March 1, 2006

Fukuyama: The real problem with Muslims in Europe is Buchananism!

Fukuyama: The real problem with Muslims in Europe is Buchananism! Professor Francis Fukuyama, a member of the Advisory Committee of the Scooter Libby Legal Defense Fund, explains in "Europe vs. Radical Islam: Alarmist Americans have mostly bad advice for Europeans" in Slate:

Yet the deeper source of Europe's failure to integrate Muslim immigrants, as [Bruce] Bawer recognizes, is not trendy multiculturalist ideas embraced by the left, but precisely [Pat] Buchanan's blood-and-soil understanding of identity—a mind-set that until five years ago prevented a German-speaking third-generation Turk from acquiring citizenship because he didn't have a German mother.... American identity, by contrast, has from the beginning been more creedal and political than based on religion or ethnicity. Newly naturalized Guatemalans or Koreans in America can proudly say they are Americans. Pat Buchanan may not like it, but that is precisely what rescues us from the trap the Europeans are in....

The problem that most Europeans face today is that they don't have a vision of the kinds of positive cultural values their societies stand for and should promote, other than endless tolerance and moral relativism. What each European society needs is to invent an open form of national identity similar to the American creed, an identity that is accessible to newcomers regardless of ethnicity or religion.

You can take Fukuyama out of the neocons, but you can't take the neocon out of Fukuyama!

I want to apologize to my old time readers if I keep repeating myself on, but years ago I disproved Fukuyama's neocon theorizing with one word:


The French have always done exactly what Fukuyama advises, and we all saw in last fall's riots how well that worked out. As I wrote in over two years ago in "Four Failed European Immigration Approaches:"

The French have traditionally tried to do with their immigrants almost exactly what the neocons recommend here: cultural assimilation, education in civics theories, monolingualism, meritocracy, separation of church and state, and all the rest.

This may seem ironic, because nobody in Tikrit hates anybody worse than the neocons hate the French. But that's the way it usually turns out with ideologues: it's their nature to burn at the stake those heretics who deviate the most minutely.

Officially, France is what the neocons say America is: a "Proposition Nation" defined by adherence to ideological concepts rather than by descent. Indeed, the American and French “propositions” are basically identical. Which shouldn't be surprising, since the French were wildly enthusiastic about our Founding Fathers, who in turn greatly admired French thinkers like Montesquieu and Voltaire. Of course, the French Revolution didn't work out as nicely as the American Revolution, precisely because ideological propositions are of secondary importance.

Still, the French assimilation concepts are by no means bad. Over the centuries, the French successfully assimilated large numbers of immigrants from Eastern Europe, as well as some of the best educated Africans and Vietnamese.

But they've failed miserably with their huge North African Muslim population, which now makes up somewhere between 5 and 10 percent of the population. (The French are so neocon that they refuse to count by ethnicity.) [As we saw with last fall's riots in France, they've also failed with their black West Africans.]

Indeed, this French neocon philosophy probably can't survive the impact of the Muslims. France's Muslims are now so poor and hostile that the most dynamic political figure, the center-right Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy (himself the son of immigrants), has called for France to junk its tradition of equality under the law and institute affirmative action for Muslims.

A reader adds:

I think Britain is an even better rejoinder to Fukuyama than France. France has tried assimilation in a much more rigorous way than Fukuyama or the neo-cons would like. Britain has left things more 'open' and 'laissez-faire'. And of course Britain has had and continues to have Ius Solis (plus a bit of Ius sanguinus) . But unlike France, at let alone Germany, Britain has had home-grown Islamic suicide bombers.(France did have Metro bombings back in 1996, but I believe the culprits were Algerian-born members of GIA, concerned about Algeria, not home grown Al Qaeda wannabees) The UK has had vicious race riots, some not even involving whites. It has no-go areas. And so on. Somehow the UK has managed to position itself as a success story are far as 'assimilation', but that's more spin than reality.

Germany, with its terrible blut-und-boden attitude, has had none of the mass rioting, fatwa issuing, death threat shouting, or general unpleasantness directed against its own society from its Muslims. Sure, Hamburg is a great staging area for transnational terrorist operations, but no Muslims attacking German values themselves.

Good point, although, of course, that could all change at any moment. And, perhaps, the less disastrous German experience has more to do with its Muslim immigrants being mostly stolid Turks rather than excitable Arabs. As I've often pointed out there's a negative correlation between a people's propensity for disorganized violence (street crime, rioting, and the simpler forms of terrorism) and how good they are at organized violence (war). While the Arabs have been awful at war over the last century, the Turks showed themselves to be first rate soldiers at Gallipoli, in Anatolia fighting the British and French after WWI, and helping America out in Korea.

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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