part of a continuous trend afflicting Western Europe. It's these subtler incremental changes that are of biggest concern as opposed to the guys flying planes into buildings…

“Whether or not Muslims are a statistical majority within society is not the major issue. They only need to make up 20 percent of the population for the nature of our society to be entirely changed…

“When Muslims in the West are polled, 40 to 60 percent wish to live under Sharia and wish to reside in the United Kingdom and the United States as opposed to Saudi Arabia. They may disagree with the means but they entirely support the ends…

“Well, I do believe that eventually the nanny state turns us all into children so when grown ups become children then it is not astonishing for them to become disinterested in having children of their own. One of the striking features of the modern socialist state is the prolonged adolescence of its citizens….One of the results of this mindset is a collapsing birthrate, but those communities who think differently from us are the ones who will shape the future. Is there any denying that the future belongs to the people who show up for it?”

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