BOOK REVIEW: ‘After America’: America Uses Imported Rope to Hang Ourselves as Statism, PC Multiculturalism Takes Over


Reviewed by David M. Kinchen
BOOK REVIEW: 'After America': America Using Imported Rope to Hang Ourselves as Statism, PC Multiculturalism Takes Over

Five years ago Mark Steyn wrote a best-selling book, “America Alone,”about a world dominated by statists, politically correct multiculturalists who attack Christianity and Judaism and give militant Islam a pass, who blame Western Civilization for inventing a ‘clash of civilizations,’ saying that Islam is a religion of peace and is being slandered by legions of bigoted “Islamophobes”

Only five years after 9/11, carried out by 19 followers of the “religion of peace,”  Steyn wrote (see my complete review below):

The future belongs to the fecund and confident – and most Western countries aren’t possessed of either fecundity or confidence, Steyn argues in this very readable polemic. One of my dictionaries defines “polemic” as “a controversial argument, as one against some opinion, doctrine, etc.” The doctrine that Steyn argues against is the multiculturalism endemic in his native Canada and in Europe, where the dominant culture is often denigrated in favor of “let’s all get along – no culture is better than any other.”

This view is spreading across the U.S. – driven by mainstream media, the so-called “prestigious” universities and the mainstream Protestant churches, Steyn would admit, but he has hope that the U.S. – and Australia – will come to realize that some cultures ARE better than others, especially if they respect the rights of women and minorities.

Mark Steyn

Mark Steyn


He doesn’t believe the radical form of Islamism spread by Saudi Arabia that is supplanting more moderate forms of Islam that once prevailed in places like Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan respects anything other than to rule over the world. The biggest export of Saudi Arabia – aside from the majority of the suicide hijackers of 9/11 – is this fundamentalist form of Islam that is not a religion but a form of all-pervasive rule, Steyn argues.

* * *
In his new book “After America: Get Ready for Armageddon” (Regnery Publishing, 432 pages, notes, index, $29.95) says we’re much closer to Midnight in the Decline and Fall of the West ticking clock than we were when “America Alone” was published.  Watching CNN while writing this review, I listened to a reporter describe the visit of Lady Gaga to the White House in her campaign to alert the Nanny in Chief about bullying. The Italian-American pop singer was bullied in high school and President Obama obviously has nothing better to do than to provide a forum for Lady Gaga as America plays catch-up with Europe on the great rush to self-destruction.

My headline refers to Karl Marx’s famous saying about Capitalism: “The last Capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope.” Only this time, the rope will be imported because America no longer makes rope — or hardly anything else, Canadian-born, New Hampshire resident Steyn says. He writes that he moved to the “Live Free or Die” state as a refugee, to the last refuge in the world — for now.

The refuge that the U.S. represents seems to be on a fast track to perdition, full of hapless, indulgent, childish people who think the government is the answer and has the answer for everything that ails us, including “health care.” Steyn, who is a popular culture renaissance man — writing authoritatively about Broadway musicals but thoroughly grounded in history and the classics — uses H.G. Wells’ 1895 science fiction novela “The Time Machine” to hammer home his point that the Eloi in the novel are the hapless, childish people of the West, besieged by the relentless Morlocks who feast upon them. “The Time Machine” has been translated to the big screen and the TV screen several times and has inspired many writers. Like the radical Islamist who said of the West “you’ve got the watches but we have the time” our descent into Armageddon has reached a point that the decline proceeds on its own power.

By the way, I’d be prosecuted in the European Union if I referred to Samuel P. Huntington’s  1996  book (republshed this year) “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order.” The EU has declared the book hate speech and it has been banned in Europe, Steyn points out on Page 292.

Since its initial publication  fifteen years ago “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order” has become a classic work of international relations and one of the most influential books ever written about foreign affairs. An insightful and powerful analysis of the forces driving global politics, it is as indispensable to our understanding of American foreign policy today as the day it was published. As former National Security Adviser Samuel Huntington explains how clashes between civilizations are the greatest threat to world peace but also how an In his book, first published in 1996, Huntington (1927-2008) posits that international order based on civilizations is the

From the publisher: Events since the publication of the book have proved the wisdom of that analysis. The 9/11 attacks and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have demonstrated the In Across the globe, new conflicts—and new cooperation—have replaced the old order of the Cold War era.”The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order explains how the population explosion in Muslim countries and the economic rise of East Asia are changing global politics. These developments challenge Western dominance, promote opposition to supposedly “universal” Western ideals, and intensify intercivilization conflict over such issues as nuclear proliferation, immigration, human rights, and democracy. The Muslim population surge has led to many small wars throughout Eurasia, and the rise of China could lead to a global war of civilizations. Huntington offers a strategy for the West to preserve its unique culture and emphasizes the need for people everywhere to learn to coexist in a complex, multipolar, muliticivilizational world.”

This “complex, multipolar” world won’t be a pretty one for Americans, not for you and not for your children, Steyn writes: “America’s decline wont be gradual, like an aging Europe sipping espresso [at a cafe] … until extinction (and the odd Greek or Islamist riot). No, Americas decline will be a wrenching affair marked by violence and possibly secession.”

Yes, Texas Governor and Presidential candidate Rick Perry’s allusions to the breaking up of the U.S. are brought up by Steyn in “After America.” It can’t happen here, can it? Why not! The former Soviet Union, broke up and Czar Putin is trying to put Humpty-Dumpty back together again. Yugoslavia  broke up with violence and “ethic cleansing” and in the former Czechoslavakia, split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia — without the violence of the former Yugoslavia — so it can happen here.

With his pun-filled, witty writing — I think of him as P.J. O’Rourke on steroids — Steyn delivers the depressing news with raw and unblinking honesty but also with the touch of vaudeville stand-up and soft shoe that makes him the most entertaining, yet profound, columnist on the planet. As an immigrant with nowhere else to go, he offers his own prescription for winning America back from the feckless and arrogant liberal establishment that has done its level best to suffocate the worlds last best hope in a miasma of debt, decay, and debility.

“After America” takes on Obama’s disastrous plan for our nation, and reveals exactly what a post-American world could look like if we don’t change our ways soon:

“Nothing is certain but debt and taxes,” he writes. “And then more debt. If the government of the United States had to use GAAP (the “Generally Accepted Accounting Practices” that your company and mine and the publishers of this book have to use), Uncle Sam would be under an SEC investigation and his nephews and nieces would have taken away the keys and cut up his credit card.”

The First Lady isn’t neglected in Steyn’s new book, on page 155:

“Mrs. Obama famously complained that America is ‘just downright mean,’ and you can see what she’s getting at: She had to make do with a lousy $316,962 plus benefits for a job so necessary to the hospitals that when she quit to become First Lady they didn’t bother replacing her. Leave ‘corporate America’ and get a non-job as a diversity enforcement officer: that’s where the big bucks are. Abraham Lincoln, a predecessor of Barack Obama in both the White House and the Illinois state legislature, had eighteen months of formal education and became a soldier, surveyor, postmaster, rail-splitter, tavern keeper, and self-taught prairie lawyer. Obama went to Occidental College, Columbia University, and Harvard Law School, and became a ‘community organizer.’ I’m not sure that’s progress — and it’s certainly not ‘sustainable.’”

With the zombies (as in “Night of the Living Dead”) approaching the house, Steyn says “Americans face a choice: you can rediscover the animating principles of the American idea — of limited government, a self-reliant citizenry, and the opportunities to exploit your talents to the fullest—or you can join most of the rest of the western world in terminal decline. This is a battle for the American idea, and it’s an epic one, but you can do anything you want to do. So do it.”

He adds” “In ‘America Alone’, I wrote that Europe was facing a largely self-inflicted perfect storm that threatened the very existence of some of the oldest nation-states in the world. My warning proved so influential that America decided to sign up for the same program but supersized. Heigh-ho.”

What will America look like when we lose our position as the world’s only Super Power: It will be a Post-America world where Western Europe is semi-Islamic, Iran is the dominant power in the Middle East (thanks to their nuclear arsenal), China is the economic superpower, Latin America is for sale to the highest bidder, and humans are just one disease away from being extinct.  Steyn says if we — to use a non-PC phrase that the female GOP presidential contender used,  “man-up”,  terminal decline is not our only option. “A happy ending is within reach, but it all depends on us standing up to the Barackracy and standing for the America of yore—the America of limited government, self-reliant citizenry, and entrepreneurship,” he says.

Researching for this review, I came across an interview of Steyn in a Toronto, Canada publication, Jewish Tribune (link:http://www.jewishtribune.ca/TribuneV2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5227&Itemid=53) published Dec. 6, 2011, where Steyn, raised an Anglican but with one Jewish grandparent — which hardly makes him the bigoted Jew that anti-Steyn bloggers have dubbed him — says that “Western society is complicit in a resurgence of antisemitism that may lead to a second Holocaust, for which humankind will have no excuses….There is something profoundly wicked in the contortions that Europeans are willing to make with respect to their own complicated history with the Jewish people. We are on the verge of the biggest, most disgusting and evil event of all, in part because of the complicity of the West.”

In  the interview Steyn says: “The Western intellectual says the state of Israel was the imposition of an alien, Western European culture on the Middle East…. It’s easy then to see the next step. You wake up in the morning, there’s a mushroom cloud over Tel Aviv, and you see the European foreign minister saying, ‘Obviously we regret the loss of life but it brings to a close this tragic chapter in Middle East affairs.’”

Steyn said that Jews can’t win either way: “The Holocaust happened because people said Jews are sinister, rootless, cosmopolitan people, who are not citizens [with] allegiance to a conventional nation state. So the ones who were left got themselves a conventional nation state and now they’re hated for that, too. That tells you something about Jew-hatred’s ability to adapt. But the fact that the intellectual class in Europe is able to swivel so swiftly, from hating them for one reason in the 1930s to hating them for this reason now, says far more about Europeans than it does about Jews.”

* * *

My review of America Alone on HNN, posted Oct. 21, 2006:

BOOK REVIEW: ‘America Alone’: Witty, Pun- Filled Look at Why Canadian Mark Steyn Believes U.S. is World’s Last Best Hope Before a New Dark Age of Repression Commences

By David M. Kinchen
Huntington News Network Book Critic

Just before the U.S. Census Bureau announced that our nation had passed the 300 million population mark, I saw author and columnist Mark Steyn on a cable TV talk show remarking what a good thing an advanced Western country was increasing its population, instead of declining due to below-replacement birthrates.

The Canadian who lives in rural New Hampshire and revels in the state’s motto: “Live Free or Die” makes the point strongly and with his customary wit and punning in “America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It” (Regnery, 256 pages, $27.95).

Germany, with about 80 million people, will decline to 38 million in the next couple of decades, Steyn says. Russia, with a peak of 148 million in 1992, will be below 130 million by 2015 and half that by the end of the century, he says. Similar declines will occur in France, Spain, Italy and other countries as Europeans emulate Herman Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener” and “prefer not to” reproduce.

The future belongs to the fecund and confident – and most Western countries aren’t possessed of either fecundity or confidence, Steyn argues in this very readable polemic. One of my dictionaries defines “polemic” as “a controversial argument, as one against some opinion, doctrine, etc.” The doctrine that Steyn argues against is the multiculturalism endemic in his native Canada and in Europe, where the dominant culture is often denigrated in favor of “let’s all get along – no culture is better than any other.”

This view is spreading across the U.S. – driven by mainstream media, the so-called “prestigious” universities and the mainstream Protestant churches, Steyn would admit, but he has hope that the U.S. – and Australia – will come to realize that some cultures ARE better than others, especially if they respect the rights of women and minorities.

He doesn’t believe the radical form of Islamism spread by Saudi Arabia that is supplanting more moderate forms of Islam that once prevailed in places like Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan respects anything other than to rule over the world. The biggest export of Saudi Arabia – aside from the majority of the suicide hijackers of 9/11 – is this fundamentalist form of Islam that is not a religion but a form of all-pervasive rule, Steyn argues.

Any reproduction on what my favorite historian, Mark Mazower, calls the “Dark Continent” will be done by “Eurarabia’s” Muslim population, which will turn the continent into another Islamic outpost. Already, there are more mosque goers in the United Kingdom than there are church goers, Steyn says.

He also says that 732 isn’t 7:32 p.m. in Paris, where “youths” (i.e. Muslim hooligans) set the Citroens and Renaults on fire. Remember the riots in France? Or have they disappeared into the black hole of the past, already? It was 732 A.D. when Charles Martel (“The Hammer”) turned back the Islamic invasion of France — and Europe — near Tours, France.

Samuel Huntington’s “The Clash of Civilizations” is dead on, Steyn believes, because “almost every geopolitical crisis takes place on what” [Huntington calls] “’the boundary looping across Eurasia and Africa that separates Muslims from non-Muslims.’”

“That looping boundary is never not in the news,” Steyn adds. “One week it’s a bomb in Bali. The next some beheading in southern Thailand. Next, an insurrection in an obscure resource-rich Muslim republic in the Russian Federation. And then Madrid, and London, and suddenly that looping, loopy boundary has penetrated into the very heart of the West. In little more than a generation.”

The “can’t we all get along” types populating the West might argue that conservative columnist Steyn, whose grandparents left Belgium for a better future in a once conifident Canada, is way over the top, that “moderate” Muslims will prevail over the extremists. Some Western multiculturalists have even argued that fundamentalist Christians are more of a threat to the U.S. than Muslims.

Steyn would ask those types if the fundamentalists wielding the knives that beheaded Americans Nicholas Berg or Daniel Pearl or British hostage Ken Bigley were of the Christian or Muslim variety.

He would add that yes, of course there are “moderate” Muslims, but there were also “moderate” Germans in the 1930s and great lot of good they did! If you think Americans are neck-deep in conspiracy theories, think about the American-hating Europeans and Muslims who believe that the Israeli Mossad was behind 9/11, at the same time rejoicing that their side had triumphed over “The Great Satan.”

America – and perhaps Australia and a few other countries – will have to confront the forces that would create a new Dark Ages, Steyn believes. In addition to the declining fecundity of the Western world, the European welfare state will be cut back as fewer workers are around pay the high taxes that support those six weeks of vacations and welfare benefits that make working a non-starter. This will happen in Canada and the U.S., Steyn believes, but what will save the U.S. – if we decide we want to be saved – is the population growth that pays for our own welfare state. As the European welfare state is cut back, the main beneficiaries of it – those “youths” torching cars and attacking synagogues – will rampage the continent right into a civil war, Steyn argues.

Here are some points argued by Mark Steyn in “America Alone” :

• The hidden reason that the problem of Islamic jihad has exploded across the world since 1970

• Why the threats that the world faces today should be taken much more seriously than the environmental scare-mongering that has been going on since the 1960s (and, thanks to Al Gore, continues)

• The likely outcome of today’s global situation, in which Islam is militarily weak but ideologically confident — while the West is militarily strong but ideologically insecure

• Disquieting implications of the fact Islam is a religion, not a race or nationality (as it is commonly portrayed in the West) — and an explicitly political religion at that

• Why the liberal talk of finding the “root causes” of terrorism in the errors and excesses of Western foreign policy is so wrongheaded

• Why we are witnessing the end of the late twentieth-century progressive welfare democracy

• Why Libya’s Colonel Qaddafi is probably correct when he says that “there are signs that Allah will grant Islam victory in Europe — without swords, without guns, without conquests”

• Why the problem Europe faces today is not one of race, but of culture

• How the willingness to subordinate individual liberty to the primacy of society — as expressed by Nazism, Communism, and more – has blighted Europe for over a century

• The dangerous consequences that are likely to come from manifestations of “cultural sensitivity” — such as the fact that U.S. guards at Gitmo must handle copies of the Koran only when wearing gloves because the detainees regard infidels as “unclean” • How the terrorist attacks in Madrid in 2004 and London in 2005 — along with other events such as the murder of Theo van Gogh — were the opening shots of a European civil war

• The little-noticed reason why America’s European “allies” failed to grasp the significance of September 11

• Why the progressive Left can be in favor of Big Government or population control but not both — and how that mutual incompatibility is about to plunge Europe into societal collapse

• Sobering facts about how advanced civilizational suicide already is in Japan and Russia

• How mosques in the West serve as recruiters for the jihad and play an important role in ideological subordination and cell discipline • Why the Spanish government was so eager to appease the jihad terrorists after the Madrid bombings of March 2004

• How oil isn’t the principal Saudi export, Islamic jihad ideology is — and our oil money bankrolls its spread

• Why the war against global Islamic jihad will be harder to win the longer it goes on

• How Western analysts continue to fall into the error of thinking that if a violent Muslim has no ties to Al-Qaeda, he cannot be a terrorist and poses no threat

• Europe’s suicidal multicultural malaise — and why jihadists understand that the Continent is ripe for the taking in a way that America isn’t

• Why it is so important for Americans and others who want their families to enjoy the blessings of life in a free society to understand that the life we’ve led since 1945 in the Western world is very rare in human history

• How the ultimate victory of Islam in America can be avoided not by more government but by less: by government returning to the citizenry the primal responsibilities it has taken from them in the modern era.

* * *
The bottom line: if you haven’t read “America Alone” look for it and read it if you can. If not, be sure and read “After America.”

About the author

Mark Steyn, born in 1959,  is the senior columnist for Canada’s newest political magazine, the Western Standard. He’s literary correspondent for Canada’s largest circulation magazine, Maclean’s. He’s a syndicated columnist whose columns appear in newspapers and magazines throughout the U.S. and Canada and around the world. He’s right up there with P.J. O’Rourke and Christopher Buckley in my pantheon of witty conservative writers.

Mark Steyn’s web site: www.steynonline.com
Publisher’s web site: www.regnery.com

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