Steven Hayward- Contributor
[Courtesty of Pacific Research
Hayward is Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies for the Pacific
Research Institute. He
is also nationally recognized for his recently released book, The
Age of Reagan: The Fall of the Old Liberal Order 1964-1980 (Prima
Publishing, 2001), and Churchill on Leadership: Executive
Success in the Face of Adversity (Prima Publishing, 1997).
[go to Hayward index]
West has no soul left..."
...the slow collapse of European civilization...
[Steven Hayward] 4/6/04
came several weeks ago that France was banning head scarves-often
worn by devout Muslims-in its public schools, I thought it
may be a sign that France was taking a stand over its European
culture and heritage. But it turns out the ban was motivated
by secularism, not particularism. The French are against any
personal expression of religious identity: crosses and yarmulkes
are banned as well.
rate of the Islamic population in France is such that within
a few decades it is not inconceivable that France will have
an Arab-Islamic majority population. Only the disreputable
National Party of Le Pen is so gauche as to suggest restrictions
on immigration into France; still less does anyone suggest
that an immigrant population be assimilated as we have done
in America for 200 years.
All of which
brought to mind Jean Raspail's infamous 1975 novel, Camp
of the Saints. Raspail's Swiftian satire described the
collapse of French civilization when challenged by a flotilla
of Third World refugees that decided to migrate to France in
hijacked ships. The novel was naturally attacked as racist
at the time it came out, though as usual the critics missed
the main point of the book, which was a critique of the emptiness
of multiculturalism, a decade ahead of its time.
this searing meditation in the preface to a 1985 edition of Camp:
West is simply empty, even if it has not yet become really
aware of it. An extraordinarily inventive civilization, surely
the only one capable of meeting the challenges of the third
millennium, the West has no soul left. At every level-nations,
races, cultures, as well as individuals-it is always the
soul that wins decisive battles. It is only the soul that
forms the weave of gold and brass from which the shields
that save the strong are fashioned. I can hardly discern
any soul in us. Looking, for example, at my own country,
France, I often get the impression, as in a bad dream dreamt
wide-awake, that many Frenchmen of true lineage are no longer
anything but hermit-clams that live in shells abandoned by
the representatives of a species, now disappeared, that was
known as "French" and which did not forecast, through
some unknown genetic mystery, the one that at century's end
has wrapped itself in this name. They are content to just
endure. Mechanically, they ensure their survival from week
to week, ever more feebly. Under the flag of an illusory
internal solidarity and security, they are no longer in solidarity
with anything, or even cognizant of anything that would constitute
the essential commonalities of a people.
a lot, such as the cravenness of Mssrs. de Villepan and Chirac.
The United States, I think it is safe to say, still has the
soul Raspail rightly says is required for the preservation
of civilization. Or at least it seems so every time I see one
of our fighting men in Iraq interviewed on TV. CRO
2004 Pacific Research Institute