The Decline And Fall Of Europe is, yes, sobering, but there’s one thing the author overlooks, which is that Europe could take immigrants from places other than the Middle East. Immigrants from Asia, for example, would probably meld into European culture well, just as they have in North America. Just as there is not inherent hostility toward Europe by, say, Chinese, Europe isn’t anywhere near as hostile towards Chinese as, say, to Turks or Lebanese.
I’d like to see Europe do well. Whether it does, though, depends on its ability to change. A friend recently wrote to me in an email from Nilgris Hills, Tamil Nadu, where he’s volunteering, the following passage:
Cultural preservation? I don’t know about that concept anymore. The current changes course quick and you better go with the flow or you’re gonna be hurtin. Every culture loses things and they adapt and that’s just the way things are I think. All my ancestors left and started new and changed and traditions are dying and being born every minute every where.
This is as true of Europe and it is of Tamil Nadu: change is sometimes just necessary, and all of the biggest changes in history, it seems to me, have come from either the introduction of a new technology, or the introduction of new people from some other group into a population.
It’s funny, though, because the current does change quickly. The author assumes no change in North America, and I have a feeling that’s not how things will pan out. Who knows? The future’s so open and wide… but it seems to me this century will test the limits of our ability to predict anything in the short term, not just the medium and long term.