Catalin Negru's Reviews > America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It

America Alone by Mark Steyn
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's review
Jun 13, 2016

really liked it
bookshelves: science, apocalypse

Target audience: Common people and politicians, anyone interested in the demographic future of the world and the clash between Western and Islamic civilizations.

About the author: According to Wikipedia and his personal website, Mark Steyn is a Canadian author, writer, and conservative political commentator. He has written five books and he appears on shows such as those of Rush Limbaugh, Hugh Hewitt, and Sean Hannity. Steyn's human rights campaign to restore free speech to Canada led to the repeal by Parliament of the notorious "Section 13" hate-speech law, a battle he recounts in his book Lights Out: Islam, Free Speech And The Twilight Of The West. With fans around the world, Steyn has appeared on stages across the planet from Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. His 2016 nationwide tour of Australia was sold out coast to coast. He has spoken in the Canadian Parliament, the Danish Parliament, and the Australian Parliament, where he was introduced by the Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop. Over the years, Mark's writing on politics, arts and culture has been published in almost every major newspaper around the English-speaking world, including Britain's Daily Telegraph, Canada's National Post, The Australian, The Irish Times, The Jerusalem Post, The Wall Street Journal, and many more.

Structure of the book: The book has 224 pages, divided in a Prologue, Part I – containing chapters 1-3, Part II – containing chapter 4-6, Part III – containing chapters 7-10.

Overview: First, this is not a book about the end of the world religiously speaking, with Jesus coming down from the sky, but about the transformation of this world, or better said, the end of the Western world as we know it. And second, before you read this book, you should ask yourself: can telling the truth be a form of hate speech or not? If your answer is “yes”, then most likely you will rate this book with one or two stars; and vice-versa.
If you read and liked Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations, then you will probably like this cold shower of information. Steyn’s book is a wake-up call: (if we continue to live according to the same policies) Western civilization will collapse due to internal weaknesses and the increasing Muslim population in Western countries and the world generally. If Western civilization does not change the approach in its clash with Islamic civilization, it will definitely be destroyed. Much of the features of the Western world will be erased in the 21st century, including the very existence of some European countries.
He relies his forecast on three main aspects: a) demographic decline – the European nations have low birth rates while Muslim nations have higher birth rates and the Muslims that have migrated in the Western countries also have high birth rates; b) 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. These programs erode humanity’s basic sense of self-reliance to a point at which a more resilient group of people - particularly Muslims - will take control; and c) the exhaustion of the Western civilization – due to the chaotic social experiments of multi-racism and multiculturalism, driven by our fears of not being called racists, Nazis or bigots. Europe will collapse from "multicultural 'sensitivity,'" leading to betrayal of the state's core values. Our past haunts us so hard that we are not able to see that these fears threaten our very existence. 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 symbolizes a crude and radical Christianity, fat rednecks and uncontrolled firearms).
This book was published in 2006, and I am writing this review in 2016. At the moment of its publication I am sure some people portrayed Steyn as an alarmist and the book as unrealistic. Now, in 2016, with all the attacks taking place in Europe and the United States, I can only congratulate the author for his accurate prediction.
What many people do not understand is that, when speaking about demographics and cultural trends, things evolve slowly, but they are also very hard to stop or reverse. Once you have a trend of demographic decline, you need like several decades to reverse it. So, with European birthrates falling below replacement levels and Muslim birthrates doubling and tripling, European countries are only 3 or 4 generations away from losing their cultural identity. Unfortunately, the process of power shifting between cultures in a given area is never peaceful, but always marked by bloodshed and violence. This happened in the past and this might happen in the future (and even in the present as we can all see). So, overall, Steyn portrays a grim future in which America will be left alone, as the last protector of democracy and free speech, in a world tormented by authoritarian regimes and political and religious conflicts.

Quote: "Stability" is a surface illusion, like a frozen river; underneath, the currents are moving, and to the casual observer the ice looks equally "stable" whether there's a foot of it or just two inches. There is no status quo in world affairs. "Stability" is a fancy term to dignify inertia and complacency as sophistication.

Strong points: This book is as politically incorrect as a book can get. Some people might take this aspect as a minus or a weak point, but for me this is a strong point. I like the hard, shocking and undigested truths, because these types of truths are the ones which really connect you to reality. I also like that the author combines important and serious information with humor and irony, making the reading fun and helping the reader not to get bored.

Weak points: I realize Steyn is quite pessimistic. I, on the other hand, am an optimistic person. I agree with his grim prospects for the future of civilization, but only to a certain extent. Yes, statistics and numbers do not lie, but the trends always depict a possible and probable future, not a necessary future. If the failed project of multiculturalism will continue exactly in the same way (absurdly claiming that all cultures are good and compatible between each other and keep the open borders for everyone), undoubtedly Steyn’s prediction will come true. But I also believe that the Western people have the necessary education to see these problems before they are becoming irreversible and they will do something about it (voting accordingly and protesting). And there is also the advancement of technology which, unlike from the past, can quickly and profoundly influence demographics and cultural evolution.


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Reading Progress

June 13, 2016 – Shelved
June 13, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
July 4, 2016 – Started Reading
July 5, 2016 –
page 100
July 5, 2016 –
page 167
July 11, 2016 – Finished Reading
August 11, 2016 – Shelved as: science
August 11, 2016 – Shelved as: apocalypse

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