America Alone

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America Alone
AmericaAlone.jpg
Author Mark Steyn
Country United States
Language English
Subject Demography
Sociology
Politics
Publisher Regnery Publishing
Publication date
September 16, 2006
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 224
ISBN 0-89526-078-6
OCLC 70866885
303.48/273017670905 22
LC Class E895 .S84 2006

America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It is a nonfiction book by the Canadian newspaper columnist and writer Mark Steyn, published in 2006. It forecasts the downfall of Western civilization owing to internal weaknesses and the increasing Muslim population in Western countries and the world generally.

Overview[edit]

America Alone is set in the context of the global war on terror. Steyn argues that "much of what we loosely call the Western world will not survive the twenty-first century, and much of it will effectively disappear within our lifetimes, including many if not most European countries."[1]

Steyn attributes the forecast fall of the Western world to three factors:

  • Demographic decline, based on the observation that European nations have low birth rates while Muslim nations have higher birth rates. Specifically, in recent years the population of the developed world declined from about 30% of world population to around 20%, while the population of Muslim nations increased from about 15% to 20%.[2]
  • The unsustainability of the advanced Western social-democratic state, based on the thesis that the responsibilities of normal adults, such as care of the elderly, childcare, health care and insurance, have been slowly taken over by the state. Steyn argues that these programs erode humanity's basic sense of self-reliance to a point at which a more resilient group of people — Muslims in his view — will take control.
  • The exhaustion of civilization. Steyn argues that Western nations are so focused on moral and cultural relativism—with "diversity" and "racism" as their new favorite words—that they are unable to see that their existence is threatened. Specifically, he argues that European nations have given up defending themselves and rely on America for their defense. He views anti-Americanism as a symptom of civilizational exhaustion, whether manifested by Muslims (to whom America symbolizes gay porn, children born out of wedlock, immodest women, and immorality) or by Europeans (to whom America symbolises a crude and radical Christianity, fat rednecks and uncontrolled firearms). However in his view America is the most benign hegemonic power the world has ever seen. According to Steyn, America will be the last and only country—as all others will be taken over by Muslims—that will retain its sense of self-preservation, but this is not a given, as America's enemies know that it ran from Vietnam and they hope that America will continue to flee when faced with a challenge.

Steyn's final argument is that the Muslim world will not need to carry out an outright attack. Instead, Europe will collapse from "wimpiness" or "multicultural 'sensitivity,'" leading to betrayal of the state's core values. Thus, during the Danish 'cartoon jihad' of 2006, Jack Straw, then British foreign secretary, hailed the 'sensitivity' of Fleet Street in not reprinting the offending representations of the Prophet."[3]

Steyn dismisses the danger of climate change, The Population Bomb, The Limits to Growth, and nuclear winter.[citation needed]

Critical reception[edit]

Christopher Hitchens reviewed the book with praise, and describes it as "an admirably tough-minded book."[4] Hitchens goes on in his review and states:

Mark Steyn's book is essentially a challenge to the bien-pensants among us: an insistence that we recognize an extraordinary threat and thus the possible need for extraordinary responses. He need not pose as if he were the only one with the courage to think in this way.

The British novelist Martin Amis also reviewed the book in The Times and hailed Steyn as the "great sayer of the unsayable" but goes on to state:

I continue to hope that his admonitions will gain some momentum, despite the efforts of his prose style to impede it.[5]

The book was read by President of the United States George W. Bush who also gave copies to his White House staff.[6] According to Steyn it was also read by Democrat vice-presidential nominee Joe Lieberman, Spanish prime minister José Maria Aznar, British politician and prominent Brexit campaigner Michael Gove who also reviewed the book for The Spectator:

That many of Steyn's conclusions will be unpalatable to the European consensus only underlines how much a failure to face harsh truths has characterised the European response to the scale of the terrorist threat we face.[7]

Daniel Johnson in his criticism of the theory of the West's decline referred to America Alone stating:

On Europe, Steyn is as damning as he is persuasive: from demographic suicide to the abdication of self-defence, he conducts a forensic analysis of the hollowing out of the high culture for which the Continent was still respected a generation ago.[8]

Canadian newspaper publisher and author, Conrad Black in his review of Steyn's follow-up book After America: Get Ready for Armageddon referred to America Alone as extolling

...America’s heroic status as the chief and only plausible resister to the degeneration of the West and the endless primitive depredations of militant Islam, carried out with the mischievous connivance of a greedy and malevolent China.[9]

Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting criticized the book as "inarguably Islamophobic," [10] and author Suhayl Saadi in the Independent referred to it as "hysterical".[11] Academic, Nasar Meer wrote that the book was, "Remarkably similar to anxieties over western decline in the late 19th century."[12]

Steyn himself has written on the tenth anniversary of its publication writing: "This is the biggest story of our time, and, ten years on, the west's leaders still can't talk about it, not to their own peoples, not honestly....I'm glad I brought up the subject. And it's well past time for others to speak out".[13]

Human rights complaints[edit]

Human rights complaints against Maclean's magazine were filed in December 2007 by Mohamed Elmasry of the Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) with the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal and the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Maclean's magazine was accused of publishing eighteen Islamophobic articles between January 2005 and July 2007. The articles in question included a column by Mark Steyn titled "The Future Belongs to Islam", an excerpt from America Alone[14].The Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) called the piece "flagrantly Islamophobic", stating that it subjected Canadian Muslims to "hatred and contempt".[15]

The CIC approached Macleans and asked for "equal space" to publish a response, specifically "not a little letter to the editor". Macleans refused.

The CIC responded by filing a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission. It brought an ally, the Ontario Federation of Labour, with its 700,000 members, to put pressure on all relevant parties, including Macleans' parent company.

The Ontario Human Rights Commission ruled that it did not have the jurisdiction to hear the complaint. The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal heard the complaint in June 2008 and issued a ruling on October 10, 2008 dismissing the complaint. The Canadian Human Rights Commission dismissed the federal complaint on June 26, 2008 without referring the matter to a tribunal.

The case has been cited as a motivating factor in the repeal of Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.[16]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Steyn, Mark. America Alone: The End Of The World As We Know It. Regnery Publishing, 2006, p. xiii.
  2. ^ Steyn, Mark. America Alone: The End Of The World As We Know It. Regnery Publishing, 2006, p. xiv.
  3. ^ Steyn, Mark. America Alone: The End Of The World As We Know It. Regnery Publishing, 2006, p. xxx.
  4. ^ "Facing the Islamist Menace". city-journal.org. City Journal (New York City). Winter 2007 
  5. ^ Steyn, Mark. "Never Mind the Prose Style.." SteynOnline. Retrieved 2017-03-14. 
  6. ^ "Reader of the Free World". Weekly Standard. 2007-03-12. Retrieved 2017-03-14. 
  7. ^ "Not what Europe wants to hear » 13 Jan 2007 » The Spectator Archive". The Spectator Archive. Retrieved 2017-03-15. 
  8. ^ "The Mythology of Decline | Standpoint". www.standpointmag.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-03-15. 
  9. ^ Black, Conrad (October 2011). "Found Wanting". The New Criterion. 
  10. ^ "Making Islamophobia Mainstream". FAIR. 2008-11-01. Retrieved 2017-03-15. 
  11. ^ https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/the-second-plane-by-martin-amis-776567.html
  12. ^ Meer, Nasar (2013-03-01). "Racialization and religion: race, culture and difference in the study of antisemitism and Islamophobia". Ethnic and Racial Studies. 36 (3): 385–398. doi:10.1080/01419870.2013.734392. ISSN 0141-9870. 
  13. ^ Steyn, Mark. "Ten Years, and Slightly Less Alone". SteynOnline. Retrieved 2017-03-14. 
  14. ^ "The future belongs to Islam - Macleans.ca". Macleans.ca. 2006-10-20. Retrieved 2017-03-15. 
  15. ^ "Human Rights Complaints Launched Against Maclean's Magazine (Press release)". www.newswire.ca. Canadian Islamic Congress. CNW. Retrieved 2017-03-15. 
  16. ^ "Human rights complaints against Maclean's magazine". Wikipedia. 2017-02-19. 

References[edit]

Coleman, D. and Rowthorn, R. (2011), Who's Afraid of Population Decline? A Critical Examination of Its Consequences. Population and Development Review, 37: 217–248. doi:10.1111/j.1728-4457.2011.00385.x

Steyn, Mark (2016) "Never Mind the Prose Style...". SteynOnline.

Steyn, Mark (2016) "Ten Years, and Slightly Less Alone". SteynOnline.

External links[edit]