Monday, September 20, 2004

Steyn concedes Europe to Islam

Mark Steyn is a popular, talented, right-wing journalist, but not a true conservative. In a recent article for the Telegraph, he meekly accepts the "reality" that Europe will be Islamic by the end of the century. His one concern is to make sure that Islam by that time is sufficiently "civilized" by which he means "democratic".

What this means is that Steyn is really a liberal civic nationalist at heart, who believes that our core identity is found in our commitment to a liberal political order, rather than to longstanding ethnic traditions, comprising a common ancestry, religion, history, language and culture.

Lawrence Auster, in an email introducing this story, rightly observes that "while neoconservatives such as Mark Steyn may be brilliant critics of the left, they themselves are no friends of our historic civilization but seek to transform it into something utterly unrecognizable".

This is an important point for conservatives to register. There are plenty of "right-wing" critics of the left out there, who undoubtedly play a useful role in making the left more accountable (Melbourne journalist Andrew Bolt is a good example).

You can't assume, though, that these right-wingers are conservatives: if you actually look at what they believe they often turn out to hold very strongly to their own version of liberalism. They are often no more committed to preserving the existence of the West and its peoples than are the left-wingers they are so good at criticising.

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