Book review from The Movie Snob
Reflections on the Revolution in Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West, by Christopher Caldwell (Doubleday 2009). I’m not sure why, but I find this subject (generally, Muslim immigration and declining Western fertility) very interesting. Canadian Mark Steyn writes a lot of columns about Western and Muslim demographics, and of course he’s a big doomsayer, but a lot of what he says sounds plausible to me. This book is like a big, expanded version of one of Steyn’s columns, and these are the main points I took away from it: (1) Europe now has a lot of Muslims living in it, and (2) although a lot of Europeans don’t like it, (3) no one really knows what to do about it. At the same time, many European political elites do not acknowledge that there is any “immigration problem,” much less that anything needs to be done about demographic patterns. (Interestingly, American-style affirmative action is apparently just now getting started in some parts of Europe.) Caldwell ends his book with the line, “When an insecure, malleable, relativistic culture meets a culture that is anchored, confident, and strengthened by common doctrines, it is generally the former that changes to suit the latter.” I guess the next few decades will tell if this generalization pans out.