am 26. Juni 2008
When I purchase and read the latest copy of The Western Standard, which is a Canadian conservative (yes, there is such a thing!) news magazine, the first article I always turn to is the column by Mark Steyn. For this reason, I purchased a copy of America Alone. As usual, Mr. Steyn brings to the readers attention the details that the politically correct mainstream media refuses to report. This book should be a compulsory read for all citizens of voting age in the Western democracies. Whether or not the book would open the eyes of a populace that has been fed a steady of diet of moral relativism/root cause/moral equivalance/multiculturalism by our self hating Leftist establishment would be interesting to find out.
Alas, Europe is now very likely a lost cause. Steyn's anology of the neutron bomb is right on the money; Europe within a generation or two will still have it's historic buildings and landmarks, but there just won't be any people with enlightened Western Christian based values living there. They will have been replaced by Muslims living under Sharia Law. Once that has happened, it remains to be seen whether or not the United States can survive in a Muslim dominated world bent on the destruction of The Great Satan.
The final irony is that Liberals who are so tolerant of everything will in the end find themselves living under the most intolerant religious political system ever devised.
NOTE: since I last wrote and posted my review on the Amazon.ca review section, Muslim groups have taken issue with author Mark Steyn and have dragged him in a "pseudo court", the Canadian Human Rights Commision, which has the ability to harrass and interrogate anyone of it's choosing, totally outside of the Canadian legal system. It seems Canada is also falling victim of political correctness trumping common sense. Free speech in Canada? Not if those who want to impose Sharia Law upon Canadians have their way.
am 8. September 2010
Im Zeitalter der Political Correctness, wo jeder in Deutschland das geschriebene Wort zweimal umdreht, bevor er es in Druck gibt, spricht dieses Buch - wenn auch in Englisch - eine wohltuend kraftvolle und unmissverständliche Sprache.
Mark Steyn bietet als Überzeugungs-Amerikaner (wenn er auch eigentlich Kanadier ist) einen interessanten Blick von außen auf das - wie er darlegt sterbende Europa - und belegt eindrucksvoll, dass die Selbstentmündigung der europäischen Bürger durch das Sozialstaat-Rundum-Sorglos-Paket zur Lähmung jeglicher Initiative des Einzelnen führt. Er ist darüber hinaus ein überzeugender Mahner gegen die Islamisierung Europas und hält Eurabien für eine realistische Zukunftprognose, was er auch nachvollziehbar begründet.
Wer als Konservativer mit dem Gedanken spielt, nach Amerika auszuwandern, der findet mit diesem Buch das geistige Rüstzeug. Aber vorsicht Herr Steyn: Auch in Amerika ist nicht alles Gold, was glänzt - und er redet etwas zu sehr die eigenen Problem von "God's own country" klein.
Eine kleine Schwäche des Buchs ist noch der Bezug zur aktuellen Politik in 2006, was nach dem Präsidentenwechsel in den USA natürlich etwas überholt daher kommt. Daran ändert auch ein sehr langes aktuelleres Vorwort nichts. Aber eine zum Teil gigantische Wortwahl und zeitlose Argumentationsführung macht das Buch auch in 2010 weiter lesenswert.
am 26. April 2007
An excellent take on world demographics and the consequences thereof, especially with regard to the situation here in Europe. Always at his best when the chips are down, Steyn once again is able to put his finger right on the pulse of the problems. America Alone (perhaps it should rather be titled "Europe Screwed") would be a funny read due to Steyn's wit if the subject matter were not so grave. But you will laugh anyway - it's impossible not to. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good laugh and happens to be pondering the fate of Europe.
am 5. Juni 2010
I had the misfortune of living more than 40 years under the communist rule, so it is perhaps understandable that I am attracted to conservative (american) or classical liberal (european) ideas. I agree with the author that Europe with its overregulations and misconcieved multiculturism is moving in the very dangerous direction. The economic freedom is being curtailed and the backward religiously fundametalist immigrants are allowed to establish their ghettos in western countries, ignoring the constitutions of their host countries. If the demographic trends will continue unchecked, these countries will return to middle age civilization. The problem is that most of the mass media, political parties and governments are strongly influenced by left wing intellectuals, who are mostly concerned with wealth redistribution and very onesided perception of human rights.
Since I lived in ex Yugoslavia, I was able to watch how the Albanians took away Kosovo from Serbia with only the demographic weapon. And Albanians are no religious fanatics. I`m afraid that the result in France, Germany, UK, Holland, Belgium, Italy, Scandinavian countries will be even worse. The birth rate of original Europeans is for sure already beyond the point of no return and in two or three generations the reproductively vital immigrants will be able to seize the political power. However, such transition is always very violent.
In my opinion, the author Mark Steyn correctly determines the cause of this development. The social democratic european states stiffle free enterprise and through an excesive wealth distribution play a nanny state to its citizens. The motivation for hard work is diminishing but nobody has to care about his/her old age. A hedonistic culture has been developed and the children have for many become unnecessary burden. It is horrible that 30% of german women don`t bear any children!
The current financial crisis of EU reminds me again of ex Yugoslavia. For 40 years the aid money flowed from more developed republics to Kosovo and other underdeveloped republics but the result was ever widening development gap. Now, we are throwing money after Greece and I`m afraid, the result will be the same. The hypocrisy now is even bigger; the citizens of many countries, which are aiding Greece, have only 50% of greek wages, not to talk about salaries in the greek public sector.
Nevertheless, I think that Mark Steyn exaggerate a little. The history never follows in line with the forecasted trends. The best examples are the predictions 50 years ago from The Club of Rome. According to them, the industrial society would have grind to halt after 2000. The reversals of current trends will happen for sure. Just look at the last elections results in Hungary and Czech republic. The reality slowly sinks in the peoples minds. Nevertheless, Mark Steyn`s book is a healthy reminder of the present and future dangers confronting the old Europe!
am 9. August 2013
Mark Steyns kurzweiliges, fesselndes Buch ist nicht nur mit Esprit und Witz geschrieben, sondern es ist vor allem eine messerscharfe und schonungslose Analyse unserer europäischen bzw. westlichen post-christlichen "aufgeklärten" Gesellschaften. Steyn lässt sich durch political correctness - Gott sei Dank - nicht beirren oder gar mundtot machen. Ihm geht es um die Wahrheit, ihm geht es um die Zukunft. Und seine Argumente sind mehr als überzeugend, sie sind wie ein Tornado.
Während es den meisten Leuten nicht einmal bewusst ist (oder sie verdrängen es), geht in Europa eine gewaltige Veränderung vor sich, welche kaum noch rückgängig zu machen ist und eine Reihe dramatischer Folgen haben wird: der demografische Wandel. In vielen Ländern wurde bei der Demografie der point of no return schon erreicht (1,3 Kind pro Frau oder darunter), d.h. da werden die einheimischen Bevölkerungen bald als Minderheiten in Multikulti-Gesellschaften leben müssen. Mittelfristig ist aber mit einer Islamisierung dieser Länder zu rechnen, mit all den (noch weniger rosigen) Konsequenzen. Und was machen die politischen "Eliten" mit Unterstützung der Massenmedien: sie beruhigen, wiegeln ab, lenken ab, täuschen, versprechen tolle Dinge, kämpfen für Nebensächlichkeiten, verteilen Wahlzuckerln, lassen sich feiern und das Volk (sorry: die Gesellschaft) links liegen. Sie machen also genau das Verkehrte.
All jene, die in ihrem links-marxistischen (Traum)Weltbild nicht erschüttert werden wollen, sollten das Buch meiden (hoffentlich sind es nur wenige). Jene, die noch eine gewisse Rest-Verantwortung für die eigene Zukunft und für die Zukunft unserer Kinder verspüren, sollten das Buch dringend lesen und weiter empfehlen. Und ich hoffe, dass es bald ins Deutsche (Holländische, Französische, Schwedische...) übersetzt wird.
am 19. Oktober 2011
Opinionated books usually are outdated fast, but this one I still recommend to read. First of all, the book the author has humor and the book is well written. Second, if you watch the news in Europe end of 2011, there is no way to put Mark Steyn's views other than gently even in retrospect. The book was written before the financial crash 2008,before the subsequent US depression and the current EU crises. Nevertheless and unfortunately, Mark Steyn's analysis of Europe's demographics, her financial and political problems still holds true. The current EU crises and the inability of the so called "EU elite" haves their roots exactly in the observations described in the book.
"The U.S. government's National Intelligence Council is predicting the EU will collapse by 2020... How bad is it going to get in Europe in the context of today? It looks like its collapsing 2012. Streets are burning in Athen and Rome and as soon as the citizens of the northern countries realize, that there saving, social security went down the absyss (and their wellfare cheques too) thing will start to look grim there too. I agree, in contradiction to his new book,that the Americans have a better chance to keep their freedom and get themselves out of this hole.
Within a generation or two Europe as we know it may ease to exist. In my opinion, the author Mark Steyn correctly determines the root causes for this. I checked some of the details that the mainstream media suppressed. Even if I do not share some of Mr. Steyn's rhetoric, those facts and arguments were correct.
"Demography is an existential crisis for the developed world, because the twentieth-century social democratic state was built on a careless model that requires a constantly growing population to sustain it" The magic number here is 2.1, as in the total fertility rate per woman that a developed society needs to maintain its population over time. If so many individuals (he states 30% -40% of German women in Germany) see children as an unnecessary burden, the stage will be set for those who grow up tough and breed - not for those who want an endlessly deferred adulthood.
"The free world's citizenry could use more non-state actors. This argument has its merits, if we do not stand up against an totalitarian big government (i.e. the central EU state), we will loose our freedom. It has to be noted, however, that terrorists, hedge fonds and speculators have been NGOs.
"If America [Europe] won't export its values - ... - others will export theirs." If a society denounces its cultural roots and ethical values other will fill the void. That's the simple message in the book. According to his book Europe has given up its future and its cultural heritage. The decline of the Byzantine Empire was a process similar to today's decline of Europe, which will end up cultural and scientific degraded, financially broken, hedonistic and weak faster than he thought.
"If you are a teenager in most European cities these days, you hve a choice between two competing identities a robust confident ... identity or a tentative ... cringingly apologetic European identity. As Steyn notes, multiculturalism was instituted not to acquaint Westerners with other cultures, but to criticize the West. One effectof multiculturalism has been is that the West has disarmed itself in the most critical arena. There refers to the powerful word "that one will always like the strong horse".
I do think, however, Mark Steyn should re-think his definition of free enterprise in the light of the financial sector running amok. Be it in Europe, but specially in the US context. If Mammon is not the answer, could God be? America as a whole has a somewhat more free-market economy and Steyn also points out that the major Anglophone countries all have birthrates either at or near replacement level. Steyn does express skepticism about his own arguments. He asks: does the loss of religion explain the morbid state of advanced and even moderately developed countries? I am afraid; this might be on factor he did not account for.
Now if the author arguably thinks, that most first-world countries to be irredeemably corrupt, doomed by excessive debt and insufficient fertility, what other real-world options are there? There are certainly no excessive free-market wonderlands without rising economic gaps between rich and poor, subsequently declining political liberty, and strange alliances of no-traditional (modern) lifestyle advocates and the neoliberal exploitation of the individuals (values).
It is also certainly the case that today's nanny state with its rigid model of governance and its subsidy of victimhood is degenerated and unsustainable. But consider what it degenerated from: the era of the Great Wars and the Cold War. The same powers of economic and political required the domestic mobilization of education and public health and industry that allowed the governments of that explosive era to function effectively as military actors before 1945 and compete successfully against the Communist model afterwards.
Many of Steyn's specific proposals have merit, but they need more context than he has shown in this book. It might be possible for America to revive the "New Deal" or Germany's "Soziale Marktwirtschaft" within its own borders; but neither Europe as a whole nor single nations could manage such a thing. The work of regeneration needed to fight off the perils and save the threatened societies of the world from suicide cannot dispense with western identity. However, it must be western identity strengthened by its Western roots impervious to the subversions to which every value indifferent state proved subject. These roots, according to a French scholar are, "the hellenistic culture, the roman law and the Bible".
am 30. Januar 2016
A very good book everyone should read. The predictions made in this book have only become more realistic ever since it was released, so the book still is as accurate in depicting current trends as it was in 2008.
am 26. Dezember 2012
erleuchtend, genial, aufschlussreich, einzigartig, einsame Spitze ... mir wuerden wahrscheinlich die Superlative zu diesem Buch ausgehen. Wer Mark Steyn noch nicht kennt, der wird sich nach dem durchlesen wahrscheinlich auch seine Videos auf Youtube anschauen wollen.
unbedingt empfehlenswert, beides