Summary: The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray

Europe is killing itself. Within a few generations, what has been recognizably Europe for thousands of years will cease to exist. The people are not reproducing and there is an existential fatigue that has set in—the widespread feeling that Europe no longer has the will or the right to exist. The inevitable demise of this culture and people is the result of two simultaneous occurrences: (1) the massive migration of peoples from all over the world into Europe at a rate too high for adequate assimilation; (2) the loss of trust in Europe’s religion, cultural inheritance and institutions. From a traditional standpoint Europe is built on Athens and Jerusalem—the pillars of logic and faith respectively. Now that Europe has shifted into a post-faith society, questioning its own values at a time when many are moving in who do not share its traditional beliefs, can the superstructure of this continent survive? Essentially, Europe has lost itself at precisely the same time when the peoples of other cultures are calling Europe home. In the words of Douglas Murray, “the European peoples have decided to become a ‘utopia’ only in the original Greek sense of the word: to become ‘no place’. This book is an account of that process” (8).

Chapter 1—The Beginning

For the vast majority of its history, Britain has had a static population with minimal influx from the Norman Conquest and Ireland. This changed in the 1940s when Britain opened its doors to the Commonwealth to fill certain labor shortages after WWII. Although some of the most outrageous predictions of the 1960s concerning immigration were met with censure, they have since been proven to be underestimates. Similarly, if one would’ve predicted, from the 2002 census, that the next decade would see White Britons becoming a minority in London and the Muslim population doubling, they would’ve been met with cries of racism, Islamophobia, and scaremongering. With such labeling tactics, how can a society have an honest conversation on immigration?

While the public was concerned about immigration policy, they were remarkably tolerant to the mass migration that began in 1997 with the election of Tony Blair and his Labour Party. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, unspoken policy allowed immigration to steadily increase with limitations. Blair ended this trend, opening the floodgates of immigration. He eliminated the filtering of fraudulent marriage applications and redefined “skilled laborers” to include virtually everyone. One Labour speech-writer remarked that this was done to, “rub the Right’s nose in diversity” as well to acquire loyal Labour Party voters. More disturbing however, was the Minister of Asylum and Immigration, Barbara Roche, whose intention was to restructure Britain’s immigration policies. She dismissed all criticism of her policies as racist. Such policies included accepting all who claim asylum, whether legitimate or illegitimate, and categorizing everyone as “economic migrants” regardless of whether or not they were headed for a job. These actions of the Blair administration seem to be for the purpose of cultural warfare, weaponizing migrants against an unsupportive electorate. Another possibility however, not entirely removed from the former, is that the whole thing just got out of control. This is evidenced by the fact that there is a huge gap between expected and actual immigration figures, even from the estimates of the most fervent proponents of mass migration. Whatever the reason, Britain is now facing much larger immigration than expected and a radical shift in culture.

Chapter 2—How we got hooked on immigration

Europe opened its doors to the peoples of the former empires, and in recognizing the economic benefits offered, many immigrated and decided to stay, spread roots and bring their extended families to share in this higher quality of life. Most of the public felt that some level of immigration is good and makes their country more interesting. Yet, any discussion of the downside of mass immigration has been met, by politicians, with labels which have inevitably fueled other issues. For instance, in 2011 nine Muslim men were convicted of the sex trafficking of children over the course of eight years. Local law enforcement had resisted reporting the crimes out of fear of being labeled “racist”. There is simply a certain percentage of the immigrant population with radically different cultural views concerning: women, other religions and races and sexual minorities. It is madness and mindless political correctness to forbid honest discussions about indigestible aspects of certain cultures welcomed into Europe.

In addition to resisting honest conversation concerning the downside of mass immigration, some, such as Will Self, Professor of Contemporary Thought, suggest that the destruction of European societies is karma. This line of thought holds that Europeans have imperialized the world and thus, it is only fair that such a society by destroyed. This position seems to ignore the past imperialism of non-European societies as well as the innocence of the people currently alive. However, this view encapsulates a significant portion of the European population.

Additionally, politicians still won’t answer how much diversity is enough. Possibly because of this desire for spiritual justice or perhaps because the immigration crisis has grown beyond their control. Is the goal to diversify Europe until the native European population is halved, in the minority or even eliminated? Current projections suggest that White British will be a minority in Britain by the 2060s. Some might see this as justice while others see it as the failure of their politicians to connect to their populace or to handle the situation. Yet, despite the public’s historical and highly criticized concern for the loss of their culture, a view chalked up to irrational fears and xenophobia, it turns out they were right about the radical shift in culture—a shift that politicians were either unwilling or unable to prevent. What results is the swift and radical transformation of European culture not endorsed by the public.

Chapter 3—The excuses we told ourselves

Now, to make such radical societal change work, certain arguments have been put forward to justify the shift. One of the first arguments that is made concerns economics. It is claimed that large-scale immigration is actually a financial net gain—that immigrants put into the system more than they take out in social programs. However, this claim doesn’t reflect common sense or the facts. Clearly, it will take some time before recent immigrants pay more into the system than they take out of the welfare state. Contrast that with a “native” family who have been paying taxes for their entire adult lives. And this is not the only strain on the average European. Low wage labor is also affected. Since so many immigrants are accustomed to a lower wage and living standard than the average European, many at the bottom of the ladder will lose their jobs. Additionally, there is a strain on the housing market, making it difficult for builders to keep up with the rising demand for housing. Considering the level of immigration over the last few years, the UK needs to build a city the size of Liverpool, in housing every year.

Of course none of this dissuades politicians from making bogus arguments. One trick they play is to examine only wealthy immigrants to Britain from first-world countries in Europe, then assess their behavior with the assumption that such immigrants are the norm. When looking at just wealthy immigrants from other parts of Europe, it is true that they provide a net benefit in wealth. Yet, a study by the University College of London found that non-European Economic Area immigrants to the UK took out between 114-159 billion pounds more in services than they paid in taxes in the 1995-2011 period.

The fact is that the migrant is the one who benefits most. Immigrants have access to schools, public transportation and other public facilities that they never paid for, and they benefit from higher wages and living standards. Also, this money does not always go back into the local economy, but is often sent back to the families of immigrants in other countries. And while the GDP of a country may grow from mass immigration, there is no evidence that per capita GDP increases. Thus, the average individual is not made wealthier.

Another argument that is put forward is that Europe’s population is aging and therefore more young people are needed to keep Europeans in the same lifestyle they have become accustomed. Yet, Murray questions whether having a growing population is really beneficial. European countries are already some of the densest in the world and adding more people will put further strain on infrastructure and the housing market. If a growing population is something to strive for, then addressing the issue as to why Europeans are not reproducing enough may be a more reasonable solution then importing large quantities of migrants. When examined, we find that most Europeans do want children. However, many are concerned with affording a single child let alone the 2.1 children per couple needed for a static population. Additionally, when people are more pessimistic about the future the less likely they are to bring children into the world. Certainly there are solutions to these problems that do not involve mass immigration and the problems associated with it.

Perhaps Europeans need a change of perspective. Many see an aging population as a scourge on society. They contend that the aging population are living off the state, taking out more in pensions and healthcare than they put in over their years of work. Would it be so bad to raise the age of retirement to ensure that people are putting in what they take out?

And then there is the problem of low-skilled labor. Unfortunately, many highly educated young people see low-skilled labor as beneath them. Therefore, instead of getting jobs, they choose to live off the welfare state. To compensate, politicians resort to importing this labor from overseas. But, why should Europe be forced to import the labor when there are so many native Europeans who don’t quite fit into high-skilled jobs? Additionally, history has shown that we don’t know how these immigrants will impact the national economy, and in fact, these immigrants too will get older and will deserve the same rights and benefits as everyone else.

Now when such economic cases for mass migration fail, moral and cultural arguments follow. Among these arguments is that such migration enriches the culture. These migrants bring with them different attitudes, culture, language and cuisine. And while no one should doubt that such things can be a benefit to society, it does not follow that these benefits are directly proportional to the number of immigrants taken in. And if diversity really was the goal, then why aren’t politicians striving to bring in immigrants from all over the world instead of focusing primarily on the peoples under the past empires?

One of the bigger issues to mass migration is in the reaction of many Europeans. Too often the positive effects of immigration have been overemphasized while the negative have been ignored or even suppressed. In an interview of 500 British Muslims, zero percent claimed that homosexuality is morally acceptable. Supporters of mass migration will claim that these views are only a few generations behind that of the British people and must be allowed time to catch up, so to speak. However, Muslim views on women are hundreds of years behind and there is no evidence to suggest that these people will integrate and adopt the views of mainstream British society. These facts tend to be ignored by the elected class and there is a miasma around migrant crime rates and cultural incongruities. For example, there were 1400 children in Rotherham brutally raped between 1997 and 2014, by a gang of mostly Pakistani Muslims, that police were afraid to interfere with out of fear of being labeled institutionally racist. And there were similar cases throughout Britain. A report from Oslo found that every reported rape in that city was committed by non-Western people. Yet, such facts are frequently met with accusations of Islamophobia and racism. In fact, one British Muslim who denounced the rapes received death threats from other Muslims. While this behavior is rare in the migrant community, there should be no problem acknowledging that these crimes exist and where they come from and an honest discussion should be allowed to address whether or not a few extra beheadings and rapes are permissible for the sake of a wider variety of cuisines.

Perhaps the most dangerous excuse proponents of mass migration make is that it is unstoppable. Europe has made itself highly attractive to immigrants with its rights, welfare, amnesty, economics and peace. Yet, there are other nations that have similar qualities that do not have a problem with immigration. Japan is proof of this point. The question is whether or not Europe truly wants to curb mass migration. Europe could make itself less desirable by returning migrants who came illegally and halt welfare to new arrivals. Acting as if there is nothing that can be done is a dangerous game played by politicians considering that immigration reform is a serious concern for the public. This builds up resentment that, at the least, will come out at the ballot box and more seriously as a violent reaction towards migrants.

Chapter 4—Welcome to Europe

At the southern extremity of Italy there is the island of Lampedusa. This island typifies some of the problems we see with mass migration. Thousands of people make the last leg of their journey to this island from North Africa, knowing that once in Italy they are essentially in Europe to stay. Here, order breaks down as there are too many people to accurately assess their identities and their places of origin. Most pay smugglers a fee to be transported on rundown, dangerous boats and many are the victims of human trafficking. Many of the women are raped, some are murdered on a journey where people of rival tribes clash. Others are claimed by the sea which has sparked the Italian government to send their own boats to save these people from a watery grave. Bodies wash up on the shores as smugglers are encouraged to use less sea-worthy boats as a reaction to this Italian intervention, and many migrant’s families are extorted. Yet, as word of mouth spreads that one only needs to reach Europe in order to stay in Europe, these immigrants are inspired all the more to risk their lives making the dangerous and often fatal journey.

Chapter 5—We have seen everything

The many stories of migrants who experienced rape, torture and imprisonment; combined with pictures of bodies washed ashore, have turned mass migration from an issue of practicality into a matter of the heart. There is now a face to this struggle that tugs at the heart-strings of so many Europeans. And in following the heart, Angela Merkel further opened the floodgates of migration into Europe. She did this, in part, by disregarding Dublin procedures, which stated that the first country in which a migrant claims asylum must provide protection. Thus, allowing migrants to legally pass throughout Europe and settle where they may.

Many Europeans welcome migrants with open arms, hoping to provide relief to the many fleeing violence in their native lands. This is especially true on certain Greek islands where immigrant numbers rival that of the native population. During the winter months, these natives house migrants in their own basements, and camps have been established to provide them with food, shelter and even education. Some of these migrants even prefer suicide rather than being sent back to their homelands. This human tragedy, in turn, has led so many to the belief that there is nothing a civilized society can do but to accept all who claim asylum. Yet, does Europe really have the capacity to save everyone? Angela Merkel says “yes,” but backlash from the more practical in Europe suggests that the answer to that question may, if fact, be “no.”

Chapter 6—Multiculturalism

Much debate was sparked in Europe with the declaration, by leaders such as Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, that multi-culturalism was a failure. However, much confusion surrounded the very notion of multi-culturalism. No one quite knew what it was, yet, it seemed clear by the context that such leaders meant a state-sponsored policy of encouraging people to live separate lives, standing in contrast to the customs and laws of the country in which they lived. Not everyone welcomed the debate though; and there were many on the left that criticized the discussion itself, claiming that the problems associated with multi-culturalism did not exist, or that they existed but were not really problems. Some politicians even tried to revise history claiming that Islam was as influential in Germany as Christianity or Judaism. Others suggested that having one law for every citizen was dangerous. In this multi-cultural era of Europe, every culture except that of the host nations was celebrated—ironically, only the cultures of Europe, which allowed for the celebration of other cultures was not to be celebrated.

Yet, in the 2000s contrarians broke out all over Europe and among the most powerful of these voices came from Europe’s ethnic quarters. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, among others, united people from the left and right around the agreement that such things as honor killings and female genital mutilation are wrong and have no place in civilized society. The multi-cultural era then transitioned into the multi-faith era, with its emphasis on Islam. And indeed, the religious face of Europe has changed drastically. A 2016 poll, of those in high school in France, found that while 33.2% claimed to be Christian and 25.5% Muslim, less than half of non-Muslims claimed their faith to be “something important or very important” while 83% of Muslims claimed their faith to be “important or very important”.

Some argued that what was needed to make immigration work was not multi-culturalism, but a turn to “core culture” in which all citizens would unite around common themes such as separation of church and state, human rights and rule of law. Anything beyond this “core culture” would be an allowed deviation.

Yet, at some point there was resistance to the very presence of immigrants by the public, and the sentiment that they should learn the language and adopt certain aspects of European culture was tarnished by association. For others, in an attempt to make migrants feel welcome, there was a re-writing of history and a stronger emphasis on Islamic achievements and contributions to European society to the point of lunacy. Any critique of this rewriting of history was met with accusations of Islamophobia. Some politicians resorted to denigrating European culture or even denying its existence. What all of this boiled down to for both the native and the migrant was this: what needs to be given up in order to make society work?

Regardless of these reactions for and against mass migration, what cannot be denied is that these immigrants were not assimilating. Bars and churches close as migrants flood into certain locations and do not adapt, and mosques mushroom. This is what happens when a vibrant religious culture is placed into a declining relativistic culture. Yet some are still surprised to find that many who appear to be British on the outside still retain sentiments from other cultures. This is exemplified in the 2005 attacks on London Transport by British-born Muslims. Much was made of the fact that one of these terrorists worked at a fish and chips shop and played cricket. While those in the media and politics strained to wrap their heads around the attacks, the public understood that Europe had failed to truly integrate these people.

The result of these cultural issues, in part, stems from Europeans holding two conflicting ideas. The first is that anyone can be European. All they need is to be in Europe. The other is one that is cognizant that these new arrivals have brought with them customs and ideas not seen in Europe for many years. The first is optimistic that migrants will become more European, so to speak. The other part wonders if anyone has enough time for this assimilation to happen.

Chapter 7—They are here

Any time there was a discussion of immigration, it was always framed with the lens of race. What was ignored was the political and religious ideologies of the people flooding into Europe. As a result, no one could’ve foreseen that the early part of the 21st century would be rife with discussions of blasphemy laws.

There were, however, warning signs. In 1989 author Salman Rushdie was forced into hiding when Supreme Leader of the Revolutionary Islamic Republic of Iran called for his death for publishing the Satanic Verses, a book critical of Islam. Within 24 hours thousands of British Muslims were calling for the imposition of Islamic blasphemy laws, which meant death for Rushdie. As a result, the first organized Muslim representative organizations were established. And these organizations were characterized by the loudest and most extreme among the Muslim community.

Chapter 8—Prophets without honour

In the Netherlands, by the late 80s and early 90s, certain politicians were realizing that Islam is more than a religion; it is also a way of life, and that this is in some ways incompatible with Dutch society. This view, mirrored by fifty percent of the Dutch public, was attacked as racist. Despite such baseless attacks, a left-wing university professor, Pim Fortuyn championed the notion that certain elements of Islamic ideology were incompatible with liberal society. While Pim won over much of the public, he was eventually murdered by a vegan activist for “targeting Muslims”. This created a void filled by Theo van Gogh who was then shot and stabbed by radical Muslim Mohammed Bouyeri. As a result of these murders, the Netherlands found itself quiet and anxious over the subject of religion, with few to support the idea that there are limits to tolerant society.

Yet, as Muslim populations increased, problems all over Europe broke out. Women were getting stoned to death and a report found that 74,000 women had their genitals mutilated. Muslims who spoke out against the negative aspects of their culture were threatened with violence. Additionally, these new Muslim immigrants began to clash with other minority groups. In France, the number of anti-Semitic attacks, largely by young Muslims, doubled between 2013 and 2014.

Former Muslims, current Muslims and non-Muslim Europeans spoke out against the incompatibility of Islamic culture with Western society, but few spoke with such passion as author and journalist Oriana Falluci. She attacked those who terrorized in the name of Islam as well as those in the West who would not stand up for their own culture and society. She addressed the blatant anti-European sentiments of certain Muslim leaders, such as the Islamic scholar who spoke to a synod at the Vatican in 1999 saying, “By means of your democracy we shall invade you, by means of our religion we shall dominate you.” She spread the message that Islamists sought to outbreed Europeans; an idea expressed by the former Algerian President Houari Boumedienne when he addressed the UN general assembly saying, “One day millions of men will leave the southern hemisphere of this planet to burst into the northern one. But not as friends. Because they will burst in to conquer, and they will conquer by populating it with their children. Victory will come to us from the wombs of our women.” Unfortunately for Europe no one took heed of these warnings.

Chapter 9—Early-warning sirens

For decades virtually no one considered the ideologies or beliefs of the people flooding into Europe. It should have been obvious with the “cartoon crisis” beginning in 2005 that many of these migrants held radically conflicting views with most of liberal Europe. In 2011 the offices at Charlie Hebdo were firebombed for reprinting a Danish cartoon depicting Mohammed. In 2015 most of the editorial team was murdered. Additionally, there were riots and embassy burnings across the Muslim world. Yet, what is most striking is the reaction of certain Europeans citizens, and particularly politicians to the violence. Some suggested that those murdered at Charlie Hebdo got what was coming to them, and law suits were threatened against those who would publish the cartoons. All who warned of these problems were ignored, defamed, dismissed, prosecuted or even killed. The politicians however went out of their way to show how much they admired Islam, often quoting their favorite verses of the Koran. Others claimed that the bombings were actually anti-Islamic. Those who recognized the problem attempted to ally themselves with moderate Muslims in an attempt to reform Islam. The inevitable failure of this endeavor could’ve been prevented had politicians known that Muslims have been trying to reform Islam for 1000 years with no success. To make matters worse, it was clear that many Muslims, as encouraged by their leaders back home, had no intention of ever assimilating or changing their ways.

Chapter 10—The tyranny of guilt

The guilt of Europeans has a profound impact on their behavior. Particularly in Germany where people showed up at train stations waving signs and celebrating the arrival of refugees to their country. Yet, the gulf states, which did not bear this burden of guilt, and sharing a more similar culture to Syrians, refused to take in any refugees. Perhaps this is because parallels were drawn between the Syrian refugees and the Jews during the Holocaust. However, there are differences. Firstly, the Jews were searching for any country to take them in; they didn’t walk through many countries, choosing specifically which they wanted to live. Secondly, not all of the migrants flooding into Europe were actually fleeing war. Many were simply economic migrants in search of jobs and welfare. Yet, with this association of migrants as Holocaust-era Jews, those who opposed the mass migration, were, predictably, labeled as Nazis.

This guilt over war, the Holocaust, colonialism and racism is not meant for Europe alone, but is expected to bear in all former colonial nations. An almost religious fervor has developed in these countries. Those who bear this guilt ignore the fact that most nations are guilty of conquest and the mistreatment of the losers. They magnify the crimes of the past, focus on what was wrong while failing to see any good. Some apologize, as those who committed no crime, to people who were not victimized. The myth of the noble savage has taken root, and thus, Europeans are seen as the destroyers of the Garden of Eden; they are now tainted with original sin, incapable of doing right.

What is especially unusual about this guilt is that others are rarely called upon to apologize for the sins of their ancestors. The Ottoman Empire killed millions of Armenians in the first genocide of the 20th century. With military might they conquered much of south-eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa; imposing Islam and its own culture on those conquered. To this day they occupy the nation-state of Cyprus. Yet, rarely is Turkey made to feel guilt over these crimes. Why the double standard? Murray argues that this psychological affliction of Europeans, judging themselves by their worst deeds and judging others by their best moments, is something that they get high on. They love the guilt. They are masochists and they try to outdo each other in absurdity. Take for example Karsten Nodal Hauken, who was brutally raped by a Somali refugee. In a piece he did for the Norwegian media, he admitted to feeling guilty that his rapist was returned to Somalia.

Chapter 11—The pretence of repatriation

Countries from southern to northern Europe adopted the Schengen Agreement, which meant open borders throughout Europe. The purpose of this was for harmonization and integration and the thinking was that Europe had gone to war twice in the 20th century over borders, and therefore borders are bad. Murray compares blaming borders for war to blaming cars for auto accidents. It was German militarism that caused WWI and Nazi aggression that caused WWII, among other factors.

Open borders meant the dissolution of the nation-state and free movement throughout Europe. The fact that migrants were not turned away meant that there was essentially free movement into Europe. This was taken advantage of by terrorists. For instance, the Paris attackers who killed 129 people were trained in Syria and found to have slipped in and out of Europe by posing as migrants. Such problems led to pushback by the public for less porous borders. Some nations, such as Hungary and Bulgaria, constructed fences. Politicians started using tough rhetoric without actually addressing the issues of open borders and mass migration.

Chapter 12—Learning to live with it

Attacks by young Muslim men occurred nearly daily in the summer of 2016. A 17 year-old asylum seeker pulled out an ax and knife on a train and began hacking away at the other passengers while shouting “Alahu akbar” or “Allah is the greatest.” Those who suggested that the people in the Charlie Hebdo slaughter had it coming to them were at a loss for words over the priest murdered while performing mass. Some of these attacks were conducted by migrants and others by citizens. The cases of rape skyrocketed in Europe and in refugee camps. In Cologne on New Year’s Eve, crowds of up to 2,000 men sexually assaulted approximately 1,200 women in the main square. Rape was so prevalent in Bavaria that in 2015 officials warned parents to not let their children go out alone or wear revealing clothing in public.

The topic of rape and Islam remained taboo. To even notice that most of the rapes were committed by young Muslim men was to be racist. Police in Germany were routinely covering up the identities of migrants involved in sexual assault to prevent criticism of the government’s open-door policies. What was obvious to the public, but not to the officials, was that radicalization originated from a specific community. It should not have been surprising that the places with the highest number of Muslims per capita had the most attacks while countries without a significant Muslim population, like Slovakia, had no such problems.

There were also unusual cases where the victims of sexual assault attempted to conceal the identities of their attackers. A 24-year-old woman in Manheim who was raped by three migrants claimed her attackers were German nationals. Later she admitted they were of Middle-Eastern/North African descent, but then wrote a letter of apology to them. She felt that revealing their identities would promote racism.

These problems began to weigh heavily on the European population. Public polls showed a majority of Europeans did not think mass immigration was a benefit to their society. Despite losing the majority of the people, politicians refused to change their policies. They did not recognize that most of these immigrants were not asylum-seekers, but economic migrants. In 2016 in Germany, 220,000 people received deportation orders and only 11,300 were actually deported. Angela Merkel, the woman most responsible for this disaster, when asked what would be done to protect Europeans and European culture, gave a long and largely irrelevant response. She said that considering European history no one ought to complain about terrorist attacks and that to do so was arrogant. For this, the German media praised her.

Chapter 13—Tiredness

There is a tiredness in Europe—a vacancy of drive, inspiration and sense of meaning—the feeling that Europe will never escape its past of barbarism and war. That such war may break out at any point and destroy the continent. While Europe has long and erroneously predicted its own destruction, it doesn’t follow that such a sentiment will never be right. If individuals can feel this, why not societies?

The loss of faith dealt a heavy blow to Europe. The spirit of Christianity had an energizing effect on Europeans. It has driven them to war but also to the heights of human creativity. The loss of this religious faith has stripped society of its over-arching purpose, and what was once a community of believers is now a collection of isolated people. The destruction of Christianity happened in the 19th century and had two primary causes: (1) The critical treatment of Scripture as any other historical text; (2) Darwin’s revelation concerning the origins of humankind. Thus, the Bible was placed alongside the works of Homer—pointing to eternal truths, but not actually true. The gap left by Christianity’s absence has not been filled and that which stood as the foundation of Western values has been reduced to mythology. The attempt was made to fill this gap with art and philosophy, yet “culture on its own cannot make anyone either happy or good” (214). German philosophy was particularly problematic. Not only was there a weariness with philosophy in the 19th century, but German philosophy carried high demands. Such thought pursues ideas to their logical end point or absolute and this so often led to fatalism. Additionally such absolutes often crashed, destroying everything in their wake including people, countries, dominant ideas and theories. Such repeated crashes were enough to leave anyone weary.

Then there is the fact that Europeans have tried virtually everything from Communism to muscular liberalism (the defense of liberalism around the world). All have failed, and this has led some to the conclusion that all ideology and certainty are the problem. Some have likened the state of Europeans to the that of Icarus had he survived the fall. All of Europe’s dreams have been proven false, and now they are left alive without illusion or ambition. As a result, so many turn to hedonism and nobody trusts certainty.

Chapter 14—We’re stuck with this

In 2009 in the town of Luton, UK, there was a parade to honor soldiers returning home from Afghanistan. A group of Islamists marched in protest, verbally harassing the soldiers and handing out flyers. In the following weeks, locals organized a protest opposing the Islamists, but were prevented from making it to the same town hall and were prohibited by police from handing out their own flyers. This double standard disgusted many and led to the creation of the English Defence League (EDL). For years this group organized protests that often faced violent opposition, particularly by largely Muslim “anti-fascist” groups. The reaction of the British authorities to the EDL made it clear that the government was trying to shut down it down. For instance, the leader, going by the name “Tommy Robinson” was arrested for attempting to walk through a heavily Muslim area and for allowing an organized protest to run three minutes late. His bank accounts were frozen and his family’s homes were raided by police. Yet the chairman of the Luton Islamic Centre, Abdul Qadeer Baksh who claims Islam is at war with Jews, that in an ideal society homosexuals would be executed and has defended cutting off hands for theft and lashing of woman under Islamic punishment laws, never received such treatment. The real problem is that politicians have been attacking the secondary symptoms—the reaction of Europeans to the problems of mass migration—instead of the primary symptoms of importing mass numbers of radical Muslims. The reason for this is simple: it is easier to criticize and call white people racist, than it is brown people.

Chapter 15—Controlling the backlash

The mainstream media of Europe has been guilty of covering up issues brought on by mass migration and promoting falsehoods about racism. Far from Europe being a very racist place, the far-right has been collapsing as it has in Britain over the past decade. Even worse is the covering up of rape and the statistics associated with it. In 1975 there were 421 rapes in Sweden. In 2014 that number rose to 6,620. By 2015 Sweden had the highest per capita rape than any country other than Lesotho. Research published in Denmark by Frederic Morenius showed that Somali men were 26 times more likely to commit rape than Danish men, as adjusted for age. Dozens of young girls were raped by gangs of immigrants at a music festival in Stockholm in 2014. Police made no mention of the rapes in their report on the festival. It took web magazines and blogs to unearth the 2015 New Year’s Eve attacks in Cologne—attacks that were covered up by police and the mainstream media. Up to 80 percent of police in Sweden considered quitting their jobs due to the increased risk of dealing with migrant-dominated sections of their country. Yet the Swedish government continued to portray these migrants as doctors and academics when the reality was that they were primarily low-skilled laborers. Perhaps this is intentional self-destruction. Former Prime Minister of Sweden, Frederik Reinfeldt claimed that “only barbarism is genuinely Swedish,” that borders are merely “fictional” constructs and that the land of Sweden belongs to the migrants rather than those whose families had been there for hundreds if not thousands of years. What is striking is the finding that just 41 percent of foreign-born Germans wanted mass immigration to continue and 28 percent preferred it to end entirely. Thus, while Angela Merkel continued to hold the door open to migrants, the migrants themselves were quietly opposed to her policies.

Chapter 16—The feeling that the story has run out

Europe has many critics. They say that Europe has been exceptionally cruel. The reality is that all civilizations have been cruel, and Europe has been no different from any others. Yet these critics get some things right—life in modern Europe is lacking in purpose, and that while liberal democracy has given all the right to pursue happiness, we have yet to answer our reason for existence. In this post-faith society we find that beneath it all is an existential nihilism that has us separated from our past. It could be that without Christianity, Western Civilization will fail or turn into something completely different. In fact, we find that there are those flooding into Europe with a strong sense of purpose and values that may fill this hole left by Christianity.

The West’s own values of liberty rest on Judeo-Christian ethics and faith, yet without it, what is there to ensure that our civilization continues to honor this freedom? Some have claimed that these freedoms are not unique to the West, but are universal. Yet, the attempt at integrating immigrants would not be so difficult if this was so. If our rights come from government alone, then there is nothing stopping those with different attitudes from obtaining power and altering our rights and freedoms.

In post-Christian society, the closest thing we have to a creed is the belief in human progress. That with the awakening of the Enlightenment comes the belief that nobody would chose to walk backward and that rights are now self-evident. Yet, the same people fighting for gay and women’s rights are also supporting the mass importation of peoples who oppose these rights. At some point there may be more walking backward than forward.

With the loss of Europe’s religion, the next question becomes, “Why can’t art take over where religion left off?” This question is answered by those who make art today. Contemporary artists no longer attempt to express truth and beauty. They have largely given up on technical brilliance, but produce works that anyone can make. There is no ambition. Contemporary artists at best point to the fact that there is death and pain, but rarely say anything about it. Modern art has“given up that desire to connect us to something like the spirit of religion or that thrill of recognition—what Aristotle termed anagnorisis—which grants you the sense of having just caught up with a truth that was always waiting for you”(272). Perhaps this only happens when encountering a profound and timeless truth—something that most reject or of which they are suspicious.

Chapter 17—The end

European ships picked up migrants, many of whom were dumped out of their own boat, by the thousands. At one point there was 10,000 migrants picked up in 48 hours. The media made it clear that these migrants were “saved” from the Mediterranean as well as the conditions in Syria. Yet, none of the details were reported. The vast majority of the migrants flooding through Italy were not Syrian, but sub-Saharan African men.

Douglas Murray had the opportunity to talk with a Member of Parliament (MP) from Germany. When asked about the issue of integration, the MP replied that increasing the 60 hours of courses on German values should be increased to 100 hours. He said that Germans were the problem. Those who don’t want their home to change are detached from reality. The MP made it clear that there should be no point at which migrants are denied entry into Germany. He criticized borders. He claimed that the slow-down of immigrants into Germany was natural when in reality this occurred due to recent policy of the EU, which was supported by Germany. The EU started paying the Turkish government to retain migrants in their country. Another reason for the slow-down is that borders were being erected again, and particularly with the Macedonian border, a bottleneck into Germany was created.

In an effort to protect the entry point into Britain, the government proposed to build a wall near the migrant camp in Calais, France. Not surprisingly, this proposal was met with opposition. French senator Nathalie Goulet remarked, “It reminds me of the wall they built around the Warsaw Ghetto in World War Two.” She suggested that walls don’t work and that they are a thing of the past. There are fewer than 6,500 people in the camp at Calais. Politicians and activists proposed a one time offer to allow all the migrants in the camp to enter Britain. This was the failure of Europe in a microcosm. Little thought was given to the fact that once the camp had been emptied that it would simply fill up again, and the problems associated with that camp would persist. Solutions like this were for decades, short-sighted.

Chapter 18—What might have been

This could’ve turned out differently for Europe had they asked the right questions and consulted the right thinkers. The three questions they should’ve asked themselves: (1) Should Europe be a home for anyone who moves there? (2) Should Europe be an asylum for anyone running from war? (3) Should Europe be obligated to provide a better standard of living to anyone in the world who wants it?The public would’ve answered “no” to the second and third questions and would’ve been torn on the first. Yet, the politicians did not consult the public. Neither did they consult Aristotle for answers. If they had, they would’ve realized that there is not a “good” answer and an “evil” answer to those questions. Rather the questions posed the problem of competing virtues—in this instance justice and mercy. On one side, the politicians had the obligation to be just to their people, to respect their desire to not have their society radically transformed or to have to deal with sexual, religious and racial issues again. On the other side there is mercy for the migrant who is seeking a better life or even fleeing imminent death. Mercy has clearly been winning this competition. However, the slight against justice was not simply against the people alive now. For as Edmund Burke recognized, society and culture are not simply for those living today, but rather a pact between the dead, the living and those yet to come. “In such a view of society, however greatly you might wish to benefit from an endless supply of cheap labour, a wider range of cuisine or the salving of a generation’s conscience, you still would not have the right to wholly transform your society. Because that which you inherited that is good should also be passed on. Even were you to decide that some of the views or lifestyles of your ancestors could be improved upon, it does not follow that you should hand over to the next generation a society that is chaotic, fractured and unrecognizable” (296).

Angela Merkel and all the other politicians who supported mass migration could’ve been both merciful to genuine asylum-seekers and just to the people of Europe. It should be recognized that Europe doesn’t have the capacity to save everyone and solve all the world’s problems. And there are many things that could’ve been done differently. Migrants should’ve been housed in countries close to their own. This is considerably cheaper than housing them in tents in Europe, places them in cultures more similar to their own and makes it easier for them to return after the disaster they are fleeing is over. Processing asylum claims outside of Europe would discourage smugglers from loading up dysfunctional boats of migrants. Any boat heading for Europe illegally would be turned back and those migrants would be processed outside Europe. Politicians could’ve made a real attempt at deporting those who have no legitimate claim for asylum. Others could be granted temporary asylum until whatever problems in their homeland settle down. Yet, all this would require politicians to admit they have handled this situation improperly.

In order for Europe to survive it needs a more balanced perspective of itself. While there have been many atrocities that feed into the existential fatigue of Europe, there is also much to be celebrated. A society defined by consumerism and hedonism can’t last long. “But a society which holds that our culture consists of the cathedral, the playhouse and the playing field, the shopping mall and Shakespeare, has a chance” (306). Although Europeans prefer to avoid the deeper issues, there are those who implore a return to the faith, not as a warning, but with a sense of doubt and brokenness. And Pope Benedict beseeched Europe to behave “as though God exists.” There must be some aspiration to introduce deeper meaning into the culture and there should be no cutting off from the past nor lines drawn between the faithful and the doubters.

Chapter 19—What will be

It is unlikely that Europe will make any drastic changes. Politicians will continue with the same policies already in place. The distinction between legal and illegal immigration will become fuzzier. Politicians will push off difficult matters of immigration to their successors. Western Europe will look like a large version of the U.N. There will continue to be cheaper services, interesting conversations and cuisines. Those Europeans who do not want their society to be radically altered will continue to be labeled racists and Nazis.

While it is impossible to know exactly what the future looks like, there is evidence as to the general direction. For instance, international politics will become domestic politics. An example of this is when thousands of Eritreans protested the U.N. after they charged the Eritrean government of crimes against humanity. (Curiously, Europeans were told that Eritreans were fleeing a government, under which, was unlivable). It is impossible to predict what foreign events will have domestic consequences. This result of having a multi-cultural society gives concern to the military who may be carrying out missions in foreign countries.

Europe’s revived obsession with race will continue. When a non-White does well, they will be championed as a model of integration; when they do poorly, there will be accusations of racism. Continuing to ignore the public’s wishes has the potential to see far-right parties elected and perhaps even violent protests.

The continent will change drastically in terms of demographics, religion and culture. Yet, there will be minimal assimilation and few answers to the issues posed by migrants. “For Europeans there seem finally to be no decent answers to the future. Which is how the fatal blow will finally land” (320).