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    America Alone {Post 1}

    December 11, 2009 by Brandy Vencel

    Si and I recently began reading Mark Steyn’s America Alone, which was only on my PaperBackSwap wishlist for 1.5 years. {When it comes to getting the books I want, I have the patience of an ent.}

    I’ll be posting quotes as we go along. Let me just say from the outset that I like this guy. Anyone who uses Shakespeare’s seven ages of man to explain a problem has my admiration.

    I’m very curious whether I’m going to agree with this man all the way through the end. For instance, I completely agree that our culture bought into a bunch of eco-lies in the 70s {and again in the 80s and 90s, but I digress} that resulted in a poor birthrate. So we’re agreeing on the definition of a certain problem. But whether we agree on exactly how we got there {for I trace it back beyond the eco-lies to the legalization of birth control which led to the legalization of abortion which led to children becoming a choice, even for Christians}, I wonder if we’re going to agree on what should be done.

    Lasting behavioral change is always preceded by heart change. We’ll see if Steyn knows this.

    Anyhow, the book itself is neatly divided into three parts. The first deals with the low birth rate I’ve already mentioned, and how this will combine with a welfare state to create a total implosion of culture. The second deals with the expansion of Islam, but not just any kind of Islam.

    I am learning, by the way, to think of Islam the way I think of Christianity. What I mean is, there are three big branches of Christianity {meaning Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholic–four depending on where you place the Anglicans}, and then there are branches of Protestantism {all the denominations plus all the independent churches and house churches and so on}. And then there are the cults {i.e., Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.–cult, incidentally, is here defined as a doctrinal straying from what C.S. Lewis called Mere Christianity and what many of us these days call the Essential Doctrines}.

    So we can’t just think, either, that Islam is Islam is Islam. With this as context, my understanding is that Steyn’s concern is not necessarily the spread or growth of Islam as much as it is the spread and growth of the radical form of Islam known as Wahabiism, a spread that is globally financed by the nation of Saudi Arabia.

    Or so Steyn says.

    His third section is called “The New Dark Ages” and I really don’t know what that’s about yet. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it when reading the Prologue, so I’ll have to post about that when we get there. I’m not sure the first Dark Ages were really all that dark, but we’ll go with it.

    I was going to just post some quotes today, because I’m busy, you know, and I have truffles to make, but then a news article came across my Reader that was just irresistible: The real inconvenient truth: The whole world needs to adopt China’s one-child policy. I think I have mentioned on and off here that the Green Religion is anti-child in every way possible, so much so that they will talk about a “one-child policy” while ignoring that inherent in the policy is forced abortions, forced sterilization, and a devaluing of females because it wants fewer children {women make children, understand?}.

    China doesn’t want people. It wants workers.

    There is a neat little paragraph in this article that is a great way to begin my quotes:

    China has proven that birth restriction is smart policy. Its middle class grows, all its citizens have housing, health care, education and food, and the one out of five human beings who live there are not overpopulating the planet.

    Let’s see what Steyn has to say:

    The single most important fact about the early twenty-first century is the rapid aging of almost every developed nation other than the United States: Canada, Europe, and Japan are getting old fast, older than any functioning society has ever been and faster than any has ever aged.

    {p. 2}

    The progressive Left can be in favor of Big Government or population control but not both. The mutual incompatibility is about to plunge Europe into societal collapse. There is no precedent in human history for economic growth on declining human capital–and that’s before anyone invented unsustainable welfare systems.

    {p. 3}

    [D]emographics is a game of last man standing.

    {p. 3}

    What happened in the 1990s was what Yamada Masahiro of Tokyo’s Gakugei University calls the first “low birth-rate recession.” It’s not the economy, stupid. It’s the stupidity, economists–the stupidity of thinking you can ignore demography. Japanese society aged, and aged societies, by their nature, are more cautious and less dynamic: old people weigh exposure to risk more than potential for gain.

    {p. 5}

    The design flaw of the radically secularist Eutopia is that it depends on a religious-society birth rate.

    {p. 12}

    Just as America relies on the Chinese to make cheap Elmos and Poohs, so Canada relies on them to make cheap human beings–the children that domestic manufacturers in Canada, Europe, and elsewhere have concluded are prohibitively expensive to produce at home.

    {p. 13}

    Europe doesn’t need an enemy; it’s losing its own torpor.

    {p. 48}

    Steyn runs numbers and tell us that most European countries have birth rates that are so low, no culture has ever recovered from them before. I suppose we will see in our lifetime if history will repeat itself in this regard.

    I think here in America it is hard for us to imagine that other countries are actually shrinking. Do we understand that Russia is emptying out? In his Prologue, Steyn says:

    [T]he Muslim world’s high birth rate…by mid-century will give tiny Yemen a higher population than vast empty Russia.

    {p. xxix}

    If a population is halving every generation, what makes us think there will be any economic growth?

    And what does it mean for a culture? No aunts, no uncles, no cousins, no brothers, no sisters.

    No life.

    This is the ultimate outcome of the Green Religion. It dreams of an Earth…without man.

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  • Reply Brandy Afterthoughts December 13, 2009 at 1:03 am

    Rahime, I’d love for you to join in! It is interesting to read this, knowing that it was written before the debate over healthcare went full-blown socialist. To hear him talking about what sets America apart…and then to see our politicians giving it up, with or without public support…he seems a bit prophetic in some of what he says.

    Which tells me he has a certain level of understanding…

  • Reply Rahime December 12, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Its been a few years since I read this one, but I remember liking it in general. I’ll have to dust it off and pick it up again while you’re posting your thoughts.

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